Mix together the gelatin and half of the water (1/2 cup) in a bowl. This will help soften it while you work on your honey syrup mixture.
Mix together the honey and the rest of the water to a small pan. Heat the mixture, while stirring over medium, until the mixture reaches 240ºF/115ªC.
Once you have reached the right temperature, remove the honey mixture from the stove. Add the softened gelatin mixture to it.
Begin beating the two mixtures together with an egg beater.
Continute to beat the mixture, increasing the speed as you go along. Keep beating until the mixture becomes white and frothy.
Add in the salt and vanilla extract and whip a little bit more.
Once it looks like marshmallow cream, you can pour the mixture into greased molds or pour it over a baking sheet lined with paper. (You can use either Easter themed molds or a square pan for later cutting shapes out with cookie cutters). You can also try piping out some marshmallows.
The marshmallows will set as they cool. If using cookie cutters, cut shapes from the hardened marshmallows.
Coating the marshmallows
Dip the marshmallows in colored coconut or colored sugar sprinkles to decorate them and keep them from sticking together. Marshmallows covered in sugar sprinkles may "weep." I prefer to use coconut sprinkles as they tend to be brighter in color, are healthier, and hold up much better.
Adding the eyes and nose
To make the eyes and nose, mix the cocoa powder with some melted coconut oil. You don't need very much, and it's easier to manipulate it if you add in enough cocoa powder to make a somewhat thick liquid. Otherwise, it has a tendency of running. I used a toothpick to dot on the eyes and noses. As it cools, the chocolate will set. These should be stored in a cool dry place anyway.
Serve immediately or store in a cool dry place.
The nutritional information is based on making 20 peeps with this recipe. The number of peeps will vary greatly depending upon the size you've made them.To ensure the sprinkles stick to the marshmallows, make sure the sprinkles are fully dried after coloring them. This can be achieved with a food dehydrator or an oven on low heat.By grinding the coconut finely, it also helps it stick better to the marshmallows. If the marshmallows have fully solidified and the coconut sprinkles don't adhere well to them, you can help make them stick by dipping the marshmallows in a honey/water mixture first. These keep well in the fridge, up to several weeks or even a month or longer. Marshmallows can be re-melted in a pan over low heat. You may need to re-whip the mixture with an egg beater if it has lost volume.