Monday, July 27, 2009

S'Mores Translated

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 (

I squeezed this challenge in between trips. I also wanted a relatively cool day to bake, since neither marshmallow nor chocolate seemed to call for the kind of hot days we have been having lately. This is the Pacific Northwest - where's the rain????

The cookies were okay, but I don't think I would make them again. The cookie part didn't have a lot of flavor - should have amped them up a bit. The marshmallow actually turned out pretty well. I had a lot of reservations about making them because I had to use a similar process to make a meringue for an earlier challenge and it did not go well. This time, everything worked out pretty well. The marshmallows are made by combining water, sugar and corn syrup to a soft ball stage, adding softened gelatin and pouring the resulting mixture into softly whipped egg whites and then continuing to whip them to hard peak stage. I added the vanilla and the resulting product was pretty marshmallow-y!

The recipe said we would have 2 dozen cookies - wrong! More like 6 dozen. The cookies were small. I used a pastry tip to cut out the circles to about one to one and a half inches since I didn't have a cookie cutter that size. After the cookies baked, I piped the marshmallow on them. I have lots of piping tips, but no pastry bag, so I used the ziploc method. Worked fine, mostly. Below is an example of a good piping job!

Lest you be overwhelmed by my piping skills, let me show you another sample - the alien version.

Okay - not classic, but a certain extraterrestrial flair, don't you think?

The final product would have been lovely gilded with gold leaf, but that's another thing I don't have in my otherwise relatively well-supplied kitchen. I did add some sugar sprinkles to some of the cookies, which was kind of cute but added nothing to the flavor. The chocolate was simply semi-sweet chips melted with some canola oil. I hand-dipped these suckers - all six dozen of them. My fraternal grandmother had a job as a candy-dipper in the first half of the 20th century. I'm sure she would have been better at this than I, but I managed. Pretty boring after the first couple dozen. The result:

My mother liked these, my husband sneaked a few but for the most part, they were not good enough to put in my favorite cookie recipe collection. Well, okay, I don't really have a favorite cookie recipe collection, but if I did, these wouldn't make it. If I had had time, I could have played a bit - maybe add a peanut butter or jelly layer between cookie and marshmallow, maybe add some extra flavor to the cookie layer, whatever. But didn't happen and not going to happen.