Campfire Cookies, Baked's whimsical take on s'mores baked into cookie form, are the yummy brainchild of Baked's head baker Molly Marzalek-Kelly, who I had the good fortune of meeting last month at Baked's TriBeCa opening. She was inspired by the charming Wes Anderson film, Moonrise Kingdom, to create these cookies. I adored this film, so I'm completely down with this.
I'm a big fan of anything s'mores-derivative, but these cookies presented a visual challenge. I loved the slightly spicy taste from the cinnamon. The chewy texture was just right, studded with a combination of bittersweet and milk chocolate chips (combo my choice) and coarse graham cracker crumbs. I soon discovered, however, that fresh out of the oven, the cookies definitely wouldn't win any beauty pageants (take a look at the 'before' photo below). While looks aren't everything when it comes to baked goods - it's more how they taste - the marshmallows folded into the batter pre-baking melted into a sticky, caramelized mess, pulling the cookies apart into unattractive, stretchy masses on the cookie sheet.
I decided to attempt a fresh batch with a little bit of a spin off the original recipe, putting more of a highlight on the respective ingredients of a s'more - the graham, chocolate, and marshmallow - rather than combining them all together.
First off, I kept the graham cracker crumbs out of the cookie dough. Instead, I rolled the dough balls in fine graham cracker crumbs, then pressed the balls into a mini-muffin pan. I created an indent with my thumb in the center of each, then dropped a good number milk chocolate chips (as many as you can fit; don't skimp on the chocolate) into the indentations. When I think s'mores, I typically prefer milk chocolate over semisweet, so that's what I used completely. I chilled the dough in the pans overnight, then baked the cookies off. When they came out of the oven, I topped each warm cookie with a large marshmallow, sliced in half crosswise. The marshmallow holds its shape and doesn't melt into an unsightly syrup all over the cookie.
For the final touch, I used a kitchen torch to create a 'burnt' marshmallow on the tops. Voila! What do you think? If you make this version, they're especially good heated up for a few seconds in the microwave later. The chocolate gets gooey again and the marshmallow puffs up slightly.
Today's lesson? If at first you don't succeed... you know the rest.
Next up in Baked Occasions: Date Squares - December 7, 2014