Monday, July 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers' July Challenge - Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Before I share this month's Daring Bakers' Challenge with you, I'd like to give you an amazing piece of dietary information. You, too, can eat the decadent treats described below, without fear of putting on even one ounce of weight, if you just follow the advice in this brief, but enlightening, article*:
If you eat something and no one sees you eat it, it has no calories. If you drink a diet soda with a candy bar, the calories in the candy bar are cancelled out by the diet soda. When you eat with someone else, calories don't count if you don't eat more than they do. Foods used for medicinal purposes NEVER count, such as chocolate, toast and Sara Lee Cheesecake. If you fatten up everyone else around you, then you look thinner. Broken cookie pieces contain no calories. The process of breaking causes caloric leakage. Things licked off knives and spoons have no calories if you are in the process of preparing something. Examples : peanut butter on a knife when making a sandwich, or ice cream on a spoon when making a sundae. Foods that have the same colour have the same number of calories. Examples : spinach and pistachio ice cream, or mushrooms and white chocolate. Note : chocolate is a universal colour and may be substituted for any other food colour.
I think this article missed one important point: foods eaten at the movies (popcorn, Red Vines, Milk Duds, etc.) have no calories, as they are classified as "entertainment." So, moving beyond our fear of calories, let's get to the good stuff!

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. We had the option of making one or both of the recipes. I chose the Mallows (recipe HERE).

Funny! It was only a couple months ago that I was nostalgically whining to Dan: "Do you remember those chocolate covered marshmallow cookies we used to get as kids? The ones that were round on top and had a cookie base? I haven't seen those in the grocery stores in years, and I'd love to have one!" So you can imagine my delight when the July Daring Bakers' challenge was announced.


I had a lot of fun making them. The base cookies were a breeze - simple little butter cookies with a hint of cinnamon. The recipe made oodles of them, though, so I knew I was going to have some left over. In the end, that turned out to be a good thing . . . but more about that later.



The marshmallow part of the recipe came together quite easily, as well. I remember that my Grandma Rose made marshmallows a couple times for me, and I've always meant to try my hand at them. Once again, the Daring Bakers gave me the kick in the pants that I needed.


The third part of the recipe, the chocolate coating, should have been the easiest, but was the part that gave me a problem. The recipe called for semi-sweet chocolate and a little bit of cocoa butter or vegetable oil to be cooked together. But I didn't follow the recipe exactly (tsk tsk), opting for milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet. Everything looked perfect, but the chocolate stayed sticky instead of forming a crisp shell. I put the cookies in the refrigerator, and they firmed up, but got soft again when I brought them back to room temperature. Not a huge problem. They were just as tasty straight from the refrigerator, and Dan didn't seem to have any problem finding them there.


But refusing to accept defeat, I decided to pull out those extra cookie bases I mentioned above and make some more cookies, using semi-sweet chocolate. I also tinted the marshmallow a soft pink this time around. Success! The chocolate took about two hours to set up, at room temperature, and form a nice hard shell.

These cookies really aren't difficult to make, so I'll probably make them again sometime, but my favorite part of this recipe was making the marshmallows. I remember, about a year ago, buying a tin of "homemade" marshmallows from Williams and Sonoma, for a gift. I think they were about $9 or $10. Now I can make my own, package them in a pretty box, and give them as gifts. Mmmm mmm. Wouldn't they be nice this winter, in a foamy cup of hot chocolate? They could even be flavored with mint or strawberry or . . . well, the sky's the limit. Oh! And I might have to try my hand at making my own Marshmallow Peeps for Sweetpea next spring.

[*The calorie counting advice is not original to me. I saw this somewhere years ago, and just ran across it again in another blog I was reading (http://cherryonacake.blogspot.com/2009/07/coffee-cake-with-chocolate-ganache-n.html)]

15 comments:

Jo said...

Great dietary advice and great job too on your Mallows. It looks absolutely yum!

Betty said...

Wow! My mouth is watering and I NEED one of those cookies!! They look awesome and I´m sure taste it too!!
Good job!

Lauren said...

Love the calorie tips - I'll have to remember those for later =D. Your cookies look amazing!! Great job on this challenge!

Anonymous said...

Can you send me some??? Please! :)

Genie

Linda said...

Genie, the cookies or the marshmallows? OF COURSE I WILL!!! Don't expect them in tomorrow's mail, though - ha! I just got my kitchen cleaned up from this adventure.

mandymortimer said...

I've also heard that calories don't count on weekends or days off... .

I'm not sure if it's true but I take full advantage! :D

Your mallows look perfect! Lovely photos as well :)

nanaglenmum said...

I LOVE your introduction to the recipe! I think it should hang in the house of all good cooks!! Perhaps all things made for a Daring Bakers Challenge should be included as they are obviously for "educational purposes" only!

Pontch said...

Beautiful job
The cookies look delicious!!

singinghorse said...

Your marshmallow mounds look really amazing. Beautifully done!

Julie (Willow Bird Baking) said...

Lovely! I want to give homemade marshmallows now, too! I'm so excited that I know how to make them now.

Lisa Michelle said...

Awesome intro..and your Mallows are spectacular, from the shape of the cookie to the perfect piping, to the thin, even coating. VERY well done!

Baked Alaska said...

Your cookies look wonderful. Great job on the challenge. I had trouble with my chocolate hardening up also, and I did both milk chocolate and semi-sweet. Firmed up in the fridge, then became a nice mess when trying to eat them. Oh well, they tasted good.

Photographer: Sis said...

ROFL! I had to read your list to my daughter - we love it and will abide by it from now on...

GREAT photos of your completed challenge. I wistfully think of eating these as a kid too, and was so happy to find out that they tasted the same (or maybe even a little better) when I made them.

LittleRed said...

Homemade marshmallow had been on my to do list as well so I was tickled pink when I saw the recipe and I just had to make it. I too had issues with chocolate setting up at room temperature...but it has been crazy hot here the past few weeks. I only baked up 1/3 of the dough so I can practice some more with the rest. I'd like to put a dollop of raspberry jam under the marshmallow. Next time I'll use less oil in the coating and see if that helps. Your cookies look so delicious!....and I love the idea of tinting the marshmallow too!

Christina said...

Pink always makes marshmallows taste better :) Great looking cookies!