Easy Smores Brownies

New obsession: putting things in brownies to make them more delicious. Looking for something easier than this recipe? Next time you’re making brownies, plop some raspberries down into the batter before you bake it. DELICIOUS. The raspberries break apart while baking and the juice becomes sweeter and combines really well with the chocolate. Mmm!

Easy Smores Brownies w/ a Graham Cracker Crust —

Graham Cracker Crust (adapted from CrazyCrust.com):

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 9 whole graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • Pinch of salt
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Instructions:

  1. If you’re using whole graham crackers, finely crush them in a food processor or place them in a ziploc bag and roll with a rolling pin.
  2. Stir graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt together in a large bowl.
  3. Add melted butter and stir with a fork.
  4. Press mixture into the bottom of the dish you’re making your brownies in. Press hard to compact. You can use a glass to press the bottom, but use your fingers to press the sides.

Brownies:

For this recipe, I purchased a Ghiradelli Turtle Brownie Mix, the ingredients it called for, and marshmallows. I chose turtle because I liked the idea of caramel drizzle, but you can use your favorite brownie mix.

  1. Prepare the brownies as the box instructions tell you to.
  2. Before pouring the batter onto the crust, place a few marshmallows in the pan. I only had large marshmallows, so I quartered them and placed about 8 spread out along the top of the crust.
  3. Pour the batter on top of the marshmallows and crust. I tried to make sure all of the marshmallows were covered.
  4. 2014-08-12 16.26.26Place more marshmallows on top. I placed them where I knew where there weren’t marshmallows below. I did it in a strategic pattern, but you can do it however you please and put as many or as little marshmallows you want. I put 7 on top.
  5. Drizzle the caramel sauce on top of the brownie mix and marshmallows. Then take a toothpick, knife or chopstick and swirl the chocolate carefully into the batter to make sure you don’t dig up any of the crust.
  6. Bake as directed on the box.

BOOM. Delicious.

Yes, this is me eating a brownie straight out of the pan sitting on my couch.

Yes, this is me eating a brownie straight out of the pan sitting on my couch.

The crust turned out so well. I expected it to crumble, but we were able to slice and serve it just fine. Highly recommended!

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Caramelized Onion and Mushroom Biscuits

ImageI am completely obsessed with biscuits. Obsessed. These delicious, savory gems have blown my mind. Delightful with soup or as breakfast sandwiches or completely on their own.

Recipe adapted from Joy the Baker.

makes 12ish biscuits

3/4 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced (Joy does 1/2 but I’m completely in love with mushrooms so the more the merrier, in my opinion)

1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinegar reduction

salt and coarse ground black pepper

3 cups all-purpose flour

2 Tablespoons sugar

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup vegetable shortening, cold and cut into cubes

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1 egg, beaten

3/4 cup buttermilk, cold

1 egg beaten for egg wash

Joy’s instructions: Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat.  Add mushrooms and allow to cook until tender and golden brown, stirring occasionally.  Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper.  Remove from the pan.  Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter in the same pan.  Add onions and cook down until tender and browned, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat, add the mushrooms back to the pan along with thyme, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.  Set aside to cool.

In a mixing bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Cut in shortening and butter until mixture resembles coarse meal.  In another bowl, combine egg and milk and beat lightly with a fork.  Add to flour mixture all at once, stirring enough to make a soft dough.  Add the cooled mushroom and onion mixture and blend together.

Turn out onto a floured board and knead about 15 times.  Roll or pat out into a 1-inch thickness.  Cut into 2-inch rounds using a biscuit cutter or cut into 2×2-inch squares.  Reshape and roll dough to create more biscuits with excess scraps.    Place on an ungreased baking sheet, brush with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sea salt.   Bake at 425 degrees F for 12-15 minutes.  Serve warm as an egg sandwich or with gravy.  These biscuits are best eaten the day they’re made, but will last up to 2 days.

NN notes: I used more butter than olive oil and sort of just guessed on the mushrooms- I love mushrooms so I went overboard. It was great. Also, mushrooms don’t really caramelize so cook them until they look so delicious you think you might die from wanting to eat them. Or one step away from burnt. Whichever.

All American Chili (Cooking Light)

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage
  • 2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 small can, diced green chiles
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 1/4 cups Merlot or other fruity red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes (flavored)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans no-salt-added kidney beans, drained (1 dark/1 light)
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Preparation

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Remove casings from sausage. Add sausage, onion, and the next 4 ingredients (onion through jalapeño) to pan; cook 8 minutes or until sausage and beef are browned, stirring to crumble.

Add chili powder and the next 7 ingredients (chili powder through bay leaves), and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, tomatoes, and kidney beans; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

Uncover and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Discard the bay leaves. Sprinkle each serving with cheddar cheese.

One N’s Two Cents:

  • I prefer to use Pinot Noir as the wine, but it can also be substituted for beer or chicken stock.
  • Original recipe calls for green peppers but we use a can of green chiles instead.
  • Recipe calls for kidney beans, but the only reason I do one can light and one can dark is for the color.
  • Color coding is added so you know which ingredients go to which step. There’s a lot of ingredients, so I thought it may be helpful. 😉

Double Layer Peach Upside Down Cake

peach-cake

Peach “Top” Layers
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butted, softened and separated
½ cup light brown sugar, separated
Peach slices (estimated 4 Fresh or ¾ large jar/can of peaches)

Cake Ingredients
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1.75 oz (49 grams) freeze dried peaches, pulverized in a mini food processor
3/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup pureed fresh peach
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two 8” round pans with wax paper, then coat sides with cooking spray or butter (and flour to be extra careful).

Melt butter in microwave. Pour ¼ cup into each cake pan, then sprinkle ¼ cup brown sugar over the top (in each). Slice and lay a layer of peaches on top.

Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large measuring cup or bowl, mix together buttermilk, peach puree and vanilla extract. Set aside until needed.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and granulated sugar in a mixing bowl until pale, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in pulverized peaches (powder).

Mix in flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two batches of buttermilk & peach mixture. Mix until just combined, scraping down bowl as needed. (I like to mix the last bit by hand using a spatula to make sure I get all the stuff at the bottom.) Scoop batter into cake pans (I used about 2 ¼ cups in each – there will be batter leftover – if you’re really daring, go for a third layer!).

Bake until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Keep a close eye – this time is an estimate. I checked the cake at 15 minutes, 20, 22, 25, etc. Until it was cooked all the way through.

Serve with fresh whipped cream. Yum!

Peach Cake recipe, adapted from: Week of Menus Blog