© Debby Segura 2002
Dessert should be delicious. For the amount of calories it will set you back, dessert really ought to transport you someplace extra special, like childhood. Maybe not your childhood, but some kind of wonderful, wacky Brady Bunch childhood. And for this journey, I find, time and again, that Marshmallow Fluff is the ticket.
But Marshmallow Fluff is just corn syrup, sugar and egg whites. What's the big deal? It's magic is subtle: There is a lofty lightness to marshmallow fluff icing or to cupcake filling that never compacts. There is a light chewiness to the way Rice Krispies Treats bond. And there is an unforgettable sweet richness to the crust on a S'mores brownie that is like no other. It'll take you all the way back to the campfire. Scout's Honor!
RICE KRISPIES TREATS
(45 3 1/2 X 1" bars)
4 tablespoons melted unsweetened margarine or butter
7.5-ounce jar of Marshmallow Fluff
13.5 ounce box Rice Krispies Cereal
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips (optional)
Line a 10X15" jelly roll pan with aluminum and spray it with non-stick cooking spray. In a large chef's pan or wok, melt the margarine over medium heat. Add the Marshmallow Fluff and stir with a wooden spoon, continuing to cook until the Fluff is melted and the margarine has absorbed into the Fluff. If you are making the chocolate option, add the chocolate chips at this time and continue stirring until completely melted and smooth. Turn off the heat. Add the cereal to the marshmallow mixture and fold the ingredients together lightly and completely.
Quickly add the Rice Krispies mixture by the heaping spoonful to the prepared pan. Cut a 20-inch length of plastic wrap and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Cover the jelly roll pan loosely with the plastic wrap and, using a rolling pin, gently roll over the Rice Krispies mixture until it is level, uniform and compact, level with the rim of the pan. Allow to set for at least 1/2 hour before cutting into bars.
(35-40 2" Square bar cookies)
© Debby Segura 2002
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1-cup brown sugar
1-cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups all?purpose flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
7-ounce jar marshmallow fluff
1 cup walnut pieces (optional)
Place butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla in bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater. Turn to Speed 4 and beat 1 minute. Stop and scrape bowl.
Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Turn to Speed 2 and beat l5 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Turn to Stir Speed and quickly add chocolate chips, mixing just until combined.
Press dough into a 10 x 15 x 1 1/2 inch foil-lined, greased and floured pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 to 35 minutes until the tester comes out clean and the corners begin to pull away from the foil. Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees or 400 degrees convection bake. Remove the Pan from the oven and distribute the fluff, spoonful by spoonful, over the brownie. Allow the heat of the brownie to melt the fluff. Quickly, spread the fluff evenly over the brownie. Sprinkle the walnuts over the fluff. Watching carefully, bake the brownie an additional 2 to 3 minutes, until the marshmallow turns golden brown.
Cool completely. Spray a long chopping knife with cooking spray and cut the brownie with a slow, chopping cut, wiping and re-spraying the knife as necessary. The brownies may be frozen in an airtight container by separating each layer of brownies with plastic wrap to prevent sticking.
GIANT "HOSTESS" CUPCAKE
© Debby Segura 2003
(1) 8" layer cake
Cake (Adapted from The Perfect Cake by Susan G. Purdy)
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup regular, unsweetened cocoa
1 stick unsalted margarine, room temperature
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cup Rice Dream
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 7-ounce jar Marshmallow Fluff
1/4 cup Rich Whip
6 ounces chocolate chips
1 egg white
1 cup powdered sugar
Spray two 8" cake pans with cooking spray and dust with cocoa powder. Position the rack in the lower third of the oven and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Combine the flour, baking soda and cocoa. Reserve. In the bowl of an electric mixer, whip the margarine with the sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined and stir in the vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and milk mixture, beginning and ending with flour, beating slowly to blend after each addition.
Divide the batter between the two pans. Bake in the preheated oven for about 35 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and then remove from the pans to cool completely before frosting.
With a sharp biscuit cutter, carefully remove a 3" round plug, about 1" thick, from the bottom of the top layer and from the top of the bottom layer. If the bottom layer has a curved top crust, use a long bread knife to trim it flat. Carefully spoon the marshmallow fluff into the hole of the bottom layer, and mound it to fill the top layer when it is placed on top of it. Carefully position the top layer on top of the bottom one, using care to center it.
To make the ganache, place the Rich Whip in a microwave-safe bowl and heat until just simmering. Add the chocolate chips and cover. Allow resting 5 minutes and stir until smooth. Using an offset spatula, smoothly ice only the top of the cake, thickly.
To make the Royal Icing, combine 1 egg white and 1 cup powdered sugar and beat until it holds stiff peaks. Place it in an icing bag with a 1/8" round tip and, using the indentation of a line, pipe a line of cursive small "e" all across the cake.