Halloween leaves us with more mallows than we can consume. Over the years, I used to make them into rice Krispie treats but I wasn’t always successful. Sometimes they come out just as I wanted, other times they would be hard as a rock.
The inconsistency of my rice krispie treats made me give up on making use of mini mallows for a while. Instead, I used a recipe using marshmallow fluff instead. And because that recipe gives me a more consistent output, I haven’t made the treats using mini mallows for a while.
This year, we have leftover marshmallows I wanted to use for Thanksgiving. They were the bags we didn’t get to use for rice krispie treats earlier but I know I have to use them before they turn bad. Maybe to practice for the perfect rice krispie treats recipe sent in by a follower that I promised I’d make? LOL.
Anyway, I found two bags of mallows in the cupboard. One bag is unopened and the mallows are still soft, but the other one was opened but not resealed properly. There are still more than three-quarters of mallows left and I just couldn’t throw it all away.
The question is how do you make marshmallows soft again? Is there a way to revive old marshmallows or are hard mallows a hopeless case?
Here’s what the reliable Mr. Google told me.
How to Soften Hard Marshmallows
You don’t really have to throw away hard marshmallows unless they’ve really gone bad. There are a few ways you can make them soft again depending on how much time you have.
1. The Hot Water Method
If you’re in a hurry, this is one of the fastest methods you can use. It will take you only a minute to soften the mallows.
Place the marshmallows in a ziplock bag and seal properly. Fill a bowl with hot water and place the bag of mallows in the water for about a minute. Make sure that the water doesn’t get inside the bag or else you’ll end up ruining the mallows.
The bag of mallows will float in the water so you can use something to hold it down. I used a large wooden spoon to keep the bag from floating but you can use whatever is available.
There will be a moisture buildup and it soaking the bag in the water for a minute is enough to soften the whole thing. Take out the bag from the bowl after the specified time, open it, and see how the mallows soften after the whole process.
Wipe the bag dry and put it back on your cupboard until you use the mallows again.
2. The Bread Method
If you find dry marshmallows but you don’t need to use them instantly, you can also try the bread method.
All you have to do is take a slice of moist bread or two and place them inside a resealable plastic bag along with the marshmallows. This should make the mallows soft again in a day or two.
After the marshmallows have softened, you can either take the bread out and store them as you normally would while making sure that the bag is sealed tightly or you can keep the bread in to keep the mallows from drying up again.
You can also use the crust or the end parts of the bread instead of throwing them out.
3. The Microwave Method
Another quick way of softening marshmallows is through the microwave method. This method is the quickest. In fact, it’s quicker than the hot water method.
You just have to put the mallows in a bowl, place it in the microwave with a cup of water on the side of the bowl, and heat for about 10 seconds. The moisture from the water will soften the mallows instantly and you should be ready to use them immediately.
4. The Freezer Method
Last but not the least, you can simply throw in the bag of hard marshmallows in the freezer and take them out whenever you need them. Let it thaw for a bit and they’ll be ready to use.
Any of these methods would work well in softening those hard marshmallows so you don’t have to throw them out. Just choose which method is most convenient for you and your mallows will soft as new in no time.
Do Marshmallows Go Bad?
Now you’ve seen how easy it is to revive hard marshmallows. You don’t even need any special ingredient or kitchen equipment because the above hacks are pretty simple.
But before you go about softening those mallows back to life, you have to make sure they haven’t gone bad. Else, reviving them will be pointless.
To answer the question, yes, marshmallows do go bad. As with any other food products, marshmallows have a shelf life. It can last about 4 to 6 months depending on the manufacturer. It can even last a few weeks after its best by date as long as the bag is unopened.
However, if the bag is opened, it can last about 2 months as long as they are sealed and stored properly. Marshmallows that are improperly stored may either become hard due to exposure to air or become goopy and clumpy due to the humidity of the place where it was stored.
If the marshmallows are just hard or goopy, they can still be revived accordingly. You can easily unstick a clump of marshmallows by sprinkling some powdered sugar or cornstarch in the bag and shaking it vigorously or following any of the above methods for hard mallows.
However, if you see any discolorations or notice a different smell, then these are signs that they have gone bad. Look for these particular signs before trying to make your mallows ready for use again.
You can also use hard mallows in hot cocoa so you wouldn’t have to revive them. Just prepare your hot cocoa as you would and throw in some mini mallows. They’d immediately soften in hot cocoa so you can just keep them as they are and they’ll come in handy when you need a cup or two.