How to Dehydrate Marshmallows

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Introduction: How to Dehydrate Marshmallows

About: I am powered by sugar and rainbows! For realz!

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.

Instructable 267

Step 1: Supplies

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
  • Dehydrator
  • 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.

Sticky Marshmallows

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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    46 Discussions

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    attosa

    2 months ago

    I love this because I've only ever used mine for meats and fruits!!!

    1 reply

    I know, right? It's a simple way to make a tasty treat :)

    What an excellent idea! I have a dehydrator and never thought to use it for marshmallows. When we open up a bag and use them, usually there's some left over and when they get old in the opened bag with a twisty tie on it, they get semi hard and I was throwing them away. Thanks for this great instructable. I especially like the idea for use with the colored and shaped ones.

    2 replies

    Fresh marshmallows will keep pretty much forever in the freezer...

    You know, I think the tastiest ones I made were actually the Christmas Tree ones you can see in some of the pictures. I didn't do a lot because they are more work, but I just finished them off so I'm going to have to do some more since I have so many of them and I don't want them to get stale before I get a chance.

    It's fun to try different ones. If you get a chance to dehydrate any fun marshmallows, I'd love to see them and find out what you think!

    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.

    I am a stale Peeps junkie and that means I have to purchase large quantities of them during the Peeps season, pop holes in the plastic, and then ignore them for at least 2 months while they harden up...BUT NO LONGER!!!

    Last night, after reading your tutorial, I popped 6 into my dehydrator, set it to a low 130F and then went to bed.

    This morning I woke up to 6 puffy, crunchy, super taffy-like chewy, absolutely perfect Peeps. THIS IS BRILLIANT! Thank you so much for this Instructable!

    10 replies

    You know, I don't know why I didn't think of peeps! I have year old peeps in my cupboard, I wonder if they are too far gone or if I can try dehydrating them :)

    Oh and did you get a chance to take a picture of them or did they not last that long ;) I'd love to see what they look like!

    Ha ha! I will confess, I scarfed 2 down before breakfast and grabbed a third one for the drive to work...they're just PERFECT! I managed to control myself and have 3 left which I will absolutely take photos of tonight and add to this comment thread. They ended up with very puffy little pot bellies which I think just adds to their cuteness. :)

    I found mine! But they are a year old and tough in their sealed packages :P Did you dehydrate fresh peeps or old ones? Trying to decide if it is worth running the dehydrator or not :P

    I dehydrated fresh ones I'd picked up from the store yesterday. If your peeps are over a year old, odds are...they're already dehydrated. :)

    Here they are side by side. These are fresh from the package Peeps I bought last Sunday. The one on the right was in the dehydrator for about 8 hours at 130F and is absolutely perfect. The one on the left is "fresh." Thank you again for the amazing Instructable...I'm buying ALL THE PEEPS NOW!!!

    peeps.jpg

    Nice!

    I just threw in my very very old ones this morning just to see what would happen while I was dehydrating other marshmallows, but I plan on getting some fresh ones at the store too to try them out. How come you decided to do 130F instead of 160F?

    I threw them in at 11 pm with the idea I'd leave them all night, so I thought low and slow would be a good way to go. I was worried if I had them up at 160 for 6-8 hours I'd come back to melted and then dried goo. Just playing it safe and trying to save myself cleanup.

    That's right, I forgot you threw them in overnight, better safe than sorry. I just got mine out and I managed to get most of them fairly crunchy considering they were so old. I'm certainly happy with them :) Still gotta try some fresh ones.

    I need to find something not sugary to eat, I'll have had today is a frappe and dehydrated marshmallows :P

    IMG_5588 copy.jpg

    Considering I had my last 3 dehydrated Peeps for breakfast and a tangerine and girl scout cookies for lunch...you're in good company!

    JUST the good part of the Lucky Charms? This sounds like heaven, and I can't wait to try!

    1 reply

    Back in the seventies I had a friend who lived dried peeps. She would buy them at Easter and let them dry until Christmas, and her friends would also buy them at Easter and give them to her as a Christmas present. She would love this article.