S’mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Happy fall, y’all! I know it hasn’t really felt like fall, at least here in central Illinois, but technically it is and that means bonfires and making s’mores and drinking hot cocoa! Sometimes having a bonfire isn’t feasible but thankfully there are about as many variations as there are leaves to rake.  Take these S’mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats, for example.  They have all the ingredients of a traditional s’more without the requirement of fire.  This recipe makes a lot of treats so it’s perfect for taking to festive fall gatherings.

S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

S’mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats
slightly adapted from My Baking Addiction

Ingredients
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 10.5-ounce packages mini marshmallows, divided use
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
7 cups crisped rice cereal
9 full graham cracker sheets, chopped into small pieces
1 cup milk chocolate chips
optional: about 1.5 – 2 cups of mini marshmallows and about 1/2-cup of milk chocolate chips (sorry, I didn’t measure, just sprinkled them on)

What To Do
Spray with non-stick spray and/or spread some softened butter along the sides and bottom of a 9″ x 13″ baking pan and set aside.

In a large pan, melt butter over low heat.

Set aside 2 cups marshmallows.  Add the rest of the marshmallows to the pan and stir until completely melted.

Remove pan from heat and stir in the vanilla.  Gradually add crisped rice cereal and graham cracker crumbs; stirring until well coated.  Fold in the reserved 2 cups of marshmallows and chocolate chips until thoroughly incorporated.

Using a buttered spatula, or clean hands, firmly press the mixture into the prepared pan.

If desired, top with additional mini marshmallows and place on the center rack of the oven.  Turn the broiler on low and broil for about 5 minutes, watching carefully, until the marshmallows have browned to your liking.  Remove from oven and sprinkle additional chocolate chips on top.

Cool completely before cutting and serving.

My Comments
The bags of mini marshmallows I bought were 10 oz each.

9 full sheets of graham crackers is one full sleeve of crackers that come 3 sleeves in a box – I think this is pretty standard.

I both sprayed my pan and spread butter in it and it was super easy to get the bars out.

I think next time I will also sprinkle some chopped graham crackers on top.  I couldn’t really taste them in the bars and I think extra on top would look nice and give an extra graham cracker flavor boost.

Some Photos Along the Way
Butter and mini marshmallows melting together
S'mores Marshmallow Rice Crispy Treats

Stirring in cereal and graham crackers
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Adding mini marshmallows and chocolate chips
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

The mixture pressed into the pan
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Extra mini marshmallows on top
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Turning the broiler on
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

Extra chocolate chips sprinkled on top
S'mores Marshmallow Crispy Treats

 

All I can say is YUMMY! I recently took these to a family function (where there was no bonfire) and they were a big hit.  So if you can’t have a real s’more, try this twist and I think you’ll be happy!

S’mores Pie

Today has been a busy day and the fun’s not over yet.  I got up early to make this S’mores Pie for my work’s company picnic.  They were having a Bake-Off and since I love to bake, I had signed up.  Now, I don’t really recommend making something for the first time for a contest, but this time it worked.  I WON!!! I didn’t even get to try this pie – it was gone in no time – but since it won, I know it had to be good.  So here it is for you.  It’s a great alternative if you can’t have a real s’more.

 

S'mores Pie

 

S’mores Pie
from Tasty Kitchen

Ingredients
1 stick softened butter
½ cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking powder
7 ounce container of marshmallow creme
8 whole (1.55 oz bars) Hershey’s chocolate bars
1 cup miniature marshmallows
¼ cup chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet)

What To Do
Preheat oven to 350°F and spray a 9″ pie pan with baking spray.

In a large bowl beat butter and sugar together until combined, then add egg and vanilla and stir them in. Stir in flour, graham cracker crumbs and baking powder.

Divide the dough in half. Press half the dough in the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pie pan. Evenly spread the marshmallow creme over the bottom crust. Separate chocolate rectangles and place on top of the marshmallow creme. Place miniature marshmallows on top of the chocolate bar pieces.

Using the remaining crust, pat sections of dough on top of and around all the marshmallows (they will still show through and that is great!). Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chocolate chips, then bake 20 minutes until lightly browned.

Remove pan from oven and set it on a wire rack. Cool completely before cutting.

My Comments
I found it easiest to spread the crust dough with my hands.  It was quite sticky trying to use a rubber spatula.

Not all the chocolate will fit in one layer on top of the marshmallow creme.  You could probably get away with using just 6 chocolate bars, especially since you can buy them in a 6-pack.

 

It turns out that today is National S’mores Day! A friend told me this morning after she heard it on the news.  How awesome is that! I hope you are having a good weekend.  I gotta go get ready for “s’more” fun now.

Little Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

I love cheesecake!  Matt and I had a friend over for dinner not too long ago and I wanted something somewhat simple to make for dessert that was still special and delicious.  I didn’t have the time or the ingredients to make a full-sized fancy cheesecake, so I decided to experiment a little and came up with this little, more basic cheesecake.  It was the perfect size for 3 people to share and there was 1 piece leftover to enjoy the next day.

This recipe does not come from one source.  It’s one of those that I kinda pulled different things from different places and tried to make what I pictured in my head.  That doesn’t always work but this time it did!

 

Little Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

Ingredients for the CrustCheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
1/3 c graham cracker crumbs
1 T sugar
1 T melted butter

Ingredients for the Filling
1 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
1/4 c sugar
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 egg, room temperature

Ingredients for the Raspberry Sauce
(adapted from 2012 Our Best Bites calendar – Feb)
4 oz fresh raspberries
8 t sugar
3 t water, divided
1 t cornstarch

fresh raspberries for garnish

What To Do
First, you’ll need a small pie pan or something similar.  The one I have and used is 7 inches in diameter.  Preheat your oven to 325°F.

Crust: Melt the butter.  You can do this using the microwave (be sure to cover it to avoid any splatters) or on the stove or in the preheating oven.  Stir graham cracker crumbs (wanna make your own?), sugar and melted butter in a bowl until well combined.  Dump crumb mixture into the pie pan and gently press it down with the back of a spoon or your fingers to cover the bottom of the pan.  You might have enough to push some up the sides a little so go ahead and do so.  Bake for 5 minutes at 325°F.  Remove from oven and let cool while you make the filling.

Filling: Soften the cream cheese by letting it sit out to get to room temperature.  I do not recommend doing this, but if you have to, you can cut it into cubes and microwave it (try 30 seconds on high and stop it partway to check on it and stir if needed) to soften it.  Use a whisk or hand mixer to combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and egg.  Pour mixture into pie pan on top of the crust.  Spread it out evenly.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes at 325°F.  You’ll know it’s done when it’s pretty much set but still jiggles a little bit in the middle.  Let it cool down and then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Raspberry Sauce: Place raspberries, sugar and 2 t water in a small saucepan on medium heat.  Stir occasionally, smashing berries with a spoon, until mixture comes to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer for 5 minutes.  In a small bowl, combine cornstarch and remaining 1 t water.  Add to sauce and stir constantly for 1 – 2 minutes until slightly thickened.  Pour sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.

Serve: Loosen the outside edge of the cheesecake with a butter knife.  Cut the cheesecake into how many ever pieces you want.  I cut mine into 4.  Put a piece on a plate, drizzle with raspberry sauce and sprinkle fresh raspberries on top.

My Comments
I know raspberries aren’t exactly in season right now, but the store had some on clearance for 23 cents – I couldn’t pass that up!

A kitchen scale is very handy in figuring out how many raspberries to use.

You will most likely have leftover sauce.  You can store it in the fridge and it goes nicely on top of ice cream…or leftover chocolate Christmas candy.

The leftover piece we ate the next day was even better so if you can make this cheesecake a day ahead of time, you should.

 

Enjoy!

Reusing Cereal Bags to Make Graham Cracker Crumbs

I know you can buy graham cracker crumbs at the store but that’s never appealed to me.  I buy graham crackers and crush them myself as needed.  I know I could use a fancy schmancy food processor but I’m a little old fashioned and like to do things in a more manual way sometimes.  And plus, I didn’t always have a food processor.  And plus plus, I like to find ways to reuse things that would normally just go in the trash.  And plus plus plus, I hate throwing things in the trash that could be reused.

 

So we have the cereal bag.  It’s thick, it’s strong, it’s plastic…and where I live, it cannot be recycled.
Cereal Bag

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Surely there is another use for this bag after the cereal is all gone.

Why yes, there is.

Now I can’t take credit for this.  I don’t know exactly how I learned to do this, or exactly who I learned it from, but it’s just something I’ve always done.  I’m guessing it’s something I learned growing up.  It has to be.  Yup, let’s go with that.

 

Anyway…one way to reuse a cereal bag is to make your own graham cracker crumbs!

Graham Crackers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simply put a package of graham crackers (unwrapped) in the cereal bag and break them up with your hands.  Get out your rolling pin, or if you don’t have one, try a canned good or anything with a similar shape, though I’ve never used anything but a rolling pin so I don’t really know how well a can of soup would work, but I think it would work just fine.  I’ve never thought about it until now…
Graham Cracker 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use your rolling pin (or something similar) to start crushing and rolling.  Be careful not to get too close to the open end of the bag.  As I’m doing “the crush and roll” I periodically pick the bag up so the crumbs fall back down towards the bottom of the bag.  I flip the bag over too to make sure I get all the crackers crushed evenly.

Graham Crackers 4

Graham Crackers 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And voila! You have graham cracker crumbs!
Graham Cracker Crumbs

Store your homemade graham cracker crumbs in an airtight container.  They last a long time.

 

This method leaves you with no dirty dishes or machine parts.  It is fun and if you had a frustrating day, you can take it out on the innocent graham crackers and not feel bad about it.  I reuse my cereal bags until they get holes in them and then I have to throw them away but I feel good about prolonging their life.  I’m sure there are other ways to reuse cereal bags but this is what I do.  I tried crushing candy canes in them once but they were too sharp when they broke and poked holes in the bag and just made a giant mess.

 

I had a reason for recently making a fresh “batch” of graham cracker crumbs.  You’ll find out soon.  Until then, if you run out of cereal, keep that bag because you’re gonna need it!