Gluten Free Mallows (Chocolate covered Marshmallow Cookies) - Daring Bakers July 2009 Challenge

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 was very excited about the Daring Bakers Challenge this month. Mallows were one of my favorite "special occasion" cookies growing up. You see, I grew up in a family with 10 kids and Mallow Cookies come in packages of 9-12. It just wasn't cost efficient to buy these at our house so it was a special treat when we got them. (Grandma DuPaix's Chocolate Chip Cookies, on the other hand, were a constant in our household and are still the cookie of choice among my siblings.)

This recipe turns out a delicious chocolate covered crisp cookie topped with a gooey marshmallow - yum!

Gluten Free Mallows
makes 5-6 dozen

• 3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) Gluten Free Flour Blend plus 1 teaspoon xanthum gum
• 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. (I ran out of time so I used store bought marshmallows cut in half, placed on the hot cookies and put back in the oven for 2 minutes.)

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
• 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.

Sweet Salsa Chicken

I'm a big fan of salsa chicken (frozen boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs thrown in the crock pot with 1-2 cups of salsa and cooked on high for 4 hours). I use it to make nachos, tacos, burritos, and chicken taco salad. This weekend my sister-in-law introduced us to a sweet twist on this amazing chicken and we loved it so much that we made it again last night! I forgot to get the recipe, but knew it was the same as salsa chicken with the addition of brown sugar so here's how I did it:

Sweet Salsa Chicken

4 frozen chicken breast or thighs (use boneless, skinless)
1 1/2 cups medium or hot salsa
3/4 cup brown sugar

Place all ingredients in the crock pot and cook on high for 4 hours. Shred meat and serve. We used ours for taco meat. Additional taco toppings include black beans, corn, cheese, sour cream, and cilantro served on warm corn tortillas. The leftovers are delicious, but they go fast!