When over in Canada staying with my brother and his family earlier on this year I noticed that there were these peanut butter and marshmallow bars for sale in a few of the coffee shops we visited. I must admit they were very large bars and looked double the size of a similar traybake type cake that you would see in the UK. I didn’t try any, which is unlike me as I have a terrible sweet tooth and get easily tempted by all the goodies on show.
When I got back home to the UK I searched for a recipe so that I could try to bake these at home. As luck would have it, I found the recipe I was looking for in a Canadian baking book I had bought on my previous visit to Canada: Flapper Pies And A Blue Prairie Sky by Karlynne Johnston. Karlynne writes a blog called The Kitchen Magpie and she hails from the same part of Canada that I visited, which is Alberta. Karlynne’s recipe for Butterscotch and Chocolate Rainbow Marshmallow Dainties is a recipe based on the bars that she ate back in the 1970s. You can use either Butterscotch chips or chocolate chips to make these bars but Karlynne suggests using rainbow coloured mini marshmallows as they have “a slightly fruity taste that white marshmallows don’t have,” What’s more is that this recipe is a no-bake one, where the bars set in the pan in the fridge.
I was pleased to be able to find some Chipits in a local Safeway (now there’s a name you don’t hear of in the UK anymore) including some butterscotch ones which were perfect for this recipe. But back home in the UK I couldn’t find any rainbow marshmallows in the supermarkets near me, only pink and white ones. They would have to do. I had all the other ingredients to hand.
One cold and miserable Saturday morning I was meant to be tackling the humongous pile of ironing sat looking at me on the counter in the utility room. I ignored it and decided to make these instead. I got out my traybake tin, lined it carefully with cling film and found all the ingredients I needed. I raided the cupboard for hubby’s breakfast peanut butter, mentally planning to replace it next time I went shopping. I then remembered I also needed my American baking cups out. I’m sorry to have to say this but I really struggle with using cups for measuring out the ingredients as I’m convinced I’m not as accurate as I could be.
After the traybake tin was prepared, I put peanut butter, butter and the butterscotch Chipits into a pan. I heated them gently on the hob until the mixture was melted and was smooth. I then added vanilla extract and cooled the mixture down. When cooled, I stirred in the marshmallows, some desiccated coconut and some Rice Krispies so that all the mixture was completely covered. Finally, the mixture was spooned into the tin and levelled out.
I popped the traybake into the fridge to set. This took about three hours until it was ready to be cut into squares. The recipe made about 24 small squares which was more than adequate as they are very rich and indulgent. What I also didn’t realise was that the bars can easily be frozen which is useful to know. Always handy to have something to fall back on if you have people coming round that you can whip out of the freezer at the last minute. Only trouble is, they wouldn’t even get there in my house!
A little treat for myself with a cup of tea that afternoon. I convieniently forgot I was meant to be on a diet!
Love Sam xx