smores bars

These are addictive.

Highly addictive.

Eating them was descirbed to me as “floating down a chocolate river in a graham wafer boat with marshmallow sails” … I kinda totally agree!

I have loved smores … since … well … since forever.

Who doesn’t love an ooey-gooey bite of delight?

Because that’s what graham crackers, chocolate and marshmallows are … bites of delight.

Especially when you add a little momofuku twist to the recipe.

Actually … I should call these twisted smores.

You’ll see that these are easy to make … as easy as making them on a campfire … you start with the graham cracker base …

then you make the chocolate layer … melted chocolate and milk … stirring in mini marshmallows and the cornflake crunch (flaked coconut is a supurb susbstitute as well) …  

Finishing it off by spreading even more mini-marshamllows on top; then broil for 3 minutes.

That’s it.  Simple eh?

Oh wait!!!!

I do recommend that if you line the pan with parchment paper … don’t place the rack too close to the broiler … otherwise … a fire might ensue.

True story … it happened to me ;0)

I guess I really wanted to make smores by the campfire!

twisted smores bars

ingredients:

the base:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs

7 tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp sugar

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Line a rectangular pan with parchment paper, and then spray it with non-stick spray.  Set aside.

In a medium sized bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter; stirring with a wooden spoon.  Press the crumbs into the base of the pan; make sure that the base is spread out evenly.

Bake for 12 minutes.  Remove from heat, turn off your oven and set the pan aside to cool slightly.

chocolate mini-marshmallow-crunch filling:

ingredients:

1 c. milk

16 oz chocolate, chopped into small chunks (or chips)

4 c. mini marshmallows, divided

2 c. momofuku cornflake crunch (or flaked coconut)

In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stir the chocolate and milk together; slowly melting the chocolate.  The mixture should never get to a boiling point.  Remove the pan from heat and pour the mixture into a medium sized bowl (this will allow the mixture to cool immediately).

Add 2 cups of the mini marshmallows and the 2 cups cornflake crunch.  Stir in … and then pour the mixture over the graham cracker base.

Top with the remaining 2 cups of mini marshmallows.

Turn the broiler on in your oven … move a rack close(ish) to the broiler and toast the marhsmallows… this takes about 3 minutes.  I do tend to move the pan around to ensure that they are all evenly toasted.

Remove from the oven and allow the pan to cool in the fridge for 2 to 3 hours (or over night).  I don’t cover the pan right away … but once firm, I do cut the smores into squares and store in an airtight container.

I’d say they will last up to 1 week in the fridge … only they won’t.  Because you’re gonna want to eat them … pretty much immediately.

No lies.

I can’t stop eating them! 

extreme rocky road brownies

Sometimes all you want is a bite of gooey brownie goodness. 

But then again …

Sometimes mini marshmallows are exactly what you’re craving.

Or maybe it’s pecans you’re after?

Wait.  I think we just added some toasted coconut to the mix.

And don’t forget tart dried cherries.

When you’re craving all of those things … make my extreme rocky road brownies

Oh yeah … and don’t forget the oreo cookie base.

HA!

That was a surprise eh?  You probably weren’t expecting me to add an oreo cookie base to brownies that are already chock full of chocolate, marshmallows, coconut, pecans and dried cherries?

Well … sometimes you just need to go all the way … and these brownies are all about being extreme.

I have to admit.  These are pretty stellar.  I’d been craving a rocky road brownie for a while … but wanted something a little different.

That’s when I came across Lisa Yockelson’s original rocky road mud bars in chocolate chocolate.  

It looked good.

Oreo base.  Chocolate chips.  Walnuts.  Mini marshmallows.

Only … I like pecans.  And I heart toasted coconut.  And I’m a little obsessive about dried cherries.  Add those things to the chocolate chips, mini marshmallows and oreo cookie base and I figured I had a real winner of a brownie.

I was right.

It’s a pretty easy recipe to follow.  Mostly it’s all about melting, whisking and then stirring.  

You can skip the oreo base if you want … but really … I wouldn’t recommend it.  These brownies are good.  Really good.  Trust me.  Once you make these … you might never go back to a regular brownie.

oreo chocolate cookie base

ingredients:

8 tbsp butter, melted and cooled to tepid

half a package oreo cookies, processed to crumbs

extreme rocky road brownie layer

ingredients:

1 1/4 c. flour

1/4 c. cocoa powder

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

3/4 c. semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 lb. butter, melted and cooled to tepid

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled to tepid

5 eggs, room temperature

1 c. sugar

1 c. brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

1 c. chopped pecans

1/3 c. mini marshmallows

3/4 c. dried cherries

1 c. toasted shredded coconut

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Line a rectangle baking pan with foil or parchment paper, then spray with nonstick spray.

While your oven is preheating, make the oreo cookie base.

Pour the melted butter into the bowl of your food processor (after you have turned your oreo cookies into crumbs), and pulse until well incorporated.  Spread and press the cookie mixture evenly over the base of the pan. 

Bake the crust for about 5 minutes.  Allow to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the melted butter and melted chocolate until smooth.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs for 1 minute.  Add the sugar, and whisk for a further minute.  Blend in the melted butter – chocolate, mixing thoroughly.  Stir in the vanilla extract.

Sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt into your chocolate ingredients.  Once the flour is just incorporated, fold in the chocolate chips, marshmallows, pecans, shredded coconut, and dried cherries.

Spoon the batter over the oreo cookie crumb base.  Spread the batter evenly using an offset spatula.

Bake for about 40 minutes – or until set.  Allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack.  Then I like to cover the pan and put it in the freezer for about 30 minutes.  It gets the brownies to firm up just enough that you can then lift the entire batch of brownies out of the pan and then cut into little cubes of goodness … seriously … you can get 60 cubes out of the pan.

These freeze well and should be stored in an airtight container. 

lemon blueberry coconut bars

I have a friend who makes the BEST (absolute BEST) lemon squares.  EVER.

Micheline … I’m talking about you.

Her lemon squares are tart and fresh and light.  The side pieces are spectacular … the graham crust base adds a little sweetness.  Perfectly balanced.  Perfectly baked.  A complete delight.

I loves.

And so … although I heart all things lemon, I haven’t baked lemon squares in ages because I can’t imagine making a batch as wonderful as Micheline’s.

Until now.

These aren’t the same.  But they sure are good.  DARN GOOD.

I was co-hosting a female cocktails and bling thingy (you know … ladies gather to drink and try on jewelry) … and wanted to bring along some baked treats.

I decided that it was time to try a new recipe (friends and family are always the best people to taste-test new recipes on) … and upon mentioning a blueberry – coconut – lemon combo to another friend (Rose … I’m talking about you now) … she pretty much convinced me I absolutely had to make these.

I’m glad that I did.

The original recipe is from bon appétit’s desserts  recipe book (double-lemon bars).  It caught my eye because it promised big lemon flavour (a must) … and looked like it would have a firm enough base to hold the addition of toasted coconut and blueberries.

It lived up to my demands.

The one thing … and perhaps I’m noticing it because I haven’t made lemon squares recently … but these were really (and I mean REALLY) sticky and gooey: both good things … just have a napkin on hand … or don’t be afraid of licking your fingers.

I pretty much always opt for licking my fingers ;0)

crust:
ingredients:
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. sugar
pinch of salt
3/4 c. butter, chilled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tsp vanilla

lemon – blueberry filling:
ingredients:
1/2 c. coconut, toasted
1 1/2 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons
6 eggs, room temperature

3 tbsp flour

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a rectangular pan (9×11) with foil or parchment paper and generously spray with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Using your food processor, blend together the flour, sugar and salt. Add the butter, and cut it in, using the pulse “on/off” method, until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Add vanilla and process until the dough comes together. You’ll know it’s ready when you take a bit and pinch it together and it holds.

Press the dough evenly into the pan – using a flat bottom measuring cup, evenly flatten the base. Bake until the crust is golden – about 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the filling.
Toast the coconut for about 8 minutes on a cookie sheet in the oven. Set aside.

No need for fancy equipment – whisk together the sugar and eggs until well blended. Add the lemon juice and flour. Whisk to incorporate. Strain into another bowl (you’ll see that not all the flour dissolved, the whisk will catch that and any lemon pits you might have missed).

Mix in the lemon zest.

Reduce your oven to 325 F.

Spread the blueberries evenly over the base. Top with the toasted coconut. Pour the lemon mixture over-top; ensuring that the entire pan is evenly covered.

Bake until the sides are set and the filling no longer moves when the pan is shaken. About 35 minutes.

Remove from heat and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Cover and chill at least 4 hours, or overnight.

Using the foil or parchment as an aid, lift the dessert from the pan. Fold down the sides, cut away the edges, creating a clean side … and a little snack for the baker :0)

Cut into rectangular bars … or do like me, and cut the rectangular bars into 3 smaller cubes. I was able to get over 2 dozen pieces.

Remember this recipe creates a very gooey bar… a very delightful twist on a the traditional lemon square.

You should try it.