October 29, 2013

Witch Hats

Skipping around a bit in the book, we're tackling a very season-appropriate recipe this week: witches' hats! The Bouchon version consists of a speculoos cookie base, topped with a peak of fluffy white marshmallow, and covered in dark chocolate. So tasty and cute for Halloween!


Halloween is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate and desserts are a big part of that. These Witch Hats are such fun take on a S'more. I didn't make the speculoos cookies previously when it was on the schedule so this was a new recipe for me. The dough was simple to put together and the taste was incredible. I love spiced cookies but these were more subtly spiced, quite dangerous because I kept eating all the extra cookie bases I made.

As for the rest of the witch hat components, I made a half batch of the marshmallow since I was making tiny witch hats. For a twist I added a bit of green food coloring to my piping bag for a swirled effect. I decided to "greenify" the hats in the spirit of Wicked's Elphaba. I piped them and it was a little tricky at first to get the hang of piping into cones so there was enough structure that they wouldn't droop too much. The downfall came in tempering the chocolate. After I coated the hats they didn't set up without a quick chill in the refrigerator. Definitely a defeating moment considering I'd done all the other components nicely! The full cookie creation tastes delicious though with a crisp, cookie base, fluffy marshmallow filling and thin coating of chocolate.


What a cute treat! These remind me of the sorting hat from Harry Potter. Since the recipe called for only a half batch of speculoos dough, I made the whole batch anyways and froze half, so I could make more cookies later. I loved these cookies the first time, and they are still super tasty. I had to restrain myself from eating the cookies up, or I wouldn't have any left for the hats! I made two sizes, a 1.5 inch cookie and a 2.25 inch cookie.

The marshmallow was tricky. Even though we had made it before, it didn't turn out the same this time. I think, maybe, I over-whipped the egg whites. After adding the syrup, they seemed curdled. But I kept whipping, and they turned out ok. Not as smooth and billowy as I expected, but they worked. I piped little cones onto the cookies, trying to get a nice tip on each. Some came out better than others. 

OK, let's talk tempering chocolate. I used TCHO 68% chocolate disks. I don't have a thermometer that registers low enough temps for this. So I consulted the internet, once again, to see how to temper chocolate without a thermometer. Some people say it can't be done. But i tried! I used the seeding method, testing the temp of the chocolate against my bottom lip. It was difficult maintaining a good temp while dipping, but I think I got it to work. I drizzled it over the marshmallow and expected it to fall flat, but it didn't! The chocolate coated the cookies nicely, and after a pop in the fridge, it set up crisp. 

After slicing into one of the cookies, the fluffy white marshmallow filling was revealed! So pretty, and tasty too. The spicy cookie was a nice contrast to the sweet marshmallow and bitter chocolate. In fact, I left them out overnight, and woke up in the morning to find that more than half had disappeared! It must have been the cookie elf (aka husband). So I guess these were a success.

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