I can't help but roll my eyes when I read an article or blog post about making marshmallows and the author acts like store-bought, mass-produced marshmallows are the food of the devil or even the devil himself (or herself as the case may be), while home-made ones are the one true light - your express elevator to all things that are good and pure and morally right.
This misunderstands the two kinds of marshmallows. Store-bought ones are not some sad-sack, evil-imbued version of homemade ones. Homemade marshmallows are completely different from store-bought, and I think it would do us good to appreciate both. The former is better in flavor, and gives you the control in making them like whatever catches your fancy at the moment. These are confections to be enjoyed on their own. The latter is better in texture! It is perfect for baking and melting. I've never had luck in using those small batch homemade marshmallows in goodies like crispy rice treats or smores. And when one wants a small hit of deliciousness in candy form, a store-bought marshmallow generally isn't the way to go.
Unless you are my son.
Each year, I try to make a holiday batch of homemade marshmallows. But that doesn't seem likely this year - I'm just not ready to tackle the fussiness of it all. So I decided to kick of this year's holiday goodie season with marshmallow pops using the store-bought kind - stick one on a stick, coat in chocolate, then roll in nuts, sprinkles or coconut for a hit of flavor.
When Max was informed of our afternoon plans of marshmallow pop assembling, Max was joyous. He was so happy that marshmallows were involved!
But then he seemed a bit confused. And intrigued. What did it mean that we were doing something to the marshmallows? Then I realized - to him, these puffy treats were actually perfect on their own. While turning them into dressed-up pops made for a nice afternoon, he could have done without it. Apparently, he likes them for all the wrong reasons.