I’m making macarons for the first time (when I should be packing!). So far so good!
Tag Archives: Chocolate
So, I’ve always had this thing with marshmallows. When I was probably 7 or 8, my aunt bought me a GIANT bag of mini marshmallows from Sam’s Club. As in, 5 pounds of fluffy, airy, little marshmallows giant. I’m not sure if that was the start of it all, or my love of all things sugary just lead to an association with me and marshmallows, but it stuck. I mean, I’ve never proclaimed my love for marshmallows, but I’ve always been fond of them, and everyone seems to know it. I’m not sure how my sister-in-law became aware of my marshmallow association, but she believes that I loves them, and gave me three different kinds for my birthday a few years ago.
This Christmas, the same aunt that started it all gave me a bag of GIANT marshmallows. These were not your regular jumbo marshmallows. They are probably the size of two or three jumbo marshmallows. They’re huge! Like you’d only need 3 to make rice krispie treats huge. I needed to find something to do with these monsters.
I seem to have come across the idea a few times recently (although I forget everywhere I read it) of “frosting” cupcakes with marshmallows instead of buttercream. Of course I was drawn to this idea, and knew that was exactly what I wanted to do with my big guys.
(adapted from bon appetit)
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~11 sheets)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
pinch of salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup whipping cream
6 giant marshmallows, cut in half
For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line 12 muffin cups with paper liners. Mix together graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions. Add vanilla. Add graham cracker mixture in three additions alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the graham cracker mixture. Spoon into muffin cups, filling each about 2/3 full. Bake 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.
For the ganache: Place the chocolate in a medium heat-safe bowl. Bring the cream just to boil in a small saucepan. Pour the cream over the chocolate. Let stand one minute and then stir until smooth. Cool to lukewarm. Spoon into a pastry bag.
Putting everything together: Push an apple corer about one inch into the top of each cupcake (or use a small knife to carve out a small hole), remove the cake. Pipe ganache into the holes, then swirl on top of the cupcakes. Smooth out the ganache with a knife. Before serving, preheat the broiler. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the marshmallow halves on the baking sheet. Broil until the marshmallows are lightly charred, 1-2 minutes. Use a small metal spatula to place the marshmallow on top of each cupcake.
Action shot of my mom chopping chocolate. I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate because it recently won a taste test on SeriousEats. Next time I’d use a milk chocolate to get the classic “s’mores with a Hershey bar” taste.
And what to do with the leftover batter? I’m glad my mom was here to come up with the idea:
Do you like to eat raw cookie dough? We do. Very much. Proof: when I make a batch of chocolate chip cookies, I cook about 8 for us to eat warm, then scoop the rest and put them in the freezer, meant to be cooked “à la minute.” This is a really good idea, especially if there are only two of you in a house and one of you likes to make cookies faster than they can eat them. But usually the thought of waiting for the oven to preheat and the cookies to bake is too much at the end of the day, and we just enjoy the frozen cookie dough balls as dessert.
Yes, raw eggs can be scary. I’ve taken plenty of microbiology and food safety classes and know all about the dangers of Salmonella. But. It’s never made me sick (that I know of. Knock on wood). My love of raw eggs and runny yolks outweighs any fears of food-borne illness. (it also helps my confidence to purchase local farm fresh eggs). But if the idea of eating raw eggs isn’t your thing, or you’re pregnant, a young child, or an older adult (the most susceptible groups to food-borne illnesses), this is the recipe for you. It’s also the recipe for you if you want to satisfy your cookie dough craving but with something you’ll feel better about eating. It’s also the recipe for you if you’ve always wanted to eat cookie dough for breakfast without shame. Pretty much its a recipe for anyone.
(This is my first recipe I’ve made from MamaPea, and I can’t wait to make more! Her post are hilarious and heart-warming, and her food always sounds soo good that it makes being a vegan sound easy and delicious!)
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Bars
1 cup raw almonds
3/4 cup dried pitted dates (~14 whole dates)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 cup chocolate chips
Add almonds to a food processor. Process until they are the consistency of wet sand. Set the almonds aside, and add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor. Process until a paste forms, then add the almonds back in. Pulse until it all comes together and forms a dough. Empty food processor bowl onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a rectangle. refrigerate for at least one hour and cut into bars. Enjoy without hesitation!
The only thing I changed from MamaPea’s recipe was using dried dates instead of fresh. Since the dried have less moisture, I upped the amount to make sure the “dough” would come together. I probably could have used up to 1 cup of dates, but I only got 14 from the bulk bin so I made do.
The processed almonds in the bowl, with all of the ingredients minus the chocolate chips. I haven’t had to buy vanilla extract for a year thanks to gifts from flavor vendors. This big of a bottle would have cost $10+, easy.
Everything chopped up before combining.
The dough poured out on plastic wrap.
And formed into a block!
After 1 unbearable hour I took them out of the fridge to cut into squares and taste.
Yum yum yummm! Seriously, these are so good you won’t even think about the stuff made with loads of butter and sugar and raw eggs. Really. Save that stuff for baking. I think its the vanilla extract that makes it. And the salt. As you can see, my 14 dates didn’t hold the bars together completely, but I rolled all of those little crumbs into a ball and it was still delicious.
MamaPea made these before she tried the new Cookie Dough Larabars, and once she compared the two she claimed she ended up making a better version. I 100% agree. Her bars just have the essence of cookie dough that Lara’s are missing.
And Larabars are good, but they’re expensive! I’ve seen them range from $1.29-$1.79 for one 45 gram bar. I made the equivalent of 8 bars with mostly organic ingredients (organic dates and almonds from the bulk bin at Whole Foods, organic chocolate chips) for approximately $5 total – less than half the price! I don’t think I’ll ever buy one again!