Friday, May 23, 2008

The S'mores Cookies

I don't have a picture for these because I was too tired to take one last night and they're all eaten at this point, but I just have to post about them because they were SO yummy!

There was a posting on Tastespotting the other day for S'mores cookies and I thought they sounded delicious and that I should try them. When I looked closely at the recipe though, I wasn't super impressed so I did some hunting around on the interwebs to see what I could find. In every recipe I found they kept talking about how the marshmallows dried out and everything got hard. One person even said she baked the cookies plain and then pushed in the chocolate and marshmallows when they were still hot, but that sounded like too much work too me. All the other recipes used graham cracker crumbs and I decided that was the problem. There began my first attempt at experimenting with baking...

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

3/4 c butter (softened)
1/2 c white sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 3/4 c flour
1/2 t salt
1/2 t baking soda
splash milk
1 c milk chocolate pieces (I used mini Hershey's kissing from the baking aisle)
1 c graham crackers crumbled into small pieces (but not into crumbs)
1 c mini marshmallows

Cream butter and sugars until smooth. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Combine flour, salt and baking soda and add to creamed mixture. Beat thoroughly. I decided to dough was too dry here and added a splash of milk to loosen it up a bit. Fold in chocolate, graham crackers and marshmallows.

Scoop a teaspoon's worth of dough onto parchment covered cookie sheets. The cookies come out best if you shape the dough into balls. Bake for about 13 minutes.

Since this was an experiment, it wasn't perfect and some of the cookies broke on the way from the cookie sheet to the cooling rack. I'm not sure why, they might have needed to cool more or less on the sheet before being moved. It also might have had something to do with the distribution of graham crackers, marshmallows, etc. in the dough lump. It worked out alright though because the broken cookie pieces taste just as good as the whole cookies (if not better).

They were REALLY yummy, especially where the marshmallows melted and caramelized at the edges.

Monday, May 19, 2008

The Chocolate Cups

For the Mother's Day/Birthday Luncheon I made these chocolate cups I saw in a Wilton cupcake book. There were tasty, but a bit of a putchke. I used silicon cupcake cups, but in order to get them out in one piece, I had to spray the cups with non-stick spray before putting the chocolate in, but that made it so the chocolate wouldn't spread around and stick to the sides of the cup. When I finally got them out in one piece they definitely weren't as pretty as the ones in the book. All-in-all, it's done and they were tasty, but I wouldn't do it again, I'd buy the ones in the store for $9.99. I filled them with strawberries and mint, that was good.

The "Too-Many-Birthdays-in-May" Cake

In some sort of evil plot by the gods, pretty much every female I'm related to has a birthday on the days surrounding Mother's Day. My grandmother is May 9th, my sister in law on May 11th and my mother on May 12th. I figure my other brother is only allowed to get married if he finds a woman born on May 10th.

Because of this slightly unnatural phenomenon, I threw a Mother's Day/Birthday luncheon for my 12 closest friends and family members (there were 11 family members and one friend, which doesn't say too much for my social life). I made a coconut cake using the same Paula Dean recipe I used before, but just used coconut milk and no shredded coconut (which made the cake super moist, but not really coconut-y) and frosted it with the most amazing semi-solid marshmallow frosting stuff in the entire world and then decorated it with mini chocolate curls. I decided simple was better and stuck with the single flower.