“Sugar Mommas” Kimberly “Momma” Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero, authors of “Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story,” were quick to alleviate the fears expressed by recipe submitter, Kevin Listen, that his mother’s recipe for Magic Marshmallow Puffs weren’t “highbrow” enough for their cookbook. Wrote the authors, “What? Oh, you are so wrong, Mr. Listen! Magic Marshmallow Puffs are a fabulous recipe created by a mom to serve to her babes after a long, cold day snowed in at the ranch. If it makes our eyebrows pop up, it’s highbrow enough for us! This recipe embodies the Sugar, Sugar spirit.” And, so the goodness flows, from one sweet recipe to the next, for tarts and pies, cookies and bars, candy and confections – including one for Momma Reiner’s legendary homemade marshmallows – all chronicled in a cookbook as noteworthy for its rich stories as it is for its recipes. As dessert historians and guardians of some of the most beloved dessert recipes from families across America, Reiner and Sanz-Agero not only celebrate the sweet life, but are actively involved in preserving it, as well. To read more about the Sugar Mommas, “Sugar, Sugar,” or to view additional recipes, visit www.sugarsugarrecipes.com.
Recipes courtesy “Sugar, Sugar: Every Recipe Has a Story,” by Kimberly “Momma” Reiner and Jenna Sanz-Agero/Andrews McMeel Publishing (www.andrewsmcmeel.com); photographs by Sara Remington. Reprinted with permission.
Sue Ade is a syndicated food writer with broad experience and interest in the culinary arts. She has worked and resided in the Lowcountry of South Carolina since 1985 and may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Buffalo Chip Cookies
Submitted by Irene Mangum — From Dorothy Cassidy Gayden’s recipe, East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana
Irene remembers her mother, Dorothy Cassidy Gayden, making these cookies when she was growing up in the 1940’s and ’50’s on the Sunnyslope Plantation in East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana. Irene always assumed that the recipe originated in Texas because “All we’ve got here is alligators and snakes. We don’t have buffalo in Louisiana!”
4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature (Irene uses Land O’Lakes)
1 cup vegetable shortening
1 (16-ounce) box light brown sugar
2 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
2 cups cornflakes
1 (12-ounce) package semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped pecans (optional)
Nostalgic ingredient: buffalo
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper (do not use non-stick cooking spray).
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside. Place the butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until creamy. Reduce the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla. Add the flour mixture a little at a time, and blend until smooth. Remove the bowl from the stand. Mix by hand from this point forward. Use a spatula or wooden spoon to fold in the oats, cornflakes, chocolate chips and pecans, if desired. These cookies are gigantic. Use a tablespoon to drop 2 heaping spoonfuls of dough onto the baking sheet for each cookie, placing the cookies about 2 inches apart. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are lightly golden. Remove from the oven and cool for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to let cool completely. Makes about 3 dozen large cookies
Magic Marshmallow Puffs
Submitted by Kevin Listen — From his mother Janet Sue Holland Listen’s recipe, Groom, Texas
Janet Sue Holland grew up in Groom, Texas, a town of eight square miles with one stoplight. She married and moved to the significantly larger municipality of Greeley, Colorado. In the 1960s, Janet came across a recipe for Magic Marshmallow Puffs and created her own version to serve to her two very active sons, Kevin and Kregg.
¼ cup (½ stick) butter, melted
½ cup cinnamon sugar (see Old School tip below)
3 packages (8 pieces each) Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls
24 large marshmallows (recipes follow)
1 batch Magic Marshmallow Puff Icing (recipe follows)
Nostalgic ingredient: rabbit in a hat
Magic Marshmallow Puff Icing
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons whole milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Place the confectioners’ sugar in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk until the icing reaches the desired consistency— thin enough to drizzle but not runny. Add the vanilla and mix well.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Liberally butter two standard 12-cup muffin pans (or use nonstick cooking spray). Place the melted butter in a small bowl. Place the cinnamon sugar in another small bowl. On a lightly floured work surface, remove the crescent dough from the packaging and carefully unroll each flat triangular section as you go (no need to separate in advance). Dip 1 marshmallow in the melted butter, then roll it in the cinnamon sugar. Wrap the marshmallow tightly in one triangle of dough, rolling from the wide end and tucking under the edges until the marshmallow is completely sealed in dough. Place it in one cup of the muffin pan. Repeat with the remaining marshmallows and dough. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 1 to 2 minutes. Arrange the warm puffs on a serving plate and drizzle with the icing. Enjoy while warm and fresh from the oven. Makes 24 puffs. Old school tip: If you don’t have premixed cinnamon sugar lying around, make your own by mixing ½ cup granulated sugar with 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon.
Momma Reiner’s Homemade Marshmallows
Submitted by Kimberly “Momma” Reiner
“It’s never too late to start new rituals and create special family memories. Momma Reiner’s Fudge started with an old family recipe, but it was the fudge-dipped marshmallows that garnered the attention of Oprah and Martha Stewart. This delicacy was developed on a whim while stirring fudge one day. I noticed a bag of marshmallows and thought, “I’d bet those would taste good dipped in my fudge.” And they did. I then sought to create my own marshmallows suited exactly to my tastes.” – Kimberly “Momma” Reiner
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
½ cup cold water
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
½ cup hot water
¼ teaspoon salt
2 egg whites
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup cornstarch, plus more for dusting
½ cup confectioners’ sugar
Nostalgic ingredient: “Sugar, Sugar” by the Sugar Mommas
Lightly coat a 12 x 8-inch glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine the gelatin and cold water. Set aside to soften while you make the syrup. Place the granulated sugar, corn syrup, hot water and salt in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking without stirring until the mixture reaches about 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (the soft-ball stage, when syrup dropped into ice water may easily be formed into a soft ball with your hands). Remove from the heat. Gently add the gelatin to the syrup mixture, stirring until the gelatin is dissolved. Set the mixture aside. Place the egg whites in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat on high speed until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to low, and slowly add the syrup mixture. Add the vanilla and continue whipping on high speed for 10 minutes, or until the mixture looks like marshmallow creme. Use a spatula to pour the mixture into the baking dish and spread evenly. Coat a piece of parchment paper (the size of the dish) with nonstick cooking spray and cover the marshmallow, using your hands to create an even surface. Let the marshmallow set at room temperature overnight before cutting. Turn the marshmallow out of the baking dish onto a work surface lightly dusted with cornstarch. Lightly coat a sharp knife with nonstick cooking spray and cut the marshmallow into 1½ -inch squares. Combine the cornstarch and confectioners’ sugar in a bowl. Gently toss the marshmallow squares in the mixture, a few at a time, to coat them lightly. Store at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 1 week. Makes about 40 marshmallows.