I don't mind Bouchon Bakery creating an upscale Oreo or selling elevated Ho Ho's, but when you start to mess with Mallomars, well, now it's personal. You see, I love Mallomars. I probably prefer them—or their more easily attainable Canadian cousins, Whippets—to most fancy desserts. How could someone, even one of the greatest chefs in the US, improve upon the pleasures of the Mallomar's thin layer of dark chocolate that snaps every time when you bite into it? The contrast of sweet and salty elements in the crumbly cookie against the smooth, fluffy marshmallow?
When I caught my first glimpse of the new treat, I was shocked to see that Keller, who oversaw their development himself, decided to use a milk chocolate (pictured here) shell instead of the traditional dark. That assumption turned out to be incorrect. Bouchon initially tested and sold both a milk and a dark chocolate version but has now decided to go forward with the dark since it cut the overall sweetness a bit better. In all other aspects--except the size--the cookie stays true to the spirit of the original.
How did it taste? Keller's cookie base is an improvement on the original. It's like a slightly salty graham cracker crust but made firmer. It has just the right amount of give and is the perfect size to balance out the marshmallow. The chocolate shell does a nice job of replicating the trademark snap of the original Mallomar. Cacao nibs are added to the outside for added crunch to make up for the larger volume of marshmallow.
Unlike an Oreo cookie where there are myriad ways to eat it, with a Mallomar, there's only one proper way. And that's to take a huge bite right down the middle—making sure to experience all the layers at once. And if you do this with Bouchon's MallowMore ($3.95) you will be one happy camper.