Monday, June 8, 2015

The snores come when the sugar rush goes

A week ago, while wandering through the grocery store I saw a display of s'mores ingredients, all on sale, which reminded me that it is the time of year for s'mores goodness. I was feeding the missionaries the next night and already knew what I was making them for dessert, but I saw the s'mores stuff and, well, they say one of the signs of addiction is being unable to say no.

I then posted this picture on Instagram:

In case you're wondering, there's a layer of the best chocolate chip cookie dough in the world, then an entire bag of melted chocolate (milk, which is sort of a giant disappointment these days, but you don't want to waste 85 percent Colombian cocoa on graham crackers -- or missionaries), a bunch of marshmallows and graham cracker crumbs/dust/bits that survived my beating the bag with my rolling pin.

And then, in a coup de grace, I gave it the hashtag #snores.

This, people, is why the world needs editors. Or why I should look at stuff I write before I hit send.

Anyway, once I got over the shame and humiliation that comes with mistaking a mistake on social media, the cookie delights were done. Though I am generally a fan of diving into such gooey goodness literally as soon as it cools enough to give me no more than first-degree burns, I waited on this one. Until the next day, in fact. And, just like that story about kids + marshmallows = life success, the waiting paid off.

So, so good. I stored the last couple in the freezer and discovered they're amazing to eat frozen. If I wasn't afraid of initiating diabetes just from eating this cookie, I would suggest you make it in a pie or cake pan, invite a few close friends (2-3, but who am I kidding? No one has more than three close friends anymore. It's just too hard in your 30s. You find those few you can have embarrassing moments with and stick with them) -- sorry, sidetracked. Right. Make it in a smaller container, don't use all the dough at once, and as soon as that ooey, gooey, sugar filled mess comes out of the oven -- ice cream. 

But if you do top it with ice cream, know you will be eating it with a fork out of the same pan as your friends. Hence the need for them to be close. You need to know sharing germs is OK. And that they will respect the boundary lines of the cookie and not try to eat more than their share. Also, we should be friends. I have references.

Here's the recipe; it's super easy. I didn't really come up with a new for these besides diabetes bars, and let's face it, that could apply to half of the things I cook. S'mores sandwich bars? Kind of generic. Scrumdiddlyumptious bars? Hard to spell. Also probably copyrighted by Willy Wonka. S'more chocolate s'more gooey bars? Wow, I am really good at this. Here we go!

Those Cookies Heidi Made That One Time

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar (NOT PACKED)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
4 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt (use all of this)
2 cups (1 normal bag) semisweet (at least) chocolate chips
4-6 honey graham crackers
3 cups marshmallows
1 bag milk chocolate chips

(Oven is at 325 degrees; it should take about 20 minutes to make and 25-30 to cook. You can refrigerate the dough. More on that in a minute.)

1. As in every chocolate chip cookie recipe ever, cream the sugars and butter until it's smooth and "fluffy." (Snotty air quotes because fluffy isn't really how I would describe that it does, but it should be a uniform color and consistency and shouldn't have any butter or brown sugar chunks.)

2. Add eggs and vanilla; stir until it's all mixed together.

3. Add flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt; again, stir until it's consistent. Add the first bag of chocolate chips; mix a few more times.

4. (optional) Stick the dough in the refrigerator for an hour. This allows the flavors to combine a little and will make the dough stiffer, which is generally nice for what you're doing but a little annoying when you're putting the top layer on. But you'll be fine either way. 

5. Line a baking dish with parchment paper. I used an 8x11 glass dish; the bars were fairly thick but in a good way. You can go larger or smaller, but adjust the baking time conversely -- a larger pan means the whole thing will cook through faster, and possibly be less ooey and gooey. If you don't have parchment paper, use aluminum foil with the shiny side up. But line the pan. If you don't, you may regret it come eating time (unless you're going at it with a fork straight out of the pan).

6. Wash your hands.

7. Get your cookie dough and put about half of it into the pan, mashing it down and into corners so the whole pan is covered. (See why your hands should be clean?) Mine was about half an inch thick.

8. Pour the second bag of chocolate chips into a microwave-safe glass bowl; microwave on high for 30 seconds. Stir. Microwave for another 15 seconds and stir. Repeat until all the chocolate is melted. (Small chunks are OK. It doesn't have to be perfectly smooth.)

9. Either open a bag of graham crackers and put 4-6 into a zippered plastic or just use a rolling pin on the unopened bag of graham crackers. And by use, I don't mean roll gently. Beat the bag with the pin. I'd stay away from just graham cracker crumbs, because the flavor will get lost in the mix.

10. Pour the melted chocolate into the pan and spread it evenly with a spoon or spatula. Alternatively, you could not melt it and just sprinkle the chocolate chips, or chocolate bars, on the dough. It will melt in the oven, but it'll reharden once it comes out of the oven, as chocolate chips do. It'll taste generally the same, but unless those extra couple of minutes are going to set you way behind, I'd melt it.

11. Sprinkle marshmallows evenly on top. If you want more than I recommended, go for it.

12. Put the rest of the dough on top of all this. If your dough's been in the fridge it's not going to spread, so just break it into chunks and lay it on top. The dough will spread out as it cooks and cover most of the goodies inside, with a few peeking out for good measure.

13. Bake in a preheated 325-degree oven for 25 minutes. The top should be golden brown. A toothpick will not come out clean. It may need an extra five minutes; watch it closely it you leave it in for longer.

14. When it's done, put the entire pan on a cooling rack and walk away. I'm serious. I made these at night and went straight to bed. Go to a movie or whatever. Let them cool. After an hour or two you just grab the edges of the parchment paper and the whole thing lifts out. I put the whole thing on a cutting board and used my super cool pizza cutter to slice in 30 seconds. 

In case you're on the fence about making these, some things to keep in mind:

About half of the marshmallows will caramelize in the oven, leaving you with chewy caramel in this already full to bursting with awesome cookie.

You get to eat cookie dough. 

Few combinations are as good as chocolate with more chocolate.

If you share, people will say nice things to you.

If you don't share, you have that entire pan all to yourself.

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