About two weeks back I stumbled upon Christianna’s site, and not only did I find a great blog, I also found out about this thing that she has going on, called the Recipe Swap.
The idea for the Recipe Swap was born out of a Vintage cookbook find by Christianna. Christianna decided to make her own recipes inspired by those in the cookbook. She also got a bunch of talented bloggers in on the idea and now, the recipe swap has been on for eight months, each month the bloggers dishing out absolute delights that showcase their creativity.
I am thankful to Christianna to let me be a part of this really talented group and to push me into being a little more creative every month!
Do visit the other Recipe Swappers: Dennis, Toni, Christianna, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Crissy and Lauren, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy and Jaclyn. In case you want to know a little more about everyone and the Swap do visit the swap page.
This month’s Vintage cookbook recipe was Sorghum Molasses Cookies. When I read the word molasses, my first thought was to make Gur paare (deep-fried molasses crisps with coconut powder and hint of cardamom), but the frying made me decide against it. Not that it was all the extra calories with the frying that I was scared of, (I am pretty sure the marshmallow filling takes care of the added calories), its just that I have a hard time disposing of the oil that’s leftover in the pan after frying. Also, I would have completely run out of oil had I used it for frying and did not want to run to the store to grab more! So that option was striked off. Plus, I wanted to try homemade molasses cookies. So I decided to stick to the spirit of the cookies and give them a little twist instead.
Molasses cookies have been around in the US since colonial times, when sugar was expensive and molasses was the preferred sweetener. Molasses cookies are a popular way for contemporary cooks to use the old-fashioned syrup. Of the three grades of molasses, first and second are the sweetest, and blackstrap is the darkest and most concentrated. Cookies are usually made with the two lighter grades.
My second thought was to make Masala Molasses (or what we call in India-gur) Cookies. And since I was on the M trail here, I thought of making sandwich cookies with marshmallows as the filling! With a generous helping of garam masala, cinnamon, pepper, the cookies were perfectly spiced up. I also added a bit of espresso powder, for that extra kick!
As soon as I whipped up the cookie batter, I realized that the yield will be a lot (actually, the 4 cups did give me a hint, but I don’t think I was paying attention when I read that!). So I thought I’ll make a chocolate filling as well. Why? Because I love chocolate! I thought of adding a little cayenne to the chocolate ganache, but I remember having chilli chocolates in India and I wasn’t a big fan, so decided against it.
I also made a small cookie sandwich cake- combining the marshmallow filled cookies and the chocolate cookies. That cookie cake was the best of the lot! Remind me of s’mores!
As for the taste, the cookies by themselves were great! Could get the garam masala taste in each bite and I loved that! And they were not sweet at all, perfect since I wanted to add the sweeter Marshmallow filling! As for the sandwiches, while making the filling, I overdosed on it so much so that I just could not get myself to taste the final product. V said he liked them- but V says that for everything- diplomatic taurean, that he is! Will let you know what I feel about the sandwich cookies probably tomorrow!
TRIPLE M SANDWICH COOKIES: MOLASSES, MASALA & MARSHMALLOWS
The first time I tried garam masala in sweets was during my DB challenge. I loved the combination of the masala with the sweetness of the maple syrup in my garam masala maple mousse. So I knew the cookie flavor would be great and it was. The recipe is definitely be a keeper and feel free to play around with the fillings! I am giving the recipe of the marshmallow filling, and for the ganache, I just heated a bit of cream and added chopped dark chocolate to it.
The recipe yields about 18 2 1/2 inch sized sandwich cookies and 20 1 1/2 sized sandwich cookies
- 3/4 cup shortening
- 2/3 cup brown sugar (I reduced the sugar a bit and used brown sugar)
- 2 well beaten eggs
- 1 cup molasses
- 4 cups flour (I used a mix of cake, bread and all purpose, because I only had a cup of all purpose on hand!)
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 1/2 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- freshly grated pepper (I just went with the flow!)
- 1 tsp instant espresso powder
- 2-3 tbsp creamer/milk (I thought I might need some to compensate for the cold coffee in the recipe but I don’t think this was required- actually after I added it, I had to add a little semolina flour because it had become too liquid, next time I would skip the creamer/milk altogether)
- Cream shortening and sugar.
- Add the beaten eggs, molasses and beat.
- Sift the dry ingredients into another bowl.
- Add dry ingredients to the creamed mixture, and mix till it all just comes together.
- Add milk/creamer only if required, else skip altogether.
- Shape into 8 discs and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough as thin as possible, preferably, 1/8 inch thick. Cut circles of desired size and bake in 350 F preheated oven for 10 minutes.
- Once baked, let cool completely on a wire rack and proceed with filling.
Adapted from here
- 2 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 3 Tablespoons milk
- 1 cup icing sugar
- 1/4 cup softened butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup shortening
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla (I added Kahlua, though I did not get much of the taste)
- Place mini marshmallows and 3 tablespoons of milk in a microwave bowl or saucepan.
- Gently melt, over medium heat – stirring frequently.
- Just before marshmallows have melted completely, remove from heat and stir until all the lumps are gone. Set aside.
- In mixing bowl, beat together margarine, shortening and vanilla.
- Add icing sugar beating well.
- Add marshmallow mixture and continue to beat. You may need a bit more icing sugar or milk to make it of spreading consistency. It should be thick but still spreadable.
- Fill cookies.