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)]