I love rice crispy treats! There is always a bag a marshmallows and a box of Rice Crispies cereal in my kitchen cabinet in order to whip up a batch of rice crispy treats. But have you ever wondered where marshmallow comes from? Like chocolate and so many of the products we use today, marshmallows have a pretty amazing history.
A marshmallow is a confection that consists of sugar, water, and gelatin whipped to a spongy consistency, molded into small cylindrical pieces, and coated with corn starch. There are marshmallow recipes that call for egg! The use of marshmallow dates back to the Egyptians, interestingly enough.
According to Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, a marshmallow is: 1: a pink-flowered European perennial herb (Althaea officinalis) of the mallow family that is naturalized in the eastern U.S. and has a mucilaginous root sometimes used in confectionery and in medicine; 2: a confection made from the root of the marshmallow or from corn syrup, sugar, albumen, and gelatin beaten to a light spongy consistency. That word “mucilaginous” means “jelly-like.” Later, the root was replaced by gelatin, and that is how modern marshmallows are made.
The marshmallow plant has numerous medicinal benefits. From the flowers of the plant, a syrup is prepared and used for various types of coughs. A tea can be made from the leaves, treating bronchial and urinary disorders; a poultice and ointments can be made from the root as well.
Personally, I just like eating marshmallow as a confectionary. There is nothing better than melting them down to create ooey gooey sweet treats such as our marshmallow chocolate popcorn or a chocolate marshmallow rice crispy treat using American Heritage Historic Chocolate and, in honor of the 4th of July, patriotic M&M’s!
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Chocolate and Marshmallow Rice Crispy Treats
½ cup of butter
10 oz. bag of marshmallows (I prefer the mini marshmallows as they melt faster)
½ cup of American Heritage Historic Chocolate Drink
1 cup red, white, and blue M&M’s
6 cups of Rice Crispies cereal
1. In large saucepan melt butter over low heat. Add marshmallows and stir until completely melted.
2. Remove from heat and blend in ½ cup of the American Heritage Historic Chocolate Drink to the melted marshmallow and butter. Add Rice Crispy cereal. Stir until well coated.
3. Mix in the M&M’s using buttered spatula. Evenly press mixture into 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan coated with cooking spray. Cool.
4. Cut into 2-inch squares. Best if served the same day.
MICROWAVE DIRECTIONS: In microwave-safe bowl, heat butter and marshmallows on HIGH for 3 minutes, stirring after 2 minutes. Add the American Heritage Historic Chocolate Drink and Stir until smooth. Follow the rest of the diretions above. Microwave cooking times may vary.
Happy 4th of July!