January: the month of newbies…Daring Bakers Challenge #1

So, I wanted to join this group for a while after reading about their challenges on other food blogs. So I thought, what better time to start something new than in the new year. So here goes:

“The January 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Lauren of Celiac Teen. Lauren chose Gluten-Free Graham Wafers and Nanaimo Bars as the challenge for the month. The sources she based her recipe on are 101 Cookbooks and www.nanaimo.ca.”

I have worked with gluten-free flours before, and with all of the rain, I just didn’t feel like trekking all the way down to the Mission to get what I needed, so I used wheat flour. It was a simple change to the challenge recipe, just replace the gluten-free flours with wheat flour.

The graham cracker dough was sticky, and I ended up adding a little extra flour while I kneaded and rolled it out. Since I don’t really like plain graham crackers (or s’mores) and I knew I would have extras, I didn’t really pay that much attention to the shapes of the crackers themselves, and just baked them for the crumbs. Oh, of course I tried one or three before smashing them to bits, and they are good on their own. But I will surely make a tart or pie crust of some sort with the leftover crumbs.

The Nanaimo Bars were pretty easy to make, and all of the layers make a tasty treat. I only have half of them left and I only made them on Monday.

I do have a lot of leftover ingredients that will have to be used some how, so look for recipes featuring these ingredients again (such as the graham cracker crumbs).

I hope this post gets the Daring Baker’s stamp of approval. Take the jump for the recipes.

they’re not the prettiest that I’ve seen, but they were tasty.

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it’s a hot, sticky mess…

…not the drunk kind, but the gooey, marshmallowy kind. I got a bag of marshmallows sent to me as part of a birthday present from my mom, and they were all stuck together, so I needed something to do with them, and I couldn’t just eat them out of the bag, because, well, they were literally stuck in the bag! So, I looked hard and long (ugh-get your minds out of the gutter!) on the interwebs for ideas and mostly found marshmallows added to brownie or blondies, so I thought a little longer, and I decided that I could probably caramelize the ‘mallows before adding them to the brownies, so that’s what I did. They turned out to be really good, and it was a literal explosion of a brownie.
I suggest melting/caramelizing the ‘mallows right before you add them to the batter, because otherwise, like me, you will end up having to reheat it to get it out of the pot, and that is what made the hot, sticky mess.

(look at the bubble of marshmallow peeking out!)

Anyway, they are really easy to make. Just follow this brownie recipe and caramelize one bag of marshmallows, then layer the brownie batter with the brown goop in your pot, and bake for like 30 minutes. The marshmallows smell so campfire-y and good when they are being melted, it is tempting to just eat that, and of course, you could stop right there, and add it to some ice cream. Or, you could add them to some graham crackers and chocolate for some s’mores. Again, all of these possibilities!