Sunday, November 14, 2010

S'mores Cups

A while back, I made this tart.  As I said then, I was not thrilled with the results.  I was, however, enamoured of the fluffy marshmallow layer, and knew I wanted to use it again in something else.  It seemed like it would be perfect with a graham cracker crust and a chocolate drizzle.  Do you see where I'm going with this?  That's right, s'mores pie. 

But there's another little twist.  I had friends coming over, and when I invited them over, I told them that they would make the dessert of their choice.  They just said they wanted something that would be a finger food.

So, s'mores pie quickly became...  

S'mores cups

A note about the photo that I just have to share:  I made these, and served them to my friends, but saved out the prettiest one to photograph for the blog.  I put it on a separate plate.  Somehow during the clean up and the friends leaving, the pretty one got stuck on the plate with the rest of them.  The hubs wanted one, so he picked one up (guess which one...) and took a bite.  I immediately freaked out, realizing that the little plate I had put the pretty one on was empty, and the hubs was eating my photo subject!  But, it all worked out in the end, because the bite he took was nearly perfect, so I used the cup for the photo anyway.

These cups are pretty easy to make, and don't take a whole lot of hands-on time.  The crust has to cool a little, and the marshmallow layer needs time to set, but it's not a big deal. 

Graham Cracker Crust
Source: America's Test Kitchen Family Baking Book

8 whole graham crackers, broken into 1-inch pieces
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
3 tablespoons sugar

(Flour pile note:  first, i used cinnamon graham crackers, because i like the little extra flavor they give.  second, i made a bit of a change.  instead of the 3 tablespoons of sugar, i added about 1/4 or 1/3 cups of toffee bits.  it makes the crust a little crunchier and a slight bit sturdier, which is good when you are trying to have these things in your hands without them falling apart.)

Adjust and oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees.  Process the graham cracker pieces to a food processor to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds.  If using the toffee bits, add them at this time and pulse a few times to combine.  Sprinkle the butter and sugar over the crumbs and pulse to incorporate.

At this time, you can press the mixture into a pie plate, or you can press it into muffin cups like I did.

If you are making this in muffin cups, line 8 of the cups of a muffin pan with paper liners.  Press about 1/3 cup of the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the cup.  I found this easiest when I dumped the crumbs in the cup, then sort of made a well in the center, and then used the measuring cup to pack down the crumbs in the muffin cup.

Bake the crusts for 12-14 minutes until browned and fragrant.  Mine puffed up a little during baking, but as they cooled they settled down.  Allow the cups to cool before filling.

For the marshmallow filling:
Source: Rachel Ray Magazine

1/3 cup milk
28 large marshmallows

In a double boiler, melt the marshmallows and milk, stirring frequently until smooth.  Remove from the heat and let it cool. 

When it's cooled some (I did this when the filling was slightly warmer than room temp), spoon the filling into the crust cups.  Put the cups in the fridge and let them set for about an hour. 

After the cups were cooled, I drizzled them with some melted chocolate.  To melt the chocolate, just put a couple of handfuls of chocolate (a broken up bar is best, but chips will work) into a double boiler and stir constantly until melted and smooth.  If the chocolate doesn't get thin enough to drizzle, put a few drops of vegetable oil in it.  After the chocolate was melted, I put it in a ziplock bag (let it cool enough to handle), snipped the tip off, and drizzled it on the cups.

You could also top these with some chocolate ganache, if you want more chocolate flavor.  I did not have all of the ingredients to make ganache, and also I prefer more marshmallow to chocolate in my s'mores, so the drizzle was just right for me.

I recommend that you let the chocolate set a little before serving, but that didn't happen as we were all eager to eat them.  Slightly messy, but oh sooooo good. 

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