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Coconut Marshmallows

Coconut Marshmallows: Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Spread the coconut on a baking sheet and bake for about 10 - 15 minutes or until the coconut has turned a beautiful golden brown color. As the coconut bakes, stir it occasionally so it browns evenly. Remove from oven, place the baking sheet on a wire rack, and let cool.

Lightly oil, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, the bottom and sides of a 9 inch (23 cm) square baking pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Evenly spread about 3/4 cup (50 grams) of the toasted coconut onto the bottom of the pan.

Place 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water into the bowl of your electric mixer that is fitted with a whisk attachment. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a heavy two quart saucepan, place the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup (120 ml) cold water. Stir over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the mixture comes to a boil. Cover the saucepan with a lid and let boil for about one to two minutes to allow any sugar crystals to dissolve from the sides of the saucepan. Remove the lid and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Boil, without stirring, until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F (115 degrees C). Remove from heat.

With your mixer running at low speed, slowly pour the hot sugar syrup into the gelatin mixture in a thin stream down the side of the bowl. Gradually increase the speed to high and beat until mixture has tripled in volume and is very thick and stiff, about 10 minutes (looks like thick marshmallow cream). Add vanilla extract and a little food coloring (if using) and beat to combine, about 30 seconds longer.

Scrape marshmallow mixture into the prepared pan and spread with a damp offset spatula or rubber spatula. The mixture is very sticky so just smooth it out as best as you can. Sprinkle the top of the marshmallow with a generous coating of the toasted coconut, gently pressing the coconut into the marshmallow. Let the marshmallow stand, uncovered, at room temperature until set (about 6-8 hours).

Remove the marshmallow from the pan by first running a small spatula or knife around the edge of the marshmallow to loosen it from the pan. Invert the pan onto a large cutting board. Peel off the parchment paper and cut the marshmallow into squares using a pizza roller, kitchen shears, or a sharp knife. Then dip the cut sides of the marshmallows in toasted coconut. Shake off excess coconut and store the marshmallows in an airtight container, at room temperature, for up to a week.

Makes 16 Coconut Marshmallows.

Coconut Marshmallows:

3 cups (200 grams) shredded or flaked unsweetened or sweetened dried coconut

1 cup (240 ml) cold water, divided

3 - 1/4 ounce envelopes (21 grams) unflavored gelatin

2 cups (400 grams) granulated white sugar

1 cup (240 ml) light corn syrup

1/4 teaspoon (1 gram) salt

2 teaspoons (8 grams) pure vanilla extract

a few drops of pink food coloring (optional)

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