Category Archives: smores

S’mores French Toast @ Sugar Mags (and other amazing things)

This is the story of how two bloggers lost their minds over a little breakfast concoction known as s’mores french toast at Sugar Magnolias in Gloucester, MA.

Lost. Their. Minds.

Anna and I decided to head to Sugar Mags after hearing multiple recommendations about their brunch menu. We knew that we couldn’t survive even one more weekend without trying “Georgia’s French Toast” or carrot cake pancakes and high-tailed it up to Gloucester just as fast as Anna’s Pandora-90s-jams-fueled car would take us.

We spent thirty minutes waiting for a table (me on the edge of a nervous breakdown, Anna taking slanted reflection selfies) before finally sitting down and ordering our brunch dream come true. And let me tell you, when our waitress arrived with two plates containing the most delicious-looking breakfast treats on the face of this earth the only thought running through my mind was

NUH. UH.

Since s’mores are my favorite dessert ever and french toast is my #1 go-to brunch item, I basically felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. I hit the brunch lotto! I’ve got a golden tiiiicket! 

Oozing marshmallow fluff. Melty chocolate chips. Crumbly graham cracker bits. Thick, fluffy bread.

Cinnamon carrot cake pancakes the size of the moon. Maple-infused cream cheese BUTTAH.

Toasty cornbread GRILLED IN BUTTAH.

CRISPY BACON.

LOSING MY MIND. MY MIND IS LOST.

Now I’m going to let the photos do the rest of the yelling talking.

Behold…

S’mores Peanut Butter Blondies

Not sure if you noticed, but I am on a very serious s’mores + peanut butter kick. It’s basically all I think about all the time. My latest creation is the love child of peanut butter blondies and peanut butter cup s’mores bars and HOLY GUACAMOLE are these babies ooey-gooey-GOOD.

Peanut butter s’mores blondies are essentially the answer to all of life’s problems. For example,

90 degrees outside and 100 in your apartment? Stick some blondies in the fridge and then eat seven in the name of “cooling off”.

Nervous about a presentation for class? Hand these blondies out to your classmates and have a silent giggle when they get fluff all over their faces. Don’t feel guilty about it because it’s the equivalent of picturing your audience naked.

Boyfriend annoyed because you consistently make him wait till you take a picture of his food before he’s allowed to eat it? Shove a s’mores bar in his face. He’ll forget.

Unsure of where you’re going to live next year and the end of your lease is rapidly approaching? Stress-eat any combination of peanut butter and s’mores. Always.

Find a ginorm spider in your curtains? Make someone else kill it and then pay them with a blondie. They’ll be your spider-killer for life.

Forget your umbrella and get stuck in a torrential downpour/thunderstorm? Learn your lesson, MELANIE. S’mores blondies won’t help with that.

The combination of slightly-undercooked and therefore chewy and gooey peanut butter/graham blondie + marshmallow fluff + milk chocolate coating is U.N.R.E.A.L. Another perfect s’mores bite all rolled into one. I’m going to eat five rightNOW.

S’mores Peanut Butter Blondies (slightly adapted from Peanut Butter M&M Blondies)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 7 graham crackers, finely crushed)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • ~2 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff*
  • 6 full-sized Hershey’s milk chocolate bars
*The marshmallow fluff can be eyeballed as it’s tough to measure – just make sure you have enough to spread over a 9×13 pan.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper; coat lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium pot, melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until smooth.  Remove from heat and stir in peanut butter.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. After the peanut butter mixture has cooled slightly (it should still be warm but not hot – you don’t want it to cook the eggs!) add the vanilla; stir until combined.  Add the eggs one at a time, stirring until fully incorporated.
  5. Pour the peanut butter mixture into the flour mixture.  Stir until ingredients are fully incorporated, then pour the mixture into the bottom of the 9×13 pan. Top with marshmallow fluff.
  6.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until edges are just barely golden (bake for 5-7 minutes longer if you don’t want a gooey center).
  7. Immediately place the 6 chocolate bars on top of the fluff. Allow them to melt for a few minutes, then spread the chocolate over the fluff until it fully covers the blondies. Allow to cool completely before cutting (I found it easiest to cut the blondies after they spent the night in the fridge).

Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Bars

WARNING: This post is going to be 97% rant and 3% delicious baked goods.  It’s my blog and I can rant when I want to.

It’s kind of a rite of passage into adulthood that at some point in your grown-up years, you have a really terrible landlord.  But I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again…my landlord is pretty much the WORST.

Exhibit A: The other day my roommates and I got locked inside our apartment (HELLO fire hazard) because our doorknob fell off.  Just a casual turn of the handle and *pop!*…bye bye doorknob, bye bye ability to open door.  So we’re locked in our apartment imagining all the ways we’re going to die and trying not to use up all the oxygen as the walls slowly close in on us and we think, who can help us get out of this pickle?

Our landlord, right?

Wrong.  Though she lives one floor below us, we are NOT allowed to call the landlord.  For any problems, whatsoever, periodendofstory.  It’s even part of our lease agreement!  Locked in your apartment?  Tough.  Hot water stops working?  Too bad.  Raccoon burrowed in your bedroom wall?  Deal with it.

Luckily we have a back door and were able to escape, praise Jesus.

Exhibit B: I recently received an IRATE phone call from Landlady Extraordinaire because we’ve apparently been shortchanging her on rent each month.  Which would typically be a big deal, but…

Try to guess how much we’ve been shortchanging her by.  Seriously, guess!  Bet you can’t.

ONE.  PENNY.

A penny!  One cent!  1/100th of one dollar!

I get it.  Times are tough.  But lady?  Even if we shortchanged you every month for 2 years, you wouldn’t even be missing a QUARTER.

So obviously we stuck an envelope of pennies underneath her door with this month’s rent.  We really know how to do the mature thing.

Exhibit C: She threatened to call the police last month because she heard the guys who live across the hall swearing.  Seriously!  Can’t make this stuff up.  I live in an orphanage.

Luckily I have the coolest apartment with the best natural kitchen light in all of Brookline, which totally makes up for my mean old landlady.  But you better believe I am NOT sharing my baked goodies with Cruella de Vil anytime soon.

None of that had to do with peanut butter cup s’mores.  But these bars?  They combine my two ALL-TIME-FAVORITE baked goods and are the new *!*!*Best thing I’ve ever made!!*!*!  I’m never eating a s’more sans peanut butter cup or peanut butter cup sans s’more ever again.  Cross my heart hope to die.  Peanut butter cup s’mores are life.

Peanut Butter Cup S’mores Bars (adapted from Pinch of Yum and Sprinkle Some Sunshine)

yield: 16 large/20 small squares

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 16 peanut butter cups, regular size
  • 1 1/2 cups marshmallow fluff*

*Fluff is pretty impossible to measure, so this doesn’t have to be an exact amount, just kind of eyeball it. As long as you have enough to cover the PB cups, you’re good to go.

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8×8 baking dishing with parchment paper; coat lightly with cooking spray.
  2. In a large bowl of the bowl of stand mixer, beat butter and sugars until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla until combined.  Scrape down the sides.  With the mixer on low, stir in the flour, baking powder, salt, and graham cracker crumbs until mixed.
  3. Spread 2/3 of the dough on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Lightly press the peanut butter cups into the dough, then spread marshmallow fluff on top.  Press the remaining dough on a non-stick surface into the shape of an 8×8 square.  Place the square on top of the fluff and press down lightly.
  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the edges just begin to brown.  Allow to cool for at least two hours* to give the bars a chance to set, then remove from the pan and cut into squares with a large, sharp knife.

*Originally I said the bars needed to cool for 8 hours, but after making them again I’ve realized they’re ready to go after only about 2. I also bet they are DAAANG good straight from the oven ;)

S’mores Bites

When I was 9, I decided I was going to make list of every single person I knew.  I sat at my desk in my bedroom and racked my brain, filling my Lisa Frank notepad with tens of people.  The total came to about 80, including names like “my best friend’s brother’s best friend”.

The following year, I started a list of every website.

Every website.  On the internet.

I was a waaaay cool kid.  I had at least 80 “friends”.

Now in my adult years, I’ve decided to make a list of every single s’mores baked good for the S’melanie.  Good to know that things haven’t changed much… I’m still way cool.

My latest creation stemmed from the idea that I needed to add something bite-sized to my s’mores repertoire.  A graham cookie cup holds a milk chocolate nugget and some toasted mini marshmallows – all the best s’mores flavors in a three-bite package!

S’mores Bites (adapted from Diana Rattray’s Graham Blondies)

yield: 24 bites

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 large bar milk chocolate
  • ~1 cup mini marshmallows

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Melt the butter and allow it to cool to room temperature.
  2. In a large bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar until smooth.  Add the egg and vanilla; beat until fully combined.
  3. Stir in the flour and salt until there are no pockets of flour; gently swirl in the graham cracker crumbs until just combined.
  4. Divide the dough evenly into a (24-cup) mini muffin tin.  Bake for 9 minutes, or until the edges are barely golden and the center still looks a bit gooey.  While baking, cut the chocolate bar into 24 1/2-inch pieces.
  5. Remove from the oven and quickly press the chocolate in the center of each cookie.  Top with 2-3 mini marshmallows.
  6. Put your oven on broil and place the bites under the broiler for about a minute, or until the marshmallows have browned.  Cool completely and remove from the muffin tin.

S’mores Crispy Treats

Sorry I’m not sorry this isn’t a Thanksgiving recipe.  At this point if I see one more pumpkin/stuffing/cranberry concoction I’m going to puke.

The real reason I seriously restrict my holiday & seasonal celebration time period is because  I get obsessed and then REALLY REALLY bored with things.  So…right now? After looking at 215325236 pumpkin recipes and stockpiling canned pumpkin like it was going out of style?

No thank you please.

(Except these pumpkin churros.  I want them in, around, and/or on my life.)

Instead, I’ve come up with another treat for the S’melanie! (Please…please…help me think of a better s’name.)

Chestnuts S’mores roasting on an open fire gas stove…

Two.more.days.till.Christmas.music.

In other news, s’mores taste good all year round.

Browned butter. Ooey gooey melted marshmallows.  Graham cracker crumbs. Crispy cereal.  Hershey’s chocolate.

Did I mention browned butter?

Hubba, hubba.

S’mores Crispy Treats

(yield: about 30 treats)

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 10-ounce bag of marshmallows
  • 4 cups crispy rice cereal
  • 2 cups + 2 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs (roughly crushed)
  • 7 ounces of Hershey’s chocolate (~1 cup), melted

Directions

  1. In a large pot, heat butter on medium until it starts to brown.  Reduce heat to low and add the marshmallows.  Stir until fully melted.
  2. Remove from heat and add crispy cereal and 2 cups graham cracker crumbs.  Mix until all cereal is coated.
  3. Spread in a greased 9×9-inch square pan (for thicker treats) or 9×13 (for thinner treats).  Spread melted chocolate on top.  Sprinkle with remaining graham cracker crumbs.
  4. Allow chocolate to harden, then cut and serve!

S’mores Whoopie Pies

As I was sitting here trying to figure out how to describe the most perfect whoopie pie invention and possibly the greatest thing I’ve ever made (more on that later), I was perusing through all my previous s’more posts. I started thinking about how I could take my s’more obsession to the next level (aka: the $$money making level$$) and thought, what if I started a s’mores-only bakery? S’mores cupcakes. S’mores whoopie pies. S’mores cookies. S’mores milkshakes.

I thought: I could even call it S’melanie!

S’melanie? Smellanie. WHY WOULD ANYONE GO TO A BAKERY WITH THE NAME SMELLY MELANIE???

And this is why I’ll stick to baking in my own kitchen. Though if you can think of a better name for my s’bakery, call me ;)

On to those whoopie pies..

The key to success with these guys is a simple  equation:

Spot-on graham cracker-flavored cakes + seven-minute marshmallow frosting + plain old Hershey’s chocolate + some time in the fridge = a s’more that has disguised itself as a whoopie pie

I almost didn’t want to reveal the filling secret in case S’melanie ever gets up and running…but I think we can agree chances are slim. So here we go.

First, make graham cracker whoopie cakes (recipe below). While they are cooling, make this seven-minute marshmallow frosting. Allow it to cool completely, and put it in one side of a pastry bag (or just use a large Ziploc with a corner cut off). Fill the other side of the bag with melted & cooled milk chocolate Hersey’s bars (3 or 4 should be plenty). When you squeeze the bag onto the whoopie cake you get this beautiful marshmallow-chocolate swirl.

AND THEN. Sandwich the pies. Stick them in the fridge over night (or for a few hours). Take them out of the fridge about 30 minutes before you want to serve/eat them.

Do you know what happens??

The chocolate hardens into a shell around the marshmallow, giving you the little bit of chocolate crunch you’re used to in a regular s’more, but without all the oozing/loss of marshmallow out the sides. Genius. Pers’mection. Gimme S’MORE!

Graham Cracker Whoopie Pie Cakes (adapted from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup brown sugar (you can use dark or light)
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups finely-ground graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons milk (I used soy)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, and salt.
  3. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture; beat until combined.
  4. In a measuring cup, combine milk, baking soda, and vinegar.
  5. Add the milk mixture and the flour mixture to the butter and sugar (it might look a little chunky – don’t worry, this is normal!). Mix on low until just combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium until completely combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  6. Drop one tablespoon of batter (try not to use any more – the cakes spread a lot while baking) onto prepared pan, about 2 inches apart.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, until cakes just begin to brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

S’mores Cupcakes, Vol II

Today I made the best s’mores cupcakes ever. They taste precisely like a s’more transformed into a cupcake should taste. Better than the other time I made s’mores cupcakes. Sorry Bakerella! They key to success in these nuggets is graham cracker cake and…. dare I say it?? …. FLUFF. Oooey gooey not-so-sure-what-it’s-made-of old fashioned marshmallow fluff. The reason fluff is necessary, (rather than real marshmallows) is marshmallows disintegrate into the cake batter when baked, while fluff just gets fluffier! Culinary genius, at it again.

So here’s what you do. Make graham cracker cake batter. Dollop some of it into a cupcake liner, followed by a teaspoon of fluff, followed by another dollop of cake batter.

And then you bake them and abracadaba alakazam… fluffy cupcake with MALLOW SURPRISE. You should also know the cakes have almost no fat in them, which you would never taste…but your thighs might thank you ;)

And then you obvi top them with the most scrumptious chocolate buttercream ever. So good that I ate 19 spoonfuls straight out of the bowl.

Does anyone want to talk about how perfect this cupcake is? What a cute little chocolate buttercream cloud.

Here’s the recipe!

Graham Cracker Cupcakes (adapted from Bakerella)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup milk (I used soy milk)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 1/4 cup applesauce
  • ~1 cup marshmallow fluff
  • mini marshmallows and chocolate bars, for decoration

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with paper liners.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugars, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and graham cracker crumbs.
  3. Add milk, eggs, vanilla, oil, and applesauce. Stir with wooden spoon until incorporated.
  4. Put ~3 tablespoons batter into prepared liners. Top with 1 teaspoon fluff. Top with remaining batter so that each liner is 3/4  of the way full.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
Chocolate Buttercream
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 6 cups confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 ounces milk chocolate
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
Directions
  1. Place chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave in 30-second intervals, stirring after each interval, until completely melted. Allow to cool to room temperature.
  2. Beat butter, sugar, salt, and milk on medium-high for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy.
  3. Add chocolate and cocoa powder, beat on medium-high for 1-2 minutes until fluffy.

Happy First Birthday, Blog!

My blog turns one year old today!!!! Time really does FLY.

What a year its been…

In December I got some much needed rest at home at Christmastime.

In January I made s’mores cupcakes and died a little at the goodness.

In February I felt the spirit of Valentine’s Day with a heartwarming little-kid love story.

In March I made rainbow pancakes.

In April my poor little computer was STOLEN, but I hit 100 posts and shared my top-secret cookie recipe with you!

In May I discovered the beauty of grilled s’mores.

In June my baby sister graduated high school!

In July I met this crab and many other sea creatures.

In August I ate the best cupcake of my life and established Wildlife Wednesday.

In September I moved to an adorable new apartment.

In October I created pumpkin cupcakes with salted caramel buttercream and everyone wanted to be my friend.

In November I made homemade oreos.

And here we are one year later, back to December, with a slightly larger waistline, a slightly larger camera, and so many {photo documented} awesome memories.

Thank you all for making this year so much FUN!

S’mores cookies

I know what you’re probably thinking. Why’s this girl so obsessed with s’mores? They’re good, but maybe not so good that they need to be recreated in every baked good imaginable. But I say, maybe they do. 

I set out today to make chocolate chip cookies for my upcoming trip to the shore. But, when I opened the cabinet, fate stepped in. Fate in the form of mini marshmallows falling on my head. Alright, okay, fate, I’ll incorporate those mallows into my cookies. And you know what? Yeah, I’ll throw in some graham cracker crumbs too.

And just like that, s’mores cookies were born.
I followed this recipe, and added 3/4 cup of graham cracker crumbs to the dough. Then I put a mini marshmallow or two on top of the scoops of dough. They came out verrryyy flat but very delicious. I would suggest using copious amounts of cooking spray on your baking sheet, as those little mallows are sticky.


S’mores goodness without the grill (ours was stolen. I think the robber reads this blog)? Sign me up!

S’more success

SSSS’MORE SSSUCCESS!
After the other night’s smorefail, I decided to walk away and sleep on it. I awoke in the morning with an idea – more graham cracker! More crumbs!

I made the new and improved bars and took them to my work picnic, and…
These bars were a hit.
I’m being modest… they were a smashing success.
 Here is what I came up with. It looks complicated, but trust me it is easier than you think!

Layer one – graham cracker crust
(adapted from Beantown Baker)
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Beat butter and sugar on high until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together graham cracker, flour, baking powder, and salt, then add to butter, sugar, and egg mixture. Stir until incorporated, then spread dough on the bottom of a greased 9×13 pan.

Layer two – brownie
Make a box of milk chocolate brownie mix (you will need 2 eggs, 1/2 – 3/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup water). Add a handful of chocolate chips, then spread on top of the graham cracker dough.

At this point, you will need to bake the brownie/graham dough at 350 degrees for 28 minutes. Let cool for a 5-10 minutes, and turn your oven up to broil for layers three and four.

Layer three – graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup brown sugar
Mix until incorporated. Sprinkle on top of brownie.

Layer four – marshmallow
Sprinkle a layer of mini marshmallows on top of the graham cracker crumbs. Put under the broiler for ~30 seconds. Keep an eye on it – the marshmallows will burn fast!

Get out some knives and forks, and serve while still warm and gooey. Get ready to get crumbs EVERYWHERE :)
Thank you, friends and family, for all your comments and concern. I couldn’t have done it without you!