Wednesday, December 30, 2009

my favorite cooking blogs ~

Just a quick post this morning, for fun - I was exploring the world of couscous, which I've never made, and ran across a new foodblog that I immediately fell in love with, and it got me to thinking that maybe I should share my favs here. So, here goes:

1) This one is a combo blog, lots of good food, great photography, cats, and roses. And a great dose of Jesus too. What could be better? :)

2) A fun one to follow, this young girl has a zest for life and photography and baking that will just make you feel young again.

3) My go-to place for great Vietnamese recipes. :)

4) This one has lots of good homey-type recipes. I don't have time to try them all but man, do they look satisfying.

5) Another fun place to hang out and see what warm and comforting goodies she dishes out. I smile just thinking about it.

6) Gotta recommend this one for the wit, great photography, and the recipes that are like, wow! Just found it and went through 3 or 4 pages and loved every single thing I saw. I've tagged her adobo chicken recipe and the coconut shrimp for cooking within the week.

Check them out, and happy cooking, in this Happy New Year season ~

Monday, December 28, 2009

and a Christmas tradition ~

Actually, a Christmas AND Thanksgiving AND Easter dinner tradition...we have these at all of those special holidays - Deviled Eggs. Yum.

This was another request of my daughter's to learn how to make these. It was fun, because she learned that not everything's a 'written-down' recipe. Our Deviled Eggs are made by taste alone, and that's half the fun of making them. The other half is eating them. LOL.


Our Deviled Eggs

Hard-boil and peel as many eggs as you need, we did 8 for 16 servings. Gently slice the peeled eggs in half lengthwise, and scoop out the yolk into a mixing bowl. Place the empty whites on a deviled egg plate with the hole up.

Mash all the yolks well with a fork, and add a couple of large spoons of Miracle Whip (you can use mayonaisse but it's not as good, lol), and a good healthy spoon or so of mustard, either yellow mustard or Dijon - the yellow gives a brighter color but I do love the Dijon. She used yellow for these. Mix that in, and then add dill pickle relish to taste. We like that a lot, so she added about 3 heaping tablespoons. Finely chop as much onion as you like and mix that in. Add a teaspoon or so of sugar, and then salt and pepper to taste. Fill the holes of the whites with a big spoon of the deviled filling, and when all of it's in, sprinkle them all with paprika. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour before serving.


standard Southern fare ~

It's not often that I deep fry anything, just because it's not very healthy and as the years go by, I like fresher flavors than those in deep fried dishes. I did grow up on a lot of deep fried foods, though, and every once in a while, there comes an occasion to make something in this manner - either I get a 'hankering' for it, or my daughter requests it, such as fried squash. She loves that stuff.

She's taken an interest in cooking, lately. I know what's up, she's in college now and when she can afford it, she wants to (eek!) "move out." lol. But she also wants to be able to feed herself good food without spending tons of money on it. So she's wanting to learn to cook from me. We've decided she needs to take care of one supper per week, and she's really excited about it. I got her a cookbook for Christmas that has a lot of basic techniques and recipes, to help her get started.

Here's the first one she did, and I must say, the student outdid the teacher in this case. I've never been good at breaded meats, because for some reason or another, the breading falls off in the grease with me. So when she called me from work saying she wanted to try backstrap, I kind of groaned. lol. But we took our time, and she made some fantastic backstrap, better than I've ever done - we could tear the meat with our fingers, it was so tender. She also learned gravy at the same time, because we like rice and gravy with deep fried breaded meat. Nothing like doubling up on unhealthy, right? ROFL! Seriously, we do this so seldom, there's no guilt involved. Maybe 3 times a year do we cook like this. :)

We didn't weigh any of the meat, so I don't know how to tell you to estimate it, just however much your family will eat, and adjust the amount of eggs and breading accordingly.

Breaded Venison Backstrap

2 packages (approximately 20 pieces) backstrap, thawed
2 cups flour, seasoned as desired (we used salt & pepper, and Tony Chachere's Creole seasoning)
2 or 3 eggs, beaten with a fork
an inch or so of cooking oil, in a cast iron skillet, preferably

Get the oil pretty hot. I think this is the secret to not losing the breading, this and not crowding the meat. We tested ours by sprinkling a little flour in the oil, and when it bubbled and sizzled vigorously, she started cooking the meat, alternating the temperature by turning it down a little after browning the meat on the first side, and turning it back up a bit right before each new batch was added.


As the oil heats, take about 7 or 8 pieces of backstrap and flour them thoroughly, then dip them in the egg, then back in the flour. Your fingers will get really messy so have paper towels handy. Place the meat in the hot oil, and remember to leave space between them, not crowding. Move them around with a slotted spoon or spatula after loading the pan, to help avoid sticking to the bottom. Fry for 5-7 minutes, checking the breading to make sure it's not burning, then flip over and fry the other side. Drain on paper towels.


When you're done, pour out most of the oil, but leave the bottom covered in maybe 1/4 inch, including the browned bits from cooking the meat. Brown a couple tablespoons of flour to desired color (just use some of the flour left from the breading), and then slowly add a cup of milk, stirring with a whisk to blend and avoid lumps. As this cooks and thickens, add more liquid as needed (milk, or even water) to get the desired consistency of gravy. Salt and pepper to taste, and serve over hot rice. Add a salad and you've got a great Southern meal. Well, some might say you need hot cornbread as well, but we skipped that this time. :)

Enjoy supper, then take a walk to work some of this off! LOL


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Indian dosas ~

Since I had so much fun with The Daring Baker's challenge that I did, I signed up for The Daring Cooks too. :) I needed something else in my schedule. LOL

I'm running late posting here, it was supposed to be on the 14th - but with all the rain we've had, a limb broke off a tree and knocked our power out that day, and we didn't get it back until late Tuesday night. Yesterday was full of church activities after work, so yes, I'm dragging in here late...

Debyi from hosted the challenge this month - you can find it at as well as other fun stuff. Debyi chose Indian dosas for the challenge, and it was indeed a challenge because I've never made an Indian dish before and also - I tend to not cook vegetarian. You know me and meat. LOL

Anyway - Stevie and I were pretty much the only two who tried it, but I figured that. The guys are boring, us girls are adventurous and daring! I liked it, but it was very powerful and different from anything I've ever made before. Much more spicy and complex than the typical Vietnamese cooking I like to do (when I'm not cooking "regular Southern" food, haha). My favorite part was the filling - Stevie and I think it would be good in any dish where you have a bean type filling, like burritoes or even mixing it up into some baked beans. The sauce was pretty good but I added significantly more salt to it than it called for. I'm trying some over rice tonight. :) The pancakes were, well, kind of bland but you know, with all the other flavors, I don't know if we could take any more from the pancake. It was really a rich dish.

I did have lots of fun making it and am looking forward to the next challenge. :)

Here's the recipe, copied directly from the challenge post:
Dosa Pancakes
1 cup (120gm/8oz) spelt flour (or all-purpose, gluten free flour)
½ tsp (2½ gm) salt
½ tsp (2½ gm) baking powder
½ tsp (2½ gm) curry powder
½ cup (125ml/4oz) almond milk (or soy, or rice, etc.)
¾ cup (175ml/6oz) watercooking spray, if needed

Dosa Filling
1 batch Curried Garbanzo Filling (see below), heated

Dosa Toppings
1 batch Coconut Curry Sauce (see below), heated
¼ cup (125gm) grated coconut¼ cucumber, sliced

Dosa Pancakes
1.Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl, slowly adding the almond milk and water, whisking until smooth.
2.Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray your pan with a thin layer of cooking spray, if needed.
3.Ladle 2 tablespoons of batter into the center of your pan in a circular motion until it is a thin, round pancake. When bubbles appear on the surface and it no longer looks wet, flip it over and cook for a few seconds. Remove from heat and repeat with remaining batter. Makes 8 pancakes.

Curried Garbanzo Filling
This filling works great as a rice bowl topping or as a wrap too, so don't be afraid to make a full batch.
5 cloves garlic

1 onion, peeled and finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 green pepper, finely diced (red, yellow or orange are fine too)
2 medium hot banana chilies, minced
2 TBSP (16gm) cumin, ground
1 TBSP (8gm) oregano
1 TBSP (8gm) sea salt (coarse)
1 TBSP (8gm) turmeric
4 cups (850gm/30oz) cooked or canned chick peas (about 2 cans)
½ cup (125gm/4oz) tomato paste
1.Heat a large saucepan over medium to low heat. Add the garlic, veggies, and spices, cooking until soft, stirring occasionally.

2.Mash the chickpeas by hand, or in a food processor. Add the chickpeas and tomato paste to the saucepan, stirring until heated through.

Coconut Curry Sauce
This makes a great sauce to just pour over rice as well. This does freeze well, but the texture will be a little different. The flavor is still the same though. My picture of this sauce is one that I had made, had to freeze, then thaw to use. It tastes great, but the texture is a little runnier, not quite as thick as it was before freezing.
1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 cloves garlic
½ (2½ gm) tsp cumin, ground
¾ (3¾ gm) tsp sea salt (coarse)
3 TBSP (30gm) curry powder
3 TBSP (30gm) spelt flour (or all-purpose GF flour)
3 cups (750ml/24oz) vegetable broth
2 cups (500ml/24oz) coconut milk
3 large tomatoes, diced
1.Heat a saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic, cooking for 5 minutes, or until soft.

2.Add the spices, cooking for 1 minutes more. Add the flour and cook for 1 additional minute.
3.Gradually stir in the vegetable broth to prevent lumps. Once the flour has been incorporated, add the coconut milk and tomatoes, stirring occasionally.
4.Let it simmer for half an hour.

Final yum:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

mango-coconut ice cream ~

After getting an ice cream maker at Wallyworld on clearance, I couldn't wait to make some. I had a few nice ripe mangoes, and hmm, yep, it sounded good to me! Got some recipes online, and just tweaked and played and decided as I went. The result? YUM!

Very strong in the mango flavor, to tell the truth, but that's fine with me and the kids; coconut milk adds some flavor but not so much that I know I need to use it next time. In fact, I'm going to make this again with regular milk and see how it goes.

At any rate, it's very good the way I did it, and it's a pretty color, too. :)

Mango-Coconut Ice Cream

1 1/3 cups mango puree (2 large ripe mangoes, peeled, deseeded, and pureed in blender)
3/4 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup half & half
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup 2% milk
3 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

Stir together thoroughly in a bowl: mango puree, coconut milk, half & half, corn syrup, lemon juice and vanilla and set aside.

Place milk in a heavy 2 quart saucepan and bring just to a boil. Whisk together in another bowl or in a mixer the egg yolks, sugar, and salt. Add the hot milk in a thin stream, whisking constantly until well blended. Pour back into saucepan and cook the custard on medium low heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until the temperature registers 170 to 175 degrees Fahrenheit on a candy thermometer (approx. 2-4 minutes). Pour into mango mixture, mix well, and place in refrigerator, covered, to chill for 3-4 hours. You can run it through a sieve but I didn't do this, I didn't mind the texture of the mangoes.

When custard is chilled, freeze in ice cream freezer according to manufacturer directions. Place ice cream into an airtight container and freeze in the freezer overnight to harden.

Look at this - I could hardly keep from eating it before it was pureed, mmm! I love mangoes.


Mango mixture, waiting patiently.


Eggs, sugar and salt, whisked and ready.


Hot milk/egg mixture, ready to add to the custard.


Custard, cooked and about to be chilled.


Freezer running, packed with ice and rock salt.


This isn't the best picture, but I was trying to capture the motion of the bucket spinning.


I'm so coldhearted... :D


This is the way it looked when it was done. It was already pretty firm, I think I over froze it, if that's possible, lol.


Oh yum! Transferring it to the plastic tub (an old sherbet container was perfect); and yes, I did taste - we all did, teehee!


Here it is the next day, in all it's mango-ey glory. Wonderful taste!


Friday, August 21, 2009

you took the words right out of my mouth ~

Now THAT'S my favorite Meatloaf...I have always loved his music. teehee!

I experimented with a different kind of meatloaf tonight, the eating kind. lol. Meatloaf has never been a fav meal for me but ya know, I think it's because if it's dry, I just don't like it. Other than that, I like the combination of good flavors.

I went kinda wild this time - pork sausage and venison rather than beef, and I made my own sauce for it. The whole thing is loosely based on Alton Brown's meatloaf recipe from and I took quite a few liberties with it.


Meatloaf Sis Style

1 pound ground pork sausage
1 pound ground venison
1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
1 medium onion, cut in to wedges or sliced thick
5 or 6 cloves garlic, peeled
about 8 baby carrots
1 large or 2 small jalapeno peppers (remove seeds if you don't want the heat)
about 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
about a cup bread crumbs (seasoned, if you like)
2 eggs

1 can tomato sauce
4 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon Worcestershire
about 1/2 teaspoon of your favorite hot sauce
3 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon brown sugar
freshly ground sea salt to taste
freshly ground pepper to taste

Place the sausage and venison in a large bowl. Mix it around a little. In a food processor, place the celery, onion, garlic, carrots, and jalapenos. Pulse until chopped very small but be careful not to puree. Add this to the meat in the bowl. Add salt and pepper. Pour in the bread crumbs and drop the eggs in. I use a potato masher to get things fairly mixed, and then use my hands to finish it out.

For the sauce: pour the tomato sauce into a medium bowl, and add the cumin, Worcestershire, hot sauce, honey, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Mix well with a whisk and taste. Make adjustments to suit your tastes.

Pour about a half cup of the sauce into the meat mixture and blend well. Add more bread crumbs if the meat mixture seems too 'wet' and doesn't stick together well; however, don't go overboard, you don't want it too dry or full of bread crumbs.

Place meat in a greased 9x10 dish, and shape into a long, even loaf, or a round one if you want to use a round baking dish. Bake at 325 for 30 minutes. Pour on enough sauce to cover the loaf entirely, spreading it with a basting brush or a large spoon (however, do not dip the brush or spoon into the sauce, because you don't want to contaminate it with raw meat juices - just pour it out of the bowl or use a measuring cup to scoop it out). Use about a half cup at a time so you don't get too much and waste it. Continue baking until meatloaf is done. Alton Brown's recipe says until a meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees. I don't have one, so I just baked it 40 more minutes (total of 1 hour, 10 minutes) and checked in the middle to see if it was done. Let meatloaf sit for 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve with some of the remaining sauce.



Tuesday, August 18, 2009

#1 best EVER cheesecake ~

When I first saw this recipe on 17andbaking, I just knew I was going to try it. Since then, I've made three cheesecakes, LOL. That's just how much I like it, because the first one was just a couple weeks ago. :)

Here is the original recipe, by Elissa, the author of that wonderful blog. The following recipe is my version of it, with a couple of changes that resulted in a cheesecake more to my personal tastes - meaning, a bit more dense, and with stronger lime flavor.

If you love cheesecake, give this a try. Don't be scared by the "strange" combination of flavors. They are absolutely divine. And cheesecakes aren't hard to make at all.


Chocolate Marble Cheesecake with Coconut, Lemongrass,
and Kaffir Lime
(adapted from a recipe by Elissa at 17andbaking)

**This version makes 2 cheesecakes: one 9-inch and one 10-inch**

4 cups chocolate layer cookie crumbs (pulsed to crumb texture in food processor)
1 1/4 sticks butter, melted
4 teaspoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Combine in a large bowl and mix well; press firmly into bottom of non-stick (or greased) 9- and 10-inch springform pans (approximately 40%, 60% respectively). Set aside.

1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup coconut cream (NOT coconut milk)
1 large stalk lemongrass, cut into 1 inch pieces (including leaves)
3 dried or frozen Kaffir lime leaves, cut into strips
6 eight-ounce containers cream cheese, room temperature
2 cups sugar
6 large eggs, room temperature
juice and pulp of one medium size lime
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate squares, melted and slightly cooled

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; boil large pot of water for waterbath. Wrap springform pans in double layer of heavy aluminum foil; prepare crusts as described above and set aside.

Mix cream and coconut cream in saucepan, and add lemongrass pieces and kaffir lime leaf strips. Heat on medium-high heat until the mixture just begins to boil, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and cover. Steep for a half-hour, then strain cream mixture into a bowl and let it cool completely. Discard the lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves.

Place cream cheese and sugar into a large mixer bowl. Cream until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well with each egg, and scraping the sides frequently. Add the cream mixture, vanilla extract, and the lime juice/pulp and blend until smooth and creamy.

Take about 2 cups of the cream cheese mixture and blend with the melted chocolate. Pour some white batter into the prepared crusts, and dollop with several spoonfuls of chocolate cheesecake mixture. Repeat layers (white batter, chocolate dollops) until batters are gone. Run a sharp thin knife through the batter to swirl. Tap the pans on the counter to help remove air bubbles.


Place the pans inside one large pan (big enough for both springforms) or inside 2 smaller pans. Pour boiling water 1 inch deep into the larger pan, being careful not to pour water between the springform pans and the foil.

Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until almost done - cheesecake will hold together, but still have jiggle in the center. Close the oven door after checking, turn off the heat, and leave the cheesecakes in the cooling oven for at least 40 minutes, preferably an hour. Place cheesecakes on the counter on a rack, and let them cool completely before removing springform pan sides (couple hours). Chill at least 5 or 6 hours in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap or foil. When chilled fully, it is ready to serve. Enjoy!


Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vietnamese: Shaking Beef and Vinegared Onions ~

Oh. My. Goodness.

I have a new favorite. TWO new favorites. This was the most awesome meal EVER.

I got the recipe from Wandering Chopsticks' blog, and please click on the name to see her great photos and commentary, as well as her original recipes (click "Wandering" for the onions, "Chopsticks" for the beef dish ~ aren't I clever? LOL). Lots of times I change a little here, little there, but this time, I pretty much left things alone. :) I did double things a little, and noted it in the recipe.

So - no need for lotsa words, here goes - an easy and delish salad meal.


Hanh Dam (Vietnamese Vinegared Onions)
(doubled due to large size of the onion)

1 large onion, sliced thin and placed in a bowl
1 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons white sugar

Sprinkle the sugar over the onions as they sit in the bowl; pour the vinegar over everything, then stir/toss well. Let the mixture sit for about 20 minutes, at least, tossing and mixing frequently and making sure the onions stay covered by the vinegar. Enjoy! Store the remainder covered in the fridge.

Bo Luc Lac (Vietnamese Shaking Beef)
(marinade doubled according to amount of meat)

1 1/2 pounds beef (or venison round steak, which is what I used), cubed small
4 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons salt (next time, I'll reduce this to 1 1/2 teaspoons)
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon sugar

Mix fish sauce, salt, pepper, and sugar, and pour over meat cubes, mixing well. Sit aside to marinate at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the dish. I actually let the meat marinate while I went to the store, so it was very well marinated for about an hour.

To cook, mince a couple of garlic cloves and stir fry briefly in a little hot oil in a wok or skillet. Add the beef, reserving any juice you may have for later. Cook the meat, without stirring very much, so it will char a bit. When I did this, at first the beef released a lot of liquid and I was wondering if it would ever char. I turned the heat up a bit higher and in a few minutes, the liquid cooked down and the meat started charring satisfactorily. When it's done like you want it, add any remaining meat/marinade juices and cook for a minute more.

1 bunch greens of your choice (I used spinach leaves)
1 or 2 large tomatoes, sliced into bite size chunks
Hanh Dam (vinegared onions)

Place washed greens in a 'wreath' on a plate, and top with sliced tomatoes. Using a slotted spoon or tongs, place some onions in the center. Grind a little salt and pepper over the whole thing, and drizzle a little of the onion vinegar over the spinach and tomatoes. Top the whole salad with some of the warm shaking beef, and dig in.

Simply amazing. My new favorite.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

snack time! ~

I have not ever considered myself hesitant to try new tastes, but until I started cooking some Vietnamese (and other Asian) food, I didn't know that truthfully, I was hesitant. I was always willing to taste Cajun food, Mexican food, things I was somewhat familiar with - but after my mom said mangoes tasted to her like pine-sol, it took several minutes to will myself into taking a bite of the peeled, juicy one I had in my hand that day. And it's been full speed ahead since then, with mangoes falling right below lemons and limes for my absolute favorite fruit.

Today, I found that still, I have a hesitancy about me - I am determined to get rid of that, if it takes me the rest of my life to do it, lol.

The sweet sweet little older Japanese lady at the Asian market that I adore, well, today, when I asked her about a package of mung bean cakes, told me they were a fairly healthy snack. I honestly had no idea what to expect, but I was feeling adventurous and bought one. All afternoon, it's taunted me in there, as it sat on the kitchen counter looking all smug and self-satisfied. "Come on, big talker, whatcha waitin' for?"

So I came in here and googled it. LOL


When I found it was supposed to have a sweet taste, I hesitated no longer - and you know, I like it. It faintly reminds me of Big Mama's fried pies, when I was a little girl. Not that it's fried, because it's not, it's baked. But there's something about a fruity tasting paste inside a crust that makes me think of those yummy fried peach pies that I gorged myself on at 8 years old.

But it's kind of heavy. They aren't really very big, but they are thick and the paste fills up just about the whole inside. Half was good enough for me, for now. Later, I'm going to pop the other half into the microwave for a few secs, and see if it tastes good warm.

I am all about finding fairly healthy snacks to get me through the day, especially when I'm working, and school will be starting up very soon. This one made it to the list, along with hardboiled eggs, string cheese, and bananas. :)

Thanks, Fuji-ya lady. One more step forward along the no-hesitation path of eating.


Monday, July 27, 2009

the Daring Baker's July Challenge...Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

So - I've added something else to my already FULL plate - a monthly baking challenge. LOL.

Ah, well, a girl has to do something she loves to pamper herself a bit, right? :)

Since I love baking, I thought this would be fun. A new challenge every month, posted on the 27th of the month, and here goes my first one ever. The Daring Bakers are found at and all the participating members get the challenge on the same day of the month (at the beginning), bake it during the month, and post their results on their blogs on the same day of the month, the 27th. If it sounds like fun to you, check it out and let me know so I can keep my eyes open for your posts. :)

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.

Since it was legal to only choose one of the two, I did the marshmallow cookies. Too much going on this month and time got away from me to do the Milan cookies, but I am hanging on to the recipe for later.

OK - here goes, with recipes (cookies, marshmallows, and chocolate) and my most likely droning commentary accompanying, LOL.

For the cookie base:
3 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 eggs, whisked together
Homemade marshmallows (recipe follows)
Chocolate glaze (recipe follows)

In a mixer, blend the dry ingredients, then add butter and mix until sandy (I had it at room temperature). Add the eggs and mix until well combined. Form dough into a ball or disk, wrap with plastic wrap tightly, and refrigerate for at least an hour (or up to 3 days).
For baking, preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a cookie sheet, or use parchment paper/silocon mat. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to desired thickness. The original recipe said 1/8 inch, but I think that's a little too think, I did some that way but preferred the ones that were about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out small rounds of dough using a 1 1/2 inch cutter.
Place on prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool to room temperature on a rack. (Note - I made this kind and also added some cocoa powder to the recipe for chocolate cookies).
Next, with homemade marshmallows in a pastry bag, pipe a kiss of marshmallow onto each cooled cookie, and let sit uncovered at room temperature for a couple of hours. (Another note - I took out about 2/3 of the marshmallows and then for the last 1/3, added 1/4 teaspoon orange extract and a little red and yellow food coloring, to use on the chocolate cookie base).
Prepare a cookie sheet with parchment paper or silicon mat, and dip the cookies into the melted chocolate glaze, lifting out with a fork when covered. Be sure and let the extra chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on pan and let sit at room temperature until the coating is firm, a few hours. I actually had to chill mine after they cooled, for a couple of hours, to get it firm enough not to stick to my fingers. A note about the marshmallows - you can make these cookies with store marshmallows by using the large ones, and cutting them in half, putting 1 half on each cookie. Heat it a little in a 350 oven to slightly melt and brown the marshmallow, and then dip after it cools.
For the homemade marshmallows:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin (one envelope)
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites , room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
In a bowl, place 2 tablespoons of cold water and sprinkle the powdereded gelatin over it to dissolve.
While this is going on, in a saucepan, mix 1/4 c. water, the light corn syrup, and the sugar. Bring to a boil and cook until 235 degrees on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Pour the syrup into the gelatin bowl, and mix well.
Whip the two egg whites until they soft peak stage; then pour the syrup mixture in (while mixer is running), add the vanilla, and beat at high speed until stiff peaks are formed.
Put the marshmallow mixture into a pastry bag and pipe out the marshmallows onto the cookies.

Chocolate glaze:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water. Use to dip marshmallow covered cookies. I used this exact recipe but next time, I'll use shortening like my mom does when she makes candy at Christmas. The chocolate sets up better and looks prettier in the end.
These were amazingly tasty and reminded me of the cookies I used to get at Piggly Wiggly when I was a kid. There were quite a few of them, and luckily for me and the kids, we didn't have to have them tempting us for several days, because we had a cookie reception for our new youth minister and his wife, and I took them as part of my contribution. Because honestly, I probably could have eaten them all, myself. They were that good.