Monday, July 27, 2009

Mallows & Milans

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 love cookies so this challenge was very exciting! Making marshmallows has been on my to-try list for a while as well. For this reason, I started with the mallow-esque cookies first. The wafer base was a simple tasty cookie. I did them the day before I was to make marshmallows. Making marshmallows goes quickly at first - the sugar solution started boiling much faster than I expected and I was scrambling to get the gelatin bloomed in time. Then it came time to whip the egg whites to soft peaks which took a few minutes and then it was time to mix the sugar solution and the egg white solution and I was foolishly using a hand mixer. This part felt like it took forever! I'm pretty sure it would have been simpler and faster with my stand mixer, but that didn't occur to me in the first 15 minutes of mixing with the hand mixer and by then I wasn't switching! So lesson learned: USE A STAND MIXER when making marshmallows!It is true what they say, the homemade marshmallows were soft, light, airy, delicate... amazing and totally different from store bought. They easily piped onto the cookies and waited a bit to firm up before we did the chocolate dipping. These cookies were only hard for me because cookies are all about quick gratification of a sugar craving usually and these take several waiting stages to make! 2 long hours later, I mixed my oil and chocolate, being careful to keep the temperature low to prevent chocolate issues. Then I dipped the marshmallow cookies in the chocolate and put them out to harden. Which they never did. Perhaps because I keep my house at 80 F in the summer, or perhaps too much oil? or perhaps I didn't temper it as well as I thought I did. I'm not sure. They went into the fridge to develop a shell though and then I could photograph them and finally sample them!They do taste like little bites of moon pie, a delicacy I haven't had since I was a small child. And they are very much like mallowmars, according to my DH and friends. I took them to a party and they were a big hit. My only complaint about the recipe is that the dough portion makes WAY more than 2 dozen cookies (I cooked up half the dough and got 3 dozen easily) while marshmallow filling wise, I had just enough for 2 dozen cookies and enough chocolate maybe for 3 or 4 dozen. So the cookie recipe should be scaled down or halved when made again. I'm freezing all the extra wafer cookies to use next time we want some mallows!Recipe:

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 (170 grams/ 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.

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Making the Milans:

I didn't make the milans until the last day before the challenge, it looked like a quick and easy recipe, since it had a ganache like filling and I've dealt with ganache several times in the past. The tricky part with them was the cookies which are piped out onto cookie sheets for baking. I didn't have any parchment paper or silicon mats on hand, and usually its not too big of a deal but for these cookies it was an issue. They are very sugary and caramelize to the pan if left on at cooling. But you have to let them cool on the pan because they are so soft coming out of the oven! At any rate, my first few batches are not very pretty to look at and I'm not going to be able to get parchment paper before publishing this to make some prettier cookies. These cookies are very rich. Love the hint of orange taste in the ganache and the vanilla/lemon combo in the cookies. I wish I'd halved this recipe too because they are so rich! We did need more ganache filling because DH liked it thicker between the cookie wafers.
Milan Cookies

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Prep Time: 20 min Cook Time: 1 hr 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.

10 comments:

Lisa Michelle said...

Now I know why they don't sell Mallomars in the summer! Everyone seemed to have chocolate setting up problems! On that note, your Mallows came out beautiful, and although rustic, your Milanos look great and mouth watering. Great job!

kristenly said...

well done on the challenge! i wish i had thought to freeze the rest of my mallow dough. instead i just tossed it. silly me.

Anula said...

Your Mallows and Milano cookies look great - very delicious :)

Julie said...

Great job! I was pining for a stand mixer while making my marshmallows :)

tonic said...

Wow, great job!

Anzj said...

You made BOTH! Ánd you made your own marshmallow! How great (and brave)!

hexe said...

I too did a batch without parchment paper. Thankfully I could use the crumbs I scrapped off the pan as the crust in the cake. Good idea to freeze the mallow!

Sara said...

These look awesome...yum! I totally agree...the homemade marshmallows are way better than storebought!

isabelle said...

They both looks delicious!
They came out very well.
Nicely done!

nikki said...

Great job, both your mallows and milans turned out beautifully!

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