Tag Archives: graham crackers

S’mores Magic Bars

S’mores Magic BarsThis summer is going to be a little different, but one thing remains the same: its unofficial kick-off, Memorial Day, is coming up next week. While it’s highly unlikely that I’ll find myself around a campfire or even on a rooftop anytime soon, I will not let this year go by without a s’mores-centric treat.S’mores Magic BarsIs there anything that says “summer” quite like a s’more? I mean, what’s not to love about crisp graham cracker, milk chocolate (or lemon curd!) and toasted marshmallow stacked together while everything’s still gooey?S’mores Magic BarsThese S’mores Magic Bars aren’t your traditional summertime fare, but they have plenty of graham crackers (in the form of crust and crispy shards), chopped milk chocolate and toasted marshmallows. It straight-up doesn’t count as a s’mores dessert if the marshmallows aren’t toasted, am I right?!S’mores Magic BarsS’mores Magic BarsS’mores Magic BarsAs with all magic bars, these are held together with a can of sweetened condensed milk. It serves as the structural backbone of this whole operation (along with the graham crust), and caramelizes in the oven for a toffee undertone.

S’mores + toffee = basically everything I’ve ever wanted.S’mores Magic BarsThe sweetened condensed milk also gives these bars a slightly gooey finish, which is a good thing because while the marshmallows do get nice and golden brown, they also have to cool completely before you slice the bars. Like I said, we’re not going for tradition, we’re going for the most efficient way to get toasted marshmallow, graham cracker and milk chocolate into our faces in a less than ideal summer situation!S’mores Magic BarsAlso, unlike traditional s’mores, these sweet squares will stay good for days after baking. Days! That’s a very good thing, because I have a feeling I’m going to need a few batches between now and Labor Day.S’mores Magic Bars

S’mores Magic Bars
makes one 8- or 9-inch square pan

Crust:
9 sheets graham crackers
1/4 cup light or dark brown sugar, packed
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling:
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 cups mini marshmallows, divided
2 sheets graham crackers, broken into small pieces
4 ounces milk chocolate, roughly chopped

Place an oven rack in the center position. Preheat oven to 350F. Heavily grease a 9-inch square pan and line with parchment paper, leaving overhang on two sides. Grease again. Set aside.

Make the crust. Place graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process until no large pieces remain. Add light brown sugar, melted butter, and salt. Process until the mixture resembles wet sand, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Transfer the mixture to prepared pan and use the bottom of a measuring cup (or clean hands) to press the mixture onto the bottom of the pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes. Cool it on a rack for a few minutes while you prepare the filling.

Pour 1/2 cup of the sweetened condensed milk into a liquid measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.

Drizzle remaining sweetened condensed milk onto crust. Top with 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows, followed by graham pieces and chopped milkchocolate.

Drizzle on reserved sweetened condensed milk and scatter on remaining mini marshmallows. Bake 30-32 minutes, until everything is golden brown and the center of the pan just barely jiggles when the pan is jostled.

Let bars cool completely in the pan on a rack. Use parchment overhang to remove them to a cutting board before slicing with a large, sharp chef’s knife. For clean edges, carefully wipe the knife blade clean with a damp towel between cuts.

Layer leftovers with wax paper (or parchment) in an airtight container. Bars will keep covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to a week.S’mores Magic BarsS’mores Magic Bars

Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}If you’ve been around here a while, you know that I spend 51 weeks of the year dreaming about my annual trip to Swans Island, Maine, and one week actually on the island. I hope to one day be able to make that more of a 40:12 situation (I’d settle for 50:2), but until then, I’ll just have to make the most of that week.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}This is my fourth year going up to Swans Island, and my third organizing the trip. There’s something wonderful about the anticipation of it all. From the moment we start looking at vacation dates and rental houses, and then confirming guests, there’s a wonderful familiarity to the whole process.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}We book the house. We choose a spot to stop overnight on our way up (usually Portland) and VJ books the AirBNB. We rent a car. We create a menu and make a grocery list. Throughout it all, we dream about this incredible place and probably annoy the crap out of the first-timers going with us 😉 Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}One of my favorite parts of the process is coming up with recipes we can all enjoy. VJ, my Swans Island ride-or-die, is a gluten-free vegan. In fact, she might be the world’s most adaptable gluten-free vegan—I’ve never seen her look at a menu and not be able to find *something* she can eat.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}When it comes to my on-island baking adventures, VJ is always willing to help take process photos and is super supportive (she once sat on a rock in the dark outside the Swans Island Post Office with me so I could use their WiFi to post these Lemon Bars), but I rarely bake anything she can actually eat. As such, I’ve made an effort on these recent trips to make baked goods that all of us can get behind. Last year’s gluten-free vegan options included Cornmeal Pancakes and Salted Chocolate Hazelnut Granola. This year’s are going to include s’mores made with these easy Toasted Oat Graham Crackers!Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}The idea for these sweet little crackers came to me as I was falling asleep one night last week and the inspiration was so strong that I had to get up and type it all down before I forgot! Four test batches later, I’m serving up a delicious and deliciously easy recipe perfect for our vacation 🙂 Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers are crunchy and nubbly, and have just the right amount of sweetness. They’re everything you could want in a graham cracker, except where the traditional treats start with a specialty coarse wheat flour, these are made with ingredients you likely already have in your pantry, like old-fashioned oats, light brown sugar, cinnamon, coconut oil, and pure maple syrup.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Also, the dough is made entirely in the bowl of a food processor! Easy peasy.

Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Once the dough is made, roll it out between two sheets of parchment and give it a quick freeze before slicing it into crackers. A chef’s knife works well for this, but I am fond of this expandable pizza wheel.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Score each cracker down the center…Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}…and pierce it a few times with a toothpick. I use a wire cake tester.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Bake the graham crackers for twenty minutes. Let them cool for a few minutes and then, all bets are off! These crispy, crunchy, cinnamon-spiced Toasted Oat Graham Crackers are great by themselves, or topped with peanut butter. Or cream cheese frosting.

Don’t judge me.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}These crackers can be kept whole or broken neatly in half along that score line. I haven’t tried it yet, but I’m pretty sure these would make an amazing gluten-free vegan graham cracker pie crust!Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}One thing I know for sure is that they’re pretty damn good stacked with dark chocolate and toasted vegan marshmallow. Best vegan s’mores ever.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}I can’t wait for vacation.Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan, Gluten-Free}
makes about 3 dozen square crackers

3 cups old fashioned oats (use certified gluten-free for gluten-free crackers)
1/3 cup light brown sugar, packed
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/3 cup melted coconut oil
3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
3-4 tablespoons water

Place oven racks in the top and bottom positions. Preheat oven to 325F.

Spread oats onto a dry rimmed sheet pan. Place in oven and toast for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant. Let cool for about 10 minutes.

Transfer oats into the bowl of a food processor. Process for 1.5-2 minutes, or until there are no recognizable oats. Pulse in light brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. Add coconut oil, maple syrup, and 3 tablespoons of water and process until a dough ball forms. Add 1 more tablespoon of water if the dough is crumbly.

Sandwich dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll until 1/8-inch thick. Transfer to the freezer (on a baking sheet, if desired) for 10 minutes.

In the meantime, line two sheet pans with parchment. Set aside.

Remove frozen dough from freezer. Slice in 2-inch squares (scraps may be re-rolled). Place about 1.5-inches apart on prepared pans. Use a sharp knife to score lightly down the centers. Pierce a few times with a toothpick or the tines of a fork.

Bake 10 minutes before rotating the pans top to bottom and front to back. Bake for an additional 10 minutes. Let crackers cool for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely. Crackers will initially be slightly soft, but will harden as they cool. Repeat brief chill, slicing, scoring, and baking with any remaining dough.

Graham crackers will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for at least a week.
Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}Toasted Oat Graham Crackers {Vegan & Gluten-Free}

S’mores Sandwich Cookies

 It’s almost Memorial Day! And that means it’s almost time for camping and beach days and, most importantly, s’mores.

I mean, who doesn’t love s’mores? Crunchy graham crackers, melty milk chocolate, and toasted marshmallow are absolute perfection when smashed together. The only real problem with summer in New York City–besides the oppressive humidity–is that I don’t have enough excuses to eat them. I know I could toast marshmallows over a burner on my stove and make them in my kitchen, but really, s’mores are always, always best when eaten around a fire. But I don’t know if or when I’ll be around a fire pit this summer, so instead I’ll eat these cookies in my apartment while I plan my fictional camping trip. 

S’mores Sandwich Cookies have all the flavors of the real thing. The cookies themselves are made with a combination of flour and graham cracker crumbs, and speckled with bits of smooth milk chocolate. The best part? The graham cracker crumbs keep the dough from spreading too much, so this dough doesn’t need to chill! This means that if you manage your time wisely, these cookies can be made start-to-finish in less than 90 minutes. 

Enough about the cookies though–let’s get to the filling. Oh good gracious, this stuff is amazing. Mini marshmallows are toasted under the broiler, and then beaten into a creamy frosting. Then it’s spread or piped onto the cookies, and everything is squished together so that there’s graham cracker, milk chocolate, and toasted marshmallow in every single bite.

S’mores Sandwich Cookies are the stuff of summertime dreams. But you won’t smell like a fire pit when you’re done making them, and you won’t need any bug spray. No, you can enjoy these in the comfort of your very own air-conditioned home. And when it’s 100 degrees and 10,000% humidity, doesn’t that sound like bliss? 

 S’mores Sandwich Cookies
makes about six dozen sandwich cookies

Cookies:
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup dark brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 10 graham crackers)
6 ounces milk chocolate,* finely chopped

Filling:
1 10-ounce bag miniature marshmallows
2/3 cup shortening
1 1/2-2 cups confectioner’s sugar
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F. Line two baking sheets with parchment. Set aside.

In a medium-large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, cornstarch, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat butter until light and fluffy. Beat in dark brown and granulated sugars, followed by eggs and vanilla. Add dry ingredients in two installments, mixing completely after each addition. Beat in graham cracker crumbs, followed by chopped milk chocolate.

Scoop dough by the teaspoon, roll into balls, and place at least 1 1/2-inches apart on prepared pans. Bake 6-7 minutes, until no longer shiny. Let cool on the pans for 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.

Make the filling. Set oven to broil. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place marshmallows in an even layer over the foil. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat shortening until light and fluffy. Beat in 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar, followed by salt and vanilla.

Broil marshmallows 30-45 seconds, or until golden. Remove from broiler, and immediately use a silicone spatula to scrape them into the mixing bowl. Beat until completely combined, scraping the bowl as necessary. Add more confectioner’s sugar as needed. It will be a bit sticky. If the filling is initially too warm with which to work, chill it for 15-30 minutes before proceeding. If you would like to pipe the filling, spoon it into a plastic sandwich bag, and snip off a corner.

There are two options for filling:

1. To assemble a sandwich cookie by piping, apply filling by pipe about a teaspoon of filling on the underside of one cookie, leaving about 1/4″ around the edge. Top with a second plain cookie, with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

2. To assemble a sandwich cookie by spreading, use an offset frosting knife to spread 1/2-1 teaspoon on the underside of one cookie. Top with a second plain cookie, with the underside filling-side-in. Repeat until all cookies have been used.

Filled cookies will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to a week.