Tipsy S’mores Bites

May 14, 2013

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Have those backyard cookouts fired up in your neck of the woods yet? They are in full swing around here and I found just the perfect little dessert to bring along to them. Tipsy S’mores Bites – Tiny bite sized s’mores infused with marshmallow vodka! Everyone loves S’mores and these little devils take it up a notch, primarily due to the addition of the booze, but they are not nearly as messy as an actual s’mores and you don’t have to work over the grill or fire pit to make them. They are ready to go. Just grab ‘em and pop ‘em right into your mouth!

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Of course this also means you can serve them inside if your party has gotten rained out. They are quite easy to make. In fact I usually make them over a couple of days. The first day I make the graham cracker cookie cups. Once your graham cracker crust is mixed up, fill each mini muffin well nearly to the top. Pat the filling down into the cup. And then use your fingers to shape the cup portion which will hold the chocolate. Or use a wine cork as I do. Once baked, you just fill them with that scrumptious boozy chocolate.

Making Graham Cracker cookie cups using my special wine cork shaping technique!

Making Graham Cracker cookie cups using my special wine cork shaping technique!

Now truth be told, you don’t really need a whole lot of that Marshmallow Vodka. My advice would be to try to get ahold of one of those little airplane bottles of the stuff. If you can’t find that, I suppose you could just use regular old vodka, or heaven forbid, eliminate the booze altogether. I will say that if you do buy a bigger bottle of the stuff, mixing it with root beer gives you something tasting real close to a good old-fashioned root beer float. Always a good thing in my book.

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Anyway, once the graham cracker cups and chocolate are finished, I store them in the fridge for 1-2 days. On the day I want to serve them, I whip up that marshmallow frosting and pipe it onto them. Then it is time for all the fun with the kitchen torch. Folks really do seem to love them. Have some ready for your next get together!

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Tipsy S’mores Bites

recipe inspired by: Teach Eat Love, My Baking Addiction, and Martha Stewart

yield: 36 mini s’mores cookie cups

Ingredients:

For the cookie cups:

  • 4 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup butter
  • 6 Tablespoons sugar
  • splash of milk (I used about 4 1/2 Tablespoons)

For the chocolate filling:

  • 6 ounces high quality semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/6 cup heavy cream (1.3 ounces, or 5 Tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon) heavy cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons Fluffed Marshmallow Vodka

For the marshmallow topping:

  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Begin with the Graham Cracker Cookie Cups:

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar. Add milk a little at a time until the crumbs stick together just slightly. You don’t want a wet dough, so don’t add much more than a few tablespoons of milk. I ended up using about 4 1/2 Tablespoons. You are going to need to kind of “eye-ball” the amount because it will vary based on the brand of graham crackers and even the weather that you’re experiencing. The mixture will be crumbly but just moldable.
Scoop the crumbly graham cracker mixture into an ungreased mini muffin tin and pack each s’more down with your fingers, making a little indentation in the middle to hold the chocolate.  I used a small cookie scoop to fill the muffin wells, then patted the graham cracker crumb mixture flat. Finally I made a little well in the center of the graham crackers with the cork from a bottle of wine. Bake at 350° F for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Let cool on a wire rack and then carefully remove each graham cracker cookie cup from the muffin tin to continue cooling on the rack.
Now for the tipsy marshmallow vodka infused chocolate filling:

 In a large pyrex measuring cup combine chocolate, butter and heavy cream. (You can use any microwave safe dish you prefer, but I like the pyrex measuring cup because it allows the melted chocolate to be easily poured into the cookie cups.) Place cup in microwave and heat for 20 seconds at a time until chocolate is melted. You do not want the chocolate boiling, just warmed enough to melt. Stir until you have a smooth mixture. Whisk in the vanilla and the Marshmallow Vodka. Pour the melted chocolate into the graham cracker cookie cups, filling to the top. You will likely have a bit of chocolate left over. Make sure you gather it all up and save it for later. Let me tell you, it is great re-warmed and  poured over ice cream!

Allow cookie cups to cool completely before adding the Marshmallow topping. I usually make the chocolate filled graham cracker cups the day prior to the day I need them and place them in the refrigerator to cool overnight. You just don’t want warm chocolate to melt your marshmallow frosting, so make sure they’re cool before you proceed.

Toasted Marshmallow Topping:

Place egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set over a saucepan with simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar is dissolved and whites are warm to the touch, 3 to 4 minutes.
Transfer bowl to electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat, starting on low-speed, gradually increasing to high, until stiff, glossy peaks form, 5 to 7 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix until combined.

Place frosting into pastry bag fitted with a decorative tip.  Pipe frosting onto each cooled chocolate filled graham cracker cup. Use a kitchen torch to lightly toast the frosting.
Enjoy!

Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

May 7, 2012

As I’ve mentioned, the weather has really heated up around here. Backyard cookout time has arrived! Lucky for us, the mosquitoes haven’t arrived yet to spoil our party, so the grill is working overtime! I think I have also mentioned that I have a thing for S’mores and can’t seem to resist S’mores recipes. (Take a peek at my S’more Stuffed Cookies and S’mores Brownies)

So for our last cookout, I thought these Peanut Butter S’mores Bars would be nice to have on hand for folks who didn’t really have the patience to invest all that time into make their own by the fire pit. Now, being a S’mores fanatic, as well as a dedicated peanut butter fan, I thought these bars would be awesome. And truth be told, I wasn’t too concerned if they weren’t popular with my guests, since I knew I wouldn’t have any trouble polishing off the whole pan of these gems all on my lonesome!

But that was not to be. Let me tell you, folks went wild for these little bars, coming back for seconds and dare I say thirds! Which is awesome, primarily because it made it easier for me to fit in my britches the next day, but also because they are very, very easy to make! And although they look like they would be a super heavy, dense dessert bar, they actually are quite light, perhaps due to all of those airy marshmallows.

They come together very quickly as well, so you won’t be spending too much time in that hot kitchen. Throw some together today!

Peanut Butter S’mores Bars

recipe from: idle wife

yield: 16 squares

Ingredients:

For Graham Cracker Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
 For Peanut Butter Chocolate Marshmallow Filling:
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup smooth peanut butter (lite is all right)
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 250 grams mini marshmallows
 Directions:
Line a 8 x 8″ square baking dish (or any dish you think will work. Smaller = thicker; larger = thinner) with parchment paper and set aside.
In a bowl, mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt together.
Add the melted butter and stir until the graham cracker crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Press evenly into the prepared baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes. Allow to cool completely.
In a medium-sized pot, melt the margarine and peanut butter together.
Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate chips. Stir until they’ve completely melted into the peanut butter mixture. Allow the mixture to cool to the point where you can comfortably place your hand on the bottom of the pot (be careful not to touch it too soon).
Add marshmallows and stir to coat.
Spread evenly over the graham cracker crust and put the whole thing in the fridge until fully set. Lift out of the dish using the parchment paper, cut into squares. It’s best to keep these refrigerated.
Enjoy!
{note} The Idle Wife adapted this recipe from Butterscotch Confetti Bars. In order to make this treat, you skip the graham cracker crust entirely. Use Butterscotch chips in lieu of the chocolate chips. Pour the mixture directly into a 8X8″ pan lined with plastic wrap. I’m definitely going to give this recipe a try since folks absolutely loved the Peanut Butter S’mores version!

S’mores Brownies

December 12, 2011

Everyone loves S’mores. They just make folks happy. I noticed this when everyone scarfed down my S’mores Stuffed Cookies before I knew what was happening. One of my husband’s bands was coming around for rehearsal one evening and I wanted to make them something to snack on. As I was going through my list of possible sweet creations with my husband, the second I mentioned S’mores Brownies, he stopped me. No need to mention any other treats, he was sold on the S’mores. I’m glad I listened to him. These S’mores Brownies were just fantastic. The Fudge Brownie Recipe from King Arthur flour makes a very moist, decadently chocolaty brownie that still has some rise to it so that it is a cross between a fudge-like and a cake-like brownie. They never disappoint all on their own. But when I added some crunchy graham cracker to the batter ( I actually used cinnamon grahams, but feel free to use plain grahams) and topped the whole pan with gooey, toasted brown mini marshmallows, they were just to die for!

One important note. This brownie recipe calls for Dutch Process Cocoa Powder. I’ve come across many recipes that call for this type of cocoa powder before and, silly me, I just thought it was regular old unsweetened cocoa powder. Well, guess what? It isn’t. For some reason, this time I decided to look up Dutch Process Cocoa powder. Boy was I surprized. According to the Joy of Baking article of cocoa powders, Dutch Process Cocoa powder is “…treated with an alkali to neutralize its acids. Because it is neutral and does not react with baking soda, it must be used in recipes calling for baking powder, unless there are other acidic ingredients in sufficient quantities used. It has a reddish-brown color, mild flavor, and is easy to dissolve in liquids. Its delicate flavor makes it ideal in baked goods like European cakes and pastries where its subtle flavor complements other ingredients. Droste, Lindt, Valrhona, Poulain and Pernigotti are some popular brands.” Whereas “Natural Unsweetened Cocoa Powder tastes very bitter and gives a deep chocolate flavor to baked goods. Its intense flavor makes it well suited for use in brownies, cookies and some chocolate cakes. When natural cocoa (an acid) is used in recipes calling for baking soda (an alkali), it creates a leavening action that causes the batter to rise when placed in the oven. Popular brands are Hershey’s, Ghirardelli, and Scharffen Berger.” Hmmm…so my baked goods which had needed Dutch Process Cocoa but got natural unsweetened cocoa due to my oversight have probally not risen as much as they ought to of because my cocoa powder has been cancelling out the baking powder. The good news is don’t fret if you only have unsweetened cocoa powder in the house and you really want to make these brownies. You don’t have to run out to the store in your jammies. (maybe it’s just me who sits around looking at recipes in her jammies….) You can use the cocoa powder you have on hand, according to Whats Cooking America, just add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda for each 3 Tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa in the recipe. For example, in this recipe I added 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda to the cocoa. My brownies rose like a champ! No problem. And I leave this recipe much wiser about cocoa powder. They aren’t all the same and if a recipe says Dutch-Process Cocoa powder, it isn’t a suggestion!

But back to the S’mores Brownies…once again, they were awesome! Wonderfully moist and chocolatey, with a bit of graham cracker crunch, followed by that gooey marshmallow topping. I think next time I make these fellows, and yes, I’m sure there will be a “next time” I will use the big marshmallows on top, rather than the minis and maybe add some tiny squares of hershey chocolate bars on top as well, just to visually give it that traditional S’mores vibe. So why not get campfire nostalgic today and give these a try. You won’t regret it!

S’mores Brownies

yield: 24 brownies – depending on how you slice them :)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Dutch Process cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour (I recommend King Arthur unbleached all-purpose flour)
  • 2 cups chocolate chips – I used mini chips, but regular size would be fine
  • 1 cup of roughly crumbled graham crackers
  • 12 big marshmallows or a couple handfuls of mini marshmallows

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan

In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

While the sugar heats a second time, crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them with the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla till smooth.

Add the hot butter/sugar mixture, stirring until smooth.

Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth. Note: If you want the chips to remain intact in the baked brownies, rather than melting in, let the batter cool in the bowl for about 20 minutes before stirring in the chips.

Stir in the graham cracker pieces.

Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

Place the 12 large marshmallows or scatter the mini marshmallows over the batter.

Bake for 30-35 minutes until cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the pan comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs sticking to it.

Recipe for Fudge Brownies from King Arthur Flour (the only flour I use!)

S’mores Idea from Sugar Cooking


S’mores Stuffed Cookies

August 18, 2011

Talk about a nostalgic, childhood memory…how about them S’mores? Sitting around a campfire, toasting marshmallows and just when that marshmallow is perfectly toasted, browned and gooey, plopping it right down on the chocolate bar covered graham cracker that you already have assembled and waiting, then smashing another graham cracker down on top. Deee-lish! The perfect campsite dessert! Never you mind that I don’t believe that I ever actually encountered a true-blue, made by a camp fire S’more until I was in college. Sure I knew they existed. I think I might have seen them on the Brady Bunch or Scooby Doo or some such show. But I didn’t experience one til college. That’s o.k. At this point in my life I can be nostalgic about the good ole college days, right? No matter how you look at it, the one thing that is true is that S’mores are awesome.

They are very popular on the food blogs recently too. I’ve seen S’mores, Adult S’mores, S’mores French Toast, S’mores Brownies and of course these S’mores cookies. I figured I’d start with these and work my way through all those tempting s’mores treats. I mean, I don’t want to miss out on anything – you know? And these cookies were not a bad starting point if I do say so myself. The S’mores Stuffed cookies had a wonderful texture, crunchy – but not so much so that the cookies shattered into a million little cookie shards when your teeth contacted it – chewy – just enough so that you knew you were working on eating something fantastic and sweet – but not so much that you feared going into some sort of sugar induced coma. This is without a doubt a “keeper” of a recipe. I knew it would be. It came from one of my favourite blogs, Buns In My Oven. If you’re in the mood to drool, check this site out. And then get out there, light a big ole bonfire in your back yard and make some honest to goodness real S’mores. On second thought, it might just work out better for you if you simply make some S’mores Stuffed Cookies. You know… in your kitchen. Thereby hopefully avoiding any contact with the local fire brigades. I’m just saying…

S’mores Stuffed Cookies

Recipe from Buns In My Oven

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks or about 12 little Hershey’s Bar pieces

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment.

In the bowl of your mixer, beat together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined.

In a separate bowl combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, salt, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture and mix well.

Scoop out a tablespoonful of dough and roll it into a ball and then flatten it into a disc in the palm of your hand. Place a couple of mini marshmallows and chocolate chips (or a single Hershey’s Bar piece) in the center. Roll out a second tablespoonful of dough and flatten that into a disc. Place on top of the marshmallow and chocolate filled disc of dough and seal the edges. Smoosh together to ensure everything is sealed in good. Repeat until all cookies are filled. I couldn’t resist adding a couple of chocolate chunks and marshmallows on top as well!

Bake for 8 – 10 minutes. Cookies should be lightly browned. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.


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