Recent Posts

Sunday, April 24, 2011

S'mores Cookies

S'mores are one of the best things about summer.  They're delicious with their melty chocolate and ooey gooey marshmallowy goodness.   But they're also tons of fun to make.  Who doesn't love toasting a marshmallow and sandwiching it with chocolate between two graham crackers?  Not very many people, I'd guess.  But for those days when lighting a fire and making a sticky mess just isn't convenient, these bar cookies come in a close second.  

S'mores Cookies, adapted from Always with Butter

11 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs, room temp
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp cinnamon
2 ½ cups flour
chocolate chips*
1 cup mini marshmallows
2 – 3 regular sized hershey’s bars, broken into pieces*
1 package graham crackers, broken into squares

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon to combine. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter with both sugars until light and fluffy.  Add egg and vanilla.
Add flour mixture to the butter mixer and combine on low speed.
Fold in chips and marshmallows.  Chill dough in refrigerator for 1 hour to overnight.
Preheat oven to 375 F.
Line baking pans with parchment paper** Lay out graham crackers side by side on the pans as close as possible (they should be touching).
Place tablespoons of chilled dough on graham crackers about 1 – 1 ½ inches apart.  Press down slightly with fingertips.
Bake for 5 minutes then remove from oven to press Hershey’s bar pieces on to the top.
Bake for 5 – 7 more minutes or until dough is beginning to turn golden brown at the edges.  Remove to a wire rack to cool.

*Use chocolate chips to taste.  I only used about 1/3 cup in the dough because Hershey bar pieces were going to be placed on top and I didn’t want it to be too chocolatey.  If you’re a choc-a-holic, feel free to add more.  For hershey’s bars, I used about 2 ½ regular sized bars.  Again, if you’re a chocolate lover, use more.

**If you want thicker cookies, use less graham cracker-lined pans and put your cookie dough closer together.  For thinner cookies, spread out graham crackers and cookie dough across more baking pans.  I used 1 medium (10x15 inch) cookie pan, and 1 large (11x17 inch).

Recipe Card (click to enlarge):

PSST!  There's still time left to enter our Giveaway for a FREE Cupcake and Dessert Tower (valued at $54.89)!  

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cinnamon Bun Bread

No matter how many new things I learn to conquer in baking, I simply cannot make yeast rise.  I don't know what it is!  I always buy it brand new before I use it so I know it's not old, and I always use a thermometer to make sure it is at the exact right temperature that is called for in the recipe.  I'm really not sure what the problem is.  But even if you're a yeast killer like me, this recipe will make a perfectly good (actually better than perfect good, they're perfectly amazingly warm ooey gooey delicious good) cinnamon bun-ish treat.  And it's quick!  These are so simple and QUICK to throw together.  And these are just as good, if not better, than traditional cinnamon buns.  If you're in the mood for cinnamon buns but not in the mood to play with temperamental yeast, wait until it rises, flatten the dough and then roll it up into a log, etc etc - then this is the right recipe for you.  

If you want to make this recipe even easier, if that is at all possible, use our new 8x8 inch square parchment with our unique lift tabs, then check out this video:

Cinnamon Bun Bread adapted from breadworld
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup  sugar
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
2 envelopes 
Fleischmann's Active Dry Yeast
2/3 cup very warm milk (120° - 130°F)
2 tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg

Cinnamon Sugar Topping:
3 tablespoons butter, softened
3/4 cup  light brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon 

1 1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Lightly spray an 8×8-inch square baking pan with non-stick spray and line with a pre-cut 8x8 inch square piece of parchment paper with lift tabs.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine flour, sugar and sea salt. 
Dissolve the yeast in a measuring cup filled with the warmed milk.
Stir milk mixture, vegetable oil, melted butter, and vanilla extract and egg into the flour mixture. Mix until smooth. Pour into the prepared pan and let batter rest for 15 minutes.
While the dough rests, mix together butter, brown sugar, cinnamon in a small bowl using a fork until all the butter has been incorporated into the sugar and mixture is crumbly. Sprinkle evenly on top of rested dough and swirl it in with a spatula.
Place pan into a cold oven, then set the oven temperature to 350F.
Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until bread is lightly browned at the edges and the center of the bread springs back when lightly pressed.
Cool for at least 30 minutes before preparing the icing and drizzling it onto the bread.
Serve warm. Leftovers can be re-warmed in the microwave.

Recipe Card (click for full size):

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Perfect Parchment & Pudding Cookies

Sneak peek at one of our new products.  I'm SO excited about this one! 
More info to come soon, but for now, a video:

5 sizes of Pre-Cut Parchment Sheets now in stock at The Smart Baker.  See it here!!

By the way, the cookies I made in the above video were absolutely delicious.  I don't think I've made such a soft chocolate chip cookie in a long time!  The recipe is kind of weird since it involves half of a package of instant vanilla pudding (I had half a package on hand from the last time I made Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding Mix).  I imagine this could be easily doubled to use a whole box of pudding mix.  After you taste one of these, you probably will want to double the recipe.  These Chocolate Chip Cookies with Vanilla Pudding Mix came out amazing.  NOT thin and flat at all like last time.  These have a nice height.  And the texture?  Perfect.  So soft and chewy it's dangerous.  

chocolate chip cookies,pudding,dessert

Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pudding Mix, adapted from Pass the Sushi, makes 20 cookies
1/2 Cup unsalted butter, room temp   
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 package of instant vanilla pudding, the 6 (1/2) cup serving size package
2 Tablespoons vanilla greek yogurt
~1/2 an egg
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup + 2 Tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Beat butter and both sugars together until light and fluffy.  Add in the pudding mix, egg and vanilla.  
Add in yogurt and beat to incorporate.
In a separate small bowl, combine flour, salt and baking soda and then add to butter mixture.  Mix only until incorporated - don't overmix.  
Stir in chocolate chips.
Chill cookie dough in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  Preheat to 375 F.
Scoop 1 1/2 Tablespoons of dough onto a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Bake in preheated oven for 7 - 10 minutes or until cookies begin to turn golden brown at the edges.
chocolate chip cookies,pudding,dessert

Recipe Card:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Cupcake and Dessert Tower GIVEAWAY

Have you seen our line of Cupcake and Dessert towers yet?  You probably have because I talk about them, use them and post photos of them constantly.  Like here.  And here. And here. And again here.  Oh here, too.  And probably a few other times but I'll stop.  The reason I talk about them so much is because I'm truly excited about this product.  They're versatile (use as many or as little tiers as you like for different size gatherings, dress it up to suit any holiday or occasion), they're re-usable and sturdy, unlike many cardboard towers, and lots more.   I could go on!  But I'll get to the point.

We've re-vamped the design of the Flower Towers, and we have one left over in the old discontinued style.  So, we're giving it away to one lucky reader!  Check it out:
Along with the tower, we're giving away one of our NEW Tower Storage and Carrying Bags.  It is big enough to hold your The Smart Baker Cupcake Tower and has pockets for storage of all support and base pieces.  Its handles make transporting your Cupcake Tower to different events a quick and easy task!

How to Enter:
Simply leave a comment telling me what occasion you'd use this Flower Cupcake and Dessert Tower for and what you'd serve on it.  Leave your email address in your comment so we can contact you if you're a winner.

Want a better shot at winning?
For doing each of the following, you'll get an additional entry into the giveaway.  Leave a separate comment for each.  You can have a total of 5 entries for this giveaway.

  • Like "The Smart Baker" on facebook
  • Do a status update on Facebook linking to this blog post:
  • Follow us on twitter (@thesmartbaker) and tweet:
    • I hope I win a free Cupcake and Dessert Tower from @thesmartbaker Enter here: #giveaway
  • Blog about this giveaway, linking here.  Include a link to your blog post along with your comment.  
The contest will close April 30th 11:59 PM Eastern Standard Time and we will announce the winner here on the blog May 1st.
Winner will be chosen at random using and will have until May 8th to claim their prize, at which point we will pick another winner if the first has not come forward.  Giveaway includes one Three-Tier Flower Cupcake and Dessert tower from The Smart Baker, a Tower Storage and Carrying Bag, and free shipping (value: $54.89).

*** NOTE: THIS GIVEAWAY HAS OFFICIALLY ENDED. See here for the results.***

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Sesame Street Cupcake and Dessert Tower

This weekend, our niece Ella turned two years old!  In honor of her second birthday and her Sesame Street theme celebration, we made her a Sesame Street Cupcake and Dessert Tower.  Nothing but the best for our niece's birthday party!  We used our Round Cupcake and Dessert Tower, and on it there were vanilla cookie monster cupcakes, red velvet elmo cupcakes, cake pops, and cookie pops with her name on them.  All the preparation was worth it when she stood next to her dessert tower (which was almost as big as she was) and made that adorable two-year old smile.  :)

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Muddy Buddies and a New Apron


Muddy Buddies, Puppy Chow, Monkey Munch, whatever you want to call it,  is a quick to throw together sweet snack thats been around seemingly forever.  I remember first trying it when friends' parents would bring it to class parties at school.  For years and years, I never had puppy chow again until I got a bag of it this past Christmas.  It reignited my love for the chocolatey, peanut buttery, sweet crunchy snack and not long after I whipped up a batch of it.  I made a half batch (see the following recipe) but it could easily be doubled.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies


Working full time has given me a new appreciation for super quick and easy recipes.  Most of my baking is done on the weekends now, but every now and then I want something baked fresh on a weeknight.  On those occasions, the fewer the ingredients, the better.  If it involves just a few short steps, even better.  This recipe fits the bill.  It bakes up a small batch of soft, delicious peanut buttery cookies in just a few minutes and involves only 3 or 4 ingredients.

Easiest Peanut Butter Cookies, small batch - around 8 cookies, adapted from I ate Brisbane
1/2 Cup Jif Natural Crunchy Peanut Butter (non-refrigerated kind)
1/4 C + 2 Tbl granulated sugar
~ 1/2 large egg, room temp
A few chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325 F.  Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.  Put all ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer and mix until combined.  Make scant Tablespoon dough balls (use a Tablespoon cookie scoop and don't quite fill it all the way).  Press a few chocolate chips into the top of each cookie.  Bake 13 - 17 minutes.  



Related Posts with Thumbnails