Monday, April 4, 2011

An Austin visitor and Homemade Mallowmars

Whenever there's a chance for an adventure, E is there.

One of my oldest friends, E and I go way back...

We saw our way through the first year of high school, calling boys on her personal line, growing through our awkward phases and hanging out in basements and spent our later years slaving the summers away at The Black Pearl.

Every summer I would head up to Newport, RI, to spend a summer at the beach, working and playing the days away. E was my ultimate partner in crime... she even agreed to drive all the way from Rhode Island to Georgia to move me in to my new house at grad school.

With a knack for good food and good adventures, I couldn't have been happier when she decided to come visit us in Texas.

We spent the entire weekend exploring all that Austin had to offer- dinner at The Salt Lick, breakfast burritos, cowboy boots on South Congress, the best macarons from a little patisserie, ice cold Shiner Bock, margaritas by the lake, fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches (are you sensing a trend here?) and we finished off the weekend with Homemade Mallowmars.

These Mallowmars consist of homemade graham crackers and homemade marshmallows dipped in warm milk chocolate.

Homemade Graham Crackers
original recipe by Baking Bites makes 48 cookies
adapted recipe makes 24

1/4 cup AP flour
1/2 cup plus 6 TBS cup whole-wheat flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cold butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 TBS honey
1 TBS molasses
2 TBS cold water
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

In a food processor, mix together flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
Add cold butter and process until mixture resembles coarse sand.
Add honey, molasses, water and vanilla.
Mix until dough starts to come together.
Place parchment paper out on kitchen counter and lightly sprinkle with flour.
Scrap dough out of mixer and onto floured parchment paper, rolling dough out 1/8 inch thick.
Transfer to fridge and chill for at least an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 and line baking sheet with parchment paper.
Cut dough with a round 1 or 2 inch cookie cutter.
Align cut-outs on parchment paper and back for about 15 minutes or until lightly browned at the edges.
Remove from oven and allow to cool.

One cookies have completely cooled, prepare marshmallows.

Homemade Marshmallows
Original Recipe by Alton Brown (I halved this)

1 1/2 packages unflavored gelatin
1/2 cup cold water, divided
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
dash of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS powdered sugar
2 TBS cup cornstarch

Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
Mix powdered sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
Sprinkle one spoonful of mixture into pan and move around, making sure to cover everything as if you're flouring a cake pan- set aside.
In your stand mixer bowl, add gelatin powder and 1/2 cup water.
In a small sauce pan, add 1/2 cup water, sugar, salt and corn syrup. Place over medium heat and cover for 3-4 minutes, until boiling.
Uncover and clip candy thermometer on pan. Continue to boil until sugar mixture reaches 240 degrees, about 7-8 minutes.
Once temperature is reached immediately remove from heat.
Turn mixer on low and slowly add sugar mixture to gelatin.
Once all sugar mixture has been added, turn speed to high and continue to whip for about 10-12 minutes or until mixture thickens, becomes luke warm and looks like a glossy meringue.
Add vanilla during last minute of whipping.

Place cookies neatly on cooled, parchment paper lined, baking sheets.
Lightly grease the inside of a pastry bag with Crisco.
Transfer marshmallow cream to bag and pipe a large dollop of marshmallow on each cookie.

Combine powdered sugar and cornstarch.
Lightly dust marshmallow topped cookies with mixture and allow to set for at least a 4 hours- we let our sit over night (covered).

Milk Chocolate Coating
1 bag milk chocolate chips
2 TBS crisco

Once cookies have set, pour chocolate chips and Crisco in a large microwave safe bowl.
Melt chips for about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, until smooth and dip-able.
Hold the cookie by the graham cracker and dunk each, marshmallow side first, into the warm chocolate, coating the entire top of the cookie.
(Our hands got pretty messy so sorry for the lack of picture)
Allow chocolate to harden and enjoy!

Happy Baking!