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 http://thedaringkitchen.com/ 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.
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.
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.