Actually, this recipe has been on the back burner since Christmas. It got lost in the time crunch of last minute present wrapping and vacuuming pine needles off of the floor (which I'm still doing it seems). So, get yourself ready...go put on a freshly pressed linen (or silk, whatever would be ridiculous for you to cook in) blouse while you wait for your husband to return to you in the Hamptons, and whip up a batch of Ina Garten's toasted coconut marshmallows. I promise, you don't even need any type of jet puffing machine like the bagged versions might suggest. I love discovering recipes that seem like it would be horribly complicated but in reality it's very easy. This is one of them. You will need a candy thermometer though, so if you don't own one, have your husband stop by some quaint, specialty cooking boutique (owned by one of your friends no less) on his way home.
I overestimated everyone's like for toasted coconut. I happen to love it but the consensus was that if I had only stuck with chocolate instead of coconut, I probably wouldn't have brought any home. What's wrong with me? Always go with chocolate (unless you love toasted coconut).
My tips and/or changes to any part of the recipe instructions are in italics.
Toasted Coconut Marshmallows
Ina Garten/Barefoot Contessa-recipe is listed on foodtv.com
3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting
7 ounces sweetened shredded coconut, toasted
Toast coconut. To do this, I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, dumped the coconut onto a jelly roll pan and placed in the oven. About every five minutes, I stirred the coconut around and put back in for another five minutes and so on, until it was light brown and toasted. Allow to cool while you make the marshmallows.
Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup of cold water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and allow to sit while you make the syrup.
Meanwhile, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook until the syrup reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the dissolved gelatin. Put the mixer on high speed and whip until the mixture is very thick, about 15 minutes. Add the vanilla and mix thoroughly.
Sprinkle half the toasted coconut in an 8 by 12-inch nonmetal pan (I used a glass 9x12 pan and sprayed only the sides with non stick cooking spray). Pour in the marshmallow batter and smooth the top of the mixture with damp hands. Sprinkle on the remaining toasted coconut. Allow to dry uncovered at room temperature overnight.
Remove the marshmallows from the pan and cut into squares. Roll the sides of each piece carefully in confectioners' sugar (I just rolled the sides in the toasted coconut that fell off when removing them from the pan). Store uncovered at room temperature.
To do a chocolate coated version, I think instead of putting toasted coconut on the bottom of the pan, I'd put a heavy layer of powdered sugar so that it will release from the pan. You can brush off the excess when it's removed. Cut into squares and dip into melted chocolate. I will definitely do this sometime soon!
I also brought Curried Chicken Salad Sandwiches
1 lb cooked chicken (chopped, shredded, however you like your chicken salad)
3/4 cup-1 cup mayo
1 TBSP curry powder
1/4 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup pineapple tidbits
1 green onion, thinly sliced
small handful raisins
Optional ingredients :
sliced, toasted almonds
Mix mayo and curry powder until thoroughly blended. Stir in remaining ingredients. You can serve this immediately, but I think it's better once the flavors meld together and the raisins plump up a bit. Serve on bread or cracker of your choice.