But really, what better way to add in some kind of nutrition than fruit! Yes, of course it had to be the "dried" kind, but nevertheless, better than rolling on more crushed cookies or candy! However, be careful with the dried banana chips- you need to make sure you buy plain dehydrated, and not fried or sweetened! The freeze-dried berries still retain much of their antioxidants, fiber, and nutrition due to the process in which they are dried, versus dehydration- which still makes them a much better candidate than candy for finishing! So, I decided to do a butterscotch and banana combo, and a reverse chocolate covered berry. The freeze-dried berries are really tart and not terribly sweet, and balance so perfectly with the rich, dark chocolate, and fluffy marshmallow underneath! The delicious caramel/ butterscotch flavor pairs perfectly with the crunchy and sweet banana chips, and that bite of soft, and fluffy marshmallow.
Ray said the kids LOVED them, and one of the teacher's already requested some flavors for next week! (Yay!! It's a good feeling to know that you are helping kids help others- which instills the importance of "taking action" in our communities.)
Yield: About 2 dozen Marshmallow Pops
***Each kind yields 10-12 each (so double your ingredients if you want to make just one of these kinds.)
1 bag(1# 8oz.) of JUMBO Marshmallows
2 dozen lollipop sticks or colorful paper straws
styrofoam stand or wax covered tray or rack to hold the pops while drying
Butterscotch & Banana Pops (10-12 pops)
1- 11oz. pkg. of butterscotch chocolate chips
1- 4.5oz. pkg. of dried banana chips (crushed)
**optional: 1/2 cup of melted dark chocolate for drizzling
Berry & Dark Chocolate Pops (10-12 pops)
1- 10oz. pkg. of 60% or higher dark chocolate chips
1- 1.5 oz. pkg. of freeze-dried berries (either strawberry, or mixed berries)
**optional: 3/4 cup melted white chocolate for drizzling
1) Prep the pops by inserting a stick or straw into the marshmallows- making sure not to go all the way through the other end! Lay flat, or place in the stand until chocolate is melted. Note: I didn't find it necessary to strengthen the base of the stick with chocolate, as the marshmallow is sticky on the inside, and held the straws/ sticks in place just fine!
2) Melt your chocolate chips in the microwave or double boiler, and make sure to temper by slowly stirring in some extra chips at a time to bring the temp. of the chocolate down. Prep your fruit by crushing the banana chips, and/or berries, and placing them in a shallow dish for rolling. (You can either crush them in a food processor, or simply by using a rolling pin, and rolling over the bag of dried fruit a few times!)
3) Take one marshmallow pop, roll the marshmallow in chocolate to completely coat it, and shake a few times to remove the excess. Roll top half or the whole marshmallow in the dried fruit. Place the stick/straw end in the styrofoam stand, rack, or you can place marshmallow side down on a wax paper or parchment lined tray. Allow the chocolate to set up.
**If your kitchen is too hot, you may need to get them in a refrigerator for 15min. or so to set up the chocolate.
4) Once the chocolate is set, you can either drizzle some more chocolate over them to finish, and then allow that to set up, or you can just begin to individually wrap them in plastic to give away as gifts/ favors, or place in a stable vase, glass, or stand for display.