Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mallows--Daring Bakers' July Challenge

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.

My favorite cookies growing up were Pinwheels. Mmm. But my mom wouldn't always buy them because there were only a few in the package, and they were pretty pricey. Once again, my childhood fondness has been satisfied through baking from scratch.

This month, for the Daring Bakers' Challenge, we were given the option of making The Chocolate Covered Marshmallow cookies, or Milan cookies. I sincerely wanted to do both, and maybe someday, I will eventually make the Milans. I like my baking time to be enjoyable, and teething is not so much fun. Luckily, the process of making these cookies allowed for a lot of down-time where I didn't need to be "doing" anything, but allowing things to rest or cool. These cookies are delicious.

I think next time I will be a bit more adventurous and use some shaped cookie cutters, or different flavorings in the mallow (maybe coconut or mint). Also, please don't sell this cookie short by using store-bough marshmallows. Oh what a tragedy that would be. The homemade route was a bit of a challenge for me because my "candy" thermometer is just like a meat one; it is a thermometer on the end of a metal stick. It fell in the pot, got hot, and I had a tough time getting it out and reading it. I think that I carmelized it slightly, but the marshmallow still came out fine. I just didn't have enough for all of the cookies. So, I did the process both ways (store marshmallows and homemade), just so I could say that the homemade marshmallow made all the difference. It does. The store marshmallows kind of become crunchy (for lack of a better word) once they have set. Just take my word for it, home-made = better. End of story.

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

Unfortunately, Picasa doesn't let me arrange the pictures in order. (bottom left: REAL Marshmallow, bottom mid: store marshmallows)

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.

Sare's Notes
1. Do not attempt to do more than one thing at the same time. (ie: while making the marshmallow, do not disolve the gelatin in water until you are about to mix it into the syrup). Follow the instructions. By the way, the Prep Time, cooking time, etc, listed at the beginning is innaccurate. I don't know what it is referring to. If you read through the whole recipe, it requires several hours (mainly down time like I mentioned in the very beginning). Actual work time isn't very much.
2. I didn't transfer the marshmallow to a pastry bag. I just dropped a dallop on each cookie using a small spoon and it worked.
3. I put these in the fridge because they didn't "set" well at room temperature in my hot kitchen. They are stored in my fridge now, in a box so they won't melt.
4. Making the marshmallows from scratch is totally worth it. I'd do it again! But I need a better candy thermometer.


  1. LOL..I loved reading your post because I too always have candy thermometer problems. It either fogs up too much so I can't read it, falls in the hot syrup, or suddenly stops working! (I have 7, yep 7 different types of candy thermometers, and each one has it's own annoying nuance...or, maybe it's just me..lol)

    Having said all that..your Mallows came out awesome..and I LOVE that photo of the Mallow with the bite taken out of it. You should definitely submit it to Tastespotting and Foodgawker! (Hopefully you already have)

    Well, here's to conquering off kilter cookie recipes! *clink* LOL

  2. I thought you meant you almost caramelized your candy thermometer! HA I guess that too :D I totally agree about homemade versus store-bought marshmallows. Great cookies!

  3. Great write up about your marshmallow making experience! That last picture with the bite out of the Mallow is AWESOME!

  4. These look so good. I want one! Awesome job! I like your last photo, the blue looks good with the cookie!

  5. yum, these look delcious!

  6. I needed a good marshmallow recipe like this. Beautiful pictures and very cute blog!

  7. It is going to be so DANGEROUS for my diet to follow this blog. I'm CRAVING the cookies. Holy moly!