Do you ever completely brush off very obvious warning signs for trouble, insisting "it'll be fine" but then it's definitely not fine? We've all ignored the weather channel's rain prediction, leaving the umbrella and sensible shoes behind because it looked SO IMPOSSIBLY SUNNY, right?
Halfway through making a test batch of these peppermint chocolate marshmallow cookies, I did just that. It was past midnight (when one does test baking, obviously) and I was spent. I carelessly dumped the powdered sugar into the mixer only to watch the whipped egg whites deflate. Their airy structure collapsed on itself and ignored it. Convinced it wouldn't really matter (but mostly lacking the patience to re-whip egg whites) I charged ahead defiantly.
But it did matter.
My pillowy soft cookies with their delicate cracked crisp exterior baked up instead as gobs of dense cakey chocolate. I'm convinced that even with the exact same mass of ingredients, those lumps actually weighed more than my do-over cookies the next day (according to my unofficial human hand scale metric).
Notes to future self:
- Have patience and trust your gut, especially when there's nearly 6 ounces of invaluable bittersweet Guittard chocolate involved.
- Heads up, marshmallow fingerprints attract ants en masse.
- Also, maybe don't bake cookies after midnight.
- Scratch that, don't be ridiculous. Midnight cookies are always a good idea.
These peppermint chocolate marshmallow cookies are my latest wintery midnight jam. There's nearly a tablespoon of chocolate in each cookie (that's not even counting the deep dark dutch-processed cocoa powder), but bake up like soft chewy clouds with a flakey slightly crispy shell and a hint of holiday (aka peppermint). The sticky marshmallow topping uses a technique I picked up from Maryanne where you beat whole marshmallows in a stand mixer until they melt from the friction. Top the peppermint chocolate morsels with that melty marshmallow drizzle and crushed candy canes and it just got vvvvery festive in here. Cue the holiday music.
Cookie month is in full swing and Holly & Natalie from The Modern Proper are bringing folks together to share their favorite cookies - head over to their post for a full list of cookie inspiration or browse (and drool over) #calmandbrightcookienight!
Pinhole Press Holiday Bake-Off
Head over to the blog post on Pinhole Press to read the complete rules for participating in their Holiday Bake-Off to win prizes for baking cookies! Did you make this cookie? Then you've already done the first step to enter!
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Peppermint Chocolate Marshmallow Cookies
- 5.5 ounces (1 cup) chopped bittersweet chocolate chunks, divided into ⅔ cup for melting and ⅓ cup for mixing in whole (alternatively, use 1 cup dark chocolate chips).
- ¾ tsp peppermint extract
- 2 large egg whites
- 1-⅓ cups (176g) powdered sugar, divided into ½ cup (67g) for mixing with the egg whites and ½ + ⅓ cup (111g) for mixing with the dry ingredients
- ⅓ cup (31g) good quality unsweetened dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2-3 crushed candy canes
- 15 marshmallows
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Melt ⅔ cup (~3.7ounces) of the chopped chocolate in a bowl set over a pot of boiling water or a double boiler, stirring constantly. Mix in peppermint extract and stir to combine. Remove from heat and let cool a bit while you prepare the rest.
- With a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or a hand mixer, beat the egg whites over medium speed until soft peaks form.
- With the beaters going, slowly mix in ½ cup of the powdered sugar, one tablespoon at a time. Beating until the mixture resembles fluffy marshmallow creme, about 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, mix together rest of the powdered sugar (½ + ⅓ cup), cocoa powder, cornstarch, and kosher salt. With the mixer on low speed, slowly fold the dry ingredients into the egg white mixture, 1 tablespoon at a time.
- With the mixer on low, slowly stir in the melted chocolate and the remaining ⅓ cup of chocolate chunks until combined.
- Use a spoon or a cookie scoop to drop a tablespoon balls of dough about 1.5-2-inches apart on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake until puffed up and beginning to crack, 10-11 minutes.
- Let them cool 1-2 minutes on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, clean the bowl of the stand mixer and whisk.
- When the cookies are completely cool, place the marshmallows in the clean bowl and with the wire whisk, beat on high speed until the marshmallows begin to break down and turn to (really sticky) marshmallow cream.
- Use two forks to pull up the marshmallow cream into strands and decorate the cookies with messy stripes or zig zags of marshmallow cream. Top with crushed candy canes.
How did you know this was exactly what I needed? So when I come to see you, you'll have a box of these ready for me RIGHT? <3 Cheers!
Sarah Menanix -
I could make a batch of these happen! Also - can we pick a date? It's approaching SO SOON! When is good for you? Message me!!
heather (delicious not gorgeous) -
um love this: "Scratch that, don’t be ridiculous. Midnight cookies are always a good idea." also, meringue cookie + marshmallow cream sounds like soft, fluffy heaven.
Sarah Menanix -
Hehe thank you!!
Amy @ Thoroughly Nourished Life -
YES. Midnight cookies are always, always a great idea! I would help you clean up stick marshmallow fingerprints in return for a cookie or two ;)
Sarah Menanix -
Deal. (I think you underestimate how much marshmallow there is around my kitchen...Also I just found it on my tripod today...)
Abby @ Heart of a Baker -
Oh I feel this! I think I read in a book that 'the kitchen gods are watching' and I always find this to be true! Just when I think 'Oh it's fine!', it totally isn't! Loving the pillowy look of these beauties!
Izzy @ She Likes Food -
It makes me want to curl up and cry when I mess up a recipe that has really expensive ingredients in it! Which is like every gluten free baking recipe ever, haha! Baking at midnight probably doesn't help stop mistakes like that though! I'm glad you made them again though because they look so soft, chocolatly and delicious :)
Joyce @ Sun Diego Eats -
This has pretty much everything I'd ever want in a holiday cookie :) and urghhh wasting expensive ingredients makes me want to cry. I always make (sad, Sandra Lee-esque) attempts at re-purposing whatever it is I messed up :(
1. Our unofficial hand scales are calibrated- those cookies were DEFINITELY heavier.
2. I WOULD LIKE A WHOLE DOZEN, PLEASE.
3. This marshmallow thing is GEN-I-USSSSSSSSSSS.
4. Midnight cookies are the best cookies. Amen.
Claudia | The Brick Kitchen -
Ugh I hate it when that happens! And everything feels so much worse when you're tired as well. They look absolutely gorgeous second time round though - love the crushed candy cane decoration!
christine desroches / my natural kitchen -
Can you please be my neighbour?
p.s. my husband was literally just telling me about a similar cookie his mom made, but hers were full of gluten .... I need to make these for us to devour as we *finally* decorate the Christmas tree we've had sitting in our living room for 6 days!
Midnight cookie shenanigans gone wrong...and then oh so right! These look amazing. My best friend is a peppermint chocolate fiend. I'm going to send her a batch of these with her Christmas presents!! Thanks for that tip about the marshmallow too.
Valentina | The Baking Fairy -
These are gorgeous! I have such a soft spot for flourless cookies and I am loving the peppermint marshmallow twist!
I want to eat so many of these right now.