A popular Christmastime treat in Newfoundland, Jumbo Marshmallow Balls are cookies that make you feel as though you were eating candy. Serve whole or sliced, but best when frozen!
Dear Reader, you know how much I love Christmas, and you know how much I love to prepare Christmas cookies, squares, and cakes. Well, this Christmas season, I’ve decided to try something a little adventurous – maybe a little crazy – but, I think it’s going to be a lot of fun at the same time.
In typical Christmas advent fashion, Lord Byron’s Kitchen will be publishing a Christmas-themed cookie, bar, or square, for twenty four consecutive days. That’s right, Dear Reader, even on the weekends! So, starting today, with this Jumbo Marshmallow Balls recipe, there will be a new recipe posted every day, finishing up on December 24th.
I’m calling it Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas! It’s a huge undertaking for me, but I’m looking forward to it. I certainly don’t mind baking, and I certainly don’t mind writing up a recipe post or taking photographs. The only thing I’m worried about is keeping up with this crazy idea of mine!
Every day, I will post the new recipe and link back to the previous recipes in the 24 Cookies of Christmas series. Just know that if you’re looking for Christmas cakes or anything other than cookies, squares, and bars, you will not find any in this series. But, look for the Christmas tab at the top of this page; there are many other Christmas baking recipes for you there.
Okay, let’s get started. As I mentioned already, I’m starting Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series with my Jumbo Marshmallow Balls recipe. There are two reasons I’ve decided to post this recipe first – um… actually, there’s three reasons.
The first reason is that this is the one Christmastime treat that reminds me of my mom the most. She used to make these every Christmas without fail. She would use the jumbo coloured marshmallows – you know the ones; there’s green, pink, yellow, etc. – but, I’m using just the white. Besides, I have not seen the coloured marshmallows in years!
Christmastime wasn’t the only time of year mom would make these Jumbo Marshmallow Balls, but it certainly was a regular Christmastime cookie staple. Like you see in the photos, mom would slice them right down the middle if serving them as a part of a dessert option.
But, if the kids wanted one just as a snack or a treat, she would let us have a whole ball. It was always so much fun to see what colour we were going to get when we bit into it. Isn’t it funny how the little things amused us so much when we were kids!? Those days are gone. Now, kids need expensive electronics or instant streaming video to be amused at all.
The second reason I decided to publish this recipe first, is because I wanted to publish a recipe that was easy and no-bake. If you’re going to follow me on this journey, and if you’re going to make 24 different cookies, squares, or bars over the next 24 days, I thought we might just ease into it a bit first.
Lastly, the third reason is quite funny – or weird – actually. Both John.e and McKenna are vegetarians and can’t eat marshmallows because of the gelatin. Well, I found these vegan marshmallows at Trader Joe’s a few months ago, bought them in a hurry, and have been dying to make something with them.
You, of course, do not need to use vegan marshmallows. Even though they taste exactly the same as regular marshmallows, there are two differences that I noticed. First, the vegan marshmallows are not as squishy, and secondly, they are not as big. Your Jumbo Marshmallow Balls will be more round and plump if using regular marshmallows.
If using regular rather than vegan, you’ll also get a whiter interior when you slice through the ball. Vegan marshmallows have a slightly yellow tint to them, which you can see in the photographs here.
When making Jumbo Marshmallow Balls, be sure to use fine grain coconut. The balls will roll much better if you do. Be sure to refrigerate the chocolate cookie batter before attempting to roll it around the marshmallows. It’s super sticky and will be nearly impossible to work with unless you refrigerate it.
I think these are best served frozen. But, that’s just my preference. If you plan to slice them to serve, I would recommend you slice the balls from a frozen state. Otherwise, you’ll squish the ball and it won’t look as clean or pretty. Just set the balls cut side up on a serving platter for five minutes or so if you plan to serve them at room temperature.
Well, there you have it! Day 1 of Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series; starting with my mom’s favourite treat, the Jumbo Marshmallow Ball. I just know you’ll love this one, especially if you love marshmallows. Kid friendly, adult approved, and just plain fun to make!
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Jumbo Marshmallow Balls
- 1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
- 2 cups shredded coconut, unsweetened, fine or medium shred
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder heaping cup
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk
- 1/3 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 24 whole jumbo marshmallows
- Add the graham crumbs, half of the coconut, and cocoa powder to a large bowl and whisk together to combine. Set aside.
- Whisk together the melted and cooled butter with the vanilla extract and condensed milk until well combined.
- Poor the wet mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until well mixed.
- Refrigerate the cookie dough for 30 minutes.
- Prepare a work station by adding the remaining one cup of coconut to a shallow bowl. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and set aside. Add some tap water to a small bowl, just big enough to dip your fingers into. Open the marshmallows and be sure they are separated and not sticking together.
- Once the cookie batter is chilled, use a cookie scoop to keep the balls as evenly sized as possible. About 1-11/2 tablespoons of cookie dough will work fine.
- Dip your fingers into the water and rub the water over the palms of your hands. Scoop the cookie dough into one palm, and using the thumb of your other hand, flatten the cookie dough to about 1/4 inch.
- Place a whole marshmallow into the center of the flattened cookie dough Fold the dough over the marshmallow and roll the whole thing together into a uniform ball using your palms.
- Once round, roll the ball into the bowl of coconut and gently place the ball onto the parchment-lined baking pan. Continue until all of the cookie dough has been used up.
- Once done, place the cookies into the freezer for 1 hour to set up.
- Serve whole, or slice in half. If slicing, use a sharp knife and slice while the ball is still frozen. It’s easier to slice a marshmallow while frozen than at room temperature.
- Keep balls frozen until ready to eat. Once sliced, allow balls to sit at room temperature for 5 minutes before serving.
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