Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mallows & Milan Cookies

July'09 Daring Bakers Challenge:

The July challenge from DB was Mallows (chocolate covered marshmallow cookies) and Milan Cookies (a cookie version from Peppridge Farm Milano Cookies). We were told to make both or one of the recipes. I’ve never made marshmallow before and so wanted to try and got a chance to do it now, We were allowed store bought marshmallows though but I’ve decided to make my own from the recipe even though I don’t have an candy thermometer and was a bit worried how I would do it then one of the fellow DB baker Audex helped in this matter providing her own illustration and links that really helped with the sugar syrup. I decided to make both the recipe and started to make the milans I had all the ingredients in the pantry so got on with it, I did a test batch first to see how much the cookies will spread and I must admit I piped only ¼ inch strips and they did spread but not quite the size I was looking for they made cute minis though. Then the rest came out quite good thin and smooth. Had no problem making them and quite enjoyed.

Since its very hot and humid here I made the cookies dough for the mallows the same day I made milans and kept in the fridge over night, the second day I was really having trouble rolling it cause of the heat it kept getting really soft and sticky the only solution was to take ¼ of the dough and keep the rest in the fridge and work quickly.

Made mini rounds, stars and flowers, my littler taster niece helped
too as I was babysitting my niece and she was just not leaving me alone so I decided not to take chances and make the marshmallows as handling her and the hot syrup was quite impossible for me, I kept all the cookies wrapped in cling-film and the other day I started early to make the marshmallow, when the sugar syrup could hold the bubbles when removed from the heat I did the water test but it was not there so I left it for few minutes more and checked and yahhh!!! =) it was on the softball stage, then I started to pour it in the egg white and kept on beating with the hand beater as I don’t own a stand mixer and I kept on beating I was getting tired thinking why is not coming to the did I do something wrong? Did I add very hot syrup should have waited? Then it started to come together turning into a glossy thick creamy consistence, and continued till peaks formed at least success!, put them all in the piping bag and started the piping and coating turned out quite well the dipping was fun for the kids they helped too.

kidnapped from the 2nd try aswell!!

We did make one try that was about 24 mallows and I left to get the camera and I was gone just for a minute and came back all the mallows were gone!! =O My mouth open i look around and asking no one would tell me what happed then I caught them cause the chocolate was sticking on my sister-in-laws and both nieces (one who is my sisters daughter) lips. I told them at least you could have waited until they were set! hehe
I kicked them out and made more and took photos as now my mama and sisters were here too so I had to work quickly and hide… hehe… for the photo session! All the elder loved them and so did the kids…i had fun making them and hiding them =) thank you DB and the ladies for such yummy and fun challenges!.

Note: some of the marshmallow was left I made a mix of icing sugar and corn starch and spread the leftover marshmallow on it, the next day it tasted delicious.

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

Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 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.

Milan Cookies
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 20 min
Inactive Prep Time: 0 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
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

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.