Happy birthday to you! Happy Birthday to you! Happy Birthday dear Bill! Happy Birthday to you!!
I know today is the Daring Bakers' challenge reveal but it is also my better half, the pepper to my salt, the flour to my sugar and my favorite Cookie Monster's birthday today! The man should clearly enter cookie eating contests. I have never seen him shy away at the idea of eating a dozen, straight up with a glass of milk. That's why I waited until the last couple of days before the challenge reveal date to make these Mallow Cookies. Just for him.
Well, not really. Where there is shortbread cookie, there is Bill. Where there is marshmallow there is me. And where there is chocolate there is us. Hmmm, let's start over. Where there is a shortbread cookie, there is me. Where there is marshmallow there is Bill and where there is chocolate there is us. Ha! Obviously these Mallows did not stand a chance with either of us.
Ok, so I won't go as far as putting a red bow around a few or stick a candle in one of them but they will be part of the mini dessert bar/table I am putting together for dinner. Nothing lavish, just a few close friends, good wines and good cheers!
I must say that this month challenge was actually two in one: either make the Mallows or Milanos cookies or make both. I did make both and tossed the Milanos to the birds (hence the lack of pictures for those). We literally looked at each other and said "not worth it". To us, it was a waste of ingredients in a cookie that had neither texture nor taste to show for it. Now, that's only our opinion (we like having one) and some Daring Bakers have enjoyed their cookies just fine. I'd say make half the recipe once to decide if it's worth keeping in your repertoire.
So, the Mallows. Good. Even better with a layer of peanut butter sandwiched between the cookie and the marshmallow for some. I kept the dominant flavor simple because I was waiting on Bill to decide what he really wanted (birthday boy also had a weekend pass!). We didn't stray too far from that, using Mexican vanilla which has slightly spicy undertones and worked well to play ying to the yang that was the chocolate.
While I was making the Mallows I decided to keep half the cookies as described in the recipe and made square shapes with the other half both with the cookie dough and marshmallow which I poured in a small square dish before it had time to set. Once "cured", I cut square shapes the same size as the shortbread bottoms, spread some peanut butter, topped with a square of marshmallow and dipped the whole thing in chocolate. I also saved a couple and made a deconstructed Mallow with each component laid out separately on a plate.
Oops, except I did not dip. There were so many cookies that I placed them on cooling rack over parchment paper and poured the chocolate right over them, gave them a rattle and a shake and left them to set before refrigerating. I am all about better time management lately and that saved me a good bit of time instead of standing in front of the island dipping. And it's summer, it's hot and birthday boy wanted to go to the beach!
Would I make them again. Maybe. Probably. Why not? With friends, around a hot cup of cocoa in the winter most likely.
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.
One year ago: Daring Bakers Nut and Chocolate Gateau.
Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies), adapted from Gale Gand, from Food Network website
For the 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
For the marshmallows:
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) light corn syrup
3/4 cup (170 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 whole vanilla bean, split open and seeded
For the chocolate glaze:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil
(I used 2 pounds of chocolate and 2 tablespoons shortening)
Prepare the cookies:
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy. Add the eggs and mix until combine. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 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. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
Prepare the marshmallows:
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites. Add the vanilla seeds and continue whipping until stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag.
Prepare the chocolate glaze:
Melt the chocolate and shortening together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.
Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the warm chocolate glaze. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.