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

Lemon Buttercream Birthday Cake

Hi everyone! Today is a pretty special day…it’s the first time I tried this amazing cake recipe! Oh, it’s also my birthday today. In case you’re new, or you haven’t noticed, I love lemon. So what better occasion to try out a new lemon buttercream cake? I got this recipe from the Miette cookbook by Meg Ray with Leslie Jonath. This book is amazing. But like last time, I can’t directly provide you with the exact recipe. I will, however, give you some similar recipes to that like the one I used. IMG_6916

The cake was called “hot milk cake”. Again, this is not the exact recipe I used, but here is a similar one.

I made two separate cakes in order to layer them. The next step was to create a lemon simple syrup, which I brushed over the tops of the two cakes to give it an extra lemony taste.

Finally, I made a lemon buttercream frosting. Now, the recipe from Miette is really light, fluffy and amazing, so I recommend purchasing the cookbook. I did find the recipe online, however, here.

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
5 large egg whites
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
3 cups unsalted butter, at room temp
2 tablespoons vanilla extract

Preparation
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and water. Clip a candy thermometer to the side of the pan. Cook the mixture until it reaches 248 degrees F, 5 to 10 minutes, keeping a constant eye on it.

2. Meanwhile, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. When the sugar syrup reaches 240 degrees F, whisk the egg whites on medium-low speed until soft peaks form. Slowly pour in the syrup, raise the speed to high, and whisk until soft peaks form.

3. When the sugar syrup reaches 248 degrees F, immediately pour into a heat-proof measurer. Reduce speed to low and very carefully drizzle the syrup into the mixer bowl, away from the whisk so the hot syrup doesn’t spatter. Be careful because the syrup is very hot. When you have added all of the syrup, raise the speed to high and beat until the mixture is cool to the touch (an instant-read thermometer should register 65 to 70 degrees F), 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Only when the meringue is cool enough should you begin adding the butter. Reduce the speed to medium. With the mixer running, drop in the butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, waiting until each is incorporated before adding another. The mixture may deflate and begin to look curdled. Raise the speed to high and continue to add tablespoon-size pieces of butter, making sure each is completely combined before adding more. When all of the butter has been added, the frosting should be smooth and thick. Add the vanilla and mix to combine.

5. Use the buttercream immediately, or cover and refrigerate until needed. Store in a zippered plastic bag for up to 1 week in the refrigerator and up to 2 months in the freezer. (To thaw, leave in the refrigerator overnight, not on the countertop.) To use buttercream that has been chilled, remove from the refrigerator and bring to room temperature, about 1 hour, or microwave in 15-second intervals, mixing in between each, until soft. If frosting has been frozen, this can take up to 2 minutes total. You can also soften the buttercream over a bain-marie or a double boiler. The frosting will soften from the outer edges of the bowl so mix from the outside, folding the frosting inside. Transfer to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until soft and spreadable, 2 to 3 minutes.

To make it lemon: Add three tablespoons of lemon curd, per cup of vanilla buttercream.

Next, I put extra lemon curd in between a layer of cake and some buttercream frosting. IMG_6915

I then placed the other cake on top and iced the entire thing, including the sides. This was honestly one of the best cakes I’ve ever tried–and I’ve tried my fair share of cakes. Hope you all enjoy!img_6919.jpg

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.

Vegan Brownies!

As you have probably noticed, I’m not a vegan. In fact, none of the recipes I have posted on this blog until today have been “vegan friendly”. A friend of mine, who used to be a vegan, recently checked out my blog and recommended this recipe and I knew I had to try them out. Whether you’re a vegan or not, I would recommend these brownies for their wonderfully fluffy texture, and they’re not at all dry.  IMG_6727

Ingredients:

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Pour in water, vegetable oil and vanilla; mix until well blended. Spread evenly in a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until the top is no longer shiny. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before cutting into squares.

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I won’t lie and say I couldn’t taste a difference between these brownies and non-vegan brownies, but I would still definitely make them again! Let me know if you try them out and what you think!

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!