I have an obsession with marshmallow. And I'm not sure why. Somehow it makes its way into lots of things that I make - on top of tarts, inside s'mores, and of course into hot chocolates. I only made it for the first time a year or so ago, and have been hooked ever since. There's something about adding hot syrup to the mixer, and coming back in five minutes to a pillowy cloud of magic. Just as amazing cured and torched as it is straight off the mixer. Anything I make with Jill also has a high possibility of having marshmallow added to it - not only is it fun to make, but it adds another dimension and texture that you can't get from a buttercream filling.
So when Feedfeed and Bob's Red Mill asked us to come up with a holiday cookie, I instantly knew it was going to include a marshmallow component. We started with a chewy sugar cookie - not too sweet, and rolled in sugar to give the outside the perfect crunch. Once they were baked off, we piped a fluffy ring of vanilla bean marshmallow onto the cookies, then added a blob of silky dark chocolate ganache in the centre. We then sandwiched them with a second cookie, drizzled them in white chocolate, and finished off with a heavy dose of snowy sprinkles. The result was the perfect take on a s'more - each component delicious enough to stand alone, but incredible once they were all married together. Quite possibly some of our best work ever - this one is going to be a favourite for a very, very long time Happy Holiday baking!
A few wee tips:
The recipe here is in grams. The amount of flour used will change the amount that the cookies spread dramatically, and depending on the way you scoop flour your cup measurement can vary but up to 20g, so to ensure accuracy, use a scale to weigh if possible.
If you don't want to make the marshmallow or the ganache, the cookies are perfect just on their own. Feel free to make them a little larger, but make sure you leave room for spreading and adjust the cooking time accordingly.
I bake the cookies one tray at a time - with 11 on each tray, I get about five trays worth. The cookies will come out of the oven very puffy, but will start to sink down and crackle as they cool.
Prepare everything you need for making the marshmallow before you start the process. Pair up the cookies and lay them out, fit a piping bag with a tip, and grease a small pan to have to put the extra marshmallow in (you will likely have a little). Once the marshmallow is done, it's all go to get it into the bag and piped before it sets too much
Make the ganache just before you start the marshmallow, and leave to cool a little in the piping bag before you use. It should be thick enough that you can use it soon after making. I like to use a kitchen clip just above the nozzle to help keep everything sealed off until I am ready to go.
Get yourself a couple of french star tips - they are my secret weapon!
Vanilla Sandwich Cookie with Vanilla Bean Marshmallow and Dark Chocolate Ganache
- Makes about 25 Sandwich cookies -
Vanilla Sugar Cookie
226g (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
300g (1 ½ cups) granulated sugar, plus more for rolling
1 egg, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
300g (2 cups) Bob's Red Mill All-purpose Flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
Vanilla Bean Marshmallow
14g (2 packets) powdered gelatine
76g cold water
103g liquid honey
1 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
Dark Chocolate Ganache
250g dark chocolate (approx 70% cocoa solids)
15g (1 tbsp) unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g heavy cream
Melted White Chocolate
Sprinkles of your choice
- PROCESS -
VANILLA BEAN SUGAR COOKIE
Preheat the oven to 350˚f /180˚c. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla paste, and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients, and mix until well combined. Scrape bowl again to ensure that the ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Place approximately a cup of sugar in a bowl. Scoop tablespoons of the mixture using a #70 scoop, and roll into balls. Roll each ball in the sugar to coat completely. Place evenly spaced apart on the baking sheet, leaving room for spreading (11 per half baking sheet works well). You will need to bake your cookies in several batches.
Bake the cookies for 8-9 minutes, until puffy and barely golden around the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes on the pan - during this time they will deflate and crackle slightly. Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely. Repeat sugar rolling and baking process with remaining dough.
Pair up the cookies with another of a similar size. Prepare the marshmallow and ganache
VANILLA BEAN MARSHMALLOW
Fit a large piping bag with a round tip. Fit the stand mixer with the whisk attachment. In the mixing bowl, combine the cold water and gelatin and mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.
In a medium pot, combine the water, honey, vanilla, and sugar. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f /120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f /100˚c.
Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 5-7 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk. Transfer to the piping bag.
DARK CHOCOLATE GANACHE
Place the chocolate and butter in a small heatproof bowl. Heat the cream in a small pot over medium heat, until boiling. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and butter, and immediately cover with a plate. Leave to sit for 5-6 minutes. Whisk well until smooth, microwaving for 10 second increments, if needed, to melt any additional pieces of chocolate, stirring well. Transfer the ganache to a small piping bag fitted with a star attachment.
Match the cookies with another of similar size. Pipe a ring of marshmallow on one half of each pair. Pipe a blob of ganache in the middle of each cookie. Sandwich with the second cookie. Rest cookies for 20 minutes to allow the marshmallow to set.
Drizzle the cookies with melted white chocolate, and sprinkle with your favourite sprinkles.