It’s THAT time of the year, where you suddenly realise Christmas is coming and you haven’t done any of your present shopping yet. My list is usually full of foodie delights: Bailey’s, copious amounts of buttery mince pies, mulled wine, ingredients for all sorts of edible gifts and a panettone soaked in the most decadent moscato. We don’t take Christmas lightly in my household. The day is a military operation of table laying, indulging in breakfast, dishwasher filling and a few presents, until the cycle comes full circle again for Christmas “dinner”, and of course – the cheese platter.
This year, however, I’ll be spending Christmas down under in Mornington Peninsula, just outside of Melbourne with my family. Gone are the crisp mornings and warm licks of the fire my Dad would lovingly prepare. We’ll miss the twinkling lights, cosiness of our home, and walks on the Heath followed by a few drinks in a local pub. We won’t be toasting marshmallows or peering through people’s front windows to see faces full of laughter and jolliness. Instead of soaking up a truly British Christmas, we’ll be whacking shrimps on the barbie and pan-frying steak, playing beach cricket and taking morning dips in the Tasman Sea.
There’s something wholesome though about a winter Christmas which I’ll really miss. I have a big love of toasting marshmallows on a stick over the fire until they’re bubbling and charred. Then, I’ll slowly eat the sticky melted outer shell before putting it back over the flames, toasting and charring until I’m a marshmallow down. I once made s’mores sandwiches with a friend. We held those epic giant American-style mallows over the gas ring of the hob and squidged them in between a square of dark chocolate and two digestive biscuits. It was probably the most extravagant s’mores sandwich I’d ever made. And they were delicious.
That’s why this year, I wanted to make something that reminded me of bonfires, warm home comforts, Christmas decadency and a little bit of naughty indulgence. Michelle Lopez, author of the Hummingbird High baking blog posted a version of s’mores cookies on her Instagram feed, and I could not look away. These cookies were golden rounds with rippled edges and rivers of dark chocolate running through the cracks. Malformed white marshmallows stuck to the tops and sides, gooey and puffy. And when torn in half, strings of mallow stretched across the two halves, clinging desperately to the crumb.
I had a delivery of the most amazing square marshmallows and golden graham crackers from a friend in the states a few weeks back and knew that this was going to be the plan for using them. This is kind of how it went down and I really wanted to share the recipe with you because I have a new love, and I’m not going to stop making them.
S’mores chocolate chip cookies
113g unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
213g all-purpose flour
½tsp baking powder
½tsp bicarbonate of soda
160g dark brown sugar
50g granulated sugar
1 large egg
2tsps vanilla extract
170g dark chocolate (at least 70% cocoa)
57g graham crackers (around 2½ sheets), hand broken into ½- to 1-inch pieces OR you could try digestive biscuit if you’re in the UK and can’t get your hands on these!
18 large marshmallows (I used Smashmallow Toasted Vanilla marshmallows) but Mallow & Marsh in the UK also sell great ones
- In a saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until it starts to foam. Use a heatproof rubber spatula to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally to prevent the milk solids in the butter from burning. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the butter smells nutty and is amber with dark flecks at the bottom of the pan. Remove from the heat and immediately pour the brown butter into a measuring jug. Set it on a wire rack to cool while you prep the other ingredients.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350F/175C. Line two baking trays with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the sugars.
- Once the butter has melted completely, pour it over the sugar, and using an electric whisk, beat on low until just combined.
- Add the egg and vanilla extract, and beat until just combined once more. Use your spatula to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl. With the mixer on low, gradually add the dry ingredients in thirds, and beat until just combined.
- Again, scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly incorporated, and beat on low for an additional 30 seconds.
- Increase the mixer to medium-low, add the graham crackers (or digestives if you’re using these instead) all at once, and beat until evenly distributed throughout (about 1 minute). Add the chocolate and mix with a spoon to evenly distribute.
- Use a 3-tbsp cookie dough scoop, or measure out 75g of the dough to portion the cookie dough into balls. Place them at least 3 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Lightly place a marshmallow directly on top of the center of each cookie dough ball.
- Bake one pan at a time for 10 minutes, or until the edges have set but the centers are still gooey. The cookies will look puffed when you pull them out of the oven, but will fall and crack into the perfect cookies as they cool.
- Cool the cookies on the pan on a wire rack for 20 minutes, or until the edges and bottoms of the cookies have set and feel firm to the touch.
- Repeat with the remaining cookie dough.
- Before serving, use a stiff metal spatula and run it underneath the bottom of each cookie to unstick any melted marshmallow. Serve warm or at room temperature. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container or zip-top bag at room temperature for up to 3 days.
Recipe from Hummingbird High