She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.
So Nicole threw down the gauntlet and challenged all the Daring Bakers to make marshmallows. Hummm. I'm not a big marshmallow fan, but what the hay. Mallows it would be.
The cookie part of the mallow was a snap. Other Daring Bakers had cautioned that the recipe made a ton of cookies, so I cut the recipe down to a third.
Next came the marshmallows. Yikes, what a sticky mess! I had marshmallow cream in my hair, under my nails, stuck to my elbow, nose and cheek. Good thing no one was around to take pictures of me.
As with the cookies, other Daring Bakers had forewarned the procrastinators about marshmallow mixing pitfalls, so I beat the marshmallow mix like forever. Here it is after 15 minutes.
In the end I mixed it too long (you think) because the marshmallows firmed up almost immediately and I had a hard time piping. I tried a variety of piped shapes including the traditional, spirals, and bunnies (got the idea from Martha Stewart).
Here is one of the marshmallow bunnies going into the chocolate bath. Swim little fella, swim.
Some Daring Bakers also reported that the chocolate thinned with oil took too long to set, so they suggested using solid shortening instead. I used the shortening and my chocolate set very quickly, but it got all spotty. I don't know if the problem was my chocolate (Nestle) or my technique (melting in a microwave). I guess my chocolate wasn't tempered properly, but the taste testers didn't seem to mind.
So here are the finished Mallows. The traditional:
The Mallow Bunny (my favorite):
The Spiral: With the spiral I was trying for a lollipop look (a la Bakerella), but they just didn't look right. When I covered them in chocolate they resembled mounds of dog poo on a stick! I didn't want to gross anyone out, so I just sprinkled the spirals with colored sugar instead. ( I have pictures of the "poo" if you want to see...)
The Peek-A-Boo Mallow. At this point I was running out of chocolate so I just spooned a blob of chocolate on the top instead of dipping the entire cookie.
So that is it for the July 2009 Daring Baker Challenge. I can't wait to see what we get to bake in August.