Lemon and Coconut Marshmallows

This time of year I tend to go a little crazy baking everything I can. The holidays are a wonderful excuse to try new recipes. Something I’ve had my eye on, usually. Something I’ve been thinking about for a while. Last night it was homemade marshmallows. 

I’ve had handmade marshmallows a few times at restaurants (like Sante here in Spokane) and always enjoyed their delicacy. I like the idea of being able to choose my own flavorings and adjust the sugar level to my liking. So, when I came across a recipe for marshmallows in a past issue of Bon Appetit magazine I decided now was the time to try it. 

It turned out to be really simple. I made a layered marshmallow, lemon flavor on the bottom, and coconut on the top. For each you simmer the flavorings (lemon juice and coconut milk, respectively) with sugar and corn syrup until it reaches 230 degrees– at a point where the mixture is bubbling up and foaming, then add them to gelatin dissolved in water and beat them on high speed in a stand mixer until soft peaks form. Then you pour the fluff into a pan lined with parchment paper and let it cool. I made the lemon layer first, let it cool, then added the coconut layer. It didn’t take more than a few minutes to cool because the mixture is mostly cool when you pour it into the pan. I was surprised at how vigorously the mixture had to be beaten to get to the right consistency though. I don’t think my hand mixture could have done the job. This is one of the times when my stand mixer was absolutely indispensable. 

Lemon layer

And then the coconut layer

Once the marshmallows cooled I lifted the parchment paper out of the pan and placed them, topside down, onto the butcher block that I had sprinkled and then smeared with powdered sugar. I was glad I didn’t skip that step. The marshmallows were cool but very sticky. Once I carefully pulled the parchment paper off, I smeared the top with powdered sugar too and then cut the marshmallows into 1″x1″ squares. Then I set about rolling any unpowdered edges in powdered sugar and put them in a container. I placed wax paper between the layers since the sticky factor was still pretty high. 

When I was done my butcher block was covered in powdered sugar and bits of stuck on marshmallow. 

Recipe for Blood Orange and Coconut Marshmallows is at epicurious.com

Today I Turned Lemon and Clementine Peels Into Sugar Delivery Devices

Candied citrus peels. I’ve been wanting to make these for several years– ever since my mom made them and raved about them. I love citrus peels. I nibble on lemon peels and eat kumquats whole. When I was pregnant the hardest thing for me was not being able to eat clementines because I had gestational diabetes. This recipe called to me. 

When I visited my parents last month I wrote down the recipe so that I could actually make them. But first I had to have 3 cups of citrus peels on hand. What to do? I could have peeled 3 cups worth of clementines or sliced up an equal number of lemons but I didn’t know what I would do with the leftover fruit. So I decided that I would save, and freeze, peels until I had enough. And today I actually had the time to make the recipe. 

First, I scraped off any bits of lemon from the lemon peels and sliced up the peels into pieces no bigger than 2″ long by 1/4″ wide. 

Once that was done I placed the peels in a sauce pan and covered them with water. 

I then brought the peels to a boil and drained them, repeating this process a total of 3 times. Then I brought: 1 1/2 cups sugar, 3/4 cup water, and the peels to a boil and boiled them for 20 minutes. I knew they were done when the syrup turned gelatinous. Then I drained them on more time, and let them dry on wax paper. 

After sitting out for a couple of hours, I tossed the peels in sugar, then put them in jars. Yield was 2 medium sized mason jars