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Diary of a Foodie

Toasted-Coconut Marshmallow Squares

Diary of a Foodie: Season Two: The World of Sweet

Makesabout 4 dozen candies
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:3 1/4 hr (includes setting time)
April 2008
We often relegate marshmallows to a hot-chocolate topper, but these coconut treats definitely deserve to be offered up solo. Each pillowy square is surrounded by a flurry of toasted coconut. And since they keep for a month, they can be made well in advance of the holiday rush.

Watch a clip of this Diary of a Foodie episode. Plus, explore all episodes and more recipes from the show.
  • 2 cups unsweetened dried coconut
  • 3 (1/4-oz) envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 1 cup water, divided
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • Equipment:

    a 9-inch square metal baking pan; a stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment; a candy thermometer
  • Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in middle.
  • Toast coconut in a shallow baking pan in oven, stirring occasionally, until golden, 7 to 10 minutes.
  • Oil 9-inch baking pan, then sprinkle bottom with 1/2 cup toasted coconut.
  • Sprinkle gelatin over 1/2 cup water in bowl of mixer and let soften while making syrup.
  • Heat sugar, corn syrup, salt, and remaining 1/2 cup water in a small heavy saucepan over low heat, stirring until sugar has dissolved. Bring to a boil over medium heat, without stirring, washing any sugar crystals down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in cold water. Put thermometer into syrup and continue boiling, without stirring, until it registers 240°F (soft-ball stage). Remove from heat and let stand until bubbles dissipate.
  • With mixer at low speed, pour hot syrup into gelatin in a thin stream down side of bowl. Increase speed to high and beat until very thick, about 15 minutes. Add vanilla and coconut extracts and beat 1 minute more.
  • Spoon marshmallow over toasted coconut in baking pan and press evenly with dampened fingertips to smooth top (it will be very sticky), then evenly sprinkle top with 1/2 cup toasted coconut.
  • Let stand, uncovered, at room temperature until firm, about 2 hours.
  • Run a sharp knife around edge of marshmallow and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into 3/4-inch-wide strips, then cut each strip into 3/4-inch squares.
  • Put remaining toasted coconut in a small bowl and dredge marshmallows in it to coat completely.
Cook’s notes:
  • Marshmallow squares keep, layered between sheets of parchment paper in an airtight container, in a dry place at cool room temperature 1 month.
  • To avoid stickiness, try to make marshmallows on a dry day.