In my book, the local treats everyone always prepares count for even more than dishes that originate in the region but that no one really makes.
The suggestion was made for me to use Reddit to crowdsource ideas. I hadn’t used it much before, but I’m glad I started. There’s a certain thrill in knowing you’re actually communicating with the real people who are experts in your topic of interest—in this case, Saskatchewan food.
That sort of square thing with variously coloured marshmallows and I think peanut butter. It’s at all sorts of Saskatchewan events, but I don’t think I’ve ever been told what it’s called. And then if you’re a masochist, there’s that vile “puffed wheat cake”
I went on a quest to hunt down the name of this recipe. I Googled “recipe marshmallows peanut butter saskatchewan” and this was the first result with Saskatchewan in it:
Marie, the author, says this about the recipe:
Anyway, confetti bars. Haven’t had em in a long time, and have noticed that they definitely aren’t the ubiquitous party/ holiday treat here, that they are back home. You can’t go to a Canadian potluck, Christmas dinner, or wedding social without coming across these things! I’m not taking any credit for the recipe itself, as it’s one that you just learn as a kid, and absolutely everyone knows.
And then, in the comments, were more testaments to the Canadian-ness of the treat, including this one from Heather:
Definitely a Canadian thing. Grew up in Saskatchewan, where they were always to be found wherever people brought baking, but it’s been harder than I thought to find a recipe, and the only recipes I’ve found have been on Canadian sites (is it a prairies thing?)
I was sold. I went out to the store in search of colored marshmallows and butterscotch chips.
When I got to the store, I realized that colored marshmallows are not a thing here in Boston, but I am definitely familiar with them. I think they appear in stores, but only around Easter time. I wanted the recipe to look as authentic as possible, though, so I went ahead and bought regular mini marshmallows along with some food coloring.
I’m glad I did. There was something warm and bright about the overall appearance of the bar that only homemade treats have, and when it was finished that made me feel warm and fuzzy. Plus, I am proud of having dyed my own marshmallows.
If you’re dying your own marshmallows, I recommend using a plain old sandwich bag with food coloring and a couple drops of water. Shake them up and leave them for a few minutes in each bag. You’ll need to hand separate them after since they’ll be sticky.
I tried using a French press first, since I’d read that you’re supposed to submerge the marshmallows in water with the coloring for a few minutes. This way left me with slightly smaller marshmallows that were not as bright, but the bag method worked perfectly.
I also began to mix the ingredients with a pastry cutter to find the marshmallows were too delicate for this, so I switched to mixing the ingredients with my hands by kneading it. That protected the marshmallows better. The only thing I forgot to do was to melt the butterscotch chips slightly, which I think would have been a little better by making the consistency even smoother.
And the verdict is: amazing. I’ll definitely be making these as a special treat. They’re light, gooey and fluffy, but just rich enough to feel like you’ve really had something thanks to the peanut butter.