Chocolate-Dipped Espresso Marshmallow Cookies

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by Abby Dodge on April 7, 2015

The other morning I woke up with these bittersweet chocolate glazed, espresso-flavored marshmallow puffs on my mind. I know. It sounds silly but it’s true. This isn’t the first time (and I hope not the last time) that I’ve started my day with a vision (of sorts) and on a mission. Maybe I had been dreaming of one of my childhood fave cookies Mallomars®  or maybe hot chocolate with billows of marshmallow topping. All I can say for certain is that I had a serious sneaker (my expression for a hankering) for this cookie combo.

In my experience, some recipes-in-development come together quickly and easily with very few tests and tweaks while others, well, not so much. Luckily, this cookie’s birth fell into the former camp. Tackling the cookie first, I wanted a very lightly sweetened wafer cookie that was more flaky and tender than my usual sable style cookie. Adding a touch of leavening and reducing the sugar in one of my fave choco cut-out cookies did the trick. For the marshmallow center, I cut down my go-to recipe and flavored it with a heaping dose of instant espresso powder and a good splash of Kahlua®. It took a few test runs to infuse just the right about of coffee flavor – too much was unpleasantly bitter and too little was invisible when paired with the other components. The glaze recipe was easy – I’ve used variations of this recipe for years – but the how-to took a bit of trial and error. At first, I tried coating the whole shebang with the glaze just like Mallomars® but the end result wasn’t lovely to look at and the cookie was too messy to eat. A bit flummoxed with how to proceed, I set the project aside and pledged to take it up again in the morning. Some projects need to ‘ferment’ or ‘bubble up’ before they come into fruition and this one is a good example. Early the next morning, I began anew with a fresh batch of marshmallow-topped cookies and a warm batch of glaze. With my morning tea in hand, I stared at the project spread out in front of me and after a few minutes, I started dipping. Each glaze covered cookie looked so beautiful and wonderfully imperfect that it made me giggle. This simple process reminded me that recipes need not be complex or perfect to be worthy. (Perfection is unattainable so let’s agree to let that goal go.) It also reminded me of how silly-amazing my work day can be. My morning mission was to dip 44 ‘mallow puffs into a pond of warm, bittersweet chocolate glory. Proof, once again, that every day is a great day for baking.

Variation Alert: Skip the cookies and the glaze and make the marshmallows as a stand alone treat. Forget the pastry bag and grab a 9-inch square pan (one with straight sides is best for a distinctive edge). Whisk 2/3 cup (2 5/8 oz.) confectioners’ sugar and 1/2 cup (2 oz.) cornstarch in a small bowl until blended. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of the pan and coat with about one third of the sugar-cornstarch mixture, tapping out any excess. Make the marshmallow as directed. (At this point, you can fold in 2/3 cup (4 oz.) finely chopped chocolate or mini chips, if you like.) Scrape the warm mixture into the pan and, using a small offset spatula with the bottom side of the blade lightly greased, spread evenly. Set on a rack to cool until firm and no longer tacky, 3 to 4 hours. Starting in one corner, use your fingers to peel the marshmallow away from the edges of the pan. The marshmallow will fall back into the pan but it will no longer be stuck. Lift and move the marshmallow to a cutting board and sprinkle the top with about a third of the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture. Using a lightly greased, sharp knife, cut the marshmallow lengthwise into 6 equal strips and then cut each strip into 10 pieces. Toss the marshmallows, in batches, in the remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture until lightly but thoroughly coated. The marshmallows will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 month.

My son Alex likes these wafer-like cookies unadorned. Tender and flaky, they are lightly sweetened and balance beautiful with the marshmallow filling and topping. The cookies can be baked and frozen for up to three months before assembling.

FullSizeRender-1Make sure to pipe the marshmallow while it’s still warm otherwise it will firm up as it cools and be impossible to squeeze out and shape.

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