S’mores Cheesecake Parfaits

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HERO_#6_Smores_Cheesecake_Parfaits

Happy Saturday! Can I just tell you how relieved I am that it’s the weekend? We’ve moved into our house and things are starting to bear some semblance of normalcy around here…of course that is all going to change any day now with the arrival of the baby (insert happy-face-and-confetti-emojis)! My mom’s plane lands in a few hours and we are so happy that she’ll be able to be here to help out and enjoy her grandson. Plus, she plans on stocking our fridge with Korean things like her famous kimchi and some kimbap, per my request. Which I am pretty excited about. Mom’s are the best!

Anyway, just checking in to share these super-easy S’mores Cheesecake Parfaits with you all while we wait (with much anticipation and impatience) for this babe to make his appearance.

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This S’mores situation includes brownie chunks, no-bake cheesecake, graham sprinkles, and ganache. It’s an indulgence of the best sort.

For the Recipe and How-To click on over to Betty Crocker!

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Oatmeal Brownies

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If you were married to me, like Sean, then you would know that one of the hazards of being my bed-mate is that I basically sleep like a hibernating bear-wolf and don’t take well to being disturbed. He tells me that sometimes it’s like trying to hug an angry baby, who swears at you. All punching arms and vitriol.

It’s not the cutest, but I seriously am not even aware of it…because I’M ASLEEP. Jeez, let a girl slumber, ya know?

 

Anyway, even though my R.E.M cycle is, obviously, super important to my unconsicous mind, I still feel a touch guilty at times, especially if I learn that one of my sleeping-wild-animal-angry-baby-punches actually makes contact. I don’t want to be a sleep-fighter, ya know? Not that Sean ever holds it against me — he thinks it hilarious, actually — but I still find it necessary to treat him and brownies are always a win with that guy.

These brownies are made with oat flour, buzzed up to a coarse meal in the food processor. They have the littlest bit of chew from the tiny nibs of oat throughout, with an intense chocolate flavor. I’m kind of in love with these brownies, they aren’t messing around when it comes to deep, dark, chocolatey goodness. I added some cinnamon and cayenne for some warmth and because I love spice and chocolate together. The brownies are a little bit crumbly, I suspect from lack of gluten, but I really think it lets their fudge-y nature shine. Not only are these brownies a chocolate dream, they can be certifiably gluten-free with a little attention to the ingredients. Just make sure your oats, chocolate, and cocoa powder were not processed in a plant with wheat/gluten products (i.e. read that label!).

[recipe]

Print Recipe

Oatmeal Brownies

Adapted from Sprouted Kitchen and Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies

I made my own oat flour by simply processing it in a food processor. My flour was fairly coarse, which was fine with Sean and I, as we liked the chewy bits throughout the brownies. Process yours finely, or purchase it already milled from the store, if you prefer. I used 1/2 maple syrup and 1/2 sugar to sweeten this recipe, you can use all sugar if you want (brown or white). If you make sure to use oats that are guaranteed gluten-free (as well as cocoa and chocolate) these brownies are gluten-free friendly. Hurray! 

8 Tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup maple syrup

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 eggs

1/2 cup oat flour

Preheat your oven to 325˚F. Line an 8×8 inch baking sheet with parchment, leaving an inch or 2 overhang on 2 sides, and grease both the pan and parchment well. Set aside.

In a pan on low heat melt the butter and chocolate, stirring so as not to burn, until smooth and melted. Scrape into a bowl and whisk in the sugar, maple syrup, cocoa, cinnamon, cayenne, salt, and vanilla, until combined completely. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time, until combined well. Fold in the oat flour and let the batter rest a few minutes so the oats absorb some of the liquid and begin to soften. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the center of the oven for about 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with a few sticky crumbs. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting. Can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for a few days. [/recipe]

Brownie Sundaes

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Guys, I know Valentine’s Day gets a bad rap for being too sweet, too commercial, too much…but! I’ve always been a believer in celebrating this day of love and appreciation, whether one is coupled or not. Before I met Sean, all of my Valentine’s were more of a Leslie Knope a la Galentine’s situation…which isn’t bad at all, if you ask me. I love my friends and my girlfriends are so very near and dear to my heart. Girlfriend’s are my spirit animal. It’s just the truth.

So, basically  what I’m saying is that even if you’d rather scrooge the day away, don’t do it alone. Or at least, don’t eat dessert alone. This brownie sundae was made for sharing, you can double up on the brownies and the ice cream and the fudge and just attack it with two spoons–as singles, as friends, as couples, whatevs! and whether it’s romantic or platonic, it’s the day to celebrate the loves of your life! Hugs and sundaes all around!

 

Brownie Sundaes

I cut the brownies out with heart cutters and mini heart cutters to up the festive/cute factor. This is a totally optional step, you can simply cut them into generous squares. These sundaes come together quickly using store-bought ice cream. You can use whatever brownie recipe you love, below I have my favorite. The fudge sauce really is no-nonsense, it comes together perfectly and swiftly in the microwave. The brownie and fudge recipe make enough for several sundaes. 

Brownies (recipe below)

No Nonsense Hot Fudge (recipe below)

Ice Cream (softened slightly for easy scooping)

Toasted Almonds (optional)

If the brownies are room temperature or chilled, pop in the microwave in 10 second bursts until just warm. Place a brownie (or two) in the center of a bowl, spoon a bit of warm fudge over the top of the brownie. Dish out 2-3 scoops of ice cream, top with more hot fudge and almonds (if using). Serve with two spoons.

Spiced Cocoa Brownies

adapted from this recipe. 

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

3/4 cup cocoa plus 2 Tablespoons

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cold eggs

1/2 cup flour

1 tablespoon of sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon cayenne

Preheat oven to 325*F. Line an 8×8 inch baking pan with parchment and grease well. Set aside.

In a saucepan over medium-low heat melt the butter. Stir in the sugar, cocoa, salt and vanilla, to moisten and combine well. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool a few minutes–until no longer hot, but still warm to the touch. The mixture may appear grainy and a bit greasy.

Once the mixture has cooled to warm and the pan is no longer burning-hot, vigorously whisk in the eggs one at a time until completely incorporated–the mixture should be smooth and shiny. Fold in the flour, fold about 40 times. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan.

In a small bowl whisk together the tablespoon of sugar, cinnamon, and cayenne. Sprinkle the sugar mixture evenly over the top of the brownie batter. Bake in the center of the oven for about 20-24 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before cutting.

No-Nonsense Hot Fudge

recipe from Take a Megabite

2/3 (1, 5 oz. can) cup evaporated milk

4 Tablespoons unsalted butter

pinch of salt

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup confectioner’s sugar

In a large, heatproof measuring cup combine all of the ingredients. Using the microwave on high, microwave the mixture in 30 second bursts, stirring after each, until the mixture is melted, smooth, and mixed well–about 2 minutes total. Allow the fudge to set up a 1-3 minutes for the best consistency.