Every year I make a dear friend of mine a Christmas and birthday package, which I always make several baked goodies for. I love sharing food with those I love, and this is my way to do it with those who are far away as well. It can be a lot of fun to come up with the perfect treat for someone that’s still different every time. Last year I came up with cookies decorated as owls due to our mutual love of Owl City, biscotti due to a love of coffee and tea, and apple doodles due to them being seasonal and one of the only fruits my friend enjoys. This year I found myself stuck on what to make. While thinking of cookies, hot chocolate, and marshmallows I got the idea to combine them, and I sure am happy I did!
Buttery, chocolaty, sweet gooey marshmallows, deep rich chocolate, and a hint of salt make these bars decadent, keep your mouth watering and you coming back for more. Be careful who you share them with though, or you might not have enough for yourself!
These bars take a while between letting both the marshmallow and chocolate set up, but it is well worth the wait! If you need them for a certain event I would suggest making them the day (or night, as in my case) before you need them. Making the marshmallows can also be messy, but a little warm water and it cleans right up. I made slight alterations (addition of pretzels) to Nestle’s chocolate chip cookies and I followed Alton Brown’s recipe for homemade marshmallows exactly for the marshmallow portion. Continue reading to see full recipe.
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 2 cups broken pretzel pieces
- 3 packages unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup ice cold water, divided
- 12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Dark chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a 9x13 and a 8x8 pan with parchment paper.
- Cream butter, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture to cream mixture and combine. Add chocolate chips and pretzel pieces and combine.
- Press cookie dough evenly into pans. Bake for 20-24 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. It will be soft to touch, but will become firm and chewy as it cools.
- Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
- In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
- Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping.
- Quickly, while the marshmallows are still slightly warm, spread evenly over the cooled cookie layers. You may need to put oil on a spatula or your hands to help you spread it around without sticking. Allow to sit for four hours, until the marshmallows are set up.
- Prepare a cookie sheet with a cooling rack on top. Cut bars into even squares and place on cooling rack. Proceed to melt dark chocolate chips over medium-low heat. Dip the tops of the squares into the chocolate so as to evenly cover the top of the marshmallow layer. Place back on cooling rack to allow any extra chocolate to drip away and allow the chocolate to set up completely. After several hours my chocolate was still not set up, however it was by morning, so I would suggest making these the day before you need them.