Tag Archives: Graham cracker

S’more Brownies

29 Sep

Just spent the last 2 weeks slaving over nine, rather complicated, Shakespearean costumes. Loved it…but I almost went insane. As did my puppy, who was abandoned outside the whole time because I simply could not sew and watch his every move at the same time (he’s a chewer). But don’t you worry, he was able to find ample entertainment. Our drip system will have to be replaced and a few plants have now been replanted about 10 times each. Not sure my husband is happy that I sacrificed the back yard :), but hopefully he’ll forgive the dog…and me.

Here’s my peace offering:

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Ingredients:

  • 14 full graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • one batch of your favorite brownie recipe (boxed or homemade, make as directed but do not bake)
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

First make the graham cracker crust. Put 10 of the graham cracker and sugar in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until you have fine crumbs.  Add butter and mix until combined. Press into the bottom of a 9×12 pan and bake at 350  for 9-10 minutes until lightly golden. Remove from over and let cool for 10 minutes.

Pour on the brownie batter and cook for another 20-25 minutes until almost set.

While baking, crush the remaining graham crackers by hand and combine with marshmallows and chocolate chips. Scatter mix over the brownies and cook for 5-8 minutes until marshmallows are melted and slightly toasted.

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http://bloomdesignsonline.com/2014/01/make-it-monday-brownie-smores.html

Candy Apple Pie

15 Mar

Happy Pi Day! I had a friend suggest that since this month is 3/14, it should really technically be Pi Month…I do not disagreed.

My husband’s work decided to celebrate Pi Day with, well, a pie party – naturally. Everyone was supposed to bring a pie to share. He sent me a text: “I want to win the ‘this is not a competition’ competition.” Challenge accepted!!! After the verdict was in, I asked how we fared compared to the other pies and he declared ours the unofficial winner, because it was the only one that people kept coming up for seconds of. I actually haven’t even tasted this pie because, even though I requested that he save me a piece, all that came home was an empty pie tin! But, there are three good reasons why I know it must taste pretty darn good. One: It smelled incredible while baking. Two: Mine was the only pie to be completely devoured. Three: My husband ate an entire slice (this is the crowning glory because he doesn’t really like pie in general, and I have never seen him voluntarily eat apple pie). Sounds like a winner to me. Hopefully I have an excuse to make it again soon because I would really like to test my theory. 😉

**UPDATE**

I can now add one more reason to why I know this pie tastes good. Four: I got to taste it! 🙂 I actually made two  pies, one for Hubby’s work, and one for my sweet neighbor who’s family has had a rough week. I mentioned to her that I hoped it tasted good since it was a new recipe, so, when she returned my pie tin today, she included a slice for me to taste-test. Better late than never! And now I know for a fact that this pie is delicious. It is a caramel candied apple. Yum!!

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Ingredients:

Crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1 cup chopped pecans

Apple Filling:
5 Granny Smith apples (peeled, cored, sliced very thin) *Or any firm apple that holds up well during baking (I used Honeycrisp)
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Cream Cheese Topping:

8 oz. cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 egg
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 cup sugar
Topping:
3/4 cup heavy cream, whipped
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/4 cup chopped pecans

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. In a medium bowl, combine the crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and melted butter. Mix well and press into a 10-inch pie plate and up the sides. Bake for 6 to 8 minutes until golden in color. Remove pie shell from oven and cool completely. Pour caramel into pie shell and sprinkle with 1 cup of chopped pecans. Refrigerate pie shell while making apple filling.

3. In a large (12-inch) skilet over medium heat, melt butter and add brown sugar, salt and cinnamon. Stir with a wooden spoon. Add apples and stir. Cook over medium to medium-high heat for 15 to 20 minutes until apples are softened and tender. Let cool for 10 minutes and pour into pie shell. Reduce oven to 350 degrees F.

4. In a medium bowl, using a hand-held mixer on low speed, combine cream cheese and sugar for about 1 minute until smooth. Add egg, lemon juice and vanilla and beat for 1 minute or until fully blended. Pour over apple filling in pie shell. Bake for 30 minutes until an inserted knife comes out clean. Remove pie from oven and let cool. Refrigerate for 4 hours. Let stand outside the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

5. Top with whipped cream, caramel and pecans, and swirl with a knife. Slice and serve.

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Original recipe: http://www.thekitchn.com/-best-pie-bakeoff-2008-entry-1-10-69632

Cheesecake Factory Cheesecake

16 Sep

Yesterday was my daughter’s birthday. I’m no expert cake decorator, but I have a lot of fun doing my kids’ birthday cakes. I don’t do plain boxed cake mixes because birthdays are a special occasion! And when else do you have the excuse to make something fancy? But I don’t ever get too fancy – fondant scares me. I get creative and use cupcakes, rice crispies, twinkies, and my favorite – starbursts. 🙂

This year, my daughter wanted a cheesecake. I’ve never made a cheesecake before, and my favorite part of birthday cakes is coming up with a fun way to decorate – how do you decorate a cheesecake? “With a mouse,” she said. A mouse? Of course a mouse…it’s a ‘cheese’cake. 🙂 Love it.

So, I learned a few things with my first cheesecake: First, do not start making it at 10:30 pm. You won’t get to bed until 2 am. Second, after baking you have to prop open the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside – do a toothpick test to make sure it is cooked through before doing that. You may end up with an un-cooked center and not find out until your cheesecake is cooled and it’s too late to do anything about it. Third, make your cheesecake at least a day in advance. The flavor is better if you let it sit for a full 24 hours.

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Ingredients:

Crust:

1/4 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped almonds
3/4 cup finely chopped vanilla wafers
2 tablespoons melted butter

Filling:

1 1/2 lbs cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
5 large eggs
16 ounces sour cream
1/4 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Directions:

Crust Directions:

1. Mix all nuts and vanilla wafer crumbs with melted butter and press into a 9 inch buttered springform pan, trying to line the sides as much as possible about 1 1/2″ up the sides of the pan, set aside.

Cheesecake Directions:

1. All the filling ingredients should be at room temperature.

2. Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy with an electric mixer set on low (keep the setting at low during the entire mixing process).

3. Add the sugar a little at a time and continue beating until creamy.

4. Add one egg at a time and beat after each egg.

5. Add flour, vanilla and lemon juice, mix well.

6. Add the sour cream and beat well.

7. Pour cream cheese mixture into the springform pan.

8. Place on the top rack in the middle of a 325 degree F preheated oven for one hour and 15 minutes.

9. When time is up turn oven off, prop open oven door and leave in oven for one hour.

10. Remove from oven and let cool then refrigerate for 24 hours.

Original recipe found here: http://www.momswhothink.com/cheesecake-recipes/cheesecake-factory-recipe.html

Here is my final product! I added yellow food coloring to make it look more ‘cheesy,’ and the mouse is make of starburst that I colored with food coloring and warmed to make it malleable. It turned out cute!

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**The crust recipe below is for those who prefer a crust without nuts**

 

Ingredients:

1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/3 cup melted margarine

Directions:

1. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Mix in melted margarine.

2. Press the crumb into a 9-inch spring form pan that has been lined on the bottom and side with parchment paper.

3. Use the bottom of a drinking glass to press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan and about 2/3 the way up the side.

4. Put the crust in your freezer until the filling is done.

 

S’more Cookies

9 Sep

So, we bought a new car a few weeks ago. Super excited!!…And then our other car died. This is a little thing I like to call, “Murphy’s Law.” We traded in our perfectly good car that ran fine but was getting a little squished for our growing family, and swapped it out for a new one that upped our monthly payments a bit, putting us on a tighter budget. Literally days later, the car my husband takes to work – the car I got when I turned 16 and have been driving for 15 years – the car that we have been struggling to keep alive for the last 2 years but thought we had gotten repaired enough to at least get a few more years our of it – the car that I love and wanted to pass on to my kids when they are old enough to drive but have been getting increasingly frustrated with as it continues to break down time and again…you get the gist – well, that car went kaput again. And we can’t really afford to replace it. We sat down, chatted about our options, and decided: one last fix. One last fix and then…I can’t even say it. So we did it…and then two days later, I get that dreaded call; “The car died again.” Sigh. Of course, this time it was at 10:00 at night. My kids were all asleep and I couldn’t go get my poor, stranded husband! Luckily, I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood. I gave one of my neighbors down the street a call, apologized profusely for calling so late, told her the conundrum I was in, and asked if she wouldn’t mind sitting with my kids while I went to rescue my husband. And instead of a, “Sure, I can come down,” I got a, “You stay right where you are. I’m sending my husband to go get yours. He has jumper cables and they can try to get it started.” Did I mention I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood? They got it started and almost made it home before the poor thing died again. So, while my husband made it home at last, the car spent the night on the roadside. Then, this morning, one of our other neighbors offered to go help us tow it. He not only towed it, but took it to a friend who was able to locate the problem (faulty part), and then towed it again to where we had had the part installed so that tomorrow we can have them replace it. All this on a Sunday – day of rest and all. I think I mentioned that I live in the world’s greatest neighborhood.

We shall see what news tomorrow brings on my little car…hopefully it really is just a bad part and they can take care of it. Sigh. In the meantime, I had some serious thank you’s to spread to the world’s greatest neighbors. I made these cookies that I have made way too many times this summer. I am smitten by them. I am in deep smite. Luckily, this time I gave away most of them and didn’t eat half the batch myself. I love finding new cookie recipes that are just a little outside of the box! And, in my opinion, these are way better than real s’mores. I have a tendency to dumb-down even the easy recipes, so for this one I don’t use unsalted butter (I just never have it on hand!), and I use regular table salt instead of kosher. The first time I made them I didn’t have chocolate bars either, and they still turned out great. Yay for recipes that you can fudge a little. 🙂

P.S. So, we delivered the cookies to our neighbors, and came home with a box of peaches…such nice people. I think a lot of the world’s problems would be solved if everyone could be so thoughtful.

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Ingredients:

  • 11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • (optional) 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup mini marshmallows
  • 3 regular sized Hershey’s bars, broken into pieces
  • 1-2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Instructions

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with white and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.
  3. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and marshmallows. Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight (I did one batch right away and another after chilling overnight and found there was no difference.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking pans with parchment paper. I used one 11×17 pan and one 9×13 pan but you can really use any sized pans you want.
  6. Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching). I used 16 graham cracker squares on one pan and 10 squares on another. You may have to add or remove graham crackers according to how much dough you have. If you want your cookies thicker you will use more dough and less graham crackers.
  7. Place tablespoons of dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart. I averaged about 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough per graham cracker square as seen in the picture above. Press down slightly with fingertips.
  8. Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top. You can place as many pieces or as little as you want depending how much chocolate flavor you want.
  9. Bake for an additional 5 – 7 minutes or more if your cookies are thicker. They will be done when the edges begin to turn golden brown. Remove to a wire rack to cool. For clean cutting make sure cookies are completely cool and cut with a sharp knife.photo-164Original recipe found here: http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/06/smores-cookies.html