Categories
Bars Chocolate Cheer Classic Favorites Cookies Fancy Pantsy

Homemade Mallobars. (East Coast… Can Ya’ll Really Feel Me?)

*Today’s post is going to be focused on the dessert and will contain little to no complaining on my part, just to see what being a primarily baked good-centered blog feels like.*
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VRhHwHHKBss

So, how do you all feel about Mallomars?

I have no idea if those of you not in the Northeast are privy to the awesome power of the Mallomar. Last I heard, it was an East Coast thang.

I am unsure of my feelings on them.

So unsure that I had to go through several boxes of the seasonal treat this past winter to determine my feelings on them.

So unsure that I attempted to store three boxes away in my freezer so that I could continue to test them during the off-season. (Note: the aforementioned boxes have since mysteriously disappeared)

So unsure that when I realized my reserve boxes had gone missing (Ed note: contents of box were later determined to have been consumed by one James Hilger. Mr. Hilger resides with the author, and will pay dearly for his mistake) I furiously hunted down a homemade recipe for the treat, and vowed to make them as a summertime treat. In your sugar-coated face, archaic Nabisco rules!

If you want the truth, I actually respect Nabisco for attempting to limit my intake of this marshmallowy, chocolate-covered delight on a graham cracker platform. It’s a pretty good marketing strategy, considering the number of salivating Mallomar-devotees lurking outside of my– let’s face it, everyone’s– local Key Food come wintertime. But I just can’t live without ’em. I… I can’t. And so I attempted to make my own. Let’s do this, friends.

Homemade Mallobars (they’re bars because I cut them into bars, because I did. These made about 40 for me)

From the James Beard Foundation

For the Graham Crackers

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour (also called graham flour)

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

6 tablespoons of softened butter

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

5 teaspoons of honey

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the Marshmallow

1/3 cup of water, plus extra for cooking

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 envelopes of plain gelatin

1 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

For the chocolate coating

1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate, chopped

We begin with our graham crackers. Now, if I were you, I’d start making these at least a day in advance of when you’d like to enjoy them, mostly because the graham crackers require a fair amount of chilling before being baked. Trust me, these will be well worth the wait.

In a large bowl, whisk together your flours, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until combined, then add in honey. Mix in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated. Combine with dry ingredients and mix just until batter forms. Cover bowl and chill dough for at least two hours.

Remove dough from bowl and place between two large sheets of parchment paper. Roll out into a 1/8 inch thick sheet. Transfer flattened dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate again for at least an hour, or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325ºF. Carefully remove parchment sheet on top of dough. From here, you can either cut rectangles/squares of dough or bake as an uncut sheet, which is what I did. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let crackers cool completely.

These are what my rando-shaped graham crackers look like. They look so weird, I know. The taste, however, will make you want to slap the makers of Honey Maid in the face for ever deceiving you.
These are what my rando-shaped graham crackers look like. They look so weird, I know. The taste, however, will make you want to slap the makers of Honey Maid in the face for ever deceiving you.

So…. I decided to taste-test these before continuing on in my mission, mostly because I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten a homemade graham cracker. And I am now sorry that I have spent so much of my life on the store-bought stuff. The homemade ones were soft, sweet and had a deep, almost nutty flavor to them. I hope I never again let my laziness get the better of me by going with the pre-made stuff.

And now, on to the marshmallows. We’ve made marshmallows here before, and this won’t really be any different, but I’ll take you through the steps again so you won’t have to click back and forth.

To make your marshmallows, combine water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over water and set aside for at least 10 minutes. In a separate saucepan, mix together sugar and corn syrup. Pour in just enough water to make the mixture resemble wet sand. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cook until the mixture reaches 260ºF (note: if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can cook until the mixture reaches “soft ball stage.” Place a tiny amount of mixture in a bowl of cold water– if it becomes a soft ball, the mixture is ready to be taken off the heat), then remove from heat. Carefully stir water/gelatin mixture in, and stir until dissolved.

Transfer mixture to a stand mixer and whisk on high speed, taking care that mixture doesn’t splatter. Mix until thickened as much as possible, about 7 minutes. Next, you can either fill a pastry bag with marshmallow mixture or use a rubber spatula to spread mixture directly onto graham crackers. Gently smooth the top of mixture with wet fingers. Let firm and cool completely. At this point, if you haven’t already, you may cut into squares/something that vaguely resembles squares/amoebas/anything you want.

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When cooled, melt your chocolate (either in microwave or in a double-boiler), then pour chocolate over. Let chocolate harden, and serve.

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SONY DSC

Words of warning: you will probably not be able to wait until these things are even close to not-still-hot before reaching for them. If you are, kudos, but if not, you were warned, genius. My fingers are still medium-rare from that mistake. Seriously, let these cool…

… Because once you do you will be left with magic. To be honest, they tasted more like s’mores than Mallomars, but I didn’t really care, because they were ridiculous. Also, I discovered that they are somehow even more amazing once frozen. O.M.G. DO THIS. With Independence Day approaching, I cannot think of a better way to salute ‘Murica than this magic.

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SONY DSC
Categories
Bars Chocolate Cheer Classic Favorites Cookies Fancy Pantsy

Homemade Mallobars. (East Coast… Can Ya’ll Really Feel Me?)

*Today’s post is going to be focused on the dessert and will contain little to no complaining on my part, just to see what being a primarily baked good-centered blog feels like.*

So, how do you all feel about Mallomars?

I have no idea if those of you not in the Northeast are privy to the awesome power of the Mallomar. Last I heard, it was an East Coast thang.

I am unsure of my feelings on them.

So unsure that I had to go through several boxes of the seasonal treat this past winter to determine my feelings on them.

So unsure that I attempted to store three boxes away in my freezer so that I could continue to test them during the off-season. (Note: the aforementioned boxes have since mysteriously disappeared)

So unsure that when I realized my reserve boxes had gone missing (Ed note: contents of box were later determined to have been consumed by one James Hilger. Mr. Hilger resides with the author, and will pay dearly for his mistake) I furiously hunted down a homemade recipe for the treat, and vowed to make them as a summertime treat. In your sugar-coated face, archaic Nabisco rules!

If you want the truth, I actually respect Nabisco for attempting to limit my intake of this marshmallowy, chocolate-covered delight on a graham cracker platform. It’s a pretty good marketing strategy, considering the number of salivating Mallomar-devotees lurking outside of my– let’s face it, everyone’s– local Key Food come wintertime. But I just can’t live without ’em. I… I can’t. And so I attempted to make my own. Let’s do this, friends.

Homemade Mallobars (they’re bars because I cut them into bars, because I did. These made about 40 for me)

From the James Beard Foundation

For the Graham Crackers

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of whole wheat flour (also called graham flour)

Pinch of salt

1/4 teaspoon of baking soda

6 tablespoons of softened butter

2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons of white sugar

2 tablespoons of brown sugar

5 teaspoons of honey

1 egg, beaten

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

For the Marshmallow

1/3 cup of water, plus extra for cooking

1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

2 envelopes of plain gelatin

1 cup of white sugar

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

For the chocolate coating

1 1/2 cups of dark chocolate, chopped

We begin with our graham crackers. Now, if I were you, I’d start making these at least a day in advance of when you’d like to enjoy them, mostly because the graham crackers require a fair amount of chilling before being baked. Trust me, these will be well worth the wait.

In a large bowl, whisk together your flours, salt and baking soda. In a separate bowl, cream together butter and sugar until combined, then add in honey. Mix in the egg and vanilla until fully incorporated. Combine with dry ingredients and mix just until batter forms. Cover bowl and chill dough for at least two hours.

Remove dough from bowl and place between two large sheets of parchment paper. Roll out into a 1/8 inch thick sheet. Transfer flattened dough to a baking sheet and refrigerate again for at least an hour, or overnight.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 325ºF. Carefully remove parchment sheet on top of dough. From here, you can either cut rectangles/squares of dough or bake as an uncut sheet, which is what I did. Transfer to parchment-lined baking sheets and bake for 14 minutes, rotating sheet halfway through baking. Remove from oven and let crackers cool completely.

These are what my rando-shaped graham crackers look like. They look so weird, I know. The taste, however, will make you want to slap the makers of Honey Maid in the face for ever deceiving you.
These are what my rando-shaped graham crackers look like. They look so weird, I know. The taste, however, will make you want to slap the makers of Honey Maid in the face for ever deceiving you.

So…. I decided to taste-test these before continuing on in my mission, mostly because I don’t know that I’ve ever eaten a homemade graham cracker. And I am now sorry that I have spent so much of my life on the store-bought stuff. The homemade ones were soft, sweet and had a deep, almost nutty flavor to them. I hope I never again let my laziness get the better of me by going with the pre-made stuff.

And now, on to the marshmallows. We’ve made marshmallows here before, and this won’t really be any different, but I’ll take you through the steps again so you won’t have to click back and forth.

To make your marshmallows, combine water and vanilla in a small bowl. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over water and set aside for at least 10 minutes. In a separate saucepan, mix together sugar and corn syrup. Pour in just enough water to make the mixture resemble wet sand. Bring mixture to a boil, then lower heat to medium. Cook until the mixture reaches 260ºF (note: if you don’t have a candy thermometer, you can cook until the mixture reaches “soft ball stage.” Place a tiny amount of mixture in a bowl of cold water– if it becomes a soft ball, the mixture is ready to be taken off the heat), then remove from heat. Carefully stir water/gelatin mixture in, and stir until dissolved.

Transfer mixture to a stand mixer and whisk on high speed, taking care that mixture doesn’t splatter. Mix until thickened as much as possible, about 7 minutes. Next, you can either fill a pastry bag with marshmallow mixture or use a rubber spatula to spread mixture directly onto graham crackers. Gently smooth the top of mixture with wet fingers. Let firm and cool completely. At this point, if you haven’t already, you may cut into squares/something that vaguely resembles squares/amoebas/anything you want.

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When cooled, melt your chocolate (either in microwave or in a double-boiler), then pour chocolate over. Let chocolate harden, and serve.

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Words of warning: you will probably not be able to wait until these things are even close to not-still-hot before reaching for them. If you are, kudos, but if not, you were warned, genius. My fingers are still medium-rare from that mistake. Seriously, let these cool…

… Because once you do you will be left with magic. To be honest, they tasted more like s’mores than Mallomars, but I didn’t really care, because they were ridiculous. Also, I discovered that they are somehow even more amazing once frozen. O.M.G. DO THIS. With Independence Day approaching, I cannot think of a better way to salute ‘Murica than this magic.

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Categories
Classic Favorites Cookies Strange and Yummy Stuff Your Parents Would Like

Mango Mac[aroons]’ll Make Ya Jump Jump

This video brought to you by Sad Shibow, who is not in tune enough with her audience to know whether or not it will get the reference in the title of this post. Also… guys, it’s an excellent song.

This week has been a little bleh so far. The most exciting thing that’s happened is that someone made fun of my hair today and I cried over it. So basically the most exciting thing that’s happened all week is that I’ve regressed emotionally into early, early, childhood. Let me just totally not bother you with that and skip right to the dessert chat, yeah?

So a bunch of people asked me if I’d be making soda bread for this week’s post. No, because a. already owned that shiz, b. all of the drunken revelers at this year’s parade– held annually on the avenue directly in front of my place of employment– killed my vibe and c. THAT’S TOO OBVIOUS, HOMIES!

Also, d. I was making this dessert for my mom, for whom I stereotypically decided to make a mango dessert because she is Indian, and also because she genuinely loves mangoes. Anyway, I hadn’t seen her in far too long to be considered acceptable, and thought that a sweet treat was just the right form of bribery  channel through which to express my my-bad’s. Enter Mango Coconut Macaroons, an easy, delish, fancy looking (and fancy tasting) treat.

Mango Coconut Macaroons

adapted from David Lebovitz’s recipe

1 ripe mango, peeled and cut into small chunks

2 tablespoons of sugar, if desired, and if you feel like your fruit isn’t sweet enough on its own

2 cups of shredded coconut

3 egg whites

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Cook mango chunks (sprinkled with sugar, if you desire) in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until frequently, until the mixture has cooked down into soft clumps. Set aside to cool.

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In a large bowl, combine coconut and egg whites, then stir in mango chunks until batter forms. The mixture will be sticky and probably a little annoying to deal with, so it’s a good idea to use an electric mixer in this case.

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Preheat oven to 350ºF and line a large cookie sheet with parchment paper. With buttered hands, gather tablespoon-sized mounds of the batter and form into balls or pyramids. I tried to go for something more abstract, because I just could not get either of those other damn shapes down for the life of me.

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Bake for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through, until the tops of the cookies are browned. Let cool for at least ten minutes, then enjoy.

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So, what’s the verdict on these? Given that I, like my mother, am Indian and have no interest in subverting the stereotypes of my culture, I freaking loved them. They’re MANGO COCONUT macaroons. More importantly though, my mom was enamored with them. Even my dad ate two of them. Two! I mean, one I can understand, as he’ll do anything to make my mom happy. But two? He likes ’em! He really likes ’em!

Categories
Cookies Fancy Pantsy

Cookie Cups. For When You Don’t Just Want to Lick The Bowl, But Also Don’t Want To Eat Glass

QUIZ TIME! Why does this week feel so blah?

a. You start questioning your taste in fashion when your boyfriend calls the fuchsia number you wear to work your “Insane Clown Posse” dress, and spends the rest of the day referring to you as “Juggalo”

b. A man whom you do not know, who is three feet taller than you (or so) decides to attempt to chest-bump you on a busy platform, and all you can do is pretend you’re in a wack Bourne Identity knock-off and jump onto a random train that is taking you AWAY from your destination

c. Daylight Savings Time springs you forward and just. doesn’t. stop.

d. You met Ad Rock over the weekend and now everything that has happened since just can’t compare

e. All of the above

I’ll just give you the answer now because I’m feeling a little lazy and I know you’re dying of suspense. The answer is sort of e., but mostly d.

From left to right: Hip Hop Royalty, Crazy Eyes, Boyfriend Who Looks Totally Chill Despite This Being One of Greatest Moments In Life
From left to right: Hip Hop Royalty, Crazy Eyes, Boyfriend Who Looks Totally Chill Despite This Being One of Greatest Moments In Life

YOU GUYS WE MET A BEASTIE BOY. We…met one. After my run-in with Glen Hansard, I basically swore off ever approaching another famous person that I was a huge fan of, for fear of mortifying myself. Fortunately, I was with my brave, socially suave boyfriend who is not in possession of the same shame/awkwardness I am. 

I want to tell you all about it, but I have no idea what to even say because I am still in shock. He was the sweetest guy ever, and I’ll always be grateful that I had the opportunity to meet a living legend– and one that I am a MASSIVE fan of, at that. What’s funny is, right before I bought the tickets to the show he was in, I was IM-ing with a friend and whining about how much I’d love to just run far, far away from New York City. Now, I take it all back, swears it (for now).

So yeah, I think maybe I’m dealing with a bit of post-Ad Rock depression, feel me? Like… I want everything to be that great. But instead of actually getting up off of my booty and turning my whole life around, I think I’d rather feel sorry for myself with a giant cookie bowl of peanut butter fudge ice cream. A giant *what* bowl, Sad Shibow?!

COOKIE. BOWLS. Let’s do this.

To start, we’ll use regular ol’ chocolate chip cookie dough. Here is mine.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough (makes enough for 12 bowls)

1/2 cup of whole wheat flour

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1/2 cup of browned butter (melt butter in a saucepan until brown specks appear and butter takes on nutty aroma; let cool)

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup of white sugar

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

3/4 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Preheat oven to 375ºF and turn a muffin tin upside down. Oh you heard correctly– turn that thang the other way, and cover each muffin cup bottom with a square of foil.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flours, salt and baking soda, and set aside. In a large bowl, beat together butter, egg and sugar until creamy. Stir in flour mixture until batter is formed. Fold in chocolate chips.

Take a tennis ball-sized chunk of cookie dough and mold it around the bottom of your muffin tin, like so:

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You may find that you need less batter than this; use your judgment (unless your judgment is telling you to not make these, then just listen completely to me). Repeat until all of your batter has been used. You should come out with about 12 bowls.

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Send into the oven and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, until the cookies looked baked but not to a crisp. Mine were done at 9 minutes. Definitely keep a good eye on these, and all cookies, as they tend to bake rather quickly.

Let cool for ten minutes, or however long it takes for these to cool enough for you to handle them. Peel foil from bowls, and then fill to your heart’s desire.

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Fill with what, you ask. Fill with EVERYTHING. I filled these with M&Ms, with ice cream, with peanut butter cream cheese, and with straight up milk. Yes, milk. It’s a bowl. Just be glad I didn’t fill it with potpourri and place it in a tasteful spot on the bathroom sink. I was thisclose. If you try to knock me you’ll get mocked. I’ll stir fry you in my wok .

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So, how were they? I mean, they’re cookie bowls! How could they be bad? And they were  anything but bad. They’re basically a chocolate chip cookie that has been shaped to allow for maximum sugar-related bad behavior. There is nothing wrong, and absolutely everything right, about these bowls.

Categories
Cookies Easy Baking Holiday desserts Sort of Healthy

New Year, New Me. Just Kidding, I’m Still Grumpy and Indian.

AND I STILL LOVE SUGAR. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!

Guys, I have been on a steady diet of cookies, maple syrup, chocolate chip Belgian waffles, peanut butter and Neuhaus chocolates since, like, I don’t even know when. I’ve lost all sense of time. I can’t grasp simple concepts anymore. Which one is the minute hand and which one is the hour hand? What’s a deductible? Can someone teach me how to properly use my Twitter? I can teach you how to Dougie in return.

elfeating
Me for the past few weeks. Except without the hat. That’s the only difference.

All of these problems are, very likely, sugar-induced. And I just don’t give a damn. Eventually I’ll probably wake up and start force-feeding myself whole grains and bell peppers again, but for now I’ll just stick to congratulating myself on begrudgingly taking down daily glasses of V-8 [with my aforementioned Belgian waffles]. 

So anyway, HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2014– wild, right? Maybe? I’m personally hoping it’s a much calmer year than the last. Here’s to a(n) emergency room/ulcer/scary crazy folk/general overall disaster and tragedy-free year for ALL of us, people! I really do wish you all the very best and cannot thank you enough for continuing to read and like this blog. One of my best friends touched my heart and made me tear up a little when he thanked me for my last post, in which I talked about the importance of celebration and gratitude. Moments like that are exactly what keep me celebrating and keep me grateful. So here’s to popping the literal or figurative bubbly all crazy year, loves.

And if you need a little something to accompany all of that Cristal, why not try these easy-peasy cookies? FIVE ingredients, a MILLION fans. Maybe not a million. In my case it was like twenty. But that’s because I only gave these to twenty people. That’s a 100% success rating, so it might as well be a million people. Feel me? Let’s make some easy meringues.

White and Dark Chocolate Chip Meringues (makes about 30 cookies)

3 large egg whites at room temperature

1/2 cup of granulated white sugar

1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1/2 cup of white chocolate chips

1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 300°F and cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Using a hand mixer or stand mixer, beat egg whites on high until soft peaks begin to form. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I’m going to stress it again: it is super important to be working with clean, dry instruments when making a meringue. I am not calling you gross or anything, but even the slightest bit of moisture can ruin a meringue. When you’re happy with your peaks, gradually add in sugar, a little bit at a time, then beat in vanilla until your peaks are very stiff.

Like so
Like so

The peaks should be so stiff that you’re able to hold the bowl almost completely upside-down without having any of your batter budge. Do this slowly if you’d really like to test it, and if the batter starts to slide down, keep beating. When you’re satisfied, gently fold in your chocolate chips.

Pretty!
Pretty!

Drop the mixture by tablespoon onto your cookie sheets. It’s easiest to use two, like this:

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You can keep the cookies fairly close together since they won’t really spread. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or just until the cookies are slightly browned and don’t look shiny. Mine took about 37 minutes to get there.

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Cute, right? And I’m betting that if you’re a sugar fiend like I am you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. ALSO these aren’t terribly bad for you– no butter, oil or egg yolks necessary! I think I may have accidentally convinced multiple people that this was a health food. Don’t do that. Especially since these taste anything but healthy.

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They’re crunchy on the outside, with a light, dreamy-creamy inside. Given that these are one-bowl-baking cookies, and given that there are so few ingredients, there really aren’t any excuses not to make them. Unless you’ve already had too much sugar. Um…but even then….