These Rudolph marshmallow cookies are one of the cutest Christmas desserts ever – and they’re simple to make! Plus, with the homemade marshmallow piped onto delicate vanilla sugar cookies that’s then dipped into chocolate – they’re nothing short of delicious.
In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or using a hand mixer with the double beater attachment, cream the butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla paste, and beat until evenly incorporated.
Pre-heat the oven to 355 ºF (180 ºC) and line two baking sheets with greaseproof/baking paper.
After 1 hour, briefly knead the chilled cookie dough. At the beginning, it will be very crumbly but after about 1 minute of kneading, it will be firm but smooth.
Roll out the cookie dough to about 4 - 5 mm thick. Using a round cookie cutter about 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) in diameter, cut out the cookies. Re-use the scraps to make more cookies.
Place the cookies onto the lined baking sheets about 1/2 inch apart.
Bake at 355 ºF (180 ºC) for about 12 - 14 minutes. The cookies will be soft directly out of the oven – allow them to cool on the baking sheet.
In a small bowl, sprinkle the powdered gelatine over the water to dissolve and soften. (If using gelatine sheets, soak them in about 2 cups (500ml) cold water.)
Mix the egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl, and set the bowl above a pot of simmering water.
Heat the meringue mixture with constant stirring until it reaches 150 ºF (65 ºC) and the sugar has melted.
Transfer the heated meringue mixture into a stand mixer with a whisk attachment (or use a hand mixer with the double beater attachment) and whisk the mixture for 5 - 7 minutes, until it reaches room temperature and forms glossy peaks. Do not over-whisk as you can lose some of the fluffiness.
In a small saucepan, heat the gelatine+water mixture on medium-low heat until the gelatine is fully dissolved. (If using gelatine sheets, drain them gently and transfer them to the saucepan, along with ~2 tbsp water. Heat until dissolved.)
Pour the dissolved gelatine slowly into the meringue while whisking at medium speed. Whisk for a further 3 - 4 minutes.
NOTE: Once you've made the marshmallow mixture, make sure to use it (i.e. pipe it) as soon as possible, as it sets quite quickly.
Transfer the marshmallow mixture into a piping bag with a large round nozzle. Pipe three dollops of marshmallow onto each cookie, one on top of the other and getting smaller in size (see post for pictures).
Allow the marshmallow to set for at least 1 hour.
Once set, dip the marshmallow cookies into the melted dark chocolate. This is easiest if you transfer the chocolate into a deep mug or glass.
Allow the chocolate to partially set, then decorate with red M&M's, pretzels and candy eyes. To make sure the pretzels are properly "inserted" into the marshmallow (so they don't fall off), make a small cut with a sharp knife where you want to place the pretzels beforehand.
The Rudolph marshmallow cookies keep well in a closed container in a cool dry place for about 1 week.