I think the holidays are the perfect reason to make candy and bake. When else is it perfectly acceptable to go to the grocery store and only buy sugar, corn syrup and coffee? That is exactly what I did yesterday and I am pretty sure I may not go back to the store until after the holidays. Who needs healthy real food over the holidays? I am going to survive on sugar for the rest of 2013!
So in the spirit of the holidays and all things sugar, you should learn how to make marshmallows. Seriously. They are one of those things that you think can never be homemade but once you try a homemade marshmallow, I promise there will be no going back to the conventional ones from the store. Plus, holiday candy that I like to make and give are those that people would never make for themselves. Everyone can make cookies, everyone can make jam, but candy takes a little more time and shows you care. (Maybe I am just reading into candy too much? ) Either way, this marshmallow recipe is a great place to start. Last week I shared my recipe for salted caramel candies as the perfect gift giving holiday candy and today I am adding my toasted coconut marshmallows to that list.
Once you master the marshmallow base (which is pretty simple, I promise), you can make a million different types of marshmallows. I made toasted coconut marshmallows because I like the crunch against the chewy texture but you could add peppermint instead of the vanilla and dust it with cocoa powder to get a holiday themed treat or even dip the marshmallows in melted chocolate. Once you get the base down, which is really easy, it is just gelatin, water, sugar and corn syrup, you can make any kind of marshmallow you can dream of.
What do you think, are you ready to master marshmallows? You can totally do it.
Inspired by Ina Garten
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
- Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
Toast the coconut by putting the coconut on a sheet try and into a 250 F oven for about 10 minutes. Keep an eye on the coconut, it can burn easily. Remove once it is light brown.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan. Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.
Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar. Store at room temperature.