Recipe: Mango adds a taste of summer to Christmas cookies

The Associated PressDecember 11, 2013 

Food Holiday Cookies Day 5

MATTHEW MEAD — AP

This bar cookie has all the makings of a classic summer s'mores — graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallow — but with a decidedly more festive sensibility.

We started with a deliciously buttery graham cracker crust, then topped it with a cream and chocolate ganache studded with bits of cooked mango. Then we pulled out all the stops and made fresh marshmallow — it's much easier than you imagine — also flecked with mango to spread over the top.

And to add a holiday kick, we decorated the top with decorating sugar.

The only special equipment you'll need is a stand mixer and a candy thermometer. The mixer does the bulk of the work of making the marshmallow.

MANGO MARSHMALLOW BARS

Start to finish: 3 hours (1 hour active); makes 24 bars

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons packed brown sugar

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

6 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups chopped dried mango, chopped

1 cup plus 6 tablespoons water, divided

3/4 cup heavy cream

11 1/2-ounce bag milk chocolate chips

1/4-ounce envelope gelatin

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/3 cup corn syrup

Pinch salt

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Colored sugar or sprinkles

Heat the oven to 350 F. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with baking spray.

In a medium bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and flour. Stir in the melted butter until thoroughly combined. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking pan and press to form an even layer. Bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until toasty and browned. Set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the chopped mango and 1 cup of the water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes, then set aside to cool.

Once the crust and mango have cooled, pour off and discard any excess liquid from the mango. Transfer the mango to a bowl, then wipe the saucepan clean.

Return the pan to medium heat. Add the heavy cream and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to very low, then add the chocolate. Stir until melted and smooth. Stir in half of the mango, then pour the mixture over the crust and spread in an even layer. Refrigerate until completely cooled.

Meanwhile, make the marshmallow layer. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the gelatin with 3 tablespoons of the remaining water. Set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-high, combine the remaining 3 tablespoons water with the granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Cook without stirring until the mixture reaches 240 F on a candy thermometer.

Pour mixture into the mixer with the gelatin. Using the whisk attachment, beat on high (be careful not to splash the hot syrup) until cool, 7 to 9 minutes. Stir in vanilla and remaining half of the mango. Spread the marshmallow mixture over the cooled chocolate layer, then sprinkle with colored sugar or sprinkles. Allow to set up, about 2 hours, before cutting into 24 bars. Store in an airtight container at room temperature.

Nutrition per bar: 220 calories; 90 calories from fat (41 percent of total calories); 10 g fat (6 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 20 mg cholesterol; 30 g carbohydrate; 1 g fiber; 22 g sugar; 2 g protein; 55 mg sodium.

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