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.
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
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.
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 hot 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.
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.
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
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. 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 and continue whipping until stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag.
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate
• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil
Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.
For the cookies, like my Bakewell pastry, even after chilling overnight, the dough was definitely not of rolling consistency. I had to roll small portions into balls and flatten them onto the prepared cookie sheet. It still tasted great though.
I didn't have semisweet chocolate, so I used half regular chocolate and half unsweetened. I liked the marshmallows, they were really a great chewy texture and set beautifully. I just wish I had piped a little more on each cookie, but I kept it to a kiss as the recipe suggested.
To get to the soft ball stage when making the marshmallows, I used this link at Science of Candy as my guide.
I had to chill the cookies in the refrigerator after 2 hours of letting it rest outside because of the intense heat and humidity in Chennai, the chocolate was still very soft. It set up nicely in the refrigerator after about a 1/2 hour.
Now, onto my favorite, the Milanos!
Everything came out exactly as I remembered the Milanos. The cookies were fantastic. It's a keeper recipe. The only change I'm going to make next time is to reduce or omit the orange zest from the chocolate filling - it was just a little too intense for me.
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies
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
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 orange, zested
In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
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. I used a Ziploc bag with the tip cut off, and hence the cookies were a bit uneven.
Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
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. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies. Mine were all different shapes and sizes.