Saturday, November 16, 2013

Marshmallow Memories

I didn't realize, until I found marshmallows I could eat because they didn't contain corn syrup, how much I had missed those little rounded squares of white gooey, vanilla sweetness. Finding  Dandies Marshmallows changed my life. They have no gelatin like other corn free marshmallows so they melt like the regular marshmallows do. They brown like marshmallows do. They even catch fire like marshmallows do!

Yep, I had to prove Catching Fire wasn't just an idle claim or only a book/movie title.

With my new marshmallows, I can make s'mores again, if I can find wheat free graham crackers or something I like as well. The thing I loved best about Girl Scouts after the camping trips. In fact, I quit Girl Scouts when the troop I was in decided NOT to do as many camping trips. What was the point?

This is my Girl Scout sash. It was pretty cool to be in the Nations Capital region.

The first printed S’mores recipe appeared in 1927 in the Girl Scout handbook called Tramping and Trailing with the Girl Scouts.  Rumor has it the chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow “S’mores” name came from campers asking for “some more.”  Sigh, I am still searching for graham cracker substitutes. I know I can use GF cookies but it isn't quite the same. Better refer back to my new traditions post for encouragement.

Crackerless s'more. So sad.

But there was one treat from my childhood I could make! Rice Krispie Treats. Except I can't call them that because the name is trademarked and I use other gluten free cereal as an ingredient. The original recipe was developed by two women, Malitta Jensen and Mildred Day, Kelloggs home economists, in 1939 using Campfire marshmallows to create a fundraiser for another girls' organization, Camp Fire Girls.

The original name was Marshmallow Squares. Soon the bars were more than a fundraiser, they were a wartime morale booster, sent in WWII care packages across the globe due to their stability and cereal ingredients. The gooey treat (I like the word gooey a little too much) have been a childhood treat ever since.  You can find the original recipe here.

For years, I'd watched folks eat marshmallow treats or pops on a stick. The memories of making them with my mom was so strong. But I needed corn free marshmallows. Years passed and then? Tah dah! When I found Dandies, oh, the joy! But I only make a small batch so I don't binge!

I used an 8X8 pan. Oh, that missing corner? Well, I had to make sure they tasted all right!

Recipe (for an 8X8 pan):

Melt three tablespoons butter on low. Note: I used three tablespoons instead of half that because I discovered my marshmallows seemed to melt better with more butter. Start with three tablespoons if you are doubling the recipe and add more as needed.

Add 1/2 bag Dandies marshmallows and stir until melted. Stir constantly so the marshmallow doesn't burn and the butter doesn't brown. 

Add approximately 3 cups rice cereal gradually. It can turn into a ball in no time so work quickly.

Butter an 8X8 pan (9X13 for double) and press cereal mixture into pan using parchment or wax paper, spreading evenly. Let cool if you can wait that long. 

I love them but, boy, are they a lot sweeter than I remember! Small squares are best!

PS. Every Thanksgiving,  we are marshmallow on sweet potatoes/sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows people. Now I can too.

PPS. Don't go to Pinterest. Too many cute marshmallow craft ideas! Treat this recipe like you would the regular recipe. Add holiday sprinkles, ice with chocolate etc.

Are you a marshmallow fan or foe? Do you have a favorite recipe using marshmallows?


  1. I love marshmallows! I don't really eat them, but I love to roast them. And they have good, good memories for me because of my kids. :)
    My husband grew up with strawberry flavored marshmallows so he thinks ours are sort of plain...

  2. I love looking at the marshmallows in the section of our grocery store with all the imported Mexican foods. Yep. Ours are plain vanilla!

  3. Strawberry ones are good, Virginia, thanks for the reminder. I have to get some for DS for hot cocoa season. He loves anything strawberry.
    Thanks for the reminder, Julie, that you can make your own Rice Krispy Treats! I used to do it lots, but ever since Kellogg's started making them during my college years--I stopped. :(

  4. Congrats on finding an alternative marshmallow. Hope you find a graham cracker solution too! I haven't had s'mors in...years!!!! You're inspiring me to rethink that. The only time I buy marshmallows is around Christmas time and that's to put in hot chocolate. Yummmmmmmm.

    1. But are they the mini marshmallows?

      I can't believe the little hard nuggest they include in prepacked cocoa now.

  5. Oh, I love Rice Crispies squares!! Haven't made them in ages.

    Julie, I have s'mores in my wip! I hope it stays in there through editing. :)

    Have never heard of strawberry marshmallows. Sound good!

    1. The question is, did you make s'mores as part of your research?

  6. Julie, I so admire your persistence to adapt those things you love. I like to think I would be the same way. I am NOT going to do without my faves. I will at least find something that satisfies a craving. "Marshmallow Treats" are the bomb. As are s'mores. Leave it to Girl Scouts to invent something my Boy Scouts love today. :). Very frowned upon at Boy Scout camp outs, you know.

    1. Hmmm, I hadn't thought about that. I need to ask my eighty-something Eagle Scout dad what they ate, though I have a picture of him flipping pancakes on the side of a mountain.

      S'mores too girly for the guys?

      And persistence is a good thing but one pan of marshmallow treats and I am good for another decade. Thanks.

  7. I am sooo sorry I am late. These look very lovely.

    I eat marshmallows out of the bag. Yes, eventually eating the whole bag. This would be much healthier for me.

    No giant pictures today. I feel bereft. Sigh.

    1. I check them on explorer too. Still haven't figured that part out. Oh, blogger, you taunt me so .But I am a serial marshmallow eater as well.

  8. MISSY!! I don't have smores in my WIP but I have homemade marshmallows.

  9. Hey, did you guys know that if you don't smush the Krispie Treat mix down, they stay softer and easier to eat? I always leveled them with a buttered hand, but I have seen the error of my ways!!! Julie, I love Rice Krispie treats and I've got little peeps coming by today.... we might make this our Sunday baking treat. First, no baking involved and second, EASY PEASY!!!

    1. I didn't know but you may have just saved me a trip to the dentist! Hope the little ones had fun and you did too.