Sunday, December 9, 2012

Marshmallows and s'more! (Cookie Tour 2012 Recap)

snowman overseeing the last of the cookie making!
Wow! What a Cookie Tour!!!  This was our third year participating in the Currier & Ives Cookie Tour (now in their 8th year) and although we expected a larger turnout, this year exceeded the last two years by far!  As one of the ticket sales locations, we sold at least 100 tickets in just the first hour!  (Last year we sold 46 total.)  We had made 24 DOZEN S'Mores Cookies (yup, 288 cookies) and actually ran out by about 3 PM.  (Last year we made about 200 cookies and had some leftover.)  And although we were able to come up with a back-up plan and substituted some very fresh-baked and still-warm Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, we even ran out of those near the end.  Thanks so much to everyone who participated in the tour... and a special thanks to those who came by the B&B late in the day and missed having one of our original cookies.  Your understanding was truly appreciated.  The great news is that this should translate into more proceeds going to this year's Cookie Tour charity recipient, Santa's House in Jaffrey, for their work providing gifts to local children in need.


As mentioned above, our cookie this year was a S'Mores Cookie - a chewy graham cracker cookie with a homemade marshmallow and melted chocolate on top.  (If you are just looking for the S'Mores Cookies recipe, you'll find it here as a pdf.)  Although the cookie is delicious with store-bought marshmallows, we decided to go with homemade ones to give the cookies just a little something extra.  If you've never had them, homemade marshmallows are these fluffy little bites of melt-in-your-mouth sweetness... and they aren't even that hard to make!  So for those of you who would like to give them a try, here's the way I did it.. with pictures!  (You'll find just the Marshmallows Recipe here as a pdf.)

Homemade Marshmallows
(One batch makes more than enough marshmallows for a batch of the S'Mores Cookies)
 
1 envelope unflavored gelatin, 0.25 oz (such as Knox)
3 Tablespoons cold water
2/3 cup granulated sugar
3 Tablespoons light corn syrup
1 1/2 Tablespoons water
pinch salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
corn starch, potato starch, or confectioner's sugar for dusting


gelatin and cold water
 1. Line a cookie sheet with plastic wrap or a non-stick mat and spray lightly with cookie spray.

2. In the bowl of a stand mixer with whisk attachment, sprinkle gelatin over 3 Tablespoons cold water.  Let stand about 10 minutes.

sugar, corn syrup, and water - boiling
3. Meanwhile, combine sugar, corn syrup, and 1 1/2 Tablespoons water in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil over medium or medium-low heat and boil rapidly for 1 minute.
 
after several minutes of beating
4. Pour the boiling syrup over the gelatin that has been soaking and beat at high speed.  Add salt and beat for a total of about 8 to 10 minutes.  (Marshmallow will get very thick and sticky.)  After about 10 minutes, lower the mixer speed and add the vanilla, then slowly increase speed and beat just long enough to incorporate.
 
marshmallow spread to cool
5. Spread marshmallow evenly onto prepared pan, as thin or as thick as you'd like (will make an 8x8" layer, about 1/2" thick).* Wet hands or spatula with a little bit of water to smooth out easily.  If desired, take another piece of lightly oiled plastic wrap and place over the top of the marshmallow.  Let the marshmallow sit at room temperature for a few hours or overnight, until completely cooled and set. (*A plastic scraper worked better for this than a rubber spatula, but don't try to get every bit of marshmallow off the beater and bowl - it is very sticky and you'll go crazy trying to get it all.  Then, when you get back to spreading out the marshmallow it will be even tougher to smooth out.)

cutting with a cookie cutter
6. Cut marshmallow into desired-sized pieces using a pizza wheel, kitchen scissors, or cookie cutters (spray with cooking spray then wipe off to leave a very light layer).  Dust with cornstarch, potato starch or confectioners' sugar and store in an airtight container (for up to a few weeks).

yum!

And finally, for those who came later and received the Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, here's the recipe for those (as a pdf... or below)!

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Makes about 4 dozen

1 cup margarine or butter (softened)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup of brown sugar
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1. Cream together margarine, sugars, and peanut butter with mixer.
2. Add vanilla and eggs, and beat well.
3. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and oatmeal, and mix well by hand.
4. Stir in chocolate chips.
5. Chill for two hours.
6. Preheat oven to 375 F.
7. Drop cookie dough by rounded teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake at 375 F for 10-12 minutes. Do not overbake.

ENJOY!

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