Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Who needs Jet-Puffed when you can make your own.. and flavored!

For this weeks goodie Jeff will bring for Wednesday Treat Day, I wanted to do something a little different and unexpected to surprise his co-workers. A couple things came to mind, but I couldn't pin down one recipe I really wanted to make. So after sorting through the sweets-to-try piles, I put together something that I think fit the bill.

I had a lot of fun making these Toasted Coconut Vanilla Marshmallows. Although, it did put the poor Kitchen Aid mixer through quite a workout - hopefully it will forgive me! The texture of these are soft, light and squishy which was a striking contrast to the toasted crunchy topping. I would have loved to use some vanilla beans or even vanilla bean paste, but I have not seen any good looking beans in a store here- I might have to just go ahead and place an order on-line for some paste. I did use some brown rice syrup instead of 1 full cup of light corn syrup and found it to be a decent replacement - I didn't want to waste a whole batch though if it would not have worked. These ache for a dip in dark chocolate, but I wanted to keep them somewhat plain. Pairing them with chocolate graham crackers would work quite well too!

Some tips - while you could use a hand mixer, it would be tricky to pour in the very hot sugar mixture and I'm sure it would get old just standing there for 15 minutes. I would probably not make these without a stand mixer.

When you add the vanilla extract at the end, turn the mixer down a few notches. When you pour it in, the thick mixture expands for a second and could make for a big mess.

Don't be shy with the confectioners' sugar - it keeps everything from sticking and you can always brush off any extra.

I started out using a bench scraper to cut through the marshmallows, but I found a hot (dry) sharp knife squished them less and went through the coconut better.

Tonight for dinner I made Vegetable Fried Rice. We have only ever made and eaten fried rice once before and I have been wanting to make it again ever since then. Tender crisp asparagus combined with roasted sweet red bell peppers, scallions, garlic and fresh ginger anxiously await the additions of brown rice, rice vinegar and soy sauce in a blazing hot pan. In the first fried rice we tried, the eggs are scrambled with the rice mixture. But here, once the salty liquid has been absorbed, you add soft scrambled eggs that you cooked before you start the asparagus. I'm not sure if that made any difference, but it seemed easier to just scramble them at the end with the rest of the mixture. For a fiery finish, the mixture is spiked with a couple glugs of cayenne pepper sauce and a splash of toasted sesame oil to heighten the flavors.


  1. Both look fabulous. I would love to try to make the marshmallows, but have tried to make similar things before and failed in the worst ways possible. You are so brave.

  2. You are a good guy making treats every Wednesday!

  3. I wonder how altitude would affect the marshmallows? I would love to try them but between altitude and all the humidity we've had lately I don't know if they would come out. They look great though.
    The stir fry looks also looks very yummy!

  4. Homemade marshmallows are still on my to-do list. Someday.

    I'm not getting errors when I load your blog anymore. Did you change anything?

  5. Very adventurous of you, Joe. I can't say that I will ever make my own marshmallows, I'm not that advanced, yet. I guess I'll be one of the few who still buys the Jet-Puffed!

  6. Homemade marshmallows- such a treat! They look amazing! Sadly, I do not have a stand mixer (yet...) and will have to settle for marshmallows from a bag, sigh...

  7. Homemade marshmallows, you are indeed one intrepid soldier in the baking field!

  8. Linda - These really are not too tough - give them a try!

    Wheresmymind - Thanks!

    Brenda - I'm not sure either, I've never lived where Altitude made any difference.

    TCJ - You couldn't get to our site before?

    Annie - We've made cocoa ones last year as well - they were so good!

    Brilynn - I use my mixer so much, it is very handy! Hope you can get one soon!

    S'kat - /flex! Thanks!

  9. Hey, I can send you a few beans if you want. I have tons.