Friday, September 19, 2008

Loveable: S'mores Cookies

I believe I have found the world’s ugliest cookie. I made some cookies from a recipe in Gourmet magazine, and when I made a second batch, one of my nannies asked me what that log in the refrigerator was. I explained that they were the chocolate cookies that had been around the previous week. The other nanny was joyous that I was making another batch.

“I kept eating them,” she said, “And Kerina kept asking why I was eating those ugly cookies. I told her, they’re ugly, but they’re awesome!”

Indeed, I would say “ugly but awesome” sums these cookies up perfectly. In fact, so ugly are they that it took me half the batch just to find one that was attractive enough to photograph.

These are from a local company called Dish D’lish, run by a woman named Kathy Casey. The recipe was in the March issue of Gourmet magazine, in the You Asked for It section. A woman in the Seattle area said she goes out of her way to buy one of these whenever she flies out of Sea-Tac. Since I don’t fly (except in extreme situations), I realized would probably never get one of these cookies unless I made the recipe. And since there was no picture of the cookies with the recipe, I had to assume I was doing things correctly and that ugly was part of their charm.

The first time I made them I forgot to stir the candy bits into the cookie dough. The second time I made them I did, but I realized that I actually liked them better without them. Both times the recipe made more like 11 cookies than 10 (I'm not very good at rolling out the log to exactly 8" long).

Also the first time, I rolled the dough out into a log on a floured board, but didn’t like the look of the white flour on the chocolate dough. Remembering my Martha Stewart wisdom, I recalled the tip to “flour” cake pans for chocolate cake with cocoa to avoid that white-flour-on-the-outside-of-a-chocolate-cake look. I dusted the exterior of the dough log with cocoa powder. When baked off, the cookies had an extra hint of chocolate that was subtle, but interesting.

The topping is the real gotcha on these cookies. You have to mound the marshmallow goopiness perfectly in the center of the raw dough or it melts and slithers off onto the baking sheet, making it look like the topping was caught in the act of trying to escape when you opened the oven door and pulled the cookies out. If you manage to calculate the exact area of the cookie circle using the formula you remember from geometry, of course (isn’t it π x r squared?) and blop the stuff in the exact middle point, you wind up with a pool of melted marshmallow goodness that turns lightly golden. Using one large marshmallow half per cookie (cut around the equator), instead of the minis, also helps the appearance a bit. It’s still not very pretty, but it’s tasty.

I think the dough for these cookies could be used for more than just s’mores cookies. I see melting other things on top of them, such as caramels, or starlight mints. This bears consideration.

My one beef with these cookies is that after you make them, you’re left with most of a can of sweetened condensed milk to use up. It only calls for a quarter cup of it, and then you’re left with at least another 9 or so ounces of the stuff. I guess the solution is to make more ugly cookies.

I even put it on a really pretty plate in the hopes that it would make the cookie more visually appealing. Fail.

Chocolate-Toffee S'more Cookies
from Gourmet magazine, March 2008
makes 10-11 jumbo cookies

For Dough
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (8 oz.) package toffee baking bits

For Topping
1 1/2 (5" x 2 1/2") graham crackers
1 cup mini marshmallows (or 5 large marshmallows halved through their equator)
1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

Make the dough: combine flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl. Cream together butter, shortening, and sugars in the bowl of an electric mixer until fluffy, then beat in the egg and vanilla. With the mixer on low, add in the flour mixture and mix until the dough just comes together. Stir in toffee bits.

Shape dough into a log 8" long, 3" in diameter on a board dusted with flour (or a combination of flour and cocoa powder) with floured hands. Flatten the ends and chill, wrapped in plastic, for 6 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment. In a food processor, grind graham crackers into fine crumbs (about 1/4 cup). Combine crumbs with marshmallows and sweetened condensed milk (mixture will be very sticky).

Cut dough crosswise into 10-3/4" thick rounds. Place 2-3 slices on each baking sheet (these cookies spread about 5" during baking), and top with 1 heaping tablespoon of marshmallow topping, placing it in the center of each slice (this is where a single large marshmallow is easier than a clump of the smaller ones).

Bake cookies 18-22 minutes until topping is golden and cookies are baked through. Slide onto a rack to cool completely. Finish remaining cookies in the same manner.

1 comment:

Carolyn said...

I just jumped over from Martha's Blog. I wanted to say Hi and nice Blog.

Stop by and visit me sometime.....