Everything Strawberry S’more Bars

Soon I’ll be headed off back to college so my current goal is emptying out my fridge, freezer, and pantry of anything perishable. It’s taken a lot of self control, but I’ve shied away from the grocery store for the past few weeks. Yesterday was a friend’s birthday, and I wanted to bring something sweet, so I decided to throw together whatever leftover ingredients I could find.

These bars are truly a strange assortment of ingredients . They have graham crackers, speculoos cookies,frozen bread crumbs from making these vegan sandwiches, gelatin-free marshmallows, salted premium butter, earth balance, aquafaba, toasted pecans, frozen Upick strawberries, homemade chocolate shell, flour, brown sugar, and baking powder. Granted, it’s hard to mess up a combination like that. 

The slight acidity of the strawberries brings a welcome freshness to the sweetness of the marshmallows and graham crackers. They’re a little chewy, a little gooey, a little crispy, and tasty all around.

Everything Strawberry S’more Bars 

Crispy chewy soft cracker cookie bars – good enough to make by itself tbh

In a food processor pulse until crumbs:

  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 8 oz cookie crumbs (I used 5 oz, aka 1 sleeve, graham crackers, 2 oz plain bread crumbs, and 1 oz speculoos cookies)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Add:

  • 3/4 cup premium salted butter and/or earth balance (I used 1 stick earth balance & 1/4 cup premium salted butter)

Pulse until sandy textured. Add:

  • 1 egg or 3 tbs aquafaba(I used aquafaba)

Pulse until large clumps start to form.

Press 2/3 of the dough into the bottom of an 8×8 pan. I recommend lining the pan with parchment paper by cutting 2 strips of parchment, 8 inches wide and 12 inches long each, and laying them perpendicular in the pan. This prevents the marshmallow filling from sticking.

On top of the batter, scatter:

  • ~1/2-3/4 cup good quality chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup toasted pecans, chopped (I toasted them in a nonstick pan for a few minutes)

Store the 1/3 remaining dough in the fridge while preparing the strawberry marshmallow filling.

Strawberry Marshmallow Filling* 

Note: Alternatively, heat up 2/3 cup strawberry jam and proceed to the marshmallow step.

In a saucepan, combine:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 oz frozen or fresh strawberries

Cook until most of the water has been boiled away, about 15 minutes. Stir in:

  • 3/4 cup large or small marshmallows (~6 oz)

Stir until the marshmallows are mostly melted. Little chunks are ok and will add nice variation to the final bars.

Spread the strawberry marshmallow filling over the dough. Scatter the remaining dough on top in ~2 tsp chunks.

Bake the bars at 375 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the top dough is lightly golden brown. Let the bars cool completely before removing from the pan, and refrigerate before cutting. Enjoy!

 

 

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Classic Banana Bread

bananabread1

Last week I came home to six overripe bananas. They were sitting on the counter: mushy, with outsides spotted brown, and no one wanted to eat them.

So I did what anyone would do; I made banana bread. I used a really simple recipe (normally I use one that calls for creme fraiche among other specialty ingredients), and surprisingly, the results were really good!

I topped slices with strawberries and chocolate ganache, and wow, it was delicious!

bananabread2

Classic Banana Bread

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup vegetable oil
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  2. In another bowl, beat together the oil, sugar, and vanilla.
  3. Whisk in the eggs, one at a time.
  4. Stir in the mashed bananas.
  5. Add fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients, stirring until barely mixed.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  7. Bake in a greased loaf pan at 350 degrees, for about 45 minutes to an hour.