Halloween Treat Honey Marshmallows

Honey Marshmallows

As a kid Halloween was the highlight of my year. I got to wear a ridiculous costume, run around the neighborhood with my friends, and get a bag full of candy. Could it get any better than that?! It was fun overload. Once home, I’d pour my candy onto the floor and meticulously sort each piece. Gobstoppers, Nerds, Lemonheads and Starbursts were at the top of the pile. I was the rare kid who hated chocolate so all the mini candy bars were quickly discarded. My mom loved this of course. In college my sweet tooth finally matured to include it. Now dark chocolate is really the only candy I eat. I’m convinced it’s good for me and have a piece everyday.

With the exception of chocolate, I try to exhibit self-control around sweets. But I feel that Halloween has to be an exception. It’s important not to deprive yourself. So I made marshmallows. Fluffy, jumbo marshmallows. The perfect size for s’more making and chocolate dipping. They are sweetened with honey and I classify this as a healthy sugar. It contains the minerals iron, calcium, phosphate, sodium chlorine, potassium, and magnesium. Honey is absorbed in our bodies differently than table sugar. The chemical composition allows the glucose to be used as an immediate fuel source as opposed to sugar, which must first be converted in the liver and small intestine to be used as energy. Honey can give these marshmallows an overly honey flavor so make sure to use a milder variety like clover in this recipe.

Enjoy the treats and Happy Halloween!!

Honey Marshmallows

Makes 2 dozen.

1 cup water, divided
2 1/2 tbsp gelatin
1 cup clover honey
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
coconut oil for greasing pan
arrowroot starch or tapioca starch for dusting

Equipment: Hand mixer or stand mixer, large mixing bowl, small sauce pan, parchment paper, 9″ x 9″ pan, candy thermometer, whisk

►Grease your 9″x9″ pan with coconut oil. Then cover with two sheets of parchment paper, crisscrossing them and allowing edges to fold over so you can easily pull it out of the pan when the marshmallows set. Grease the paper with coconut oil and dust with arrowroot starch. Set aside.
►Bring 1/2 cup water, honey and salt to a slow boil  over medium-high heat slowly stirring. Watch carefully as it can easily foam over the top. Insert candy thermometer and allow to reach 240 degrees, about 12 minutes.
►Once the honey water is just about ready, prepare the gelatin. Add 1/2 cup water to the mixing bowl. Then slowly sprinkle gelatin into the water while whisking. Make sure you whisk while sprinkling so the gelatin does not clump.
►Place mixer into gelatin water and turn on low. Slowly stream the hot, honey water down the side of the bowl. Once all is combined, turn the mixer to high for 10 minutes or until it resembles marshmallow creme. Add in the vanilla and beat another minute. The consistency should be light and just thick enough to loosely hold its shape.
►Pour into the prepared parchment lined pan. Dip your fingers in coconut oil and lightly smooth out the creme. The oil will prevent your fingers from sticking.
►Allow to set at room temperature for 4-6 hours. The longer they set, the better they’ll cut without spreading.
►Once set, lift up by the parchment paper and place on a cutting board. Put a bit of oil on your cutting knife then cut to desired shape. Toss each marshmallow in starch to prevent sticking for a beautiful finish.
►Store in an airtight container for up to a week (if you think they’ll last that long).



Honey Composition and Properties, http://www.beesource.com/resources/usda/honey-composition-and-properties/

Honey vs. Sugar Digestion, http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/honey-vs-sugar-digestion-9212.html

Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

Roasted Peaches with Honey Meringue

It’s September. So I’ll be eating large quantities of summer fruit until the very last day of harvest. Peaches are still available in my local market and I wanted to create a dessert that brought out their full flavor. The best way to do this is by slow roasting until the juices burst through the skin.

In my dairy-days I would have reached for plain vanilla ice cream to top off this dessert. Alas, those days are done. Dairy is my primary food intolerance. I tried convincing myself for years that one bite here and there wouldn’t hurt. I’ve learned the hard way.  Dairy and I mix as well as democrats and republicans. We make a slight attempt at reconciliation and then decide its best to be separated at all times.

Coconut is the closest way to replicate the creaminess of dairy. It’s rich, smooth and thick enough to satisfy my craving. The only problem is that my husband despising anything coconut. How do I create a creamy topping for both of us to enjoy? Then I thought of meringue. But of course!

Lactose intolerance is a real bummer. Most of the world’s population is not able to enjoy a three scoop sundae without some discomfort. This is all tied to your genes. Your ability to break down lactose is largely dependent upon where your ancestors hail. According to a UC Berkeley study, around 10% of Americans, 10% of Africa’s Tutsi tribe, 50% of Spanish and French people, and 99% of Chinese lack the enzyme lactase, which is necessary to break down lactose.

If you’re not into the whole meringue thing, these peaches would be incredible with a scoop of coconut ice cream.

Honey Meringue

Makes 2 servings.

2 egg whites
1 tbsp honey
1 large peach – cut in half, pit removed 

►Place egg whites in a large mixing bowl and set aside.
►Pour honey in a small saucepan and slowly bring to a simmer over medium low heat. Allow to cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until it turns a golden brown.
►Once the honey is done, bring it over to your mixing bowl of egg whites.
►Using either a stand mixer or a hand mixer, beat eggs at medium speed in a large mixing bowl until frothy. Now with the mixer on high, very slowly stream in the honey mixture.
►Continue beating until stiff peaks form.

►Set oven to broil.
►Place peaches skin side down in a baking dish. Cook for 10 minutes.
►Top each peach half with a scoop of meringue.