Chocolate Crack: S’mores Style

All I could think about when I was making these was the incredibly quotable flick, Mean Girls.

Crack. (click on image for Source)

But I’ll be honest, this crack would definitely crack Regina George.  And Gretchen Weiners.

After our amazing dinner date at Mellow Mushroom last night, we figured it was time to whip up some dessert.  While I used a few different recipes online to remind me how to make this, I also used years of watching my mom make these delicious desserts.  I’ve heard it called all sorts of different names. Sugar Bark. Chocolate Crack. Salty Sweet. Crackle. But whatever you call it, it’s addictive.  And too easy to make.  If you need an easy-to-make food for a crowd you’re trying to please, GO FOR IT!

What you need is:

  • Aluminum foil
  • a tall pan (some people call them jelly roll pans? But I’ve never even seen a jelly roll, so I just called it the tall pan.)
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
  • 1 sleeve of salted saltines (like, 40-50 saltine crackers)
  • 1 12 oz package of semi-sweet chocolate, dark chocolate, I bet even white chocolate would work
  • Vanilla extract
  • Some baby marshmallows

Step 1

My saltines were not green. But my lighting was awful, as these were being made at 10 pm.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line your so called “Jelly roll” pan with the saltine crackers (pack tight, no spaces) and make SURE you don’t have more than one solid row of crackers.  If there’s space on the edges, break the saltines to fit the gaps. And then, eat the extra saltine bits. Yum.

Step 2

Butter me up.

Take the butter. Put it in a medium sauce pan. Melt it at a medium heat. Don’t burn it. Easiest step ever.

Step 3

Looking sweet

Add the cup of dark brown sugar and a dash of vanilla extract (about a teaspoon, maybe a teensy bit more, we just eyed it) to the melted butter in the pan. Stir it at a medium heat until the mixture is a uniform rich brown.  This will look divine, smell like warm caramel, and you may be tempted to eat it straight from here. Don’t, you’ll burn your mouth and ruin your dessert.

Step 4

(no picture, sorry, so here’s a picture of a jelly roll)

That's a lot of pan for a little jelly roll. (Click image for Source)

Pour the butter sugar vanilla mixture on the crackers, and toss that in the (preheated) oven.  Watch it carefully, and when the mixture starts to bubble, take it out.

Step 5

Chocolatey goodness

Sprinkle the chocolate on top of the bubbling sugar crackers.  You can let the heat melt it, but I like to take a spatula and spread the chocolate for a more even coating.

Step 6

Rockiest road = marshmallows

We forgot to get the marshmallows, but had marshmallow fluff, so we plopped it all around.  However, I always recommend using marshmallows, and sprinkling them around. The fluff’s hard to work with (but, if you’re into getting more on the spoon and your fingers…. by all means.)  Put the pan in the fridge and wait it out.  I’d say at least 2-3 hours, or overnight.

Step 7

Get it OUT OF MY HOUSE!

After refrigerating for a few hours (or overnight, just to be safe), crack the bark up (the foil normally comes off very easily but sometimes you have to pull a bit) into little bite sized treats.  Try a piece. Then get it as far away from you as possible lest you eat the entire thing.
Voila!  I promise, this will go so fast at your next potluck you’ll wonder if you accidentally forgot to bring something.

Ok, now that I’m salivating over crack, I better eat some legitimate breakfast food. A girl can’t live on chocolate, sugar, butter, and saltines alone.

But she can certainly try.

Blogspiration and Some No-Bake Cake Bites!

Hey there all, and happy Monday!  It’s lunchtime around these parts and, after a weekend of wine by the pool and BBQ with old friends, that means salad!

Chicken Salad, sounds peachy!

Today’s salad included:

  • Grilled chicken
  • Bed of spinach
  • Low fat Mexican cheese blend
  • Salsa
  • Roasted red pepper and banana pepper
  • Fresh orange pepper!
  • White Chia Seeds

It was fantastic.  I’ll be honest, when I first reached out to Anthony at Swanson Health Products, I was just interested in trying some new things.  These chia seeds, though only used as a topper so far, are quite tasty and great for adding a little crunch.  I haven’t the foggiest idea of whether or not there have been any health benefits to me yet, but soon I’d like to use them in something more creative than “sprinkle liberally on top of your food, no matter what it is.”  So keep an eye out for that.

There was one thing I was looking for, though, that I was BEYOND excited to try!

Candles, a food processor... Looks like a hot date ahead.

Swanson sent along some Fancy Whole Medjool dates.  Even though I knew I wanted them, I had no experience with them.  So I turned to the blogger who I see use dates in the most fun and creative ways: Averie at Love, Veggies, and Yoga!  And her recipes using dates were numerous. What to do, what to do…

Luckily for me, I was also using some Blogspiration from Meghann at Meals and Miles and pre-cutting my own carrots for the week ahead (much cheaper than pre-cut or baby carrots).

Chop chop

How could I merge these two into the perfect treat?

ENTER: Averie’s No-Bake Oatmeal Raisin  Carrot Cake Bites!!

Though I’m not about re-writing folks recipes when I literally didn’t change them at all, I did document each step with excitement.

All my ingredients in the blender!

I was lucky enough to have every ingredient on hand, so I followed the instructions to a T.

Vroom vroom: tastiness being blended!

I used the mini version of my Ninja Food Processor which is actually the most efficient food processor I’ve ever tried for how affordable it was.  If you’re in the market for something small, portable, and affordable to make some smoothies, grind your own breadcrumbs, make these little cake bites, or blend some sexy daquiris. truly check this out.  I got mine at Target for something like $49 and it doesn’t owe me a penny.

Cake bites fit for a jellyfish!!

These turned out perfect. Delicious, really showcased the taste and versatility of the dates, and really resembled the flavors of a carrot cake without making me feel like they were syrupy sweet!!  I will absolutely be making more, and have a newfound appreciation for these dates!  I’ll have to find new ways to use them.

In fact, I think I’ll have one or two for dessert.

  • Are you interested in getting some free Swanson Health Products goodies to review on your own blog? Then check out the Swanson Health Blog for all the details.

Have you ever used dates?  If so, any suggestions for a date newb like myself?

Back to work!!