Month: April 2016

Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple stuffed oatmeal cookies loaded with your choice of ingredients. Chunky oats, chocolate chips. dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, or even candies, toffee, or nuts! These oatmeal cookies are simple to make, buttery, and full of brown sugar goodness. You can freeze as well! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

There’s something about eating oatmeal cookies that makes me think of breakfast. Maybe it’s years of oatmeal with sliced banana and honey for breakfast or dried fruit and oat topped yogurt snacks, but I tell ya what- oatmeal cookies have got me thinking, “man, this dessert feels pretty healthy.”

Yeah, yeah. I know. Wishful thinking. You can’t blame me for trying.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

I have yet to come to a firm stance on my oatmeal cookie preference. Thin and crisp? Puffy and cake-like? Buttery, crisp edges with a chewy center? The jury is still out on this one, but one thing I do know is that I like my oatmeal cookies fully loaded. If someone created the cookie equivalent to the everything bagel, I would buy and consume them er’ryday. Dried fruit, chocolate chips, a browned butter drizzle… really, just feel free to have your way with my oatmeal cookie. The more the merrier.

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

These cookies are a toned down version of my ultimate fantasy, maxed out, loaded oatmeal cookie, mainly because I know my husband would be ultra-grossed out by any cookie with a dried fruit to cookie dough ratio any greater than 1:1, but this oatmeal cookie also boasts a super chewy texture alllllll the way through, and enough of a variety of add-ins that nearly every bite is a bit different. They’re also super adaptable in that you can mix and match your add-ins according to your preferences. Don’t like dried cranberries? No problem- try apricots! Want to pack a nutty punch? Sub in chopped pecans or peanut butter chips! This oatmeal cookie is pretty much your oyster, so do as you please with it.

I hope you enjoy this recipe! If anyone has any extra luck with a certain flavor combo, give me the dirty deets below in the comments!

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies

 

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Oatmeal Cookies

Loaded Oatmeal Cookies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. These are simple stuffed oatmeal cookies loaded with your choice of ingredients. Chunky oats, chocolate chips. dried fruits like raisins and cranberries, or even candies, toffee, or nuts! These oatmeal cookies are simple to make, buttery, and full of brown sugar goodness. You can freeze as well! Find the recipe on thewoodandspoon.com

Chewy oatmeal cookies filled to brim with craisins, toffee bits, and chocolate chips.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 24 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 3/4 cups quick-cook oatmeal
  • 1 cup craisins
  • 1 cup toffee bits
  • 11/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and smooth, about 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs and beat again for another 4 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed.
  4. Add buttermilk and vanilla, mixing until combined and scraping the bowl as needed.
  5. Combine the flour, baking soda, salt, cornstarch, baking powder, and oatmeal in a separate bowl. Add to the butter mixture and stir on low until just barely combined. Do not over-mix.
  6. Fold in the craisins, chocolate chips, and toffee bits until well combined.
  7. Using an ice cream scoop, portion out 3 tablespoon mounds of dough on to a heavy-bottomed baking sheet. Keep dough balls at least 2 inches apart.
  8. Place in the freezer to chill for 3-4 minutes. Alternatively, you can put the entirety of the dough in the refrigerator to chill for 2 hours.
  9. Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown on the outside and barely set on the inside.
  10. Allow to cool for 2-3 minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a cooling rack.

Notes

  • This is a highly adaptable recipe. You can sub in your favorite chocolate, nuts, and dried fruit easily.
  • Be sure butter is room temp and not too soft or hard out of the refrigerator.

 

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This past weekend, I traveled to Orlando to visit family one last time before I’m due to crank out this baby. At 33 weeks pregnant, waddling around the airport with a wiggly toddler and a carry-on bag full of snacks, diapers, and a well worn copy of “Goodnight Moon” made me a sight to see. By the time we arrived to the sunshine state, Aimee was covered in Goldfish crumbs and chocolate, I was covered in Aimee’s Goldfish/chocolate drool, and we both were in desperate need of a little personal space.

Winding down the last few weeks of pregnancy is a lot like the last couple weeks of school before summer break. I have a never-ending checklist of things to do, things to buy, things to make, and things to wrap up. Baby items to purchase, baby room decor to hang, and a baby quilt to finish sewing. Recipes to test, blog posts to write, photos to take, and groceries to buy. Start a load of wash, make dinner, go to the grocery store again, and do more wash. Feed toddler, bathe toddler, play with toddler, change toddler’s diaper. Go to work, work out, go pee for the millionth time, and try to remember to shave legs/ bathe/ put on deodorant sometime before my husband comes home.

Never. Ending.

Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie

Meanwhile, my pregnancy app on my phone keeps saying, “Relax! Put your feet up! Pamper yourself! You’re glowing!”

What? Is that supposed to be a joke? Ain’t nobody got time for that. And if by “glowing”, you mean “sweating like a pig” then OK, yes, you’re right.
 
My hand is tempted to write that being a mom or being pregnant is hard work because those are two incredibly true statements, but really what it boils down to is that being a grown up is tough stuff. People expect things of us, we expect things of ourselves, and with a to-do list longer than the Mississippi River, it’s easy to get bogged down. There’s no pause button, much less a rewind option, and life can sometimes just wear us in ways that affect us from the inside to the out. 
 
If you’re experiencing even a taste of this nowadays, take heart, because you are not alone. If you’re feeling behind on your check list, or even behind on life in general, you are not alone. Life is beautiful, but it’s also hard work and I think that sometimes we need to be okay with being a little bit of a mess. And when things get to feeling out of control, out of order, or out of service, we may just need to stop the grind and go back to what makes us happy for minute.
 
Kinda like these pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies. Admittedly, these brownies will not help me fold another load of wash or soothe a crying baby or make my to-do list one inch shorter. But baking these buttery, fudgy, little bars of goodness and eating their warm crumbs straight from the pan alongside a big glass of milk feels a lot like a big hug from life. Some days, that’s just what we need.
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
So let’s break down these bars. We have a pretzel shortbread crust and a peanut butter cup filling, all topped with a dark, rich brownie and an extra sprinkling of chocolate chips. The shortbread is modified from my brown sugar shortbread cookies and the brownies are adapted from Ina Garten’s outrageous brownie recipe. The peanut butter filling tastes a lot like the inside of a Reese’s cup mixed with a little fairy dust and tiny food angels, which I think is pretty much the same thing as being next level delicious. Plus, this recipe makes a substantial batch of pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies which makes it a shoo-in recipe for parties, a crowd, or even just a quiet weekend at home alone after a really hard week. The whole recipe can be whipped up in a food processor which makes cleanup a whole lot more simple than most other layered desserts.
 
Give pretzel shortbread peanut butter brownies a try and then just give yourself a mental pat on the back. You probably deserve both. 
 Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownie
 
 
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Pretzel Shortbread Peanut Butter Brownies

Peanut Butter Pretzel Shortbread Brownie Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a layered dessert made in a sheet pan. A salty pretzel shortbread crust with butter and brown sugar. There is a soft and creamy peanut butter cup filling. The whole thing is topped with a chocolate chip brownie made from melted chocolate bars and chips. Adapted from ina garten's brownie recipe. This serves a crowd and is great for a party barbecue or gathering. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

This bar has three layers that consist of a pretzel shortbread crust, a creamy peanut butter cup filling, and a rich, chocolate brownie on top. They are sweet, salty, decadent, and everything in between.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 45
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Scale

Ingredients

For the pretzel shortbread

  • 4 ounces (about 2 cups) salted pretzel crumbs
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter

For the peanut butter filling

  • 3/4 cup of peanut butter (creamy or crunchy is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 11/4 cup confectioners sugar

For the brownie

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
  • 8 ounces chopped semi-sweet chocolate
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup of mini chocolate chips, divided

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a jelly roll pan (15″x10″x1″) with parchment paper and spray the sides with baking spray.
  2. In a double boiler or a bowl set over a pot of simmering water, prep the brownies. Cut up butter and chocolate into small pieces and places these in the bowl, allowing to melt while you prepare the other layers of this bar. Be sure to check in on it every couple minutes or so, stirring as needed. Once melted, remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly. Keep on the stovetop only as long as the chocolate and butter is continuing to melt.
  3. Meanwhile, in a food processor, pulse pretzel crumbs until they are the consistency of sand. Add the flour, brown sugar, and salt, pulsing briefly to combine. Add the butter to the dry ingredients and pulse the food processor until a dry, crumbly dough comes together. This took about 1 minute of pulsing on my machine.
  4. Pat the dough out into the prepared jelly roll pan and bake in the oven for ten minutes.
  5. While pretzel shortbread is in the oven and the chocolate and butter is melting on the stovetop, combine the peanut butter and milk in the same bowl of your food processor. (It’s not necessary to wash it out yet- hooray!) Whiz in the food processor until smooth and combined. Add the confectioners sugar and pulse until thick, dry clumps come together. This mixture will appear similar to the inside of a peanut butter cup. Set aside in another bowl.
  6. Back in the same food processor bowl, add the eggs, vanilla, and sugar for your brownie layer. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and pulse to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt and baking powder. Add the dry ingredients to the food processor and mix just until combined. Remove from machine and stir half of the chocolate chips in by hand.
  7. Sprinkle clumps of the peanut butter filling evenly over the top of the shortbread crust. Pour the brownie batter over top of the shortbread and peanut butter clumps and smooth out evenly in the pan. Your pan will be full. Sprinkle the remaining mini chocolate chips over the top of the batter.
  8. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes. At 20 minutes, carefully rap the pan on the rack of the oven several times to help air to escape the pan. Continue to bake for another 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the center comes out with barely moist clumps on it. Do not overbake.
  9. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for 20-30 minutes and then cool completely in the fridge before slicing.

Grapefruit Tejitos

Grapefruit Tejitos / Tequila Mojitos Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a tangy, delicious boozy take on the classic mojito, made with tequila and lemon juice, fresh mint, and citrus grapefruit juice. Shake this fun summertime cocktail in a shaker or make a pitcher full for a crowd. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

There should’ve been margaritas. 

White sand, the smell of Coppertone, fish tacos, yes. But mostly, margaritas.

Don’t underestimate the amount of tequila a small woman can put away when it’s appropriately mixed with lime, salt, and a little bit of sunshine. On tropical vacations, I always feel like I’m in some weird Bermuda Triangle of alcohol tolerance where my upper limit for liquor is  suddenly similar to that of like, a 250 lb. Irish biker dude that hangs out in bars and takes his coffee with two shots of Bailey’s. I shudder to think of what the cabana boys must think of my poor liver at that point in time, but what is that saying about “work hard, play hard?” Yeah, let’s do that.

Our flight to Mexico last fall was to land mid-morning, giving us ample time to travel to our resort, check-in, and wiggle a pasty body into last summer’s bikini. By noon, I would be (over)due for a margarita.

Grapefruit Tejitos

This is, at least, what was supposed to have happened. 

At 5pm the evening before our 5am flight to Mexico, my husband announced that he could not find his passport. We spent the next several hours plowing through stacks of papers, pulling sweaters off of shelves, looking through all of our luggage, bags, and purses, and even lifting up the coffee table for a peek. I looked between every book on my bookshelf, in the back of that weird, tiny cabinet that is above the refrigerator, and in the medicine drawer.

Spoiler alert: we never found it.

I can’t really articulate the things going through my mind at that point, nor would my thoughts at that time be appropriate to share on the Internet with you kind folks. You come here for recipes, not to read about the evil torture I was plotting for my husband. Although I was mega-bummed, my frustration and disbelief was outweighed by the look of devastation on Brett’s face. He works so hard for our family and he had earned every second of that vacation. We were both equally disappointed and discouraged.

Eventually, we decided to throw in the towel and I called to cancel our flight. I spent the next hour on the phone with the airline and I think we can all agree there is nothing worse than that. Forty minutes of automated conversation with a smattering of elevator music, all endured  in hopes of finally talking to a REAL PERSON?? And then, can you even be sure it’s a real person? I’m convinced they’ve hired robots, which would actually be impressive if some scientist has already figured out how to create machines that are even more annoying that any human being I’ve ever met.  I submit that a superior option to these world-dominating telephone robots would be Siri or even Scarlet Johannson from that movie “Her”. Or maybe they could hire Matthew McConaughey or Morgan Freeman to do the voice prompts? These have got to be better ideas than what we’re currently working with. 

I was moments away from a mental break when Brett announced we still just needed to get away. We had airline credit now, a babysitter lined up for the weekend, and a few days off work; we might as well spend those days on the road to somewhere else instead of sitting at home, salivating over the margaritas that should have been.

Grapefruit Tejitos

The following day, we were poolside in Scottsdale, Arizona, which I’m now pretty sure is is the birthplace of cactuses (cacti?) and delicious, over the top breakfast and brunch options. The trip was perfectly splendid, but I was definitely missing my margarita.

When we got home, I made a margarita for Brett and a cocktail for myself that was almost too good for words. I was really proud of this creation until just recently when I discovered it was not ingenious and, in fact, was a near dead-ringer for Mexico’s most popular cocktail: the Paloma. 

Have you all tried one of these? If my research serves me well, a traditional Paloma consists of tequila with a splash of grapefruit soda and a wedge of lime. In light of a margarita, I have unknowingly turned a blind eye to this delicious beverage for years! No longer.

grapefruit tejitos

The version I mix up for myself contains fresh grapefruit and lemon juice, tequila, simple syrup, and a few mint leaves muddled in for good measure. I told Brett they were called Grapefruit Tejitos because in my mind, I was drinking a flavored mojito made with tequila instead of rum. These cocktails are refreshing, tart, and multi-faceted in flavor. With a salt-rimmed glass, they make me feel like we never missed that flight to Mexico last fall and we’re laying on the beach right at this very moment. Sigh. Maybe this fall.

I think these tejitos (it has a ring to it, doesn’t it?) would be a perfectly unique way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo in a couple weeks, or, at the very least, to celebrate the start of this weekend. Give them a try and let me know what you think!

grapefruit tejitos

 

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Grapefruit Tejitos

Grapefruit Tejitos / Tequila Mojitos Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by kate Wood. This is a tangy, delicious boozy take on the classic mojito, made with tequila and lemon juice, fresh mint, and citrus grapefruit juice. Shake this fun summertime cocktail in a shaker or make a pitcher full for a crowd. Recipe at thewoodandspoon.com

If a mojito had a love triangle with a grapefruit and some tequila, these grapefruit tejitos would be the outcome. This beverage is refreshingly balanced in flavor, offering both sweet, tart, and floral notes.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 5
  • Total Time: 5
  • Yield: 2 1x
Scale

Ingredients

  • 6 large mint leaves
  • 2 ounces tequila blanco
  • 1 ounce Cointreau or another orange flavored liquor
  • 1 ounce simple syrup
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1/2 large grapefruit
  • Salt (for rimming glass)

Instructions

  1. Muddle mint in the bottom of a martini shaker.
  2. Add tequila, Cointreau, simple syrup, and fruit juice.
  3. Fill shaker up with ice and shake vigorously for at least 30 seconds or until ice has begun to dissolve.
  4. Serve in a salt rimmed glass with additional ice, if desired.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2
  • Calories: 181
  • Sugar: 13
  • Sodium: 92
  • Fat: 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 24
  • Protein: 1
  • Cholesterol: 0

Confetti Ice Cream Cake

Confetti ice cream cake recipe by The wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. This is a simple funfetti cake recipe inspired by momofuku milk bar by christina tosi. The cake is make and layered in a naked style with a no churn cream cheese cake batter ice cream with sprinkles. There's also a salty cake mix crumb inside the cake. This is a fun birthday cake or frozen celebration cake that will serve a crowd and is very festive. Find the recipe and how to make a layered naked cake on thewoodandspoon.com

Let’s slow clap for America. We’re screwing up a lot around here these days, but one area where Americans are consistently winning is birthdays. In my lifetime, I’ve been apart of very few birthday celebrations that didn’t include cake and I’m thinking that’s something I need to appreciate about my motherland today. An extra special shout out goes to those who celebrate with the quintessential American cake flavor- the one, the only, confetti cake. Is there anyone who doesn’t secretly love a confetti cake made straight from the box? I don’t think so. Is there anything more American than taking an already sweet cake batter and adding more sugar to it in the form of playful little sprinkles? Not a chance. So strap on your jean shorts and handlebar mustaches, because today’s cake is going out to the land of the free and the home of the brave. We’re making confetti ice cream cake.

‘Merica!

confetti sheet cake

Christina Tosi, the genius pastry chef behind Milk Bar stores, makes these ridiculous layer cakes that I am obsessed with. They’re “naked”(meaning no exterior frosting) and often include one of my favorite flavor/texture elements, “crumbs.” You may have seen a few of my takes on a naked cake posted on social media here, here, or here. (Sidenote: if you really want to weird out your husband, mom, or best friend, call them and tell them you’re taking “nude” photos… the responses are pretty priceless.)  

One of my favorite Milk Bar cakes is the birthday cake. I’ve made it a million times and it never disappoints. It’s sweet, fluffy, and perfectly reminiscent of the box confetti cake that we all know and love. The only thing, and I literally mean the ONLY thing, that could possibly take Milk Bar’s classic birthday cake to the next level is ice cream. Better yet- no churn ice cream. There aren’t many things in this world that make me feel the same degree of childlike nostalgia quite like confetti cake with a scoop of ice cream, so obviously, combining the two is a logical choice. Let’s get started. 


confetti sheet cake cut for 6" ring

confetti ice cream cake


confetti ice cream cake

Just like with Milk Bar’s confetti cake, we start by making the cake. We’re baking ours just like Tosi recommends in a jelly roll pan. While that’s in the oven, we will mix up the ingredients for the crumbs and have those ready to go into the oven when the cake is finished. Once the cake and crumbs are cooled to room temp, set out to make your ice cream and assemble the cake. Our no churn ice cream is made using a mix of cream cheese and whipped topping, but you can use homemade whipped cream if you’re feeling fancy. The instructions for this recipe appear to be pretty labor intensive, but the process is all fairly easy, particularly when spread out over the course of two days. You can check out the original recipe for Tosi’s birthday cake here for more detailed instructions on assembling the layer cake. Once the cake is assembled, you can let it party in the freezer for several days or even up to a couple of weeks! Nothing say “God Bless America” like having an ice cream cake in the freezer, ready for eating at any moment’s notice. 

confetti ice cream cake

This recipe for confetti ice cream cake made with no churn ice cream is delicious and super fun to share with others! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

 

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Confetti Ice Cream Cake

Confetti ice cream cake recipe by The wood and spoon blog by Kate wood. This is a simple funfetti cake recipe inspired by momofuku milk bar by christina tosi. The cake is make and layered in a naked style with a no churn cream cheese cake batter ice cream with sprinkles. There's also a salty cake mix crumb inside the cake. This is a fun birthday cake or frozen celebration cake that will serve a crowd and is very festive. Find the recipe and how to make a layered naked cake on thewoodandspoon.com

This recipe for confetti ice cream cake made with no churn ice cream is delicious and super fun to share with others!

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 60
  • Cook Time: 60
  • Total Time: 2 hours
Scale

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup vegetable shortening
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 110 g buttermilk (1/2 cup)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla extract
  • 2 cups cake flour
  • 11/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 6 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles

For the crumbs

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 11/2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cake flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons rainbow sprinkles
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon clear vanilla extract

For the ice cream

  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons clear vanilla
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip or 3 cups of homemade whipped cream

Special equipment required

  • A 6” cake ring or 6” cake pan
  • Acetate sheets or some other sturdy, food safe material (I have used two sheets of thick parchment paper, doubled up, in a pinch, but admittedly, the acetate sheets work much more easily. They can be purchased on Amazon (3 inches by 20 inches long), washed, and reused in the future.

Instructions

To assemble the cake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a jelly roll pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper or a Silpat sheet.
  2. Cream the butter, shortening, and sugars in a stand mixer at medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes until well combined. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs, one at a time, until well combined. Beat for an additional 2-3 minutes. Scrape the bowl and slowly add the liquid ingredients. Beat in the stand mixer until the batter is fluffy, lighter in color, and uniform. This will take 6-8 minutes. Be sure to scrape the bowl as needed throughout this process. Add the dry ingredients and 1/4 cup of the sprinkles and mix on low speed, just until combined, about one minute.
  3. Pour batter into pan and spread out to smooth. Sprinkle the remaining 2 tablespoons of sprinkles evenly over top of batter. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the center is no longer wiggly and will spring back slightly when touched. Allow to cool on a cooling rack until room temp.

To prepare the crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. Combine dry ingredients, including sprinkles, in a stand mixer and mix to combine, about 30 seconds. Add the wet ingredients and continue to mix on low until small little clumps begin to form. Once combined, turn off mixer and pour the clumps out on to a small baking sheet.
  3. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the crumbs are just beginning to turn golden. Allow to cool to room temp.

To prepare the cake

  1. Loosen and remove cake from pan. Using the cake ring (or the bottom of a 6″ cake pan as a guide) cut out two 6″ round cakes from the sheet cake (see photo above in post as a guide). Then, cut out two half-moon shapes from the remaining sheet cake. This will be used to piece together your third and final layer. Set cake layers aside.
  2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed until smooth, about 1 minute. Add sugar and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Add corn syrup and vanilla and beat until smooth, about 1 minutes.
  3. Fold 1/2 cup of Cool Whip into cream cheese mixture until well distributed. Add remaining 2-1/2 cups, folding gently until well combined. Slowly fold in the cake crumbs, reserving about 1/3 cup to decorate the top.
  4. Line cake ring or pan with one acetate sheet. Place one cake layer in the bottom of inside of cake ring. If using the cake pan, line the bottom with a small piece of parchment to ensure easy removal from pan. Smooth 1/3 of the ice cream mixture over top of the top or cake layer. Place your two cake “half moons” on top of the ice cream and fill in with tiny cake pieces to create a makeshift 2nd layer. Top with another 1/3 of ice cream mixture. Wrap an additional acetate sheet to continue the 6×6″ tube you’re building this cake inside of (see photo) and tape to secure, if needed. Add the final layer of cake and smooth the remaining 1/3 of ice cream over the top.
  5. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and freeze in the freezer until solid, about 4-6 hours, or overnight.

Notes

  • See Christina Tosi’s original birthday cake recipe for more notes on how to build the cake.
  • If you’re prefer, feel free to lightly grind up the cake crumbs so that they are more evenly distributed. I prefer the clumpy crumbs.
  • In a pinch, you can use a box cake mix for this recipe, baked in a 9×13″ pan, but I strongly recommend going with the homemade version- it’s delicious!
  • Cake and crumbs can be made a day or two in advance and saved at room temperature, wrapped tightly.

Recipe For Cake Layers Adapted From: Christina Tosi

S’mores Cheesecake

S'mores Cheesecake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a campfire inspired cheesecake that comes out without cracks or dry edges every time. A graham cracker, butter and sugar crust and a simple chocolate filling made from melted bars or chips. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath in the oven to get a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows and more graham cracker crumbs for a summertime favorite cheesecake.

Spring is officially in the air. The trees are blooming, everyone has a sinus infection, and our little corner of lower Alabama is slowly turning into a muggy, rain forest-esque area that ensures I am constantly frizzy and a little sweaty. Spring, in my mind, is the pre-party for summer when my diet will primarily consist of fresh produce, frozen beverages, and anything made on the grill. These last few weeks before full-on summer mode make me want to reminisce on the deliciousness that ensued during the fall/winter months and celebrate it one last time. Today, we will do just that by way of s’mores cheesecake. 

S'mores Cheesecake

Now don’t get me wrong- summer and I get along really well. What’s not to love? Longer days, flip flop weather, and the fact that I get to wear white everyday without any judgment from more fashionable onlookers is reason enough for me to celebrate the warmer months. But once summer hits, I’m going to be rolling out all of my favorite fruit-based desserts and it’s really an injustice to forget little beauties like s’mores cheesecake. So let’s take a look, shall we?

This cheesecake, with its creamy chocolate innards and buttery graham cracker crust, is topped with a handful or two of marshmallows and a rich, chocolate ganache that seductively whispers, “come hither.” I love the texture of this cheesecake- smooth, fluffy, and not too dense. Bonus points for the fact that I have never ONCE had this cheesecake develop an unsightly crack or crevice on the top. The crust is sweetened with brown sugar and seasoned with a heavy-handed douse of salt because, if you ask me, sweet and salty is still in. Chocolate cheesecake, graham cracker crust, and melty chocolate ganache practically begs for some festive little marshmallows, thus- s’mores cheesecake.

S'mores Cheesecake

Before we dive head-first into fish tacos, strawberry daiquiris, and giant slices of watermelon, let’s celebrate the right now with this s’mores cheesecake. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. 
S'mores Cheesecake
 
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S’mores Cheese

S'mores Cheesecake Recipe by The Wood and Spoon Blog by Kate Wood. This is a campfire inspired cheesecake that comes out without cracks or dry edges every time. A graham cracker, butter and sugar crust and a simple chocolate filling made from melted bars or chips. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath in the oven to get a smooth and creamy cheesecake. Top the whole thing with toasted marshmallows and more graham cracker crumbs for a summertime favorite cheesecake.

This s’mores cheesecake has a buttery graham cracker crust, a rich and creamy chocolate filling, and is slathered with a chocolate ganache before being topped with toasted marshmallows.

  • Author: Kate Wood
  • Prep Time: 30
  • Cook Time: 90
  • Total Time: 2 hours
Scale

Ingredients

For the crust

  • 11/2 sleeves of graham crackers
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

For the cheesecake

  • 11/2 pounds (3 blocks) of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the ganache

  • 4 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream

Toppings

  • 3/4 cup mini marshmallows
  • 2 sheets of graham crackers, crumbled

Instructions

To prepare the crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Pulse graham crackers in a food processor to crumbs. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse until combined to a wet sand consistency.
  3. Pat crumbs into the bottom of a 9″ springform pan and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Allow to cool.

To prepare the cheesecake

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Start a kettle or pot of boiling water on the stove top for the water bath. You’ll need about 3 quarts of water. Wrap your springform pan with crust baked inside securely with aluminum foil. I triple layer and make sure there is no room for the water bath to leak through the pan.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and cocoa powder, beating an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating on low speed until incorporated. Add the cream and vanilla, and beat until smooth and no lumps remain, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overbeat.
  3. Using a rubber spatual, push your cheesecake batter through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Pour this mixture into your prepared springform pan.
  4. Place your springform pan into a pan/dish slightly larger than the springform. I use a 10″ round cake pan, but any oven-safe dish with sides will do. Pour water into the water bath pan until the water level reaches almost halfway up the sides of the springform.
  5. Bake in the oven for 1 hour and 30 minutes. The filling will barely be set but will still jiggle slightly if jostled in the oven. Allow to rest in the oven with the heat turned off and the oven door propped open slightly (I use a wooden spoon) for an additional 30 minutes. Then, transfer the springform pan to the fridge and allow to cool for at least 4 hours or overnight, if possible.
  6. Once cheesecake is cool, remove from pan and prepare the ganache. Microwave the heavy cream on low heat just until it begins to lightly bubble. Remove from microwave and pour over top of the chocolate chips. Cover with Saran wrap and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Stir with a whisk until smooth and no lumps remain. Allow to cool slightly- if your ganache is too thin, it will drip down the sides of the cheesecake too quickly. Spoon the ganache over top of the cheesecake and smooth out gently with a spatula. Once you get close to the edges, push the ganache out gently, allowing little trickles of chocolate to cascade down the sides. Allow ganache to set up slightly. Extra ganache will keep in the fridge for 1 week.
  7. Top with graham cracker crumbs and and a sprinkling of marshmallows. Toast with a torch or under a low-heat broiler until golden brown.

Notes

  • Cheesecake will keep in the fridge for 4-5 days, but marshmallows should be toasted just before eating.
  • Do not overmix your cheesecake batter. Overmixing can cause cracks and holes in your cheesecake.
  • Be sure ingredients, particularly the cream cheese, are room temperature. If they are too cold, clumps will form and you won’t have a smooth and creamy cheesecake.
  • Feel free to adapt this cheesecake! You can opt out of the marshmallows for a double chocolate cheesecake, or layer in peanut butter cups before baking for a peanut butter chocolate cheesecake. The world is your oyster!

Recipe Adapted From: Miette