Please sir may I have S’more Bars?

What is the quintessential summer food for you? Watermelon wedges? ice cream cones? BBQ grilled corn?

Well for me it’s s’mores.

Rich melted chocolate with fluffy, ooey-gooey marshmallows sandwiched between two squares of crunchy, slightly sweet graham crackers. I never made my first s’more by a bonfire until I was in college, and now it always brings back memories of carefree, warm summer nights by the Pacific Ocean. IMG_2165I wanted to bring dessert to a casual potluck/board game night and I thought this S’more Bar recipe from Averie Cooks would be perfect: transportable, sweet and simple, and doesn’t take itself too seriously!

You will need:

  • 1 large mixing bowl
  • handmixer or standmixer
  • measuring cups
  • measuring spoons
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • foil and cooking spray or parchment paper
  • 8 x 8 inch square pan
  • 1 stick or 1/2 cup of unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg
  • 1 packed cup of light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 full sheets of graham crackers, chopped (makes about 2 cups)
  • 1 full cup of mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips

IMG_2143Start by pre-heating the oven to 350°F. I love that this is one of those throw-everything-in-1-bowl recipes, by the time the oven is done pre-heating, your batter will be ready to bake.

Best part: you don’t even need to soften the butter (which I always forget to do!).

Cut up the stick of butter into 4-5 slices and microwave in a small bowl for about 1-2 minutes. Pour into your mixing bowl and add in 1 cup of light brown sugar and 1 tablespoon of vanilla. Make sure the butter mixture is still not too hot, because you don’t want it to cook your egg.

Add in the egg and beat until well blended. IMG_2145Add in 3/4 cup of flour gradually and mix until smooth. The batter smells heavenly like caramel! IMG_2146Chopping up the graham crackers was not as bad as I expected. I thought cracker bits would be flying all over the kitchen.IMG_2147I left the crackers in fairly large chunks and saved the crumbs and added it into the batter. Now pour in 1 big cup of marshmallows + 1 big cup of chocolate chips. IMG_2149YYYYYYYAAAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSSSS.IMG_2151Fold gently until all the ingredients are well mixed and spread evenly on to a 8×8 in. pan lined with foil or parchment paper for easy clean up. IMG_2152It’s ready to go into the oven! The original recipe said “20-22 minutes or until bars have firmed up in the center and edges have set”. All ovens are different and you may have to use some visual judgement on this. For my oven it was not thoroughly baked until 26-29 minutes and the edges had just started to firm up. IMG_2154Let it cool for about 30 minutes. To make it easier to cut into squares, about 15 minutes in, place it in the refrigerator for another 15 minutes.

OR…serve it warm with vanilla ice cream – crazy idea…. I think so! IMG_2156Cut it up into bars for serving. IMG_2160The chunks of crunchy graham cracker, pillowy marshmallows and creamy chocolate give these bars great texture and taste. IMG_2158They will satisfy any sugar junky’s sweet tooth! IMG_2166These bars will make you understand why they are called “S’mores”! IMG_2161Oliver Twist wasn’t talking about gruel when he asked for more….he was taking about these S’more Bars!

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Mmmmm….Brownies

It’s 11pm on a Wednesday night and I had to whip up something quick for (another) work potluck a few weeks ago and luckily this quick, simple, yet delicious brownie recipe came to the rescue. This MMmm…Brownie recipe is pot to pan – less clean up!

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Start by melting the sugar, butter, and water in a medium pot (make sure it’s big enough for the ingredients you will add later). One of the best things about this particular recipe is that it does not require soften butter- so if I did not plan ahead and leave my butter out at room temperature that’s okay!

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Stir in 1 1/2 cups of semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini chips which helps it melt faster). These brownies are super-rich and moist because it uses chocolate chips instead of cocoa powder like some brownie recipes.

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After adding in the rest of the wet ingredients: eggs and vanilla, combine the dry ingredients and add to the pot.

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I think at this point of the night I started getting tired and randomly added whatever I could find in the kitchen- I wanted to give these plain brownies I little something-something. I stirred in marshmallows and walnuts for a Rocky Road twist.

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Maybe it was the intention of the orginal recipe to make really rich, chewy brownies, but the time I baked the brownies was no where long enough. I baked it for an additional 15-20 minutes so when I poked a toothpick in the center it finally came out clean.

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These brownies certainly live up to the name “MMmmmmm!”

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Now I just need a big tall glass of (soy) milk!

Waffles…S’more Waffles

You know what the best part about Monday is? Surviving it.

You get home drop your shoes, your bags, shed your jacket, and jump into your sweats as fast as you can. I have been craving Korean food since last week, but I’ve also been excited to try making my own Vietnamese spring rolls. I made kbbq chicken spring rolls.

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Afterwards I was stuffed but I always have a second stomach for dessert. Only thing keeping me from going out for something sweet was laziness and a 40 degree night. So I scrounged around my kitchen for anything sweet. I found frozen blueberry waffles and lightning struck.

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It’s marshmallows and choco chips again. I just arranged then in the little slots of my frozen waffles and stuck them in the toaster oven for 10 mins baking at 300 degrees and then added 5 mins of toasting at the end to get that golden brown, crispy top of the marshmallows.

This would be great for kids and easily customized with whatever you want: ice cream, honey, nuts, NUTELLA, peaches, and bananas. You can probably arrange special patterns and pictures with the chocolate chips too!

Banana Dessert Boats

Happy Sunday! I came back from cardio kickboxing famished this morning! Even after lunch I still wanted a little something…looked around my shelf…maybe a banana?

Wait….why just have a plain ol’ banana when you can stuff it full of marshmallows and chocolate chips?!

I remember seeing something like this on Pintrest and when you Google “banana marshmallow chocolate” – wondrous recipes pop up with many variations. Possible topping ideas:

  • Nutella hazelnut spread
  • peanut better/ nut butters of any kind
  • chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.
  • marshmallows
  • honey
  • crushed almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, pecans, etc.
  • graham crackers (S’mores!)

For this version I threw in mini marshmallows, chocolate chips, and crushed pecans I found in my baking pantry.

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Start by slicing open into a ripe banana with the peel on. Careful to not cut through to the other side.

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Stuff it with as much goodies as you can and want.

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Wrap banana in foil and place in oven for about 10-15 mins for at 300 degrees F. You can put it in longer if you want everything extra gooey.

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And there you have it: a sweet snack or well-portioned dessert.

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A somewhat healthy dessert? Hey I got you to eat a fruit didn’t I?

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Tell me that doesn’t look tempting?