S’mores Cookies

S'mores cookies

 

When I was a kid, I had the greatest time being a Brownie and then a Girl Scout. Now that my daughter Sammie is also a Brownie, I sometimes find myself thinking back to those days. One thing I loved about being a Girl Scout was camping.  Okay, so not in a tent in the grass but in a cabin on a cot, cooking our food by campfire, hiking, and horseback riding. That’s roughing it, right? At least kind of? A few things immediately come to mind from my Girl Scout days: one is sharing all those experiences with one of my best friends, Sara, and roasting marshmallows by campfire with sing alongs and ghost stories. What kind of Girl Scout would one be without a love for s’mores? Well, I do know one who doesn’t. My daughter. She just doesn’t like graham crackers, nor does my oldest son. When they go camping with my husband ( I “volunteer” to stay home with our 3 year old son), they have roasted marshmallows on fudge striped cookies. But, I just adore this flavor combination, so I had to find a way my kids could enjoy it too. A couple years ago, I found these s’mores cookies and I’ve made them several times since.  They are so delicious, but they somehow got lost in all the other baking I do. The base is essentially the same as that of a regular chocolate chip cookie, but you replace some flour with graham cracker crumbs. In the last few minutes of baking, you press a few marshmallows and some Hershey chocolate bar pieces into the top of the cookie. They are then finished in the oven until the marshmallows are gooey and the chocolate is melted just enough to stick. In the end, you get a fun cookie totally tasting like smore’s that I just know your kids, or the kid in you, will love.

S’mores cookies

Yield:  Recipe says 4 dozen, I got 26 but made mine quite a bit larger.

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour   + 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup graham cracker crumbs   I bought mine as crumbs but you can process some graham crackers until they are crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract   I used vanilla bean paste
2 eggs
2 cups miniature chocolate chips  I prefer chopped chocolate: 1 cup semi-sweet and 1/2 cup milk chocolate
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
2 Hershey milk chocolate bars, chopped   I used 4.5 bars

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375F

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat

In a medium bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cornstarch, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda, and salt.

In the bowl of your KitchenAid, beat together the butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla until creamy.

Add the eggs in one at a time and beat well after each addition

Slowly beat in the flour mixture until combined

Stir in the chocolate chips or chunks by hand with a rubber spatula until evenly distributed

Drop by a rounded tablespoon onto the prepared cookie sheet. I used a 1.5 tablespoon ice cream scoop so I got fewer, but larger cookies. I got 9 cookies on a sheet.

Bake for 8 minutes (mine were 9 min) and remove from the oven.  They should be underdone.

Press 4 marshmallows and some pieces of Hershey bar into each cookie.

Return the cookie sheet to the oven to bake another 3-4 minutes until almost completely cooked. They will finish cooking on the cookie sheet for about 2-3 minutes.  Do not over-bake.

Remove the cookies from the sheet and cool them on a wire rack.

Source:  Two Peas and Their Pod; originally from Baked Perfection

Note: These recipes were exactly the same except for the amount of flour. The original recipe calls for 1.5 cups of flour and the Two Peas recipe calls for 2 cups. I split the difference and used 1 3/4 cup of flour. It turned out perfect for me.

Rainbow Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Ugh.  I’ve had kind of a rough week.  So, I thought that baking something fun would cheer me up a bit.  I love vanilla whoopie pies, but I was trying to think of a way to make them different.  I thought of the rainbow donuts I made a few weeks ago and wondered why not make rainbow whoopie pies?  Perfect!  So I made up the vanilla batter, divided it into 6 bowls, and colored it.  Then, I was thinking, now what?  I figured putting them into Ziploc bags and cutting off the corner would be a good start.  Then I randomly dropped lines of batter every which way in the bottom of a dish and scooped up the batter with a cookie scoop.  But the colors got too muddy.  Darn.  So, I decided to put random dots of batter into a bowl and swirl them together with a toothpick.  Again, same problem, muddy colors.  Finally, I put the dots randomly into the bowl, left them as is and scooped.  Now I got the big patches of color that I was looking for!  It was such a fun project for me to work through, trying different things until I got what I had envisioned in my head.  And honestly, rainbow colored or not, these taste fabulous!  My husband tried them and was swearing because they were so good.  “Wow!” was all Jack could say as he stuffed his cute little face.  And, now I am happy to see them happy…though eating several whoopie pies myself probably had a hand in that as well. 😀

Rainbow Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Yield: about 24 whoopie pies

Whoopie Pie:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Gel food coloring  I used Americolor (this really gives the best color)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Sift onto a large piece of wax paper.

In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle, beat the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined. Don’t worry if your batter looks curdled. Mine did, but then came together when I added the rest of the ingredients.

Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small measuring cup.  With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture.  Beat just until everything is combined.  Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 2 minutes, until completely combined.  Divide the batter among 6 bowls (see helpful hints).  Add red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple food coloring until you get your desired color.  You want the colors to be really bright, so it will take quite a few drops.  I then put each color into its own Ziploc bag and cut the corner off.  Using about a 3rd of each color, I put a bunch of dots randomly into the bottom of a shallow bowl. (You have to work in batches so you don’t muddy up the colors)

Using a small spring loaded cookie scoop (1 tbsp) , carefully drag it through the dots and drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between cookies.   (I got 16 cookies per sheet.)   Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes (start to check at 6 minutes) , or until they are set and just beginning to brown.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the first batch is baking, clean the rainbow batter bowl and cookie scoop.  Prepare a new bowl of colored dots, the same way, with another 3rd of the batter.  Scoop as previous and place onto the prepared cookie sheet.  Clean the bowl and cookie scoop. Prepare the final bowl of rainbow batter with the last 3rd of batter.

Marshmallow filling ( I used Martha Stewart’s recipe because I prefer butter in the filling to shortening)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.  I put the filling into a large Ziploc bag, and cut off the corner, so I could easily pipe the filling onto the bottom cookies.

Source:  Vanilla whoopie pies from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes and the marshmallow filling from Martha Stewart

Helpful Hints:

  • My 1st batch I used a skewer to swirl the colors together, but it made them too muddy.  I found that the dots of colors swirled on their own just by dragging the cookie scoop through it.
  • Make sure you clean the cookie scoop when you make up each new bowl of rainbow batter. I did this in three batches to keep the colors clean.
  • Make sure your colors are very vibrant to make the colors pop.  It may require several drops of color, preferably Americolor.
  • It is inevitable that your last cookie in each bowl won’t be so pretty since the colors get so mixed together in the scraping of the bowl.  Pretty or not, it still tastes delicious!  The kids will eat the ugly ones 😀
  • The blue and purple show through the most, so it might be a good idea to make a little more batter for the red, orange and yellow so those colors come through better.

S’more Cupcakes

I’m sure I mentioned this before, but I really love everything s’mores.  And who doesn’t love cupcakes?   So add graham crackers, marshmallows and milk chocolate to cupcakes? Forget about it…I had to make these.  The cupcake is a graham flavored cake that is not too sweet just like the cracker base in s’mores.   As much as I love a good buttercream, I don’t always have time for that extra step.  But, these don’t have frosting.  Instead, you just put a big nugget of milk chocolate on the hot cupcake until it melts enough to hold the marshmallows in place.  Couldn’t be easier.  I think these would be really amazing if you torched the marshmallows to give them the final campfire roasted effect.  But, I misplaced my mini torch, so maybe next time.  But, these cupcakes are super cute and tasty just as they are.  And, oh my gosh, they are especially good warm when the chocolate is liquified and runs down the cupcake as you bite into it.  Yum!  😀

S’more Cupcakes

Yield: 24 cupcakes

2/3 cup shortening

1 1/2 cups sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 1/4 cups milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

24 chocolate nuggets Hershey’s

4 cups miniature marshmallows

1 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Beat shortening at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Gradually add sugar, beating well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition

Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; add to egg mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until blended after each addition. Stir in vanilla.

Place paper baking cups in muffin pans and spoon 1/4 cup batter into each cup.

Bake at 350° for 18 minutes or until done. Start checking at about 14 minutes and do a toothpick check. Quickly insert a chocolate nugget into center of each warm cupcake; top each with 4 to 5 marshmallows, gently pressing into melted chocolate. Sprinkle with pecans, if desired.

Source:  Southern Living Annual 2006

Cookies and Cream Whoopie Pies

I have kind of been on whoopie pie kick lately.  The soft cake and the creamy filling put together in a cute little sandwich…I just love them.  I recently made the Flour Bakery Homemade Oreos and it got me thinking… How about combining a whoopie pie and an Oreo?  I mean, since they are both delicious, the combination has to be doubly delicious.  Can you imagine?  I flipped through Whoopie Pies and can you believe there wasn’t a recipe for a cookies and cream whoopie pie?  So, I decided to just make the chocolate cakes from the book and my favorite filling from Martha Stewart, adding crushed Oreos to the filling.  Voila, cookies and cream whoopie pies!  Okay, so maybe this was an obvious choice and not quite the brilliant idea I thought it was.  But, after two failed recipes this morning (so frustrating!), I was so happy come up with these.  And, I can now verify that the combination of the two IS doubly delicious.  In fact, it was so yummy, I decided it needed to be displayed on a pedestal. 😀

My husband says the background of this picture reminds him of Willy Wonka’s lickable wallpaper.  Snozzberry anyone?  Winking smile

Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Filling

Yield: 48  2-inch cakes (24 sandwiches)

1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
⅔ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1½ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening   Use the sticks if you can, so much easier to measure!
1 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup milk

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt onto a sheet of wax paper. Set aside

In the work bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle, beat together the butter, shortening and brown sugar on low speed until just combined.  Increase the speed to medium and beat until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla and beat for another 2 minutes.

Add half of the flour mixture and half of the milk to the batter and beat on low until just incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the remaining flour mixture and the remaining half of the milk and beat until completely combined.

Using a spoon, drop about 1 tablespoon of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets; repeat, spacing the rounds at least 2 inches apart. A melon baller makes the perfect sized and shaped 2 inch whoopie.  I got 16 cakes/sheet. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each or until the rounds spring back when pressed gently.  I did a toothpick check. Remove from the oven and let the cakes cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.  Match them up by size and pipe the filling onto the bottom cookie of each pair. Sandwich them together and enjoy!

Cookies and Cream Marshmallow Filling

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Oreos- I used 12, but you can use more or less depending on your taste.  Smash them pretty good or it will be hard to pipe (jam up the bag) and you won’t get perfect frosting edges- note this on mine.  Embarrased smile  Now I know for next time…

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined. Smash up the Oreos into small pieces and fold in with a spatula.

I put the filling into a large Ziploc bag, and cut off the corner, so I could easily pipe the filling onto the bottom cookies.

Source:  Whoopie Pies for the cakes and Martha Stewart for the filling

Inside-Out S’mores Brownies

When I think of s’mores, I immediately think back to camping with the girl scouts.  I can’t say I’m much of the camping type…well, really not at all.  But, back in the day, we slept on cots, in cabins with wooden floors and cooked all of our food on the campfire.  To me, that was really roughing it.  😀  I remember grilling hotdogs on sticks, fruit cobbler made in a dutch oven covered by coals, and eating s’mores while listening to ghost stories.  It was a long time ago, and I don’t remember much, but of course, I remember the food.

The cold Chicago winters don’t keep me from grilling dinner outside.  I love grilled food!  But, even I’m not crazy enough to go out in the snow and heat up the grill just to make s’mores.  So, I just have to be creative and somehow make indoor s’mores.  I was looking through the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens and I saw these inside-out s’more brownies.  Basically you make an easy stove top brownie batter, divide it in half, and layer graham crackers and marshmallows in the middle.  It develops the cutest cobblestone top from the brownie batter covering the marshmallows.  So, you get all the familiar flavors of a s’more, while staying nice and toasty inside.  Who says you can’t have s’mores in the winter? Not me. 😀

Inside-Out S’mores Brownies

Yield: a 7 x 11 pan

1/2 cup butter

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

9 honey graham cracker squares

1 cup tiny marshmallows

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 11 x 7 x 1 1/2-inch baking pan with parchment paper or lightly grease the pan. Set pan aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla until combined. Stir in flour.

Spread half the batter in the prepared pan. Top with graham crackers (divide as needed to evenly top the batter). Sprinkle marshmallows on the graham crackers, but do not let them touch the sides of the pan. Carefully spread the remaining batter on the marshmallows and graham crackers, covering them completely.  I kind of drizzled the batter on top covering as much of the marshmallows as I could, then I went back, and spread what wasn’t covered with a spatula.

Bake brownies for 25 minutes or until set. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into bars.

Source:  Better Homes and Gardens February 2012

Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies

When I made the vanilla whoopie pies yesterday, I also made snickerdoodle whoopie pies.  I just didn’t post them because my pictures turned out terrible.  It’s not easy taking a pretty picture of something that is almost all brown 😀  Besides, these were so yummy, they deserved a post all their own.

My husband loves snickerdoodles and he asked me if I could make a snickerdoodle whoopie pie sometime.  Justin rarely makes requests, so I wanted to make these for him.  I looked in my books for a recipe, but I couldn’t find one.   I figured that a snickerdoodle is basically a sugar cookie coated in cinnamon sugar.  So, I could make a vanilla whoopie pie and just sprinkle it with cinnamon sugar for the same effect.  I had Justin taste them to make sure they were what he was looking for.  Well, he ate 8 pies in a half hour, so I guess they were! 😀

Usually I send most of what a bake with Justin to school to share with his students.  But, mid-whoopie pie he turns to me and says “These I am not sharing.”  Sorry kids. 😦

Snickerdoodle Whoopie Pies:

1 recipe vanilla whoopie pie cakes

Cinnamon sugar- I just eyeballed it, heavy on the cinnamon  (If you’re not into eyeballing it, Martha Stewart uses 1/4 cup sugar with 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon to coat her snickerdoodles)

1 recipe marshmallow filling

Follow the recipe for vanilla whoopie pies, except before baking, sprinkle the top of the batter liberally with cinnamon sugar.  Bake according to the recipe.

Source:  Vanilla whoopie pies from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes and the marshmallow filling from Martha Stewart

Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Whoopie pies (or gobs) are a popular treat in the Northeast, supposedly originating with the Pennsylvania Amish.  If you ask most people here in the Midwest what a whoopie pie is, unless they are a foodie, you’ll probably get a huh?  Basically it is a small cake, in the shape of a cookie, sandwiched together with a sweet, creamy filling.  What’s so fun about whoopie pies, besides the name :D, is that there are so many different flavor combinations of cakes and fillings.  So far, I’ve made chocolate chip and chocolate cakes and marshmallow and buttercream fillings.  But, how about lemon with lemon mascarpone cream or banana with salted caramel or mocha with tiramisu filling?  So many different whoopie pies to try…. Ahhh, I guess those are for another day.  But, I’ll be sure to share. 😀  Today I made vanilla whoopie pies with the traditional marshmallow filling.  I have been making a lot of chocolate desserts lately and I thought it was about time I make something that my husband would enjoy.  I decided to roll them in some red, white, and pink nonpareils to dress them up for Valentine’s Day.  It’s right around the corner.  Are you ready?   If not, here is a super cute, delicious, little hand-held dessert that you can make for your Valentine. I can bet they’re gonna love it!  Mine did!  Red heart

Vanilla Whoopie Pies

Yield: 24 whoopie pies

Whoopie Pie:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature

4 tablespoons vegetable shortening

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

2 large eggs

1/2 cup buttermilk

2 tablespoons milk

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon white vinegar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract or the seeds from a vanilla bean (I added about 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste with the extract. Can’t have too much vanilla!)

Preheat oven to 375 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together.  Sift onto a large piece of wax paper.

In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle, beat the butter, shortening and both sugars on medium speed until light and creamy, about 3 minutes.  Add the eggs and buttermilk and beat until combined. Don’t worry if your batter looks curdled. Mine did, but then came together when I added the rest of the ingredients.

Combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar in a small measuring cup.  With the mixer on low, add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture.  Beat just until everything is combined.  Add the vanilla and beat on medium for 2 minutes, until completely combined.

Using a small cookie scoop (1 tbsp) , drop the dough onto the prepared baking sheets, leaving about 2 inches of space between cookies.   (I got 16 cookies per sheet.)   Bake the cookies, one sheet at a time, for 10 minutes (start to check at 7 minutes) , or until they are set and just beginning to brown.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Marshmallow filling ( I used Martha Stewart’s recipe because I prefer butter in the filling to shortening)

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar

1 jar (7 1/2 ounces) marshmallow Fluff

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add Fluff and vanilla and continue mixing until well combined.  I put the filling into a large Ziploc bag, and cut off the corner, so I could easily pipe the filling onto the bottom cookies.

Source:  Vanilla whoopie pies from Whoopie Pies: Dozens of Mix’ em, Match’em, Eat’em Up Recipes and the marshmallow filling from Martha Stewart

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