Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

What if there could be a treat that was like Rice Krispie treats, but also like a bowl of kettle corn, and then also salty, but then dotted with an obnoxious amount of sprinkles?  That would be good news.  Actually, that would be what’s happening here!

It’s success and celebration, all in a popcorn bowl.  

Happy Monday!  Just go for it: sprinkle and marshmallow everything today.   

Related:  I’m really into aggressively-flavored popcorn… Roy Choi’s Furikake Kettle Corn

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Here’s how this magic happens.  Fresh popped popcorn (from scratch is my favorite), corn flakes for crisp and crunch, marshmallows and butter because we’re obnoxious geniuses, and sea salt because sweet needs salt.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Butter and marshmallows are melted down into a syrup.  If you’re thinking that this mixture resembled Rice Krispie Treats, you’re right.  

Related:  Malty and Salty Brown Butter Treats.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

I used a buttered sheet pan to assemble the popcorn.  More marshmallow coverage.  More room to spread and stir.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Warm buttery marshmallows drizzled over the popcorn and corn flakes and stirred.  Salt and sprinkles too.  Salt for balance and sprinkles for love and happiness.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

I would humbly suggest putting on the movie Step Brothers, pouring yourself a big glass of orange juice (my favorite with popcorn), and maybe a few wet wipes too.  Things could get a little sticky.  

Buttery + Salty Marshmallow Popcorn Crunch

Sweet and salty, crunchy and sprinkled, buttery and perfect.


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For the Popcorn
  1. 1/4 cup canola oil
  2. heaping 1/3 cup yellow corn kernels
  3. (or about 12 cups of popcorn)
  4. salt, to taste
  5. 2 heaping cups corn flakes
For the Marshmallow Sauce
  1. 1/2 cup unsalted butter, plus more for greasing a pan
  2. 1-16 ounce bag mini marshmallows
  3. salt, to taste
  4. rainbow sprinkles, to delight
Instructions
  1. To make the popcorn, in a medium saucepan with a tight-fitting lid, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Add the corn kernels in an even layer over the bottom of the pan. Place the lid over the pan, keeping the lid slightly ajar.
  2. Allow popcorn to begin popping. When popping slows, remove from heat and sprinkle lightly with salt. Shake into a large bowl.
  3. Lightly grease a large rimmed baking sheet. Set aside.
  4. In a small saucepan, melt butter and add marshmallows. Stir the mixture until the marshmallows are completely melted. Remove from heat.
  5. Spread popcorn across the greased baking sheet. Sprinkle corn flakes over the popcorn. Drizzle the warm marshmallow mixture over the popcorn and cornflakes. You may find that you don’t need to use all of the marshmallow mixture. Use enough for a light coating of the popcorn and cornflakes. Use a large spoon to evenly coat all of the popcorn and cornflakes.
  6. Sprinkle generously with salt and sprinkles and enjoy immediately.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

I don’t know whether I should rip into some yo mama jokes, flip a table, or pull the fire alarm, or just stop and shove aaaalll of the fudge into my face.

This fudge makes me feel aggressive.  Like I should beat my chest with pride.  Like I should… maybe I should stop talking.

The thing is… I feel like I made candy.  I’m pretty sure I made candy. Yup, I definitely made candy.  This fudge is the real deal.  No microwave.  No sweetened condensed milk.  We’re using  a real pot, a real candy thermometer, real cream, and we’re twerking sugar and chocolate into fudge.

Why would be so excited about doing something the hard way? Well… I think it’s important to know how to do things the old-school way before learning the quick tricks.  You know… like long division in mathematics.   (Do people do long division anymore?  That was always a special kind of torture.) Maybe long division isn’t the right analogy.  Fudge is way better than long division.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Here’s what we’re going to need:  granulated sugar and brown sugar, melted butter, corn syrup, half-and-half, salt, vanilla extract, dark chocolate, and just because:  marshmallows, peppermint candy, and pretzels.  Turnt up.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Into a heavy bottom saucepan with the sugars, corn syrup, butter, cream, and salt.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Stir until over medium heat until the mixture is bubbling sugar lava.

Don’t worry.  It’s cool.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Stir in the chocolate pieces.  Stir and stir over medium-low heat until melted.

This is where we clip a candy thermometer to the edge of the simmering chocolate mixture and let it cook away.  We’re going to bring the mixture to 234 degrees F.

Yes.  This is essential and super official.  We’re creating a smooth and creamy fudge.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

I greased the pan, threw in parchment paper, and greased the parchment paper.  There’s no way this fudge is sticking.

In the bottom of the pan with marshmallows, crushed peppermint, and pretzel pieces.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

The warm fudge mixture is poured over the bottom layer of toppings then a mega-ton of marshmallows, mint, and pretzels are pressed into the top of the warm fudge.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Cooling time in the refrigerator will allow the fudge to harden and set.

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Slice into small squares and wrap.  Set aside a few cubes for yourself.  They’re the sweet, salty, minty bites are impossible to resist.

We really should talk about food gift packaging, don’t you think?  I like these white rectangle boxes for fudge and cooking packing.

Make some fudge and happy holidays!  xo

Peppermint Pretzel Marshmallow Fudge

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup half and half
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 10 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1/2 cup crushed peppermint candy
  • 1 cup crushed pretzels

Instructions

  1. Lightly spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with non-stick cooking spray. Line with parchment paper and lightly grease the parchment paper. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 cup of mini marshmallows, half of the peppermint candy, and half of the pretzel pieces.
  2. In a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan stir together butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, corn syrup, halt and half, and sea salt over medium heat.
  3. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for three minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and stir until completely melted and combined. The mixture will still be simmering as you stir in the chocolate so be careful!
  5. Clip a candy thermometer to the edge of the pot and watch as the mixture comes to 234 degrees F. There’s no need to stir the mixture as it comes up to temperature.
  6. Once the mixture reaches 234 degrees F, remove from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  7. Add vanilla extract and 1/2 cup mini marshmallows to the still warm chocolate fudge. Using electric hand beaters, beat the mixture together until marshmallows are completely melted and combined, about 3 minutes.
  8. While the mixture is still warm, pour it over the marshmallows, peppermint, and pretzels in the prepared pan. Immediately sprinkle the top of the fudge with the remaining marshmallows, peppermint, and pretzels. Press in just slightly while the fudge is still warm.
  9. Cover the pan in plastic wrap or foil and allow to rest in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or until solid through.
  10. Once cooled, remove from the pan and slice into small cubes.
  11. Wrap individually and share with everyone!

http://joythebaker.com/2014/12/peppermint-pretzel-marshmallow-fudge/

Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes

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I’m totally a good person to surprise.

If you tell me that you’re stuck in Seattle working all weekend, and you can’t come down for my birthday,  I’ll believe you.  I’ll believe you, because I love you and you’re not a liar.

If you tell me that you’re working away in Phoenix, and you simple can’t get away to celebrate my birthday,  I’ll believe you.  I’ll believe you, because I love you and you’re not a liar.

You’re going out of town to visit our grandparents?  Really?  You have to go this weekend when you knew it was my birthday?  Um… ok.  It must be important.  Go on.  I believe you.  yadda yadda yadda… you’re not a liar.

This birthday.  Oh man! I was hit with surprise, after surprise, after surprise.

birthday collage

Surprise!  Jill dyed her hair pink and you’re about to eat that mega doughnut… and why the heck is that kid screaming?

Surprise!  Your sister flew down from Seattle just to drink margaritas with you for the day!  Ps.  I love you, but I didn’t get a good picture of you on your visit down.  Pps.  I’m sorry.

Surprise!  Your mom and dad made you a cake!

Surprise!  Your family isn’t out of town!  They’re taking you to dinner… silly.  And there’s ice cream!

Surprise!  We’re at Disneyland.

Surprise!  Space Mountain is broken. Twice.  …Look at you standing in line like a numb-skull.

Surprise!  A very special boy  flew in from Phoenix to sit on your doorstep with wine and flowers… But… surprise! You didn’t get home until super late… because you’re a work-a-holic… and he was blowing up your phone… but you didn’t know he was on your doorstep or you totally would have gotten home sooner… or you would have at least straightened up your apartment… and done a load of laundry… and washed your hair… and wait,  you really hope you flushed the toilet.

birthday collage

Surprise!  Dinner with friends tastes AWESOME.

Surprise!  Welcome to caketown!

Surprise!  Pretzels!!  Thank you, Grande.

Surprise!  Ethan made you hot dogs out of cake!

Surprise!  Drink this beer and shove all of these jelly beans in your mouth.  Thank you, Melissa!

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Surprise!  Cupcakes at midnight.

Like… the best/most ridiculous/ stupidly decadent cupcakes… at midnight.

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Allow me to tell you about these cupcakes.  You might want to sit down.  You’re probably already sitting down… unless you’re one of those people that has a standing up desk situation.  You’re the future.  Look at you… showing off and being the future.

These cupcakes are ridiculous.  I apologize.

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Soft chocolate cupcakes baked up and cooled.

A small hole is carved out of the top of the cupcake.  A walnut sized ball of Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookie dough is placed in the center of the cupcake.

Cupcake is topped with glossy meringue frosting.  Cupcakes are torched under the broiler… toasting the marshmallow frosting.

What I’m trying to tell you is that I’ve made the best cupcake ever.  Cake meets cookie dough meets toasted marshmallows.

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These are, most definitely, special occasion cupcakes.  Don’t go making these, willy-nilly, letting them sit around the house.  You’ll eat them for breakfast.  You’ll eat them at midnight.  You’ll think about them all day long.

Also… if you want to be the most popular person anywhere… bring these.  Take all the credit for the cake/dough/marshmallow combination.  That’s why I do this… to make you look great!

Seriously.

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Thank you to every one of you who came here to wish me a happy birthday.  Really.  From the inside of my heart I thank you, I like you, and I appreciate you.  I feel like we’re friends… because we are.

Chocolate, Peanut Butter Cookie Dough, Toasted Marshmallow Cupcakes

makes 24 cupcakes

cupcakes from Organic and Chic

meringue from Take a Megabite

Print this Recipe!

For the Cupcakes:

(if you don’t want to use all organic ingredients… this recipe will still turn out wonderfully)

2 1/4 cups organic all-purpose flour

2 cups organic cane sugar

1 cup organic unsweetened cocoa powder

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon organic vanilla extract

2/3 cup organic canola oil

2 teaspoons organic white vinegar

2 cups cold water

 

For the Cookie Dough Balls:

1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature

1 cup plus 2 Tablespoons all purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda (i know we’re not baking them, it’s for flavor)

3/4 teaspoons salt

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2-3 tablespoons natural peanut butter (if you have a nut allergy, 2 tablespoons of yogurt will work as a binder as well)

1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

 

For the Meringue:

4 large egg whites

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup light corn syrup

large pinch of salt

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

 

For the Cupcakes:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two cupcake pans with paper liners and set aside.

In a large bowl, sift the dry ingredients together.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the oil, water, vanilla extract and vinegar.

Slowly whisk the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients being careful not to overmix.  The mixture will be quite wet, but that’s ok.

Pour the batter until the cups are two thirds full and place in the oven for 20-24 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cup comes out clean.

Cool in the pan for 10 minutes then place on a wire rack until completely cool before topping with cookie dough ball.

 

For the Cookie Dough Balls:

In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with a paddle attachment (or with a large bowl and a wooden spoon) cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about three minutes in the machine.  Beat in peanut butter (or yogurt if using) along with the vanilla extract and stir to combine.

Whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.  Add all at once to the butter and sugar mixture and stir until incorporated.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Spoon a scant tablespoons size amount of dough in your hand.  Roll into a ball and place on a cookie sheet.  Make 24 little cookie dough balls, and refrigerate until ready to top the cupcakes.

 

For the Meringue:

In a large pot, bring about 2 inches of water to a simmer.

In a large, heat-proof bowl, whisk together egg whites, sugar, corn syrup and salt.  The mixture will be grainy, because of the sugar.

Place bowl over simmering water and whisk as it heats.  The sugar will dissolve after about 5 minutes.  Keep and eye on the mixture, it shouldn’t get warm enough to cook the eggs.  Yucky.

Transfer the egg white and sugar mixture to the bowl of an electric stand mixer.  With a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, on high, until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes)  The mixture will be fluffy and glossy and look like melted marshmallows.  It’ll be sticky too.  Beat in the vanilla extract last.   Cover, and set aside until ready to frost cupcakes.

 

To Assemble Cupcakes:

Use a small paring knife to cut a 3/4-inch whole out of the top/center of the cupcakes.  Don’t cut the whole center of the cupcake out… just make a little hole for the dough ball to rest without rolling off.

Place dough balls on top of cupcakes.

Place meringue frosting in a pastry bag (or large Ziplock bag) fitted with a medium-large tip.  Use your instincts for the size of the tip.  Any size (star or round) medium tip will do for frosting these cupcakes.  Pipe frosting around the edges of the cupcake and over the dough ball in a circular motion.  Frost all cupcakes.

Turn on oven broiler.  Yea… it’s about to get real.

Place 12 cupcakes on a baking sheet.  Place cupcakes under the broiler for about 1 minute.  Don’t even close the broiler door.  Keep an eye on them as they toast.  You may need to remove the cupcakes and rotate the pan to ensure that they cook evenly.  Once toasted, remove cupcakes, and toast the remaining 12 in the same fashion.

Serve cupcakes!

Cupcakes will last, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.  They’re delicious.

Toasted Marshmallow Squares

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I stand before you with a giant smile on my face.

I imagine that rainbows and shooting stars light up the sky behind me.  I imagine I have the ability to summon a parade of ponies and sea horses… that’s how (humbly) excited I am about these cookie squares.

They’re so simple:  vanilla bean crust, cherry jam, and toasted marshmallows.  I know I haven’t invented cookies… I just feel particularly proud of these.

The possibilities with these cookie squares are endless, and yours to create.  I know you’re thinking Nutella… I know you.

However you fancy, I promise that when you make these squares, you’ll feel like summoning the pony parade.  This is real!

And… GO!

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My favorite kind of dough is a press-in situation.  This is that.

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Dough is simply sprinkled with with flour and pressed with clean fingers into the four corners of the pan.

So satisfying.

Totally like adult play-doh.

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Adult play-doh that turns into a giant cookie!

This is a shortbread-ish cookie, thought it’s softer and more chewy.  Less crisp that a traditional shortbread.  We want it more pliable that crumbly.

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This is the part when the spreadables come in.  I chose a good cherry jam.

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This might be the part where you start yelling.

Why did you use jam and not Nutella!?  Whhhyyyyy!?  Why did you not use Nutella!?

Well… sure, chocolate hazelnut spread is totally an option.  An awesome option.  Surely.

There’s something you should know about me.  I like Nutella two ways:  with pretzels or with a giant spoon.  Not complicated into baked goods.

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So cherry jam it is!

Marshmallows are sliced in half before being lined atop the jam.

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Now.

Now we work the oven.

The marshmallow topped cookie is placed in a 350 degree oven… just to warm the marshmallows, making them smashable.

Marshmallows must be smashable to be toastable.  It’s like science… but not really at all.

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This is the part when hot hot fire gets thrown in the mix.

We’ll need some broiler action to toast these marshmallows.  Please trust me when I say that these marshmallows only need about 3 to 5 seconds under a gas broiler to toast.  Translation:  I set my first round of marshmallows ablaze.  Don’t even close the oven door.

Yea… it’s that serious.

Imagine all the combinations you could use in this preparation:  orange curd and chocolate chips, nutella, caramelized bananas and toasted peanuts, dulce de leche!?  SO MUCH!

Think of these marshmallow squares in math terms:

Lemon bars – lemon + vanilla bean + cherry jam + toasted marshmallows = perfectly perfect.

If you’d like to make your own marshmallows, these Honey Vanilla Bean Marshmallows are sublime.  Or… if you just want a milkshake, look no further.

Toasted Marshmallow Squares

makes 9 squares in an 8-inch square pan

adapted from the Joy the Baker Cookbook and The Complete Book of Cookies

Print this Recipe!

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg yolk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour, plus more for pressing dough into pan

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon fruit preserves

15 marshmallows, cut in half

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line an 8-inch square pan with parchment paper (leaving some overhanging paper flaps on two ends) and grease parchment paper.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop the mixer, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat in vanilla bean scrapings (or vanilla extract) and egg yolk.  Beat until well incorporated.  Stop the mixer and add flour.  Beat on low speed until completely incorporated.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.  Sprinkle with flour.  With clean fingers, press the dough into the bottom of the pan.  Use a bit more flour as necessary so that the dough doesn’t stick to your fingers.  Try to make the crust as even as possible.

Bake crust for 20-24 minutes until golden brown around the edges, but still slightly soft in the center.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 20 minutes.

Run a thin butter knife around edges of the pan.  Use the two parchment paper flaps to carefully remove the crust from the pan.  Run a butter knife between the crust and the paper and carefully slide the crust from the paper and onto a unlined baking sheet.

Top crust with a thin layer of fruit preserved.  Arrange marshmallows on top of jam.  Return to the 350 degree oven for about 4 minutes.  This will warm and soften the marshmallows.  Remove from the oven and turn the oven onto the broiler setting.  Use the back of a spoon to gently press and smash the top of each marshmallow.

Once all the marshmallows are smashed, return to the broiler.  Keep a very very very very close eye on the marshmallows.  They’ll toast in seconds.  They’ll burn in seconds.  I didn’t even close the broiler door.  They just need a kiss of broiler action.

Remove toasted marshmallow cookie from the oven.  Allow to rest for 10 minutes before slicing.  Cookies can be served slightly warm or at room temperature.  Cookies can be left, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 4 days.  

Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

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Are you one of those people who perfectly toasts their marshmallows to a golden brown?

How on earth do you do that!?  I don’t get it.  You must have the patience of a marshmallow saint.

I’m a burn-and-blow kind of girl.  Turn the marshmallow into a torch… blow it out… repeat.

The patience technique  baffles me.  In fact… I secretly looooove to brush my marshmallow torch against the slow rollers and set their marshmallows on fire.  They totally hate that.

Marshmallow meets open flame… it’s important in this recipe.

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I had no idea that this whole Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake was a thing.  Amazing.  Spike Mendelsohn… that cute dude with the hat from Top Chef invented this thing.  Nice work.  High five.

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Now!  I’m going to need you to super toast your marshmallows.  Don’t be afraid of a little black char.  In fact… I say welcome the char.  It’s those itty bitty burny bits that really make this Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake taste like…. you know… a TOASTED Marshmallow Milkshake.

Incidentally… this shake is so good… SO GOOD… that I’ve made it twice in one day.  In fact, I’m drinking one now… I also have the heater on in my house.  This totally makes sense.

Ps.  I know I’m supposed to be making cranberry and pumpkin recipes right now…  I just needed to make this happen.  So do you.

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Toasted Marshmallow Milkshake

adapted just slightly from Spike Mendelsohn’s recipe

makes two small or one large milkshake (about 2 1/2 cups)

Print this Recipe!

8-10 large marshmallows

3 large scoops vanilla ice cream or a heaping 1-cup of vanilla ice cream

1/2 cup of milk

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Place marshmallows on  skewer and toast until slightly charred over a gas flame.  If you don’t have skewers or a gas range, you can toast the marshmallows on a sheet tray in the broiler for 2 or 3 minutes.  Keep an eye on the marshmallows as they’re in the oven.  They’re liable to burst into marshmallow flames pretty quick.  Place on a plate to cool slightly.

In a blender mix together ice cream, milk, vanilla extract and toasted marshmallows.  Save one or two toasted marshmallows to top the milkshake(s).  Blend well.  For a thinner milkshake add more milk.  If you’d like it a bit thicker… add more ice cream.   Pour into glasses and top with toasted marshmallows.  Enjoy on the quick.