Chewy brownie cookies topped with a mile-high homemade marshmallow (“high hat”) frosting, cloaked in chocolate, and then flecked with sprinkles.
Next week, public schools will let out, and the length of time it takes me to drive to work will be slashed in half. I can’t wait, and while I’m excited for family cookouts and currently loving the sunshine and walks on the trail with the dogs, I feel very much like an adult when I’m forced to come to terms with the fact that the most exciting thing about summer for me anymore is… the traffic.
Long gone (ten years gone, to be exact) are the summers that used to consist of sleeping in until noon, picking honeysuckle flowers with mulberry-stained fingers and exploring the woods behind my house. Summertime used to be about dodging poison ivy, catching crayfish in the stream (you have to sneak up on them, make them think you’re going to make a move with your hand in front of them, then swoop in from behind and pinch them right behind their claws) and playing flashlight tag amidst a field of fireflies.
Those memories are fuzzy now, like the caterpillars my sister and I used to collect, housing their squirmy bodies in my plastic, purple-topped Little Mermaid aquarium in the back of our swingset-fort.
For the past 10 years, summertime has just meant business as usual, just with hotter days and no snow, and that kinda makes me sad (and a little jealous of my youngest sister who is only 11 and doesn’t have a job to dominate her summer… yet).
Feeling very boringly adult, very agitated by my excitement over traffic, and even feeling a little nostalgic, I wanted to make something very nonsensical and fun — something playful this past weekend.
These High Hat Cookies (which I keep accidentally calling “Top Hat” cookies and “High Top” cookies) are just that.
Named “High Hat” Cookies after the iconic High Hat Cupcakes, it’s the marshmallow frosting that really makes these cookies so fantastic. Unlike a buttercream frosting (which I tried initially), it is not too sweet. It’s light and fluffy, a slightly sticky, melt-in-your mouth pillowy cloud of homemade marshmallow. Swirl it over a brownie cookie and cloak it in a soft dark chocolate shell and you’ve got yourself a cookie like no other.
Crackly, richly chocolaty brownie cookies (some of my favorite cookies; I’ve used them in several recipes, including the ones here, here, and here). They’re chewy (like the corner piece of a brownie <3), deeply chocolaty, and then piled high with marshmallow frosting.
Of all of the components of these cookies, the marshmallow frosting is the trickiest. The cookies don’t even require a mixer (you can do all the stirring by hand) and once you pipe the frosting onto the cookies the dipping part is a piece of cake (so long as your chocolate is cool!), but the marshmallow frosting is a bit more consuming. It involves heating your egg whites to dissolve the sugar and then beating on high speed until stiff peaks form.
So long as you follow the steps just as written, though, I don’t think you’ll have a problem!
Enjoy, and enjoy your summer as well.
High Hat Cookies
- ½ cup salted butter cut into Tbsp-sized pieces, 1 stick
- 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- ¾ cups light brown sugar packed
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs + 1 yolk lightly beaten
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp cornstarch
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- 2 ½ cups sugar
- 6 egg whites room temperature
- ⅓ cup water room temperature
- ½ tsp cream of tartar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups dark chocolate chips
- 3 ½ Tbsp canola oil . vegetable oil would also work
- sprinkles for decorating (if desired)
- Preheat oven to 350F and line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
- In large, micro-wave safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate chips. Microwave for 30 seconds and stir, repeating at 15 second increments (stirring in-between) until chocolate and butter are completely melted.
- Stir in sugars, eggs and vanilla.
- In separate, medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Gradually stir flour mixture into butter mixture until completely combined.
- Drop cookie dough by rounded 1 ½ Tbsp-sized scoop onto parchment paper, pressing down slightly.
- Bake 10-11 minutes, allow to cool on cookie sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to cookie rack to cool completely.
- You'll need a heat-proof bowl that can rest in a medium-sized saucepan without touching the bottom of the pan. I use my KitchenAid bowl, which doesn't touch the bottom of my saucepan but rests on the rim instead.
- Fill the bottom of a medium-sized saucepan with about 1 ½" of water.
- Set over medium-high heat and bring to a slow simmer as you prepare your frosting.
- In a heat-proof bowl, combine sugar, egg whites, ⅓ cup water, cream of tartar, and salt. Stir with a spoon until well-combined, and then use a whisk to beat the mixture until it begins to foam.
- Set the bowl over your simmering water and continue to whisk constantly until the sugars have dissolved, about 4 minutes (a good way to check this is to rub a droplet of the mixture between your fingers -- so long as it isn't gritty and you can't feel the sugar you are good to go. You don't want the mixture to get too hot).
- Once sugar is dissolved, remove your heatproof bowl and transfer it to your stand mixer.
- Beat with whisk attachment for 12-15 minutes -- until stiff peaks are formed.
- Stir in vanilla extract.
- Transfer frosting to a piping bag (I used an Ateco 846 star tip, but any large tip will work -- you may even just transfer the frosting to a ziploc bag and snip off a corner) and pipe frosting on top of cooled cookies, up to 3" high (I prefer slightly less frosting, but this recipe makes enough to put "high hats" on all cookies).
- Place your piped cookies on a baking sheet and place in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes while you prepare your chocolate coating.
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, combine your dark chocolate chips and canola oil.
- Microwave for 30 seconds and then stir well.
- Return to the microwave and heat at 15-second intervals, stopping after each one to stir well.
- Once chocolate has completely melted, transfer to a smaller bowl (I chose a tall, not very wide bowl, something ideal for dipping the cookies so that the frosting does not hit the bottom of the vessel).
- Allow to cool for 10-20 minutes (if your chocolate is particularly warm, you may need to wait longer. The chocolate should NOT feel warm to the touch, or it will melt your frosting).
- Once chocolate has cooled, remove cookies from the refrigerator.
- Holding each one firmly by the base, turn each cookie upside down and quickly dip the frosting entirely in the chocolate and return to right-side-up.
- Return to baking sheet and decorate with sprinkles, if using.
- Repeat until all cookies have been dipped, and return to refrigerator for at least 10 minutes for chocolate to harden.
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