Saturday, May 30, 2015

Gooey S'mores Bars

     If you have a hankering for the taste of a warm, gooey s'more but are unable to sit around a crackling campfire, this easy bar recipe from Betty Crocker will satisfy your sweet tooth and remind you of the great outdoors.  The recipe recommends wetting the back of a spoon before spreading the layer of marshmallow creme but I found cooking spray to work much better.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, the bars baked for 22 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the base of the oven, 16 placed around the outside of the lid with 6 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  Keep an eye on them as the marshmallows can brown quickly.  Allow them sit for 30 minutes before slicing, it goes without saying, gobble them up while they're still warm for that real campfire treat flavor.  

Gooey S'mores Bars
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 egg
2 1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 tsp salt
1 11.5 oz bag milk chocolate chips (2 cups)
1 7 oz jar marshmallow creme
1 cup miniature marshmallows

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch dutch oven; line with parchment paper if desired.
     In large bowl, beat sugar, butter, vanilla and egg with electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with spoon, until light and fluffy.
     Stir in graham cracker crumbs, flour and salt.
     Reserve 2 cups graham cracker crumb mixture.
     Press remaining mixture in pan for crust.
     Sprinkle chocolate chips over crust; press slightly into crust.
     Drop marshmallow creme by tablespoonfuls over chocolate chips.
     Wet back of large spoon or spray lightly with cooking spray and use to lightly spread marshmallow creme over chips.
     Sprinkle with marshmallows.
     Sprinkle with reserved crumb mixture; press lightly.
     Bake for 20-25 minutes or until marshmallows are puffed and light golden brown.
     Cool at least 30 minutes before cutting into bars.

Press crumb mixture into parchment lined oven

Lightly press chocolate chips into crumb layer

Spread marshmallow cream with wet or oiled spoon

Sprinkle with marshmallows then top with remaining
crumb mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes

Decadently delicious warm or at room temperature

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Chicken and White Bean Bruschetta Bake

     This is one of those recipes that sounded better than it tasted but if you were eating it under the stars by a crackling campfire you would definitely give it two thumbs up.  It's very easy to make, in fact, you can stir everything together in your dutch oven.  For ease of preparation and the fact that it's a true belly warmer I would recommend it for your camping recipe file.  In my 12 inch dutch oven, it baked for a total of 40 minutes with 12 coals in a ring around the bottom, 16 in a ring around the lid with 8-10 briquettes spaced evenly in the center.  Serve it would some pasta sauce on the side for dipping to add a bit of extra flavor.

Chicken and White Bean Bruschetta Bake
1 19 oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs and garlic, drained
2-3 cups cooked chicken, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tblsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp salt
1 11 oz can Pillsbury refrigerated original breadsticks
8 oz (2 cups) shredded Italian cheese blend, divided
1/2 tsp dried basil leaves
1 Tblsp chopped fresh parsley, if desired

     Lightly oil or spray 12 inch, or larger, dutch oven.
     In large bowl, mix beans, tomatoes, chicken, vinegar and salt.
     Unroll dough; separate into 12 breadsticks.
     Cut each breadstick into 4 equal pieces.
     Stir 1/4 of breadstick pieces at a time into bean mixture.
     Stir in 1 cup of cheese.
     Spoon into prepared dutch oven, gently smoothing top.
     Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.
     Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese and continue baking for 10 minutes or until bubbly and golden brown.
     Garnish with parsley. 

Combine all but one cup of cheese and spread
evenly in prepared oven

Bake at 400 degrees for 25 minutes then top with cheese

Bake for 10 more minutes or until golden brown and
cheese has melted

A hearty, carbo-loading kind of casserole