If the only time you buy marshmallows is in preparation for a campfire, it's time to stretch your perception of the fluffy stuff! New York City pastry chef Christina Tosi, owner of Momofuku Milk Bar and the queen of kitschy desserts, shares four recipes that max out their potential.
Root Beer & Orange Slushie Sundaes with Toasted Marshmallows
Strawberry Marshmallow & Cracker Cake
"The play of sweet and salty is typical of what we do at Milk Bar. So much of good cooking and baking is about smart contrasts. Desserts are most flavorful when they have a salty component."
Coffee-Marshmallow Crispies with Chocolate & Cherries and Almonds
"This is like a Rice Krispies Treat meeting a grown-up trail mix: childhood meets adulthood, lowbrow meets highbrow. It's my 'don't take yourself so seriously' approach to baking."
Lemon Cream Pie with Marshmallow & Pistachio Crust
"I made an easy crust with pistachios and Fluff, then used toasted marshmallows instead of meringue. If you stare at an ingredient long enough, fun twists like that are around the corner!"
S.O.S. FOR STORE-BOUGHT MARSHMALLOWS
To keep summer heat from getting the best of your 'mallows, steal these tips from Tosi.
- NUKE 'EM BACK TO LIFE. If your marshmallows have lost their freshness and fluff, take them out of the bag and heat in the microwave covered with a damp paper towel for a few seconds.
- IF YOU CAN'T SAVE 'EM, CHAR 'EM. Even if marshmallows have formed a firm outer crust and lost their smushiness ("They remind me of Lucky Charms marshmallows at this point," Tosi says), they'll still taste great toasted. Use the broiler for a quick indoor fix: Set marshmallows on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil and remove when brown on the top.
- TRY THIS DE-STICK TRICK. Marshmallow cream has a thing for clinging to fingers. And spatulas. And measuring cups. Wet your hands and tools before working with it. "Then again," Tosi says, "licking your fingers isn't the worst thing that could happen."
At her five Milk Bar locations (milkbarstore .com), Christina Tosi and her team offer unique treats like Cinnamon Bun Pie and Cereal Milk Soft Serve. Find more of her recipes in the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook ($35, amazon.com).