custom cakes/cookies

Monday, July 27, 2009

Hogwarts Sorting Hat Cupcakes

The July Daring Bakers' challenge was hosted by Nicole at Sweet Tooth. She chose Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies and Milan Cookies from pastry chef Gale Gand of the Food Network.

I must admit that, at first, I wasn’t completely thrilled at the “challenge” of replicating a mass-produced cookie. Sorry Nicole. But then serendipity swooped in…

My friends Jeremy and Aubrey (who own an awesome tea company) invited me to a “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” screening party. Jeremy and Aubrey throw an incredibly fun party (I’ve been lucky enough to attend several now!) complete with contests, delicious themed foods, and intricately-planned quiz show style games. Of course, if you are going to play games, you will need to separate into teams. If you are going to play games according to Hogwart’s School of Witchcraft and Wizardry rules, you will need to be sorted to your appropriate house.

So to aid in this, I fashioned miniature sorting hats out of mallow cookies. That is, I piped the marshmallow portion of the challenge recipe into the shape of a witch’s hat using the cookie base as a brim. These were dipped in chocolate and then perched atop a chocolate buttercream-frosted, chocolate cupcake. In random order, a candy star (colored red, yellow, green or blue) was set just underneath each cookie. Here’s where the suspense is built in: guests must wisely select a cupcake and then lift off the cookie portion to reveal to which house they belong. So much fun! Try making these cookies yourself. Homemade marshmallows are surprisingly easy to “whip” up!

Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

3 cups all purpose flour

½ cup white sugar

½ tsp salt

¾ tsp baking powder

tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cinnamon

12 Tbs unsalted butter

3 eggs, whisked together

Homemade marshmallows, recipe follows

Chocolate glaze, recipe follows

In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
Add the eggs and mix until combine.
Form the dough into a disk, wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour or up to 3 days.
When ready to bake, line baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat the oven to 375° F.
Roll out the dough to -inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1½ inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough.
Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Homemade marshmallows:

¼ cup water

¼ cup light corn syrup

¾ cup sugar

1 Tbs powdered gelatin

2 Tbs cold water

2 egg whites, room temperature

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

In a saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235° F on a candy thermometer.
Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve.
Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix.
Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites.
Add the vanilla and continue whipping until stiff.
Transfer to a pastry bag. Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours.

Chocolate glaze:

12 ounces semisweet chocolate

2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Line a baking sheet with parchment. Melt the 2 ingredients together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the hot chocolate glaze.
Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl.
Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.


Jen of A2eatwrite said...

What an incredibly fun and inventive solution to the challenge! I love it! Also, I didn't know about Arbor Teas - I'll have to look into them.

Olivia said...

Thank you, Jen! Yes, Arbor Teas is a wonderful local resource. Jeremy and Aubrey are very dedicated to sourcing only the finest. I encourage you to peruse their extensive organic selections.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord girl, you have to come to one of our parties! No quizzes, but I do give out prizes when you leave :) Bring cupcakes! :)

Olivia said...

I would LOVE to come Patti! Sounds like fun. Oh, and I do take flavor requests for baked treats...