Toasted Marshmallow Squares


Let me begin by saying that one Sunday, I got a very nice and sweet surprise whilst browsing the cooking/baking section at a bookstore.

I did a double take because I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me!

What am I gushing about? Well, it's that majestic object in the center of the photo above!

Joy Wilson's (aka Joy The Baker) book, Homemade Decadence.  That's what.

Ever since I purchased it, I'd always look at it and admire all the wonderful photos and eventually I'd have to put it down so I could get ready for work.

I mean I can go on and on and ooon about how I simply adore this book!

But I think you already get that I really adore it. Majorly.

From all the recipes in said book, I chose one from the 'Cookies, Brownies, & Bars' chapter.

It was also my first encounter with shortbread batter.

Believe me when I say that I had doubts about that mixture you're seeing in that photo.

I really did.  I didn't know shortbread batter would have that kind of sandy (but buttery!) texture!  So if you make this, don't have a panic attack like I did.  

All is well because it's Joy The Baker we're talking about!

Press the batter evenly but don't sweat it if you aren't able to!

This shortbread smelled (and tasted) absolutely heavenly! Buttery heavenly that is!

You let it cool first before you go on with the next step.

After letting it cool, you can now spread your chocolate-hazelnut spread of choice on the top of what seems to be a huge toast.

I didn't end up using the chocolate bars because I knew they weren't going to melt as they'd only be back in the oven for 4-ish minutes!

It really does look like toast, right?

Seeing this just makes me happy.  I hope it makes you happy, too.  Nutella on a giant toast? Yum!

You will then arrange your halved marshmallows and put this one big s'more back in the oven!

Don't even think about doing anything else whilst it is in there.

You wouldn't want your marshmallows to burn, do you?

Depending on your oven when you think the marshmallows have softened, take the pan out and with the back of a spoon, gently flatten each one.

Put them back in and let the tops toast a little bit.  For this part, don't leave the oven's side because we really do not want to burn the marshmallows!

I must say this is a nice and buttery little twist on the well-loved s'mores!

Here's the recipe (finally!)!

*Recipe is from the book, Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson.

Toasted Marshmallow Squares

What you'll need:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (or 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise)

1 large egg yolk

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chocolate-hazelnut spread (I used Nutella!)

15 large marshmallows, cut in half

What you'll do:

1.  Like always, preheat your oven to 350F.  Ready an 8-inch square pan by lining it with parchment paper and then butter that paper up!

2. With an electric mixer or your own strength and handy whisk, mix the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy around 3 or 4 minutes.  Add the pure vanilla extract (or vanilla bean) and egg yolk then mix again.  Scrape down the sides making sure everything is mixed and no butter is left at the bottom! Add in flour and salt and mix until fully incorporated.

3. You will now have a very sandy, buttery batter but don't fret.  In your prepared pan, place batter and with your fingers, press down and try to make it as even as you can.

4.  Bake for 20 to 24 minutes (but my oven is pretty intense as I only baked mine for 19 minutes!) until the sides have turned golden brown.  The center will still be slightly soft.  Let cool for 20 minutes!

5.  Carefully, holding the ends of the parchment paper, lift the shortbread out of the pan and peel off parchment paper and place shortbread on a cookie sheet.

6.  Spread your chosen chocolate-hazelnut all over the glorious, buttery shortbread and arrange the halved marshmallows quite near one another and for 4 minutes (depending on how intense your oven is! Mine only took about 2!), bake again.  After 4 minutes (or in my case, 2) take the cookie sheet out again and with the back of a spoon, gently flatten each marshmallow and return to oven to toast the tops of the marshmallows!  Do not take your eyes off those fluffy things or they'll burn!

7.  Joy The Baker said to let the shortbread s'more cool for 10 minutes before slicing them into squares.  She also said these squares 'will keep, well-wrapped and at room temperature, for up to 4 days.'!

If you've never tried shortbread before then this must be your introductory shortbread because it is sooo good!

I'm already thinking about using this same shortbread but with fruits like peach or pineapple or strawberry with vanilla ice cream or even whipped cream on the side!

So it may be months until National S'more Day but we can start the celebrations way ahead, right?

Til next time!

Oh and happy 1st of March!

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