#EasterWeek: Peeps Cookie Bars

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Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Earlier this year Firecracker wanted to make some cookies. My husband grabbed one of my cookie cookbooks (Cookies: Over 300 Step-By-Step Recipes For Home Made Baking). They selected more of a bar than a cookie, but we ran with it. Little tip for ya: Don’t try cutting out train shaped cookies from this bar, just let it be and cut it into rectangles.

The cookie bars were an almond cookie base, topped with jam, and marshmallows.

Now, my kids LOVE marshmallows. I’m talking bribery-status treat level here!

The cookies were quite fun and incredibly sweet. I had used a huckleberry jam from Knott’s Berry Farm.

I knew I had to try them again for Easter using Peeps!

I can’t recall having Peeps since making my famous (hey, the recipe was published in the Chicago Tribune last year!) Peeps Lemon Drop Martini FOUR years ago.

Peeps seem to get a bad rap (wrap?) these days. They’re one of those “love ’em or hate ’em” types of foods. Whatever. They’re delicious, and my kids, no surprise, quite enjoyed them. I’ll be sure to grab a small pack for their Easter baskets this year.

I used the bunny shaped Peeps because once cut in half, they’re thin enough to layer on the cookie bars. And to avoid any gruesome looking cookies, I used a pineapple and apricot jam instead of strawberry.

To make the cookies you first make the cookie base and let it cool. Then you top it with your jam before layering on sliced marshmallows. You need to cut them in half and place the cut side down to ensure they’ll stick. You then pop them back in the oven under the broiler.

Now, our oven has been busted pretty much since we moved into this home two years ago. The oven is older and runs into an “overheating” error that fails at a mere 350 degrees F. To work around the error we have to have the fan on the microwave running and the kitchen window open. Additionally, anything over 375 degrees F requires that nothing be on top of the stove, too. That means, I don’t get to use my broiler, so my marshmallows don’t get the toasty golden look to them (the Peep bunny faces did melt creating the allusion of toasted marshmallows). Ah well.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook (1)

Peeps Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 stick butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C superfine sugar
  • zest 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 C ground almonds
  • 1 egg
  • 1 C flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • approx. 1/2 C jam
  • 1 pkg (3 oz) bunny Peeps

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9″x9″ cake pan (option to also line with parchment paper/foil).
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, sugar, and lemon zest with an electric hand mixer. Add in the vanilla, almonds, and egg until combined. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt until a dough is formed. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Bake 20 minutes. Let cool.
  3. Spread jam over the baked cookie base.
  4. Cut Peeps in half horizontally and place, cut side down, on top of the jam. Return to oven and broil until marshmallows are golden.

Peeps Cookie Bars for #EasterWeek from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other Easter recipes:

Brussels Sprout Potato Cakes by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Candied Lemon Zest Jalapeño Deviled Eggs by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Carrot Cake Cookies by Daily Dish Recipes

Curried Deviled Eggs by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

Dried Cherry and Almond Scones by Family Around the Table

Easter Egg Sugar Cookies by The Redhead Baker

Eggs Benedict Breakfast Bake by Cookaholic Wife

Greek Lamb Keftiko by Caroline’s Cooking

Ham and Cheese Breakfast Casserole by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Roasted Pork Loin with White Wine Sauce by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Maple Apple Baked Oatmeal by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Peeps Cookie Bars by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Easter Bread Cheesecake – Pasca by All that’s Jas

Spring Veggie Crudités with Fresh Pea Hummus by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Vanilla Bean Mocha Biscotti by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Vegetable Breakfast Casserole by Simple and Savory

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Last month I shared how I’ve been developing my own curriculum when it comes to holiday themed school units for my preschoolers (with a lot of help from Pinterest).

It’s time now for me to share something from our St. Patrick’s Day “studies.”

Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links. 

St. Patrick’s Day was only a big holiday for me when we lived in the FL panhandle because my best friend was (I mean, she still is) Irish and we celebrated 4 SPDs together in a row. Quite fun.

I admit I know nothing really about the holiday. Yes, I could go google that right now, but I’m not going to; let’s be real.

But hey. I ordered two books to fit the holiday off Amazon (funnily enough the library didn’t have materials left for me to check out!) and we’ve read them 8 times today (aka yesterday). Guess they’re a hit: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover! and Ten Lucky Leprechauns. (Personally, I prefer the latter.)

Firecracker absolutely loves rainbows so I knew we’d have to focus on the “pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow” idea of the holiday. He doesn’t get it. (Hey, I don’t either, kid.) But a rainbow activity and craft – he’s all for it.

We made rainbow paper chains and learned about how staplers work – quite an interesting machine! “I’m very curious about the stapler.” These cute crafts act as my prop for the star of the show – the Rainbow Marshmallow Treats.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Think Rice Krispie Treat made with Trix cereal.

I know marshmallow treats made with Lucky Charms are incredibly popular this time of year, and rightfully so, but I wanted to go a slightly different route this week. They’re definitely fun, festive, and applicable more than once a year – they’d be great for birthday parties!

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 1 box Trix cereal

Steps:

  1. Melt butter and marshmallows in a large pot over medium heat. Stir until smooth.
  2. Remove from heat and fold in the cereal, mixing until cereal is fully coated.
  3. Press into a greased casserole dish and let set before cutting into squares.

Rainbow Marshmallow Treats #StPatricksDay | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies

A long time ago I made these peanut butter cookies studded with chocolate chips and marshmallows.

I took some photos.

Those photos stayed on my camera.

Those photos that stayed on my camera got deleted by my toddler. (You can read about that story here.)

I’d already signed up to share said cookies with my blogging friends in celebration of National Peanut Butter Day.

The real bummer silver lining here, is that I had to make these cookies again.

I remember wishing the cookies had more marshmallow and less chocolate, so I did just that.

These cookies are delicious.

I made them massive. No particular reason. Just because I could.

If you like peanut butter cookies, whip up a batch of these bad boys as soon as you have some marshmallows on hand. (Evidently not all grocery stores have marshmallows, but that’s a story for another day?)

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 stick butter, softened
  • 1 C creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 C brown sugar
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2/3 C mini marshmallows

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter, peanut butter, brown sugar, and sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and vanilla until fully incorporated.
  3. Add in the flour and baking soda. Mix until combined and a cookie dough forms. Fold in the marshmallows with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  4. Roll cookie dough into balls and place onto the prepared cookie sheet. Bake 15 minutes, until cookies are browning and marshmallows melted. Let cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

*This recipe is adapted from Julie at https://www.tablefortwoblog.com/fluffernutter-cookies/*

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies for #NationalPeanutButterDay from Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

Be sure to check out these other recipes for National Peanut Butter Day:

3 Healthy Peanut Butter Smoothies by Bear & Bug Eats

Chicken Satay with Spicy Peanut Dipping Sauce by Everyday Eileen

Marshmallow Peanut Butter Cookies by Sew You Think You Can Cook

Chocolate Peanut Butter Balls by The Freshman Cook

E.T. Cookies by Karen’s Kitchen Stories

Easy Peanut Butter & Chocolate Swirled Fudge by Cookaholic Wife

Easy Peanut Butter and Banana Croissants by Jonesin’ For Taste

Fluffernutter Macaron by A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

My Family’s Favorite Peanut Butter Cookie (recipe remake) by Family Around the Table

No Bake Peanut Butter Cup Pie by Soulfully Made

Nutter Butter Ice Cream Cone Cookies by Amy’s Cooking Adventures

Peanut Butter & Chocolate Chip Granola Squares by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Peanut Butter and Jelly Smoothie Bowl by Simple and Savory

Peanut Butter Banana Overnight Oatmeal by Frugal Pantry

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Sheet Pan Pancakes by Kate’s Recipe Box

Peanut Butter Cream Cheese Spread by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings

Peanut Butter Mocha Cupcakes by Strawberry Blondie Kitchen

Peanut Butter Mousse Parfaits by The Redhead Baker

Honey Peanut Butter Popcorn by The Gingered Whisk

Peanut Butter Snowballs by Culinary Adventures with Camilla

Peanut Ginger Pasta by Jolene’s Recipe Journal

Thai Inspired Noodles by A Day in the Life on the Farm

 

S’more Cereal Bars

When I was sorting out my planner for the month of August I decided to start writing down food holidays, too. Just in case I manage to be on top of it enough to look at my planner early enough in the day to embrace the holidays on my social media platforms.

But when I saw that today is National S’mores Day I didn’t need any further excuse to make something. I had Rice Krispie Treats on my mind and thought it’d be a simply way to celebrate s’mores without the campfire. I decided to let the butter brown before adding the marshmallows, hoping it’d give it a little bit of a smokey quality. I mixed Rice Krispie cereal and Golden Graham cereal, and stirred in some chocolate chips.

My husband and I could hardly wait for the boys to finally go to bed so we could enjoy one of these s’more cereal bars.

I hope you all have a wonderful National S’mores Day!

S’more Cereal Bars

Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp butter
  • 1 bag (10 oz) marshmallows
  • 4 C golden grahams
  • 2 C rice krispies
  • 1 1/2 C chocolate chips

Steps:

  1. Melt butter in a large pot over medium-low heat. Cook until butter is golden brown.
  2. Add marshmallows, cook until melted and smooth. Remove from heat. Stir in the cereal. Quickly mix in the chocolate chips.
  3. Lightly spray a casserole dish with cooking spray. Spread cereal bars into the prepared pan. Allow to cool before cutting.

S'more Cereal Bars  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Copy Cat: Snickers

It’s Halloween week and that means I’ve got a theme. My very first Halloween blogging I did a week of Candy Corn inspired recipes and posts, including a pillow cover and pizza. The following year ghosts hit the scene so pancakes and cookies were created in adorable ghostly shapes.

I toyed with the idea of mummies, Frankenstein’s monster, or pumpkins this year but the opportunity to make candy couldn’t be surpassed. It was time to face my chocolate and sugar fears and try making trick-or-treat favorites at home. For the these 4 days I’ll be sharing some sweet treats all made from scratch!

To kick off “candy week” I am sharing a Copy Cat recipe for Snickers! And it was much easier than I ever thought it would be. I was definitely doing a happy dance after taking my first bite of homemade candy bar. It actually tastes like the real thing! I was nervous that the amount of chocolate looked too thin, but the ratios of chocolate to nougat and caramel is perfect!

This recipe makes a 9×13″ pan of layered goodness. That’s a cake’s worth of candy bars people! I hope you have friends to share these with. Throughout my weeks of candy making I’ve realized that homemade chocolate candy bars melt/soften fairly quickly and are best kept in the fridge. Keep that in mind if you plan on gifting some homemade candy – don’t leave it on someone’s doorstep… unless there’s a lot of snow and cold to keep the candy from turning into a delicious mess.

Copy Cat: Snickers

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 C milk chocolate chips, divided use
  • 3/4 C creamy peanut butter, divided use
  • 1/2 stick butter
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C evaporated milk
  • 1 container (13 oz) marshmallow creme
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 C roughly chopped salted peanuts
  • 14 oz caramel squares, unwrapped
  • 1/4 C heavy cream

Steps:

  1. Line a 9×13″ cake pan with foil. Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. In a microwave safe bowl, combine 1 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C peanut butter. Microwave 50-60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread mixture into prepared cake pan. Place in fridge.
  3. In a large saucepan over medium heat melt butter. Add the sugar and evaporated milk. Stir and bring to a gentle boil. Cook 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent the mixture from burning. Add in the marshmallow creme, 1/4 C peanut butter, and the vanilla extract. Stir until smooth. Remove from heat and fold in the chopped peanuts. Evenly spread the nougat over the chocolate layer. Return to fridge.
  4. In a microwave safe bowl, combine caramels and heavy cream. Microwave 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread caramel over the nougat layer. Return to fridge.
  5. In a microwave safe bowl, combine 1 1/4 C chocolate chips and 1/4 C peanut butter. Microwave 50-60 seconds, stirring every 20 seconds, or until completely melted and smooth. Evenly spread mixture over the caramel layer.
  6. Return to fridge and chill until completely set. Cut into bars.

*This recipe is adapted from Alyssa at http://therecipecritic.com/2013/11/homemade-snickers-bars/*

Copy Cat Snickers | Sew You Think You Can Cook

#BundtBakers: Creative S’mores

4ae7b-bundtbakerspostIt’s that time of month for me to share a bundt cake with you alongside #BundtBakers. #BundtBakers is a group of bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. This month Lauren of From Gate to Plate challenged our artistic side with the theme creative s’mores – seriously, how fun!?

The traditional s’more is a roasted marshmallow and a pip of chocolate bar sandwiched between two graham crackers. The possibilities to play around with or add to the classic sandwich are endless! Just check out the list of bundts that put a spin on this summer/fall favorite treat.

I decided to make a chocolate cake, substituting some of the flour with crushed chocolate graham crackers. For the marshmallow I used marshmallow creme and mixed in roasted strawberries. I decided to go with dark brown sugar instead of light brown sugar to add a subtle smokiness that can mirror that campfire feeling.

I swirled my marshmallow filling into the chocolate cake, but it completely disappeared (except for the roasted marshmallow coloring on the top/bottom). The roasted strawberry flavor definitely comes through and the extra filling I saved as a frosting.

I’m pleased to say my experimenting was a success. This cake is incredibly moist and rich in chocolate flavor. As usual, this cake came with me to game night on Monday and my husband was not too pleased. Before I left he tried breaking into the plastic wrap, even though I’d cut a generous slice for him already!

Chocolate Graham Cracker Bundt Cake with Roasted Strawberry Marshmallow Filling

Ingredients for filling:

  • 18-20 strawberries, tops removed
  • scant 1/4 C sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 container (7 oz) marshmallow creme

Ingredients for cake:

  • 9 chocolate graham crackers, finely crushed
  • 1 1/4 C flour
  • 1/4 C cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/2 C dark brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 C buttermilk

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Make filling: Toss strawberries in sugar and vanilla extract. Place on foil lined baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes. Allow to cool. Place strawberries in a large bowl with the marshmallow creme and use a hand mixer to combine. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together chocolate graham cracker crumbs, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and baking soda.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars. Add eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix in the vanilla extract.
  5. Alternate the dry ingredients and buttermilk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.
  6. Pour batter into a heavily greased bundt pan. Swirl in the marshmallow filling. (I had ~ 1/3 C of the filling left over to use as a topping.)
  7. Bake at 350 degrees F for 60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out cleanly. Allow cake to cool in the pan before removing.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Bundt with Roasted Strawberry Marshmallow Filling for #BundtBakers from Sew You Think You Can Cook

You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page.

And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:

Autumn Bundt Cake by The Freshman Cook

Caramel Apple S’mores Bundt by Taking on Magazines

Carrot Graham Mini Bundts with White Chocolate Chips and Marshmallow Glaze by Passion Kneaded

Chocolate Bundt with Marshmallow Graham Filling by Basic N Delicious

Cookie Crumble Peanut Butter S’more Bundt Cake by Baking in Pyjamas

Deconstructed S’more Bundt Cake by Cali’s Cuisine

Graham Cracker Bundt Cake S’mores by Magnolia Days

Graham Cracker Bundt with Chocolate Ganache and Toasted Marshmallow Frosting by Food Lust People Love

Graham Cracker Peanut Butter Bundt with Marshmallow Topping by Our Good Life

Inside Out S’mores Bundt Cake by Liv for Cake

Key Lime S’more Bundt Cake by Patty’s Cake

Mexican Chocolate S’more Bundt Cake by Tartacadabra

Nutella Glazed S’more Bundt Cake by I Bake He Shoots

Nutella S’mores Bundt Cake by Brunch with Joy

Oreo Grasshopper S’more Bundt by A Day in the Life on the Farm

Pretzels Crown in a S’more Bundt Cake by Los Chatos Chefs

Pumpkin S’mores Bundt by Living the Gourmet

Pumpkin S’mores Bundt Cake by How to Philosophize with Cake

S’moreo Caramel Bundt Cake by Making Miracles

S’mores Bundt Cake by From Gate to Plate

S’mores Bundt Cake by La mejor manera de hacer

S’mores Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes

S’mores Graham Cracker Bundt Cake by The Spiced Life

Salted Marshmallow and Graham Crack S’more Bundt Cake by Faith, Hope, Love & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice

Blog-iversary 2

IMG_5681Today is my blog’s anniversary! This second year has flown by.  In this past year I have gained an additional 77 followers and 357 Facebook friends.

I am still going strong with Secret Recipe Club and #BundtBakers (having missed only one month in each so far) and I continue to participate in Foodie Extravaganza and The Crazy Ingredient Challenge when my allergy restrictions allow it.

As if I didn’t have enough commitment on my plate I have added Blogger CLUE Society and The Sunday Supper Movement to my blogging community adventures. The latter has been a huge boost to not only my site’s traffic but also my social media accounts. If you’re a blogger looking for ways to venture out, I encourage you to join a group like these – the camaraderie you’ll find is more reward than you could imagine.

I feel like my blogging has grown over the past two years and my food photography has improved considerably (staying home with my son has definitely contributed to that as I now have natural light!), my photography editing skills have become second nature, and I think my story telling ability is on the rise. My efforts have even been rewarded when I was nominated for the Liebster Award!

For my blog-iversary I decided to try something that’s been on my culinary bucket list. Making marshmallow. I saw these adorable mini s’mores cheesecakes and knew that’s what I’d do to celebrate another blogging milestone. Unfortunately I don’t have a mini cheesecake pan – but how awesome is that?! – and didn’t think using cupcake liners would create the same impressive dessert. I decided to make a full size cheesecake. I increased the crust amount but didn’t think about the actual cheesecake, as a result my cake is very thin. However, the silky richness of the chocolate cheesecake doesn’t leave you feeling cheated. (If you want a thicker cake I’d suggest adding another 1/2 recipe to the filling.) To top this decadent cheesecake, homemade marshmallow frosting. If you have a blow torch I highly encourage you to take the s’mores factor to the next level. I simply garnished mine with extra graham cracker crumbs.

This cheesecake is sexy. Now there’s a word I’ve never used for food before! But seriously. Next time you want to impress your date make this cheesecake. It’s smooth, it’s rich, and it melts in your mouth.

S’mores Cheesecake

Ingredients for crust:

  • 9 full sheets graham crackers
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar

Ingredients for cheesecake:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)

Ingredients for topping:

  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9″ springform pan.
  2. Place graham cracker sheets, butter, and sugar in a food process. Pulse until the mixture looks and feels like wet sand. Press into the pan evenly. Bake 5 minutes.
  3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Mix in the cocoa powder and salt until combined. Add the egg and vanilla paste, mixing until incorporated. The mixture will look like chocolate pudding. Spread cheesecake filling on the crust.
  5. Bake 25-27 minutes, or until set. Turn off the oven and crack the door. Allow cheesecake to cool completely before chilling in the refrigerator.
  6. Whisk egg whites, sugar, and cream of tartar over a double boiler until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture is warm. Remove from heat. Beat using a hand mixer, starting on low and increasing speed to high, until mixture becomes white, thick, and sticky. Add the vanilla extract and beat until stiff peaks form. Gently spread over the chilled cheesecake.

*This recipe is adapted from Rachel at http://www.bakedbyrachel.com/mini-toasted-smore-cheesecakes/*

S'mores Cheesecake | Sew You Think You Can Cook