I am a Daring {cookie} Baker

Happy 27th of the month… official Daring Baker “reveal day” for those of you who are paying attention. This month was a doozie, my friends – and it was double trouble!

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.

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I had big plans of knocking out both recipes in one weekend. But, weekends being what they are, I ended up having to split the challenge between two Sundays. No worries, though… that just meant that I didn’t have to choose between which cookie I wanted to snack on!

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I made the Milanos first — some oblong like the Pepperidge Farm variety, some round for ease of matching up the two sides. (Sure, I could have made a template to use when piping my cookies, but what fun is that?) I didn’t have much problem with spreading and, overall, everything came together quite nicely. I loved the citrus bursts in both the cookies and the ganache filling and was more than pleased with how pretty these were!

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Next up were the Mallow cookies — a three part adventure involving a cookie base, marshmallow topping, and chocolate coating. The cookie base was a snap, though it did make more than double the number that I needed (102 cookies!). The marshmallow topping was wonderfully simple and we had a fun time snagging spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff out of the bowl.  The chocolate coating went on nicely, but gets very melty within minutes of being outside of the fridge… my only complaint about these. Luckily, it hasn’t kept me from gobbling them down and licking the melted chocolate off my fingers!

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All in all, both recipes were fantastic and I can see myself making both again very soon! Thanks, Nicole for two fantastic recipes and a wonderful July challenge!

Milan Cookies
(recipe by Gale Gand)

Makes 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

In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.

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. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.

While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).

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. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

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Mallows
(recipe by Gale Gand)

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

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 with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy. Add the eggs and mix until combine.

Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.

When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

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. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

Homemade marshmallows:
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites , room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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.

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.

Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.

Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag.

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.

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18 thoughts on “I am a Daring {cookie} Baker

  1. Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous photos! Both cookies look spectacular; I’m going to have to give them a shot sometime soon.

  2. Rosa says:

    What pretty cookies! They look so perfect and delicious! Great job!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

  3. Dharm says:

    Simply lovely! The milano’s look like the real thing and I love how your mallow cookies turned out too!!

  4. arimou0 says:

    I agree with Rosa, they look perfect and delicious :D Great pictures!

  5. grace says:

    your pyramid of marshmallow is extremely exciting. nicely done.

  6. Jacqueline says:

    They both look supremely wonderful! I think you made an expert job out of them both. I am feeling slightly in awe at the moment!

  7. isa says:

    They both look delicious!
    Your presentation is beautiful!

  8. These look FANTASTIC! Such gorgeous photos of such gorgeous cookies…I am considering adding myself to the Daring Bakers wait list, but I’m not sure I could ever come close to the perfection I see here!

  9. Christina says:

    Wonderful looking cookies!

  10. Jamie says:

    Beautiful….well done! :)

  11. Aparna says:

    Both your sets of cookies look perfect. Your Milanos are so beautifully matched.

  12. lisamichele says:

    Definitely one of the top aesthetically beautiful Milanos and Mallows I’ve seen in this challenge! I love the star tipped swirl on the Mallows and how perfectly the chocolate adhered to each swirl..and your Milanos..OMG, no one would ever know they weren’t the real thing! Absolute perfection!

  13. shaz says:

    Those Mallows are absolute perfection! Such gorgeous swirls. And the Milanos are so uniform!! (Mine slopped all over the baking sheet -arggh) Fantastic job :)

  14. Lan says:

    1. i know what you mean about wanting to complete this challenge in one Go, i had plans to do the milan cookies too but no dice…

    2. your mallows are gorgeous. i am in love with the dollop shape. actually jealous. my roommate wanted to know why my cookies didn’t come out shaped like that. i had no answer. agreed about the melting chocolate but the cookies didn’t last very long for it to be a problem…

    3. your milan cookies are also beautiful. i really wish i had made them too but it just was not meant to be.

    awesome job!

  15. peasepudding says:

    Your Milano are so perfect and I love your crisp clear photos.

  16. What perfectly pretty milanos and luscious little mallows! L0ve the swirl in your mallows!

  17. BitterSweet says:

    I can’t even believe how perfect both of your cookies look! They absolutely put the originals to shame. Amazing work!

  18. Hilary says:

    My goodness. These are the most professional-looking cookies I’ve seen yet. What a triumph!

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