Smores Hand Pies

So I originally made these for the 4th of July but never got around to posting about them.  Luckily they have become relevant again for two reasons. First: it is HOT in southern California. Like 90 degrees. So it still feels like summer, which makes summer treats appropriate. Second, and more importantly: yesterday was election day! I am so proud that our country spoke up and re-elected President Obama, and that same sex marriage has been protected in four states! AMERICA!!!!!

I am very saddened that Prop 37 which would have required food containing GMOs to be labeled as so did not pass, but this was just the beginning. The fight against GMOs will continue!

Anyway, these pies were so yummy. They require a bit of backstory: back in April, my wonderful mother bought me a Breville electric personal pie maker (she knows me so well) and this was my first time using it. The manual suggest using puff pastry, but I love my mom’s pie crust that I went ahead and made my own from scratch!

It’s simple. You press your crust into the pie maker, then add in some graham cracker crumbs or chunks and some chocolate chips. Cook until the pie crust begins to brown on the edges, then, while they are still hot, top with marshmallows. And that’s it! Your own personal smores pie!

 

Devil’s Food Cake with Vanilla Frosting for my Brother’s High School Graduation

This past weekend my little brother graduated from high school, and I felt old.  But I also feel very proud and so happy for him to be going onto college (especially because he is coming to the same one I go to!!).  I asked him if I could make him anything for the special day, and he asked for devil’s food cake with vanilla frosting.  I found the cake recipe at The Cooking Photographer, and the icing recipe at Lisa is Hungry. The two recipes complemented one another very well, and my brother enjoyed the cake!

Ingredients for the cake:

  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 
1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/3 cups cold water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

Ingredients for the frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 4 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Grease and flour two 9 inch, 8 inch, or a 13×9 inch pan.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on medium high to high speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Add sugar and vanilla; beat until well combined.
  5. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each.
  6. Add cocoa powder, salt and water and mix well.
  7. Mix in the baking soda then add flour beating on low speed until combined.
  8. Pour batter into the prepared pan(s).
  9. Bake for 33 to 40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Cool layer cakes in pan for 10 minutes.
  11. Run a knife along the edges and remove cakes from pans.
  12. Cool thoroughly on wire racks.
  13. Make your frosting: Beat the powdered sugar and butter together in an electric mixer fit with a paddle attachment on medium low speed until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Turn the mixer speed to low.
  14. Combine the milk and the vanilla extract and slowly stream it into the butter and sugar mixture.
  15. Once incorporated, turn the mixer to high and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy, at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  16. Give to your baby brother for his graduation.

Chocolate Cupcakes with Goat Cheese Frosting

If you like cheese or goat cheese in particular, you will love these.  If you don’t, but you like chocolate, you’ll love the cupcake part.  Either way, you should try them.  They got left out on my kitchen and my cat licked almost half of the icing off of an entire cupcake!  Needless to say she is a cheese lover and lover of food in general.  I adapted this recipe from Butrcreamblondi.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Cupcakes

  • 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temp.
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2teaspoon. vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup coffee 
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
Goat Cheese Frosting
  • 14 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make coffee and set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars till light and fluffy.
  4. Add egg and vanilla.
  5. Sift dries together.
  6. Alternate adding the dries with the coffee and buttermilk.
  7. Fill cupcake pans and bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes rotating once halfway through.
  8. Cream goat cheese, light brown sugar, and vanilla on medium speed till creamy.
  9. Whip heavy cream and powdered sugar till stiff.
  10. Fold whipped cream into goat cheese mixture and refrigerate till ready to use.