Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Daring Bakers: Mallows

Sometimes the most challenging part of the Daring Bakers Challenge is actually getting it done. Unfortunately, I seem to have hit my annual summer slump and wasn't even planning on participating this month. But then these adorable cookies started popping up all over the blogosphere and I couldn't resist.

But anyway, enough about me! The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

We were given the choice to make either cookie, or both. We could also make our own marshmallows or use pre-made. I used store-bought marshmallows (hanging head in shame). (But in my defense, I've made marshmallows before.)

I did think I had a stroke of genius when I first placed them in a Ziploc bag...

... then zapped them in the microwave for 10 seconds. I mushed them around a bit, sealed the bag, clipped off a corner of the bag and voila! instant pipe-able marshmallow goo.

I like to think of it as "working smarter, not harder"... coughcough yea, that's it cough.

I reduced the recipe quite a bit but still ended up with quite a few little cookies. As you can see, I made some into sandwich cookies, I left some plain, and a fortunate few got a slathering of peanut butter on top.

The peanut butter ones remind me of my grade school chum, Elvira. Our favorite snack was peanut butter and marshmallow cream sandwiches. Talk about delish!

So how were they, you ask? They were pretty good, but they didn't blow me away. I think they appealed to my kids more than me. The chocolate was the overwhelming flavor, but the soft marshmallow center was a nice textural balance. The cookie by itself was a little bland and the little bit of cinnamon taste was lost. I might try them again with a bigger cookie and bigger marshmallow (my cookies were quite small). That might bring the flavors more into balance.

As always, though, it was a new experience and I'm glad I gave them a shot.

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
• 1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
• 3/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
• 3 eggs, whisked together
• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 cup water
• 1/4 cup light corn syrup
• 3/4 cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) sugar
• 1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
• 2 tablespoons cold water
• 2 egg whites , room temperature
• 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1. In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.


Engineer Baker said...

All those variations sound wonderful, and working smarter not harder is something to be proud of :)

Snooky doodle said...

yummy ! how many variations. Great idea of melting the marshmallows :)

Grace said...

adding peanut butter is the way to go. nicely done, jacque!

Anonymous said...

I need to make these. And the peanut butter sounds delicious!

Teanna said...

Sorry you weren't a fan, but they really do look awesome! I love the PB version!

Natashya said...

They look great, peanut butter is a yummy idea!

Jill said...

Way to "work smarter, not harder"! You just can't go wrong with a peanut butter and chocolate combination in my book. :)

isa said...

Beautiful photos!
Love the peanut butter version.
I'm sorry, that you didn’t love them.

Katrina said...

They look GREAT! Way to give it a go and AWESOME "invention" with melting the mallows in the piping bag!

Bunny said...

I have to make these, there are a cookie that I've gotten in the grocery store and always wanted to try and duplicate. Yours are fantastic!

bakerchick103 said...

I've made homemade marshmallows before too, and I think they taste exactly like the ones in the store. So why go thru go all the trouble? Don't worry about it! They look yummy!