Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Daring Bakers presents: marshmallow cookies, mint milans, and a lazy blogger :(

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.

Thank you Nicole for such a delicious challenge! These cookies are some of my favorites from childhood. The marshmallow ones tasted just like the Pinwheel cookies my grandma would buy for me when I was little. And as for the milan cookies, I absolutely love mint milanos, so I made mine with mint extract. And I would like to take this opportunity to point out what a procrastinator I have become lately. Case in point, I made these cookies 4th of July weekend! Shame on me :( I promise, promise, promise to post on time and be a better blogger for the few people who do read my blog. Enjoy the recipes below and please stop by our hostess's blog as well as our fellow bloggers to check out how they did.

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

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs, whisked together
homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In the 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 combined.
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 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 of an 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 temp 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 on a 35o 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 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, the 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 of 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.

Milan Cookies
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 0 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: about 3 dozen cookies

12 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
7/8 cup egg whites (from about 6 eggs)
2 tablespoons vanilla extract (I added 1 extra tablespoon)
2 tablespoons lemon extract (I omitted this)
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
cookie filling recipe follows

Cookie Filling:
1/2 cup heavy cream
8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 teaspoons mint extract

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and 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) 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.

Stay tuned for my next baking adventure!
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