Chocolate Covered Cherry Marshmallow Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 cups flour
1½ teaspoons vanilla
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup water
¼ cup light corn syrup
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin (a small packet)
2 tablespoons cold cherry juice or water
2 egg whites (room temperature)
½ teaspoon cherry extract or vanilla
10-12 ounces of your favorite chocolate bar
Sprinkles, if desired
Whip the butter until creamy. Add the powdered sugar, mix until light and fluffy. Stir in the flour, 1 cup at a time. Add the vanilla and mix until the dough comes together.
Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Form each piece into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Heat oven to 400°F.
On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough to ¼ inch thickness. Use a circle cookie cutter (1-1½ inches) to cut out small rounds of dough. Transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 5 to 6 minutes, or until light golden brown. Let the cookies cool to room temperature.
In a 3 quart saucepan, combine the sugar, water and light corn syrup. Over medium-low heat, stir the mixture just until the sugar dissolves. The mixture will come to a boil, continue cooking (without stirring) until “soft-ball” stage or 235°F on a candy thermometer.
Meanwhile, sprinkle the powdered gelatin over the juice/water. (This helps dissolve the gelatin.) I also like to start whipping the egg whites in my stand mixer at this point. (The egg whites will need to be soft peaks when they syrup is added.)
Once the syrup reaches 235°F, immediately remove from heat and stir in the gelatin/cherry juice mixture. Whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. With the mixer on medium-high speed, slowly pour the gelatin/syrup mixture into the egg whites. Just pour the syrup that flows naturally out of the saucepan - do not scrape the left-over syrup out of the saucepan.
Add the food coloring and cherry or vanilla extract, if using. If the cherry juice (used to soften the gelatin) isn’t very sweet, add ½ teaspoon cherry extract. (If making vanilla marshmallow, add ½ teaspoon vanilla extract.)
Continue whipping the mixture on high speed, until the marshmallow is stiff. Immediately transfer the marshmallow to a pastry bag. (Use a large, round tip or you can also just cut off the end of the piping bag.)
On parchment lined baking sheets, lay out the round cookies. Pipe a “kiss” shape on each cookie. Hold the piping bag down for a few seconds, to make a small mound of marshmallow and then quickly, gently lift up to achieve the rounded tip on the marshmallow.
Let the marshmallow cookies set at room temperature for 2 hours.
Roughly chop the chocolate and melt in a double boiler over low heat. (You can also use two saucepans if you don’t have a double boiler.)
Gently dip each marshmallow cookie into the chocolate and let the excess chocolate drip off before placing the cookie back onto the baking sheet. If you are using sprinkles, immediately put them on each cookies after dipping. Otherwise, the chocolate hardens quickly and the sprinkles won’t adhere.
Let the Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies sit at room temperature for an hour or so, to let the chocolate completely set.