Monday, July 27, 2009

The Daring Bakers' Challenge -- the Cookies

This month's challenge was cookies. I got really excited when I read the description -- I love cookies. The more, the better. So, when I read that the challenge consisted of two types of cookies, I could not wait to get started. With other stuff going on (and hot and humid temperatures outside), I spent most of my time contemplating the cookies and did not get to do the actual baking until the very last week... And that's when things stopped working the way they were "supposed" to...

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.
Between the two, I decided that the easiest one to make (and the least consuming) would be the Milanos (see the recipe below).

Ten simple steps, right? Well, the consistency of the dough was more like pancake batter. Slightly puzzled, I continued. I figured that the cookies should be thin and crispy and the somewhat liquid cookie batter will spread. They came out a little more cake-y than anticipated and it turned out that I had more filling to fill 3x the amount of cookies I had on hand. But they were good. Not "Oh! My! Gawd!" good but good.

I had friends over on Sunday and I decided to make the Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies, recipe below)....
The dough.. again.. too soft. First I thought that's how it should be but after I could not scrape it off my table, I figured that it needs more flour. No biggie.
Having dough workable consistency sped up the cookie cutting time tremendously. I read on the forums that the recipe amount of marshmallow is too little, so I doubled it. I used dried egg whites, since I was not sure how I felt about the egg-white product sitting at room temperate for a while. I got my syrup to a soft ball stage (took a bit longer, than I thought) and beat my egg whites until soft peaks. Poured the syrup in... The consistency of the mallows seemed a little runny. When piped, the marshmallows just spread all over the place. And I ended up having about half of the marshmallows left over.
My friends loved, loved, loved the leftover marshmallow. The cookies turned out exceptionally good. Really decadent. This ones I will be make again (keeping in mind all the missteps I've made), probably sooner than I want to admit to myself at this point.


Milan Cookies

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 20 minInactive

Prep Time: 0 min <--- so underestimated

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.


Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website

Prep Time: 10 min (yeah, right!)

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.


  1. Your cookies turned out great, nicely done!

  2. Beautiful job on BOTH cookies! Love how perfectly shaped they are, and so cleanly put together, and yummy looking!

  3. They look great!! I had trouble rolling out the Mallow cookie dough too! Oh my goodness, what a mess. But I finally rechilled and it went much better after that.

  4. Sorry to hear the marshmallow didn't work out for you, your mallows still look tasty though! Your milans are also lovely.
    Beautifully photographed :)

  5. There was definitely something weird about the proportions in the mallows recipe... But at any rate, you did wonderful on both the cookies! I especially like the texture of the milans!