Almond S’mores Bars

Almond S'mores Bars

dig into Almond S’mores Bars

You may be thinking, “What, another s’mores recipe?” Yes, it is, but it’s just in time for American Labor Day picnics. Besides, the combination of chocolate, marshmallow and graham crackers is the quintessential summer treat. So, what better way to say goodbye to summer than with s’mores bars?

The recipe I found was a riff on the typical s’mores, but to make it vegan I needed to make a vegan sweetened condensed milk. It sounds odd, yet it’s very simple to make. Although you will probably want to plan ahead because it takes awhile. My vegan version also used vegan margarine instead of unsalted butter.

It didn’t need a high altitude adjustment, but I did adjust the recipe for what was in my kitchen. I am not a fan of peanut butter chips, so I decided on nut butter. Almond butter was in my cupboard, and so were almonds, so I nixed the overly sweet chips and the cocktail peanuts and used my almond items instead. Say so long to summer with these s’mores.

Almond S’mores Bars based on Peanut S’mores Magic Bars
18 graham crackers, gluten-free if desired
8 TBS vegan margarine, melted
2 cups vegan sweetened condensed milk (recipe below)
1/2 cup almond butter
1 cup roasted almonds, chopped
2 cups vegan chocolate chips
One (10-ounce) bag vegan marshmallows
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350F. Line a 9-by-13-inch broiler-proof baking dish with foil, leaving a 2” overhang on both sides. Grease the foil with margarine. Pulse 14 graham crackers into fine crumbs in a food processor. Combine melted margarine and graham cracker crumbs in a bowl with your hand (mixture should hold together when squeezed). Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish and press into the bottom in an even layer. Combine sweetened condensed milk with almond butter and pour over the crumbs.
Sprinkle almonds then chocolate chips over top. Break remaining 4 graham crackers into chunks and sprinkle evenly over top. Bake until sides are golden brown and begin to pull away from baking dish, 30 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven, and turn broiler on. Scatter marshmallows over top of bars and put dish under broiler until marshmallows are dark golden and toasted, 3 to 4 minutes. Let cool completely then refrigerate to set, about 1 hour. Using foil liner as handles, pull s’mores out of baking dish and remove foil. Cut into bars.
Vegan Sweetened Condensed Milk from The Complete Guide to Vegan Food Substitutions
6 cups soymilk
2 cup vegan sugar
Put both in a pot and simmer over low heat until liquid reduces to 2 cups. Strain before serving.

Until next time, happy baking!

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Decadent Baked S’mores

decadent s'mores

decadent s’mores

Don’t you just want to reach through the picture and grab one of these? Yes, they are that good. But I digress. Last week’s American holiday barbecues had me dreaming of S’mores. During the summer I do become infatuated with that wonderful combination of chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers. But I needed to find a way to make them less messy and more decadent. Enter – baked s’mores.

The recipe I found was already vegan so no changes were necessary on that front. The bars didn’t need high altitude tweaking either. What I altered was to make them more decadent by adding a layer of raspberry jam. This did make them sweeter so only one square is necessary for melty marshmallowy chocolatey bliss.

Decadent Baked S’mores based on S’mores Bars
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup vegan margarine
3/8 cup vegan sugar
3 TBS seedless raspberry jam
3/4 cup vegan dark chocolate chips
6 large vegan marshmallows, cut in half
Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8” pan with parchment paper. Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, margarine, and sugar in a food processor and pulse until a dough forms. Press crust into pan and bake for 15-18 minutes. Remove pan from oven and change heat to broil. Spread jam over crust, sprinkle on chocolate chips, and then add marshmallows. Broil for a few minutes, until chocolate is melted and marshmallows are golden brown. Let cool a little before slicing.

Until next time, happy baking!

Halloween Rice Krispie Monster

frank n krispie treat

Halloween rice krispie treat

Halloween and Frankenstein go hand in hand for a good scare, so I found a scary Halloween Frankenstein treat. I know Halloween is tomorrow, but this recipe is fun and easy so there is still time. It’s based on a classic childhood delight making it even more of a holiday inspiration.

In a web search I discovered the design of a Frankenstein looking rice krispie treat. Then I grabbed the basic recipe from a bag of Dandies vegan marshmallows. So, without further ado, I bring you …

Halloween Rice Krispie Monster adapted from Fork & Beans
For the treats:
2 TBS vegan margarine
2 TBS coconut oil
10 oz. bag vegan marshmallows
5 cups brown rice cereal
5 drops green food coloring
For the decorations:
1/2 cup vegan chocolate, melted together with 1 TBS coconut oil
chocolate sprinkles
extra marshmallows
Line an 8×8” pan with wax paper. In a saucepan, melt margarine and coconut oil on medium/low heat. Add marshmallows and melt, stirring often. Once melted, remove from heat and add food coloring until well combined. Quickly stir in cereal. Place in pan and pat down gently. Cool down for 10 minutes. Remove from pan using excess wax paper as handles. Gently remove wax paper. Cut into 6 rectangles. Place a lollipop stick into each treat.
Coat tops of treats with melted chocolate and add chocolate sprinkles. Make eyes out of cut marshmallows with blobs of melted chocolate. Cut marshmallows for bolts. Secure eyes and bolts by gently pressing them into the head. Draw mouths with melted chocolate. Allow to set. Makes 6, unless you eat the scraps like I did and then it makes 5.

Until next time, happy un-baking!

Stovetop S’mores Sandwiches

stovetop s'mores sandwiches

stovetop s’mores sandwiches

Now that summer has started, the warm weather begs me not to turn on the oven. But, you ask, isn’t this is a baking blog? True, but the heat sometimes wins out. So I’ve decided that occasionally I will post a no-bake recipe instead of a baking tip. That means more goodies to taste and explore.

With the outdoor holiday coming up, I have seen a plethora of s’mores recipes across the internet. There were bits and pieces I liked from a few tasty treats, so today’s recipe is an adaption of a handful of them. There was no high altitude finesse needed, but at least this no-bake vegan recipe falls under the category of decadent. I dare you to eat a whole one.

Stovetop S’mores Sandwiches
12 graham crackers (choose gluten-free if desired)
4 oz dark chocolate squares
3 TBS vegan margarine (choose soy free if desired)
10 oz vegan marshmallows
1/4 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips
Place waxed paper on a tray. Place six graham crackers in the tray. Top graham crackers with chocolate squares. Melt vegan margarine in a large pot on medium-low. Add marshmallows and stir constantly until melted. Stir in vanilla extract. Remove from heat and stir in chocolate chips. Working quickly, pour chocolate-marshmallow mixture over graham crackers in tray. Place six graham crackers on top of crackers in tray. Lightly press top crackers into the gooey mess to make sandwiches. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Separate sandwiches with a knife if necessary. Store in refrigerator.

Until next time, happy non-baking!

Addictive S’mores Cookies

S'mores cookies

S’mores cookies

These are not the prettiest cookies I have ever made. But what they lack in looks they more than make up for in flavor. Seriously, I can’t stop eating them. But, I digress.

I was looking for something to test out my new “Super Flegg” of whipped aquafaba and flaxseed meal. I also had stale marshmallows in the cupboard which are a required ingredient in this cookie. Thus, I had a great place to start. I veganized the recipe by using vegan margarine instead of butter and the Super Flegg for eggs. I also added milk to the ingredients to help with the dryness at high altitude.

After getting the dough mixed I had my concerns. The dough was very dense, in fact I used my hands to incorporate the chocolate chips and marshmallows. I was scared that these would be hockey pucks. Then magic occurred in the oven. The brown lumps that emerged had a wonderful texture reminiscent of, well, campfire s’mores. And the taste was sublime. I had a cookie I could use to showcase the “Super Flegg” and my tummy was happy.

Addictive S’mores Cookies adapted from food52.com
1 cup vegan miniature marshmallows
6 TBS aquafaba (aka chickpea brine)
2 TBS flaxseed meal
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely crushed graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup black cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 cup vegan margarine
1/2 cup vegan sugar
1/2 cup dark brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 TBS almond milk
1 1/4 cups dark chocolate chips
Put marshmallows in an uncovered bowl and leave out overnight.
Combine aquafaba and flaxseed meal in a bowl and let sit for 15 minutes to form a flax egg. Whip in a stand mixer for 3 minutes and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. In a stand mixer, cream margarine and sugars. Add whipped flax egg and vanilla to stand mixer bowl and beat until well incorporated. Add almond milk. Slowly add flour mixture, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Stop mixing once dough is fully blended and don’t overmix. Stir in chocolate chips and marshmallows and mix evenly.
Chill dough 15 minutes before baking. Spoon heaping tablespoonfuls of dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets and flatten slightly. Bake for 14 to 16 minutes. The cookies should be set on the outsides but still soft in the middle. Let cookies cool on the sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. Makes 30 cookies.

Until next time, happy baking!