These are reminiscent of Mallowmars, a cookie introduced around the beginning
of the 20th Century.
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter, at cool room temperature*
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
3 (1/4-ounce) envelopes unflavored gelatin
1 cup cool water, divided
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup light corn syrup
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate
2/3 cup heavy cream
* Salted butter is your best choice here. If you use unsalted butter, add 1/2
teaspoon salt to the recipe, dissolving it in a teaspoon of water before adding.
To make the crust: Heat the oven to 300 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9
x 13-inch pan, and line it with parchment, if desired; this will help you get
the bars out of the pan intact.
Beat together the butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in the flour. The
mixture may seem a little dry at first; keep beating until it comes together.
If it absolutely won't come together, dribble in up to 1 tablespoon of water,
until it does. This is a stiff dough.
Press the dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the surface with your fingers.
Use a fork to prick the dough all over; this allows any steam to escape, and
prevents the shortbread from bubbling as it bakes.
Bake the shortbread until it's a light golden brown across the top surface,
and a deeper golden brown around the edges, about 35 minutes. Remove it from
the oven, and set it aside while you make the filling.
To make the marshmallow filling: Combine the gelatin and 1/2 cup cool water
in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Stir to make
sure all the gelatin is moistened; it will turn into a soft block.
Combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup cool water in a small,
deep saucepan. Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar
dissolves. Raise the heat to high and cook, without stirring, until the syrup
reaches 240 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat.
With the mixer on low speed, slowly pour the sugar syrup into the softened
gelatin. Increase the speed to high, and whip until the mixture is very thick
and fluffy, and has cooled to lukewarm, 3 to 10 minutes (depending on the mixer
and attachment you use; a stand mixer using the whisk attachment will work more
quickly than a hand mixer equipped with beaters). The mixture should be cool
enough that you can spread it into the pan without burning your fingers, about
95 degrees F. Add the vanilla towards the end of the mixing time.
Spread the marshmallow mixture atop the crust, using your wet hands to smooth
and flatten the marshmallow as best you can. You have to do this quickly, as
the marshmallow will begin to set. Let the marshmallow cool to room temperature
before glazing the bars.
To make the glaze: Combine the chocolate and cream in a saucepan or microwave-safe
bowl. Heat until the cream starts to steam, and develops small bubbles around
the edge. Remove from the heat (or microwave), and stir until smooth, reheating
briefly if necessary to completely melt the chocolate.
Spread the chocolate atop the marshmallow.
Let cool and set at room temperature before cutting into bars.
Hands-on time: 35 to 55 min | Baking time: 35 to 35 min | Yield: 24 bars
For prettiest-looking bars, remove them from the pan before cutting. Carefully
turn the slab upside-down, and cut bars through the bottom crust. Doing it this
way, rather than cutting from the top down, will prevent the bars' edges from becoming
smeared with chocolate.
Recipe and photo credit: King Arthur Flour - kingarthurflour.com