Daring Baker’s Challenge – January 2010

The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca. A little bit late, but hopefully not too late. But I really enjoyed making these bars as well as eating them.I had a little bit of a mis-hap with the Graham wafer crumbs, due to not paying attention to timing in the oven, but there were enough left to make a nice bottom layer.


Daring Baker’s Challenge – July 2009

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.

Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies

Oh… what a nightmare, albeit a sweet one. Everything what could go wrong went wrong and nothing really worked out and all that for my first Daring Baker challenge.

It all started with the dough for the cookie base.
Even though I went exactly with what was written down, the dough turned out far too wet and I decided to add a little bit more flour to it. Well, let me tell you, a little bit didn’t help much and I had to add a good bit to it, and it still seemed to me not right. During this process I ran out of all-purpose white flour and had to use wholemeal one. Letting it sit in the fridge for over 12 hours and a lot of flour for rolling out gave quite a satisfying result.The next hurdle was the sizing of the cookies. The recipe says that they should be cut out with a 1 1/2″ cookie cutter and it would yield two dozen (24) pieces). I only had a 2″ one and by the time I cut out 18 pieces I still had dough left for another 2 or 3 dozen pieces. Running out of patience I decided to use my 3″ cutter.

Next came the marshmallows:
When separating the yolk from the white I had two mishaps – don’t ask why, mustn’t have been my day, so I decided to add a third egg white just to make up for the white lost from the first two ones. Then 1 tbsp powdered gelatin had to be dissolved in 2 tbsp of water which immediately resulted in a big fat lump of not dissolved gelatin and I decided to add a bit more water (maybe another tbsp full or such), which didn’t help much either but I decided to go with it. Now when adding all the sugar/gelatin solution into the almost stiff egg whites I had to whisk them with my hand mixer for ….. wait for it….45 minutes!
After 15 minutes my hand mixer was so hot that I had to give it a rest and remembered that I had an old one sitting which I only could use with one whisk attachment, but at least it would do the job. Mind you, both hand mixer have 350 Watts! which is more than the average hand mixer with around 250 Watts. So I switched in between the two mixers, but after 45 minutes I had enough and it seemed stiff enough for me to be able to pipe it. Later on I was reading in the forum that I could have put it into the fridge for some time… well, next time…..

I let it dry for 6 hours and decided then to coat it. It still was very sticky. The moment the stuff touched my skin it acted like superglue, but I thought that it really doesn’t matter once the chocolate covered it.

The chocolate coating
I think I let the mixture get too hot, at least for the last cookies I coated. After a couple of minutes it melted the mallow mixture of the large cookies – but so what, by then nothing much could shock me.I went to bed, having spend more or less the whole day at it and hoped it would harden fine.As you can see, it hardened with spots, as if it would have a chocolate disease…..But, the taste is nice, really!So, it really was a challenge and I doubt I’ll attempt to try them another time soon.