Can you pinpoint the exact day you first heard of this magical cookie called a “Mallomar”? The first time you ever knew such a wonderful thing existed? I can. It was Tuesday, April 22, 2003. It was sometime between 8 and 9pm. I know this because I was watching Gilmore Girls – and it was Lorelai’s 35th birthday. Rory had meticulously placed the cookies on their kitchen table to spell out “Happy Birthday Lorelai”.
Another fun twist on that episode – it’s called “Happy Birthday, Baby”, Episode 18 from Season 3, or 3:18. In real life, Lauren Graham’s birthday is March 18 – or 3/18.
Ah, Amy Sherman-Palladino thinks of everything.
These treats may have originated in Denmark, and variations may be found all around the world, BUT, the ones produced by Nabisco are an American treasure – nearly as old as Oreos, they were first sold in 1913 on the east coast. So how in the heck did I go through so many years of life not knowing about Mallomars? Well, the majority of Mallomars sold today are still sold on the east coast. So, me living out here on the west coast, had no clue. Which, is one of the many benefits of watching Gilmore Girls – it educated people around the world on the culture and quirks of living in Connecticut.
Okay, back to Lorelai….
Per Gilmore Girls Wiki, Lorelai’s birthday is April 26, 1968. Which means, today is her 49th birthday! To honor this day with Mallomars could be tricky. You see, Mallomars are available only from October through early April. Finding a box the last week of April can be difficult. (I have no doubt Rory, with her conscientiousness and super human planning skills, purchased Lorelai’s each March and hid them). If your birthday falls sometime between April and September, don’t despair – you can still have Mallomars, they’ll just be homemade.
There are many homemade recipes for Mallomars out there – some folks use ready-made or homemade graham crackers for the wafer and marshmallows or marshmallow fluff from a jar for the filling. I like to get as close to the authentic flavor as possible, so I use only the ingredients listed on the box. If the box lists an ingredient I cannot find or think is super gross (high fructose corn syrup), I’ll find a substitution. Here it is, my recipe for Homemade Mallomars, in three parts: Wafers, Marshmallow Filling, and Chocolate Coating – I hope you like it.
Happy Birthday Lorelai!
1 c Whole Wheat Flour
1 c Flour
½ c Sugar
½ t Baking soda
¼ t Salt
½ c Olive Oil
¼ c Water
Prep oven and pan: Place oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Prepare baking sheet by covering it with parchment paper. Set aside.
Make dough: In a medium size mixing bowl, mix flours, sugar, baking soda and salt. Add olive oil. Mix with a fork until the oil is fully absorbed and evenly distributed. Add water. Again, mix with fork until water is fully absorbed and evenly distributed. At this point, the dough will still look dry and crumbly. Either with a fork or with your hands, press the mixture into a ball, or into large chunks.
Roll & cut dough: Place a large piece of wax paper on a dry, flat surface. Turn the dough out onto the wax paper. Cover dough with a second large sheet of wax paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough until it is flat and roughly ¼ - ½ inch thick. Remove the top sheet of wax paper. Using a cookie cutter, small glass, shot glass or jigger to cut the dough into small circles. Each circle should be roughly 1½ - 2 inches in diameter. Use a spatula or fork to gently remove the circles from the bottom sheet of wax paper. And place each circle onto the prepared baking sheet, spaced roughly an inch apart.
Bake the dough: Place the baking sheet in the oven, on the center rack. Bake for 12 minutes. Remove from oven. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes. Using a spatula, remove each cookie/cracker and place onto a wire rack to cool fully.
Makes approximately 24 wafers
3 T Gelatin, unflavored
½ c Water
1 c Corn Syrup, light
½ c Sugar
1 c Water
Bloom gelatin: In a large mixing bowl, sprinkle gelatin. Pour in ½ cup of water. Don’t stir. But do move the water around until all of the gelatin is covered. Set aside.
Prepare mixer: Set up a hand mixer next to the bowl with the gelatin – plug it in, insert the beaters, etc. There won’t be time to set this up later.
Make syrup: In a Dutch oven or large sauce pan, add corn syrup, sugar and 1 cup water. Stir. Turn on the heat to high. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the temperature reaches 240 degrees (soft ball stage). Remove from heat immediately. (Don’t allow the syrup to get any hotter than 240 degrees)
Make marshmallow: Pour a small amount of the hot syrup into the gelatin mixture. Using the hand mixer on a low speed, gently mix the two. Gradually pour the remainder of the syrup into the gelatin, increasing the speed of your mixer as you go. By the time all of the syrup has been poured into the bowl, the mixer should be on its highest speed. Continue to mix for roughly 6 minutes. At first mixture will have a loose, liquid consistency and its color will be light yellow. As you continue to mix, the mixture will become more firm and gooey and will turn a bright, shiny white. Once the mixture begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl to form a ball in the center of the bowl, stop mixing. Your marshmallow is done.
Top the wafers: Using a tablespoon or a cookie scoop or a pastry bag, place a dollop of marshmallow on top of each wafer. Use as much marshmallow as you like. I prefer about the size of a ping pong ball. This will get messy! Allow the marshmallow-topped wafers to sit for roughly an hour while the marshmallow sets.
1 c Bittersweet chocolate chips
1 c Milk chocolate chips
1 t Coconut Oil (optional)
Melt chocolate: In a double-boiler (if you don’t have a double boiler, place 1-2 inches of water in a small saucepan and place a metal bowl or heat-resistant glass bowl or smaller saucepan inside, so the water is touching the bottom, but not overflowing) Place both chocolates in the top bowl/pan. Over medium high heat, allow the water to heat and begin to melt the chocolate. Wait to stir until you see most of the bottom chocolate has started to melt. Using a spatula or spoon, gently stir the chocolate to move the un-melted chocolate to the bottom. (Take care not to get any water in the chocolate – as this will cause it to seize up into a firm ball.) Once all of the chocolate has melted and is smooth, remove from heat.
Cover cookies: One at a time, place each cookie into the chocolate, marshmallow side first. Use a fork to gently turn the cookie in the chocolate, so the bottom get coated. Once all sides of the cookie are coated, use the fork to remove it from the chocolate, and place it on a wire rack. Repeat for each cookie. If you’d like to add sprinkles to your cookies – do this now, while the chocolate is still “wet”.
Set & serve: Allow cookies to “air dry” until the chocolate is firm to the touch. These are your homemade Mallomars! Serve and enjoy.