Friday, June 22, 2012

The request line is open....

     So for this week I fulfilled a couple of requests. The first request was from one of my friends for a special dessert that I've made in the past. After I made the dessert and my awesome wife (AW) posted it on Facebook and I was asked if the dessert could be featured in an upcoming blog. So let me thank Ali for asking for dessert and Cindi for letting me know that people actually read this.
     But I guess the original request came from AW about a year ago. I was making pizza for everyone one night when she asked if I could make a dessert pizza similar to what the pizza chains offer. After some thought I decided that I didn't really like any of those offerings. No matter how much brown sugar, butter, chocolate, or cinnamon they would put on the dessert, it was still just all that stuff piled onto a hunk of unseasoned, plain pizza dough. A sweet beginning with a lame finish. So the first step was going to be creating a sweet crust that would stand up to toppings and taste buds.
     The next item on the agenda is what to put on it. That is when AW stepped in again with inspiration. She suggested that since I wasn't making a dessert pizza that we make S'mores. The light bulb lit up like it was being powered by the Flux Capacitor! A S'mores pizza! S'mores are the perfect combination of flavors and texture. Also, I don't think I've ever heard someone who is offered a S'mores (or would it be S'more?) respond with "Eww! I hate S'mores." Now I just had to figure out how to put it together.
     Staying with the pizza theme I decided to substitute tomato sauce for chocolate sauce and cheese for marshmallows. For additional toppings maybe some smashed up graham crackers for flavor and some crunch. Then I set to work trying to figure out the crust.
     The first version was my standard dough with some sugar, butter, and crushed up graham crackers but it was too bland. The second attempt was much like a cheesecake crust but it didn't hold together like a slice of pizza as I had hoped. I figured my third attempt had better be "The One" or else my family would slip into a sugar coma from which there would be no escape.
     Then once again AW stepped in to remind me that S'mores are made like a sandwich so if I have graham crackers on top, I should have graham crackers on the bottom. I told her about the cheesecake type crust and she said, "How about a cookie?" 1.21 jigawatts of power lit up the bulb this time. So with a new direction, I started to experiment with different cookie recipes and finally found the perfect cookie for the base of the S'mores pizza.
     So after much trial and error (if the byproduct of the error is cookies, is it really an error?) I present to you "Shep's Fantabulous S'mores Pizza". Thanks for reading and enjoy!


After re-reading this I promise not to watch Back to The Future ever again before writing a blog.

After the cookie was done but before toasting the marshmallows

2 Cups graham cracker crumbs (about a package and a half)
1 1/2 Cups flour
1  tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 Cup butter, softened
3/4 Cup sugar
3/4 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 Bag mini marshmallows
1 Bag milk chocolate chips
1 Cup heavy cream
Extra graham crackers for topping, broken into chunks.

Cookie Crust
Preheat the oven to 350° F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, sugar and brown sugar in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in eggs and vanilla extract; add flour mixture in batches until combined. Spoon entire batch onto a 16 inch greased pizza pan (one without holes in it) and spread out evenly, leaving approximately an inch around the edges for expansion during cooking. Bake for 20 minutes* and promptly remove from the oven and set to the side to cool slightly. 

Chocolate Sauce
Pour the milk chocolate chips into a heat safe bowl. In a medium sauce pan, heat heavy cream until just to a boil, stirring constantly to avoid scorching the cream. Once heated, pour over milk chocolate chips and wisk until you have a smooth texture. Set aside to cool slightly

By now the cookie should be cool enough to handle. About an inch or so from the edge of the cookie  press down to make kind of a moat to prevent the chocolate from spilling over the sides. You can either use a measuring cup to spread the chocolate sauce or pour it directly from the pot onto the cookie. Reserve a bit for topping. Pour the marshmallows onto the chocolate while trying to spread them as evenly as possible. Top it with some broken graham crackers and drizzle some left over chocolate sauce on top. Place in the middle of an oven under a broiler. Watch carefully so as not to scorch the graham crackers or burn the marshmallows (I don't even close the door. I just watch it until nice and toasted). Once it's toasted to your satisfaction, remove it and serve warm** with a side of my personal favorite, homemade vanilla ice cream.

So good you'd fight your Grandma for a piece!
* 20 minutes is an approximate time. Final cooking time will depend on your individual oven and type of pan you use.
** A tip when using a pizza cutter to cut the pizza while warm is to rub the blade with butter. That way the melted marshmallows won't stick to the pizza cutter and make a mess of things.

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