Buttered Popcorn Marshmallow S’mores.
Because it’s still summer, it’s still s’mores season, it’s still time to be basic and eat every toasty marshmallow in sight. This is why we’re friends.
So. Do you ever get something stuck in your head that you just HAVE to have? That you just have to make/taste/eat/inhale?
These marshmallows are that thing for me.
All summer I’ve been thinking about popcorn marshmallows. I have no idea why, but I have.
Okay, I might have somewhat of an idea – because since having Max, popcorn is such a staple in this house (hello, dinner?) and I’ve grown to love it so, so much when I used to just be so… MEH about it.
I think it originated when I made a s’mores cake. I made said s’mores cake in May, right at the start of s’mores season. I liked the s’mores cake a whole bunch but my parents were like, eh, it’s only okay, so I never shared it.
Then I made some malted chocolate marshmallows. They were/are outstanding!! I adored them, but also never got around to sharing those because they didn’t seem exciting enough. (P.S. hi I’m a headcase.)
The entire time all I wanted was some freaking buttered popcorn marshmallows but I was like… there is no way in heck that could ever work.
So I didn’t even try, didn’t even attempt, and every optimistic millennial just lost faith in me. Send me self help books, please and thanks.
Then. I decided… why not just try? Because seriously. I am not exaggerating. I COULD NOT STOP thinking about these stupid popcorn marshmallows!
The thing is, I didn’t want them to just be covered in popcorn. That wasn’t good enough because the popcorn would get soggy, potential kernels could cause a broken tooth (or simple profanity) episode, there wouldn’t be enough flavor. I wanted to INFUSE the marshmallows but without using a milk or cream base, could I? I know nothing. (except how to be a headcase.)
Long story long, it worked. It works. It takes some patience and well, popcorn purists you might just want to defriend me right now because the truth is that this works best with that heavily fake-tasting microwaved popcorn.
Don’t hit me.
I mean, sure, you can use popcorn that you pop yourself and cover in butter and let sit. But you reeeeeeally kinda need the artificial buttery coating from a bag to get the real impact.
(Psssssssst. Just get an organic bag. It’ll make you feel all sorts of better.)
The deal is that the marshmallows are so lightly infused with popcorn flavor. It’s lovely and buttery and you get a hint of something wonderful. Then, topped with popcorn, toasted (from the bottom, because burnt popcorn is thirty shades of awful) until golden, smashed between crunchy grahams and and hugged against melty chocolate.
Bestest way to finish off summer, ever.
Buttered Popcorn Marshmallow S'mores
- Spray an 8×8 pan with nonstick spray, then sprinkle some powdered sugar in the pan and shake well, dispersing it all over the pan, covering the entire thing.
- In a small saucepan, combine the 1/2 cup cold water and sugar. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly for just 30 seconds until the sugar is starting to dissolve and the mixture is warm. You DON’T want it to get too sticky or cook yet! Turn off the heat. Stir in 2 cups of buttery popcorn and let it infuse for 20 to 30 minutes. Make sure that you stir a few times (it will start to get sticky as it cools) and toss the popcorn. Remove the popcorn with a slotted spoon. I even pushed some through a fine mesh sieve to get as much liquid as I could that was starting to become syrupy.
- Place the gelatin in a small bowl and stir in the 8 tablespoons of cold water. Let it sit for 5 minutes. Begin to heat the sugar mixture again over medium heat, whisking well.
- Stir in the gelatin mixture and bring it to a boil. Once boiling, immediately remove from heat. Add to the bowl of an electric mixer attached with a whisk. Let sit and slightly cool. (I cool for about 10 minutes.) Add in vanilla extract and salt. Beat on medium-high speed for 10-15 minutes, until white and glossy and shiny and thick. Spread in the 8×8 pan and top with the other 2 cups of popcorn (try to remove all the kernels you can!), pressing them into the marshmallow. Let sit for about 4 hours, or even overnight.
- To make your s’mores, sandwich the toasted marshmallow between grahams with your favorite chocolate. A tip I’ve been doing is toasting the marshmallows from the BOTTOM because no one wants burnt popcorn, you know?? Just make sure your popcorn stays butter. And make sure to make these close to serving time, as popcorn can get soggy!
face smash worthy.