Why You Should Always Keep Marshmallows In Your Pantry

Pantry staples are usually made up of obvious items like sugar, flour, or canned goods, yet there is a strong case to be made for marshmallows. The first obvious reason is that they are delightful and delicious, with that unique fluffy, sticky texture that makes s'mores so popular. It's not a thing that can be easily recreated with other ingredients, and although homemade marshmallows are great, they aren't really a convenient choice for quick additions to other recipes. The bigger reason for promoting marshmallows to the level of pantry staple is that they're surprisingly versatile in a wide range of desserts, baking applications, and even snacks and dinners.

Marshmallows are usually thought of as an ingredient that you only need if a recipe is specifically built around them, but it's more accurate to think of them like a condiment. Marshmallows can be added in large or small amounts to transform a recipe, or just add a little extra textural element and pop of vanilla sweetness. There's almost no class of goods that they don't work with; marshmallows can be mixed whole into doughs, or they can be melted down with butter for a gooey and satisfying glaze or topping. They can be made into a filling, or used as binder. And the simple, sugary flavor of marshmallows is relatively neutral, pairing well with almost every flavor from sweet potato casserole to peanut butter fluffernutter.

Marshmallows can improve everything from cakes to casseroles to cocktails

Some classic marshmallow recipes like Rice Krispies treats are reason enough to keep them stocked, but they also make a great and easy addition to cookies. You can mix bite-sized chunks into chocolate chip cookies for a tasty s'mores riff, and they complement red velvet and birthday cake cookies as well. Marshmallows can be easily transformed into frosting, filling, or fluff by just heating them with some corn syrup. You can layer or frost it onto cakes and cupcakes, and it makes an easy alternative to meringue on top of pies. One of the simplest uses for marshmallows is with fresh, warm brownies, as they can just be sprinkled on during the last few minutes of baking to create a creamy topping.

Their usefulness doesn't stop with baking. Sweet potatoes and marshmallows make for a classic casserole that doesn't need to be limited to Thanksgiving, and the treats work with savory squashes like acorn too. Marshmallows also make essential appearances in some old-school, but still delicious, dishes like ambrosia salad, which delivers a fresh and fruity bite. Finally, you can take inspiration from hot chocolate and use marshmallows to flavor a variety of drinks, including milkshakes, blended coffee drinks or lattes, and creamy cocktails featuring Baileys or Kahlúa. Or, go all out with toasted marshmallow shot glasses for your next spirit indulgence. As a pantry staple, marshmallows have so many possibilities that they won't be sitting there very long.