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Monday, December 15, 2014

Candy Cane Mallomars

It's that time of year again!

I have had very little time to bake cookies this year. In addition to moving house recently, the oven in said new house keeps breaking. Basically, we need a new controller board for the oven. The oven keeps powering off at random times. For that reason, I wound up sending my cookies out two days late. Sorry cookie matches!!!

I held strong to tradition and made a holiday mallomar for the cookie swap. This year I went with the classic flavor of candy canes and added a little visual flair with some red and white. Not only is there peppermint flavoring in the marshmallow, I crushed up a whole box of candy canes and added them to the marshmallow. Sweet and crunchy!

Many thanks go out to Lindsay and Julie for organizing the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. Not only were there packages of cookies flying all over the world, we also partnered with Cookies for Kid's Cancer and raised money for a good cause.

Since I wasn't able to cook a ton of cookies for the holidays this year, I don't have a bunch of fun new cookie recipes for you. I'm very, very sad about this. Luckily, you can drop by the GFBCS round-ups and see an amazing selection of cookies. Or, you can give these mallomars a try!

One Year Ago: Gingerbread Mallomen
Two Years Ago: Triple Peanut butter and chocolate cookies
Three Years Ago: Peppermint & Chocolate Mallomars
Four Years Ago: Banana Whoopie Pies

Candy Cane Mallomars
A Wilde Original

For the Cookies

2 sticks butter (16 tablespoons), room temperature
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almond flour
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Red food coloring

In a large bowl, beat together butter, powdered sugar and salt until smooth.  Add almond flour and vanilla and beat until combined.  Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the edges.  Add eggs and combine. Scrape down sides of the bowl. Finally, add flour slowly until completely mixed.  Add enough red food coloring to give a bright red dough, mix until evenly colored.

Scrape batter out of the bowl and onto a large piece of plastic wrap.  Divide the dough into two portions. Place each dough portion on a large piece of plastic wrap and fold over.  Gently press dough flat with your hands.  Using a rolling pin, roll out dough to 1/4-inch thickness.  Place dough on a baking sheet and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Take one slab of cookie dough out of the fridge. Peel back top layer of plastic wrap and stamp out dough with a 2-inch round cookie cutter. Place cut dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet.  Place this baking sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes.  Collect dough scraps and roll into a ball and re-chill and cut until you use all of the dough.

Preheat oven to 350 F while the cookie dough shapes are chilling.  Take cut dough straight from the fridge and place in the oven.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until the edges are just starting to turn brown.  Remove from the oven and let cool, on the baking sheet, on a wire rack for 1 minute.  Remove cookies from the sheet and let cool completely before decorating.

For the Marshmallow

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons cold water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon peppermint flavor (oil, not extract)
3 tablespoons powdered gelatin

Sugar Syrup 
3/4 cup water
3/4 cup light corn syrup
Pinch kosher salt
1 1/2 cup granulated sugar

10 peppermint candy canes, crushed in food processor

Red sanding sugar or sprinkles
Granulated sugar (or white sugar crystals if you are fancy)

In a small bowl, whisk together water and peppermint.  Add powdered gelatin and whisk until no more lumps are present.  Set near the stove.

In a 2-quart pan, combine water, corn syrup, salt and sugar.  Clip on a candy thermometer and bring to a boil over medium heat.  Allow the sugar to dissolve undisturbed and let the temperature rise until it reaches 250 ºF.  Remove sugar syrup from the heat and whisk in bloomed gelatin.

Pour syrup into the bowl of your stand mixer with whisk attachment.  Turn it up to high speed and whip for 8- 10 minutes.  In the last minute, add crushed candy canes. Once the mixture is white, glossy and fluffy, transfer into a large piping bag with a 1 cm circular tip.  

Pipe rounds of marshmallow on top of the cookies.  Let marshmallows set for five to ten minutes. Dip half of the marshmallow in red sugar crystals. Dip the other half in granulated sugar. Festive!

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