Mexican S'mores // Summer of S'mores Pt. 3

It is Monday, and I am sure we could all use a little chocolate.  Let's get into this!   

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

These s’mores were supposed to come to you last Friday, in time for your weekend… I'm sorry. 

I would like to tell you that I always have my recipes tested on time, photographed perfectly on the first try, and my posts scheduled, but that is just not the case some weeks.  

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

I staged and restaged these s’mores until I finally gave up for the day and set them aside until morning.  Usually such a failure would have ended in tears of defeat and discouragement, but last Thursday, I exchanged the tears for some deep breaths and reminded myself that nothing good could come out of my striving against the Sun. 

Thankfully, Friday morning's light was much more congenial, and s'mores happen to make a mighty fine breakfast. 

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

It is a challenge to let go of my minutely-organized schedule.  To release the fears of losing your gracious-given attention and interest, and to accept the fact that sometimes, no amount of preparation can save me from the occasional blunder. 

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

Though they are late, these s'mores are absolutely superb.  I may not make tacos, or enchiladas, but I do make a pretty fine Mexican s’more.  

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

Let’s break this down.  Homemade cinnamon vanilla marshmallows, chocolate spiked with a pinch of cayenne and a hearty dose of ground cinnamon, smooth dulce de leche, and of course, graham crackers.  I really wish I had thought of using cinnamon sugar graham crackers for these s'mores.  Sadly, that little dose of genius just occurred to me two minutes ago, but it's not too late for you.  Go for the cinnamon, spice it up!     

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

Can a s’more be a s’more if you use a cookie in place of the graham crackers?  I don’t think so, but part of me really wants to make a s’more with a gooey, slightly underdone chocolate chip cookie… Let’s come back to that soon, okay?

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

These s’mores can have as much or as little heat as you like.  I like mine on the hotter side, but if you are making them for little ones you could forgo the cayenne altogether. 

Mexican S'mores {Pedantic Foodie}

These s'mores are not exactly mess-free, but I have never known a good s'more that was.  Happy Monday! 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Mexican S’mores

makes 12, but can easily be divided or multiplied

for the s’mores

- 6 ounces milk or dark chocolate, either is delicious 

- 1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper 

- 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 12 full graham crackers, broken in half

- 3/4 cup dulce de leche (you could make your own, but I took some help from my trusty friend Trader Joe)

- 12 cinnamon vanilla marshmallows (recipe below)

In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate by microwaving at thirty second increments, stirring after each.  Stir in ground spices.  Refrigerate the chocolate for 15-25 minutes, until the chocolate has thickened to a spreadable consistency, but has not hardened. 

To assemble: Spread one tablespoon of dulce de leche on one half of your graham cracker.  Set a marshmallow on top and toast with a kitchen torch.*  Spread about one tablespoon of chocolate on the remaining graham cracker half and place on top of the marshmallow, with the chocolate facing down.  Yeah, you know how to do this. ;) Serve immediately.  Enjoy! 

*Cook’s note:  You can certainly go the traditional route and toast your marshmallows over a campfire, however, I have found that homemade marshmallows tend to melt quicker and more easily over an open flame.  While I would normally suggest popping these under the broiler if you are making them for a group, the high heat does not blend well with the dulce de leche, so I would highly recommend investing in a torch.  I found mine at the hardware store for about fifteen dollars.  You’ll thank yourself.  (It’s way fun to torch things.) 

cinnamon vanilla marshmallows

- 3 packages unflavored gelatin 

- 1 cup ice cold water, divided use

- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

- 1 cup light corn syrup

- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar

Prepare a 9x13 pan by greasing with nonstick spray and dusting liberally with powdered sugar.  

In the work bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the whisk attachment, add 1/2 cup ice water and sprinkle with gelatin; allow to bloom while you prepare the syrup. 

In a small saucepan, combine remaining 1/2 cup ice water, granulated sugar, kosher salt, and corn syrup.  Place over medium high heat and cover.  Cook for 4 minutes, then uncover and attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan.  Cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F; about 8 minutes.  When syrup has come to temperature remove from the heat immediately.  With the stand mixer on low speed, slowly stream in the syrup.  

When all the syrup has been added, increase the speed to high.  Whip for 13 minutes.  During the last minute of beating, add ground cinnamon and vanilla extract.  Fold the marshmallow into the prepared pan and dust the top liberally with powdered sugar.  Cover the pan and let it set for 4-8 hours, until firm.

Flip the marshmallow out of the pan and unto a surface dusted with confectioner's sugar.  Use a greased pizza cutter to cut into squares.  Toss the cut squares in your remaining powdered sugar and store in an airtight container until ready to use, or up to a week.  Enjoy!


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Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte

This Summer has been one of my favorites yet.  The weather has been almost bearable, the humidity tame, and the berries plentiful.  It's been good. 

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

As with all of life, there has also been some really icky, unenjoyable, and very tearful moments. Pains of life, both physical and mental, that even cookies cannot fix.  However, each day, I have been able to get out of bed, even if it hurts, take a breath of summer's warm tonic, and remember that I am very loved by some very sweet people.  I count you, my dear readers, among them. I'm thankful for you.

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

On such mornings, I do not need anything, except grace, but a cup of coconut-laden coffee has never hurt. 

You know I am obsessed.  There is no hiding it.  Coconut cream is the new butter, at least in my kitchen. 

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

I decided to change things up a bit and try using brown sugar in this latte, but you could definitely use simple syrup instead (I recommend always having some in your fridge, especially in the warmer months).  I liked the subtle richness and depth the brown sugar added.

A hefty dose of coconut cream goes into this drink.  Some mornings I just want coffee-flavored cream.  You may adjust the ratios to your taste.  This is not so much a recipe as it is meant for inspiration. 

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

I made a pot of coffee and poured it into an ice cube tray to make this drink somewhat frosty. 

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

Add a spoonful of whipped cream, if you fancy it. 

Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte {Pedantic Foodie}

We might cry in our cars now and then, but at least we have sunny mornings, sweet friends, and coffee treats. 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie


Frozen Coconut Cream & Brown Sugar Latte

makes 2

2 cups boiling water 

6 tablespoons finely ground coffee

1/4 cup light brown sugar 

3/4 cup almond or coconut milk

1/2 - 1 cup coconut cream (depending on personal preference)

optional: whipped cream (1/2 cup heavy cream whipped with 2 tbs confectioner’s sugar)

Place your coffee grounds in the bottom of a french press and cover with boiling water.  Allow the coffee to steep for five minutes and then press with the plunger.  

When the coffee has cooled, pour it into an ice cube tray and freeze overnight. 

Place the coffee cubes in the base of your blender, along with brown sugar, coconut milk, and coconut cream.  Blend until smooth.  Top with whipped cream and serve immediately.  Enjoy! 

The Weekend

This past weekend was bursting at the seams with great food and even better company.  Friday evening was the night of my most recent supper club, consisting of the best scallops I have ever made (humble brag, but not really because all credit goes to bacon fat), Joy the Baker's Blueberry and Mint Lemonadeand a gluten-free key lime pie, which one of my diners dubbed "life-changing."  That's the magic of coconut macaroon crust, my friends. 

After standing in the kitchen for nearly 10 hours straight, my feet were screaming at me, and I fell asleep while sitting on the floor describing to my fiance just how tired I was.  It was the best.

The next day my sweetheart and I made our way down to the city and began our Saturday afternoon with truly classic fudge sundays at one of my favorite spots since childhood - a sweet little drive-in diner that has been serving ice cream and barbecue for 112 years.  Always get the limeade, do it. 

We went shopping and I tried on a dozen very unflattering dresses and one very nice dress and then turned to my better half and informed him that I needed to be fed.  Again.  I mean, it had been nearly three hours...

Rather than revisit an old standby, we decided to be adventurous (inspired by my Summer bucket list), and made our way down to what seemed to be a promising little hole in the wall. It was small, crowded, and filled with loud-laughers and Pokemon-searchers.  This hipster hideaway ended up being one of the best eateries I have been to in a very long time.  The menu was simple, consisting of  half a dozen or so tempting grilled cheese sandwiches and several varieties of decadent fries.  Even at the height of my creativity, I would have never thought of putting truffle-scented macaroni and cheese between two slices of bread.  But, thankfully, they did, and I ordered it, and I ate it.  In between bites I gushed about the utter genius of this perfectly executed sandwich, and then my fiance and I said a bitter farewell to our newfound favorite and sat in three hours of traffic. 

I hope your weekend was just as wonderful and filled with the best of food and friends. 

Sincerely, 

Pedantic Foodie