In the northeastern United States, you can find Nabisco Mallomars in the cookie aisle on a seasonal basis, but they are so much more than a cookie. This nostalgic favorite is comprised of a circular graham cracker–like cookie topped with a thick marshmallow filling and covered with a crisp, dark chocolate shell. They are sort of a commercial s’more and have been produced since 1913. They have fierce devotees and similar confections can be found worldwide, sometimes with more of a shortbread base, sometimes differing in shape from the domed, squat American classic. They are called Whippets in Canada, Krembos in Israel, Flodebolle in Denmark, Tunnock’s teacakes in the United Kingdom, Zefir in Russian-speaking countries, Schokokuss in Germany, and Mallowpuffs in New Zealand. Now you can make them in your own kitchen. The graham cookie can be made a day or two ahead, as can the marshmallow, so take advantage of these do-ahead steps to make the whole recipe easier. I went with a square shape to eliminate waste—and as an homage to our campfire s’mores.
The physical beauty of these mallomars will depend on how cleanly and neatly you cut the graham crackers and the marshmallows, so take care during those steps.–Dede Wilson
LC Cheater Cheater Note
We confess that, in one of our less than finest moments, we’ve pondered whether we could cheat and pull this off with store-bought graham crackers and packaged jumbo marshmallows. We haven’t actually tried this, so we can’t really say. We’ve also, in more inspired moments, mulled over the potential ramifications of using a cookie base such as peanut butter or gingersnaps in place of graham crackers and cloaking the entire thing in dark, dark chocolate. We’ll report back if we try any of these, and we trust that you’ll do the same.
Special Equipment: Candy thermometer
Homemade Mallomars Recipe
Hands-On Time: 1 hour, 5 minutes | Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes, not including cooling | Makes 40 homemade mallowmars
- For the marshmallows
- Vegetable spray oil
- 1/2 cup plus 1/3 cup room-temperature water
- 2 tablespoons plus 1/2 teaspoon unflavored powdered gelatin
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light corn syrup
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites, at room temperature
- 1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Cornstarch, for dusting
- For the graham crackers
- 1 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, , plus more for the work surface
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature, cut into pieces
- 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon firmly packed dark brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- For the chocolate topping
- 24 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped, such as Ghirardelli (45%) or Valrhona Equitoriale (55%)
- Make the marshmallows
- 1. Coat a 13-by-9-inch pan with nonstick spray, line the bottom with parchment cut to fit, and then spray the parchment.
- 2. Pour 1/2 cup of the water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the water and set aside for 5 minutes to soften.
- 3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, stir together the sugar, corn syrup, the remaining 1/3 cup water, and the salt to combine. Cook until the mixture registers 240°F on a candy thermometer. Remove from the heat and whisk in the softened gelatin until the sugar has dissolved. Cover the pan, turn off the burner, and leave the pan on the stove to keep it warm.
- 4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the wire whip attachment, whip the egg whites on low speed until frothy. Add the cream of tartar, turn the speed to medium-high, and whip until soft peaks form. Pour a thin, steady stream of the sugar syrup directly over the meringue with the mixer running. Do not pour any of the syrup on the whip or the sides of the bowl. Continue to whip the meringue until it is cool to the touch, which could take 5 minutes or more. Beat in the vanilla. The marshmallow mixture should be thick and glossy and form medium-firm peaks.
- 5. Immediately spread the marshmallow in the prepared pan with an offset spatula, pressing the marshmallow mixture into the corners and smoothing the top. Lightly dust the top with a thin veneer of cornstarch. Let sit at room temperature for 6 hours or overnight.
- 6. Sprinkle a piece of parchment with cornstarch. Run a thin, sharp, long knife between the edge of the marshmallow and the side of the pan and invert it onto the parchment. If the parchment from the pan sticks to the marshmallow, peel it off. Use the knife to cut the marshmallow into about forty 1 1/2-inch squares, which is 8 rows by 5 rows. Use the marshmallows immediately or toss them with a little cornstarch to prevent them sticking to one another and store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days before assembling the cookies.
- Make the graham crackers
- 7. Line 2 jelly-roll pans with parchment paper.
- 8. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
- 9. In the bowl of a stand mixer fit with the flat paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and honey and continue to beat until creamy, about 3 minutes more. Beat in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture in 2 additions, alternating with the milk and beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Beat until combined.
- 10. Lightly flour the work surface. Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness and cut out crackers in 1 1/2-inch squares. Transfer the crackers to the prepared pans, spacing them 1 inch apart. Gently gather together the extra dough and cut out as many crackers as possible. Refrigerate the pans of crackers.
- 11. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Position the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. While the oven preheats, make sure the marshmallows are ready to use. If they’ve been coated with cornstarch, shake them gently to remove any excess.
- 12. Transfer the pans of graham crackers from the refrigerator to the oven and bake for 12 to 14 minutes, or until the crackers are dry to the touch but still have a tiny bit of spring to them. Do not bake until crisp. The crackers’ color will barely change. Place the pans on wire racks and immediately, while the crackers are still warm, place a marshmallow on top of each cracker. The heat of the cracker will cause the marshmallow to stick the cookie, which is essential for the following chocolate-dipping step. Cool completely on the pans set on racks.
- Melt the chocolate and assemble the mallowmars
- 13. Melt the chocolate in the top of a double boiler over simmering water or in a microwave. Scrape it into a deep bowl. Pick up 1 cracker at a time and plunge it, marshmallow side down, into the chocolate. You want the chocolate to completely cover the marshmallow as well as the sides of the cookie. Lift out of the chocolate and shake gently back and forth to encourage excess chocolate to drip off. Place the mallowmar, cookie side down, back on the pan and repeat with the remaining cookies. (An alternate method for dipping is to place the marshmallow-topped crackers on a wire rack set over a clean jelly-roll pan lined with aluminum foil. Pour the melted chocolate over the cookies, and help it stick to the sides with a few swipes of a small offset spatula. Any excess chocolate that drips down onto the pan can be reused.)
- 14. Refrigerate the mallowmars briefly, just until the chocolate has set. Place the mallowmars in single layers on parchment paper, carefully stack them in an airtight container, and store at room temperature for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can refrigerate the mallomars for up to 1 week. Bring to room temperature before serving.
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Homemade Mallomars Recipe © 2009 Dede Wilson. Photo © 2009 John Kernick. All rights reserved.