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Posts Tagged ‘Marshmallow’

At some point in our lives we’ll all take a phone call, where immediately we can tell that something is wrong.  It’s either because it’s from someone we don’t usually hear from or there’s a detectable strain in the person’s voice.  Immediately we hold our breath and pray that everything is okay. Last week, I had one of those phone calls.

My mom and my cousin who live in Newfoundland, had been travelling on the highway and had been in a car accident.  One that could have quite easily, been much more devastating than it was. While slowed to turn, a truck carrying a full load of jet fuel could not slow down and in order to avoid hitting them, veered around them on the right shoulder.  While doing this he collided with their right back bumper and pushed them across the highway and onto the opposite shoulder. Thankfully there was no other traffic and each vehicle was able to stop before hitting the guard rail, which was by this point a barrier between the highway and the water below.

At times like this you stop to take stock of the situation and you get a sense that, “if this” or “if that” had happened, the outcome could have been much worse. Which makes you grateful that things turned out the way they did.

This got me thinking about my mom and all of the things she’s accomplished over the years.  When we were growing up as kids she worked in The Kitchen’s of Sara Lee.  I remember as a kid how she would cook, clean and bake all day before heading out for her shift in the afternoon.  She always wanted to have food ready for us kids when we came home from school and she couldn’t be there.

One of the things she often made were marshmallow squares.  The crust was always thick, buttery and flaky and I remember it often crumbled when you bit into it. The marshmallow was super thick, twice as thick as mine (so I think she must have used a 9″ x 9″ pan whereas, I’ve used a 9″ x 13″) and the palest pink.  Often they were cut into squares, rolled in fine white coconut and placed out on a sheet of waxed paper in a square Tupperware container. When we came home, all we had to do was peel back that lid and bite into the sticky sweetness.

These squares go way back to my grandmother’s era when gelatin desserts were all the rage.  The ingredients are simple, right down to the nostalgic Club House food colouring. Not wanting to bother mom for the recipe, I  once again thumbed through my Anglican Church Ladies cookbook and found a recipe for Marshmallow Squares and immediately knew I would make these in honour of my mom. I don’t ever remember cherries in them but this particular recipe suggested them, and since my husband loves cherries, I thought that would be the way to go.

Working from memory, I don’t think these squares are exactly like mom’s — they seem somewhat sweeter than I remember but everyone enjoyed them because of course, my family’s fond of sweet.  The addition of cherries adds a second level of sweetness so I took it easy on the coconut, just sprinkling some on the top instead of rolling each side in it. I think the next time I make them, I may experiment and reduce the sugar slightly, leave out the cherries and roll them in coconut to see if I can match my childhood memories.  Or I may even give mom a call and see if she still has her old recipe 😉

Old Fashioned Coconut Marshmallow Squares

Base:

3/4 cup butter

1/3 cup brown sugar

1-1/2 cups flour

1/4 tsp. salt

Mix together and press into a 9″ x 13″ pan.  Bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F.

Topping:

2 tbsp. unflavoured gelatin

1/2 cup cold water

2 cups white sugar

1/2 cup hot water

1/2 cup red cherries, chopped, optional

1/2 tsp. almond flavouring, optional

1 tsp. Club House red food colouring (any brand of liquid colouring will do)

1/4 cup fine coconut

Method:

Sprinkle gelatin over cold water and let stand to soften.

In a saucepan, put sugar and hot water to boil for 2 minutes over high heat. Remove from heat and add gelatin mixture to the hot syrup.  Stir until dissolved.  Beat in electric mixer until thick and stiff. Fold in cherries, flavouring, and food colouring.  Spoon mixture over shortbread and smooth out with a spatula.  You can dip your spatula in hot water if the marshmallow is sticking.

Cool several hours at room temperature until firm.  Cut into squares and sprinkle with, or roll in, coconut. Store in a airtight container.

Makes 1-1/2 dozen squares

Note:  These square would be beautiful cut small and served at a shower.

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Happy Spring!

It’s official, it’s here, it’s wonderful and I’m blissfully excited. I hope those who live somewhere close to where I do enjoyed the sweet pleasures of Spring last week as much as I did. It was spectacular! The weather’s been incredibly warm and each day felt a little more like Summer, than Spring.

Mother nature’s busy working her magic, transforming everything into a lush green, including the field of spring wheat behind our house, which my husband is awfully excited about. My tulips and daffodils are on notice that it’s time to rise and shine, the buds are on my lilac bushes and the apple blossoms are coming to life.  Each day I get a little more excited about all of the wonderful transformations that are taking place.  Each one offers up a gift for those who pause to take notice. So I encourage you to take a moment and slip outside.  Oh I know, if you’re a blogger like me, you’ve got pictures to take, posting and editing to do.  There’s always food waiting to be cooked and laundry piling up, people to email and research to do.  It will wait, but mother nature won’t.  She takes direction from no one and she waits for no one.  She beats to the sound of her own drum and as good as your intentions are, if you don’t take a moment right now, to look, and to listen, and breath deeply, and feel it on your skin and in your lungs, you will miss it.  The promises of spring before it truly delivers.  The promise of what’s to come but isn’t quite here yet.  The mystery of tiny seeds sprouting into their destiny … Hhh hem, okay, I’m coming down off my soapbox now. Truly, I am.

  

Over the course of the past year, I’ve devoted some serious time and some serious ingredients into trying to achieve some sort of mastery competency making cake pops.  While learning to bake and decorate cakes, I always found that I had large bowls of cake and buttercream left over at the end of the day.  Not one to waste good cake, I delved into the quintessential world of Bakerella to get some advice on her adorable cake pops.  Bakerella has some serious off-the-charts talent and there are no limits to the imaginative ways she can dream up to use cake and icing or any dessert ingredient for that matter. This week , however, when I decided that I was going to bring all of my excitement about spring into an awesome baking post, I wasn’t really thinking about Bakerella or cake pops.

I rose at dawn and the first thing I did was whip up a half batch of Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats. Are you thinking what I’m thinking? That’s right.  There’s absolutely no baking involved in making marshmallow treats. You don’t even have to preheat the oven. What can I say, I’m a simple girl. The truth is, the first thing I saw in my pantry was a stockpile of marshmallows that needed to be used and I did what I always do with marshmallows. Once I was done, I stared at those marshmallow treats and searched racked my brain for ideas about how to transfer my love of spring to you.  I pressed them into cookie cutters, I sprinkled them with stars, rolled them into eggs, I ate some between two wafers of white chocolate.  And that’s when I knew what to do.

Oh Krispie Pops.

Where have you been all my life? And why have I never thought of you before?

Harbor no hard feeling. We now have a serious attraction and I promise I will never stray again. You satisfy every sweet tooth I have.

I have to be fair and let you know that these Rice Krispie Pops come with a  serious warning.  They are quick, easy and highly addictive.  Your kids will want them, your friends will want them, your husband, your neighbours, the cat, the dog and everyone in between.  They are especially great for kids and parties and I imagine Halloween treats for spooks you know, gift-giving or just plain brightening up someone’s day.

So there you have it my friends, I hope that these wonderful treats will bring a little bit of Spring and pop some sweetness into your life, the way it has mine this week. This Easter, why not pop them in a bag, tie it with a bow and spread a little sweetness in your part of the world.

Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats

1/4 cup (15 ml)  butter

1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) real vanilla

6 cups Rice Krispies cereal

8 cups (1 Qt.) marshmallows, feel free to use either large or small

1. In a large pot melt butter over low heat. Once the butter has melted, add the marshmallows and stir until melted. Immediately remove from heat.

2. Add vanilla and stir.

3. Add 3 cups of the Rice Krispie’s cereal and fold with a buttered spatula or large spoon. Add the last 3 cups of cereal and fold again, making sure all of the cereal is coated in the gooey marshmallow coating.

Once the Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats are mixed, do not press them into a pan, leave them in the pot, away from the heat or pile them loosely in a bowl.

If you would like a full picture tutorial for making the Rice Krispie Marshmallow  Treats on the stove top, you can find it here. Note that for this project I halved the recipe and it’s listed above.

Microwave Directions:

In a microwave safe bowl heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 2 minutes, stirring after 1 minute.  Stir until smooth.  Follow steps 2 and 3 above.  Please note that not all microwaves are equal and the cooking time may vary.

Notes for making Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats:

}} For best results, use fresh marshmallows.

}} Marshmallow crème can be substitued for the marshmallows.

}} Diet, reduced calorie or tub margarine is not recommended.

This is what you will need to make the Rice Krispie Pops:

1 Recipe of Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats (see above)

1 lb. of white chocolate ( I’ve used both Mercken’s White Chocolate Moulding Wafers, available at the Bulk Barn in Canada, or Callebaut Pure White Chocolate, available at Golda’s kitchen, also in Canada, with success. Both melt easily and have good flavour.  I prefer Callebaut because it’s made from 100 % pure cocoa butter.  Another alternative is to use candy melts by Wilton.

Coloured chocolate coating melts (if you would like to add colour to the chocolate coating).

White lollipop sticks (I used Wilton 6″ lollipop sticks)

Coloured sugar, quinns, stars, or sprinkles

How to make Rice Krispie Pops:

1. Prepare a cookie sheet lined with waxed paper or parchment.

2. Smear both your hands with a small amount of butter and rub together. Using your hands, tear off small pieces of the Rice Krispie Marshmallow mixture and roll it into a ball between both hands until it is round and smooth.

3. Melt a small amount of the chocolate in the microwave (10 second intervals, stopping to stir in-between). Dip one end of the lollipop stick in the  chocolate and insert it into the Krispie ball.  Repeat until you have a stick in every ball.  Allow to set at room temperature for 20 minutes or refrigerate for 10 minutes.

4. In a small microwave-safe bowl, or these candy melt bowls by Wilton, melt your chocolate in the microwave (30 second intervals, stopping to stir in-between).  You can colour your chocolate by adding coloured pieces of chocolate along with the white.

5. Dip each ball into the chocolate and indirectly tap off the excess by repeatedly placing two fingers on the wrist of the hand holding the lollipop stick. Place the lollipop sticks into a brick of styrofoam or florist foam to dry.  An alternative (and the one I used) is to place them down on a clean piece of waxed paper or parchment to dry.

6. When to add the glitter and/or sprinkles and/or quinns will depend on the temperature of your chocolate.  You want to add them before the chocolate sets but not while it is still drippy so that they don’t slide to the bottom, if you wanted them at the top.  This may take some practice to get it just right.

Notes for making Krispie Pops:

}} You can weigh the marshmallow treat mixture on a scale but I found that you need to be very precise or your balls will still be different sizes depending on how tight or loose you roll them. With practise it will get easier to make them all the same size.

}} Never let water come in direct contact with your chocolate or candy coating.

}} Be careful not to over-microwave your chocolate or candy coating because it will seize or burn.

}} If you do not have a microwave, you can use a double-boiler as an alternative for melting.

}} These make great Easter treats~!

}} The possibilities for decorating Rice Krispie Pops are endless. Use your imagination and you will be amazed at all of the ways you can put your own personal signature on them.

}} Most of all, have fun sharing these treats with your family and friends.

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For as long as I can remember I’ve enjoyed these crisp and chewy Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats.  Growing up, my mom made them for me and I’ve been making them for my family for over 20 years.  They’re one of those treats that conjure up memories for childhood and fun.  They’re SO not serious or sophisticated, just simple and yummy. They can be dressed up or served simple.  Around here I usually keep them plain because that’s the way we love ’em.  They always go over well whenever there’s a crowd of teenagers around and my teenagers still enjoy them after all these years.

A pan doesn’t last long because they pass as a quick on-the-go breakfast … a mid-morning snack … a meal replacement … an afternoon snack … a meal replacement … no just kidding … I draw the line at having them for supper … though they are made from rice, aren’t they?  Hhmm.

We like our treats ooey and gooey, and made only with real butter. My kids have always asked me why my marshmallow treats always taste better than others they’ve tried and seriously, the only thing I can think of, is that I use real butter.  Other than that, I don’t really do anything extra special. Here’s the long version of making these simple treats.  They’re supposed to be one of the fastest cookies you can make but it’s probably my longest blog.  Just wanted to make sure you got them just right so I’ve included a pictorial! Hope you like it.

Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats

1/2 cup (25 ml)  butter

1 teaspoon (5 ml) real vanilla

12 cups Rice Krispies cereal

16 cups (2 Qts.) marshmallows, either large or small will work.

This recipe fills a deep 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish and makes 20 large squares.

The first thing you want to do is melt your butter in a large pot.  Keep your heat adjusted to medium-low and stir.  You don’t want to burn all of that gorgeous butter~!  Once your butter is melted, add your vanilla.

Than add your marshmallows. Stir the marshmallows into the melted butter to coat them. At this point you’ll want to turn your heat down a little just to make sure your marshmallows don’t burn.

Keep stirring.

… and stirring …… and just for fun …  stir some more. See how the marshmallows are melting down.  We’re almost there.

Almost …

Hmmmm … okay, it’s really getting gooey now.

Look at that, we made it.  There’s only little bits of marshmallow left to melt so remove your pan from the heat and give it a couple more stirs and you’re ready for the Rice Krispies cereal.

Start dropping in your Rice Krispies cereal and stir. You’ve got to get them all coated with the marshmallow goo.

Stir, stir, and stir some more until they’re all coated. Believe me, it will be worth it. See all the lovely marshmallow goo covering the cereal.  The last thing you want is a dry batch of these because they become very hard and when you need to get out the butcher knife and heave with all your might on the handle to cut them, you know you’ve added too many krispies. Now go ahead and scoop out all that sweetness into a 9″ x 13″ glass baking dish. Coat your hands and fingers in a light film of butter and pat them down gently until they’re nice and even. A deep 9″ x 13″ pan holds a lot but I have 3 teenagers and a working man around the house … I need this size and then some.

So here they are, ooey, gooey Rice Krispie Marshmallow Treats.  They can be stored at room temperature for a couple of days covered in plastic wrap or an airtight container … if they last that long.

Good luck & enjoy!  I hope you stop by again soon!

This Sweet Wife

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