These festive pink-colored, peppermint-flavored marshmallows are dipped in glossy dark chocolate and sprinkled with crunchy peppermint candy. They make a perfect Christmas treat or edible gift.
Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Whisk together the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch and sift about half of the mixture evenly over the prepared pan, reserving the rest.
Place 1/4 cup water in a small bowl and sprinkle gelatin over the water; allow to sit for 5-minutes to "bloom" and soften.
Meanwhile, place remaining 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup sugar, and corn syrup in a medium-sized saucepan and stir to combine. Bring sugar mixture to a simmer over medium-high heat.
Meanwhile, whisk the egg whites until frothy with an electric mixer; add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks form.
Add 2 tablespoons sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
When syrup reaches 240 degrees, remove from heat and whisk in gelatin mixer until it dissolves. Pour syrup slowly over egg whites and continue whisking on high speed until meringue is thick, glossy, and cool. Beat in vanilla and peppermint extract. Add a tiny bit of red coloring and beat in until combined. Assess color and add more as needed.
Scrape mixture onto pan, and spread quickly with an offset spatula to a 1/2-inch thickness. Sift remaining confectioners' sugar mixture over surface and allow to dry out at room temperature overnight. Trim edges to create straight lines using a sharp knife, then cut into 1 ½-inch squares.
Line a jellyroll pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil and coat with nonstick spray (or coat a rack with nonstick spray and place over a pan lined with foil).
Melt chocolate in top of double-boiler or in microwave. Gently stir in vegetable shortening until melted and combined and pour into a deep container for dipping. Submerge 1 marshmallow at a time, using 2 forks to help coat the marshmallow completely with chocolate. (Do not pierce the marshmallow; just let it rest on the tines of the fork.) Remove from the chocolate and allow any excess chocolate to drip back into the container. Place marshmallow on prepared pan or rack. Sprinkle the tops with a bit of crushed peppermint candy while chocolate is still wet. Allow the chocolate to set; marshmallows may be refrigerated to hasten this step. Candies may be stored for up to 1 month at room temperature in airtight container in single layers separated by waxed or parchment paper.