S’mores Brûlée Revisit

The saga of the leftover graham crackers (and chocolate and marshmallows) continues. My life is just so hard…

So my roommate and I both love my S’mores Brûlée recipe, (which, by the way, was one of the first posts I made on my blog) so when all the ingredients are sitting on my counter staring me in the face I really can’t get away with not making a batch. Now my original recipe calls for making a ganache, which involves pouring hot cream over chocolate chips to form a thick and rich chocolate sauce/paste. However, this time around I had no cream in my fridge. In fact I had no dairy of any kind. I thought about it for a minute and realized that when I make regular s’mores, the chocolate gets plenty melted when zapped in the microwave, so why couldn’t it work for this recipe? Well, I gave it a shot, and I’m happy to say it works beautifully. The recipe is just as good, but now the most involved step has been eliminated, which makes for happier starving artists. Also time around I had a Cadbury chocolate bar…mmmm. I know Hershey is the all-American favorite, especially when it comes to s’mores, but I’m not gonna lie, I have been and always will be a Cadbury boy. No apologies.

As you can see I placed four squares right on top of the graham cracker mixture. I could have actually gotten away with 5 or 6, but it was still amazing. I love mixing up classics like this. Keeps it fun and you can totally wow a dinner party for little money and no time. Sign me up. I’ve posted the revised version of the whole recipe below. Yum!

Smores Brulee – Revised (Recipe PDF)

Peanut Butter S’mores

So, remember last week when I posted that recipe for Paula’s Peanut Butter Cake? Well, after the cake was made I found myself with a box of graham crackers and a jar of peanut butter… hmmm what to do. Being summer time I see displays for s’mores supplies everywhere I go – thank you for shoving it in my face, America. But truth be told, I really don’t need my arm twisted to be convinced eating s’mores is a good idea. You may recall two of the first recipes I posted on this blog involved s’mores. That being said, it didn’t take long before a bag of marshmallows and a few jumbo-sized Hershey bars suddenly appeared on my counter. Obviously the work of some neighborhood deviant bent on littering apartments with horrible (yet tasty) indulgences. Bastards.

But, one must make the best of such situations. Thus, out came my beloved kitchen torch and behold, peanut butter s’mores were made. The version you see in the picture is without chocolate. I did also try it with a single square of Hershey’s and it was divine. Either way the trick is to spread a thin layer of peanut butter onto the graham cracker, add chocolate if you desire, top with a marshmallow, then microwave it until the marshmallow inflates, about 8 seconds. This ensures all the layers are heated through before you torch your marshmallow. As you can see, I like mine well done, but if you keep your distance you can toast it to a light golden brown.

I also just had the idea to do this with nutella instead of peanut butter… sweet god….

Peanut Butter Cake!

Usually as the weather gets warmer I manage to find ways to NOT turn the oven on and heat up my apartment even further. But for some reason I’ve had the need for baked goods, so you know what, I’m just going to go with it.

Last night I pulled out one of my long time favorites, Peanut Butter Cake. Mmmmmm. It also happens to be a favorite of my roommate as well. This is actually a Paula Deen recipe that I’ve had in my book for years, ever since I started baking when I was living in New York City. What I love about the cake is that it calls for 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, which gives it the most incredible texture and flavor. Combine that with real peanut butter and shortening and you get a ridiculously moist cake that no one can resist.

Now, is this a true starving artist recipe, you ask? Well it depends on what you keep on hand in your kitchen. One of the reasons I thought of this cake was that I had milk and eggs already in the fridge. I know many of us keep peanut butter in the cabinet at all times, so that’s set. I always have butter, I always have dry ingredients, and I have to confess that I keep a bucket of shortening on the top shelf that I only ever use to make this cake. Not ashamed. So all I had to buy was graham crackers and peanuts and I was good to go. Totally worth it for me.

I’ve given the link to Paula’s recipe below, and while I love you, Paula, I have to make one correction to your recipe. You absolutely should bake this cake at 350 degrees, not at 375 like her recipe says. I have baked this cake many, many times, and believe me when I tell you that 375 just kills it. 350 for about 35-40 minutes is perfect for a moist but browned cake. And it works the same in a glass baking dish. Enjoy!!

Paula’s Peanut Butter Cake