Blog - biscuits and such
southern food blog
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Crispy Marshmallow Bars

I know that this is the third week in a row that I’ve posted a dessert recipe.  There was ice cream, and then there was pie, and now it’s puffed rice cereal coated in marshmallowy goodness.  This pattern could obviously give someone the idea that all I eat are desserts.  Which is not true.  I just seem to have found myself in a rut.  A delicious rut where I use some combination of fresh or roasted vegetables and either pasta, a tortilla, or a pizza crust and call it dinner.  I don’t think (with the exception of cookout food) that we’ve eaten much lately that hasn’t had one of those bases.  I’m not complaining, it’s been delicious.  I just didn’t want you to think I was holding out on you.  Unless, of course, you’ve never eaten huevos rancheros, in which case go! now! drop everything!

Anyway the point is that while I’ve been cooking a rotation of the same style meals over and over again all summer I have been changing it up with the desserts.  I’ve tried new things and recreated old favorites, I even made white sangria for the first time.  It has been a delicious, albeit hot, summer.  And in following that trend this weekend I made these crispy marshmallow bars for the very first time (presumably, I may have participated in their creation as a child).  I’d been thinking, a lot, about the gooeyness, the crunch factor meeting with the chewy stringy melted marshmallow factor.  So I set out to make them.  And I failed miserably.

On Saturday night we had friends and family coming over, so I thought this would be the perfect make ahead treat.  And while the bars turned out well, they were more crispy than marshmallow.  So the next day I tried again, and the second batch more than satisfied my craving for stringy marshmallow goodness.  Through more than doubling the amount of marshmallow (silly me in the first place, I know), I got the perfect result.  A touch of cinnamon and nutmeg added a pinch of something more, with the end dessert being better than my childhood memories of this old favorite.  And the perfect end to a dinner of roasted peppers and eggplant over pasta.

Crispy Marshmallow Bars

1 bag of mini marshmallows

3 cups puffed rice cereal

1 tbsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp nutmeg

1 tbsp sugar

2 tbsp butter

In a large skillet melt butter, sugar, and marshmallows.  Stir frequently until the marshmallows have melted and begun toasting.  Stir in the cinnamon and the cumin.  In a large bowl, combine the marshmallow mixture with the cereal.  Stir so that it is integrated evenly.

Line a medium size baking pan with wax paper.  Scoop the mixture into the pan, pressing it into shape.  Let cool at least 1 hour before serving.

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Brown Sugar Peach Pie

Remember that time, last week, when I was all excited about my birthday?  How we were going to go eat pie! and see magic! and bask in the glow of my 24th year of life? Remember that? Me too.  That was the day before my birthday.  Let me tell you about my actual birthday.  For starters, it was the hottest day in Baltimore for 27 years.  Only TWO DEGREES away from the hottest temperature ever!  Actually, that is the starter, the middle, and the ender.  It was so hot that eating dinner in a restaurant that had it’s ovens on (and questionable ac) was painful.  And the bar? The magic bar where they do MAGIC?  Closed.  Because it was so hot that the city was losing power.  The end result was us showering and laying very still next to our ac window unit.  And Dan feeling awful that his (amazing) plans got blown by an insane heat wave (one that, if put into the context of Baltimore’s record snow storm, makes the global climate crisis seem a little more real. AM I RIGHT DAD?).

In the context of last week’s extreme heat it seems a little silly (in retrospect) that I turned my oven on.  In my tiny, unairconditioned apartment.  With a kitchen that vents very poorly.  And is as far away from the window unit as physically possible.  Okay, so it was crazy to turn on my oven.  But, BUT, it was so worth it.  Because the end result was pie.  Delicious, peachy, flaky crusted peach pie that made up for the heat, made up for my sweaty birthday, made up for the whole sticky mess.  Behold, the power of pie.

I’m going to assume a few things when I tell you to go forth and bake this pie.  First, I’m going to assume that you have air conditioning, or at least live somewhere where turning on your oven is a possibility.  If you don’t (but you’re dedicated to the idea of pie) make this at night right before taking a shower and going to bed.  Cool, dark bed.  I’m also going to assume that you love peaches as much as I do, and that the idea of peach pie makes your mouth water.  Finally, I’m going to assume that you’re just like me and that making (and eating) pie provides you with enough joy that it outweighs all the other crap.  So eat pie!  Look on the bright side of life!

Brown Sugar Peach Pie

6-8 peaches, a mixture of ripe and unripe

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup flour

1/2 tbsp corn starch

Pie dough (recipe here)

1 egg

1 tbsp sugar

Peel and slice your peaches.  The peaches should be sliced thinly.  Combine in a bowl with brown sugar, lemon juice, flour, and corn starch.  Mix thoroughly.

Heat oven to 375. Roll out your bottom pie dough and place in pan.  Scoop in filling.  Roll your top pie dough out and, using a knife or a pastry knife, cut into strips.  Overlap the strips in a lattice pattern.  Whisk egg, and brush egg over the top of the pie.  Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for 25-35 minutes or until golden brown.

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Blueberry Fig Ice Cream

I make no secret about the fact that my birthday is very important.  As the eldest child, the eldest grandchild on both sides, and a completely spoiled brat, I’ve gotten used to celebrating in style.  And by “in style” I mean “pool party and pie.”  Because I’m classy.  And because I love pie.  This year, my 24th year on this beautiful planet, is no exception.  And while there probably won’t be a pool party (unless you count rehearsals for the water ballet I’m in), there will be pie.  Loads of it.

Tomorrow, July 7, is my actual birthday (though I’ve been celebrating for a while).  Dan, the best husband in the world, has an elaborate plan involving savory pies followed by sweet pies followed by MAGIC!  Because he’s amazing.  And because he knows I love magic almost as much as I love pie.  But frankly Internet, I feel like I’m cheating.  Due to the nature of being born 3 day’s after America celebrates its big day, I’ve been indulging in delicious food for almost a week.  There was pie and then mountain pie and then grilled pizza and fig ice cream followed by more pie and because I have oldest child syndrome I’ve been pretending it’s all for me.  BACON BLUE CHEESE BURGERS WITH PICKLED ONIONS? YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE!

And I have to say that of all of the foods that were made (and ate) in celebration of America (cough, Elena, cough), this fig ice cream was up there.  It was sweet but also tart, creamy but refreshing.  The perfect accompaniment to the rooftop 4th of July party we attended wherein there was a 360 degree panoramic view of every fireworks show in Baltimore County.  All for me!  Just kidding.  Kind of.  Happy Birthday, America!

Blueberry Fig Ice Cream

6-10 black mission figs

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

1 orange

1 pint blueberries

1 cup heavy cream

Cut your figs into eighths.  In a nonreactive saucepan, heat figs, water, and sugar over low heat.  Grate in the zest from one orange.  Cook slowly, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has the consistency of jam.

While your figs are cooking down, cut your berries into quarters.  When your figs are done, toss half the berries into the pan.  Stir, cooking only long enough to heat the berries.  Pour the whole mixture over the remaining cut berries.  Add the juice from your orange and the cream.  Stir everything together and chill.

Follow the directions on your ice cream maker.

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