Friday, July 6, 2012

Bite-Sized S'mores

Earlier this week Lauren Conrad posted an idea for 4th of July marshmallow pops, so I decided to give it a try. And then, as usual, I took it a step further.

I did a dark chocolate and sprinkles version, which wasn't my favorite (because of the dark chocolate), and then I decided to swap in milk chocolate for the dark chocolate, graham cracker crumbs for the sprinkles, and skip the lollipop stick altogether. I mean, why have a stick when you could add more chocolate and toppings?

I took these to my in-laws' July 4th get-together and they were a big hit, so I will definitely be making them again in the future.

Bite-Sized S'Mores

Warning: The marshmallow treat recipe you are about to try is extrememly addictive!

  • milk chocolate
  • graham crackers
  • large (not small, not jumbo) marshmallows
  • wooden skewer
  • parchment paper

  1. Melt the milk chocolate and crush the graham crackers; spread the cracker crumbs out on a small plate.
  2. Skewer a marshmallow without poking through it. Use a fork or mini spatula to thinly coat the marshmallow with the chocolate (too much chocolate and it won't dry) on the sides and the top.
  3. Roll the chocolate-coated marshmallow in the graham cracker crumbs. Using your fingers, sprinkle crumbs onto the marshmallow to fill in the areas that didn't pick up the graham cracker until there isn't any chocolate showing. 
  4. Place the marshmallow (uncoated end down) on the parchment paper to dry. Repeat with all marshmallows.
    Note: the drying time will be 15-45 minutes, depending on the thickness of your chocolate coating and temperature of your kitchen.
  5. Once the top and sides of the coated marshmallows have dried (if you pick it up and your fingers leave an imprint on the sides of the marshmallow, it's not dry) use your fork or spatula to spread a thin layer of chocolate over the uncoated end of the marshmallow.
  6. Dip it in in the graham cracker and use your fingers to sprinkle the crumbs until there isn't any chocolate showing. Replace on parchment paper to dry. Repeat with all marshmallows.

Other ideas to try with this method:
  1. Sprinkles, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, crushed biscotti, ground almonds or saltines (sweet and salty anyone?) instead of graham crackers.
  2. Mint chocolate ganache with chocolate graham crackers (think Grasshopper cookies).
  3. Peanut butter and chocolate mixed together or Biscoff spread in place of chocolate.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

TWD #9: Hazelnut Biscotti

We're very particular about biscotti in our house. We both like it, but not if it's super dry. I just think that biting into a cookie shouldn't hurt your mouth. That's why my standard recipe has butter. Fat = softer cookie. So on one hand I was happy to have such an easy recipe for this week's TWD post, but not overly excited, as I knew Jake and I likely wouldn't be eating much of it.

I took this opportunity to play around with the recipe a little bit for a couple of different reasons. First I split the recipe in half and decided to do half hazelnut and half almond, mainly because I just prefer almonds to hazelnuts. A tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder gave the hazelnut biscotti a nice chocolatey flavor but the final product wasn't quite sweet enough for my taste.

The other change I made was to use orange juice instead of liquor in both batches. Here's the thing: ever since we got back from Spain I can't tolerate liquor. Those chupitos really did a number on me, and even the smell of hard liquor turns my stomach, so orange juice seemed like a good substitute.

Oh the almond version...The theory was that I could substitute almond meal for the flour evenly. It did not work. The dough was a bit wet when I put it in the oven, but I've had wet doughs turn into beautiful creations before so I let it play out. Thinking back, those weren't free-form baked goods so I probably should have known better. The result looked and tasted like a sticky version of Dorie's Gluten Free Almond Baby Cakes, which was tasty, but what it wasn't, was biscotti.

So basically I ended up with chocolate hazelnut biscotti and gluten-free almond something that did not resemble biscotti in the least when it came out of the oven. I glazed a few of the chocolate hazelnut pieces with orange sugar, hoping to make them a bit more appealing for me but sadly, to no avail. Looks like I'll be sticking to my favorite biscotti recipe for the forseeable future, but if you prefer your biscotti a bit on the dry side, be sure to check out this super easy recipe on the website of this week's host,s Jodi of Homemade and Wholesome and Katrina of Baking and Boys.


Thursday, May 24, 2012

Focaccia (Pizza)

Jake really likes pizza, so I'm always looking for ways to keep it from getting boring. One of the (several) really great pizzas we had in Spain was made on something like focaccia bread, and as I've never made focaccia before, I was more than happy to try to replicate it. Sigh. I really do love baking bread... Almost as much as I love bread, which is saying something.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Triple Chocolate Mousse Tart

I'm calling this a tart, because I'm not sure what else to call it. It was my contribution to my family's Mother's Day dinner last weekend and everyone there called it amazing, but I don't think Triple Chocolate Mousse Amazing is very good name for a recipe.

This dessert started out as an attempt to recreate a wonderful dessert we had at the Gran Bier Cafe in Madrid. The original plan was to make 2 small ramekins, just for Jake and I to have this weekend, but when I realized just how far the leftover shortbread dough (from TWD's hungarian shortbread) would go I figured I'd make a large one to take to my aunt's house as well. If you can't use your family as Guinea pigs to test out a new recipe, who can you use? Just kidding. That's what the individual ramekin servings were for, although I ended up eating most of those myself. That should tell you just how good this recipe was.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

La Boqueria, Museo de Xocolat, Sailor (Barcelona Part 2)

La Boqueria
No post on Barcelona would be complete without mentioning La Boqueria. As Barcelona's most famous outdoor market (although it's not really outdoors in my opinion because there's a roof), we definitely had to stop by. If I didn't already want to move to Barcelona, this market would have made a convert out of me. Fresh fruit, vegetables, fish, meat, chocolate, juice, juice popsicles, etc. It's an entire world of amazing food and insanely fresh ingredients, and if I lived in Barcelona I would go there. Every. Single. Day. I was so excited and overwhelmed by it that I decreed that I wanted to eat breakfast, lunch and dinner there. So we did.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Oh Barcelona...

Picking up right where I left off, we arrived in Barcelona on a gorgeous Tuesday afternoon and I wish I'd been feeling well enough to do more than glance out the taxi windows now and then on the way to the hotel. Once we'd checked in, Jake (being the most wonderful husband in the entire world) went out to get me saltines and gatorade--because when you're dehydrated from throwing up in a moving train, you gotta replace those electrolites. The "Cool Blue" gatorade reminded us of a non-carbonated Fresca. Most unexpected and kinda weird.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

When in Madrid (and Avila & Segovia)...

Last week was bliss. I don't want to brag, but there's no way to sugar-coat that one. Jake and I went to Spain for a week for our 1st anniversary and it was beyond amazing.

First we flew into Madrid, which I found to be very NYC-like. People always seemed dressed to the nines (except the tourists) and the whole vibe is a little Reserved? I can't really put it into words. That said, it's a beautiful city with amazing architecture and history...and food. I could write about all the cool things we did and saw (and took over 1000 pictures of), but for the sake of this blog I'll focus on the food, which did not disappoint.