Have you ever had just what you need fall into your lap? Just before Christmas I needed to make a dessert to bring to a dessert potluck at work and, being short on time, I hadn’t figured out what that would be. I had a vague sense of what I wanted–something chocolately, but ideally with some red highlights to add some festivity–but above all else, I wanted something quick and simple. Being a working mom has really put a crimp in my baking style. And just when I was nearly out of time, a Facebook friend posted about a recipe for choco-mallows from the King Arthur Flour website. So there it was. A recipe that delivered the chocolate I was craving and it was already vetted by my friend who’s an avid baker (seriously, she makes a triple batch of cupcakes at the drop of a hat). Oh, and it is beyond simple to make.
It’s a great recipe any time of year, but holidays are always prime time for yummy treats and I know that Valentine’s Day is often a time when people who don’t often cook or bake want to make a special effort to show their love, so this seemed like a good time to share the recipe. Skip the pre-packaged candies and make your own!
If you can put ingredients into a bowl and stir, I promise you can make these. And you don’t even have to turn the oven on, so you don’t even have to worry about burning them! It’s about the easiest dessert there is after opening a box of brownie mix.
Whether you’re a baking fiend like my friend or a complete novice to the kitchen, no one will ever suspect how easy this candy is to throw together. With luscious, creamy chocolate enveloping the marshmallows, nuts, and cherries, you’ll have everyone swooning. They’ll think you’ve been slaving away in the kitchen for them, and you know what? That’s ok.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour
The recipe is pretty accommodating to adaptations. You can swap in a different nut (or leave them out entirely), or use a different dried fruit (or leave them out entirely). If you want a brighter red, use dried cranberries instead of cherries. And if you don't have almond extract, just use vanilla extract instead (or vice versa, you can use all almond extract).
- 2 2/3 cups chopped dark chocolate or chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup heavy or whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini marshmallows
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted if desired
- Line an 8" x 8" square pan with parchment paper, and grease the parchment. If you don't have parchment, use waxed paper or plastic wrap.
- Combine the chocolate, cream, corn syrup, vanilla and almond extracts, espresso powder, and salt in a microwave-safe bowl.
- Heat the mixture in the microwave in 20 second increments stirring in between (or heat in a saucepan set over low heat on the stove) till the cream is hot and the chocolate has softened.
- Remove from the heat, and stir until the chocolate has melted and everything is smooth.
- Spread about 3/4 cup of the melted chocolate in the bottom of the pan.
- Spread the marshmallows evenly over the chocolate. Distribute the pecans evenly in the spaces between the marshmallows.
- Spread the remaining chocolate atop the marshmallows and walnuts, spreading to the edge of the pan so that everything is covered.
- Refrigerate for an hour or so, to set the chocolate. Remove from the refrigerator, and loosen the candy from the edges of the pan.
- Bring to room temperature, and leave in the pan, covered with plastic, till you're ready to cut into squares. Once cut, they're stable at room temperature, but keep them away from heat.