Friday, December 23, 2011


I'm posting my last 2 sweet recipes today just in time for Christmas! Savory and breakfast holiday fare to come after the holiday...(won't help for Christmas this year, but maybe New Years or next year?!)
I cannot adequately sing the praises that these pastries deserve. Cream puffs and eclairs (as far as I'm concerned they're pretty much the same thing, just in different shapes and maybe true cream puffs don't have icing?) are my all-time favorite pastry delight. Let's just sum it up with: light and creamy custard filling that is to die for-you'll want to just pull up a chair and spoon and dig in, easier than you think choux paste, CHOCOLATE icing, and fancy show stopping dessert, k? K.

You can make these as 12 LARGE cream puffs or any number of smaller sizes. A large soup spoon size blob of pastry dough makes a couple dozen or so 2-3 inch (2-bite) puffs. Or a regular spoon size blob of dough makes upwards of 3 dozen or more 1 1/2 inch (bite-size) puffs. And the pastry cream can be any flavor you want. This recipe is measurements for either almond or vanilla cream. It's the best pastry cream recipe I've found. Use it for fruit pizza or tarts, anything that calls for pastry cream and you'll be one happy camper.


Cream Puffs
{I have tripled and quadrupled this recipe with great success. I don't do the same amount of pastry cream though. For a triple batch of dough, I only make a double batch of pastry cream and so on. But if only making one batch, particularly if you plan to make 12 large puffs, I'd still make the full batch of pastry cream.}

Choux Paste:
1/2 cup salted butter
1 cup water
1/4 t salt
1 cup flour
4 eggs

Oven at 375. Have 2 large cookies sheet with silpat liners or parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray ready. In 2 quart saucepan, over medium-high heat, stir water, butter, and salt until boiling. Remove from heat and add flour all at once. Stir vigorously until ball forms. Place mixture in bowl of mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Using a large spoon, drop batter onto cookie sheets in 12 large mounds. Bake at 375 for 50-75 minutes. You want them really dry, but obviously not burnt! Start checking at 50 minutes. If making smaller puffs 50 minutes it usually spot on. Cool and fill with pastry and ice with chocolate icing. Recipes follow...

Pastry Cream:
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup flour
1/4 t salt
1 1/2 cups whole milk
6 egg yolks
either 1 1/2 t vanilla or 1 t almond extract, choose your flavor
1 1/2 cups cold heavy whipping cream

Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a heavy saucepan. Stir in milk. Cook over medium heat stirring constantly (a flat edged wooden spoon comes in handy here for scraping the bottom as it thickens to prevent burning) until it thickens and boils, about 7-10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk 6 egg yolks together. Add a small amount of hot milk mixture to egg yolk bowl to temper and then using a wire whisk, slowly add tempered egg yolks into remaining hot milk mixture. Cook over medium low (DO NOT BOIL) until thickened and easily coats the back of a spoon. About 8 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in chosen extract. Cover surface with plastic wrap. (You want the plastic wrap to actually touch the custard, this prevents a nasty crust from forming!) Refrigerate and chill well, at least 2 hours. Once custard has chilled, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form and gently fold the 2 together.

To fill puffs: If making large puffs, just cut a slit in each puff and spoon filling inside. It's OK for it to show, more rustic and appetizing that way. OR you may fill a pastry bag, with a decent size tip, full of the cream and pierce each puff and fill that way. Squeeze bag slowly until a little cream comes out of fill hole, or until the puff gives way a bit.

Chocolate Icing:
2 squares (2 oz) semi-sweet baking chocolate
2 T butter
1 cup powdered sugar
2 T milk

Melt chocolate and butter together in a saucepan over low heat. Add powdered sugar and milk. Whisk really well, until lumps are gone. Doing this over the heat helps. I keep mine on the heat while I ice, so that the icing stays on the thin side and can easily coat. To ice: Dip filled cream puffs upside down in icing, let excess drip off a bit and then place right side up on cookie sheet or plate. Serve immediately or refrigerate till ready to serve.

NOTE: If I'm making a large batch, I usually make and freeze the puffs either filled or un-filled until I'm ready to do the rest. It can be a labor intensive process, but thankfully lends itself well to being done in stages. And when serving at christmas time I crush up some candy canes and sprinkle on top before the icing sets.

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats

I know rice krispie treats are hardly a recipe. I mean it's really just cereal, marshmallows, and butter. But this festive version deserves recipe status recognition. They are SO yummy and so cute. All the wonderfulness of peppermint bark, but far more simple and kids and adults alike love them. Or at least we did. Personally, I wouldn't mind a plate of these delivered to my front step any time of the year but especially right now. If you're looking for a quick and easy giveaway treat (or eat it yourself treat), these have got you covered!

Peppermint Bark Rice Krispie Treats
{Recipe from Our Best Bites}

1 10.5 ounce bag peppermint mini marshmallows*
4 T real butter, plus extra to butter the pan
5-6 cups rice krispie cereal or something comparable (I liked it with less cereal, 5 cup range)
3 T semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 T white chocolate chips
1/2 t veggie oil, divided
a few drops peppermint extract
3 medium candy canes, crushed

*In place of peppermint marshmallows, if you can't find them, use regular than add about a 1/4 t peppermint extract to the melted marshmallow mixture. Possibly more to taste.

Line a 9x13 pan with foil and lightly butter bottom and sides of foil-lined pan.

Melt butter and marshmallows over low hear on the stove (or in the microwave). I added a 1/2 cup of regular marshmallows to mine, because it's yummier that way! Pour over large bowl of rice krispie cereal and quickly stir to coat thoroughly. If you need to add more cereal because it's too goopy, go right ahead. I barely added any more than the 5 cups. With buttered hands, press mixture into prepared pan.

Heat both the white chocolate chips and semi-sweet, each with a 1/4 t oil and a few drops of peppermint extract added to just the semi-sweet, until melted. Drizzle both chocolates on top of treats and sprinkle with crushed candy canes while the chocolate is still wet so they will stick. Let sit until chocolate is set-up or throw in the fridge or freezer to speed it up a bit. Cut into any size square and share!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cherry Almond Fudge

I have a friend. Her name is Ginger. She makes the best homemade chocolate candy I've had the pleasure of sinking my teeth into. And she's the kind of friend who not only shares her amazing tidbits but also shares how she makes them. The day after thanksgiving this year found me in her home, dabbling in homemade turtles, almond roca, and FUDGE!

Her fudge is coconut flavored and just simply the best. But since we give goodie plates to many of the same people I decided as much as I love (and I mean LOVE) the coconut version, it would be best if I came up with my own version. And so cherry almond fudge was born. I'm so proud! Her basic recipe is perfect for varying with different flavor combos and add-ins (vanilla extract and chopped walnuts, peanut butter swirl, rocky road-mini marshmallows & almonds, etc.) so play away. But my version and her versions are great places to start.

You can be a fudge making machine too, so easy and turns out amazing every darn time.

Cherry Almond Fudge
{Recipe from Ginger D. The quality of chocolate you use makes all the difference. Ginger uses Peter's brand that she has shipped in 10 lb slabs, I've also used Mercken's, but here where I live there are only grocery store brands to choose from and symphony brand chocolate is probably your best bet from there. NO Hershey's brand please!}

1 12 oz. can evaporated milk
4 cups sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter (G uses margarine, I only had butter-both were fine)
12 oz. good quality (such as ghiradelli) semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 lb high quality milk chocolate
1 regular size jar marshmallow fluff
2 t almond extract
1 cup finely chopped dried cherries
1/2 cup or more finely chopped dry-roasted but not salted almonds

In the bowl of mixer combine both chocolates, margarine or butter, marshmallow fluff, and almond extract. Set aside.

In heavy saucepan, bring evap milk and sugar to a boil over medium high heat. Stir all the time, taking care to scrape the bottom of the pan frequently (I find a flat ended wooden spoon works best). Boil softly and stir constantly for 5 minutes. Pour hot mixture over ingredients in mixing bowl and let stand to melt chocolate (5 minutes or so). Turn on mixture with paddle attachment and mix for about 2 minutes. Add chopped cherries and almonds and beat well combined. Pour into any of the following lined pans (parchment paper sprayed with cooking spray) 9x13, 9x13 and 9x9 pans, or cookie sheet. One 9x13 will mean thicker pieces. Whereas the other 2 options will be a bit thinner, but still plenty thick. Let cool, cover and refrigerate until needed. Store covered in either fridge or freezer. Best served at room temp.

Ginger's Coconut Version:
Substitute 1 t coconut oil for 2 t almond extract and 1 14 oz bag of coconut for chopped cherries and almonds.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Peppermint Candy Cane Kiss Brownies

Let's have a few posts about holiday goodies shall we?
Oh my word these puppies are gooood! I made them last year for Christmas goodie plates and they instantly attained rock star status (in my mind) and so naturally they will be given this year as well. They are the fudgiest, mintiest, chocolate-y-est, brownies around. All those things are divine, but for me the kicker is the layer of chocolate bars sandwiched in the middle. Hoo boy! That's all I have to say about that.

I've also made these as a non-mint offering (because believe me you'll want to eat them all year round even when candy cane kisses aren't available) and substituted almond extract for peppermint and used chopped toffee almond symphony bars or hershey nuggets for the top layer. Yum.

A word to the wise, they are RICH--so little 1 inch squares are about all you can handle portion-wise and that means they're great for sharing. One pan goes a long ways. Enjoy!

Peppermint Candy Cane Kiss Brownies
{Recipe source: Annie's Eats}

8 oz. UNsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups SALTED butter (original recipe calls for unsalted, I made both and preferred salted-but pick your poison I guess)
3 cups sugar
6 large eggs
1 1/2 t peppermint extract (make sure it's peppermint, not just plain mint)
1 t vanilla extract
1/2 t salt
2 cups flour
4-5 regular size hershey bars, broken into segments
1 bag hershey candy cane kisses, unwrapped and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Line a 9x13 pan with foil and spray lightly with cooking spray. Combine unsweeted chocolate and butter in heavy sauce pan and melt over low heat until smooth. Remove from heat. In bowl of mixer, mix sugar and eggs until well blended. Add salt, peppermint and vanilla extracts. With mixer running, slowly pour in butter/chocolate mixture. Add flour mixing just until combined. Do not over-mix.

Spread half of batter into the prepared pan. Add layer of hershey bars all over. Spread remaining batter on top evenly and bake for 30-35 minutes.

Leave oven on and remove brownies briefly to sprinkle on chopped candy cane kisses. Return to oven for 2-3 more minutes. Transfer to cooling rack and let cool to room temp. Chill brownies until candy has firmed up. Slice and serve.

**Note: I'm left to wonder if cutting the brownies while at room temp (before chilling) might not be a bad idea. When I've cut them chilled the candy cane topping tends to crack off a bit. Just an idea. And I have been known to let the kisses melt as per the recipe and them spread the chocolate around using an off-set spatula into a smooth "frosting" of sorts once removed from oven. Not as cute, but chocolate does stay on a bit better. Also I find these are best on the cool end of chilled, but not quite room temp. Definitely not a good served-warm candidate, they need to set-up a bit.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken

This picture is disgusting but this dish is absolutely not! If you want a very appetizing picture click here. Otherwise just know that this was a winner. Juicy chicken is stuffed with delightfully creamy mozzarella and fresh basil and then slathered with mayonnaise and sprinkled with fresh bread crumbs, hence the juicy-ness. And as if that isn't enough you then dot the entire pan with grape tomatoes, that roast along with it and create the most wonderful flavor combination in your mouth once you dig in. Oh my yum! This is the main dish I served alongside Wednesday's recipe: Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Pasta. The perfect duo. That Mel really knows a good recipe when she sees one!

Cheesy Basil Stuffed Chicken
{Only slightly adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe}

1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (please shred your own! it melts so much better)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 T heavy cream
1 T fresh lemon juice
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper or season-all
4-6 boneless chicken breasts, cut in half (it's better if these aren't super thin)
3 T+ (I used more) mayonnaise
1 cup fresh bread crumbs (pulsed mine in the food processor)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
2 T olive oil
1 pint grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes (if using cherry's that are on the bigger side, cut in half)
kosher salt and pepper

Adjust rack to middle position and heat oven to 425. In a medium bowl combine the mozzarella, 2 T minced basil, cream, lemon, juice, 2 t minced garlic, 1/2 t salt and 1/4 t pepper.

Cut a pocket in each piece of chicken, season chicken inside and out with with salt and pepper OR season-all and stuff each piece with cheese mixture. You want it in there pretty good without a bunch hanging out, it's good if it's somewhat "closed". Place stuffed chicken in a greased 9x13 baking dish and spread the tops evenly with mayonnaise. This is what helps them to stay moist and give them a bit more flavor so I say be fairly generous.

In a separate bowl combine fresh bread crumbs, remaining garlic, remaining fresh basil, 1.4 cup of parmesan, and 1 T olive oil. Sprinkle crumb mixture over chicken, pressing lightly to adhere. Toss grape tomatoes with remaining tablespoon of oil, 1/4 t kosher salt, and pepper to taste. Arrange tomatoes in the baking dish around the chicken. Bake until crumbs are golden brown and the chicken is cooked through, about 25-30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Note: Can be ahead. Assemble chicken and slather on mayo. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. Then add bread crumb mixture and tomatoes and bake.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Pasta

Wow this was such a tasty dish! I made it over the weekend and served it to company. But really once I tasted it all I wanted to do was hoard it all myself. And then I ate the leftovers for 2 days and couldn't stop dreaming about it in between.

The cauliflower and garlic are both roasted. For those who may not have tried roasted garlic and are balking at the 2 entire heads of garlic called for, never fear! Roasting the garlic really mellows it's flavor/bite and turns it into something wondrous indeed. I took the liberty of adding some cream and chicken broth to the original recipe and didn't regret it one little bit. And the toasted walnuts on top were the perfect finishing touch.

I think you'll find that this is the perfect accompaniment to many, many main dishes (I'll share what I served it with in a later post) and it could easily be a meatless main dish in it's own right. It's filling and oh so tasty!

Roasted Garlic & Cauliflower Pasta
{Adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe}

2 heads garlic, papery skins mostly removed (but keep it intact), top 1/4 of heads cut off from pointy end of garlic and thrown away
6 T olive oil
1 head cauliflower (the bigger the better in my opinion)
1 t salt
1/4 t pepper
1/4 t sugar
1 pound fusilli or rotini or campanelle pasta
1/4 t red pepper flakes
3 T fresh lemon juice
1 cup+ fresh grated parmesan
1/4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts
chicken broth
heavy cream

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place trimmed heads of garlic, cut side up on a square piece of foil and drizzle with 1 t or so of olive oil. Gather foil up and around garlic to seal well. Place foil packet directly on rack of heated oven. Roast until garlic is very tender, about 40 minutes. Set aside to cool. (May do this a few hours ahead of time and just leave garlic out till ready)

Adjust oven rack to middle position and place a large rimmed baking sheet on middle rack to preheat. Trim outer leaves off the cauliflower and cut it into bite size pieces. Toss in a bowl with 2 T oil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Remove hot baking sheet from oven and carefully spread cauliflower out on it. Sheet back into the oven and roast cauliflower until it's browned and tender, 15-20 minutes.

While cauliflower is roasting bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot. Add 1 T salt to water and stir in pasta; cook until al dente. Meanwhile squeeze cooled, roasted garlic out of skins into a small bowl. Using a fork, mash garlic well until it's a smooth paste. Stir in red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/4 cup olive oil.

Drain the pasta and return pasta to pot. Add the chopped cauliflower, stir in garlic sauce, 1/2 cup of chicken broth, cream, and 1 cup of cheese. Adjust the consistency by adding more chicken broth and/or cream. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and additional grated cheese. Serves 4-6.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Thai Chicken Pizza

Another out of the ordinary pizza combo. Thai food is so amazingly delicious and as it turns out thai flavors on a pizza are pretty darn good too. This was delightfully different. My son who strangely doesn't like pizza (tell me-what boy doesn't like pizza?!) rolled his eyes when we sat down to this meal. But we have a must-taste rule at our dinner table and before I knew it he was chowing down and going back for seconds and thirds and exclaiming "this is so good Mom!". Take THAT non-pizza lover! I found myself sneaking another piece after the kids went to bed-but hey, at least it wasn't my usual chocolate. A word to the wise-this can be a bit spicy, but just skip or tone down the red pepper flakes and you should be good. We liked ours with the heat though.

Thai Chicken Pizza
{Recipe from Tasty Kitchen Blog}

1 batch of favorite pizza dough, thinner crust is best in this case
Cornmeal for sprinkling pizza stone/pan
1/4-1/2 cup thai sweet red chili sauce (found mine in specialty asian section store)
1 whole shallot, thinly sliced
1/2 whole zucchini, thinly sliced
1 t or less red chili flakes
1 cup cooked shredded chicken (I simmered mine in chicken broth with a dash of curry powder)
2/3 cup shredded mozzarella (grating your own is always better for the melting factor)
A small handful of finely chopped peanuts
2 T fresh cilantro
2 T fresh basil (thai or otherwise)

Preheat your oven to 500 and roll or shape/stretch dough until 1/4 inch thick. Place dough on pizza stone, pan, or cookie sheet that has been lightly sprinkled with corn meal. (I usually spray first with cooking spray). Spread a thin layer of sweet chili sauce over pizza dough. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Layer on shallots, zucchini, and chicken. Spread shredded mozzarella evenly over entire pizza. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is golden and crust is lightly golden. (Keep a good eye on it, as ovens may vary). Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped peanuts, cilantro, and basil. Slice and serve.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting

I realize fall and Thanksgiving and Halloween have all come and gone and we're probably all "pumpkin-ed" out, but nevertheless here's my favorite recipe for pumpkin bars. It comes from my friend Shannon and although I had another pumpkin bar recipe once upon a time, when I tried hers I knew this had to be the one. There's just something about it. Everything tastes better when someone else makes it, but even making these myself I was more than happy to devour more than anyone ever should. Save the recipe for next year or make them today-either way your tummy will thank you!

Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting
{Recipe from Shannon R., Hi Shannon!}

2 cups sugar
1 cup oil
4 eggs
2 cups pumpkin (I just used a typical can)
1/2 t salt
2 cups flour
2 t baking powder
2 t cinnamon
1/4 t nutmeg

Preheat oven to 325. Grease with cooking spray and flour a 11x17 cookie cheese. Mix all ingredients in order. Pour into greased cookie sheet and bake for 25 minutes at 325. After bars have cooled sufficiently (I like them just a tad warm so that the frosting warms a bit and smoothes out nicely), mix together frosting ingredients and frost. Sprinkle with cinnamon if you'd like.

3 oz cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla
3/4 cup oleo or butter, soft
2-3 cups powdered sugar (depends on your desired consistency, I err on the side of less for a "thinner" frosting)
Splash of milk, as needed.

Cream together and frost.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Life-Changing White Chicken Chili

2 recipes today, yay! Pico de gallo follows. Hopefully back on the posting bandwagon, after a bit of a for no good reason break!
This is far and away the best soup recipe I have. It's even award-winning! As in it won first place at our ward chili cook-off one year long ago. However I was not the one who made it then, a friend of mine did and I immediately tracked her down for the recipe.
I usually make it in the crock pot but it can also be made on the stovetop, depending on your time constraints and what really takes it over the the top is a generous spoonful of homemade pico de gallo. A. Maze. Ing.

White Chicken Chili {Crock Pot}
Note: The recipe below is for stove-top directions, but following it are the crock pot directions.

Original Stove-Top Version: (smaller quantity-thicker and more chili-like)
1 lb chicken breast
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 15oz. cans great northern beans
1 can chicken broth
2 4 oz cans diced green chilies
1 t salt
1 t cumin
1 t pepper
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T finely minced jalepeno (or more to taste)
All seasonings may need to be adjusted to taste (salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne)

Cook chicken in broth, remove and shred. Saute onion and garlic until tender. Add to broth. Add beans (mostly drained), chilies, spices, jalapeno, and shredded chicken. Bring to boil, reduce heat, summer uncovered 30 minutes. Turn to low, stir in sour cream and whipping cream. Serve with a generous spoonful of pico de gallo.

Crock Pot Version: (feeds more and is a bit thinner, more soup-like)
2 chicken breasts, frozen or fresh
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 15oz. cans great northern beans
1 32 oz. carton chicken broth (4 cups)
1 small+1 large cans diced green chilies
1+ t salt
2 t cumin
1+ t pepper
1/4+ t cayenne pepper
1 1/2 to 2 cups sour cream
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 T finely minced jalepeno (or more to taste)
All seasonings may need to be adjusted to taste (salt, pepper, cumin, cayenne)

Place fresh of frozen chicken breasts in crock pot. Pour in 2 cups chicken broth, making sure the breast are immersed-add more broth if neccessary. Cook on high 4 hours, until shreddable. Shred chicken and place back in crock pot. May need to skim the chicken broth a bit. Saute onions and garlic in a bit of oil until tender and fragrant. Add to crock pot. Pour in remaining broth (if any is left), mostly drained beans, green chilies, salt, cumin, pepper, and cayenne. Cook on low for another 3-4 hours, or high 2 hours. 30 minutes before serving add sour cream, whipping cream, and jalapenos. Before serving, taste and adjust if neccessary. I usually always add more salt, pepper, cumin, and cayenne. Ladle into bowl and serve with fresh pico.

Basic Pico de Gallo a la Emily

Pico de gallo. That wonderful, wonderful condiment. I'm not a huge fan of dipping in pico, there are other homemade salsas I like better for that application, but I AM a huge fan of using it as my mexican food topping of choice. Chicken tacos x's 2, enchiladas, you name it if it's latin american inspired-I'm heaping pico de gallo on top every single time. (My taste buds say ground meat mexican dishes aren't good candidates for pico-but shredded pork, beef, or chicken numbers definitely are.) I'm sharing this in conjunction with this amazing white chicken chili because it's an absolutely necessary addition in my humble opinion.
It can seem a tad time-consuming what with the chopping, and seeding, and chopping some more. But it's oh so worth it.

Basic Pico de Gallo
A word to the wise-this is more a list of ingredients and less a use this exact amount recipe. Personalize to your tastes and taste plenty as you go to direct what you add more of. The real key with pico is to use LOTS of the non-tomato items. Most people use onions and cilantro as a minor addition to tomatoes. Don't do it! Shoot for an equal amount of onions to tomato ratio. And plenty of cilantro is a must. Lastly, removing the juicy seedy pulp from the tomatoes before chopping and adding them to the bowl is crucial in my opinion. More time consuming, but crucial.

6+ roma tomatoes, halved, seeds and extra juice removed, and chopped into itty bitty pieces
1 large white onion, chopped into pieces similar in size to tomatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, finely minced
juice of one lime or lemon
1 T white vinegar, give or take
plenty of kosher salt and black pepper to taste
1 jalapeno, mostly seeded and very finely minced
garlic powder to taste if desired
generous handful of cilantro, chopped
Optional: red pepper flakes for added heat

Combine all ingredients, taste and adjust. Best if you let sit a bit before serving so flavors can meld. Keeps for about a day, but really not any longer. Best served the same day.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Indoor Smores {No Bake}

Our family loves s'mores so much. Too much. We eat them all summer long, roasting marshmallows in our backyard if we aren't camping and of course if we are! And then in the winter we've been known to roast them in our fireplace or broil them in the oven or even the microwave and if we're feeling particularly lazy a small bowl of marshmallows, chocolate chips, and a few graham crackers does the trick. And that's just for the traditional s'mores. We've also had s'mores hot chocolate. And I have a s'mores chocolate chip cookie recipe bookmarked to try someday. See it's a bona fide addiction!

And then there are these amazing little bars of no-bake s'more goodness. My friend Carolee was visiting us one summer and slapped these out for us and we could not have loved them more. And in typical Emily fashion I went an indoor s'mores binge and probably overdid it, because it'd been quite awhile since I'd made them. But the other day I all of a sudden had to have them again and promptly made them for our family movie night and was ashamed and maybe a little mad at myself that I'd waited so long ;0)
You are SO gonna love these dangerously delicious treats!

Indoor S'Mores
{Slightly adapted recipe from: Carolee}

3/4 cup light corn syrup
3 T butter
1 pkg (11.5 oz) milk chocolate chips
3 cups mini marshmallows, divided
1 t vanilla
1 box golden graham cereal (12 oz or about 9 cups)

Grease 9x13 pan with cooking spray. Heat syrup, butter, choco chips to boiling, stir constantly. Turn down heat and add 2 cups mini marshmallows and stir well until melted and well combined. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Mix cereal and remaining cup of marshmallows in large mixing bowl. Pour chocolate mixture over all and while using sturdy rubber spatula work quickly to thoroughly coat cereal. Press warm mixture into the greased baking dish using hands coated to cooking spray to spread evenly and compress. Let stand at least 1 hour. Cut into squares and serve. Makes about 24 squares. Store at room temp up to two days. I imagine these could be frozen or refrigerated to last longer, but our never stick around that long, so I don't know for certain!