By Car, Travel

Banff Adventure Day 2: Kootenay National Park

Our Banff Adventure_Day 2 Kootenay National Park & Radium Hot Springs

For the second day of our Banff adventure, we headed back into British Columbia to discover Kootenay National Park and take a dip in the famed Radium Hot Springs. Continue reading “Banff Adventure Day 2: Kootenay National Park”

Recipes, Sweet

S’mores Sandwich Cookies

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In honor of National S’mores Day on August 10, I decided to bake up a sweet treat for my family.  I don’t make time to bake as often as I would like, so it is always nice to have a silly reason to make something new.  It also didn’t hurt that, by some miracle, I wound up with two napping children and a quiet house that afternoon.

I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to S’mores treats and deciding what to bake proved to be a bit of a challenge with all the different mouth-watering combinations of graham, chocolate and marshmallow out there.  I wasn’t in the mood for cupcakes, and although these beautiful S’mores Macarons jumped out at me right away, I didn’t feel up to attempting macarons for the first time.  I then came across these Whoopie Pies with the pretty same layers as the macarons, and it suddenly dawned on me that I had sandwich cookie pans that might make the perfect S’mores inspired treat.

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I found these Wilton sandwich cookie pans Dollarama several months ago and grabbed a couple thinking they would make a cute treat for one of my parties.  They have been sitting in my cupboard unused up until now and I was excited to pull them out to attempt my S’mores inspired goodies.   The pans were easy to use and I love the uniformity of the cookies provided by them.   If you don’t have the pans, however, you could easily just roll out this dough in equal sized balls and bake them up on a cookie sheet.

The graham cracker cookies turned out nice and soft, and work well in combination with the rich chocolate ganache and marshmallow cream frosting.  The cookies are as cute as they are tasty, and this recipe is a simple way to recreate the iconic camping treat at home away from the campfire.  Heck, I am even thinking of foregoing the traditional S’mores and just bringing along these yummy sandwich cookies on our next camping trip.

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S’mores Sandwich Cookies

Makes 24 filled cookies

Graham Cracker Cookies
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour  (I did 3/4 cup white flour and 3/4 whole wheat)
  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg yolks

Chocolate Ganache

  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 3 Teaspoons heavy cream

Marshmallow Cream Filling

  • 1 Jar Marshmallow Cream
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract

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Bake the Graham Cracker Cookies
  1. Pre-heat oven to 350 F. Line cookie sheets with parchment.
  2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Next, add the egg yolks and vanilla and blend.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine your dry ingredients; flour, graham cracker crumbs, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda.
  4. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Blend until combined – mixture may seem a bit crumbly, but it will come together after 2 minutes or so.
  5. Press dough into cavities of Wilton Sandwich Cookie pans or roll dough into 1-inch sized balls and space out on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 5-6 minutes, until bottoms of cookies are lightly browned. Cool 5 or so minutes on cookie sheet and transfer to wire to completely cool.

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Prepare the chocolate ganache

  1. Pour the chocolate chips and heavy cream into a microwave safe bowl.
  2. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring between each until chocolate is melted and smooth.
  3. Place in fridge to cool and thicken as you prepare the marshmallow cream.

Make the Marshmallow Cream

  1. Blend marshmallow cream with shortening until mixture is smooth and fluffy – about 3 minutes on medium speed using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and the vanilla, and beat on low until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

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Assemble your Sandwich Cookies

  1. Spread a layer of chocolate ganache on one side of a cookie.
  2. Using a piping bag, put a swirl of the marsmallow cream on top of the chocolate ganache.
  3. Carefully press your second cookie half onto the top of the marshmallow cream, being carefully not to squish all the filling out.
  4. Set aside for the ganache to fully set.
  5. Repeat with the remaining cookies.

Enjoy!

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Do you have a favorite S’mores inspired treat or sandwich cookie recipe to share?  Please share in the comments below.  I definitely see more homemade sandwich cookies in my future now that I know how easy they can be!

By Car, Travel

13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids and Dogs

13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids & Dogs

Last July we got a new (to us) trailer and made many wonderful memories camping in the last half of the summer and into the fall.  As the snow has begun to melt, we are all longing for the warmer weather and the chance to get the trailer back out of storage so we can go on some new adventures.  Continue reading “13 Lessons Learned Camping with Kids and Dogs”

Celebrations, Parties

Happy National S’mores Day!

August 10 is National S’mores Day.  I know this because it was included as part of the info on the wedding invite I designed for my sister’s camping weekend wedding last summer.  At this time last year I was up to my elbows in marshmallow, graham crumbs and chocolate buttercream working to create the perfect wedding cake to fit in with the S’mores bar at her wedding.

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For my first attempt at a tiered wedding cake, I’d say it turned out pretty darn good!

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The inside of the cake was made up of graham cake, chocolate cake and a layer of homemade marshmallow.  The outside was coated with buttercream as per the bride’s request and gave a bit more of a rustic feel.  I have still never worked with fondant so I was happy to fulfill the buttercream request – homemade marshmallows and stacking cakes was enough new stuff for me to figure out with this project.

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The decoration was fairly simple.  I used a mixture of plain and toasted marshmallow’s and had them cascade down the side of the cake.  Some twigs of decorative pearls finished off the look and added that little bit of sparkle.

As much fun as a 3 layered wedding cake was, I think I will keep things simple this S’mores day and attempt these S’mores cookie bars from Chocolate, Chocolate and More.  For these and other great S’mores recipes, check out my  pinterest board.