Author Archives: mrsnowlin
Try not to drool, but check out my pre-birthday dinner! My uber-talented Aunt Debi made a 94-course meal for our whole family. Brisket, a meat by many names, salmon with provolone and spinach in pastry, chicken nuggets for the kids (in all of us), corn, asparagus, heart-shaped carrots in a brown sugar sauce, sauteed mushrooms, roasted cauliflower, roasted potatoes, spinach soup and wait for it….CHALLAH!
Have you had homemade challah before?
Doesn’t that just looks so yummy? Your eyes don’t lie. It’s awesome. This isn’t my aunt’s recipe for Challah, I’ll save that for another post,when I can actually learn how to make the braided dough of heaven. However, this recipe from Fine Cooking is supposed to be awesome. The only problem you may come across is with your willpower. This is a bread I can not be around more than about two times a year. My heart hurt from trying to eat too many pieces last night.
- tsp. instant yeast (Red Star Quick Rise, SAF Perfect Rise, Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise or Fleischmann’s Bread Machine Yeast)
- 16-3/4 oz. (3-1/2 cups) unbleached all-purpose flour (Hecker’s, Gold Medal, or Pillsbury); more as needed
- ¼ cup warm water
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ¼ cup honey
- 1-1/2 tsp. table salt
- For the glaze:
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- Sesame or poppy seeds for sprinkling (optional)
- n a large bowl, mix the yeast with ½ cup of the flour.
- Add the warm water, stir, and let this mixture, called a sponge, sit until it starts to puff up, 15-to 20-minutes.
- Add the eggs, oil, honey, and salt; stir until well combined. The sponge will remain lumpy—this is fine.
- Add the remaining flour and mix the dough in the bowl until all the ingredients are combined.
- Turn the dough out onto a work surface and knead until fairly smooth, about 2 minutes.
- The dough should feel very firm and will be hard to knead. If it’s soft and sticky, add more flour until it’s very firm.
- Transfer the dough to a large, clean container and cover it well.
- Let it rise until doubled in bulk and very soft to the touch, about 2 hours, depending on the room temperature. Line an insulated baking sheet with parchment or oiled foil. If you don’t have an insulated sheet, stack two sheets together (this keeps the bottom of the bread from overbrowning during baking).
- To shape the dough: Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and sprinkle a little more flour over it.
- Spread and flatten the dough a bit, but don’t worry about punching it down.
- Cut it into six equal pieces.
- Set aside the dough pieces, cover them lightly with plastic, and brush all the flour off the work surface. Have a small bowl of water handy. Using no flour, roll a piece of dough with a rolling pin into a very thin sheet, between ⅛ and ¼ inch thick (don’t worry about making a rectangle; an amoeba-type shape is fine).
- The dough may stick to the work surface; this is all right—just nudge it gently with a dough scraper.
- Tightly roll up the sheet like a carpet to form a strand. Roll the strand back and forth between your hands until it’s thin, very even, and 12 to 15 inches long. At the ends of the strand, angle the outer edge of your hands into the work surface as you’re rolling to make the ends pointy and the strand thicker in the middle (This will help you get a football-shaped loaf). The strand needs to grip the work surface slightly during this rolling; the “grab” will help as you roll. If the strand is too slick, very lightly dampen it with water to help it grip the work surface better. Repeat the rolling out, rolling up, and elongating steps with the remaining five pieces of dough, rolling them out to the same length.
- Lightly sprinkle all the strands with flour to prevent them from sticking to one another during proofing.
- Arrange the strands parallel to one another. At one end, gather and pinch the strands very tightly together.
- Weight the end with a heavy canister to keep the braid from moving and to leave your hands free, and braid closely, following the illustrations below. Lightly tap each end of the loaf with your palms to tuck it under the loaf.
- Move the second-to-the-right strand to the far-left position.
- Move the far-right strand left over two strands, to the center position (spread the strands apart to make room).
- Move the new second-to-the-left strand over to the far right position.
- Move the far-left strand (the same strand you moved in step 1) over two strands to the center position. Now repeat the steps.
- Transfer the braid to the lined baking sheet and cover it loosely but thoroughly with plastic wrap. Let proof until doubled in bulk and the loaf remains indented when lightly pressed, about 2 hours, depending on room temperature. (If in doubt, let the dough proof more rather than less.)
- To bake:
- Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat the oven to 325°F. Just before baking, brush the dough with the beaten egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds or poppy seeds, if using. With a thin wooden skewer, poke the bread deeply all over (the holes will prevent air pockets and help the bread keep its shape during baking). Bake for 20 minutes. Rotate the challah 180 degrees and bake until the bread is a dark, burnished brown, about another 15 minutes. (If the challah is browning too rapidly cover it loosely with foil and let it finish baking. Don’t remove the loaf too soon, as you’ll risk underbaking.) Let cool thoroughly on a rack.
I totally would have taken a picture of my homemade birthday cake if I stopped to take a photo first. I had saved 1,000 of my daily calories for this dinner and I ate every. single. one.
Look at this cute little photo of my dad with Dallas and my beautiful niece, Breslin. I’m totally working on a plan to steal her. Now that I know she sleeps through the night, I’m upping my plan to serious mode.
I’m going to spend my actual birthday (tomorrow) at Philz in Berkeley. I am SO excited to try their coffee! I’ll be sure to let you all know what I think. Some recipes will find their way back on to the blog very soon, promise. For now, have a drink for me (so I won’t have to count the calories) and enjoy your long weekend!
Last night was the end of a busy week, it was Sunday and I wanted to throw in the largest towel I could find. Too bad they were all in the washing machine. Instead, I thought I’d treat myself to a little cocktail. Hey, all the other moms are doing it (according to Pinterest). Unfortunately, it only took about 1/2 an ounce of flavored vodka in my cup of cherry juice to give me more of a buzz than I want to have around my children. It’s one of the only areas of my life I can seriously call myself a light-weight. The only other I can think of is my level of insect tolerance. Lightweight.
Hence, I need some fun summer drinks that won’t involve my legs getting noodle-wobble. Enter, Thai-Style Iced Tea. You can find this drink of page 22 of June’s Bon Appetit magazine. However, I am convinced they used a little extra digital imagine, because their drink is a creamy orange. Like, extra orange. Tang, orange.
The only change I made to this recipe was with the tea flavor. I chose Chai, which is still a black tea, just with that extra bit of spice. You can make this recipe the sun-tea way, as described in the printable version, or you can steep your black tea with double the amount of tea you would drink if it was hot and pour over ice. Then, add your syrup and cream. Just don’t let it get too watered down.
I consider this an end of the week drink. A late Sunday afternoon tea that has 6 grams of fat in it. Yikes. Here’s some info for all you calorie counters out there.
Calories (kcal) 60
Fat (g) 6
Saturated Fat (g) 3.5
Cholesterol (mg) 20
Carbohydrates (g) 4
- 10 star anise pods
- 3 tablespoons sugar (or Stevia if desired)
- 1 vanilla bean
- 1 cup water
- 15 black tea bags
- 7 cups water
- ½ cup condensed milk
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Combine star anise pods, sugar, and water in a small saucepan. Scrape in seeds from 1 vanilla bean; add bean. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Transfer to a large pitcher. Add 15 black tea bags and 7 cups cold water. Cover; chill at least 4 hours. Strain into another large pitcher. Stir in ½ cup heavy cream and ½ cup sweetened condensed milk until dissolved. Serve over ice.
- Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/recipes/2013/06/thai-style-iced-tea#ixzz2TsF4zXAW
I’ve been shopping for groceries for a good 15 or so years now and I think I’ve gotten worse at it. I have still not managed how to keep my shopping to one store and only visit once a week. In college, I loved that I could go to Safeway with $40 in my wallet and have plenty of food for the week. Yoplaits, seasoning mix for “Chicken in a bag”, Diet Coke, cottage cheese, bagged salad, Life cereal. That was the constant list.
The next stage of shopping happened when Jy and I moved in together. We tried to spend $80 a week and ate plenty of processed food. The weeks we had $100 to spend felt luxurious. Lots of frozen meals, canned beans, spaghetti and more cereal.
Stage three. Married with two boys. $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Here I am, 15 years from the $40 Safeway trips, feeling frugal if I can make it through the week having only spent $200. My husband eats a lot. My boys eat a lot. I eat…uh, never mind. The majority of our food budget goes to all things dairy. Lactose-free for one child, regular milk, eggs and eggs and eggs, yogurt times a thousand. Then meat, then produce.
I usually hit three stores a week and they vary. My store tour changes depending on sales, my time, our cravings and needs. Here’s what I prefer from each store:
- Fresh & Easy – Ready made food in a pinch, produce, breads
- Sprouts – Sale produce, natural meats and yogurts
- Costco – Produce, dairy, organic chicken
- Whole Foods – Organic meats & fish
- Safeway – Pantry or last minute items, sale stuff, coffee
- Trader Joe’s – Fun snacks, hummus, nuts, fruit
I don’t think I’ll ever get it down to a science and I think I’m finally ok with that. I’ve even added online shopping to my tour, which I’ll talk about below.
I wanted to share some treats as well as a new favorite meal. Who doesn’t love new food ideas?
Let’s start with some Trader Joe finds.
This isn’t a new product, but if you haven’t tried it, you really should! I think it goes for $3.99, which is more than the other hummus options, but it is really worth it. It’s so creamy and full of flavor, my kids love it too. It doesn’t have that dry, pasty taste that so many pre-made hummus’ do.
Still at TJ’s:
Crunchy Black & White Rice Rolls. My mom turned my family on to these little rolls of 45 calorie, sweet and crunchy bites. They taste like little logs of Sugar Smacks. Not bad, eh?
Almond Butter with Sea Salt. I just described it.
Chocolate Almond Granola Cereal is just what it says! You’d expect 1001 ingredients in this cereal, luckily you would be wrong! It’s made of pretty basic stuff, including sugar. I’d consider this another treat as well and found it to be really tasty mixed with some flavored Greek yogurt.
Dried mandarin oranges! Clever, right? Just as the bag claims, they are soft and juicy! A tiny bit tangy, but mostly sweet, these dried oranges are a perfect way to distract your taste buds at the movies or on a long drive. Just be careful, there are SIX portions in the small bag.
The roasted coconut chips are such a treat, they are sweet little slices of coconut. After asking another mom at the park about what she was eating, she gave me a few to try. I’m sure she was just trying to make me go away, but I was really interested and so happy she shared! There are two servings in a bag and I think they are a great little treat.
I’ve gotten super into tea lately and bought a load of Teavana. You know, that expensive tea store at the mall? Yeah, that tea. It wasn’t until I got home and read up on their sales practices that I realized I wasn’t the first person pressured into way more tea and pricey tins than I would need. I didn’t love their customer service and won’t be supporting them until they change the way they work. Instead, I’ll continue to buy Adagio Teas!
My tea-loving cousin introduced me to this brand and though I was leery at first, it turns out buying tea online ain’t such a bad way to go! Their website is easy to navigate and the reviews are really helpful. Dorie (my cousin) suggested a specially blended tea, called Bilbo Brew. You’d have to check out their shop to really understand just how many tea blends there are! What I love about the blends (other than the actual tea) is the fun packaging! While I can’t say I understand the whole fandom thing, I do love that I can get a cute bags or tins of tea with some Game of Thrones, Sherlock Holmes or Harry Potter artwork on the packaging. (There are others too)!
Dorie was right, by the way. I do love the Bilbo Brew. I don’t know if you can read the package in this photo, but the blend consists of Irish Breakfast, sweet potato, vanilla green & cinnamon bits. Basically, it tastes like cinnamon roll tea. It’s wonderful and comforting. I have a ton left, so I don’t have to worry, but it looks like Bilbo is out of stock at the moment.
So let’s say you want to drink some tea and don’t have a few business days to wait for it. Hit the grocery store and look for tea that has actual leaves or flowers in it. Not the remnants of tea, I’m talking real tea. I found a box of Two Leaves and a Bud’s chamomile and have to say it was totally worth the $6 for the box. That seems so steep for a grocery store tea, but check out the photo below. It’s legit! You won’t need two bags for flavor and you can feel good about the source of the tea.
If you become addicted to buying online tea, you can shop Two Leaves this way, too.
And one more yummy suggestion. Grilled chicken over spaghetti squash with grilled apple chunks. It’s my new favorite. Be sure to season your chicken with some sage, because it totally works. The key to this meal is taking the extra hour to let your chicken brine. It’s worth all 60 minutes (or more). If you need a good recipe, I’d suggest giving Adam Perry Lang’s grilled chicken breast a try. If you don’t have that kind of time or that amount of spice on hand, just read over his basic technique and use what you’ve got on hand. If you put this meal together, snap a photo and let me know what you think!
Happy Mother’s Day to all who mother, whether it be baby, cat, plant or friends. I wanted to make a post for Mother’s Day that highlighted a food special to my mom. Here’s the list I made:
- Alphabits Cereal
- Chicken with rice and peas
- Tuna Melts
- People Magazine
- Cow tongue sandwiches (She doesn’t eat these anymore, just when my grandfather made them – back in the day)
So you can see my dilemma. How could I choose from such a list of culinary treats? Jy suggested I fancy up a tuna melt with expensive cheese. Then, it dawned on me. Pineapple Upside Down Cake! My mom has always made this cake, probably because she liked how my grandfather made it too. Honestly though, this cake starts with a box and ends with a jar of maraschino cherries. Which the clerk at Sprouts told me are called “Marsh-i-no cherries.”
My brother reminded me that I used to ask for a Pineapple Upside Down Cake for my birthday and that really annoyed him. Why wouldn’t I just be normal and ask for chocolate? He says he doesn’t know if he just doesn’t like the cake because of how it tastes or because I liked it so much. Only a sibling could dislike a food for the simple reason that it was another sibling’s favorite.
In with something my whole family can agree on….booze!
This drink is cool, fruity and sweet. Perfect for brunch, dessert or anytime you want a slice of cake to sip. You’ll need to start with this:
Iced Cake Smirnoff Vodka. You can also experiment with the whipped cream vodka that’s out there too, it’s from Pinnacle and in a deep blue bottle.
- Equal Parts:
- Iced Cake Vodka
- Orange Juice
- Pineapple Juice
- Club Soda
- Maraschino Cherries if desired
- In a cocktail shaker, mix together vodka and juice.
- Pour over ice and top with soda to lighten flavor, if desired.
- Garnish with Maraschinos.
Happy Mother’s Day! Before we get to the giveaway, take a minute to read what I found on Facebook. I love it.
To those who gave birth this year to their first child—we celebrate with you
To those who lost a child this year – we mourn with you
To those who are in the trenches with little ones every day and wear the badge of food stains – we appreciate you
To those who experienced loss this year through miscarriage, failed adoptions, or running away—we mourn with you
To those who walk the hard path of infertility, fraught with pokes, prods, tears, and disappointment – we walk with you. Forgive us when we say foolish things. We don’t mean to make this harder than it is.
To those who are foster moms, mentor moms, and spiritual moms – we need you
To those who have warm and close relationships with your children – we celebrate with you
To those who have disappointment, heart ache, and distance with your children – we sit with you
To those who lost their mothers this year – we grieve with you
To those who experienced abuse at the hands of your own mother – we acknowledge your experience
To those who lived through driving tests, medical tests, and the overall testing of motherhood – we are better for having you in our midst
To those who will have emptier nests in the upcoming year – we grieve and rejoice with you
And to those who are pregnant with new life, both expected and surprising –we anticipate with you
This Mother’s Day, we walk with you. Mothering is not for the faint of heart and we have real warriors in our midst. We remember you.
A very, very fun drink post will be on it’s way, but for now. A 25 hour giveaway! But first….my mom is going to try and tickle you.
I hope anyone else in the world is even kind of laughing, because I’m cracking myself up. My mom’s gonna get ya. I used a filter (obviously) on this photo, so she doesn’t really have a plastic, white-gloved right hand. Or does she?
You’ve got until Mother’s Day is over to enter the giveaway of a lifetime. You may be the lucky reader who wins $20 to spend on anything you want at Amazon.com. Call your mom, call your friends, call your boss and quit. You could be a dollarnaire by this time tomorrow. Good luck!
For those of you who visit Food It Forward to read my reviews of DAMY Health, today’s post is just for you! I still have a few posts you can find under the DAMY tab at the top of my homepage, if you are looking for more detail on the plan and what DAMY is. If you are thinking of joining, you are going to want to jump on board now.
You have until Sunday, May 12th at midnight to join DAMY and you’ll receive 20% off your program.
In addition to either the Method Program or the Bikini Boday Program, you’ll get:
- The Fat Blaster Program FREE
- The DAMY Health Spring/Summer Holiday Thrive Guide FREE
- PLUS an entry into the SUMMER READY Challenge for your chance to win one of three $100 Lululemon Gift Certificates!
This won’t happen again until next year, friends.
Here’s my first go ’round with DAMY. I love the Method Program, but would love to try the Bikini Body later this year. Here’s what a difference 45 days on plan made for me. Apparently I carry a lot of weight in my eyelids???!!
Here’s how to choose your plan:
- Past or current Member – Lifestyle Membership
The Bikini Body Program is for you if:
- You are looking to take your fitness to the next level
- You want to lean down to look great in your bikini or slim outfit
- Your goal is to be tight and tiny
- You are serious about your fitness goals
- You are a no-excuse kind of woman
- You are ready to jump in and commit
- You can workout 5-6 times per week and give this program your all
- You are ready to achieve a lean, sexy body
- You understand that this program is a commitment and is intense
- For more information about the Bikini Body Program click here.
The DAMY Method could be for you if:
- You have 30lbs or more to lose
- Are new to working out or just getting back into it
- Are looking to start a healthy lifestyle
- You want to workout 3-5 times per week
- You want a variety of fitness levels to choose from
- You are a nursing Mother
- You want to lose weight but not be overly restricted or regimented
- For more information about the DAMY Method Program click here.
Use coupon code: JUMPSTART for your 20% off. You only have until May 12th!
Happy Cinco de Mayo! Or not, if you are reading this post the other 364 days of the year. We all know delicious margarita recipes, but what about something a little different this time?
Whether you want to make this drink for kids, old folks who can’t handle their booze, those trying to shrink their butt size, your Mormon pals or just people who don’t want alcohol, you is gonna like this. Yes you is. They is too.
Of course you can always add Tequila for a Banana Cadillac Margarita or some Rum for a Banana-Lime-Orange Daiquiri. Don’t be afraid to play with this drink, it won’t bite.
- ⅓ cup orange juice
- 1 cup limeade (Santa Cruz Organics is fantastic)
- ¼ cup simple syrup
- 1 banana
- 1 cup ice
- lime for garnish
- sugar or salt for rimming glass, if desired
- Blend all ingredients together until frothy
- Serve cold
Look at all that meat! Wait, you don’t see it? My food photography skills are still building. Slowly.
How ’bout this shot?
I call this one, “Burger Basking in the Sunlight, About to be Swallowed by Lettuce or Strangled by Glowing Onion.” My talent doesn’t really lie in writing photo titles either.
At least you can see the meat. Ain’t nobody comin’ at me with a “Where’s the beef?” attitude. Uh uh. I ain’t havin’ that.
See? That’s why I love you guys. You let me get my saucy, sassy, ghetto-lite style out. Thank you. My kids and husband don’t love it the same way you do.
Alright, enough nonsense, let’s talk about burgers. We don’t eat a lot of burgers around here, because my husband isn’t in charge or meal planning. If he was, it would look something like this:
- Monday – Burgers
- Tuesday – Steak
- Wednesday – Burritos
- Thursday - Steak Burrito
- Friday – Pizza
- Saturday – Burgers
- Sunday – Steak Burgers
Red meat is something my man needs for emotional survival. I can only be a kill-joy so much before I shop for dead cow. These burgers consist of organic, grass-fed, $7.99/lb. ground beef. The recipe calls for two pounds. We all know my math skills are weak, at best, but I’m pretty sure I could have bought an entire cow for the price of these hamburgers. Not saying you shouldn’t make them, you totally should. Just saying, you might have to sell some of your gold teeth. Or, your silver teeth for you poor folk.
These are Rachael Ray’s version of an In-N-Out Burger, animal style. If you don’t live near Arizona, California, Nevada, Texas or Utah, then you are going to need to spend some time Googling the wonders of In-N-Out Burger. So awesome, so tasty.
Unlike many of the recent bbq posts around here, this recipe is actually fast! Sauteing the onions takes the longest, but is well worth the wait. Don’t skip that step! Also, good ole’ Rach doesn’t tell you to toast your buns. Uh, hello?! That is the In-N-Out trademark! PLUS, aren’t toasty buns always better than chilly buns?
- For the Sauce:
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon superfine sugar
- Salt and pepper
- ¼ cup ketchup
- 2 round tablespoons dill pickle relish
- For the Onions:
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 large onions, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- ½ cup beef consommé or beef stock
- For the Burgers with Dijon:
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- A handful of flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper
- EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling
- ½ cup Dijon or grainy Dijon mustard
- 8 slices Swiss cheese or Comté
- Sliced bread and butter pickles
- Sliced tomato
- Chopped lettuce
- Brioche or other hamburger buns, split
- Mix sour cream with vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in ketchup and relish, and reserve.
- For the onions, heat EVOO, a couple of turns of the pan, in a skillet over medium heat. Add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook to light brown, 15 minutes, add stock and cook 10-15 minutes more until very soft and tender.
- Combine beef with garlic, Worcestershire, parsley, Kosher salt (specifically Kosher salt gives meat a good crust) and pepper. Form 8 4-ounce, thin patties. Drizzle with EVOO to coat lightly then sprinkle with a little extra salt. Top each patty with 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or grainy Dijon.
- Heat a large griddle pan over medium-high heat. Cook patties, mustard side up, 4 minutes, flip and cook 2-3 minutes more. Melt cheese over patties in the last minute or 2 of cook time.
- Stack 2 patties with onions between them on buns and top with pickles, tomato, lettuce and special sauce. Set bun top in place.
I think we have officially (at least here in California), made it out of the dullest time of year and have entered back into party season. Party season lasts 3/4 of the year and goes a little something like this. (Hit it!)
- Cinco de Mayo
- Outdoor birthday parties
- Mother’s Day
- Memorial Day Weekend
- Father’s Day
- Graduation Parties
- 4th of July
- Summer parties, BBQ’s, vacations and more parties
- Labor Day parties
- Back to school events
- Fall carnivals
- New Years
- Boring months with a bit of chocolate and Irish beer thrown in the mix.
Is that how your calendar works too?
Now that we are rolling into being social again, we are going to need to talk food to share. Hopefully, you are occasionally invited to something. You seem like a nice person, why wouldn’t someone want to invite you over?
And chances are if you give a mouse a cookie, you’ll need to bring something to the potluck.
You get the drift.
If you are like me, you don’t have a “go-to” dish you bring to potlucks. You aren’t known for anything special. Except your exquisite beauty!
Well, search Pinterest no more! Here are your new go-to dishes, friends!
Buffalo Chicken Dip (Forever thankful to Katherine for this one)
AND, a new favorite around here…Artichoke Bread! But baker be warned, this is not a DAMY friendly, low-calorie dish. This is the appetizer you bring to your skinny friend, that one you are sabotaging into getting chunky. Just teasing, I would never do that to any of my friends. Remember though, most of your friends aren’t on diets and kids are down for melty cheese anyday.
- 2 loaves french bread
- 2 T. diced garlic (I prefer jarred)
- 1 stick butter
- 2 14 oz. cans artichoke hearts – quartered
- 8 oz shredded mozzerella
- 8 oz shredded parmesan
- 1½ – 2 cups sour cream
- Slice each loaf of french bread length-wise and place on 2 large baking pans
- Heat broiler to low
- In a deep skillet or medium pot, melt butter over medium low and mix in garlic
- Mix in artichokes and cheese and stir until cheese is nearly melted
- Mix in sour cream
- Spread mixture over 4 lengths of french bread and place in oven
- Let broil for 5 minutes or until cheese is bubbling
- Let cool for 2 minutes and carefully slice
Fourteen homemade Moon Pies took me approximately 37 hours to make. Giver or take 33 hours.
Nothing was going to stop me from making the party favors from scratch. Nothin’.
The first go around was yummy, but a bit of a messy, squish cookie.
Looks more like an ice cream sandwich, right?
My first go-round involved a crummy (and crumby) graham cracker recipe, marshmallow fluff made without a candy thermometer and Costco chocolate chips. Overall decent, but nothing super special.
Second attempt worked out much, much better.
I found a graham cracker recipe that rocked. Grabbed a $6 candy thermometer from Sprouts and learned the power of sugar boiled to 240 degrees. Scored a super salivating caramel recipe and finally, bought the expensive chocolate chips for melting into ganache.
The result? Something truly naughty. One bite is enough, seriously. I’m not saying it the way some people say, “I just have to remind myself to eat!” kind of way. One bite really is enough. You won’t stop there, though. You’ll probably eat half a pie before excusing yourself to lie on the couch. Unless of course you are one of the “I just never remember to eat” kind of people. Then, you may actually stop at one bite. Whatever to you.
Back to making 14 Moon Pies.
I did it.
I had to freeze them overnight, so they wouldn’t melt by party time. My kitchen has felt the pains of war. My glutes are insanely sore from a Yoga Strength Fusion class I took yesterday. One of those things is not like the other.
Here we go. Get your aprons and stretch those Hammies. This ain’t easy, friends.
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 & ⅓ cups graham flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ⅔ cup dark brown sugar
- 3 tablespoons honey
- In a medium bowl, whisk together both flours, the baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter, brown sugar and honey, and beat at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just until blended and the dough comes together, about 30 seconds.
- Transfer the dough onto a piece of plastic wrap, press into a 7-inch square, and wrap tightly. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or up to 5 days.
- When ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a ⅛-inch thickness and cut.
- Bake the cookies for 10 minutes and then rotate the baking sheet. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes, or until the cookies are dark golden brown and just firm to the touch. Let cool for a minute on the baking sheets, then transfer to a cooling rack. Let cool completely (they will crisp up as they cool). Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
- ¾ cup sugar
- ½ cup light corn syrup
- ¼ cup water
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a small pan, mix together sugar, corn syrup, water and salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure it does not touch the bottom of the pan. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine egg whites and cream of tartar. Begin to whip on medium speed using the whisk attachment.
- Meanwhile, turn burner on high and put the pan with the sugar mixture on the heat. Allow mixture to come to a boil and heat to 240 degrees, stirring occasionally.
- The goal is to get the egg whites whipped to soft peaks and the sugar syrup heated to 240 degrees at close to the same time. Just stop whipping the egg whites when they reach soft peaks.
- When the sugar has reached 240 degrees, turn mixer on to low. Add a small amount of the hot sugar mixture and allow to mix. Add another small amount of the sugar mixture. Continue to add mixture slowly so you don’t scramble the eggs.
- Once all the sugar has been added to the egg whites, turn up the speed of the mixer and continue to beat mixture for about 7-9 minutes or until the fluff is stiff and glossy. At about the 5 minute mark, add vanilla extract.
- Use fluff immediately or store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup water
- 8 Tablespoons (4-ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- ½ cup heavy cream, not ultra-pasturized
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes (kosher salt can be substituted)
- In a medium, heavy-bottomed saucepan add the sugar and evenly pour the water over top.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and swirl the pan gently until the sugar is dissolved and the syrup is clear.
- Avoid letting the syrup boil. Increase the heat to high, cover the saucepan with a tight fitting lid, and boil the syrup for 2 minutes.
- Uncover the saucepan and continue to boil the syrup until it begins to darken around the edges.
- Gently swirl the pan until the syrup turns a deep amber and begins to smoke. Remove from the heat and add the butter.
- Gently stir the mixture until the butter is incorporated.
- Add the cream and stir to combine. If the sauce becomes lumpy with hard clumps, set the pan over low heat and stir until smooth.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
- 8 oz. good quality semi-sweet chocolate
- 4 oz. heavy cream
- Melt both ingredients in a small pot, over low heat, stirring often. A double boiler can be used, if desired. If you choose to microwave melt, be sure to stir every 30 seconds.
Assembling your moon pies is where the mess comes in. Embrace the sticky mess, you have no choice.
Be sure your cookies are cooled. Line two large cookie sheets with parchment or wax paper and be sure you have room in your fridge to fit the pans.
Take one cookie at a time and spread the top and bottom of a with plenty of marshmallow fluff, drizzle as much caramel as desired over the top, then sandwich it between two more cookies. Place on lined pan. Repeat until all cookie sandwiches are created. Next, pour cooled ganache over each stack of cookies, ensuring there is enough chocolate to cover the entire cookie and drip over the sides.
Let the cookies set in your fridge overnight, or as long as you can stand it.
Get some Wet Wipes and go to town.
Seriously, walk to town. These have so many calories. Then, walk back. There, you’ve burned off half.