Introduction: How to Dehydrate Marshmallows
I was in a dehydrating mood a while back and decided to try out marshmallows and I just loved how they got all crunchy (kind of like liquid nitrogen marshmallows but without all the frostbite)! They turn out just like those cereal marshmallows you get in Lucky Charms or other cereals. It's really easy to dehydrate marshmallows, but I want to share with you my tips and experience with making these tasty little treats.
Step 1: Supplies
- Marshmallows - the rainbow mini marshmallows you see me using are from these little packs (it is really hard to find rainbow marshmallows)
- whatever you want to dehydrate, the smaller they are the easier they'll be to dehydrate, you can also cut up larger ones as I'll show in the next step
- during different seasons you should be able to find fun marshmallows in different shapes, colors, and flavors; keep your eyes open!
- FunMallows are good if you can find them.
- Powdered Sugar & Cornstarch - (optional) you only need this if you cut up marshmallows, and even then it's still optional
- Food scissors - if cutting marshmallows, you want to use something clean that is okay to use on food
Step 2: Prepping Marshmallows
If you are planning to cut up your marshmallows, I recommend mixing together 1 part powdered sugar with 1 part cornstarch for coating the cut edges. This will help prevent them from sticking to each other and the tray. BUT there is a good chance they will still stick to the tray just not as much as they would if you didn't coat them. I really do recommend this to save you later frustration and hassle.
Just cut the marshmallow, dip the cut edges in the mixture, and pat off as much additional powder as you can. I would say to shoot for your marshmallows to be no more than 1/4" thick if you can just to make things easier on yourself.
Step 3: Dehydrating
I tried to do many tests with my marshmallow to get them just right. Before we get started, here are some things you must keep in mine when dehydrating marshmallows.
- The thicker the marshmallow, the longer it takes to dehydrate them.
- Marshmallows actually puff up a bit when dehydrated, they do not shrivel like many things do when you dehydrate them.
- When you take the marshmallows out of the dehydrator, they will be squishy. You have to let them sit for a while and cool down before they get hard. So, if you aren't sure if they are done, take a couple out and just let them sit. Check them a little later (I usually give them 15 minutes to be safe) to get a better idea of if they are ready or not. Do not put them directly into a container; they need time to sit or else they will go back to being soft.
- I honestly don't know if it makes a difference, but I put the bigger marshmallows at the top closer to the heat source just in case that helped them dehydrate faster than the smaller ones.
- Older marshmallows don't dehydrate as well and will probably take longer.
Time to dehydrate! Set your dehydrator to 160 degrees.
For mini marshmallows, it will take around 2 - 3 hours for them to dry. It took around 2 hours during tests, but when I ran a full dehydrator, it took more like 2.5 hours. I would say this should be the minimum you dehydrate them for to get the results you want, and it doesn't seem to hurt to go longer if you aren't sure if they are done.
For the marshmallows shown that are pink, blue, and yellow with a white center, those took about 4 hours. I would say they were about 1/4-3/8" thick. I dehydrated the trees shown for 4 hours as well.
If your dehydrator doesn't go up to 160 degrees (I don't know why it wouldn't but just in case), I also dehydrated the mini marshmallows at 140 degrees for about 4.5 hours. I just figured, if I can get them done faster at a higher temp with the same results, why not.
The last picture above shows them before and after being dehydrated.
Step 4: End Results
Here is a look at my dehydrated marshmallows compared to them before. The regular marshmallows are on the left and dehydrated are on the right.
First, you can see they puffed up a little bit like I mentioned.
Second, you can see that when bitten, while a regular marshmallow is soft and squishes, you should be able to bite right through a dehydrated marshmallow with a nice crunch! You can see the nice air pockets in there too.
Step 5: Extras: How to Re-dehydrated Dehydrated Marshmallows and When They Stick to Your Dehydrator
While doing this, I noticed I had some of those Mallow Bits in my cupboard that I had forgotten about and they had gotten squishy :( I decided to throw them in the dehydrator to see if it would help and it did! I put them on the tray that came with our dehydrator and put them in for about an hour at 160 degrees. It firmed them right up! Now, they are still old, but they are crunchy again.
I also had some very old Cereal Marshmallows that had gotten soft. I was able to firm them up again in the dehydrator too for around the same amount of time as the mallow bits.
As I mentioned before, the marshmallows might stick to the trays. This is simply because they expand and exposed some of their sticky interiors. But don't worry. If any of them stick to the tray, just let them sit there until they are hard. Then you should be able to pop them right off. Now, if they are stuck pretty bad, it will probably wreak the marshmallow to take it off, but taking it off right away while it's warm and sticky will not make it better, it will make it much worse. As you can see above, I tried to take off one when it was very stuck and it just left most of it behind. While on the other hand, when I took one off after it had sat for a while, it popped right off, no problem.
Step 6: What Do You Do With Dehydrated Marshmallows?
Eat them! I know that might sound crazy, but honestly, I just like to snack on these crunchy, sweet treats! But, that's obviously not the only thing you can do with them.
They are also great in:
- Cereal - I particularly like them in Fruity Pebbles, but you might want to consider cutting them up before dehydrating them (even if you use mini marshmallows) if using them in cereal is your end goal. Even mini they are still a little big to go with cereal.
- Hot Chocolate - obviously this is a good use. When they get wet they end up just like regular marshmallows, but these are also great if you make little hot chocolate kits for people as they won't go bad as fast as regular marshmallows.
- Baking - mix them with cookies and granola bars, or top cakes and cupcakes. Try out something new and see what happens.
- You tell me! I'd love to hear what people do with their marshmallows.
Remember to store them in an airtight container. I'm not sure how long they last because I eat them before they get old. If they were to get soft again, you can always try dehydrating them again :)
Step 7: How to Dehydrate Peeps
As Tye Rannosaurus recommended in the comments, you can dehydrate Peeps and they are awesome! You can mess around with the settings, but what worked quickly for me was 160F for about 4 hours. This got them crunchy all the way through and made them expand like crazy!
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Cover the dehydrator trays with a sheet of bakers parchment paper and you will never need to worry about sticking. I use this method for home made fruit roll-ups.