By Kristina Schnack Kotlus, Contributing Writer
There’s something about fall that brings out my inner Martha Stewart. I love fall crafts, fall food, apple cider, that crispness in the air and leaves crunching under my shoes. If I can decorate it, bedazzle it, glitter it or pumpkin it up, you should either prepare for me to get crafty or hide whatever it is from my glue gun and its wrath.
Crafts and festive foods that I can do with my kids are even better, since, like most parents, keeping them engaged and inspired is important to me, too. Last year, we created “Monster Marshmallows” as a way to ride out the cake-pop trend without actually having to form cake into balls and wait for them to cook.
The crafty recipe here for this tasty treat lets your children create their very own, edible Frankenstein. However, there is no end to the characters that they can create. You can easily alter “Monster Marshmallows” to be anything you want.
Try dyeing the frosting purple and using a chocolate wafer cookie with a chocolate kiss on top to make a witch. Or use the same purple frosting, add one eye, a candy corn horn, and fruit leather “wings” for a ﬂying purple people eater. Inventing new monsters is almost as fun as eating them afterwards.
Since the project involves food coloring, I’d recommend dressing your “mad scientists” in play clothes or, better yet, an apron before getting started. Here’s the basic recipe:
- 1 Bag of jumbo marshmallows
- 48 lollipop sticks
- 1 large can of white or vanilla frosting, 2 cups if using homemade
- Candy eyes
- Chocolate sprinkles or black sugar
- Candy Bones
- Food coloring or cake dye
- Prepare your space by lining several cookie sheets with aluminum foil.
- Fill a shallow plate with chocolate sprinkles or black sugar.
- Open the bags of candy eyes and bones and set them aside.
- Select a bowl or container that is narrow and medium height if possible. You’ll want to have your frosting deep enough so that you can dip your marshmallows. Using a wide and ﬂat container will make the process harder.
- Microwave your frosting for 20 to 30 seconds until it is a pourable consistency, but not hot or fully liquid.
- Tint your frosting to the desired color green and allow to cool slightly while you insert the sticks about three-quarters of the way into the marshmallows.
- Next, dip each marshmallow into the frosting until it is just covered, and allow any excess to drip oﬀ.
- Dip the stick-free end into the sprinkles as “hair” and set your creation on the aluminum foil until almost set. Add eyes and bones, and enjoy.
While marshmallows are nut- and legume-free (Kraft-brand marshmallows are on the peanut-safe list) as well as gluten-free, many brands include gelatin, which contains pork byproducts. Families who follow religious dietary restrictions regarding pork, or who do not eat meat, may want to pick up Dandies Marshmallows at Wegmans. They are vegan and made in a factory free of tree nuts and peanuts.
As an optional—but encouraged—last step, send photos of your children’s creations to Prince William Living. It is always fun to see the innovative twists that our readers add. Post photos on Facebook or Pinterest and tag @Prince William Living or email them to [email protected]
Kristina Schnack Kotlus is a local mother of three children and the owner of PWCMoms.com, a resource for parents and families in Prince William County. Visit her site or Facebook page for an events calendar, reviews and more ideas for fall fun.