I’m a big advocate of using local ingredients to bake. My #1 favorite local ingredient is Sweet Lydia’s marshmallows. Not only are they made from scratch, but the fruit ones use REAL fruit (no artificial stuff) and Lydia is just about the nicest person you’ll ever meet.
This recipe is a really nice spin on the “rice cereal treat” – it uses toasted oat cereal and adds a layer of tartness with dried cranberries. Super easy, and used ingredients that I had in the house. I was eager to take this to the next level with my favorite flavor: raspberry marshmallows. This is a five-ingredient recipe!
As you may see in her shop, she makes individually-packaged s’mores and tons of other stuff with her marshmallows. Raspberry is my favorite flavor, but I also thought it would be a really nice complement to the dried cranberries in the recipe. (I was right – super tart!) I should pause and mention here that any of her products also make the best kind of wedding favors. If I were to get married all over again, the s’mores would be given to all my guests! They’re totally customizable, and she ships anywhere in the US.
I mean, look at those marshmallows. They’re like pillows. Homemade marshmallows are like heaven; they don’t have any of the preservatives of store-bought marshmallows, and the fact that Lydia uses real fruit in hers… I could go on and on. Two bags of these marshmallows was almost exactly 10 ounces, which is what I needed for the recipe. The pink color that it adds is so awesome and punk rock, and it adds even more fruit flavor to each bar. The bars ended up tangy and not overly sweet, and the dried cranberries added a nice juicy difference in texture as well.
Toasted oat cereal bars with raspberry marshmallows and dried cranberries
Adapted from Martha Stewart’s recipe
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 bags of Sweet Lydia’s raspberry marshmallows
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 cups toasted oat cereal
1 cup dried cranberries
Spray a 10-by-15-inch baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add marshmallows and salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until marshmallows have melted, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in cereal and dried cranberries with a spatula.
Immediately transfer mixture to prepared baking sheet. Using the same spatula, or a spatula coated with cooking spray, press in quickly and firmly. Let cool, about 1 and a half hours.
One last tip: don’t use a freezer to cool it, or it’ll fall apart when you remove it. Let it cool at room temperature and you’ll have a much more stable dessert.