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Thursday, June 21, 2012

PB&J Mallomars

Welcome to Summer.  I'm very excited for this coming summer because it is my first real summer in eight years!  It's not a summer vacation like we had all those years ago in elementary school, filled with nothing but bike riding and ice cream truck chasing.  Yet, it's also not a graduate school summer vacation, which is actually non-existant.  Summer this year is all mine.  Well, mine and boyfriends.

Last summer was kind of a lost cause in terms of fun and relaxing.  It was also a very exciting time in the Wilde household.  In June I accepted a job offer and a start date only four weeks away.  In those four weeks I had to finish my current project, pack up my studio apartment and move to New Jersey!  According to my posts last year, I spent so much time in the lab that I subsisted on cereal as my main food source.

Not this year!  Boyfriend and I have plans!  A weekend touring our nations history in Washington, DC.  A long Saturday at the New Jersey state fair, eating as much fried food as we can find.  Late nights in New York, trying as many new restaurants as we can.  As well as many nights spent walking around our town and weekends sitting by the pool.  We're going to see blockbuster movies and go for long bike rides around town.  Am I too old to chase the ice cream man down the street?  Because that's what kind of summer this feels like.

What are you planning for this summer?  Have your kids got you scheduled to the max already?  Or are you sitting pretty with nothing but empty weekends ahead?

With school out and a long summer ahead, I thought that it was time to share with you my PB&J mallomars.  A fluffy, raspberry marshmallow sits atop a moist peanut butter cookie.  I chose to coat the marshmallow in sprinkles, rather than chocolate, to keep the flavors classic.  Now is the time to get those freshly picked raspberries, so try to get the freshest and most flavorful berries.  These cookies are super moist due to the fact that I went with shortening as my fat.  If you want a crisper cookie, swap out some or all of the shortening for butter!

One Year Ago:

Peanut Butter CookiesAdapted from Betty Crockers Cooky Book

1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Beat together shortening and peanut butter.  Add sugars and cream together until fluffy.  Add egg and beat until combine.

In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Add flour mixture to peanut butter mixture in thirds.  Mixing until combined with each addition.  Transfer dough to a zip top bag or wrap up in plastic wrap.  Place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Scoop out dough by the tablespoon and roll into a ball.  Place dough balls about 3 inches apart on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Dip a fork in flour and press down on cookie balls, making a crosshatch pattern.  Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes, or until flattened and crisp.

Remove immediately to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before adding marshmallow topping.

Raspberry Marshmallow
Adapted From Marshmallow Madness

1/2 cup strained raspberry puree
2 tbsp cold water
2 tbsp powdered gelatin

Sugar Syrup
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/3 cup raspberry puree
1/4 cup water
pinch salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

In a small bowl, whisk together ingredients for the bloom.  Set near the stove.

In a 2-quart pot, combine ingredients for the sugar syrup.  Stir until sugar is wet.  Wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush and clip on candy thermometer.  Heat over medium, bringing the temperature to 240 F.  Do not stir the sugar, but be watchful.  The sugar syrup has a tendancy to boil up in the pot.  Monitor and lower the heat if necessary.

Once the temperature reaches 240 F, remove from the heat and whisk in gelatin bloom.  Pour into the bowl of your stand mixer and slowly bring the speed up to high.  Whip for about 10 minutes, or until tripled in volume.  Add the vanilla extract in the last minute of whipping. 

Transfer marshmallow batter to a piping bag with a 1 cm round tip.  Pipe round blobs onto the cooled peanut butter cookies.  Allow the marshmallow to set for 3 hours before dipping in sprinkles.

Chocolate Cupcakes & Strawberry Buttercream
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