Way back when – okay, this past New Years – I made Marshmallows Treats coated in peanut butter and chocolate and they were a smashing hit. At the time, I told my dad about the marshmallows and he asked me to save him some. Considering I wasn’t going to see him for another month, I told him no. By then any leftover marshmallows would be stale and, quite frankly, I didn’t like the idea of serving something I bragged about and not have it live up to expectations.
The solution: I promised to make him marshmallows for his birthday, which just so happened to be this weekend. I know, two Pisces in a family, what a mess!
But my family being my family, they’re always a little particular. I’d already decided to mix the fresh marshmallows with chocolate and cut them into squares, something I’d seen done not very well when I was in Florida last month but took note of anyways.
I pushed for adding peanut butter or salted caramel, nuts or pretzels – anything to add a salty crunch to the SO sweet milk chocolate. But my dad was adamant that his birthday dessert only consist of chocolate and marshmallows.
Realizing I was fighting a losing battle, I made the Marshmallow Mish Mash two ways by adding crushed pretzels to just half the mixture. That half will me known as “my half.” The family can eat the other half, which is still delicious but very sweet. I also drizzled leftover mocha ganache over the top for even more richness.
The best part of the Marshmallow Mish Mash is that you get the same ooey, gooey texture and flavors as the dipped version but in half the time. And there are so many ways to experiment. Next time I might try adding salted caramel and crushed pecans to the mix instead of pretzels.
Marshmallow Mish Mash – makes about 50 pieces
Have fun with the flavors by mixing in peanut butter, caramel, chopped nuts, and more!
1/2 recipe homemade marshmallows (see below)
24 ounces milk or semi-sweet chocolate
6 pretzel rods, crushed
Prepare the marshmallows up to the point where they are whipped to stiff peaks.
While the marshmallows are whipping, melt the chocolate in a double boiler by pouring the chocolate into heat-proof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Stir the chocolate with a spatula every few minutes until melted. Remove the pot from the heat and cool slightly; the chocolate should remain liquid.
Line a 9 by 13-inch baking dish with parchment paper. Pour half the chocolate in a thin layer over the bottom, then top with half the marshmallow. Repeat with another layer of chocolate, then finally the rest of the marshmallow. Sprinkle with crushed pretzels.
Use a toothpick or dinner knife to gently mix the layers by running the knife in lines through the mixture. Refrigerate until set about four hours to overnight, then cut into squares.
Marshmallows – halved recipe
1/2 cup ice cold water, divided
3/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 1/2 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Combine 1/4 cup water, sugar, corn syrup and salt in a small saucepan. Set it over medium-high heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Insert a candy thermometer into the pot and let the sugar mixture cook without stirring until it reaches 240ºF or soft ball stage.
While the sugar is cooking, combine the gelatin with the remaining 1/4 cup cold water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Let it sit for at least five minutes.
Once the sugar mixture has reached 240ºF, remove the pan from the heat. Turn the electric mixer on and run on the lowest setting. Carefully (remember the sugar is very hot) and slowly pour the cooked sugar over the gelatin with the mixer running. Once all the sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and whip until the mixture is white and fluffy and holds it’s shape when the head of the mixer is lifted, about 13 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla extract and mix for 1 minute.