Sometimes we all need a spoonful of sugar. On days when we are feeling blue, we need not only a distraction, but a creative outlet- something that makes us proud of ourselves, and gives us a feeling of accomplishment. There are not many times that I have felt such accomplishment with regards to baking. But this recipe is so far beyond all other chocolate cookies, it is a super nova among ordinary novas, a 10 on the Richter scale of richness; in short, it goes up to 11. This, my belovèds, is a heart attack on a plate. This is Death by Chocolate.
When I was little, there was a tiny dilapidated cookie stand in one of the smaller Eugene, Oregon malls. I forget the name of this hallowed establishment. My father and I would go there, over a 45 minute drive from our small farm in the country, for one thing, and one thing only: chocolate frosted marshmallow cookies. Each one was easily the size of my head at the time, but I would eat it all and feel an actual drug-like withdrawal when it was gone. The emptiness was shattering, the addiction took hold, and I lived from cookie to cookie, always looking for my next crumb.
Then one horrible day (when I was away in College, and unable to properly mourn), a stupid super-mall cookie chain moved into town, and our little stand was gone forever, obliterated by the bland food court giant, never to rise again. UNTIL NOW. Last year, I decided to try and replicate the recipe, tweaking it until it was as perfect as the original, if not better. Make no mistake, other marshmallow cookies pale in comparison. I pass this labor of love on to you with a proud and open, but very clogged heart. I dare you to eat it without your pulse literally skyrocketing and your toes curling. If you have a heart condition or are diabetic, under no circumstances should you partake of this cookie. And please do not eat more than one per day without consulting a physician*.
This post is dedicated in loving memory to my favorite cookie stand.
DEATH BY CHOCOLATE COOKIES
For the cookies:
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) softened butter
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 3/4 cups flour
- 1/2 tsp baking soda (if you’re in Germany, buy double acting baking soda, very very important)
- 1/2 cup cocoa
- 3/4 tsp cornstarch
- 1 bag of jet puffed jumbo marshmallows (Germans, I strongly encourage you to buy American jumbo marshmallows, they are totally different- you can find them at Karstadt or Galleria, or if you are concerned about the gelatin, using vegetarian marshmallows is just fine)
For the Frosting:
- 3 egg whites
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) softened butter
- 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) vegetable shortening, like Biskin or Crisco
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4-6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate pieces (or chopped)
- Suggested music: Sia “Death by Chocolate”
First, open your bag of marshmallows. Eat one. Or five. Heat your oven to 350ºF or 175ºC. Next, separate the three eggs for the frosting (leaving one extra yolk for the cookies), and set aside. You can make hollandaise with the leftover yolks or something. Then, put all the cookie stuff into the mixer and mix until you have a nice, thick dough. Seriously, restrain yourself from eating all of it raw, and grease a cookie sheet. Drop about five large cookie blobs (1/2 your dough) on the pan, and flatten them just a tad. Bake for 9 minutes, then remove them from the oven. Put a marshmallow in the center of each cookie, and bake for another 3 minutes. Take your cookies out of the oven, and put them on a baking rack to cool, flattening the marshmallow very slightly so that the skin doesn’t break and make a sticky mess. Re-grease your cookie sheet, and put the remaining 5 cookies in the oven for 9 minutes.
Meanwhile, for the frosting, you will have begun to heat your double boiler. If you don’t have one, not to worry, I just use a stainless steel bowl over a small pot of hot water with a pinch of salt to make it heat faster. You will want to heat the water on medium until steaming, then turn it down to a simmer, and in the top of the boiler or the bowl, heat your sugar and the egg whites, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the mix into a bowl and set aside. Rinse out your double boiler top, or bowl and put your chocolate in to melt. You can now safely increase the heat to medium.
Your second batch of cookies probably need to be marshmallowed about now, so marshmallow them, and put them back in the oven for 3 minutes. During this time, while the chocolate is melting, wash your mixer bowl and attachment, and rinse it in cold water. Dry it, and then whip your egg mixture until it forms peaks. Remove the last cookies from the oven, and put them on the rack to cool, after lightly flattening the marshmallows. Remove the melted chocolate from the heat. Add the butter and shortening to the egg mixture, and continue to whip it into submission. Once the butter and shortening are totally incorporated (the shortening tends to be a little trickier than butter and clump sometimes), you can fold in your chocolate by hand, until it is gorgeous and there are no streaks of butter or chocolate.
Phew! You’re almost done! I promise this is gonna be so worth the fuss! Once the cookies have cooled, you can pile on the frosting. Then, celebrate just how fucking awesome you are by eating this monster cookie. Refrigerate them for freshness, I like to use a Tupperware portable cake box, it fits on the bottom shelf perfectly.
This is an amazing recipe for Valentine’s Day, which is coming up soon; as a birthday cake substitute; if you are PMSing; if you just got dumped; if you want to make new friends at work; if you want to celebrate anything at all; or if you want to stealthily kill someone else or yourself.
*The author is not responsible for any medical calamities, seizures, heart attacks, delirium, or addictions that may result from this recipe. Use at your own risk.