Large, fluffy marshmallows are dipped into a silky, smooth, and thick caramel, and then rolled into crushed cereal; these Marshmallow Caramel Balls are chilled until ready to eat! Super freezer friendly, but can be easily stored in your refrigerator for well over a week!
I have to confess that this Marshmallow Caramel Balls recipe is not mine. In fact, I have copied it directly from a friend of mine. I’ve shared her recipes a few times over the years. She is a wonderful baker and many of the recipes that she makes are the same recipes my mom used to make. I might not have my mom’s hand-written recipe notes, but I can always rely on my friend, Alvena, to get a reliable recipe that tastes just like my mom’s! Thank you, Alvena!
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This was a recipe that she had shared to her personal Facebook page just before last Christmas. I have been hanging on to it for over a year. Ha! I knew it would make a great addition to my 12 No Bake Christmas Treats series. It is one of those recipes that requires just a few ingredients. And, you get to play with melted caramel and marshmallows! What could be more fun than that!?
MARSHMALLOWS ARE OFTEN USED IN NO-BAKE TREATS
I used to not make many confections with marshmallows until recently. I do love them, but after just one or two, I seem to go into sugar shock. Ha! When it comes to snacks and treats, I’m all about salty snacks. I can easily forego sugary snacks. I’m one of those people who will eat one or two of something and then I don’t want to see it anymore. I bake a lot, so it’s quite common to try one or two of whatever it is, and package the rest up for a friend or a neighbour. In some cases, especially if I make something with chocolate, John.e refuses to let me get rid of it. He loves chocolate!
As you know, Dear Reader, John.e is a vegetarian and marshmallows have gelatin in them. Gelatin is made with collagen from animal parts, so obviously, he isn’t going to eat anything with marshmallows in it. Sounds gross, doesn’t it!? So, I was quite happy to find vegan marshmallows, and now I can make more marshmallow treats. You can 100% use Dandies Vegan Marshmallows in this recipe. In this case, I used real marshmallows, because he didn’t want to be tempted to eat any!
INGREDIENTS NEEDED FOR THIS RECIPE:
- Kraft Caramels – These individually wrapped soft caramels are the only caramels I ever use! They’re a pain to unwrap, especially when you need to unwrap 90 of them, but it’s worth the effort in the end!
- Butter – I used salted butter, because I knew the salt would help to balance the sweetness.
- Canned Sweetened Condensed Milk – I have not tested this recipe with low-fat condensed milk. Depending on where you live, the size of the can may differ. Be sure to have the full 14 ounces!
- Marshmallows – I used regular large marshmallows. Again, you can use the vegan marshmallows if you wish.
- Cereal – I used crushed Special K cereal here, but you can also use Rice Krispies, Corn Flakes, etc. Just be sure to slightly crush the cereal to get maximum caramel coverage.
SWEETENED CONDENSED MILK
I have a lot of recipes here at Lord Byron’s Kitchen with sweetened condensed milk as one of the ingredients. (Click here to see them!) Growing up in Newfoundland, it was always something I’ve been aware of. But, that’s not the case for everyone. I get many questions from readers about it. For someone not familiar with the gooey, sticky canned milk, it might be easily confused with canned Carnation condensed milk, for instance. Let me explain what it is here.
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So, first of all, it’s condensed. The milk is condensed by removing water. This can be accomplished by applying heat. The water will evaporate causing the milk to condense, which thickens the milk. Sugar is added to sweeten it. The main purpose of adding sugar is to prolong the shelf life of condensed milk, which can sit on room temperature shelves for years. Sugar will prevent microorganisms from growing in the milk and help to thicken it even further—it’s added after the milk is boiled, reduced, and pasteurized.
If you find an unsweetened condensed milk, it’s most likely that it’s simply evaporated milk or condensed milk, which is thick, but not gooey and sticky. Evaporated milk is often used as a cream added to tea or coffee. If you are unfamiliar with it, please read the can carefully. Also, shake it – can you feel the liquid splashing about inside the can? If so, it’s not sweetened condensed milk; it’s evaporated or condensed milk only!
I mentioned in the ingredient list above that you will need 90 individual Kraft caramels to make this recipe. Most commonly, unless you are shopping at a baking supply or bulk store, Kraft caramels are sold in bags. To take out the guesswork for you, 90 individual caramels translates to about 740 grams. In my neck of the woods, caramels are usually found in packs weighing 246 grams, so I needed 3 packages.
I’m including this tidbit of information, because you might not have access to Kraft caramels. Even if you do, you have the option of using other brands. I used Kraft because it’s a brand I trust when baking. You can use Mackintosh’s caramels, which I think is a Scottish-made candy. You can also use Werther’s. Just make sure they are the originals. Brach’s is also a great brand.
In the United States, you can find Kraft Caramel Bits. I love those things! A few years ago, I used them on a chocolate bark recipe and they were amazing! I cannot wait to get to to US to do some shopping again! This time, I’m going to stock my pantry really well!
HOW TO MAKE MARSHMALLOW CARAMEL BALLS
Everyone has their own way of making things, and I’m no different. For example, my friend, Alvena, prepared her version of these balls using a double boiler to melt the caramels and condensed milk mixture. I prefer to use my microwave. Because this recipe makes about 48 treats, the caramel mixture can cool down and get very thick. Pop it back into the microwave for 30 seconds to get it back to its melty, gooey consistency.
Place the unwrapped caramels, butter, and sweetened condensed milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high speed for 30 seconds. Remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Continue to microwave the mixture in 30-second increments until all of the ingredients are melted together and well combined.
Working with one marshmallow at a time, drop it into the warm caramel. Use a fork to push the marshmallow down into the caramel until fully submerged. Use the fork to lift the marshmallow out. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to encourage the excess caramel to drip off. Transfer the marshmallow to the bowl of crushed cereal and turn to fully coat. Place coated marshmallow on a parchment-lined platter. Once all marshmallows are coated, transfer platter to fridge and chill for 2 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated at all times.
Lord Byron’s Annual Christmas Cookie Series
Did you know that Lord Byron’s Kitchen has been sharing a 24 Cookies of Christmas Series for the past several years? Click on the links below to see all of the recipes from each series on one page!
STORING, PACKAGING, & FREEZING
When it comes to most no bake confections, they taste best at room temperature, but they don’t hold up well to being left out on your countertop for long periods of time. Some of them will stay fresh in a cookie jar or food-safe container with a lid for 3-5 days if left to sit on your kitchen countertop. But, others most certainly will not! If in doubt, store them in a food-safe container in your fridge. When you want one, two, or half a dozen, take them out of the container and place them in a single layer on a plate. Let them sit at room temperature for 5 minutes and they’re ready!
Most no-bake confections are made without the need to freeze them for long periods of time, but they can be frozen. Marshmallow Caramel Balls can be frozen! Once they are completely chilled, pile them into a clean, food-safe container. The container must be freezer friendly! 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 freshness locked in!
You can freeze these for up to three months. If you plan to give previously frozen confections as a gift, lay them out onto a wire cooling rack in a single layer to thaw out. Condensation might form and that’s normal. Giving them space to breath by not overlapping them will help to eliminate that. Once thawed, pile into cellophane bags and tie with a ribbon, or stack in a cookie tin/box.
If I have not answered all of your questions in the text above, don’t hesitate to reach out to me! You can contact me by sending me a message in the comments section further down the page. I will try my best to answer as soon as possible! You might reach me even faster by following me on Facebook and sending me a private message. Scroll down to follow me and never miss another recipe!
Finally, as I stated previously, every day I will be posting a new recipe. If you miss one, don’t fret. You can find my entire collection of Christmas Recipes right here! There are over 100 Christmas recipes and counting. There’s something for everyone! Cheers!
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Marshmallow Caramel Balls
- 740 grams Kraft Caramels (90 caramels, unwrapped)
- 1/4 cup salted butter
- 14 ounces canned sweetened condensed milk
- 48 large marshmallows
- 3 cups Special K Cereal, slightly crushed
- Place the Special K Cereal into a large resealable bag. Roll over the bag with a rolling pin to slightly crush the cereal. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
- Line a large platter or cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
- Place the unwrapped caramels, butter, and sweetened condensed milk into a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on high speed for 30 seconds. Remove and stir with a rubber spatula. Continue to microwave the mixture in 30-second increments until all of the ingredients are melted together and well combined.
- Working with one marshmallow at a time, drop it into the warm caramel. Use a fork to push the marshmallow down into the caramel until fully submerged. Use the fork to lift the marshmallow out. Tap the fork gently on the side of the bowl to encourage the excess caramel to drip off.
- Transfer the marshmallow to the bowl of crushed cereal and turn to fully coat.
- Place coated marshmallow on a parchment-lined platter.
- Once all marshmallows are coated, transfer platter to fridge and chill for 2 hours before serving. Keep refrigerated at all times.
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