Okay, so it’s a made-up holiday (sponsored by the National Confectioners Association), but what’s not to love about celebrating that iconic summer treat, toasted marshmallows? The history of the marshmallow is pretty cool, too.
Marshmallows were originally made from the root of the Marshmallow herb, also known as Althaea officinalis. The Egyptians made candy/cakes from it, mixing the sap with honey and grains. One source says the Egyptians reserved such a treat for the gods and that everyone else was forbidden to eat it, but I have not been able to confirm that with other sources.
The sap of the Marshmallow root was long known to soothe sore throats, and the Greeks and Romans used it medicinally as both a liquid and lozenge. It was the French who finally turned it into a candy in the early 19th century, whipping it to an airy consistency. However, extracting the necessary sap from the Marshmallow plant was time-consuming. Only small, local sweet shops prepared it, mixing small batches by hand.
Our commercially-produced marshmallows bear little resemblance to these earlier confections. Once it was discovered (late 19th century) that gelatin and egg whites could substitute for the consistency provided by the Marshmallow root sap, the marshmallow no longer had Marshmallow in it.
Nonetheless, many people enjoy our modern-day marshmallows, and it’s nice to see that vegan and kosher varieties are now more widely available. An occasional fluffernutter sandwich, rice krispy square, MallowCup, or smores beside a campfire can be a fun treat, right?
Speaking of treats, here’s a recipe for our family’s favorite marshmallow dessert, cookie pizza. Enjoy!
- Your favorite sugar cookie dough (we use Betty Crocker’s Sugar Cookie Mix, but you can use the already-prepared 18oz pkg of refrigerated dough)
- 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
- 2 cups M&Ms
- 2 cups mini-marshmallows
- 1/2 cup peanuts (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F, or per sugar cookie baking instructions. Divide dough, and press into 2 ungreased pie pans. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden. Cool.
2. In either a saucepan on the stove or in the microwave, melt chips and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and blended. Spread over crusts. Sprinkle with remaining ingredients.
Bake 4 minutes, or until marshmallows are lightly toasted. Cool and cut into wedges.
Want to read more about marshmallows?
NATIONAL TOASTED MARSHMALLOW DAY – August 30 | National Day Calendar
Wikipedia: Marshmallow (includes a video link as to how marshmallow was made from the root)
Boyer Candies (makers of MalloCups)
Do you enjoy toasting marshmallows, or using them in a recipe? I’d love to hear from you.
Until next time,
6 thoughts on “August 30, National Toasted Marshmallow Day”
This just proves I need to get out more Kathy. I had no idea there was an actual marshmallow plant. Which I’m quite sure is or was a healthier way of eating the marshmallow. The only time I eat marshmallows is when we go camping or to the beach with an open campfire. Nothing like eating this gooey toasted treat with friends. And now I want to go camping. ?
I’m ready to pull out the autumn firebowl and roast marshmallows! Still too hot around here for that. Maybe one of these days, Karen, we’ll do it together. *wink*
Oh my Gosh, my husband is a marshmallow freak! Anything marshmallow, he’ll eat. I’m not so crazy about it, but then again I’m not that crazy about sweets in general. I eat very few desserts, sweet snacks or candy.
I did wonder though, if marshmallow root was still used in modern marshmallow making. Every time I have marshmallows in my pantry, I fail to read the label. When I think about reading the label – no marshmallows. Figures. Thanks for clearing that up.
As always, good stuff Miss Kathy.
w/a Jansen Schmidt
Thanks, Patricia! I’ll bet there are marshmallows available that are made the old-fashioned way. I’ve never tasted them. I don’t eat a lot of sweets, either, but every once in a while I’ll get a craving for something marshmallow-y. Hope hubby got his fill!
Let me just attest from first hand experience as to the absolute decadence of cookie pizza. The name says it all.
And I’m making it again, in just a few days! Hold onto your waistline….
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