Initially, I made these marshmallows for my brother because he is sensitive to corn. Honey seemed like an easy substitute for corn syrup, and away I went.
But the final product was complex. Buttery, floral, dark and caramelly. Far more adult than an ordinary marshmallow. In many ways, inappropriate for the typical uses of marshmallows, as a sweetener or cereal adhesive. That said, they make a fantastic showcase for a special honey.
Honey can be hard to love. No, don’t deny it. Honey doesn’t sweeten quietly like white sugar, or even like brown sugar. Honey is loud and it’s proud, and it is a shame to hide it in a pastry or in a beverage.
The virtues of marshmallows- the simple alchemy of sugar and gelatin- is precisely what allows the honey to take center stage. Maybe you could mix them into crispy rice treats or float them in hot chocolate, but first, I recommend you try them the way I did- as is.
Adapted from Alton Brown
3 packets unflavored gelatin
1 c. ice water, divided
1 ½ c. sugar
1 c. honey
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ c. flour
¼ c. shredded coconut
Nonstick spray, mild flavor
Put the gelatin and ½ c. water in the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment on.
In small saucepan, combine remaining ½ c. water, sugar, honey and salt. Cover and cook over medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Uncover. Clip candy thermometer to the saucepan and continue cooking until mix reaches 240 degrees F, about 7-8 minutes. Immediately remove from heat.
Turn the stand mixer on low speed and slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture, while the mixer is running. Once you have added all the syrup, increase the speed to high. Whip for 12-15 minutes, until mixture is very thick and lukewarm.
While the mixture is whipping, prep the pan. Mix the flour and coconut in a small bowl.
Lightly spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Add about half of the flour and coconut mix and jostle it around the bottom of the pan to make an even layer.
When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula to spread it into the corners. Dust with about half of remaining flour and coconut mixture (so you still have a little flour-coconut left). Allow marshmallows to sit uncovered for at 4 hours, up to overnight.
Turn marshmallows out onto a cutting board. Cut into 1” squares with a pizza wheel dusted with flour. Once cut, lightly dust all sides with remaining flour-coconut mixture. Use extra flour if the marshmallows are still sticky. Store in an airtight container up to 3 weeks.