Canadian Living - Holiday Entertaining - - Hoiday countdown -

Hands-on time: 45 min­utes

To­tal time: 4¼ hours

Makes: about 25 squares

These sky-high squares pack the flavours of your favourite fire­side treat into a deca­dent lay­ered hol­i­day dessert. Home­made marsh­mal­low may sound dif­fi­cult, but it is sur­pris­ingly easy to make and well worth the ef­fort.

1½ cups gra­ham cracker crumbs

⅓ cup but­ter, melted

1¼ cups gran­u­lated sugar

2 tbsp light-colour corn syrup

2 pkg un­flavoured gelatin

2 egg whites pinch salt

½ tsp vanilla

115 g milk choco­late (about 4 oz), chopped 55 g dark choco­late (about 2 oz), chopped ½ cup whip­ping cream (35%)

In bowl, mix to­gether gra­ham crumbs, but­ter and ¼ cup of the sugar un­til moist­ened. Press into bot­tom of parch­ment pa­per–lined 9-inch (2.5 L) square cake pan. Bake in 350°F oven un­til golden brown, about 12 min­utes. Let cool com­pletely; lightly grease ex­posed parch­ment pa­per. While crust is cool­ing, in saucepan, bring re­main­ing sugar, corn syrup and ⅓ cup wa­ter to boil over medium-high heat, stir­ring un­til sugar dis­solves. Boil, with­out stir­ring but brush­ing down side of pan with pas­try brush dipped in cold wa­ter, un­til candy ther­mome­ter reads 260°F or 1 tsp mix­ture dropped in cold wa­ter forms hard ball, about 8 min­utes. Re­move from heat. Mean­while, in small saucepan, sprin­kle gelatin over ½ cup cold wa­ter; let stand for 5 min­utes. Cook over low heat, stir­ring, un­til clear, 3 to 5 min­utes. Whisk into hot sugar syrup (mix­ture will bub­ble up). In stand mixer with whisk at­tach­ment, beat egg whites with salt un­til stiff peaks form. With ma­chine run­ning, grad­u­ally pour in sugar syrup, beat­ing on high speed un­til in­creased in vol­ume and cool, about 12 min­utes. Beat in vanilla. Im­me­di­ately scrape mix­ture over crust. Us­ing greased pal­ette knife or spat­ula, smooth top. Let stand, un­cov­ered, at room tem­per­a­ture un­til firm, about 3 hours. (Make-ahead: Cover and store at room tem­per­a­ture for up to 24 hours.)

In heat­proof bowl set over saucepan of gen­tly sim­mer­ing (not boil­ing) wa­ter, heat milk choco­late, dark choco­late and cream, stir­ring, un­til melted and smooth, about 5 min­utes. Re­move from heat; let cool for 5 min­utes. Pour over marsh­mal­low, smooth­ing top. Re­frig­er­ate un­til firm, about 30 min­utes.

Lift out onto cut­ting board; peel down sides of parch­ment pa­per. Us­ing hot knife, cut into squares. (Make-ahead: Layer be­tween waxed pa­per in air­tight con­tainer; re­frig­er­ate for up to 2 days.) per square: about 142 cal, 2 g pro, 7 g to­tal fat (4 g sat. fat), 19 g carb (1 g di­etary fi­bre, 15 g sugar), 14 mg chol, 61 mg sodium, 49 mg potas­sium. % RDI : 1% cal­cium, 4% iron, 4% vit A, 1% fo­late.

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