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 could make both kinds of cookies or just choose one. I started with the Mallows.
I actually made these in 3 acts over the course of 4 days. I know that sounds crazy but if I hadn't then these never would have happened.
The first day I mixed together the cookie dough.
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
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.
This is the point where the dough sat in my fridge for all 3 of those days. I'm terrible I know. On the third day I started having flash backs of the time I attempted to make cheese straws and ruined the dough by leaving it the fridge over night. I figured that unless I wanted to make the dough again I had better get on with it.
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.
And here is where the vegetarian in me had to veer from the recipe. By recommendation of Tasty Trifles (on the alternative baking forum) I found this recipe for vegetarian marshmallows on Pie of the Tiger.
60 mL water
pinch of cream of tartar
255 g sugar, granulated
255 g light corn syrup
½ vanilla bean (or vanilla extract if you are me. i used 1/4 tsp because that's what the carnivore marshmallows call for. that was my logic anyway.)
85 g egg whites (about 3 egg whites)
5 g xanthan (0.76%)
Grind xanthan with a tablespoon of sugar. Set aside. Heat water, cream of tartar, remaining sugar, corn syrup and vanilla to 248*F . Discard vanilla bean. Whisk egg whites for about 2 min until still soft. Continue whipping egg whites at slow speed while adding syrup slowly. Sprinkle xanthan mix while still whipping. Turn speed up and continue mixing for 2-3 min or until meringue pulls away from sides. Sprinkle a pan or baking sheet generously with cornstarch and spread out the meringue. Sprinkle top with cornstarch, cover with plastic and leave to set for 4 hours in a refrigerator. Cut marshmallows into desired shapes and dip cut surfaces in cornstarch.
Let me just tell you that my marshmallows were so sticky. Maybe I didn't use enough cornstarch who knows. I did cut them out but I had to dip my cookie cutter in cold water in between each cut out. if there is ever a next time lets just say that i will go to town with the cornstarch.
The 4th day: After cutting out the marshmallows with the same cookie cutter that i cut my cookies out with i attached (quite easily i might say.. since they were so sticky)the marshmallow to the cookie part. this was slightly awkward because my cookies shrunk up a bit when they baked so my marshmallows kind of hung off the edges. At this point though I really couldn't be bothered. I had been making these darn things for over half a week and I was ready to be finished. Besides... what could I have done anyway?
The final (and most daunting) part of the mallow baking gauntlet was last. The chocolate glaze. Maybe I should mention here that chocolate and I have a past. When it comes to working with the stuff I have made every mistake in the book. I usually go over the stove with a double boiler and have ended up with all sorts of monstrosities the worst of which resulted in a massive glue like chocolate clump.
Well not too long ago I saw Ina Garten melt chocolate in her microwave and I decided that if she does it then it can't be that bad. So that is the route that I decided to take.
2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil (i used veggie oil)
were thrown into a pyrex dish and heated in 10 second increments on medium power, stirring in between each heating . it worked like a charm. the only problem that i encountered using this method what that my chocolate coating ended up being "swirly" looking. that was fine by me because my chocolate hardened up just fine.
Then the day came that I had set aside to make the Milan cookies but I chose to take the little one swimming for the first time instead. We don't have a pool and we currently don't have access to one so I think that I made the right decision.
p.s. she loved it. happy july everyone!
*parts of this post (the recipe itself) was copied from the daring bakers webpage.