After a trip to go skiing with some friends this past winter, I had a leftover bag of mini marshmallows. What was I going to do with them? Marshmallows weren’t part of my regular cooking repertoire. Rocky road something was the answer, and I settled on making rocky road cookies.
Thus began a months-long odyssey to master baking cookies with marshmallows. The creation in the photo above I pulled out of the oven a couple hours ago. Let me share how I got to this point.
My wife’s main request for rocky road cookies was simple: “They must be chocolatey.” I went off looking for a cookie base that had as much chocolate in it as possible. The best I could find was Martha Stewart’s Outrageous Chocolate Cookies. I figured I could easily mix in some walnuts and marshmallows and call it a day.
I used a scant cup of marshmallows (that’s all I had left) and made the cookies. The cookies were a good first step, but there were a couple things wrong. First, they looked very unappealing. There’s no other way to say it – these cookies looked like scoopfuls of poo. Second, the melted marshmallows made it very hard to remove the cookies from the cookie sheet. Third, the marshmallows kind of disappeared in the cookies once they cooked and melted. I wanted more marshmallow chew.
The second time I made cookies with marshmallows (in a completely different recipe) I was careful about my marshmallow placement, moving as many marshmallows as possible to the top of the cookie, so they wouldn’t stick to the cookie sheet. My diligence didn’t pay off – the marshmallows still melted and stuck.
This week I decided I was going to try making rocky road cookies again, this time with a couple twists: more marshmallows and no cookie sheets. I figured by baking the cookies in a pan I wouldn’t encounter the stickiness problem. These bar cookies pack a serious punch – they are thick and crazy rich. And also delicious.
- 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup semisweet chocolate chunks (I recommend Nestle.)
- 1 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
Step 1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking dish.
Step 2. Melt the chopped chocolate and butter in a bowl over a pot filled with 1 inch of boiling water. I find this is easier than using the microwave. You can control the heat better, and won’t scorch the chocolate. Stir frequently, until the chocolate and butter is melted and smooth. Don’t overheat.
Step 3. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl and stir to combine.
Step 4. Beat the brown sugar, vanilla and eggs together on high speed. the mixture will fluff up slightly, but it will still be quite liquidy. Add the melted chocolate, and mix to combine.
Note: I wasn’t sure what size pan to use, so I went for a 7×11-inch pan. This definitely gives a very thick cookie, and I’ve decided it’s actually too thick – it’s not really a cookie anymore. I recommend using a 9×13-inch pan.
Makes 24 small bars. The cookie you see at left is a double serving, and it really packed a punch.
4/29 edit note: The original recipe called for 12 ounces (one package) of chocolate chunks. That’s what I used, but I think it actually makes the cookie too chocolatey, if that’s possible. By using 1 cup of chocolate chunks and 1 cup of walnuts you have a better balance. I’m all for adding lots of chocolate in traditional chocolate chip cookies, but with a chocolate base, the equation is different.