S’mores Pie

This is my first ever collaborative post! Paul helped me with this pie. He cooks dessert every once in a while, and one of his dessert specialties is pudding. I was just hanging around the house on the weekend, and then it hit me: S’mores Pie.

I don’t know where it came from, but I decided that I needed to make S’mores Pie, so this is a collaborative Sugar and Spice original recipe! Also, this is a no-bake recipe, so no turning on the oven, only the stovetop.

Paul and I came up with the recipe ourselves, and it is written below. I just whipped up the crust in about five minutes, and Paul did me a huge favour and made the chocolate pudding filling, then I made the same marshmallow fluff that I used for his birthday cake.

One piece of advice Paul made sure to tell me to write down is that you can’t stop stirring the pudding, or you will not get the silky consistency that you need in a good pudding.

I will say that the whole, uncut pie was so easy to photograph, but it was nigh impossible to get a clean slice, because of that gooey, delicious marshmallow. If I get a good (or at least acceptable) picture of the inside of the pie, I’ll update this post. Still, the pie was totally worth it.

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch pie

For the crust:

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
½ c. butter, melted
½ c. sugar

For the filling:

½ c. sugar
1/3 c. cocoa
2¼ tsp. cornstarch
Pinch salt
1 egg, beaten
2½ c. milk
1/3 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. butter

For the topping:

1/3 c. water
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. light corn syrup
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla

To make the crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and sugar in a bowl. Press into a pie plate into an even layer across the bottom and up the sides. Refrigerate until needed.

To make the chocolate pudding filling, whisk together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt thoroughly in a medium saucepan.

On medium heat, slowly whisk in the beaten egg and milk. Whisk constantly (and I mean constantly!), until boiling. Keep whisking approximately 5 minutes until the pudding is thick enough to fully coat the spoon back.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Pour into the prepared pie plate and chill completely.

To make the marshmallow fluff, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached. Whisk to combine, and heat over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture any more.

In a completely grease-free mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and cream of tartar. When the sugar syrup reaches 225° F, start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240° F, take it off the heat and slowly start adding it to the egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Once all of the syrup is added to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium-high and continue whipping.

Continue to whip for 7-8 minutes, or until the mixture looks stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and whip until the fluff has cooled.

Top the chocolate pudding filling with the marshmallow topping, and toast with a kitchen torch. Chill pie completely, then slice and serve.

Focaccia Bread

Well, if you know me, you know how much I love all things bread. I could never go carb-free, because, well, I love bread, pasta, cake, cookies, and basically everything in between.

I’ve had this recipe on my Pinterest board for a few years, and never got around to making it. You know how it goes. Other things to make, more exciting things. Well, finally, I decided to make this bread, and I don’t know why I waited so long!

It was a fairly easy recipe to make, the only thing that was difficult was waiting for the bread to rise! Still, it came out of the oven looking beautiful golden brown and smelling like heaven. The original recipe is here, and I didn’t change anything.

I know the weather is getting warmer, but I can’t resist baking on my days off. I guess it’s a form of stress relief. Either way, good things come of my baking, so I’ll keep at it!

Ingredients

Yield: 10-12 servings

1¾ c. warm water (110-115°F)
1 pkg. (2¼ tsp.) yeast
2 tsp. rosemary
2 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. sugar
5¼ c. flour
1 tbsp. kosher or coarse sea salt, plus more for garnish
1 c. olive oil, divided

In a small bowl, mix the rosemary and thyme together.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the water, yeast, half of the spices, sugar, and half of the flour. Once the mixture has started to combine, stop the mixer, and add in the remaining flour, salt, and ½ c. of olive oil. Knead for 5-6 minutes, until smooth, and transfer to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

After the first rise, put the remainder of olive oil in a jelly roll pan and spread out evenly. Press the dough into the pan, using your hands to spread the dough out as evenly as possible, until it is spread out to the edges of the pan. With your fingers, create dimples all over the dough. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 425°F. Brush the bread with the olive oil in the pan, then sprinkle with the remaining herbs and sea salt. Bake until golden brown, 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Okay friends, I apologize. I’ve always heard tell how crazy busy May and June are for teachers, and we haven’t even hit June yet and I get it! May has been a non-stop whirlwind of things going on.

I have school, which in and of itself encompasses a lot of time, planning, effort, marking, dedication, and planning. Wait…

Either way, because we are a high school, we are trying to plan 3 different end of year field trips for the various grade levels, plan and organize a graduation, finish up classes, prepare students for writing diploma exams, and to top it all off, there are renovations going on at my school right now, AND it is the middle of the job search process to see if I get to come back next year. Yeah, things are a bit crazy around my neck of the woods at the moment.

I took some time during the weekend though, to de-stress, and when I say I am “de-stressing”, that just means I’m baking. This coffee cake was exactly what I wanted, because I wanted something a little sweeter for breakfast on Saturday morning, but didn’t want the traditional waffles or pancakes. I opted for this coffee cake. It was very moist because of the sour cream in the cake batter, and Paul seemed to enjoy it as well – always a bonus!

The only thing I changed was that I actually put all the filling in the middle, and none on the bottom or top of the cake. Feel free to do that if you want, but I found that with all of the filling in the middle, the cake had a beautiful cinnamon ribbon throughout the whole cake, and I wasn’t complaining about that!

I found the original recipe here, and I really didn’t change anything else other than the filling location in the cake. The batter is thick, though, so be prepared with a good spatula. Also, true to the name, Paul and I loved this cake with a cup of coffee (or in my case, tea).

Ingredients

Yield: 1 bundt cake

For the cake:

¾ c. butter, softened
1½ c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
1½ c. sour cream
3 c. flour
1½ tsp. baking powder
1½ tsp. baking soda
¾ tsp. salt

For the filling:

½ c. brown sugar, packed
1½ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and flour (or brush with Miracle Cake Release) a 10-inch bundt pan. Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the filling ingredients, and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add in vanilla and eggs and beat until combined and smooth.

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add in alternating increments the flour mixture and the sour cream to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with half, or all, of the filling mixture. (Your choice – as I stated, I put all of the filling mixture in the middle.) If you only put half the filling in the middle, top with the other half of the batter, and sprinkle the remainder of the filling on top of the batter. If you put all of the filling in the middle, top with the other half of the batter.

Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to finish cooling fully.

Peanut Butter Smore’s Cake

Well, April has flown by. It’s crazy how fast the month passed. It probably helped a bit that in the middle of the month, I had a week off of school for Easter holidays. The week off was fantastic, mainly because Paul and I spent it in Jamaica! It was our six-month-delayed honeymoon.
Ahh, it was fantastic. Sun, sand, and all the jerk chicken we could eat! Paul even brought jerk spices home so he could try to replicate the Jamaican Jerk flavour. It’s smoky and spicy and absolutely delicious. Either way, the day after we got back was Paul’s birthday! We didn’t do too much the day of, just went to brunch with a friend, but I didn’t get a chance to make Paul a birthday cake last week.

THIS week, however, I had some time, and when I asked Paul earlier in the week what he wanted as a birthday cake (I had been asking him regularly for the last month and a half) he said “I’ve had lots of time to think about it, and I’ve decided I want a Peanut Butter Smore’s Cake.” The matter was settled.

I decided to go straight to Pinterest, because I had quite a few pins on my various dessert boards, and settled on this recipe for a Smore’s cake. I did make a few changes of my own, and it turned out FANTASTICALLY. I added peanut butter into the cake batter, which made it a little thicker, but still worked. I also made homemade peanut butter and chocolate marshmallows to use as garnish (those recipes are coming, I promise!). Paul was so excited about the concept I came up with he refused to even try the marshmallows, which were finished first. He said he didn’t want to ruin the whole cake experience.

So, this cake is a peanut butter graham cracker cake, a whipped chocolate ganache filling, homemade marshmallow fluff frosting, chocolate ganache drizzle, and homemade peanut butter and chocolate marshmallows. Of course, I also toasted the marshmallow frosting and the marshmallows on top, because smore’s. I’ll put everything below except for the marshmallow recipes, because I’ll post those a little later.

Okay, I won’t torment you any more. To cake!

Ingredients

Yield: 1 9-inch triple layer cake

For the cake:

2¼ c. flour
2¼ c. graham cracker crumbs
1½ tsp. baking powder
¾ tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt
1 c. peanut butter (creamy or crunchy works, I used half and half)
1½ c. butter, at room temperature
1½ c. brown sugar
¾ c. sugar
6 eggs
1½ c. buttermilk
3 tsp. vanilla

For the ganache filling:

12 oz. milk or semi-sweet chocolate
6 oz. heavy whipping cream

For the marshmallow fluff frosting:

1/3 c. water
¾ c. sugar
¾ c. light corn syrup
3 large egg whites, at room temperature
½ tsp. cream of tartar
1 tsp. vanilla

For the ganache drizzle:

10 oz. milk or semi-sweet chocolate
5 oz. heavy whipping cream

To make the cake, preheat the oven to 350° F. Line cake pans with parchment paper or Miracle Cake Release.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and peanut butter until combined and fluffy. Add the sugars and beat again. Add in the eggs, one at a time, and vanilla, beating after each addition.

Add the flour mixture and the buttermilk in small increments to the wet ingredients, beating after each addition. Begin and end with flour additions. Beat to combine, but do not overmix. Separate the batter evenly between the prepared pans, and bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.

Remove from oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from pan and cooling completely.

To make the whipped ganache filling, chop chocolate and place into a heat-proof bowl. Heat the cream, on the stovetop or in the microwave, until hot, but not boiling or scalded. Pour the cream over the chocolate, let stand for 2-3 minutes, then whisk together into a smooth consistency.

Place the ganache in the refrigerator until cooled and thickened, but still soft. Transfer to a mixer bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, and whip until the ganache gets fluffy and lightens in colour, about 2 minutes.

To make the marshmallow fluff, combine the water, sugar, and corn syrup in a saucepan with a candy thermometer attached. Whisk to combine, and heat over medium-high heat. Do not stir the mixture any more.

In a completely grease-free mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, place the egg whites and cream of tartar. When the sugar syrup reaches 225° F, start whipping the egg whites to soft peaks.

When the sugar syrup reaches 240° F, take it off the heat and slowly start adding it to the egg whites in a thin, steady stream. Once all of the syrup is added to the egg whites, turn the mixer to medium-high and continue whipping.

Continue to whip for 7-8 minutes, or until the mixture looks stiff and glossy. Add the vanilla and whip until the fluff has cooled.

 

To assemble the cake, trim all uneven edges or tops to flat layers.

Place one layer of cake on a cake stand, then top with half of the whipped chocolate ganache. Spread the ganache evenly, then top with the second layer of cake. Cover the second cake layer with the rest of the chocolate ganache, and spread evenly. Top with third layer of cake. Put in the refrigerator for the ganache to firm up.

Once the whipped chocolate ganache is firm, spread the marshmallow fluff over the top and sides of the cake. It is okay if it looks messy, because it will be topped with more chocolate and torched.

After the marshmallow fluff is on the cake, torch the fluff with a brulee torch so it looks toasted.

Drizzle the chocolate ganache sauce over top of the marshmallow fluff, and top with chocolate and peanut butter marshmallows for garnish. Toast the marshmallow garnish if desired.

Chocolate Mint Sugar Cookie Bars


Hello friends!

I think lately I’ve been baking as a form of procrastination. I have a lot of school work to do, and I don’t always want to do it. (But I always get it done, don’t worry!) Every once in a while, lately on weekends, I’ve been deciding to bake up a storm. These sugar cookie bars came about on a bit of a whim, and I’m so glad they did!


Chocolate and mint is not for everyone, but Paul and I are huge fans! The nice thing about these bars is they don’t take very long to mix up. Call me a simple woman, but I’m all about things that don’t have me spending all day in the kitchen. (I love those recipes too, but I need to be in the mood to make them!)

I found the original recipe here, and while I didn’t have Andes mint bars, I decided to top them off with chocolate chips, because why not. If you are a fan of chocolate and mint together, I guarantee these will hit the spot!

Ingredients

Yield: Approx. 24 bars

For the cookie base:

½ c. butter, softened
½ c. brown sugar
½ c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tbsp. milk
2 c. flour
½ c. cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt

For the mint frosting:

½ c. butter, softened
½ tsp. mint extract
6 tbsp. heavy cream
¼ tsp. salt
4 c. icing sugar
green food colouring (optional)
mint chips/chocolate chips (for garnish)

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Line a 9 x 13 pan with parchment paper. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar, and sugar until combined. Add in egg, vanilla and milk. Beat again.

In a medium bowl, add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt, and whisk to combine evenly. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet, and mix until a cohesive dough is formed.

Press dough evenly into the prepared pan and bake for 14-15 minutes. Do not overbake.

Remove from oven and cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, beat the butter, mint extract, and heavy cream together until smooth and fluffy. Add in the salt, icing sugar, and food colouring and beat until smooth and creamy.

Spread over cooled bars and garnish as desired. Slice into squares and serve!