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! A thick coconut and chocolate mixture is formed around a jumbo marshmallow and rolled in more coconut. This is one serious cookie!
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. My adventure starts right here with these Jumbo Marshmallow Balls!
INTRODUCING LORD BYRON’S 24 COOKIES OF CHRISTMAS SERIES!
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!
MORE CHRISTMAS COOKIE RECIPES!
Did you know that I’ve been posting a 24 Cookies of Christmas series for a few years now? There are over 100 Christmas cookie recipes that you can find right here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen! To make it easier to find, I have created a page for each series. Just click on the image below and you’ll find the full series for that volume all one page!
LET’S GET STARTED!
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.
IT’S A NO-BAKE RECIPE!
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.
VEGAN MARSHMALLOWS FROM TRADER JOE’S
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.
HERE IS WHAT YOU WILL NEED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE:
- Graham Crumbs – Easily found in the baking section of any grocery store, these are crushed graham crackers. You can use whole crackers and crush them yourself using a food processor.
- Coconut – Baking coconut comes in sweetened and unsweetened and in different sizes. Unless otherwise stated, use unsweetened coconut when baking otherwise the result might be too sweet. Be sure to check the size too – is it supposed to be shredded, grated, etc? The size of the coconut will affect the outcome of your recipe.
- Cocoa Powder – Cocoa powder is an unsweetened chocolate product which adds deep chocolate flavor to desserts and beverages. Use a good quality cocoa powder, not the kind we used to stir into milk as kids!
- Canned Condensed Milk – This recipe has not been tested with low fat condensed milk. Depending on where you live, the size of the can my differ. Be sure to have the full 14 ounces!
- Butter – Make sure your butter is at room temperature! To be perfectly honest, I have made these with both salted and unsalted butter and there’s no difference in taste or appearance once all is said and done. Use what you have on hand.
- Vanilla Extract – Probably the most common extract and the most common flavouring used in cakes and cookies. You can substitute vanilla extract for other flavoured extracts in most recipes if you don’t care for vanilla flavour.
- Marshmallows – Every kid loves the taste and texture of a marshmallow! They are soft and puffy with just the right amount of sweetness and vanilla flavour. You can find them in all shapes and colours too – and vegan too! For this recipe, you will need the large marshmallows.
THESE ARE BEST FROZEN!
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.
These cookies will stay fresh for about 3-5 days in a covered container and in a cool place. But, if you plan to freeze these cookies, use a food-safe container that can be frozen. You’ll want to ensure a very tight fitting lid too. (I use these quite often when freezing baked goods.) I like to place a sheet of plastic wrap over the top of the container before pushing the lid on. This helps to create a better seal. The goal is to keep all of that cookie freshness locked in!
MORE CHRISTMAS CONFECTIONS!
In some cases, we want more than a cookie. That’s why I have two more Christmas-themed collections you might want to consider. The first, is my 12 Bundt Cakes of Christmas, and the second is my 12 Biscotti of Christmas. Click on the image below to see each collection all on one page with links to each recipe!
You can freeze these cookies for up to three months. They will come out of the freezer looking just like they did when you put them in there. If you decide to thaw them, which you should if you want to slice them, just lay them out in a single layer on a cooling rack for 20 minutes or so. Once thawed, they will taste just as fresh, and be just as delicious, as the day you first made them.
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!
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.