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Friday, September 21, 2012

Homemade Graham Crackers for S'mores

Earlier this week I shared a post for homemade marshmallows. Of course the next logical step is to share a recipe for homemade graham crackers so you can create the widely-loved S'mores!
One fun aspect of making your own crackers is the endless possibilities for shapes. How about heart shaped crackers with strawberry-flavored marshmallows for Valentine's Day? Or maybe duckie shaped crackers with lemon-flavored marshmallows for a baby shower? You see where I'm going...

These crackers are super easy to make and the taste will delight your guests!

2 ¼ all-purpose flour (I prefer unbleached flour)
 ½ cup packed brown sugar
1¾ teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces
3 tablespoons cold water
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla

1. In a bowl whisk together flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
2. Work the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers. The mixture should resemble cornmeal when you are finished.
3. Stir in the cold water, honey and vanilla.
4. Form dough into a ball. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
5. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
6. Roll out dough to your desired thickness between two pieces of parchment (dust lightly with flour if it is sticking). Cut into squares with a pizza cutter or use a cookie cutter for different shapes. Place on lined cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Use a fork to make indentations to your liking.
7. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let set for 10 minutes and transfer to a cooling rack.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Pistachio Marshmallows

Homemade marshmallows are an often requested item for our dessert bars. These clouds of yumminess stand on their own or can be incorporated into a traditional dessert, such as the good-old S'more.
The following recipe is what I consider my 'no fail' marshmallow recipe as it works perfect everytime! I've added pistachios to the following recipe, but you can flavor as you wish (e.g. vanilla bean, lemon zest, etc..).
Pistachio Marshmallows:
  • 1/2 cup crushed pistachios (roasted and salted)
  • 1/2 ounce granulated gelatin
  • 3 fluid ounces cold water
  • 8 ounces granulated sugar
  • 1 fluid ounce light corn syrup
  • 1 fluid ounce water
  • 2 egg whites
  1. Sprinkle gelatin over 3 fluid ounces of cold water. Allow to hydrate.
  2. Add all remaining ingredients, except pistachios, in a mixing bowl. Place bowl over simmering water and whisk until sugar is dissolved (e.g. 140 degrees F).
  3. Add gelatin and whip at medium-high speed using the whisk attachment. Mixture will rise in volume and thicken (note: if you are using food coloring, add a few drops and continue to mix for a minute).
  4. Gently fold pistachios into mixture.
  5. Spread mixture onto a 1/4 sheet pan lined with plastic wrap and buttered.
  6. Chill in refridgerator for approximately 2 hours to fully set.
  7. Cut into desired sizes (note: you may also use a cookie cutter to create shapes).