Sunday, March 25, 2012

Roasting Marshmallows

We have been having nightly campfires to burn up some of our huge burn pile that is primarily a result of last summer’s hurricane. With our visiting college students, we sat around the campfire and talked and roasted s’mores and looked at the many stars that are not visible in Bellevue.
The first night Erin insisted that we roast s’mores using homemade shortbread instead of graham crackers. They were delicious, but they were really rich! After that, we branched out into Special Dark chocolate, standard graham crackers, and different marshmallows.

Our next run to the grocery store brought back strawberry and vanilla marshmallows (from the Mexican food aisle). They were really good and worked well with the chocolate. Then I bought the jumbo marshmallows which are only for the super patient roaster who truly appreciates a lot of sugar. (Some people roast it, eat the roasted section, and then continue to roast the middle.) We also tried the flat marshmallows. Presumably, they are for making s’mores indoors in an oven or even without heat. I didn’t roast one, but watching others convinced me that they aren’t a good choice for fires.

Another day found us at Target where they stock marshmallows in “chocolate royale,” and “chocolate mint.” Who could resist? (I passed on the “cinnamon bun” and the bunny-shaped marshmallows.) The problem with these very yummy varieties was that they were smaller than a standard marshmallow but a little bigger than a mini. We needed to roast several at a time and they got messier than normal.

Finally, we had to roast the king of them all: Peeps. The key here is not to let them catch fire. They need to be slowly roasted to caramelize the outer layer of sugar into a perfect hardened crust. Gerald (below) referred to them as crème brulee on a stick. Sublime. I suggest that we start with refrigerated Peeps in the future. They seem to have very soft centers which melt and fall off the stick before the caramelized sugar is perfect. I’m looking forward to the after-Easter clearance sales to stock up on this delicacy.

If you’re in an adventurous mood, stop by. We have lots of wood to burn and lots of roasting sticks available. While we’re at it, we’ll introduce you to fine dining, country-style.

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