Tuttiest Fruitiest Rocky Road BarsHello! Guys, it's been awhile since my last post, but I promise you I'm really not asleep over here. And it won't be like this forever! Pinkie swear. Just a few more months of the crazy book recipe testing schedule, and then there will be a shift. (You might even get too much of me and my blog posts at that point, because I've adapted to very long hours of baking and writing, and now I can't imagine it any other way.) Thank you so much for understanding and not forgetting about me. ♥ So this unusual recipe I made this week has been one pinned to my Pinterest board via Bistro Gerard for months--I forgot about it, but when I saw it there again the other day, I had to make it. For such a simple, no-bake treat, it's a complete delight. With white chocolate, marshmallows, fruity jelly candy and dried cranberries, it's definitely on the seriously sweet side of the rocky road, but the macadamia nuts and pistachios add the most addictive crunch (and salt) factor. Although it has a holiday appeal, it seems like an any-time-of-the-year confection to me. (However, if my annual July-birthday-pumpkin-pie-request is any indication, you may not be able to trust me--I'm a little backwards when it comes to seasonal desserts.)
I made only minor changes to the recipe, which was really just about the quantity of each ingredient. It's one of those recipes, though, that you could really add anything and everything that appeals to you. I could see coconut, almonds and pretty much any dried fruit or nut, making a really summery version. The jelly fruit slices aren't something I would ever eat on their own (they're lovely, I just save those calories for bigger desserts), but it made me happy slicing these up for a recipe. They definitely add to the almost Willy Wonka-ness that I feel when I look at these bars. Like something you would eat in a magical land of confection.
I found that by using a good quality white chocolate, it really gives these a rich decadence that a lesser quality white chocolate might not give (think waxy versus creamy). It does take a pound of white chocolate, and along with the pistachios and macadamia nuts, it's not the most inexpensive treat you can make, but they are special and unique. And I can't get over how quick, easy and rewarding it is to make rocky road recipes! A welcomed change from the ever-baking-cake-junkie. And it's always awesome when my little cakelets can help out with a recipe. They loved removing the shells from the pistachios, weighing out the ingredients, choosing the colours of the jelly candies, and helping to stir the concoction once everything was added to the bowl. I think it still mystifies them when we make a dessert that transforms into something wonderful by simply placing it in the fridge. As though we missed a very important bake-it-in-the-magic-oven step.
So now that I'm rapidly gaining what I've affectionately called "book-baby weight," I'm sitting here staring at these, trying to figure out how many *not* to eat. Help!
Tuttiest Fruitiest Rocky Road Bars
Colorful and decadent white chocolate rocky road bars filled with fruity marshmallows, fruity jelly candy, macadamia nuts, dried cranberries and pistachios.
- 454 grams best-quality white chocolate (chopped (I used <a href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000C4S28G/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B000C4S28G&linkCode=as2&tag=sweetapolit00-20">Callebaut White Callets </a><img src="http://ir-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/ir?t=sweetapolit00-20&l=as2&o=1&a=B000C4S28G" width="1" height="1" border="0" alt="" style="border:none !important;margin:0px !important" />))
- 3 cups 150 g mini coloured marshmallows
- 150 g jelly fruit candy (about 10 jelly fruit slices, cut into small pieces)
- 1/2 cup 70 g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped
- Scant 1/2 cup (50 g dried cranberries)
- 1/2 cup 50 g shelled pistachios, roasted
- Spray an 8 x 8 square pan with cooking spray, and then line with parchment paper, leaving a few inches overhang on two sides.
- In a large bowl, gently toss the 2-1/2 cups of the marshmallows, fruit candy pieces, macadamia nuts, cranberries and pistachios.
- In a heatproof bowl, melt the white chocolate in the microwave, in 30-second increments, or over a pot of barely simmering water on the stovetop. Pour the melted chocolate over the marshmallow mixture and mix until everything is coated in chocolate. Pour into the prepared pan and spread evenly using a small offset spatula. Place the remaining marshmallows randomly on top of the bars, pressing each one down gently to secure.
- Chill for at least one hour. Remove from pan by lifting excess parchment paper, and place onto a cutting board. Cut into 12 rectangles. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
Slightly adapted from Bistro Gerard
- Since white chocolate is the "glue" keeping all of this colourful awesomeness together, try to use the best white chocolate you can find. It will give the bars a noticeable decadence and creaminess. I used Callebeaut White Chocolate Callets (I also love that it's in callet/chip form--so easy to melt).
- You can use any fruit-flavoured jelly candy you like. I used Pizazz Fruit Jelly Slices (found at Bulk Barn, for my fellow Canadian friends)--they're just so pretty! They're very similar to these Fruit Slices, made in the USA.
- I used an 8 x 8" cake pan, but of course you can use any size you have. The larger the pan, the thinner the bars will be; the smaller the pan, the thicker the bars will be (you get the idea).
- If you can't find certain ingredients or want to use what you have on hand, I could safely bet that any nut and dried fruit combination would work beautifully in this recipe. Have fun and experiment!