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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cookie Week - Gingerbread Mallomen

Happy Holidays! It's time once again for the Great Food Blogger Cookie swap! The cookie swap is organized by Lindsay, of Love & Olive Oil, and Julie, of The Little Kitchen and gives food bloggers a chance to swap cookies, share stories and help out. I'm so lucky to be a part of this little food blogging community of ours. 

The Food blogger cookie swap was sponsored by quite a few amazing brands, including OXO, Dixie Crystals, Gold Medal Flour & Grandma's Molasses. Together, the brands and all the bloggers were able to raise over $13,000 for Cookies for Kids Cancer. 

For my swaps I decided once again to make some mallomars! This year I went with a classic flavor combination - Gingerbread and vanilla. Not just any simple gingerbread - Snowmen mallomars - Mallomen!

Aren't they just adorable? So happy there with their little sugary faces. I only made a few with snowman faces, I couldn't bear to eat their happy little smiles!

One Year Ago: Acorn Squash & Sausage Bake
Two Years Ago: Peppermint Mallomars
Three Years Ago: Banana Whoopie Pies

Gingerbread Mallomen
A Wilde Original

Gingerbread cookies
Adapted from Decorating Cookies

This recipe makes a TON of cookies. Seriously, like 6 dozen.  I would suggest stamping out 4 dozen 2-inch circles and cutting out a few gingerbread boys and girls with the remaining dough.

5 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 1/2 tablespoons ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup molasses
1 egg

Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, allspice and cloves.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream together butter with granulated sugar and brown sugar until fluffy.  With speed on medium, stream in molasses and beat until combined. Scrape down sides of the mixing bowl and add egg. Beat until combined. Add flour mixture in three portions, mixing well in between each addition.

Divide dough into three portions, plop each onto the center of a long piece of plastic wrap.  Fold plastic wrap over the dough and using a rolling pin, roll dough out to 1/8-1/4-inch thickness. Set all three wrapped dough sheets on a cookie sheet and place the cookie sheet in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 ºF. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper or silpats. Take one dough sheet out of the fridge and peel off the top layer of plastic wrap. Stamp out cookies with a 2-inch cookie cutter and place on the baking sheet about 1-inch apart. Place cookie sheet in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Bake cookies for 9-11 minutes, or until they no longer look shiny. Remove from the oven and let cool for 2  minutes on a wire rack. Remove cookies from the sheet with a thin spatula and let cookies cool completely on a wire rack. Continue to stamp out the remaining cookie dough and place the cookie sheets in the freezer until you are ready to bake them. Let cookies cool completely before piping on the marshmallow.

Vanilla Marshmallow
Adapted from Marshmallows

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons powdered gelatin

1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cups water
1 1/4 cup corn syrup

In a glass, mix together water and vanilla extract.  Add gelatin and stir until gelatin dissolves. Set aside and let bloom.

Pour sugar into the bottom of a 4-quart pot. Pour corn syrup over the sugar, followed by water. Clip on candy thermometer and turn heat to medium. Do not stir, the sugar will dissolve into the water as the heat rises. Once mixture comes to a boil, wash down any sugar crystals from the sides of the pot with a wet pastry brush. Heat until temperature rises to 250 ºF.

Remove sugar syrup from the heat and add bloomed gelatin. Whisk until the gelatin dissolves and pour into the bowl of your stand mixer. Place a towel over your mixer and turn speed up to high. Whip marshmallow batter for 9-10 minutes. You want the batter to still be warm and flowy.

To Assemble the Mallomen

You need...

Large piping bag
Round piping tip with 1-cm opening
White sanding sugar
Silver sanding sugar
Mini M&M's
Black sugar pearls

Line up your cookies in rows, it will be easier to pipe them this way. Transfer some of the marshmallow batter into a piping bag, fitted with the round piping tip. Pipe blobs of marshmallow onto the gingerbread rounds. Refill piping bag as needed (or use a second bag, it might be easier and is what I would up doing) and continue to pipe blobs on the cookies.

Mix white and silver sanding sugars together in a small bowl.

Decorating Options

1. Full Mallomen

Divide cookies into three groups.  With the first third, dip the marshmallow in the sanding sugar.
With the second third, place three mini M&M's in a row down the center. Dip the cookie in the sanding sugar.
With the final third, place an orange mini M&M in the center of the marshmallow. Using black sugar pearls, give your malloman a smile! Dip marshmallow in sanding sugar.

2. Suggested Mallomen

Place three mini M&M's in a row down the center of each cookie. Dip the cookie in sanding sugar.

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