S’mores pops

 

It’s summer! I don’t know about the rest of y’all but we’re already kind of sweltering in Nashville. Baby Peanut is rocking a heat rash on her neck and thinks that cold bananas are the best thing ever right now. Kiddo is all about “cold water with LOTS of ice cubes!” I may or may not be sneaking my feet into the wading pool in the back yard.

In the midst of all this heat, the folks at Aldi sent me a summer care package: graham crackers, marshmallows, cute sprinkles and a chocolate bar. S’mores! I love s’mores. However, since it’s hot outside (have I mentioned it’s hot?), by the time the package hit my front porch the chocolate was rather melty, so traditional s’mores would be hard.

CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.

I thought about what else I could do that would be yummy, and I came up with these: s’mores pops. I’m pretty sure I’m not the first person to invent these, but since I totally thought of them one night I’m not going to google them and see how many other people came up with them before I did. ๐Ÿ˜‰

You need these in your life!

Sโ€™mores pops

Ingredients

  • 4 graham crackers
  • 1 large chocolate bar
  • 1 bag large marshmallows
  • Sprinkles, optional but totally fun
  • Popsicle sticks, skewers or craft sticks
  • Wax paper lined cookie sheets or trays

Instructions

  1. Melt or temper the chocolate. I used this method for tempering. I’m honestly not sure if the chocolate really needed to be tempered or just melted in the microwave; tempering seemed like a good idea and not hard so I went with it
  2. Crush the graham crackers in a food processor or in a zip top bag with a rolling pin, then put the crumbs in a bowl
  3. Skewer the marshmallows, then dip in the chocolate. Let it drip a little bit, then dip in graham crackers and sprinkles in whatever method and order you like — go crazy, have fun! — then set them on the wax paper to let them cool

 

See how easy this is? If grown-ups do the melting part, kids can absolutely step in and make their own creations with different sprinkles and combinations. Make some and show me what you’ve come up with!

Peanut Butter Krispy Treats

We’re gearing up for the 4th of July! It’s especially fun this year because — get this — Kiddo has all kinds of foods that he likes now! He keeps trying something new and saying, “I CAN’T BELIEVE I’VE BEEN MISSING OUT ON THIS!” Top of that list? Peanut butter. He would now eat it all day every day if I let him, so he was excited to be my official taste tester for these little treats which I adapted from Momadvice.com. Verdict: thumbs up!

Peanut Butter Krispy Treats

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 1/2 cups rice krispies*
  • sprinkles, if you so desire

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan over medium heat and add in sugar and honey, stirring together; bring to a boil then remove the pan from the heat
  2. Stir in the peanut butter, cinnamon and salt till peanut butter is melted and everything is thoroughly combined
  3. Add in cereal and stir to coat
  4. Press into ungreased silicone muffin pans (Mickey Mouse optional) or greased square 8″ pan, press firmly, top with sprinkles and wait for treats to cool

Notes

I think you could pretty much make this with whatever cereal floats your boat, but the peanut butter sauce is so sweet that I wouldn’t pick a very sugary cereal — might be sugar overkill.

Peanut butter maple syrup

I was looking for a way to get a little extra protein on our Saturday morning waffles. I mean because everyone needs to have enough fuel to get through till creamy jalapeno ranch chicken tacos at Chuy’s.

Just me?

Anyhoo!

I Googled a couple recipes for peanut butter syrup and they all seemed essentially the same and insanely easy.

Peanut butter maple syrup

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup

Instructions

  1. Add both ingredients to saucepan and heat on medium heat, whisking occasionally (more often as it gets warmer), until heated and well combined

That’s it! One step, and it’s SO good, and SO filling. Half a waffle with this drizzled on and I was good to go till salsa time.

Enjoy!

Cherry chocolate cookies

Are these not the happiest little cookies you’ve seen in a long time?

The Kiddo and I were having lunch with our friend Sarah, and we wanted to send her back to college with some goodies. I hadn’t tried this recipe before, but it looked like something Kiddo could easily help with, so we gave it a shot. Huge success! The original recipe called for chocolate icing over the cherries, but they were so colorful and pretty I didn’t have the heart to cover them up.

Cherry chocolate cookies

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. Cream together butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy; add egg and vanilla and mix well till completely incorporated
  3. Stir together flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder, and baking soda; add mixture to butter and sugar mixture and stir until combined
  4. Shape dough into 1-inch balls and place on ungreased or parchment-lined cookie sheet. Make a dent in the middle of each cookie with your thumb
  5. Drain the cherries, remove any stems and cut cherries in half; put one half cherry in the middle of each cookie
  6. Bake at 350F for 10 minutes; cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely

I used my very smallest cookie scoop to shape these and got 40 cookies. Sarah reports these, with coffee, are the breakfast of champions. ๐Ÿ™‚

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Okay, these were meant to be like pop tarts, only with pumpkin pie filling. They turned out to be so much more flaky and tender and decadent than that that I’m not entirely sure what to call them! Other than, ahem, gone.

Moving on.

The long and the short of it: to make these I made pie crust from Ruhlman’s Ratio app on my iPhone, and a pretty standard pumpkin pie filling from Libby’s. I cut the pie crust into rectangles, put some cooked pumpkin pie filling on one, then a little egg wash around the edges, then put another rectangle on top and crimped the edges closed with a fork. A little more egg wash and a sprinkle of sugar on top, then baked at 400 for about 10 minutes.

To make these super fast you can absolutely use refrigerated, pre-made pie crust. Heck, you can buy an already-made pumpkin pie (hello, Publix bakery?) and scoop out the filling — see how fast this just got? Life is short; do what it takes. Here’s the longer way around, for those who are game:

Pumpkin pie breakfast tarts

Ingredients

For the pumpkin pie filling:
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    • 2 large eggs
    • 1 can (15 oz.) pumpkin
    • 1 can (12 fl. oz.) evaporated (not condensed) milk
For the pie crust:
    • 340 grams (2.4 cups) of flour
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 2 Tbsp. sugar
    • 227 grams (1 cup) of butter
    • 113 grams (1/2 cup) cold water
For an egg wash:
  • One beaten egg + a little bit of water

Instructions

Make the pie filling:
    1. Mix together sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and cloves
    2. In a larger bowl beat eggs, then stir in pumpkin and sugar & spice mix, then slowly stir in milk
    3. Bake in a buttered glass dish at 325 F for about one hour, until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean. Since this is technically a custard, I set my glass dish in a larger dish, then filled the larger dish with enough water to come about halfway up the sides of the smaller dish (a water bath — aren’t we fancy?)
    4. Leave in the water bath to cool, then move to the fridge after an hour or so
Make the pie crust:
  1. Using a food processor, a pastry blender or a fork, cut the butter into the flour, salt and sugar till the mixture looks like coarse cornmeal, then pulse or cut in water till flour is just moistened (it will not look like pie crust yet)
  2. Shape into a disc, wrap in saran wrap and stash it in the fridge for at least 15 minutes, but up to a day
  3. Retrieve your pumpkin pie filling and make little pies! Go crazy. Use cookie cutter shapes, make rectangles, use biscuit cutters and make half moons — whatever entertains you. For each roughly pop-tart-sized rectangle I made I put in about 2 Tbsp. of chilled filling, but you can kind of eyeball it. The good news is that it’s not runny so it’s not going to go everywhere. Use a little egg wash around the edges before you seal them closed, then put a little more egg wash on the top and sprinkle sugar over it just to be pretty. Poke a couple holes in the top for steam to escape
  4. Bake on parchment-lined cookie sheets at 400F for about 10 minutes, but just keep an eye on them — you want lightly browned

Enjoy with coffee and remind yourself that this is a breakfast pastry containing pumpkin, which is a vegetable; you’re totally not eating pie for breakfast