Thursday, March 22, 2007

AEB Afterschool Special

may west fig. a: who's laughing now?

May West taunted and teased me. Wagon Wheels just a-rolled on by. Jos. Louis wouldn't go toe-to-toe with me. Twinkie never returned my calls. Ding Dong had the nerve to call me names. HoHo just laughed. In the schoolyard of my youth, snack cakes reigned supreme: a form of torture for those of us whose parents never bought the damn things. But in all those years, with all those kids and all those lunchbox treats, I bet not a one of them was homemade. A quarter of a century later, here's my revenge:

I want s'more! fig. b: AEB Wagon Wheel

AEB Wagon Wheels (in three parts)

1. Caramel Marshmallows

1 1/2 cups sugar
200 ml water, warm
8 gelatin sheets, soaked

Caramelize the sugar in a clean pot by adding a bit at a time until each additional amount melts. Make the caramel fairly dark as it will take on a lot of volume and therefore lose a lot of its intensity. Deglaze with the water. It will sputter quite a bit so keep your distance. Add the gelatin and pour into the bowl of a mixer. Mix on medium until it becomes opaque, then on high until it is the consistency of a meringue. Pour onto an oiled piece of parchment, spread out to the thickness you want, then top with another piece of oiled parchment. Let it sit at room temperature for as little as a few hours or as much as overnight.

2. Graham cookies (adapted from Nancy Silverton's Pastries From the La Brea Bakery)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
7 Tbsp. butter, cold
1/3 cup honey
5 Tbsp. milk
2 Tbsp. vanilla

Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer, add butter and mix until it is a coarse meal. Stir the honey into the milk, add the vanilla, and pour into the dry ingredients. Mix until it comes together. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for a few hours. Roll out the dough to an eighth of an inch thick and cut into circles with a cookie cutter. Bake about 10 min. at 350°F, until they are golden. Let cool completely.

3. Assembly required

dark chocolate, as needed

Cut the marshmallow into circles the size of the cookies and sandwich them. Melt a bowl of chocolate in a double boiler. If you are a superstar, you will temper the chocolate properly. If not, just throw all caution to the wind. They're still gonna taste great. Dip the cookies in carefully, making sure that the sides get covered. Place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and chill a few hours, until the chocolate sets.

AEB Wagon Wheel fig. c: perfect with milk

Eat many. Share them with friends. Have one in the late afternoon with a cold glass of milk. Better yet, send Junior to school with one.



ades said...

If only mom had known this recipe when I could eat it!

Kirin said...

Damn that looks good!

rrrobyn said...

y'know, i have loved 'an endless banquet' for a long time, but now i REALLY LOVE YOU, you guys, i mean, i think we could have something here, something special, that is, i mean, homemade wagon wheels?! yaaay!! that's marriage material if ever i saw it.

Le G said...

Memories, sweet memories. A great idea and you are really heroes, the two of you. Legends, as they say down here.