Biting into a homemade marshmallow is like biting into a little cloud – only a lot more delicious. I love making homemade marshmallows and while vanilla is a staple that I keep coming back to (and I’ve been making this recipe for more than a decade), I also enjoy making flavored marshmallows. Flavored marshmallows give you a chance to add a new layer of flavor to a hot chocolate or a match of s’mores – and they are always a good choice of snack if you have a sweet tooth.
These Coconut Marshmallows have a subtle coconut flavor and are topped with a sprinkling of lightly toasted coconut. I opted to give the coconut topping only a light toast because I wanted these marshmallows to be soft all over, not to have a crisp coconut coating. Lightly toasting shredded coconut until it just starts to turn golden brings out its natural flavor without getting it too crispy. I sprinkled the coconut onto the bottom of my pan before making the marshmallows, then poured the soft marshmallow on top of the coconut. This ensures that the coconut sticks well to each and every piece of marshmallow.
The marshmallow recipe uses gelatin, not egg whites, and is best when made in a stand mixer because you need to beat the mixture for an extended period of time to aerate it. It can be done with a hand mixer, but be prepared to switch arms when one gets tired. The marshmallows need to set up in a pan for several hours after you make them before they can be cut. I prefer to use a silicone baking pan or a marshmallow pan because it is very easy to get the marshmallows out when you are ready to slice. If you are using a regular pan, be sure to line it with parchment paper to make the process of getting the marshmallows out of the pan quick and easy.
The marshmallows will keep well in an airtight container for a couple of weeks. Use them to top hot chocolate, ice cream sundaes or for anything else you can think of. They’ll be gone before you know it and you’ll have to make up another batch.
.75-oz unflavored gelatin (3 envelopes of Knox gelatin)
1/2 cup water
2 cups granulated sugar
2/3 cups light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tsp coconut extract (not imitation coconut extract)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup shredded coconut, lightly toasted
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
Line 9 x 9-inch pan with parchment paper and lightly oil it or lightly grease a 9×9-inch silicone pan. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water and stir to combine. Let stand for 10 minutes to allow the gelatin to absorb the water and soften.
Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and boil hard for 1 minute.
Pour the boiling syrup into soaked gelatin and turn on the mixer, using the whisk attachment, to high speed. Add the salt and beat for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, add in the coconut and vanilla extracts and beat for 1 additional minute.
Pour warm marshmallow carefully into the prepared pan and, using a lightly-oiled spatula, spread it evenly over the coconut and into the corners of the pan. Take a piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and place it on top of the marshmallow. Press the plastic wrap down firmly, but gently, to even out the top of the marshmallow. Let mixture sit for a few hours, or overnight, until cooled and firmly set.
In a shallow dish, sift together cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar. Remove marshmallow from pan and cut into equal pieces with lightly greased scissors or a marshmallow cutter. Dredge each piece of marshmallow in confectioners’ sugar mixture.
Store in an airtight container.
Makes about 48 marshmallows