Monday, July 27, 2009


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.

I really loved the Mallows (marshmallow cookies). My husband remembered them being called Pinwheels. I made them three times for different people and everyone was amazed that it was possible to make marshmallows. Don't be afraid, it is really easy. The glaze that goes over them is far more difficult to master. You must temper the chocolate first then add the oil or you will get bloom. The recipe did not state this and my first batch bloomed, tasted good but looked awful.

The Milano cookies are good they just don't look as nice as I would like, but they tasted great.
Here are the recipes:

Mallows(Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)
Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Prep Time: 10 min
Inactive Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 10 min
Serves: about 2 dozen cookies

• 3 Cups (375grams/13.23oz) All Purpose Flour
• 1/2 Cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) White Sugar
• 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
• 3/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
• 3/8 Teaspoon Baking Soda
• 1/2 Teaspoon ground Cinnamon
• 12 Tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) Unsalted Butter
• 3 Eggs, whisked together

• Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows
• Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

1. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
2. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
3. Add the eggs and mix until combine.
4. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
5. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
6. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
7. 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.
8. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.
9. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.
10. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat.
11. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
12. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
13. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.
Note: if you don’t want to make your own marshmallows, you can cut a large marshmallow in half and place on the cookie base. Heat in a preheated 350-degree oven to slump the marshmallow slightly, it will expand and brown a little. Let cool, then proceed with the chocolate dipping.

Homemade marshmallows:
• 1/4 Cup Water
• 1/4 Cup Light Corn Syrup
• 3/4 Cup (168.76 grams/5.95oz) Sugar
• 1 Tablespoon Powdered Gelatin (or 3 gelatin sheets softened in ice water, omitting the water in the recipe)
• 2 Tablespoons Cold Water
• 2 Egg Whites , room temperature
• 1/4 Teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract

1. 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.
2. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
3. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
4. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
5. Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
6. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Chocolate glaze:
• 12 ounces semisweet chocolate• 2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil
1. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.
The above is how the recipe was written. I tempered the chocolate first then added the oil and they turned out beautiful.

Recipe courtesy Gale Gand, from Food Network website
Prep Time: 20 min
Cook Time: 1 hr
Serves: 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
• 2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
• 2 Teaspoons 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)
• Zest of 1 Orange

1. In a mixer with paddle attachment cream the butter and the sugar.
2. Add the egg whites gradually and then mix in the vanilla and lemon extracts.
3. Add the flour and mix until just well mixed.
4. 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.
5. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until light golden brown around the edges. Let cool on the pan.
6. While waiting for the cookies to cool, in a small saucepan over medium flame, scald cream.
7. Pour hot cream over chocolate in a bowl, whisk to melt chocolate, add zest and blend well.
8. Set aside to cool (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
9. 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.
10. Repeat with the remainder of the cookies.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I know July 4th has come and gone but I wanted to post the picture of these cookies I made. This blog started out as a way to chronicle my dessert presentations so when I was under the gun for an idea I could just go to my blog and remember what I had done in the past for inspiration. It has turned into much more, now with recipes as well as pictures and of course all my Daring Baker challenges. It has also become a marketing tool for people to look at when they want to order a dessert or cake from me.

For these cookies I used my standard short dough recipe and royal icing. The stars were cut out of fondant with a very small cutter.

Thursday, July 09, 2009


For the past 9 days I have been in Phoenix Arizona at the World Pastry Forum assisting Laurent Le Daniel. He taught 5 days of classes on Petit Gateau. It was intense work. The first day we prepped for 12 hours. Each day thereafter we shaved off some time as the prep became more familiar. During the classes we had an interpreter as Laurent's English is minimal. Laurent is the nicest man and was very generous with his recipes and knowledge. All of the petit gateau he taught, and gave recipes for, he sells in his 3 shops. If you want to drool over his website it is

Laurent was able, one on one, to speak some english to me (my french is almost non-existent). I found out that he is married and has a 7 year old son. Upon his return to France he was starting work on a 50th wedding anniversary cake for his parents.

In one of our last conversation's he told me that he loved my passion for patisserie!! That meant allot to me.
These are the 4 desserts we made each day and taught the procedure to the students. You can see how beautiful they are and I can tell you they tasted fabulous.