Whether you make these for a special celebration or any random Tuesday, these pillowy marshmallows are sure to please. Homemade marshmallows have been popping up everywhere lately and they've been on my "to-try" list for a while. For months, I heeded the warnings not to try these with a hand-held mixer but my opportunity arrived when I finally caved and invested in a Breville stand mixer (yes, I love it!). I read quite a few recipes for the base before turning to Bravetart, one of my favorite food blogs, and used a half recipe for Vanilla Bean Marshmallows. Rather than rolling the sticky white mounds in confectioner's sugar, I used toasted coconut. I don't particularly love the sweetened, flaked coconut found in the baking aisle, but toasting it really elevates the flavor.
7 oz (small) bag of sweetened flake coconut
- Add coconut to a large, cast-iron pan set over medium heat. If your pan is not large enough for the coconut to be in a layer of about 1 inch or less, work in batches.
- Continually stir, making sure that the flakes on the bottom of the pan are stirred to the top of the pile. It takes a while to get going, but once coconut begins to get toasty, it will brown quickly so keep an eye on it.
- Spread the toasted coconut on a sheet pan and spread out to cool.
- Once cool, use dry, clean hands to crumble the crispy coconut into small pieces.
- .75 oz of unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox brand, each box contains 4 envelopes)
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) cold water
- 14 oz sugar*
- 5.5 oz corn syrup*
- 4 oz (1/2 cup) water
- generous pinch of salt
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract or coconut flavoring
- stand mixer with whisk attachment
- candy thermometer
- kitchen scale
- Spray a small rectangular glass casserole or metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir together the gelatin and 4 oz of cold water. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan, combine remaining water, sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium hit and stir until the mixture nears a simmer. Once the mixture nears a simmer, stop stirring! Cover and allow to cook undisturbed for 5 minutes. Uncover and clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Let the mixture continue to bubble and cook until the temperature reaches 240 degrees.
- Let the syrup cool until the temperature drops to 210 degrees.
- Turn the stand mixer with the gelatin on low speed. Very carefully (really, super hot stuff here) pour the syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin.
- Gradually turn up the mixer speed and watch the syrup turn into a beautiful white fluff. Mix for 8-12 minutes, until the mixture is white, fluffy and tripled in volume.
- Time to act quickly! Scrape the marshmallow into your prepared pan. Dampen your hands slightly and pat down the mixture, pushing it to the edges of the pan and aiming for an even top.
- Dust the top of the marshmallows with the crumbled, toasted coconut. Pat with dry hands to adhere the bits and tilt the pan to help spread the coconut.
- Lightly cover with plastic wrap (don't seal) and let the marshmallows rest at least four hours or overnight.
- Run a dry knife warmed under hot water around the edge of the pan to loosen the mixture. Use your hands to tug the mixture out of the pan and place the mixture coconut side down on a cutting board.
- Dust the top and sides with more coconut before using a warm knife or kitchen shears to cut the marshmallows into strips roughly 1 inch wide. Dip the cut sides into the coconut to cover.
- Cut the strips into 1 inch cubes and, again, dip the cut sides in coconut.
- Marshmallows dusted with confectioner's sugar last for weeks, but this version is best eaten within a day or two because the toasted coconut starts to get soft.
* When measuring your ingredients, be sure to use a measuring cup with fluid ounces for liquid ingredients and a kitchen scale to weigh dry ingredients.
A few tips:
- This was not nearly as messy as expected. Messy, but not a total kitchen disaster. Make quick clean up of your sugar syrup pan by filling with water and boiling to get rid of any remaining sticky syrup. Hot water will dissolve any marshmallow fluff stuck in the mixing bowl and on the whisk attachment.
- Try replacing the cold water in the gelatin/water mix with weak coffee. Let's just say, "yum!"
- If you're not a fan of coconut, even the toasted variety, roll the marshmallows in a mix of confectioner's sugar and cornstarch instead.
- For mini marshmallows, scrape the fluff from the mixing bowl into a piping bag with a 1/2 inch round tip. Pipe lines on a tray spread with the toasted coconut. After drying for four hours, cut lines into 1/2 inch pieces.
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