Monday, July 27, 2009

Daring Bakers bake Haloed Mallows

I tend to think of Indians of snackophiles. We pretty much graze throughout the day.
One of my best memories of childhood is sitting in the kitchen with my mom and sister, watching mom make these wonderful savory and sweet things...it would take the better part of a day and we would just sit there and chatter away. All the heavy issues in the world... you know, like music, boys, clothes and food got discussed in that little kitchen. We would sneak little bits of dough and batter and dried fruit when she wasnt looking. At least we thought she wasnt looking but of course she had eyes in the back of her head.

She was into baking and would come out with variations of cookies and cakes. You have to understand though, there werent many resources she could consult or varied ingredients she could experiment with, at that time and place but that didnt quite stop her. She loved making cookies and oh man! she absolutely loved snacking on them. And still does.
So this post is for her. For my mom who gave all three of us a childhood to cherish and cookie dough to sneak. Thanks Amma!

As for this month's challenge, unfortunately I wasnt very impressed with the results.
I made the Milanos, halving the recipe. I followed the recipe exactly for one batch and flavored the other with Key-Lime extract. It looked like the taste test team (read guinea pigs...) preferred the Key-Lime ones. Still, on the whole the cookie didnt work for me.
In my opinion the Mallows also really weren't worth all that trouble. The shortbread base was quite dry and could have done with a bit more flavor. Having said that, I should also say that am glad to have had the chance to make marshmallows again. It had been a while.
So will I bookmark these recipes? Umm, nah.

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.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

• 12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
• 2 1/2 cups (312.5 grams/ 11.02 oz) powdered sugar
• 7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 2 tablespoons lemon extract
• 1 1/2 cups (187.5grams/ 6.61 oz) all purpose flour
• Cookie filling, recipe follows

Cookie filling:
• 1/2 cup heavy cream
• 8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
• 1 orange, zested

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. With a small (1/4-inch) plain tip, pipe 1-inch sections of batter onto a parchment-lined sheet pan, spacing them 2 inches apart as they spread.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. Spread a thin amount of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie while the filling is still soft and press the flat side of a second cookie on top.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

• 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.


Aparna said...

Despite your reservations, looks like they turned out alright.
I wasn't too impressed either but my not-mallow version turned out to be a hit with my "tasters".

Lisa Michelle said...

LOVE your key-lime addition to the Milans! They look beautiful. Your mallows looks great too, but I'm sorry you didn't like them. I'll take them - but wait, I don't like marshmallow..lol

jillian said...

Sorry you weren't loving these but they still look good.

Jo said...

Great job on your challenge and both cookies look delicious. Love the lime addition to the Milans.

Julie (Willow Bird Baking) said...

They look good! Sorry they weren't a big hit with you!

Anula said...

Your mallows and milano cookies tourned out really nice :)

raquel said...

awesome! love that flavor!!!

DJ said...

Thanks everyone!

The Scatterbrain said...

I've never known your mother as a cook, but she certainly was one of the best teachers I've had!!! I remember how she once brought jello to class to show us what the consistancy of plasma was like!!!