July Daring Bakers challenge!

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. (Except that I don’t think she’s actually on the Food Network anymore [though Brian Boitano will be soon – what the what?!] which is a shame because I always like her show.)

Basically, I think we were recreating Mallomars and Pepperidge Farms’ Milanos (which were one of the few things that I missed when I stopped eating chocolate). But the times, they are a-changin’! I may not be eating chocolate on a regular basis, but I have recently decided to try and ease it back into my diet. So I was excited to try these recipes, particularly making my own marshmallows for the Mallomars!

Unfortunately, I was not a huge fan of the Mallomars once they were finished. I’ve never had a real one, so I can’t say for sure how closely they were replicated here, but I think what I didn’t like was the cinnamon that was in the cookie dough. I think when I make these again, I’ll use vanilla or maybe almond extract instead of the cinnamon.

Making the marshmallows went pretty well (I was disappointed not to get to use my new candy thermometer because there wasn’t enough depth of liquid in the pan I was using) – there was a bit of a kerfuffle with the gelatin, but it all worked out. I have to say, though, that I hope marshmallows aren’t made by hand because it took about 10 minutes or so of whipping at a very high speed with my KitchenAid mixer. Thank god for my Pink Lady otherwise, that would have been exhausting!

I was much more fond of the Milanos and will definitely be making these again! I had a little bit of trouble managing to pipe the right amount of batter for the cookies – mostly just because I was never sure quite how much they were going to spread. So the sizes ranged from tiny, bite-sized cookies to fairly hefty ones. Also, I think I probably could have let the cookies bake a bit longer – my cookies were fairly chewy instead of the crispy crunch that I remember real Milanos having. They actually crisped up a bit as they went stale which made for a more similar texture.

So two new cookies to add to my repertoire – yay! Click on the Daring Bakers logo above to click through the blogroll and see everyone’s experiences with this challenge.

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