Some More S’mores! (Cookie Style)

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Can you say decadent? Today I was looking back on some of my older blog posts and I came across my s’mores bars. Not quite as visually appealing but I can assure you, equally as melt-in-your-mouth delicious. Anyway, after seeing that post I had the craving for s’mores that only one thing could satisfy…or maybe there’s more than the traditional graham cracker sandwich? You bet there is. Today I decided to make some s’mores cookies using a graham cracker cookie recipe and some marshmallow and chocolate.

First I made the cookies and I got the recipe from here.

Ingredients:

5 sheets graham crackers (5″ x 2.25″ graham crackers or 2 cups graham cracker crumbs)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons packed dark brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled (the next time I do this I plan on using a little less than 6)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation:

  • Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Process the graham crackers in a food processor fitted with the blade attachment until they are completely broken down into crumbs and have a sandy texture. Transfer to a large bowl.
  • Add the sugar, brown sugar, baking soda, and salt and whisk to combine. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, then stir together with a rubber spatula until just combined into a soft dough.
  • Using a spoon or cookie scoop, measure 1 1/2 tablespoons of dough from the bowl. Roll between the palms of your hands to form a ball, then place on the baking sheet. Repeat with forming the remaining dough, spacing the dough balls about 2 inches apart.
  • Bake until the cookies have spread and the edges are lightly browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes, then use a flat spatula to transfer to them to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

IMG_6967Next, while the cookies were still hot, I flipped them over and placed marshmallows and chocolate chips on top. IMG_6973The inside wasn’t melting as much as I had hoped, so I popped them back in the oven using the remaining heat for baking the cookies. It worked perfectly! Who doesn’t love a nice cookie with the flavor of a childhood favorite dessert?IMG_6975

Earl Grey Truffles!

I grew up in a house that was always full of tea (I am half English after all). If you open up the cabinet, you can find countless types: English Breakfast, Lemon Ginger, teas to calm the nerves, etc. But above all other teas, my cabinet is always stocked with a ton of Earl Grey. Today I was sifting through some recipe books of mine and found this recipe in The Vintage Tea Party Book by Angel Adoree, published by Mitchell Beazley. I love this book; it’s full of uniquely English recipes and tips and tricks for throwing a classic tea party. I posted another dessert from this book in 2013, which you can find here (you may note that my writing style has changed a bit…don’t judge too harshly).

img_6787.jpgI can’t post the recipe here, however, I did find it online at this link. I would encourage you all to try it out, and to purchase the book if you’re interested in throwing a vintage tea party!IMG_6777IMG_6781IMG_6783

IMG_6785Although I wish I had made the truffles less thin, I am happy with the outcome! Even though they’re not the neatest, they’re still tasty! You can clearly taste the Earl Grey flavor through the chocolate, and they’re the perfect treat to accompany a cup of tea.

Fourth of July Tart!

Hey everyone, and happy Fourth of July to those who celebrate! Today has always been a fun holiday for me. Ever since I was a little kid, I would go see a parade, go to a potluck, and I even got to see the fireworks. This year, I wanted to bring a dessert along with me to my neighborhood potluck, so I searched the internet for any patriotic ideas. I came across a picture of a fruit tart with stars on it, and it looked so cute, I knew I had to give it a try!

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My tart

I started the tart by making the crust for the bottom. I got the crust recipe here.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2cup butter or 23 cup shortening
  • 5 -7 tablespoons cold water

Preparation:

  1. Put flour into a mixing bowl with the butter.
  2. Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the flour.
  3. Add salt and water.
  4. Mix until dough is formed.
  5. Roll out on flat surface.
  6. Bake at 375 degrees until brown.
  7. Prick crust prior to baking for non filled baked pies.

The crust was very flakey and delicious! I definitely recommend it to anyone in search of a good pie crust recipe, however, if you’re looking for a sweeter crust, maybe try adding a tablespoon or so of sugar.

Next, I rolled out the remaining dough and made star cut outs. Then, I threw some strawberries and blueberries in a bowl (I didn’t measure but I would say 1 cup of each berry is a good amount) and added a teaspoon of lemon juice. After mixing, I put three tablespoons of sugar in the bowl and mixed again. (The amount of sugar you add is dependent on how sweet you wish your tart to be). img_6629.jpg

I baked my crust for 20 minutes, and then added the berries and baked them for another 15 minutes. Finally, I baked the stars separately and put them on top!

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I hope you all enjoy! Have a great Fourth of July!

Terrific Tiramisu!

Hey everyone! You may have noticed that on my last post I mentioned that I would try to make my favorite dessert. It’s not a typical “go to” dessert, but it went well! The first time I tried tiramisu, that I can remember, was on a trip to Italy, so naturally it was amazing. Ever since I’ve had a crazy obsession. I love purchasing tiramisu from my local coffee shop, but I wanted to give it a try myself. Although it’s not as neat as that sold in the store, I can assure you that it’s just as tasty! I got the recipe from epicurious! Give it a shot! You won’t regret it.

IMG_6627Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 (8-oz) container mascarpone cheese (1 scant cup)
  • 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
  • 2 cups very strong brewed coffee or brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sweet Marsala wine
  • 18 savoiardi (crisp Italian ladyfingers, 6 oz)
  • 1/4 cup fine-quality bittersweet chocolate shavings (not unsweetened; made with a vegetable peeler) or 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

Preparation:

  1. Beat together yolks and 1/2 cup sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
  2. Beat whites with a pinch of salt in another bowl with cleaned beaters until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 1/4 cup sugar a little at a time, beating, then continue to beat whites until they just hold stiff peaks. Beat cream in another bowl with cleaned beaters until it just holds soft peaks. Fold cream into mascarpone mixture gently but thoroughly, then fold in whites.
  3. Stir together coffee and Marsala in a shallow bowl. Dip 1 ladyfinger in coffee mixture, soaking it about 4 seconds on each side, and transfer to an 8-inch glass baking dish (2-quart capacity). Repeat with 8 more ladyfingers and arrange in bottom of dish, trimming as needed to fit snugly. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over ladyfingers. Make another layer in same manner with remaining ladyfingers and mascarpone mixture. Chill tiramisu, covered, at least 6 hours.IMG_66284. Just before serving, sprinkle with chocolate.
Cooks’ notes:
• The eggs in this recipe are not cooked, which may be of concern if there is a problem with salmonella in your area. • Tiramisu can be chilled up to 1 day.
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I hope you enjoy! Let me know if you try it out yourself!

Winter Treats

Hello everyone! First, let me start by saying, I hope you had an amazing Christmas if you celebrate! A friend of mine and I made some nice festive treats the other day which I thought I would share.

The first thing we made was, Hot Chocolate Stirrers. If you would like to look at a recipe you can click here. We got the idea from one of my Christmas presents, which was a cook book called Sprinkles!

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The next thing we made were Butter Glazed Nutmeg Mounds. We got the idea for these from my friends recipe book called, The Rosie’s Bakery All-Butter, Cream-Filled, Sugar-Packed Baking Book. It seems like a great book. If you would like to check that out, the recipe is in there.

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The last thing we made was Peppermint Bark. I love peppermint bark and we decided to make it a little bit differently. Some of our pieces of “bark” had peppermint and others had coconuts or other treats. They were an experiment and it turned out well.

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Everything was pretty tasty and I especially think the hot chocolate stirrers are an interesting idea!
I hope you all have a Happy New Year!

Brownie Muffins!

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Hey everybody! After asking my class what they wanted me to make for them, I was surprised by the amount of requests for brownies. I wasn’t exactly sure about it because brownies were pretty simple. However, they are also delicious and I needed a new brownie recipe! So, with the help of a classmate, I decided to make brownie muffins. They were very tasty and I recommend them, here is the recipe:

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Ingredients (Please note, the recipe makes mini muffins and I doubled it to make 16 regular sized muffins)

1 cup white sugar
½ teaspoon Almond extract (I used vanilla extract)
½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ cup cocoa powder
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 eggs
½ cup butter – melted
Icing Sugar – for sprinkling

Instructions
Preheat oven to 350F (175C)
Place mini muffin cups inside mini muffin baking pan
Melt butter and set aside
Mix the rest of the ingredients together and then add the melted butter. Mix well until batter is smooth.
Pour into mini muffin cups (about ¾ full) and place in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes
Sprinkle with icing sugar or cover with icing

Thank you so so much to: http://www.mayaskitchen.info/2013/04/29/mini-chocolate-brownie-muffins/ you should check out that blog, the brownie muffins were great!

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Caramel Corn

My birthday passed recently and as a gift I received a new dessert recipe book. I was interested in the Caramel Corn recipe so I decided to give it a try. I will give you a similar recipe from: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/grandma-pauls-caramel-corn-recipe/index.html

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Here you go:

Ingredients

1 cup butter
2 cups packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon baking soda
8 cups popped popcorn

Directions

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
Over medium heat, combine first 4 ingredients and boil for 5 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in baking soda. Stir well. Pour over the pop corn. Stir to coat well. Bake in large roaster or pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on waxed paper to dry.

This is a great thing to try out! Let me know if you do! You can also make them into popcorn balls and put them in sealed bags.

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I made this Caramel Corn the day before I had a dentist appointment so I had to resist the urge to eat this until after the appointment. Yes, make sure you brush your teeth after eating this because it can sometimes stick to your teeth. Don’t get me wrong it’s still a great thing to try and I think it’s very tasty!

Let me know if you’d like me to try any dessert recipes in the comments!

Vanilla Pots de Crème

I feel like I should begin this post by saying that I’m sorry. I haven’t been posting for a while but I have an excuse. This week I’ve been playing tennis all day in the hot hot weather. It’s really hot and tiring and this is why I haven’t been keeping up with my blogs.

Moving along, I made Vanilla Pots de Crème!

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These were heavenly! The recipe calls for ramekins however I don’t own any so I used jam jars. Here is the recipe:

2 cups heavy cream, light cream, or half-and-half
2 vanilla beans or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
Method
1. Heat oven to 300 degrees. Pour cream into small saucepan. Split vanilla beans in half lengthwise and scrape seeds into cream. Put pod in cream, too. Heat cream until steam rises. Cover pan, turn off heat and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. If using vanilla extract, just heat cream and let it cool while you proceed.
2. Beat yolks and sugar together until light. Pour about a quarter of the cream (remove vanilla bean pod) into this mixture, then pour sugar-egg mixture into cream and stir. If you are using vanilla extract, add it now and stir. Pour mixture into 4 6-ounce ramekins and place ramekins in a baking dish; fill dish with water halfway up the side of dishes. Cover with foil.

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3. Bake 30 to 45 minutes, or until center is barely set. (Heavy cream sets fastest; half-and-half more slowly.) Chill, then serve.

Now I used jam jars so they were pretty full. I advise that you eat half, and save the other half for later. But these were fantastic!

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Thank you very much to: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/13/recipe-of-the-day-vanilla-pots-de-creme/

Chocolate Ganache Truffles

The last time I had them I was quite young but I really loved them. So I have always loved chocolate truffles. They are so rich and just amazing. Lately, I have been dying to make them, so I thought I’d give it a try.

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients
8 ounces of semisweet or bittersweet chocolate (a cacao content of about 60% works best)
½ cup of cream (for chocolate with 70% cacao, increase the cream by about a tablespoon or two)
1 tablespoon butter (optional)
1 tablespoon rum, or other liquor (optional)
1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder for coating the truffles (or use chopped nuts or melted and tempered chocolate)

Directions

1 Chop the chocolate into fairly even, small pieces—a heavy serrated knife works well.

2 Heat the cream in a saucepan over medium heat until it begins to boil. Remove from heat. Add the chopped chocolate to the cream. For an extra smooth truffle, add butter. Add any liquor here, too. Wait a minute or two until most of the chocolate and butter is melted.

3 Transfer to a mixing bowl. Whisk until smooth. Once the chocolate is mostly melted, quickly but gently transfer the mixture to a bowl so that you can form your emulsion in a cooler environment.

4 Whisk the mixture vigorously until it’s thick and smooth, scraping the bottom and sides of the bowl and incorporating all the cream and chocolate. If you have one, an immersion blender helps make sure the emulsion is stable.

5 If the ganache shows signs of breaking at this point (if it looks curdled or oily), you can add a few drops of cream to help re-emulsify it. A well-emulsified ganache should look like chocolate pudding: thick, smooth, and glossy. Leave it in a cool spot to firm up for at least four hours, ideally overnight.

6 Once the ganache has set into a uniformly firm mass, scoop out small balls with a melon baller or spoon. Roll each one briefly in the palms of your very clean (or gloved) hands. It helps if you have cold hands or are in a cool room.

7 Chill the truffles briefly, for about 15 minutes, while you prepare whatever you’d like to roll or enrobe them in.

If your ganache isn’t firm enough to scoop into balls, you can chill it in the fridge to harden. Or, whip it very briefly until the color just begins to lighten—about 30 seconds on medium-low with a hand mixer. Let it set again and it will firm up.

8 Roll the truffles in cocoa powder, shaking off any excess cocoa. You can also roll them in chopped nuts or enrobe them in melted and tempered chocolate.

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9 Store them at room temperature for up to a week, in the fridge for two to three weeks, or in the freezer for two months. They taste best eaten at room temperature.

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This is a really good recipe, I really recommend it if you love chocolate truffles like me. They are disappearing quickly so next time I think I’ll double the recipe.

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Thanks to: http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2011/02/chocolate-ganache-truffles.html

Soufflé

Believe it or not, before this spring break I had never had a soufflé. My first experience was with my grandparents and my grandmother made some lemon soufflé. It was really amazing! I love lemon desserts a little too much but this soufflé was really just perfect.

I wanted to make something similar to that soufflé and I did. This recipe was simple, but very nice. I am going to post a lemon soufflé recipe, which I did not use however its similar, and I think it looks great.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more, room temperature, for dishes
1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus more for dishes
8 large egg yolks plus 10 large egg whites, room temperature
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (from 2 lemons), plus 2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
1 cup whole milk
Garnish: confectioners’ sugar

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter six 12-ounce souffle dishes, and then dust with granulated sugar. Whisk together yolks, flour, zest, and 2 tablespoons granulated sugar.

Bring milk to a boil in a small saucepan. Slowly pour milk into yolk mixture, whisking constantly to prevent yolks from cooking. Return mixture to pan, and whisk until thick like a pudding, 1 to 2 minutes. Strain through a sieve, and whisk in butter and lemon juice.

Beat whites until foamy. Gradually add remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, and beat until stiff peaks form. Stir a third of the whites into the yolk mixture. Gently fold in the remaining whites using a rubber spatula.

Fill each souffle dish to the top, and smooth. Run your thumb around edges to remove batter from rims.

Bake on a rimmed baking sheet until souffles rise and are golden, about 16 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, and serve immediately, before souffles lose their height.

Now the soufflé I made was simply not as good as my grandmothers but I think it was a success.

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Thank you to: http://www.marthastewart.com/335397/lemon-souffles