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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Woe is a Fluffy Marshmallow...

Of which the pan I can no longer eat in one sitting...

Well by now, most of you are probably sick and tired of looking at marshmallow cookies and Milan(o) cookies. Or you could be like me - not exactly sick of looking at them, but getting to the point that the photos are driving you f'n crazy and soon will cause you to say "Fakkk the diet" as you dive into the freezer head first, in search of the box of cookies you made last week. Gah.

Now I'm not blaming anyone here but myself. I made my bed by abusing my body for 40 some years. So this is entirely my fault. But DAMN people. Couldn't the Daring Bakers hostess picked baked carrot sticks?? Sugar-free Jello Trifle?? Dog biscuits? ANYTHING but crispy and delicate lemon scented cookies stuffed with chocolate or melt in your mouth fluffy marshmallow dipped in chocolate?? c'mon!

Speaking of hostesses...

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.

Incredibly, I didn't have many problems this month. I KNOW! That's rare for me! :P

I started with the Milan(o)s - the batter was so easy to put together I was kinda shocked once it was done and reread the recipe to make sure I didn't forget an ingredient or step. I decided to not pipe them out because seriously, my piping skillz are about equal to my mad frosting skillz. I really need to make another cake so I have something else to reference to. hahahaa! Anyhoo.. instead of piping, I decided to make a template. Problem was, I didn't have anything thin enough to cut the shape of a milan(o) cookie out of.


It was getting close to lunch time, so I decided to think about what to use while perusing the fridge and pantry for something to munch on when I happened upon an old box of Kraft Mac & Cheese. Even though this box of tiny elbow macaroni and package of orange dyed salt is a comfort food to me, I didn't think about eating it.. I thought about sacrificing it to the Baking Gods. So I poured the contents out, cut the box so it would lay flat and proceeded to draw a 3" x 1" template of my cookies. Worked like a charm! Course after they baked they didn't exactly stay in the perfect shape I had worked so hard on, but they weren't too bad and I liked the "rustic" look of them.


Now when it came to the chocolate.. well.. that's where I had a problem. I didn't melt the chocolate over a double boiler, because the last couple times I've done that, my chocolate broke. Some steam had caused it and I didn't want to take that chance this time. So I nuked the chocolate & cream.. at first it came out great but soon it got clumpy and greasy looking. I have no fakking idea how or why this happened unless there was a water molecule on the spoon I used to stir it? Fakk me. Of course I didn't care toooooo much as I figured it was going to be sandwiched and the look of the chocolate didn't matter as much as the taste. So I filled up ohhh eleventy billion cookies. Uhh Gale? You don't know how to count. This recipe made quadrupal the amount of what your recipe said it would. I ended up with lots of cookies left over without filling, but that was okay because Hubbs had cookies to munch on while driving to work and didn't have to worry about getting chocolate all over his truck. ;)


As I'm sure you've guessed, I did sample a cookie or two. Please, I have next to zero willpower when it comes to chocolate anything. They were good - I actually prefered the cookie plain for munching. But they weren't Milanos. A Milano isn't lemon flavored. And I didn't particularly like the vanilla/lemon flavors. I wish I had cut down on the vanilla.. but you'll have that. Will I make these cookies again? Nah.. but it was really fun going through the process. :)


Now the chocolate covered marshmallow cookies (Mallows) - they were delicious. I couldn't get over how easy making marshmallow was. And to think, I've made that frosting a 1000 times and didn't realize that by just adding some gelatin, I could have had homemade marshmallows years ago. Doh.


The cookie base was also as easy as the Milan(o)s. Instead of shaping into a disk and refrigerating, I decided to take a tip from one of our wonderful Daring Baker members and cut the dough in half, rolled each half into a log and I froze it for a couple hours to make cutting easier. That also worked like a charm and I got some nice round 1.5" - 2" cookies in the end. I went bigger than what the recipe called for because by now, I'd already invested like 3 hours into the Milan(o)s and didn't want to be up til midnight with the Mallows. I'm glad I did.. they make an impressive larger cookie!


Originally, I wanted my marshmallow to be swirled. Like this one. I was going to make two flavors.. strawberry swirled and mocha swirled. I was also going to spread homemade strawberry preserves, that were given to us last week, over the cookie before I piped the strawberry marshmallow and this wonderful super thick hot fudge over the cookie before I piped the mocha marshmallow. But again, I'd been at this baking without eating 1/2 the end product before I was done thing for many hours and I just couldn't be bothered. So I went with mocha only, no fudge. Unforch, my folding skillz leave much to be desired.. so by the time I stopped folding, my mocha mix (2 TBS. water, 1 tsp. instant espresso powder & 1 tsp. Starbucks' Mocha Mix) was completely incorporated into the marshmallow - no swirls. Boo. Didn't matter though - the mocha flavored marshmallow was fakking heavenly. OHMYGOD. It's a wonder I had enough to top 1/2 a batch of the cookies (still have a log in the freezer.. wtf am I going to do with it??).. yeah, my diet went straight to hell once I tasted that marshmallow. Gah.


I let them set over night and dipped them the next morning.. they started to set up immediately and that happened because I went with Crisco instead of cocoa butter or oil. I was very, VERY pleased especially since I'd read about so many members' cookies not setting up for them. I've just always used Crisco in my Buckeyes candies, so it wasn't even a conscious decision to do so with these cookies.

Right now, I've got about 20 cookies in my fridge that I still haven't had a chance (or good lighting) to take a photo of, but will upload them as soon as I do. Once they are photographed they are also going into the deep freeze and along with the Milan(o)s, will be a gift to my girlie-friends who are coming for a slumber party this weekend.

Thanks, Nicole! Even though I cheated some this past weekend.. it was worth it to know I can make marshmallows now! I can't wait for winter and Christmas present making! :)


Check out the blogroll for BILLIONS of other amazing cookies!

PS - Mom is doing well.. a few problems with leg cramping (from the Lasix) and exhaustion from being poked and prodded.. but I am confident she'll be like brand new once they are done draining the excess fluid. Thanks for the many concerned emails.. ya'll have no idea how uplifting they were. Hugs!

xoxo

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Comments on "Woe is a Fluffy Marshmallow..."

 

Blogger Ago said ... (7/29/2009 6:26 AM) : 

You've used a stencil!!! your cookies are perfect!
When I made my cookies, theyr shape was irregular and I didn't understand what was the problem...Now it's all ok!!!
Sweetie thank u sooo much!!!!
Your cookies are so beatifull!!!
Bravissima!
Kisses
Ago :-D

 

Blogger Dharm said ... (7/29/2009 7:21 AM) : 

Great idea to use a stencil!! Your biscuits look just lovely!

 

Anonymous veron said ... (7/29/2009 7:59 AM) : 

Your cookies are shaped perfectly! I've never made marshmallows either and I am now itching to make them seeing them all over. Great job sis! And I am glad everything is fine on the home front.

 

Blogger Audax said ... (7/29/2009 8:35 AM) : 

Wow a stencil now that a one smart cookie. And glad that the mallows went down so well and I come again to see them. Love that picture and the black-faced daisy. Cheers from Audax in Australia and thanks for the very nice comments you left on my blog. Nice chat we had on the DK kitchen chat forum a nifty thing to have.

 

Blogger shaz said ... (7/29/2009 9:02 AM) : 

That was the most entertaining Mallow/Milan post I've read so far I have to say! Thanks for sharing and thank you so much for Daring Bakers.

cheers from a new fan :)

 

Blogger Bellini Valli said ... (7/29/2009 9:58 AM) : 

Mallo's are a childhood favourite so I have been transported over and over again this week:D

 

Blogger Lauren said ... (7/29/2009 11:09 AM) : 

Gorgeous cookies =D. I love the stencil - such a good idea!!

 

Blogger Avanika [YumsiliciousBakes] said ... (7/29/2009 11:28 AM) : 

The stencil is a great idea! And I cant wait to see pictures of the bigger mallows! And the mocha marshmallow sounds delicious! :)

 

OpenID madcapcupcake said ... (7/29/2009 2:10 PM) : 

The stencil is brilliant! I'm in need of piping skills, myself. The cookies look delicieux.

 

Blogger Mary Teresa said ... (7/29/2009 2:58 PM) : 

Brilliant with the stencil! I may have possibly used a cookie cutter to ummm...lets say "reshape" mine since they were quite ugly. Haha. And you wouldn't want to eat everyone elses if they didn't take such nice pictures of them! Your cookies look delicious!

 

Blogger Snooky doodle said ... (7/29/2009 4:56 PM) : 

I like these cookies! great idea to use a stencil

 

Blogger Andrea said ... (7/29/2009 5:21 PM) : 

I could have used your stencil! Even though I thought I piped well enough, the cookies were all crooked. I wish I had tried the Mallows, they all look so fantastic.

Hope you are feeling well.

Hugs,
Andrea

 

Anonymous Juliana said ... (7/29/2009 5:28 PM) : 

Stencil? Such a great idea...

 

Blogger Mary said ... (7/29/2009 7:04 PM) : 

I think dog biscuits would be a fabulous challenge! And you don't look 40-something AT ALL!

 

Blogger Fran Z said ... (7/29/2009 9:17 PM) : 

Lis, loved your ingenuity with the stencil! Wish I could have found time this month, but HELL, I suck! This sounds like another great challenge!

 

Blogger MyKitchenInHalfCups said ... (7/29/2009 9:38 PM) : 

Glad to hear your mom is responding well.
Marshmallow, homemade is nothing like the plastic stuff that comes in a bag ;) You way out beat me as I didn't get to make either one this month and now we're on the road.

 

Blogger Engineer Baker said ... (7/30/2009 3:01 AM) : 

Dangit, a stencil! Why didn't I think of that?!? I don't blame you for having lowered willpower around those cookies, they look awesome!

 

Anonymous Lisaaaa said ... (7/30/2009 8:39 AM) : 

First off..LOL@ Uhh Gale? You don't know how to count

Secondly, great tips to use a stencil, as your Milanos look loverly..very loverly! Also lovc the crisco tip, although I still believe no fat will work with milk or white chocolate as far as setting up goes. However, I will use crisco in the future for dark chocolate dipping (that kinda's sounds pervy, doesn't it?) :P

Finally, I left a comment for you on my blog regarding the 'swirling' effect in the marshmallow. Just pour whatever you're using into the masrhmallow in a thin stream, then very few folds, and right into the pastry bag. First few cookies, not much swirling, but then it starts to come out like crazy, swirly heaven!

Oh, btw, your mocha flavors looks and sounds drooly! Amazing job, Lis!! *hugs and smoochies*, and I hope your Mama gets better soon! My dad is on Lasix, among 5 billion other meds!

 

Blogger Jenny said ... (7/30/2009 1:12 PM) : 

Ooh I'm late, I'm late (in more ways than one, no post up for me, no cookies yet either.)
Glad to hear your mom is doing well, and to have the heads up about the yield of this recipe.

 

OpenID teafactory said ... (7/31/2009 5:35 AM) : 

great job, brilliant idea using a stencil, I will try that next time!

 

Blogger Alison said ... (8/02/2009 10:15 PM) : 

I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who (a) wound up with a zillion more cookies than what the recipe said and (b) had to lick chocolate off my fingers every time I ate a cookie because my chocolate coating didn't set up.

 

Blogger SteamyKitchen said ... (8/03/2009 7:17 AM) : 

I just wanted to say to your mom -- SPEEDY RECOVERY!!!

 

Blogger SoCal Pastry Chef said ... (8/04/2009 9:31 PM) : 

I love them, no matter what you say. And yours looks great... better than mine (oh, wait, I haven't done a challenge in a while). Blame school. Great job.

 

Anonymous Hilda said ... (8/05/2009 5:33 PM) : 

HA! I am wayyyyyy more late than you are, so you can just relax there, still writing up the post now and it's called I'm ONLY 10 days late. Hey that's what happens when a papoose happens to you. I'm glad your mother is doing better, that's really all that matters right? I didn't make the Milan(o)s as my life has had torrid love affair moments with Pepperidge Farm Milanos and I didn't want them to be jealous and also heard they weren't that good anyway. When you're 10 days late making 1 kind of cookie, you'd better not try to make 2! xoxoxoxo Hilda

 

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