Napa Valley Chocolate Marshmallow Snowmen
At Napa Valley Chocolates in St. Helena, California, Candy Dreyer
delights in creating special holiday sweets, often with a touch of humor
that brings out the smiles. Favorites with her customers are these
NOTES: Buy candy designed to melt for coating or dipping; it's usually
found beside cooking chocolates at the supermarket. For easy dipping,
melt more than needed to coat the marshmallows; save the extra for other
uses. Candies suited for decorations (whole or cut in pieces) include
orange, green, or red gumdrops, black licorice sticks or thin black
licorice whips (or strings), small colored candies, miniature chocolate
chips, and colored sugars.
To make a drying rack for snowmen, cut top flaps from a corrugated
cardboard box, leaving a neat edge. Make holes in the corrugated edge by
pushing a craft or lollipop stick into the edge at 4-inch intervals.
Place a couple of food cans (3 to 4 pounds total) in the box so it will
sit steady. Push snowman-filled sticks into prepared holes to hold
confections vertically while candy firms.
Makes 6 marshmallow snowmen
Candies for decorating or dried currants
1 cup (6 ounces) chopped red, green, or brown
candy chips or chunks made for melted coatings
18 large marshmallows
6 (3 1/2-inch) wood craft sticks or (8-inch) cardboard lollipop sticks
2 cups (12 ounces) chopped white candy chips or
chunks made for melted coatings
1 to 2 teaspoons solid shortening (optional)
6 (4 x 8-inch) cellophane bags
Red or green ribbons (1/4-inch wide)
Assemble candies for decorating by colors. If desired, cut orange
gumdrops into slender wedges for carrot-shaped noses, green gumdrops
into leaves, red gumdrops into berries, licorice sticks into twig-like
To make hats, heat chopped red (or green or brown) candy chips in a
1-cup glass measure or small, deep microwave-safe bowl in a microwave
oven at 50% power until chips are soft, 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Stir candy
until smooth; if lumpy, heat in a microwave oven for 20-second
intervals, stirring frequently.
Line a 12- x 15-inch baking sheet with nonstick cooking paper, cooking
parchment or wax paper. Set 6 marshmallows, flat side down, at least 2
inches apart on paper. Spoon about 1 tablespoon melted red (or color of
choice) candy onto the center of 1 marshmallow top and quickly, using a
small metal spatula or dinner knife, spread candy over top and around
side of marshmallow; spread excess that flows onto paper into a
1/2-inch-wide rim for the hat. Add more melted candy, as needed, to make
brim even. If desired, while candy is still soft, decorate hat with
gumdrops cut to resemble leaves and berries (see notes). Repeat to make
remaining hats. Chill hats, uncovered, until firm to touch, about 10
To make snowmen, line another 12- x 15-inch baking sheet with nonstick
cooking paper, baking parchment or wax paper. Dip 1 craft stick about 3
inches into water. Slide through the center of a flat end of 1
marshmallow, then into, but not through, a second marshmallow, pushing
them together. Repeat to make remaining snowmen; lay on the baking
In a 2-cup glass measure or small, deep microwave-safe bowl, heat
chopped white candy chips in a microwave oven at 50% power until chips
are soft, about 2 minutes. Stir candy until smooth; if lumpy, return to
the microwave oven and heat for 20-second intervals, stirring
frequently. If mixture is too thick for dipping (it varies with brands),
stir in solid shortening; heat at 20-second intervals and stir often.
One stick at a time, quickly dip marshmallows into white candy to coat,
using a spoon to pour candy over uncovered spots. Lift stick, letting
excess candy drip back into cup. Lay marshmallow men at least 3 inches
apart on paper-lined pan.
While candy coating is still soft, but not runny, make a face on the
side of the top marshmallow of each stick. Use gumdrop wedge (see notes)
for the nose, and chocolate chips, currants, or other small candies for
eyes. On bottom marshmallow, press tiny candies down center for buttons;
use thin licorice strips for twiggy arms or scarves. Pick up a stick and
set hat on the snowman's head. If marshmallow coating firms before
decorating is complete, glue with more melted candy (reheat in
microwave, as needed). Stand snowman upright (see notes for rack).
Repeat to make other snowmen.
When coating is firm to touch, 5 to 10 minutes, slip a cellophane bag
over each snowman. Tie ribbons around bottom to close bag.
Per snowman: 431 cal., 40% (171 cal.) from fat; 0.4 g protein; 19 g fat
(17 g sat.); 65 g carbo (0 g fiber); 81 mg sodium; 0 mg chol