All things summer came to mind. Summer camp one of them. A campfire feeling and taste for the girl (me) that doesn’t camp. I don’t camp anymore anyway. Let’s leave it at that. The crackling warm fire and melting marshmallows, I will almost always down for that. Today, I am in my kitchen and no mosquito repellant needed. Thankfully. This recipe has a few layers. I got carried away? The more black the marshmallows for this recipe the better. Puts you right in front of the campfire that way. The third layer, the end of camp. Not the end of summer. The pretzel marshmallows in layer one is absolutely more than capable to stand on its own. No other layers needed. Why would you want to stop there when more is better. At least in this case and popcorn is just fun. The LARA bars give this recipe a sweet homey warm cereal feeling. I didn’t have all the ingredients inside this particular LARA bar but wanted them and I got creative. The dark carob, an aesthetic and a necessary contrasting flavor. The pretzels are for texture and salt.
Make this recipe. Let me know what you think. I wanted to eat all these ingredients in one bite. I dare you to stop at just one square.
This recipe does not contain chocolate. It is almost vegan. I used ghee. The last bag of marshmallows, TBD in the vegan department as well. The carob chips are available at Nuts.com.
Yield: 12-14 sqaures
Time: Depends on how many pots you use, how many pictures you take and what happens while making this recipe
1 Jar of room temperature liquid room Coconut Oil.
In case you feel you need more than is required for each layer. I like Trader Joe’s Brand. Organic and unrefined. Unrefined, has less “coconut” flavor. So, 3-6 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil (some for the first and second vegan marshmallow melt, some for the toasting of the LARA Bars, some for the sweetened carob chip melt as it is similar to mycryo, some for the popcorn popping unless you buy your popcorn already popped and some for your hands to pat the final layer of marshmallow popcorn into place. The popcorn marshmallow is one sticky mixture)
1 Tablespoon of Ghee (vegan butter or regular butter depending on your preferences) with the ghee use equal parts ghee as water to offer more fluidity.
6 Cups of Semi Crushed Pretzels
1 10 Oz bag of Dandies Mini Vegan Marshmallows 1/2 for the broiling and 1/2 to mix with pretzels and broiled marshmallows
6 Coconut Pie Lara bars (each container dates, cashew butter, almond butter and shredded coconut)
1 Pound of Unsweetened Carob Chips
10 Ounces of Sweetened Carbo Chips
*1/2 Cup of Popped Popcorn
*I popped with coconut oil you can buy popped popcorn if you aren’t down to pop your own popcorn. Pot and oil don’t take that long though. Buying could get you an instant Kettle Corn Popcorn situation going on and that would be great for this recipe too now that I think about it.
My over and broiler are separate. I have a small broiling pan which is so cute. I love the minis. Line your tray of choice (could be a toaster oven tray) with aluminum foil. Use about five oz or about half of a 10 oz bag of marshmallows)
3 minutes remove from the broiler. My broiler is separate from my oven. If yours isn’t, remove tray from oven.
Layer 1. Marshmallow Pretzels
Add 4 Tablespoons of coconut oil and a tablespoon of ghee and a tablespoon of water to a sauce pan. Add the remainder of the 10 oz bag of minis. The non broiled. Watch and stir occasionally. Then add the broiler marshmallows to the already melting marshmallows pot. Once all marshmallows are melted add six cups of salted crushed pretzels and stir until evenly coated. After, transfer mixture to your prepared oiled parchment paper lined 9 x 13 baking dish. You could stop here. But.
Layer 2. Sweetened Carobs Melted
In the same pot, add two tablespoons of coconut and sweetened carob chips. About 10 oz. As the chips melt stir. You should have a frosting like consistency. Spread over you cooking set up pretzel tray.
Layer 3. Toasted Coconut Pie Lara Bars
I didn’t have coconut shredded or cashew butter otherwise I would have made this layer from scratch. LARA bars work. Crumble the six bars and place in a low heating pot. You can use more bars if you would like a thicker layer. i used six. Add 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir to evenly coat and not to scorch the Lara bars. Continue to breaks down the already broken bars to almost a cake crumble. Low heat should helps aid in not scorching. Add several large broiled Dandies to the marshmallows and let them melt with the Lara bars mixture as you stir. Once all combined add about 5 ounces of unsweetened carob chips. Turn the heat off . Let them melt. Stir as they do to mix and coat the now crumbled bars as much as possible. The mixture will start to form into a glob. That’s alright. Don’t worry. You can let it cool slightly and then break it up as you spread on top of layers one and two. Coconut oiled hands help here too.
Layer 4 the popcorn layer
If you pop will pop your own kernels do this
Place an empty sizable bowl next to the stove or burner where you will be popping your popcorn.
Add two tablespoon of coconut oil (vegetable oil or whatever oil you like that burns well in high heat cooking) cold heavy bottom pot. I use the LeCreuset. Add 1/2 cup of popcorn kernels and sprinkle with salt. Add the lid. Set the timer for about 10 minutes. On occasion you will need to gently shake your hot pot. When you do, grip the lid to the pan wearing heat safe glove or using a kitchen towel. Shake the pot back and forth to wake up the sizzling kernels and redistribute them as not to burn them. I set my timer for 10 minute increments and then shake until I hear consistent popping. You could do the two kernel in hot oil test. I start in a cold pot. After your kernels are pooped, place all your beautiful popped corn in the bowl which you happen to have right next to you.
In another pot or microwave, I don’t have a microwave. I often use the same pot depending during the same recipe if I can. Figure out what works best for you. You may like microwaves. I like the pots. This is a stove top pot recipe. Back to the recipe. After you remove the popcorn, from your pot, pour in a 10 ounce bag of mini marshmallows. This bag is the Whole Foods brand marshmallows. I have run out of the vegan minis. The package doesn’t indicate vegan so I can’t say for sure. I could call Whole Foods but I am in the middle of the melting by the time I think of that. I usually make my own marshmallow (see here) with silver or gold gelatin. I have marshmallows and want to use up the ingredients that I have first which is why I don’t make mine. Which is really Ina Garten’s recipe, that I now use. In case you wondered. Anyway, melt a 10 ounce bag of marshmallows. Once melted, turn off heat and add the popcorn. Work fast. It is sticky. Make sure to oil your hands for patting this mixture for the final layer of your campfire squares. It’s less sticky this way.
*Option 1, drizzle carob icing on top of your campfire treats
*Option 2, or in combination with option 1, I recommend using your pastry brush and coat the top of the setting up popcorn layer with butter or ghee or old of your choice. Sprinkle flaky plain sea salt or something like smoked Maldon sea salt before. Salt adds an extra complexity.
Option 3, you can even add a pretzel on top of each section you will want to cut to make a square once set-up
Let the tray set-up for a couple of hours. Remove and cut into large squares. Enjoy one or more immediately. Store the rest in a chef’s cambro or a zip locked bag. Stack using parchment paper so the squares don’t stick too.
Until Next Time…