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No-Bake S’mores Bars
12

It feels like the last time we bought cereal was in 2009.  Seriously though, we don’t eat cereal here except for the odd box of Kashi that gets used for yogurt parfaits once in a while.  Buuuut, when I starting seeing Golden Grahams used in place of Rice Krispies for these s’mores bars on Pinterest, I just couldn’t resist tossing a box into my cart.

And honestly, it wasn’t done without a inkling of shame because I certainly realize the amount of sugar a box of the Grahams contains…and then, oh lawdie, I’d be only adding a ton more sugar to them in order to complete the dessert.  And to cut to the chase, I made these bars twice in the matter of 10 days because I wasn’t 100% happy with how they turned out the first time.  The large surface area of the cereal must have sucked up extra marshmallow because the bars just weren’t holding together as I would have liked.  So the second time I made them, I added more sugar.  ::headdesk::

That made them perfect though.  Don’t get me wrong, these bars are super sweet and rich but they are definitely worth having just one.  The Hershey’s Drops that I used were beyond the best idea I’ve had in ages because really, what is a s’more without Hershey’s?  Forget using semi-sweet chocolate chips – it just won’t be the same.  Luckily, we were able to give away some of each batch that I made because they are definitely dangerous to have around!  So now you’ve got a dessert to bring to the next rainy-day BBQ where real s’mores won’t be in the cards or to make with the kids for a movie day…or frankly, for any other reason at all.  You’re welcome. :)

[Disclaimer: No compensation or products were given for writing this post.  This is not a review post of Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Drops.  I simply love them enough to share my excitement about them with you.]

Giant S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies
113

I swear I wasn’t going to do this.  I wasn’t going to stuff something inside of something else.  It was too trendy.  And then, not trendy at all.  (Neither of which I’m actually about, anyway.)

But I succumbed to the pressure of a college kid who just finished finals.  A college kid who squeaked with excitement when she exhaled the love she had for these s’mores stuffed chocolate chip cookies in a quick and breathless sentence.  I told her that the only conditions I had to making them was that the graham cracker and cookie dough had to be homemade.  And frankly, if we had put a little forethought into this, the marshmallows would have been too.  She had no issues with my conditions.

S’mores stuffed into thick and chewy chocolate chip cookies.  A total diet/healthy lifestyle buster.  But damn, it’s worth it.  I’ve gone on a few times about how magical my favorite cookie dough recipe is and it just stands to reason that I would have chosen it for these giant creations as well.  Yesterday I posted about homemade graham crackers and yup, we used that recipe too.  The deeply flavored brown sugar graham crackers were an outstanding choice to use here and they certainly didn’t get lost amid the gobs of cookie.  Of course, the marshmallows and Hershey’s chocolate bars (is there no better option for s’mores?) melted into everything and admittedly, there were a few nerve wracking minutes of watching the conversion from cookie brick to enormous cookie rounds as all of the components settled into each other in the oven.

But alas, perfection.  Gooey s’mores nestled into my favorite chocolate chip cookie.  At nearly 6 inches a piece, you’ll probably need a friend to help you finish off these monsters (and at least a couple glasses of milk) but since there is so much cookie to go around, sharing shouldn’t be an issue.  Or, I supposed you could just make them smaller for single servings, but where’s the fun in that?

So there.  I went there and now I’m sharing it with you.  It’s a holiday weekend – go celebrate!

Giant S’mores Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: PT20-24M

Total Time: PT40-45M

Yield: 4 gigantic cookies

I made my own graham crackers for these s'mores stuffed cookies, but you can certainly use store-bought crackers if you're pressed for time or you know, not crazy like me. You'll need 4 approximately 1 1/2" by 3" pieces which for store-bought graham crackers means half of a graham square. If you decide to make your own graham crackers (go for it!), cut them to fit. This recipe yields 4 gigantic cookies. Feel free to double the recipe or make smaller cookies by using smaller graham crackers and just half of a marshmallow for each cookie.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups plus 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 12 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • For assembly:
  • 1 cookie dough recipe, at room temperature
  • 8 graham cracker squares, broken into halves (see header note above)
  • 4 marshmallows, snipped in half lengthwise
  • 1 full-size Hershey's bar, divided between each of the prospective cookies

Instructions

  1. To make the cookie dough: Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or by hand, mix butter and sugars until thoroughly combined. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add dry ingredients and beat at low-speed just until combined - the batter should look a little lumpy. Stir in chocolate chips.
  2. Preheat oven to 325° F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. To assemble and bake: Lay half of the graham crackers out on the baking sheets - two crackers per sheet. Top each cracker with 3-4 pieces of chocolate then top the chocolate with two marshmallow halves, laying them side-by-side. Lay the remaining graham crackers on top of the assemble s'mores. Sandwich the s'mores between two large spoonfuls of cookie dough and using the remaining dough to wrap around each of the s'mores; the result should resemble a small cookie brick.
  4. Space the cookies at least 4 inches apart on the two baking sheets. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the tops and edges are lightly browned and the edges just lift off the pan with a spatula. (While baking, the s'mores will press down under the weight of the cookie dough and will sink further while cooling. Don't worry if the cookies don't end up completely covering the s'mores - it only adds to the charm here.) Transfer the baking sheets to wire racks and cool the cookies on the sheets for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to the wire racks and cool for another 5-10 minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Source

source: idea and method inspired by Picky Palate

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http://www.smells-like-home.com/2012/05/giant-smores-stuffed-chocolate-chip-cookies/

S’mores Cupcakes
13

S'mores Cupcakes

Every so often, a dessert comes around that I consider to be a life-changer.  Folks, this here cupcake is a life-changer.  On the outside, they look pretty fancy, don’t they? But on the inside you’ll find the most down-home food combination out there: s’mores.  Everybody loves them.  Nobody ever turns them down.  And when talked about, s’mores light up peoples’ eyes.  The thought of them made into a cupcake certainly lit up the eyes of a certain 4 year old when we talked about what kind of cupcake he wanted for his birthday party this year!  The party was a YMCA swimming party in the middle of December and these cupcakes were the perfect dessert…so reminiscent of summer, don’t you think?

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3 Course Pizza Dinner
32

~~~Never in a million years would I have thought that I would find myself in the midst of Project Food Blog Challenge #5.  I was thrilled to make it to Challenge #2 and it seems my disbelief continues to grow each week as I move ahead with each challenge.  As expected, they are getting progressively more difficult, but this wouldn’t be a blogging challenge if it didn’t get more difficult.  I have YOU to thank for helping me get here.  Thank you to each and every one of you for your extraordinary support and encouragement each week! I hope I will do this next challenge justice!~~~

When I saw the prompt for Challenge #5, asking contestants “to put your own spin on Pizza“, my heart soared.  I heard birds singing.    Unlike doing a photo tutorial, this challenge was right up my alley.  See, I adore pizza.  It’s one of the two foods I could eat every day.  It’s one of the 3 things I would take with me if I ever got stranded on a deserted island (the other two being bagels and my cat, Wilma). Pizza is in my blood. It was, without fail, my standard meal for every Friday night dinner growing up.  It was my first real job. It’s what I even tweeted about last week. And for the record, I still don’t know how people in CT will wait 40 minutes for a pizza on a Thursday night.  In NY, if you hear 40 minutes, you laugh, hang up the phone, and dial your next favorite place on a list of 25 pizza places in the 3 mile radius of your house.  Maybe it’s the inherent lack of patience NYers seem to possess but I think  it’s more that they know they shouldn’t have to wait so long for such a staple food. And for the record, a 40 minute wait never happens anyway.

All this said, I didn’t think this challenge would be easy.  Making a pizza seems easy on the surface but when you’re pinned up against 72 other fantastic bloggers all looking for the next 60 spots, the stakes are a little higher.  Just a little.  Hundreds (thousands??) of possibilities abound for how to make a pizza.  But when Kyle and I sat down Friday afternoon to discuss what to do, we came to an almost  immediate agreement.  3 courses: appetizer, main course, and dessert. Here is our menu (all recipes are listed below):

Appetizer
Margarita Pizza
Grilled mini tomato, basil, mozzarella pizzas

Main Course
Clams Casino Pizza
Stone-baked white pizza with fresh clams and bacon over a ricotta cheese sauce

Dessert
S’mores Pizza
Stone-baked graham crust with chocolate ganache sauce topped with toasted marshmallows


The appetizer was a no-brainer for us since we love this combination in so many forms.  Classic tomato, basil, mozzarella. Even after summer tomatoes are well-passed, it’s still one that works great on a pizza since the tomatoes break down a little with the heat.  We decided to grill these mini pizzas.  Grilled pizza is a favorite around here and it’s so much easier to do with little pizzas rather than full-size ones.  And the slight bit of char on the dough really helps to bring out the dough’s flavor.  Grilled pizza is always a winner!

For the main course, I’ll admit that this is kind of out there for most people.  But clam pizza is a local favorite here in CT and most pizza places have it on their menus.  It’s not a topping, however, that a NYer would be used to seeing, though you would think that clams would be a natural choice for this Long Island girl (Suffolk, south shore) since clams in all forms are almost as much of a staple as pizza is.  But in fact, the thought of a white clam pizza made my stomach turn for years even though it’s one of the most popular pizzas sold at one of the most famous pizza places in the country, Frank Pepe’s in New Haven, right around the corner from my first apartment. Kyle has asked me time after time for a clam pizza and I resolutely responded no every time.  Until about a month ago.  Something piqued my interested and for this challenge, I was ready to make the leap to clams. And it turns out that I LOVE clam pizza!  Could it be the addition of bacon (also foreign to NYers)? Or the salty contrast with the savory ricotta cheese sauce? Whatever it may be, I’m in love! And I know this pizza made Kyle happy so that really just sweetens the deal.

Dessert came without argument during our discussion. S’mores pizza sounded outstanding but we wanted it to be a pizza you could pick up with your hands and eat like…well a slice of pizza.  It was Kyle’s idea to try making a yeast crust with graham crackers and I just happened to have graham flour in the pantry for graham crackers I’ve been wanting to make forever.  We added a bit of each to a yeast pizza dough recipe and hoped it would work. The result was amazing! A graham cracker pizza crust topped with chocolate ganache sauce and toasted marshmallows was the ultimate ending to our 3 course pizza dinner.  You couldn’t have had a better s’more from a campfire if you had tried!!

As simple as pizza sounds, the results of new combinations can be extraordinary. Everyone has their favorite but there are so many kinds out there to test out.  So the next time you call to put your order in or think about your next homemade pie, try something different – you may just find your new favorite!

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S’mores Pops
7

If you’re looking for a quick and easy treat that will be a big hit, you’ve come to the right spot.  These s’mores pops are to.die.for (and who doesn’t love food on a stick??) and seriously take less than 10 minutes to put together.  I was about to spend too much money on specialty truffles at Whole Foods last weekend for Kyle’s Valentine’s Day treat but since I’m always concerned about allergens in the foods he eats, I opted to make a few things of my own, including these s’mores and some chocolate-covered Oreos.  There’s not much I can say here about technique because they really are so easy so my only advice to you is to use the best chocolate you can afford. I used Callebaut milk chocolate which I always have on hand.  Callebaut is a Belgium chocolate and while some people turn up their noses at milk chocolate this is seriously some of the best I’ve ever tried.  It reminds me so much of the fantastic chocolate available in France (and other parts of Europe of course) and makes for a satisfying chocolate fix all by itself.   As far as the marshmallows go, you could make your own but I didn’t have the time last weekend so I picked up a package from the Whole Foods bakery and they were definitely more fresh than bagged marshmallows.

It’s possible that I saw these posted on another blog and filed the idea away in the recesses of my brain but I honestly can’t remember where I may have seen them.