Friday, April 17, 2015

S'mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue and Friday Faves

Fave Sweets:

I think I've admitted this before, but I'm pretty selfish about my cooking.  Meaning that I don't very often make things that I don't particularly like.  Meringue would fall into that category.  Take meringue pies, for instance.  I'll replace that shit with whipped cream every.  time.  It's not a taste thing because what can taste bad about egg whites and sugar?  It's totally the texture.  Oh my gross, it's squishy.  Like those Easter peeps.  Ugh.  Hate them.


But I saw this recipe in last month's Food and Wine and I really wanted to make it but I couldn't reconcile replacing the meringue with whipped cream.  I mean who has heard of a S'more with whipped cream?  I considered making a marshmallow topping or even using some large marshmallows and browning them with a kitchen torch, but then in some random conversation with the husband, he mentioned how much he loves meringue and I mentioned how much I hate it so that's why he never gets it and he got all pouty-faced so......


I made the fucking meringue.  And I still don't like it.  But he did and I earned a brownie point of which I don't have many.  Speaking of brownie.....if I made these again (and I probably will but I'm going to try the marshmallows) I'd make the graham cracker crust thinner and the brownie portion thicker.  So you might take that into consideration.  Or not.


But you should make them because they're really tasty (if you take the meringue part off), really easy and they make for a great presentation.  And they don't require you to chop any logs and build a fire in order to get a S'more!!  Bonus.

Here's the recipe:

S'mores Bars with Marshmallow Meringue
Food and Wine
April, 2015

Ingredients

Crust:
3 cups graham cracker crumbs (12oz)
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp packed light brown sugar
1/4 tsp fine sea salt

Brownie filling:
1 stick cold unsalted butter, cubed
4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1.4 tsp fine sea salt
2 late eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Meringue
3 large egg whites
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp cream of tarter

Directions:
Make the crust:  Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.  Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, allowing 2 inches of overhang on two sides.  In a medium bowl, using a fork, mix all of the ingredients until evenly moistened.  Press the crumbs evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.  Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, just until lightly browned.  Let cool completely.  Leave the oven on.

Make the filling:  In a heat-proof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, about 5 minutes.  Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugar, vanilla and salt.  Whisk in the eggs until smooth, then stir in the flour until just incorporated.  Spread the batter evenly over the cooled crust.  Bake for about 25 minutes, until the edge is set but the center is still slightly jiggly.  Transfer to a rack and let cool completely.

Make the meringue:  Preheat the broiler.  In a heat-proof medium bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk the egg whites with the sugar until the whites are warm and the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes.  Transfer the egg whites to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk.  Add the vanilla and cream of tartar and beat at medium speed until firm.  Increase the speed to high and beat the meringue until stiff and glossy, 5 to 7 minutes.

Mound the meringue on top of the filling, swirling it decoratively.  Broil the meringue 8 inches from the heat until lightly browned at the tips, about 1 minute  Cut into bars and serve.

The bars can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.


Fave Listening:

I like to listen to music on my walks with Fletcher but lately I've been into a few different podcasts.  They're anywhere from 20 minutes to an hour long and they really make the walk pass quickly.  Here are a few of my favorites:

This is an extension of the Cherry Bombe magazine which features women in the food industry.  The podcast is hosted by food-writer, Julia Turshen, and she talks to some of the most influential women in food today.  My favorites have been her interviews with Mimi Sheraton, Ina Garten, Sara Moulton and Dorie Greenspan and Christine Muhlke.  If you need a fun drinking game, drink every time Julia says "that's so"....anything.  You'll be wasted!  If you're just going for a good buzz limit the drinks to anytime she says "that's so funny".

This is hosted by Food52 founders Merrill Stubbs and Amanda Hesser.  There have only been three of these so far but I really enjoyed the one on cookbooks.

The Mad Men Pre-Game Show
All things relating to the final seven episodes of Man Men.  I'm really gonna miss this show.

Mad Men AfterBuzz TV AfterShow
Yes....more Mad Men discussion

I've only listened to one of these but I really liked the host, Dan Pashman, and I can't wait to listen to more of them.

Because I've read both of her books and love her "voice",  I can't wait to get started on back episodes of this one with Molly Wizenberg.

All of these can be downloaded on iTunes.  What are your favorites?


Fave Food Links:

Local strawberries are starting to show up and the farmer's stands around town so.....

This Strawberry Summer Cake from Smitten Kitchen is one of my all-time favorites.

My next Friday night will include a big, ole pitcher of these Strawberry Basil Margaritas

This Strawberry Pistachio Tart sounds so easy and so yummy!

And it's rhubarb season.....glorious rhubarb!!

I made this pie today and OMG.....Straight Up Rhubarb Pie

Have y'all ever had a drink made with a shrub?  And no, not the kind from your yard.  It's a vinegar based syrup, and apparently its a thing.  This Shrubarb Cocktail (see what they did there?) made with a rhubarb-ginger shrub is happening.  

These Rhubarb and Rose Hand Pies are adorable!!


Fave Internet Reads:

What the beautiful writer, Anne Lamott, knows on the eve of her 61st birthday.  Good.  Stuff.


Oh! Oh! Oh!  Carrie Bradshaw is coming back to HBO!!!  No one is killing it like HBO right now.  Great programming.


This workout made me cry.  

When does your food really expire.  I'll be cleaning my cupboards now.

How to make the perfect bed.  When you get this mastered, will you come make mine?

Gisele Bundchen's body asked her to retire from runway work.  Bless her heart.



Have a great weekend everyone.  Wish Fletcher and I luck on our 5K tomorrow.  I'll need it.  He won't.


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