Jill Fergus

I began cooking as a child and feeding family and friends has always been my passion. My kitchen is a busy one. I love to experiment and embrace the kitchen successes along with the accidents. I love to cook and collaborate with friends. I am seasonally driven (I love the farmer's market!), avoid processed foods and focus on whole and organic (mostly plant-based, but not exclusively) choices. In my home, my family has a variety of eating preferences from plant-based, gluten free, refined sugar free to full on omnivore. My goal is to create dishes to please all, either as is or with minor adjustments to the recipe. Where did "Feed the Swimmers" come from? When my kids began swimming competitively and growing into young adults, I realized, even more, how important nutrition is to performance, growth and overall health and emotional well being. Everyone (including the coach during travel meets) would ask "what are you feeding the swimmers?" This has become my mantra whenever I'm in my kitchen cooking for family and the friends I love.



Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Tahini Marshmallow

Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Tahini Marshmallow

Many of you know, I regularly have baking adventures with my dear friend Erin  http://www.cloudykitchen.com/   I am totally backlogged with sharing all of these fun recipes with you, so I’m going to start with our most recent creation, as they’re outrageously decadent. Our first attempt wasn’t quite right we didn’t yield the finished product we desired, but we knew we were onto something. The second time was a charm. The chocolate cookie is dark, rich, crispy and not too sweet (and we added extra sea salt for that special something). The tahini marshmallow is a total treat. While the tahini does cut the marshmallowy sweetness a touch (just a wee bit, as Erin would say, the honey and tahini elevate one another and play together magically. I finished these with a drizzle of dark 70% chocolate to keep the richness going. 

As winter approaches and sunlight fades much earlier, we found ourselves without enough natural light to photograph our new cookie. Shorter days are such a buzz kill for blogging, instagramming and working. We parted ways at the end of the day, each with our share of this new creation. Without checking in with one another, we each finished these with drizzles of chocolate (I used dark, Erin used milk) and settled on very similar images what can I say? Great minds, baby!

These are fun to make with a friend, as you do have two things going on at once, or have your  kids help out. Fair warning: everyone will fight over the beaters from the marshmallows. 

And, note:

-you will want to make the marshmallows first as they can cure while you make the cookies.  

-you may make the cookie dough the day before.  

-you may think you are overworking the marshmallows but you are not. The addition of tahini requires this. Or, you don’t have to take them this far and cure/cut them, you may pipe them in while the marshmallow is softer. 

-if you don’t like tahini, omit it. (I think we need to test these with peanut butter for you). 


Chocolate Sandwich Cookies with Tahini Marshmallow
- Makes approximately 24 2 1/2 inch cookies -


Chocolate Cookie Recipe barely adapted from Bouchon Bakery


Tahini Marshmallow
21g (0.75oz, or 3 packets) gelatine
114g (4 oz, 114ml) cold water
155g Liquid honey
114g (4oz, 114ml) water
400g (14oz) sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla paste, or the seeds of 1 vanilla bean
3/4 cup (170g) tahini

Marshmallow "Dust"
1/2 cup (65g) powdered sugar
1/2 cup (65g) Corn Starch

Chocolate Cookies
389g All-purpose flour
131g dutch-process cocoa
2.4g (heaped half teaspoon) baking soda
345g (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
6 g (2 tsp) salt
242g sugar
1 tsp vanilla

To finish
100g dark or milk chocolate, melted (optional)



Grease a 12" x 16" baking sheet (half sheet), or jelly roll pan with neutral oil or butter. Combine the powdered sugar and corn starch and set aside. This is your "Marshmallow dust".

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the cold water and gelatine. Mix well with a fork, and leave to bloom while you prepare the sugar syrup.

In a medium pot, combine the water, honey, vanilla, and sugar. Heat over medium to high heat, stirring occasionally. Heat until the syrup reaches 240˚f / 120˚c, then remove from the heat and leave to cool to 210˚f / 100˚c.

Turn the mixer on to medium, and mix for a few seconds to help break up the bloomed gelatin. With the mixer running, VERY carefully pour the hot sugar syrup into the mixer. Turn the speed up to high, and whip for 7-10 minutes, until the marshmallow has doubled in volume, has turned white, and holds somewhat of a peak when you stop the mixer and lift out the whisk. You want to see little strands starting to form around the whisk attachment as it whips - this may seem like you have taken it too far, but you need the structure for when you add the tahini.

Add the tahini, and fold in well with a spatula.

Working very quickly, scrape the marshmallow into the prepared pan using a lightly oiled rubber/silicone spatula. Smooth the surface using an oiled offset spatula, or back of a spoon. Use wet fingers to help the smoothing process if needed. Dust liberally with the marshmallow dust. Allow to cure for 3-4 hours.

Carefully turn out onto a board, and dust the entire surface with the powdered sugar and corn starch mix. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter dusted with marshmallow dust, cut circles out of the marshmallow. Set aside on a plate, dusting with extra marshmallow dust if needed.


In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, and baking soda.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on high until smooth and creamy, 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, and mix for another 30 seconds, then add the sugar and vanilla and mix for a further 3-5 minutes, until pale and fluffy.

With the mixer on low (be careful not to puff flour everywhere!), add half of the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined. Add the second half, and mix until incorporated. Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap, and bring together to form a rectangle. Wrap tightly and place in the fridge for at least an hour, or until firm.

Preheat the oven to 325˚f / 165˚c, and place oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Place the rectangle of cookie dough on a sheet of parchment paper, and top with a second piece. Hit it a couple of times with your rolling pin to help flatten. Roll out the dough to approximately 1/8" thickness, then transfer to a baking sheet or board, still between the parchment paper, and place in the fridge for about 10 minutes to help it firm up.

Remove the dough from the fridge and peel off the top layer of parchment. Using a 2 1/2 inch cutter, cut circles from the dough, and place on the lined baking sheets, leaving about 1/2 an inch between. Re-roll scraps and cut more cookies if desired. Bake for 15-17 minutes, rotating once during cooking, until the cookies have firmed. Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 10 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.


Pair up the cookies into pairs of equal size. Place a marshmallow circle between each pair of cookies. Secure with a little melted chocolate if needed. Drizzle the finished cookies with melted chocolate. Allow the chocolate to set in the fridge if needed. Store in an airtight container.


It’s not a mess if it’s chocolate.  


Shot at sundown with the last glimpse of golden  light.  

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