Friday, May 5, 2017

Tropical Marshmallow Coconut Salad

I had planned on making Bunny Butt cupcakes for Easter. I had the cupcakes made, and the frosting ready to color for the next day. Kevin stopped at the store on the way home from work and picked up marshmallows and coconut to decorate with. I just couldn't figure out the bunny butts. So, I made Spring Cupcakes instead.
I don't typically keep marshmallows in stock the way I do whipping cream or butter. Unless I have rice cereal, the marshmallows would go stale and hard in my cabinet. I can't let that happen. 

There's an old marshmallow salad I remember from Easter's long past. I'm sure this isn't quite it, but this is light, fruity, and creamy. It requires just a few ingredients. If there are no detours, it's quick. It's also best if it can be refrigerated for at least an hour before serving.

I really do keep whipping cream on hand. It's so good in the rare cup of coffee I drink. I also sub it in for milk in recipes sometimes, and using it in scrambled eggs is a must. 
Whip it up with powdered sugar.

In another bowl, mix the instant pudding powder with pineapple, juice and all. Mix for a few minutes until it gets thick. I mixed it in this disposable dish. Why dirty more dishes than I need to? I was planning on packing it up and dropping it off at the shop in this same dish for Kevin anyway. 
Now I could pretend I didn't take a detour here, but what fun would that be? 

My detour? I didn't buy instant pudding. I didn't realize this fact until after I tried unsuccessfully thickening it by beating the heck out of it. I really don't mind because I like to experiment in the kitchen anyway. If it fails I'll know better, but if it works, I'll have learned something. 

I dumped it all in a pot on medium heat, and added an egg yolk (because if I'm going to cook it, I may as well ensure it will be creamy). I cooked the white for Max and Gus (who wanted more). I stirred and cooked for a few minutes. After it thickened, I took it off the heat to cool. I'm so thankful it thickened.

Back on track... Add marshmallows to whipped cream.

I found a snack pack of mandarin oranges in the cabinet. I drained them, patted them dry with a paper towel, and added them to the bowl. Add the coconut, too. If I had a larger jar of mandarins, I would have definitely used them. 

If you cooked your pudding, make sure it's cool before you stir it in.

Instant pudding is sure easier to use, but cooking it wasn't so bad either. Whip. Zip. My detour taught me that cooked pudding with an egg yolk added a rich creaminess that I can't duplicate with instant. I also learned that the pineapple didn't interfere with the thickening the way it will with jello. Truly homemade pudding would have been the best, but my intent was just to use up these darn marshmallows! 

That's it. It really looks better in a serving dish, but this is packed to go. Let the flavors blend while setting in the refrigerator for an hour to get good and thick. This can be a dessert, or a side salad. It's also a good "bring" dish. Light and creamy. I'd like to know if you are making this with instant or cooked, so drop a line, ok? 
  • 1 C whipping cream plus 1/4 C powdered sugar, or an 8 oz tub of whipped cream, thawed
  • 1 large box of instant (or not) pudding
  • 1 egg yolk; only if you're bypassing the instant and use cooked
  • 6 oz mini marshmallows
  • small can of mandarin oranges
  • 7 oz bag coconut
P.S. Kevin liked it and didn't share with the shop. I'm going to call tomorrow to let them know it's in the refrigerator to share. He can be so stingy sometimes!