Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pumpkin Mallomars

With the return of the fall weather, something else is returning to our lives - Mallomars! Mallomars are too delicate and meltable to ship to grocery stores in the summer, so we always see the return of these sweet treats right around Labor day. Seeing them on the grocery store shelves made me want to whip up another batch myself.

If you've been a long time reader of WITK, you may remember that I made pumpkin mallomars several years ago. I think it was three years ago... Feel free to go back into the archives and check those out too, they're totally different from these pumpkin mallomars. The old recipe has a pumpkin marshmallo, vanilla cookie and they're coated in white chocolate.

Rather than getting fancy with the marshmallow, I stayed super traditional with a vanilla marshmallow. Where the pumpkin comes in is the cookie! A pumpkin cut-out cookie? How did I not think of this years ago? Adding pumpkin to a cookie recipe is so much easier than trying to balance the flavors and texture of a candy. These cookies came out of the oven smelling like Fall and so delectable, even without the marshmallow topping.

The marshmallow on top really brings these cookies to a whole new level. Actually, they taste just like pumpkin pie. Seriously! The delicate flavors of the pumpkin cookie and vanilla marshmallow taste just like you popped some vanilla whipped cream on top of your pumpkin pie.

Of course these aren't exactly like a traditional mallomar. Most importantly, they aren't covered in chocolate. I coated my first few mallomar recipes in chocolate. I came to realize that the chocolate flavor was covering up the mild flavors I was infusing into the marshmallow or cookie. Therefore, we will call these "Naked Mallomars" from here on out.

Also, don't let the homemade marshmallow scare you off. Personally I've made marshmallows at least two dozen times. It gets easier and easier each time you put a batch together. This vanilla recipe is simple, quick and takes no more than 15-20 minutes to go from ingredients to piping bag. Have marshmallow questions? Leave them in the comment section and I'll try to be of assistance!

One Year Ago: Watermelon Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Pumpkin-frosted, caramel-filled, vanilla cupcakes
Three Years Ago:Ramen Vegetable Soup
Four Years Ago: Pomegranate Ice Cream
Five Years Ago: Apple cake with Brown sugar icing

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

J@H - Snickers Bars

Sorry for my lack of posting lately. My kitchen is currently sitting in my living room.

Over the past year, the boyfriend and I have been updating, renovating and decorating our first house. We have been putting off renovating the kitchen because it is the biggest job in the house. We pulled up the old flooring (three layers of tile, Peel & stick tile and linoleum) on Saturday. Re-tiling of the kitchen has taken up the past few days with grout planned for the weekend. We still have to choose a paint color, paint and then install a backsplash. We'll probably be out of the kitchen for another week or so.

Luckily, I had time to put the finishing touches on these bad boys before pulling the appliances out of the kitchen. I've been looking forward to recreating this classic candy in my kitchen. It took a few tries to get the layers right, but the final product is so fantastic!

Rather than coating the entire candy in chocolate, I went with the simpler option and built the candy bar in layers in a 8x8-inch pan. First went in a layer of chocolate. Next I made and pressed in the peanut butter nougat. After setting overnight, I made three different batches of caramel before finally making one that I was happy with. I stirred in the peanuts and poured it over the top. Once the caramel set up, I added the final layer of chocolate.

Do these bars taste exactly like a Snickers Bar? No. But they do taste delicious. They are also a labor of love. There are several other Snickers Bars recipes out there on the internet that are easier to put together. If you want to make everything from scratch and avoid ingredients like marshmallow fluff and store-bought caramels, give this a try!

Though, after all the trouble I had with the caramel layer, I might go with the easy way out next time!

One Year Ago: Hazelnut Cream Cheese Brownies
Two Years Ago: Peach Melba Linzer Bars
Three Years Ago: Gorgonzola & Leek Risotto
Four Years Ago: Orange Cinnamon Bread
Five Years Ago: Spanish Chicken with Mustard-Green Onion Sauce

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Happy 5th Birthday WITK!

I can't believe that it's been five years since I started writing here at WITK! I remember reading food blogs during my down time in the lab and thinking that I'd like to share my cooking online too! A lot has changed since those early days in the kitchen...

In 2010, I was living in Colorado and getting ready to move to Connecticut. It was probably the worst time to start a food blog, since my kitchen was about to be packed up and shipped off to the East Coast!

I spent a year cooking from my tiny studio apartment in New Haven, Connecticut, before landing my first real job and moving to New Jersey. Not just moving to New Jersey, but moving in with my boyfriend of eight years.

I spent almost two years at my first job before the company was closed and I found myself unemployed! During my six months of unemployment I started a lifestyle blog, Wilde in the City, interviewed at a half dozen pharma companies and traveled the US with the boyfriend.

These days I'm happily at a new pharmaceutical company, in a completely different position, traveling the world and occasionally getting into the kitchen. With my work and travel schedule, I've been lax with my posting here at WITK, but I couldn't let this date pass me by!

Since it's July, I thought that I would celebrate the fruit of the season - the Strawberry! The cake is flavored with ripe strawberries and layered with strawberry compote and fresh whipped cream. To top it all off, the cake is covered with an amazing cream cheese frosting.

Thank you for coming along on this exciting journey at WITK! I wish you could all come over and have a slice of cake. I guess I'll just have to eat it all myself!

One Year Ago: Neapolitan Cake 
Two Years Ago: Milky Way Cake
Three Years Ago: Sponge Candy Cake
Four Years Ago: Pizza Foccacia
Five Years Ago: Chocolate Cupcakes

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