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A Midwinter Treat: Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

With all these snow days and school closures, it’s still marshmallow season. The boys ask for hot chocolate almost daily, so after awhile I took a basic marshmallow recipe and began playing around with flavors – peppermint, maple, coconut – easy to do by simply swapping flavored extracts. And then I saw this version with actual toasted coconut spread in the bottom of the pan before the marshmallow mixture is poured over. Genius. It pairs particularly well with white hot chocolate made with coconut milk. On their own, they’re like creamy, crustless, two-bite coconut cream pies, without all the fat.

homemade marshmallowsIf you’ve not tried them before, marshmallows are easier to make than they sound. These coconut mallows help get me through afternoons when I need a little sweet something and appeal to my need for chewy and crunchy all in one. I’ve started to hoard them for myself – the boys have some stiff competition.

Toasted Coconut Marshmallows

adapted from Cooking Light (one of my all-time favorite magazines!)

2 cups shredded or flaked coconut, toasted
2 Tbsp. (2 envelopes) unflavored gelatin
3/4 cup cold water, divided
2 cups sugar, divided
2/3 cup corn syrup
2 large egg whites
2 tsp. coconut extract or vanilla
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

Line a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with plastic wrap, allowing the wrap to extend an inch over the sides of tje pan. Lightly coat the plastic wrap with cooking spray and spread coconut in an even layer in the bottom of pan.

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup cold water in a small bowl; set aside. Combine remaining 1/4 cup of water, 1 3/4 cups sugar, and corn syrup in a large saucepan. Cook, without stirring, over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, until a candy thermometer registers 260°. Remove from heat and stir in the softened gelatin.

While sugar mixture cooks, beat the egg whites, coconut or vanilla extract and salt with an electric mixer (a stand mixture, if you have one) until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon at a time, until stiff peaks form. Gradually pour in gelatin mixture, and continue beating until very thick (about 5 minutes). The mixture should have the consistency of meringue. Gently spread marshmallow mixture over coconut in prepared pan. Spray another sheet of plastic wrap with cooking spray and place, coated side down, over marshmallow mixture. Chill until firm.

Sprinkle powdered sugar and cornstarch over a cutting board. Remove top sheet of plastic wrap. Invert marshmallow mixture over powdered sugar mixture. Using a dough scraper, cut mixture into squares. Store between sheets of wax or parchment paper in an airtight container. Makes lots.

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