Sweet treats are not my forte. I’m no professional baker, by a long shot. But I believe in being fearless in my own kitchen, so when I felt inspired this week to make my own marshmallows (toasted coconut marshmallows at that!), I dove in head first and wholeheartedly.
My kitchen had seen better days by the time I was done. Just saying “it was a mess” doesn’t accurately describe it, but it was tooooootally worth the extra clean up. I ended up with a batch of light, fluffy, springy and oh-so-coconutty marshmallows (and maybe a few stray splotches of marshmallow fluff on my fingers and forehead — no big deal!).
I have such fond memories of these cloud-like little treats. Melting them over a campfire in my girl scout days, and inevitably setting them on fire and dropping at least one square onto a log by accident… But the survivors, oh the survivors made the BEST s’mores EVER, with gooey strings of marshmallow, slowly melting chocolate and crunchy graham cracker. But more than anything, I couldn’t resist popping them into my mouth right out of the bag — so chewy and sugary sweet.
These toasted coconut marshmallows definitely transform one of my favorite childhood treats into something completely adult approved. And I don’t really feel too many twinges of guilt popping
one two (or maybe even three!) into my mouth since they’re homemade without all of the unpronounceable additives and preservatives. Still pretty sugar-iffic. But they’re a sometimes treat, so that’s okay. I’m planning on bringing a batch up north this weekend to make a version of s’mores. I’m not sure if the traditional roasted-over-the-fire is the way I want to go, or maybe that amazing-looking (and totally genius) s’mores dip that I’ve been seeing all over Pinterest lately! I might just have to give that a try. I do love a good chocolate-coconut combo.
You will need a few kitchen tools to make these little guys, to make sure you can (1) incorporate enough air into the fluff to turn it into marshmallows, without your arm falling off, (2) get the sugar to juuuuust the right temperature to make the magic happen, and (3) contain the marshmallow fluff and coax it to where you want it to go without getting it aaallll over the place. Learning from my own mistakes, heh.
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Candy thermometer
- Mixing bowls, one large and one medium-sized
- Wooden spoons
A little side note — they’ll still be pretty darn tacky once they’re all set up in the fridge. If you’ve oiled and dusted your pan with powdered sugar, they’ll pop right out without trouble. I put a piece of plastic wrap down onto my cutting board and turned them out onto that before cutting into 1″ pieces. Coating them in a mixture of toasted coconut and powdered sugar keeps the little cubes from sticking together.
So go for it! The 4th of July weekend is the perfect opportunity for a little experimentation and kitchen adventures, and to make yourself (and your family, if you’re willing to share) a sweet treat. But, do you really need a special occasion to treat yo’self? Not in my book, you don’t.
Oh, and yes — that’s a monogrammed apron with my new initials and Another Root’s logo. Such a cute wedding gift! K has a matching one 🙂
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut
- 1 cup powdered sugar (see notes)
- 1 Tbsp + 1¼ tsp unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided
- ¼ cup honey (I used organic, raw honey)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 egg white
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp coconut extract
- Spray the bottom and sides of an 8x8" square baking dish with nonstick spray (or use a light oil if preferred) and dust with powdered sugar. Set aside.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spread the coconut in an even layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Toast in the oven, stirring often, until golden brown -- about 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or a large mixing bowl, add ½ cup ice cold water and sprinkle the gelatin overtop. Let sit to soften.
- In a medium sauce pan, add ½ cup of cold water with the honey, sugar and salt. Dissolve together, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, over low heat. Once dissolved, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil without stirring. Allow to boil until a candy thermometer reads 240 degrees F, about 10-12 minutes. Then turn off the heat and pour the sugar mixture over the gelatin and stir with the wooden spoon until the gelatin is dissolved.
- If using a stand mixer, fit with the whisk attachment and whisk -- slowly increasing speed from low to high to reduce splatter -- on high speed until white and fluffy and tripled in size, about 5-6 minutes. If using a hand mixer, follow the same process -- it'll just take a few minutes longer, about 10.
- In a clean bowl, whip the egg white (either with a hand mixer or with a clean whisk attachment in your stand mixer) on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the egg white, vanilla and coconut extracts to the sugar-gelatin mixture once it's tripled in size and whisk until just combined. Pour the marshmallow mixture into your prepared pan, cover and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (up to overnight) to solidify.
- Turn the pan over onto a cutting board. Lift a corner and use a knife to gently pry a corner free. Use your hands or a spatula to work the marshmallow out of the pan. Cut into 1" cubes.
- Toss the remaining powdered sugar with the toasted coconut. Roll the marshmallow cubes in the coconut mixture to coat and shake off the excess.
- Store in a sealed container for up to a week.