Smores Cupcakes

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Happiness

Happiness

Some time ago I saw on the aisle at the grocery store a box of Smores cupcake mix kit type thing. I looked the box over. A light bulb went off. I could do that, I had all the ingredients I needed at home.

First I must confess, this was some time ago. Like beginning of summer. Yes I am a slacker to wait this long to share. But the worst is yet to come, I was so excited to try this I did not even think to take pictures until things were almost ready to go into oven. So pictures are scarce and we must rely on my memory from that day. In short we are doomed!

Here is how I recall that day.

My dad who at the time was on this kick of buying me cake mixes when he saw them on sale. There was this one mix that was, double chocolate or something like that. I just remember it was more chocolate then your average chocolate cake mix. So it was to be sacrificed in this experiment.

I mix the cake according to package directions. Now time for the graham cracker crust to be our foundation. I made a guess on how much I would need to line the bottom of the cupcake liner. So graham cracker crust is something I do make on a regular basis , I did not measure I eyeballed, cause you know my extensive experience would never lead me astray . I put some graham crackers in my little generic cheap version of the bullet thingy (technical term). Once I had crumbs I began adding melted butter till it was moistened. Well I made way too damn much. So I am going to make a guess and say you need 1 to 2 cups. Not a bowlful as I ended up with.

I pushed this mixture done firmly into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Now goes a thin layer of the cake mix. Here is the part that had me wishing I just bought the darn box kit to make this as I‘m sure the company has found the best way to handle this part. I needed to transfer my marshmallow cream into a baggie to squeeze the stuff into each cup. I first tried just using a spoon and putting a spoonful of cream into each cup but I was getting the stuff everywhere but the center, you know how sticky that stuff is. I went to the squeeze bag method.

Marshmallow cream is messy. Maybe it’s just me but that stuff fights me. So after fighting it into the baggie I snipped my corner and squeezed. Worked much better than the spoon. I then covered the cream with another layer of the cake mix. Into the oven to cook following the cake mix temp and time.

As I stood up from putting the pan in the oven I noticed the disaster of my kitchen and myself. My kitchen and my arms, hands, front of shirt and have mercy, even my hair had cake mix and marshmallow cream on them. Again I felt I would have been better off buying the box kit.

FYI: coconut oil will help get marshmallow cream out of hair.

As I finished cleaning up my timer let me know my cupcakes were done. I took them out of the oven. I wanted so badly to bite into one right then but I had this vision of me biting into one and marshmallow lava erupting all over me. I let them cool down while I took a few quick pictures. They were cooled down enough to taste test.
I finally took my first bite.

Holy Mother of Cupcakes. I don’t know how the box kit of this stuff taste but this, this was cupcake heaven. No icing was needed. At all. Now I had enough of everything to make a second pan but I was not fighting the marshmallow again. EVER.

You know you want to bite me

You know you want to bite me

SMORES CUPCAKES

Ingredients:
Chocolate cake mix from a box or your favorite recipe
Items needed to make the batter (eggs, oil, etc)
1 to 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
Enough melted butter to moisten the crumbs
1 jar of marshmallow cream or fluff as some people call it.
Strong baggie or icing bag to pipe out cream/fluff
Coconut oil to get that stuff cream/fluff out of your hair

Mix batter according to instructions on box or your recipe.
Moisten crumbs with butter, put a spoonful of crumb mixture into bottom of each cupcake liner. Press down until bottom is completely covered.
Next put down a thin layer of cake batter.
Pipe in a small amount of cream/fluff into center of the batter. Try to avoid it spreading to the edges.
Cover with another layer of batter.

Bake according to box/recipe instructions or until toothpick comes out clean. Avoid doing this to the center you will just hit the cream. Let cool, eat as is or cover with chocolate icing.

Now remember I made my own using ingredients I had at home. If you have to buy all the items it just might be cheaper to buy the box kit instead. It’s on the grocery store baking aisle with the cake mixes.

Don’t want to use the box kit? My recipe to vague? Hit Pinterest and search. I know there’s a recipe out there. Trust me when I say, if it’s not on Pinterest it doesn’t exist.

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

Warning: marshmallow cream is sticky and messy

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You Gotha Try This Banana Pudding, Pt. 3 of a Family Food Saga

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Banana Pudding. There’s a hundred recipes out there, each one claiming to be the best. How do you determine which is the best? Easy, it’s the one you grew up on. See, it is not about the taste when it comes to banana pudding (unless you find yourself face to face with a bowl made by someone who doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing), banana pudding is about memories.

I come from a big family. BIG. Not only do we breed like bunnies but once you become friends with someone in the family, you become family. There’s no getting out either. Kind of like the mafia but with less violence.

With a big family and the merging with other families comes many variations of banana pudding. To me each one is good. One does stand out above the rest but for the sake of family peace I will not name names. Over the years I have learned these recipes and have combined the best of each one to make…‘You Gotha Taste This Banana Pudding’. I’m sure the name won’t catch on but I think once you try this banana pudding recipe you just might be hooked.

You Gotha Taste this Banana Pudding

Ingredients:

Bananas

Vanilla Wafers

Vanilla instant pudding, 2 small boxes

2 ½ cups milk

1 small tub of cool whip, thawed

½ small can of condensed milk about 7 ounces.

2 tsp. vanilla extract

In a large bowl mix the 2 boxes of pudding with 2 ½ cups milk. I use a hand mixer. Once mixed add condensed milk (you can use the whole can but your banana pudding will be way to sweet) along with the vanilla extract. Beat until it has a smooth pudding consistency and has started to thicken up slightly. Gently fold on the cool whip. I put my pudding mixture in fridge until I’m ready to assemble.

Just the pudding and milk

Just the pudding and milk

With cool whip added

With cool whip added

While you’re pudding mixture is chilling out in the fridge, take a handful of vanilla wafers, place them into a Ziploc bag, and seal it.

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Find a weapon, I use a hammer with a dishrag or small hand towel laid over the bag (this prevents the hammer from tearing open the bag). Now beat the wafers. Beat them until they are vanilla crumbs. This will be the topping.

Beating the wafers. Ignore my chipped nail polish

Beat the wafers. Chipped nail polish is optional.

wafers to crumbs

wafers to crumbs

Slice your bananas. The amount depends pretty much on what you have on hand. I usually have a lot since my dad is always coming by with a bag of bananas he found on sale. I swear that man has not met a banana he didn’t like.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

I just toss the banana slices into the cool whip bowl. No need to dirty extra dishes.

Once the bananas are sliced it’s time to get assembling. A pretty bowl or casserole dish is what you need.

Line the bottom of your bowl/dish with vanilla wafers. Spoon half of your pudding mixture over wafers. Add a layer of bananas. Repeat.

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Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Wafers, pudding mixture and banana.

Now the top is up to you. Some people line the top with whole wafers while others sprinkle the top with wafers crumbs. There are even those who lay down another layer of wafers, cover with a layer of just plain cool whip then sprinkle wafer crumbs. No wrong choice here. Cover with foil and allow to sit in the fridge a few hours.

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An important note: if you are making this dish for a get together you must make a small bowl of banana pudding and put in fridge. Why? Because if it’s like my family gatherings you’re not going to get any of it unless you do this.

Cover with foil and let chill in fridge for a few hours.

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

Bowl I made for myself as I was assembling the banana pudding

banana pudding 3

banana pudding 2

banana pudding 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lemon Chia Muffin with Raspberry Glaze

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A few weeks ago I made Lemon Chia Muffins with a raspberry glaze.

They turned out somewhat okay.

By that I mean they tasted good but had the consistency of cornbread. So darn dry. If you try this recipe add more milk or better yet add water to the Chia seeds. Don’t add them dry.

When I followed the recipe the batter was thick, thinking about it the concoction was so thick I’m not sure we can even classify it as batter. So again add more milk. Hopefully that will help. If I make this again and I discover adding more milk does help I will update this post.

By the way, the raspberry glaze ROCKED!

Here is the recipe:

Lemon Chia Muffins with Raspberry Glaze

2 c. all purpose flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

¼ tsp. salt

½ c. butter softened

1 tsp. lemon extract

2/3 c. sugar

2 lg. eggs

2 tbsp. chia seeds

½ c. milk

1 pkg. lemon pudding (no need to make the pudding, powder goes into muffin mixture)

 

Muffin Instructions:

Cream together: butter, eggs and lemon extract until creamy. Add rest of ingredients.

Bake 375 degrees for 15 minutes.

Glaze

½ c. powdered sugar

1 tsp. flavoring ( I used LorAnn Oils, raspberry flavor)

Glaze Instructions:

Mix sugar and flavoring. If glaze is to thick add a ½ tsp more flavoring.

Dip muffins into glaze before serving.

 

Cookies plus Chocolate equals Happiness

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In a world filled with stress and tragedy bombarding us everyday we need something to help us cope, something to fill us with happiness even. Is there such a thing that can do this? Is it possible something can bring us joy amidst the stresses in life?
Hell yes there is something. Chocolate. Chocolate by itself, chocolate with marshmallows, with peanut butter, with ice cream, in milk, in cookies, chocolate covering other items, like nuts or raisins or even bugs. For the record I have never ate a chocolate covered bug but If there is ever a chocolate shortage and that’s what’s available. Look out bugs.

Today it is chocolate chip cookies that are calling my name. “Gotha. Gotha” they are whispering to me.
I found a pin that took me to a post with several chocolate recipes. This one claimed to be THE Best chocolate chip cookie recipe. Was it the best? Close, what would have made them the best was if someone else had baked them for me. Ha-ha. Seriously, out of all the chocolate cookie recipes I have tried over the years this one is my new #1.
Adapted from: Sally’s Baking Addiction

CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
3/4 c. unsalted butter, softened (I used 1 cup, I’m a rebel that way)
3/4 c. dark brown sugar
1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 & 1/4 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Directions:
In a large bowl using a hand-held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat the butter medium speed until completely smooth and creamy. I used a hand mixer and it works better if you use a fork to work your butter a few minutes before using the hand mixer. Add the brown sugar along with the sugar, mix on medium speed until fluffy and light in color. Next add in the egg and the vanilla extract. Mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cornstarch, baking soda and salt. On low speed, slowly mix in the wet ingredients until well combined. The cookie dough will be thick, if you’re using a hand mixer it will be struggling at this point. Add the chocolate chips and mix for several seconds until evenly disbursed, at this time I just used a fork to mix in the chocolate chips. Cover with aluminum foil to chill for at least 1 hour.
After the dough chills is done chilling out in the fridge let it sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Set aside. I used a silicone mat, I love it!
Roll into balls, using about 1 tablespoon of dough per balls. Bake for 8-9 minutes, until barely golden brown around the edges. Allow to cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet. Transfer to cooling rack to cool completely.
Store the cookies in an airtight container. They should keep up to one week. If they last that long, they are pretty darn good.
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Super Bowl of Disaster

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In baking sometimes things can go wrong, sometimes they go Titanic. The ship is sinking with no hope for rescue. That happened today. One baking pin went wrong and one went Titanic.

Pin 1:
Baking pancake mix in muffin tins to create a pancake bowl. I ended up with pancake muffins. So I didn’t get my pancake bowl, no problem. I just cooked up some sausage patties and made pancake/sausage breakfast sandwiches. Pretty tasty.

Pin 2:
Turning your muffin pan upside down to make cookie bowls. Yeah…that one was a disaster. No survivors. I have burnt cookie pieces in my hair, a pan that almost did not come clean and a husband who is still laughing at me. I will laugh about this one day also. Just not today.

The pancake bowl. I followed the instructions so I don’t know what went wrong. I will check out more pancake bowls pins and see if I can do something different next time. When I finally get it right I will share the experience with you.

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

Tasty pancake sausage biscuit

The cookie bowl. It was a last minute thing, I was baking cookies for tomorrows family dinner. I was down to the last bit of dough when I spotted my muffin pan sitting innocently in the dish rack drying. I got an idea (obliviously this was my first mistake). I remembered a pin, if was just a photo with no instructions, but it looked easy enough.
So I flipped the pan over, gave it a nice coat of cooking spray, slapped on the cookie dough and popped it into the oven. The pin showed the cookie down covering each muffin tin completely. I worried I didn’t use enough cookie dough, I didn‘t have much dough left. Apparently it does not take much cookie dough to make a bowl. I used too much and ended up with a darn big mess.

Prelude to the horror

Prelude to the horror


Cookie was baked/burnt onto the pan. I had to get a butter knife to fight and scrape the cookie mess off the pan. Burnt cookie was going everywhere. EVERYWHERE. All over my nice clean counter, the floor, my hair, I even had some crumbs get into my eye. I did learn that saying curse words at burnt cookie stuck to a pan does not do a thing to help get it off the pan. I did go seek out other pins. Next time I will mold aluminum foil to the muffin tin. I will also use less cookie dough per bowl. Hopefully I will have success next time.
Shameful

Shameful


Oh the horror!

Oh the horror!

Chia Seed Pancakes

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Yes it is true I have a new love in my life. I have fallen for Chia seeds. I use the Chia seeds to replace eggs in most of my baking recipes. This weekend I used them in my pancake mix. If you are wondering how Chia seeds affect the taste, they don’t. Your baked goods will still have the same great taste you are used to. The only thing I noticed different about my pancakes and this could be all in my head is the pancakes seem to soak up the syrup more than my usual pancakes. Still they are very tasty pancakes and more filling since Chia Seeds contain fiber.
The Chia seeds I am using now I got from Amazon. My local Ingles carries them also. I think Wal-Mart may carry sell them. You will think they are pricey (I did at first) but I use them a lot. A LOT and I have only used have a bag. They go far.

This is the basic egg replacement how-to for 1 egg:
1 tbsp chia seeds
3 tbsp water
Mix in a small bowl, let set for 15 to 20 minutes for the seeds to absorb the water and gel. I like to call it Chia Goop. You can also make the goop ahead and store in fridge for up to a few days so it is ready when you are ready to bake.

Scratch Pancake Recipe
1-1/4 cup flour
1 tbsp. coconut palm sugar (or regular sugar)
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 egg (replace with chia goop)
1-1/4 cup milk (more or less, depending if you like a thick or thin batter)
1 tbsp. melted butter or oil
1 tsp. vanilla extract

This is what the Chia seeds look like after they gel.

This is what the Chia seeds look like after they gel.

You can also use box mix (I use them a lot, I find the store brands are better than the name brands)
Just add 1 tbsp coconut palm sugar and the Chia goop
Even the complete mixes that don’t call for egg I still add the Chia seed goop. If you don’t want to use the Chia seed, still add an egg to the complete mixes. It just makes a better pancake batter.
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Open Sesame Chia Seed Candy

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I have been wanting to do this for awhile. I have went through tons and tons of Pins to find the perfect recipe. Is there a perfect recipe for this? I don’t know but I found the perfect recipe for me, it was more the measurement and technique I needed. I omitted and added a few things here and there.
What am I talking about?

Sesame Seed Candy!

Yes that little bitty pale unassuming seed that adorns out hamburger buns. You take that seed, work a little bit of magic, and BAM! You have a nice little candy that makes a great tasting, sorta close to healthy snack.

Here is the original Sesame Candy recipe. Below is my adapted recipe along with my account of the whole process.

Sesame Chia Seed Candy

Ingredients:

1 c. Sesame seeds
2 tbsp. Chia seeds
3-4 tbsp. honey
3 tbsp. coconut sugar

Dry roast your sesame seeds for 5-7 minutes. Pour into a bowl add the Chia seeds and mix well. Set aside. In a small pot add the sugar and honey. Bring to a boil, now simmer for 5 minutes. Stirring constantly. Add seeds. Stir. Pour onto a piece of wax paper or a silicone baking mat. Cover with another sheet of wax paper, roll candy with a rolling pin until about ½ inch thick. With a knife cut/score into 1 inch squares. Let cool. Break apart. Done!

I measured out my sesame seeds, put them in the pan to toast. I toasted mine the full 7 minutes because I wanted some of my seeds a dark brown color. After toasting I pit them and the Chia seeds in a dish. I happened to have my small pie dish close by so I used it.

Ready for toasting

Ready for toasting


Toasted Sesame seeds mixed with Chia seeds

Toasted Sesame seeds mixed with Chia seeds

The pot was on the stove to heating up while I mixed my seeds together. So the pot was hot when I started measuring out the honey. I poured my first tablespoon in and it went wild with the boiling. So I had to work fast to get all the honey and the coconut sugar in the pot, while trying to stir at the same time. FYI: have what you need in arms reach, closer if you can. I was like a crazy woman trying to do all that at once with everything I needed in different place around the kitchen.

Boiling, boiling, get that stuff a boiling.

Boiling, boiling, get that stuff a boiling.


5 minutes and a lot of stirring later I poured in my seeds and began mixing, this comes together quick. At first you think that is not going to be enough honey mixture to coat that much seed. It is plenty.
I did not have any wax paper so I used one of my new baking mats. I used another to lay over top. I also don’t have a rolling pin (mainly for the husbands safety) so I used this high tech gadget called a can of soup. Worked fine.
Ready to roll

Ready to roll


High tech rolling technique.

High tech rolling technique.


Okay as soon as I finished rolling I tried to remove the top baking mat. Nope not a good idea some of the candy mixture was coming up with it. I just stopped pulling the mat and mashed it back down over the candy. I popped the whole thing in the freezer for maybe 2 minutes. Took it out while it was still warm enough to cut. This time the top mat came up easily. Not wanting to damage the bottom mat I used a butter knife to ‘cut’ the candy into squares. I did not cut all the way through the candy.
You can see in the upper right where I tried to lift up the top mat

You can see in the upper right where I tried to lift up the top mat


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After letting the candy cool a few minutes I broke the pieces apart. Both mats had sticky stuff on them but I only had to run water over them for a few seconds and they were clean. I think I might be in love with silicone baking mats.

How did the Sesame Chia Seed candy taste? Great. Sweet with a toasted nutty taste. This is going to be my midday snack at work next week. Thanks for joining me on this Pinteresting adventure.
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