Goddamn Gelatin, or That Time I Made S’mores Cookies

When my officemate said she was going to bring her version of Yellow Cab’s Charlie Chan pasta, I jumped at the chance to bring something homemade to work as well. I don’t know how to cook savory meals, but I do have a bit of experience with baking. My foray into baked goods began with one goal: to make light, fluffy pandesal. You know, the kind you buy from decades-old hole-in-the-wall bakeries two blocks away from your house. I thought I was going to be so excellent at baking because you only need to follow the instructions, right? Piece of cake that cake.

God, I was so wrong.

Since I started baking, I’ve unintentionally made putok (started out as pandesal), red velvet puto seko (started out as crinkles), and honey and egg white soup (I just followed the frosting instructions that told me to pour hot honey over whipped egg whites!). And countless other mishaps and disasters. I say a little prayer sometimes for all the butter blocks who laid down their lives so I can make weird little cakes with textures that remind you of crusty sponges and regurgitated pudding.

Despite all my failed attempts, I’ve had a bit of success with cookies. Usually you just mix all the things on a list together, pop it in the oven, and voila! You’re the life of the party with your homemade biscuits. For Potluck Monday at the office, I decided to make marshmallow-stuffed s’mores cookies using a recipe I found online. I thought, while shopping at the grocery store, ‘Really, how hard can this be? You just have to sandwich a marshmallow between two cookies. I’ll be fine. This’ll be great.’

Well, HUBRIS.

I followed all the instructions save for the one that told me to get vegan marshmallows because they’re devoid of gelatin. Gelatin apparently makes the marshmallows dissolve like they never existed inside the cookie. I experimented with cooking time, temperature, the size of the marshmallow, the thickness of the top cookie layer. Nothing worked. The stupid marshmallows kept melting on me. I ain’t got all night, marshmallows! Two hours later, I was like, “This shit is so tiring. I’m just going to use the broiler. But…how do I turn on the broiler? I wonder if we have one of those torch guns. How long will it take if I use a lighter?”

Three hours later, I came up with these:

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They’re not the prettiest s’mores cookies, but they taste pretty decent. The cookie is crumbly and kinda chewy at the same time. Toasted marshmallows are always a good idea. And just the fact that so many cookies survived my first attempt at using a broiler is a miracle. Now I’m going to tell you how to make these babies because this is my blog, and if you’re still reading, we’ve gone too far together to stop now! Onward!

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Kay’s Sorta Improvised S’mores Cookies

Yield: 40 cookies, surprisingly. Prep time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cook time: 10 minutes + broiler time. Total time: Around 2 hours, 3 if you’re slow like me, or 5 hours if you’re really like me, but I saved you all that trouble with this blog post. Adapted from this recipe.

Ingredients:

  • 2½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 cup of unsalted butter, softened
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar, packed
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1½ cups of chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup of hand-crushed graham crackers (not fine crumbs)
  • Large marshmallows, not the vegan kind, as many as you need

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  2. Cut as many large marshmallows as you need in half. Also set aside.
  3. Cream the butter for a minute or two using a hand mixer on low speed, then pour in the sugar and mix until light and fluffy. Mix in the honey, then beat in the eggs.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips, then gently fold in the graham cracker pieces.
  5. Refrigerate the dough for at least 1 hour.
  6. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (around 176 degrees C).
  7. Scoop up 1 tablespoon of dough, roll into a ball, and flatten on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Press in the middle like you’re making thumbprint cookies. The marshmallow will rest in that indentation. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  8. Bake for 10 minutes or until the sides are golden.
  9. After you take the baked cookies out of the oven, immediately place a marshmallow half on each cookie. Let it melt a little bit, like you’re allowing it to glue itself to the hot cookie (I think I wouldn’t mind if some stud called me a hot cookie).
  10. Once you’ve done that to all the cookies, stick ’em all under a broiler. Gently. With a lot of supervision. Because it gets really hot there. Those poor marshmallows. But they’re so delicious. So, thank you, marshmallows.
  11. Share with your loved ones. Unless you ate it all. I wouldn’t blame you.

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