It happened to come to my attention a couple years ago that I had been pronouncing one of my favorite summer time treats incorrectly, mildly awkwardly and with an extra vowel for most of my life. For some reason (ahem, my mother does it), I’d always added an “a” after the “s” to pronounce the word “sa-more.” Apparently it’s supposed to be smooth… “smooore.” Anyone else do this? Apparently we’re wrong.
However if they’re made with gingerbread instead of graham cracker and homemade marshmallow instead of one melted over a camp fire, I think I can call them anything I damn well please. Therefore if you talk about these cookies, they are a holiday version of the smore, pronounced “Gingerbread Samores.”
Anyway, these cookies rule. Up and down. I am brilliant (just kidding.. sorta). While it’s pretty well documented that chocolate and gingerbread are a winning combo (yum!), and adding marshmallow to that mix just makes it THIS MUCH better. The marshmallow actually softens the gingerbread as it sets, which makes it so much easier to eat and less messy than our summer time tradition.
Makes 30 cookies
For the gingerbread:
Recipe from Joy of Cooking
1/2 c butter (1 stick)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c unsulphured molasses
2 1/4 c ap flour, plus another 1/4 divided
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tbsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp grated or ground nutmeg
For the marshmallow:
1 tbsp gelatin (2 envelopes Knox)
4 tbsp cold water
1 c sugar
1/4 c cold water
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
powdered sugar for dusting
For the chocolate coating:
1 bag dark chocolate chips
1) Make the gingerbread cookies:
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over low heat. Add 1/2 c sugar and molasses, stirring continuously with a whisk until dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool to lukewarm.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, 1/2 tsp salt, ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour the butter mixture into the center. Beat with an electric mixer to blend everything together. Add the additional 1/4 c flour and beat until the dough forms a ball and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
Remove the dough from the bowl and knead 3-4 times until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 350°. Remove dough from the plastic wrap to a well floured surface. Roll the dough out to 1/4 in thick and cut into desired shapes, placing the shapes on a lined cookie sheet 1/2 in apart.
Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes, or until they are just slightly darkened and nearly stiff.
Completely cool the cookies on a wire rack.
2) Add the marshmallow layer:
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the gelatin and 8 tbsp water. Set aside for 5 minutes. Gelatin firm up and look jelly-like.
Line 2 cooled cookie sheets with (new) parchment paper. Dust the paper with powdered sugar.
Combine 1 c sugar, and 1/4 c water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Heat, whisking frequently, until sugar has dissolved. Add gelatin and bring to a boil.
Remove from heat and pour into a large mixing bowl. Add salt and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer for 15 minutes, or until fluffy and doubled in size (trust me, the first 5 minutes you will seriously doubt this is going to turn into marshmallow, but it will!).
Immediately, dip the cookies into the marshmallow, dripping of any excess, and lying them in rows on the prepared cookie sheets. Allow the marshmallow 2-3 hours to set.
Once the marshmallow is set, dust with powdered sugar to coat. This will prevent your marshmallows from being sticky (the idea is to cover the sticky parts with sugar).
3) Add the chocolate layer:
Once the marshmallow has set, melt the chocolate chips in a medium bowl using a double boiler or the microwave (I used the microwave).
Dip each cookie into the chocolate, as before dripping off any excess, and replace the dipped cookies on the cookie sheets. Once all cookies are dipped, refrigerate the cookies for at least 15-20 minutes to set the chocolate.