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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