In some strange turn of events, my baking musings lately have been not of pumpkin or of apple, but all about marshmallow.  I don’t know what  started it, but I just keep thinking of more and more things I would like to make with them.  Still hard to believe that I didn’t care for marshmallows as a kid, but the homemade variety changed all that.

Last weekend we had s’mores from the fire pit for dessert one evening.  I had made fresh marshmallows and we had a ton left over.  The next day I toasted them, chilled them, swirled them into sugar cookie dough and baked it.  I was fretting the whole time these were baking that they would be a huge flop, and I was even more skeptical when I took them out of the oven to cool. But when I cut into them and we sampled the finished product, well…we’re head over heels for these things.  The marshmallow flavor is subtle, but it adds an extra dimension of gooey, toasted flavor to these cookie bars and takes them to another level.  It’s difficult to put into words really, so maybe you should just try them out and see for yourself.

  • Yield 16-20 bars


  • 6 oz. regular or jumbo marshmallows (preferably homemade – worth it)
  • 2 cups (10 oz.) all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (7 oz.) granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp. light brown sugar (optional)
  • 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  • 01

    Toast the marshmallows on all sides using your preferred method (fire pit, over a stovetop burner, with a kitchen torch, or – with an extremely watchful eye – the broiler.)  Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and chill at least two hours in the refrigerator.

  • 02

    Preheat the oven to 375° F. Line an 8 x 8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang at two edges to help lift the bars from the pan.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir to blend.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter, sugars, and seeds scraped from the vanilla bean.  Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2 minutes.  Blend in the egg and vanilla.  With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated.  Remove the marshmallows from the refrigerator, coarsely chop (as best you can with something so sticky), and add to the mixing bowl.  Blend into the cookie dough just until no large globs remain.  Transfer the dough to the prepared baking pan and press down into an even layer.

  • 03

    Bake until lightly browned on top and just set in the center, about 25-30 minutes.  Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool at least 30 minutes.  Use the parchment paper to lift the bars from the pan.  Transfer to a cutting board and slice into 16-20 bars.