September 24, 2010 7:08 PM   Subscribe

I'm baking whoopie pies and I don't have marshmallow fluff. Can I just melt marshmallows instead? In microwave or on the stove?
posted by leigh1 to Food & Drink (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How about making a simple frosting from powdered sugar, butter, and milk? Something like this. I think that's a better plan than trying to melt marshmallows.
posted by Bella Sebastian at 7:12 PM on September 24, 2010

I have no experience baking whoopie pies or using marshmallow fluff, but I can tell you that microwaving marshmallows is a quick path to kitchen disaster. My siblings and I used to like microwaving one marshmallow at a time as kids and watching it swell up to five times its size before deflating into a gooey, horrible mess. Wonderful fun, but a terrible idea if you're planning on doing any actual cooking.

Admittedly, I'm relatively new to New England, but I hadn't realized marshmallow fluff was an integral part of whoopie pies. Isn't it usually just piles and piles of sweetened whipped cream?
posted by Diagonalize at 7:13 PM on September 24, 2010

Have you seen what happens to marshmallows in the microwave? It's sort of fun but make sure you're ready for it. I think you're better of going with some sort of cream filling over marshmallow (or the old standard, whipped sweetened lard) though I think melted marshmallow would work.
posted by jessamyn at 7:14 PM on September 24, 2010

[this is feistycakes posting on vrakatar's account ...]

Yes! You can melt marshmallows, but i'd recommend a really sloooooowwww melt on the stove [have you ever done Peep jousting? marshmallows blow up in the microwave], and probably you should add a tablespoon or so of butter [maybe corn syrup?] to try to recreate a Fluff-like texture.

Is it for the filling? Or for the cake?
posted by vrakatar at 7:15 PM on September 24, 2010

Oh, I didn't know they blow up in microwave:)
Ok, I will try melting it on the stove.
It's for this recipe (batter turned out great). Thanks!
posted by leigh1 at 7:24 PM on September 24, 2010

If you have a gas stove or access to fire, I think toasted marshmallows in the middle would be a delicious variation if you end up not doing the melting marshmallows thing.
posted by AlisonM at 7:40 PM on September 24, 2010 [1 favorite]

i have used whoopie pie/oatmeal cream pie recipes in which the filling recipe requires you to melt marshmallows in the micro (with a little water added and stirred often it's no big deal) and then mix your goo with butter/shortening/vanilla extract in order to make a filling. it can be nervewracking with butter instead of shortening but it always turns out delish.
posted by quiteliterally at 7:48 PM on September 24, 2010

If you find a recipe that makes the filling about 95% from shortening, that's the traditional way. Never seen them with marshmallow--sounds like two great New England sweets conflated.
posted by theredpen at 7:50 PM on September 24, 2010

I'd use a double boiler, or a metal prep bowl over a pot of hot water.
posted by nicwolff at 8:01 PM on September 24, 2010

(The google says to add ΒΌ cup corn syrup for each 16 oz of marshmallows.)
posted by nicwolff at 8:05 PM on September 24, 2010

Great, thanks for all the tips!
posted by leigh1 at 8:20 PM on September 24, 2010

Isn't it usually just piles and piles of sweetened whipped cream?

It's usually buttercream, though some shortening-based versions are used. Marshmallows are another alternative. May be regional.
posted by cmgonzalez at 8:49 PM on September 24, 2010

If you want to melt marshmallows in the microwave, add a tablespoon of water and butter. Only microwave it 20 seconds at first, then 10 seconds, and stir well after each microwaving. Be sure to grease everything you don't want coated in marshmallow.

Like melting chocolate in the microwave, you want to pull it out when the pieces are still intact, and stir to distribute the remaining heat.

Also, if you do manage to accidentally char some pockets of marshmallow, you can pull the hardened burned pieces out easily, and it won't affect the rest of the bowl. (yes, I bake with poor planing and limited supplies, how could you tell?)

Also, if you're up for a challenge, you could make your own marshmallows from scratch
posted by fontophilic at 9:00 PM on September 24, 2010 [2 favorites]

I have done this & yes I added a little bit of butter and I heated the marshmallows the same way I heat chocolate: over boiling water. Bigger pot of boiling water with a littler metal bowl/pot of marshmallows. This makes it much much easier to handle as it melts more slowly & most importantly doesn't scorch or burn the little buggers. This is especially key if you are using a gas stove which can heat up very quickly.
posted by zenon at 10:08 AM on September 25, 2010

I can't speak about whoopie pie recipes, or the difference between marshmallow fluff vs marshmallow creme/cream, but I do know that (regional names for the same recipe) makes a concoction very similar to the marshmallow stuff in the jar. YMMV.
posted by CathyG at 2:29 PM on September 25, 2010

grrrrr - missing link....

Boiled Frosting, Sea Foam Frosting, Seven Minute Frosting
posted by CathyG at 2:31 PM on September 25, 2010

GathyG: I've noticed two differences between marshmallow fluff & marshmallow creme/cream.

1: fluff is not very fluffy & is rather heavy relative to the lightness of marshmellows.
2: fluff is vegi friendly - no animal products (which are used in the mellows to make them fluffy and shelf stable for ages).
posted by zenon at 7:01 PM on September 27, 2010

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