Happy Wednesday, everyone! I hope you’re all having a great week. Has Valentine’s Day enamored you the way it has me this year? I just can’t get enough of it. I thought it would be fun to chat about a ridiculously yummy-yet-simple recipe. These Butterscotch Peanut Butter Marshmallow Hearts (usually “bars”) are as easy as it gets to make: 4 ingredients and 4 steps. No mixer, no bake, no candy thermometers. Does it get any better than this?
You know I’m the first girl to promote breaking out the confection-tool arsenal for highly decorated sweets, but sometimes, or possibly most times, we don’t have that much time on our hands. These highly-addictive treats (that you likely ate as a kid!) are so yummy and I love making them. The process is also super kid-friendly, which is always great around our house.
Although I have fond memories of this type of a treat at my school bake-sales in the 80’s, I had completely forgotten about them until Grant’s cousin, Leah, started bringing them to the family cottage. I couldn’t believe how addictive they were, truly. I know everyone says that about their favourite desserts, but I promise (and possibly warn) you that these are so much so, that I informed Leah that I would include them in my “what I would eat if I could only have one last meal” menu, and I meant it. I’m pretty certain that there is a highly scientific reaction that occurs between the peanut butter and butterscotch chips, that results in a flavour that humans are not meant to resist. Now, you do have to be ready for s-w-e-e-t; they are super-duper sweet, for certain.
So here are the 4 ingredients responsible for this delicious treat: peanut butter, butterscotch chips (I use high quality, such as Guittard, because they are just a bit less sweet, use real vanilla, and make them just that much better!), butter, and mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows. That’s it! I’m so drawn to how reminscent they are of church socials and retro potlucks & bake sales.
Like I mentioned, I usually make them in bar form, but I thought it would be fun to use a heart cookie cutter and create a Valentine’s version, especially for the kids. Basically, you melt the buttery trio (peanut butter, butterscotch chips, and butter) over a double boiler until smooth, then toss in the marshmallows, stir, and spread across a baking sheet lined with parchment, using an offset palette knife (or anything that works for you). After they have set in refrigerator, you can use a heart cutter to cut the shapes out . . . voila! Now, I know I mentioned that these are super easy and fun for kids to make, and that they are, but truth is, my little cakelets were preoccupied this weekend while I was making this batch.
You see, our littlest girl, Neve, is just learning to walk, and so there was a lot of excitement going on while I whipped these up. I puttered in the kitchen while Reese and Grant (daddy) helped Neve learn to practice her walk. She got so good at walking while holding her push toy, that I knew it would be just a few days until she took her first steps, and just a few hours ago she did! Three big steps into mommy’s arms! Here are some photos from the weekend:
Here’s Neve getting a feel for pushing the toy on her own. She looks pretty relaxed.
Big sister Reese, ready to help her baby sister walk. This is huge deal for Reese: she’ll finally have someone to run around with. Up until now, she would run up to an ever-sitting Neve, tap her on the shoulder, and yell “TAG–you’re it!” and run away.
Here’s Daddy giving Neve a little pep-talk & cuddle before she gives it a try.
A little warm-up with Daddy, and now she’s ready for walking with her toy on her own . . .
Oh yes, proud as punch, with a full cheering section (that’d be us . . . including Pasha, the cat, who didn’t want to miss any excitement). Neve (aka Lovie) was so proud of herself, as were we. How amazing tonight to have her walk to me — I forgot how utterly wonderful that feels! Now that you’ve let me gush about my sweethearts, let’s make some sweet-hearts.
- 4 cups (680 g) premium butterscotch chips
- 1 cup (227 g)(2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (175 g) smooth peanut butter (I use Skippy or Kraft)
- 6 cups mini flavoured multi-coloured marshmallows (you can use all white if you need to)
- Line a baking sheet with enough parchment paper to have overhang on the sides.
- Melt everything, except the marshmallows, in a stainless steel bowl on top of simmering water, until smooth. Take off heat and stir in marshmallows.
- Pour and spread mixture onto prepared baking sheet with an offset spatula. You can sprinkle and press some loose marshmallows over top, if desired. Chill until firm.
- For hearts you out heart shapes by using a sturdy heart cookie cutter. For best results, push heart treat through cutter from bottom upwards. You may need to clean the cutter after every few cuts. If you rotate heart cut-outs side by side (one up, one down), you will end up with minimal bits leftover.
- You can also take the scraps and throw them into a icing-sugar based frosting, mix with electric mixer until incorporated and fluffy. I have a feeling, though, that you may see those leftover bits disappear before you get that far!
*This recipe can be divided in half if you are making squares. Use an 8" square pan and cut into bars.
**Best kept refrigerated. Freeze well in a freezer bag or plastic storage container.
Good luck & enjoy!