Tuesday, July 30, 2013

S'mores Cookie Sandwiches

Once, I went camping. It was in a luxury resort campground on the other side of the world; there was a gourmet chef to prepare dinner and a lovely gentleman who put a hot water bottle in my bed long enough before I went to sleep that it heated up my bed for me (desert nights are cold, especially in January), but not so early that the heat started to dissipate before I got between the covers. Oh, and the best part was that there was an actual bathroom, with running water and a full on flush toilet. 

That's my kind of camping. 

I realize that this is not normal, but the point I am trying to make is that I am not a person who approaches camping in a normal way - or at all, if I can help it - so, it stands to reason that I don't exactly do s'mores the traditional way either. For the record, yes, I've made many a s'more over a campfire with marshmallows on the end of a stick. (And for the record, no, I am not some kind of incognito royal. This campsite is actually a place). But to me, traditional s'mores are kind of annoying. So much patience required for so little payoff, and they're too messy. Ugh, reading that sentence, I've realized that I'm officially old.

No worries. The flip side of being old and crotchety is that you can have your s'mores however you damn well please. In my case, that means indoors, in sandwich cookie form, and made in an oven, thus negating the need to try to make a fire.

I had had the idea for these rattling around in my head for some time, only the marshmallows were intended to be inside the cookies, instead of sandwiched between. As it turns out, marshmallows disintegrate if they are baked into the oven for so long (sugar + moisture = marshmallow...sugar melts and water evaporates in high heat. That's a life lesson for you.) That's why it is important to fully bake the cookies first, and then add the marshmallows and heat for only a few more seconds: long enough for them to puff and soften, but not so long that they start to disintegrate.

The graham cracker taste in these cookies comes from the portion of the flour that has been replaced with fine crumbs of graham crackers. I adapted my Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe for these, but I have to admit, I am tempted to make all of my chocolate chip cookies with graham crackers from now on. The grahams gave the cookies a much more robust and caramel-y flavor, as though there were molasses or something in them. If you want a stronger graham taste, increase the graham cracker crumbs by 1/2 cup, and reduce the flour by the same amount. Personally, I liked the subtler flavor.

You can also feel free to use one large marshmallow in between cookies instead of four small ones, or even give Fluff a try (and let me know how it turns out). My only real advice would be to make the cookies on the smaller side - 1"-2" balls of dough - because these things are really rich.

Oh, and if you are looking for a slightly more authentic experience, feel free to serve these on a stick. Everyone will think you are the master of cooking (and baking) over an open fire. Winkwink.

S'Mores Cookie Sandwiches
Buttercream Fanatic (2013)

14 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened (14 Tablespoons = 1 stick + 6 Tablespoons)
1 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (~ 1 package of graham cracker crumbs, pulsed into a fine crumb in the food processor, or crushed in a zip top bag with a rolling pin)
1 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 heaping cup mini marshmallows (you may end up not using all of them)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together butter and sugars until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes. Add egg and vanilla and mix until incorporated. Then mix in salt, baking soda and cornstarch. Finally, add flour and graham cracker crumbs and mix thoroughly.

Roll dough into 1 1/2-inch balls (I used a cookie scoop). Place in an airtight container and refrigerate overnight. This step is a headache, but worth it.

When you are ready to bake, preheat the oven to 350F. Cover a large cookie sheet with parchment paper or a nonstick pad. Place dough balls on the sheet about 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 9-11 minutes until puffy. I like my cookies a bit under baked, so I did 9 minutes.

Remove cookies from oven and allow to set 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

When the cookies are cool, divide them in half (you should have 32 cookies, so set aside 16). Place 4-6 face down on a microwave-safe plate and top with 4 mini marshmallows. Microwave for 15-17 seconds until marshmallows are soft and puffy, then immediate top with a second cookie to make a sandwich. Repeat with remaining cookies.

Transfer cookie sandwiches to wire rack and allow to cool completely before serving.

Makes 16 cookie sandwiches. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to three months.

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  1. These look SOOO good! I love everything about these cookie sandwiches! Great photos too :)

  2. These look so delicious...I'm thinking every cookie should be a sandwich cookie :-)

  3. I need more cookie sandwiches in my life! That's my goal for the rest of the year!

  4. Mimi @ Culinary CoutureJuly 31, 2013 at 1:00 AM

    I love the flavor graham cracker crumbs add to cookies...these look great!

  5. Anne ~ Uni HomemakerJuly 31, 2013 at 1:19 PM

    I am totally not an outdoor activity kind of person either so camping is definitely one of those things I don't do. But a luxury camping? It has my name all over it! :) These s'mores cookie sandwich sounds so good it's definitely perfect for those luxury camping time. Have a great rest of the week Nora!

  6. Oh my gosh, there are so many things I like about this post. Where to begin? Well, first of all, I am super loving your non-traditional approach to s'mores, with the subtle inclusion of graham crackers in the cookies, and the marshmallows in between rather than inside. I have to agree (from experience), baking with marshmallows inside the cookies can be a little tricky with the disintegration shenanigans to worry about and all that. Also, I think your style of camping is awesome! Haha incognito royalty, that'd actually be pretty cool ;) Lovely, lovely post as always, Nora!

  7. Thanks, Joy! I think you're on to something. Sandwich cookies = 2 cookies per bite...hmm....

  8. Thanks Mimi! I agree. Wish I'd know about this trick sooner!

  9. If you're not an outdoor person, this campground was definitely for you! Or you could just make these cookies in your kitchen and call it "camping" :) Hope you are having a wonderful week as well!

  10. I'm so glad you like these! And, honestly, I am relieved to know that someone else has run into the what-the-heck-happened-to-my-marshmallows problem. I was beginning to think I was the last one to not know that marshmallows disintegrate in the oven. I promise I'd admit to being royalty if I were, but sadly, I am not that interesting :)

  11. oh my. these are mind blowing! i am going to have to make these these, maybe with ice cream instead of mallows due to the heat. your cookie recipe looks top notch too, whats the secret to the thickness?!

  12. You and I are obviously quite similar because that sounds like my idea of camping as well! Although, I'd also be perfectly content eating these cookies in my own home and pretending I was camping. Love.

  13. Sounds like my kind of camping, too! I LOVED traditional camping when I was a kid, now, notsomuch. And I'm about to go live like a colonial woman for the weekend in a FLOORLESS TENT because my boyfriend does reenactments. Ohhh boy. I wish I had some fresh baked chocolate chip cookies to make smores with!!

  14. Your ideas of camping and my ideas of camping are identical. We would make good travel companions for sure;)

    And onto the cookies...love the idea of replacing some of the flour with finely ground graham crackers. YUM! And someone once told me that if you let the marshmallows sit out for a couple days (and get slightly stale), before you bake them into cookies, they won't disintegrate in the oven! I've never tried but it could be worth a shot! But it think i'd rather just make this version here;)

  15. Ah, you have heat!? Lucky one! It is annoyingly cool here, but I think ice cream would be a wonderful filling, especially if it were something spiced (cinnamon or something).

    The secret to the cookies cornstarch, chilling, and rolling the dough into balls (and not pressing down) before baking. I have a chocolate chip recipe here: http://www.buttercreamfanatic.com/2013/05/thick-and-chewy-chocolate-chip-cookie.html but actually just changed it a little so will be posting a new version soon.

    Oh, and I wanted to let you know that I was blown away by your beautiful brioche au chocolate the other day, but I couldn't figure out how to comment without a Google+ account, which I don't have.

  16. I think if you are eating s'mores you're basically halfway to camping anyway, so who needs to sleep in a tent?? :)

  17. You deserve some maaaaajor girlfriend points for participating in the re-enactment, which sounds like it might be really interesting if not for the sleeping situation. Good luck!

  18. Yes, I think we would!!

    Try the graham "flour" (i.e. ground up graham crackers) in your next batch of cookies. You won't be sorry. I think these have ruined regular cookies for me! I will definitely try that marshmallow trick, thanks!

  19. i am jealous that it is cool where you are! i HATE summer.

    i've never read about adding cornstarch, i always blamed the flatness of my cookies on my crap oven. i always chill the dough for ages as well! will deffo be trying your recipe.

    thank you! they tasted out of this world, i may have to make a yearly surprise and pop it in the freezer. breakfast = sorted for the sweet toothed. that sucks about the commenting, i just tried to convert my comments back to the old style, but it erased all of my comments with google plus! now i have no idea how to correct this little (huge) problem! x

  20. indiaandworldcuisine.blogspotAugust 3, 2013 at 11:11 PM

    SOOOOOO good....crispy and marshy at the same time...our favorite treat :-)

  21. Thank you so much! I am thrilled that you enjoyed them!

  22. Ah, I'd trade with you in an instant! I love the crazy summer heat!

    Cornstarch helps (~ 1tsp/cup flour is my rule of thumb) as does increasing the flour slightly, and reducing the white sugar, which contributes to spread, and using a higher oven temp. Also, I wonder if it's possible that your oven is too cool? Have you ever tested it with an oven thermometer? I have a crap oven as well, but I bought two thermometers which I watch like a hawk. It's insane, but it works.

    That commenting issue is so annoying! I can't believe Google hasn't fixed that yet!

  23. Amy Tong (http://utry.it)August 5, 2013 at 6:15 PM

    My little boy has been asking me to make Smores for him lately. I guess I would love your smore cookies sandwiches much better. Can't way to give these a try. :)

  24. Wonderful! Your little boy has great taste. I hope he enjoys these, and you do too!


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