Choc Coconut Bliss Balls

Our young son does a lot of sport, and it’s important that he has something to eat beforehand to give him the energy he needs. I’ve tried making protein balls before, and they haven’t been as successful as I’d like. As in, they taste pretty good to me, but the sports dude will eat one or two before saying that he doesn’t really want any more ūüė¶

Until now!

choc coco ball
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Homemade Marshmallows – these really are the best!

I read a blog post recently about making Turkish Delight (bare with me Рmarshmallows will be along soon!), and thought that would be a decadent indulgence to include in a Christmas hamper. It looked reasonably straightforward to make, with ingredients I mostly had at home.

I found and pinned a couple of recipes. A lot of them required a sugar thermometer which I don’t have, and have managed to do without. Most recipes from the USA listed Corn Syrup as an ingredient. We don’t seem to use that here in Australia. I expect liquid glucose is our equivalent, as I found other recipes that used that.

So I tried this one first. Easy to follow instructions. Looked like it was doing ok.

Then I tried this recipe. Again, easy to follow instructions, but different method and ingredients.

Turkish Delight . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

The first one tastes pretty good, but was so sticky I couldn’t easily get it off the paper. The second one set beautifully, didn’t stick at all (mind you, I put cornflour on my baking paper-lined tin so that might have been the difference) but tasted gluey and floury. I didn’t bother dusting either batch with icing sugar/cornflour, as I was less than pleased with their result.

So I decided to ditch that idea. I might try again when Christmas isn’t a week away!

I don’t know what made me think of trying marshmallows next. But I am so glad I did! I found and pinned some recipes to my Yum Pinterest board.

I chose¬†this recipe from Taste.com.au¬†for my first attempt. And I am very happy with the result, so I don’t think I’ll need to try any others!

The recipe from Taste is so easy:

1 1/2 cups caster sugar (I used plain white sugar and it worked fine)

2 tablespoons gelatine

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Grease and line a 26cm slab pan, allowing paper to hang over sides. (I didn’t bother greasing, and it didn’t stick at all)

Place the sugar in a saucepan, add 2/3 cup hot water and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves and syrup is clear.

Place gelatine in a bowl, pour over 2/3 cup cold water and use a hand whisk to combine. Pour mixture into hot sugar syrup and cook, stirring constantly, until the gelatine has dissolved and the mixture is clear. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

Pour cooled mixture into a large bowl and use electric beaters or a kitchen mixer on high to beat for 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is very thick. Add the vanilla and beat to combine.

Pour into the prepared pan and leave in a cool place to set. Once set (about 1 hour) turn out of the pan and use a wet knife to cut into squares.  

Place the toasted coconut in a bowl and add the squares in batches of four, tossing them through the coconut to coat properly.

Other recipes required sugar thermometers and various other details. I found this simple and easy.

The mixture whipped up nicely. So thick and glossy!

Fluffy marshmallow mix . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I actually used two smaller trays.¬† I divided my mixture between the two trays and then went back to smooth them over, to find that it had already started setting. So I left them not so smooth ūüėČ

marshmallow mix . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

An hour or so later I cut them into squares and rolled them in toasted coconut. You can also roll them in a combination of cornflour and icing sugar. Equal quantities cornflour and icing sugar seems to be the usual thing, but you can also use much less icing sugar than cornflour if you prefer.

To toast desiccated coconut, place it in a dry frying pan and cook over medium heat. Make sure you stir it continuously, and don’t leave it alone! It only takes a couple of minutes. Once golden, remove it from the pan and let cool.

Homemade marshmallow . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I made some up into small packs to give to some school friends. I got a text later in the afternoon from one friend who said: “Mum said she could eat a whole tray of these, while Master E says it was like eating feather pillows!”

Marshmallow packs . sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I love my new Santa table runner!

These really are little pillows of deliciousness!

marshmallow .sawitdidit.wordpress.com

I really can’t describe how much we love them. Once you have tried homemade marshmallows, store bought ones will pale into insignificance. You¬†will have to try them yourself!

Fluffy homemade marshmallows

I will also try making some flavoured marshmallows. Today I tried adding Butterscotch Schnapps. It didn’t whip up quite so well, so I need to experiment with that. They still tasted quite good!

I have an idea on something savoury and crunchy to gift along with the marshmallows. I will up update with that soon ūüôā

Linking up with:

The Life of Jennifer Dawn – A Little Bird Told Me, A Tray of Bliss – Five Star Frou Frou,¬†Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters,¬†Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects,¬†Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend,¬†The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best, The Interior Frugalista – Sunday Showcase,¬†Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, The Foley Fam, Sunday Funday,¬†My Pinterventures – Blogmas Recipes, Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire Me Monday, I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday,¬†Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J,¬†Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Lou Lou Girls, Merry About Town – Monday Funday, Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday,¬†The Dedicated House – Make it Pretty Monday, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style,¬†To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Posed Perfection – Creative Ways,¬†Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays,

Two tasty Christmas treats…for any time of year!

I was having a quick look through December’s photos, and found some that I meant to show you earlier. Whoops!

It’s always handy having something¬†you can make (with the children if necessary) quickly and easily at this time of year. Great as gifts or to take to a gathering, or just to share at home.

I found two¬†simple recipes that my son and I made that I am going to share with you – Christmas Cookie Bar, and Annabel’s Apricot Balls.

I found the Christmas Cookie Bar recipe here.

This recipe called for Christmas coloured sprinkles, M&Ms and Oreos, but we just went with the normal varieties.

Christmas delight 1. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Line a baking tray with baking paper. Break the Oreos and pretzels up and put them on the tray, along with the M&Ms. Check the above link if you are after specific quantities, we just did a random mix. Don’t forget the very important step of taste-testing all the ingredients along the way!

Christmas delight 2. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Christmas delight 3. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Then we melted a bag of white chocolate melts. The melts went in one saucepan, which sat on top of another with a smallish amount of boiling water in it. Make sure the water in the bottom saucepan doesn’t touch the top one. This melts the chocolate gently so it doesn’t burn. Or you could do it in the microwave. I usually burn it in the microwave, so I’ve learnt to just do it stovetop way. If your child is doing this, you will of course be supervising them, won’t you ūüôā

Christmas delight 4. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Then it’s just a matter of carefully pouring the melted chocolate over your collection of biscuits, pretzels and M&Ms.

Christmas delight 5. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

The original recipe said to¬†decorate the top with Christmas coloured sprinkles and extra M&Ms, but we didn’t bother. There’s more than enough going on under all that chocolate! Then you just leave it to set, before breaking it into pieces.

The next treat we made were Annabel’s Apricot Balls which you can find here on her blog The Bluebirds are Nesting.

The recipe is…
500g chopped apricots. Finely chopped is best.
1 can (440g) condensed milk.
1 cup fine desiccated coconut.
Extra coconut to roll in. The balls, not yourself.

Mix all together and roll into balls. You can choose how big you want them. Roll into extra coconut to coat them. Done!

I put the whole dried apricots in the blender and pulsed them until they were finer but still had texture. I didn’t blend them to a paste, but stopped when there were still some big bits of apricot in the mix. Then all you have to do is add the tin of Sweetened Condensed Milk and the coconut and mix.

Apricot balls 1. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

¬†When well combined, roll a spoonful of the mixture in the extra coconut. Continue until you’ve used it all up.
Apricot balls 2. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

Then all you have to do is some taste-testing, package them up into cellophane bags, or put them on a plate. However you display them, people are going to love them!
Tasty Christmas treats. sawitdidit.wordpress.com

We will making these again, that’s for sure! What are your favourite, easy to make, tasty treats?

*Linking up with:

A Tray of Bliss, Domesblissity – Thriving on Thursdays, 21 Rosemary Lane – Share Your Style, Too Much Time on my Hands – The Handmade Hangout,¬†Posed Perfection – Creative Ways, Have a Daily Cup of Mrs Olsen – Share Your Cup,¬†Lamberts Lately – Create it Thursday, Savvy Southern Style – Wow us Wednesdays,Love Bakes Good Cakes – Freedom Fridays, The Pin Junkie, Oh My Heartsie Girl – Friday Features, Domestic Superhero – Pinworthy Projects, 24 Cottonwood Lane – Best of the Weekend, The Pinterested Parent – Sunday’s Best,¬†The Interior Frugalista – DIY Sunday Showcase,¬†Nifty Thrifty Things, Thoughts From Alice – Sundays at Home, Julie’s Lifestyle – Cooking and Crafting with J&J, My Pinterventures – Merry Monday,¬†Claire Justine – Creative Mondays, Create With Joy – Inspire me Monday,¬†I Should be Mopping the Floor – Inspiration Monday, Yesterday on Tuesday – Project Inspired, Merry About Town – Monday Funday,¬†Kathe With an E – You’re Gonna Love it, Our Home Away From Home – Tuesdays at our Home, Cozy Little House – Tweak it Tuesday, The Tip Junkie – Tip Me Tuesday,¬†Lou Lou Girls, Table and Hearth – Think and Make Thursday,¬†To Simply Inspire – The Mommy Club, Crafty Wife – The Wednesday Roundup,¬†Wondermom Wannabe – This is How we Roll, Life With Lorelei – Home Matters,