I have an unusual food problem right now. Actually, I’m using both the words “food” and “problem” very loosely: I have way too many marshmallows! But not the boring little white kind of marshmallows…

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…the colorful magical marshmallows that come in the shapes of hearts and moons and stars! (Also known as assorted dehydrated marshmallow bits.) I suddenly have thousands of these little pieces of sugar and artificial coloring (2.2 lbs of them, to be more precise). They arrived in the mail recently, sent to me from my mother-in-law Bonney. (She’s kind of known for amassing lots of her favorite things.) No explanation, just marshmallows.

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When I called Bonney to ask about her unusual gift, she reminded me of a story that I told her several years ago about how once when I was a kid I spent a couple of hours alone with a box of Lucky Charms and managed to consume every single marshmallow, leaving the “healthy” part of cereal largely uneaten. (Everyone likes hunting for treasure!) So it seems that Bonney found the marshmallows for sale in bulk at Cornerstone Country Market in Waterboro, Maine, and she thought it would make my day to have three bags of pure sugary joy all to myself. It was an exciting package to open for sure, but after munching on a handful, I remembered that I’m no longer 11 years old, and neither is my stomach.

So. Instead of giving them to a neighborhood kid (and making her or his Park Slope parents very unhappy), I’ve decided to have a Marshmallow Marathon Baking Challenge, hopefully with your help! Surely there are many possibilities for crazy fun baked goods and other desserts that these things can be used in, and I want YOUR ideas and recipes. So far the only idea I’ve come up with is rice crispy treats with marshmallows baked in, but that doesn’t seem especially innovative to me, because rice crispy treats already have marshmallow in them (albeit a pretty different kind of marshmallow), and also because I’d be making another marshmallow-and-cereal combo that is rather obvious.

I have a feeling that many of you are big into baking and cooking, so I would love to hear your ideas (or even full recipes) in the comments to this post! The sky is pretty much the limit, although I have a few things you should probably keep in mind:

– These marshmallows are softer than the crunchy, extra-dehydrated kind that come in Lucky Charms. But the size and flavor of them are the same.

– I’m a vegetarian, but not a vegan, so no meat (ew gross anyway), but eggs/milk/cheese are OK.

– I’m an average baker/cook, so I probably won’t attempt anything overly fancy or complicated, or that requires fancy/complicated equipment.

– I have edible projects in mind, but if you have a cool idea for a different kind of use for the marshmallows, please share that too!

I’d love to test out some suggestions and show you the results here on the blog!

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