Toasted Coconut & Mint Chocolate Chip Marshmallows
I have a super fun summer party idea for you …Backyard Movie Night with a DIY S’mores Bar! We took the liberty of “testing” this out for you (haha) last weekend, and it was a huge hit. We had a lot of fun making these homemade Toasted Coconut & Mint Chocolate Chip Marshmallows that are much healthier than the store-bought ones but are still considered a treat.
Prepare two square non-metallic baking dishes by greasing them with some butter. If using the coconut, carefully toast it for a few minutes (in an oven or toaster oven) until golden brown. Coconut can go from white to burnt very quickly so keep a close eye and stir often! Pour half of the coconut into a thin layer in the bottom of one of the baking dishes and set aside.
Pour the cold water into the bowl of an electric mixer (or other large mixing bowl). Sprinkle in the 3 packs of gelatin and set aside. It will go to work on its own and start to harden while you work on the other part of the recipe.
Meanwhile, combine the syrup and salt in a small pot over high heat and insert a candy thermometer. Cook and stir occasionally until the syrup starts to bubble. To prevent the syrup from boiling over lower the heat to medium or medium-low (whatever it takes) and keep cooking until the temperature on the thermometer eventually reaches 240 degrees F. This process can take 15 to 20 minutes or even longer, and it's important to not leave it unattended for very long in order to ensure it doesn't boil over and catch fire! Not that I know from experience LOL :)
As soon as the syrup reaches the desired temp turn the mixer onto low and slowly pour the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. I used a stainless steel 1/2 cup measuring cup to carefully add the syrup little-by-little without burning myself or making a huge mess. At first it will still resemble the brown bubbly syrup, but keep watching because it will change like magic right before your eyes!
Turn the mixer onto high and whip until it thickens and looks like "marshmallow fluff," about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix again until just combined.
Spread half of the marshmallow mixture into an even layer in the baking dish with the toasted coconut on the bottom. Sprinkle the other half of the toasted coconut on top of the marshmallows.
Go back to the other half of the marshmallow fluff still in the mixer and briefly mix in the chocolate chips and peppermint extract until just combined. Spread it into one even layer in the other baking dish.
Allow both batches of marshmallows to set for at least 6 to 8 hours or overnight if you have the time. Then carefully peel out of the pan, cut into squares, and serve (or store at room temperature). My friend Carrie with Deliciously Organic recommends letting the individual squares dry out a bit before roasting them over the fire.