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S’mores Galore

With the hot sun waning, and summer descending into a welcomed autumn, I paid final homage to a balmy season of wildflowers with a deep, dark chocolate s’mores mess (like they’re supposed to be).

I layered graham cracker crumb with an overwhelmingly chocolate and coffee spiked brownie, topped with toasted marshmallows for an indoor campfire singalong. And because nut butter is life, I smeared a generous dollop of peanut butter into the mix for good measure.

Preheat over to 350 °F, and retrieve a small spring form pan (mine is about an 8in x 2in)

Graham Cracker Base

1 c graham cracker crumbs (about 5 full sheets (sheets?) crushed)

5 tbsp melted butter

2 tbsp brown sugar

1 egg yolk

Salt and vanilla (I spilled a little, so I didn’t measure, but I believe in your measuring talents more than my own)

1/4 c flour

1/8 tsp cinnamon

Combine ingredients until a thick crumb forms, then add as the bottom layer of your dessert, no need to press down, and no need to bake prior.

Very Chocolate Very Mocha Brownie Base

1/4 c sugar

3 tbsp brown sugar

1/3 c oil

1 egg

1/4 tsp salt (I didn’t spill this time)

1 tsp vanilla

2 tsp instant coffee

1/3 c cocoa

1/4 c flour

1 c chocolate chips of choice (or mix in some chopped up Reeses in place of the peanut butter, this would be glorious, but alas, I had no Reeses handy)

An optional couple of spoonfuls of peanut butter (I had some Peanut Butter & Co White Chocolate Wonderful)

1 and 1/2 c mini marshmallows

Combine sugars, oils, egg, salt and vanilla followed by the instant coffee. The coffee granules will not dissolve and that’s fine. Add the cocoa, flour, and chocolate chips and/or Reeses mixing until incorporated. Spread spoonfuls of the chocolate concoction over the graham crumb, gently smoothing to cover. Swirl optional peanut butter across the top of brownie mix.

Bake in oven at 350 for about 12 minutes, removing to top with mini marshmallows, then place back in oven to broil for one minute, being very mindful not to burn the marshmallows.

Allow the s’mores beauty to cool. If, like me, you did not have a square pan available to bake you dessert in, remove spring form pan ring being sure to scrape bits off the side bits to be enjoyed immediately. Admire the layers and melty rim of your dessert, before cutting into a beautiful mess. I found that sawing through the marshmallows best preserved the appearance, but like the s’mores inspiration, these are sticky and gooey and crumbly as the real deal.

Top of the Muffin to You

Cake for breakfast is quite standard for me. I approach the specimen with a bottom to top principle, eating the fluffy body first, and leaving thick streusel for the final, delightful bite. I will eat most any flavor of muffin, always warm, and perhaps with a touch of butter into the steaming middle.

As I woke up with a hankering for muffins, I obliged variety with a smorgasbord of triple chocolate chip, lemon blueberry, and cinnamon maple swirl.

I used Sally’s Baking Addiction’s, Master Muffin recipe, and divided the batter into three parts. Take your pick, or make a few of each. And as Elaine in Seinfeld would say, top of the muffin to you!

Triple Chocolate Chip

Mix batter with maybe two spoonfuls of dark cocoa powder, a touch extra milk to compensate for additional dry ingredient, and bittersweet, milk, and white chocolate chips.

Blueberry Lemon

Toss frozen blueberries with some flour, and lightly fold this as well as fresh lemon juice into the mix.

For the lemon glaze, mix fresh lemon juice, vanilla extract, and powdered sugar until thick. After allowing the muffins to cool, drizzle your desired quantity (a lot) to top.

Cinnamon Maple

To the batter, add cinnamon. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and maple syrup to form a thick paste. Spoon clumps into the batter and mix lightly to swirl.

Streusel

For the streusel, I combined soft butter, flour, brown sugar, and salt until clumpy and midway through baking topped each muffin with a spoonful or two.  

Triple Chocolate Chip
Cinnamon Maple
Lemon Bluberry

Crimson Sunset

In addition to the very sweet life I lead, I also partake in fruits and vegetables, it’s a very necessary balance and in my opinion, a delicious one. I’ve been dubbed the salad queen for my frequent piles of greens along with anything and everything in both my refrigerator and cupboard. I consume a lot of fruit, like a lot a lot. Which is all to say, I love sugary confections, and I also love produce.

I was the recent recipient of a juicer, and have been much enjoying tossing a variety of goods down the chute to create rainbow cups. The below combination made for a well rounded, lightly sweet, deep crimson sunset.

2 (or so) cooked beets

3 oranges

2 mangos

4 carrots

If you enjoy your juice cold, be sure to store your goods in the refrigerator before preparing. The day prior, quarter and steam beets (I don’t actually know if they need to be cooked, but it worked), then return to refrigerator. Cut a slice or two of orange for your glass, and then remove the orange rinds leaving little baldy spheres. Cut mangos and peel them, making about four quadrants out of each. Cut carrots into three portions so they’re more manageable for the juicer.

To my understanding, you want to drink juice fresh, so when you’re ready to enjoy, press produce according to the instructions of your respective machine admiring the pretty colors as you stir to combine. Pour your juice, plop a couple ice cubes in if so desired, serve with a little pizazz, and feel juiced up and ready to start your day.

Cinnamon Sugar Mocha

I’ve long been a consumer of the countless varieties and sugary offerings on the cereal aisle. My age reflects adulthood, but my heart is still child as I indulge in chocolatey crunch, or maybe sweets puffs polka dotted with marshmallows. I munch these indulgences while tracing my finger on the back of the box to complete the maze for the stranded cereal mascot. Bonus points are awarded to any breakfast offering me a prize; a spoon that changes color with cold milk, or maybe a little action hero figurine.

Inspired by the brilliance and innovation of my partner, who one morning out of sheer creativity and unbridled joy, combined cocoa pebbles and cinnamon toast crunch; a cinnamon sugar mocha studded with a twinkling rim.

1 tbsp cinnamon (reduce quantity if you want it a little more mild)

2 tbsp special dark cocoa powder

2 tbsp + 2 tsp sugar

2 tbsp + 2 tsp brown sugar

About 1/2 tsp salt

About 1 tsp vanilla extract

6 tbsp hot water

Combine ingredients and whisk until well incorporated and sugar is somewhat dissolved. Store in the refrigerator, and add desired amount to your hot or iced lattes. If you’re feeling fancy, paint the edge of your mug with some sauce, dip into a combination of sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon, add a dollop of homemade whipped cream, and dust with cocoa and cinnamon.

Shoot For the Stars, If You Miss, You’ll Land on Breakfast

I frequently have multiple, vivid dreams a night, and am grateful for when I often remember them. They span from the obscure and crazy, to fantastical and beautiful. In naming the site Moon Crumb, I drew from a bank of inspiration and ideas, and it is in part a nod to the dreamscapes that I tumble about in through the night. More on the name some other time. When I go to bed at night, and when I wake up in the morning, I’m thinking about breakfast. I. love. breakfast. In my life, I’m going to shoot for the stars and at least land on breakfast.

I love to come up with flavorful, iced coffee recipes. I’m partial to iced, or blended lattes, I just am. In this case, I tossed up a mix that I’ll happily revisit tomorrow morning, and maybe the next after that.

For some savory, because a sweet and savory breakfast combo is a beautiful thing, I combined some refrigerator offerings for a well rounded, mountainous piled breakfast sandwich.

Absolutely edit the recipes to your own liking, dream up whatever concoction tickles your fancy, and enjoy on the back patio, share with a friend, or while listening to your favorite podcast. I’m fortunate to get to combine these all together while munchin.

My Breakfast Sandwich

Ezekiel’s bread toasted

Mayonnaise

Havarti cheese or whatever is stocked in the fridge

Homemade roasted garlic hummus

Sautéed onions

Sunny, runny fried egg spiced with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, and a touch turmeric

Avocado

Hot sauce – I’m currently using Asian Soy Hot Sauce by Pagoda Trading that I received in a hot sauce multipack for Christmas

Banana Sweet Peanut Butter and Chocolate Iced Coffee

About 1 frozen banana

PB2 powder

Cocoa powder

Instant coffee powder

Almond milk

Blend until smooth, quantities will depend on how thicc you’d like it

Take some inspiration and make it your own, happy morning and happy breakfast folks!

Campfire Mocha

Once upon a time I was a barista, and let me tell you, I like my sugar and cream with a side of coffee. I enjoyed combining crazy concoctions then, and I enjoy mixing up flavors now. I pitched this recipe in lieu of a tent, when snow lay on the ground outside. It’s a crackling campfire; a roasty, toasty marshmallow mocha sauce perfect for your latte or to dip your graham crackers in.

½ c cocoa powder

1/3 c sugar

1/3 c water

1 c mini marshmallows

Vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

Begin by unfurling your sleeping bag, or pitching a hammock. Or actually, if you’re home, let’s start by placing cocoa powder, sugar, and water into a small to medium sauce pan on low heat. Heat mixture until sugar is dissolved, whisking frequently. Lower heat, and meanwhile prepare marshmallows by spreading them out on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Broil briefly in oven, and watch carefully. Do not let marshmallows burn. Remove them quickly as they begin to turn golden brown. In the case you char your marshmallows, discard into mouth, and try again. While I love a charred marshmallow usually, in this recipe it’ll be too bitter and upset the chocolate. After marshmallows have been toasted, carefully scrape off of foil and into chocolate mix. Please do not burn yourself, please. Gently whisk marshmallows into chocolate mix over low to medium heat until all of the marshmallows have dissolved, maybe five or so minutes. If your mixture is too thick, whisk in a touch extra water. Turn heat off, and add a small pinch of salt and vanilla extract. Add to a hot, iced, or blended latte. This would also go great on some vanilla ice cream. If so desired, toast additional marshmallows to top drink. Store in the fridge for seven to ten days.

Falafel Inspired Patties with Tzatziki

In pursuit of a vibrant and healthy dinner, I browsed recipes for falafel across Google. While the results were not quite true falafel, the taste satiated my appetite. I secured some ingredients, including uncooked garbanzo beans (also called chickpeas), Greek yogurt and dill, and an assortment of spices that looked appealing. The results turned out tasty and refreshing, enjoyed on the back patio on a temperate Spring evening. I didn’t write down definite quantities of ingredients, but my general process is as follows;

Tzatziki:

Greek yogurt (about a cup)

Shredded cucumber

Lemon juice

Garlic cloves

Dill (fresh or dried)

I mixed the yogurt and juice of half a lemon until smooth, then stirred in about half of a shredded cucumber, and combined minced garlic and dill to taste.

Falafel Patties:

Garbanzo beans (maybe 1 to 1 and ½ cup)

Spices; salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, fresh parsley, cilantro, and garlic cloves, and some N’Orleans Cajun spice because it smelled good and that’s good enough for me

Yellow onion

Garlic hummus

Olive oil

Egg

To serve:

Pita (I didn’t have any, but this would have made a lot of sense)

Cucumber slices

Tomato

Red Onion

Tzatziki

Hummus

According to numerous recipes I checked, I was supposed to soak dried garbanzo beans for 24 hours. Nix that, I’m a procrastinator, so I boiled the chickpeas until they were softer to bite through, but still firm. I combined the beans along with some oil, chopped onion, garlic hummus, and an egg. I blended this in a Ninja blender in green smoothie fashion, leaving chonks and pieces intact. In a bowl, I further tossed the ingredients and then formed patties. At 415 Fahrenheit, I cooked the patties on a greased cookie sheet for about seven minutes, then flipped them gently and cooked for another five minutes. A couple other balls of dough came out of the air fryer well, having cooked for about 12 minutes at 390 degrees, turning midway. The patties were slightly crumbly, and I’d love input on how to improve this, but not so much so to the point of becoming any kind of a hot mess. The outcome was delightful, and I felt very grateful for the healthy dinner, before topping the evening off with balance; a nice bowl of ice cream.

Molten Chocolate Brownie

Here’s some truth. There are a lot of freaking fantastic brownie recipes out there. There is a brownie recipe out there for every last taste bud and whimsy; cake brownie, fudge brownie, brookie brownie, fast brownie, faster mug brownie, the best brownie. I’m very grateful to live in a world with so much brownie innovation. I’m not inventing the wheel, I’m not quite perfecting the wheel, I’m just marching to the beat of my own drum and tossing some stuff into a bowl, baking it, and calling it molten brownie. And whatever it is, it’s pretty darn good.

I wouldn’t call these showman brownies, they’re gooey and under baked, more of a molten lava, eat with some vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce while watching your favorite Netflix show, in your pajamas before bed kind of deal. They ooze apart, and cling to your spoon, give you some chocolate lip liner. So if this sounds like your sort of deal, let’s go.

A couple of details, and I’m not one for reading instructions, I’m that partner in building Ikea furniture, but a couple of important details:

  1. If possible, definitely use quality chocolate, I’m devout Ghirardelli
  2. Don’t overmix the flour and cocoa, because gluten or some science like that
  3. Don’t overbake, because as previously mentioned if you in fact read the intro, we’re going for gooey gold
  4. Enjoy, four is my favorite number, so number four is enjoy
  5. Actually, I thought of another, in most all of my recipes I use special dark cocoa powder. This provides an undeniable, quality experience

6 tbsp butter

1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips

1/2 c milk chocolate chips

1 c sugar

4 tbsp dark brown sugar

2 eggs and 4 egg yolks

1 c special dark cocoa powder

1/2 c flour

Add Ins

1/3 c milk chocolate chips

1/3 c bittersweet chocolate chips

1/3 c white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 Fahrenheit, and grease an 8 x 8 baking pan, or alternatively 6 – 8 ramekins depending on their size.

In a bowl, melt butter with 1/2 c milk chocolate chips and 1/2 c bittersweet chocolate chips. Check and stir frequently so as to not burn the chocolate. Remove from heat, or take out of the microwave because it would be challenging to continue stirring inside a microwave. Add sugar and dark brown sugar, and stir until well incorporated. Add eggs and yolks, again stirring until well incorporated. Add dark cocoa powder and flour and three varieties of chocolate, stirring until just combined. I really recommend the three varieties of chocolate, the milk and white chocolate especially compliment the flavor. Pour into prepared baking dish, and bake for about 14 minutes-ish, until beginning to set. A knife or toothpick will come out with batter on it, this is your molten middle. Remove from heat, and let sit, as this will help to develop some semblance of shape and firmness. Finally, serve and enjoy.

Introductions

Welcome to Moon Crumb.

I’m an eager explorer of sweet and savory, but mostly sweet. I’ve long enjoyed baking confections rich in butter and sugar, coating cakes in fantastical novice icing jobs, marring obscure flavors to create something wonderful (sometimes, hopefully), and tasting my way along through life.

I aim with this space to actually start keeping a log of recipes, and to offer a slice of creation and inspiration. Thanks so much for stopping by this corner of the galaxy flecked with flour dust and sugar granules.