Burns My Bacon: Dessert Gimmicks


So the food porn-obsessed Internet is going crazy this week with news that Dominique Ansel, he of the great cronut craze of 2013, is back with his latest trademark creation: a chocolate chip cookie shot “glass” with a shot of milk. It’s beautiful. It’s mouthwatering. It’s waste-free.

It’s also stupid.

Why? Because, um…who wants to drink a shot of milk and THEN eat a cookie? It’s cute, yes. But the order is just all wrong. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here but there are some things I just have to take seriously and this concoction is NOT practical. I feel like I would end up with milk and crumbs drizzling down my face as I tried to get the perfect last bite.

This gimmick is just not an improvement on the traditional milk and cookie. Cookie first, then milk. It doesn’t work the other way.  Design me a shot glass made of milk with a cookie contained inside it, and then I might be impressed, Dominique.

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Endless Peeps: Vanilla Sugar-Peep Sandwich Cookies

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When we say endless, we mean it. I know the day of love has past, but it is still dreary February and we could all use a pick-me-up. I made these for Valentine’s day for my fiance (she was stuck going to work to save lives as essential personnel while I enjoyed a snow day). Plus I had vanilla cream Peeps, and a sweet tooth. The result? Peep sandwich cookies.

Years ago, my mom found a sugar cookie recipe that was just delectable. They melt in your mouth, have just the right amount of sugar, and they have the perfect texture. With golden brown edges, they provide just the right crunch to be complemented by creamy vanilla marshmallow. PLUS, there is additional sweetness in the vanilla frosting that acts as a glue for the marshmallow.

These are good fresh out of the oven or a few days later. I’ve even dunked them in milk. I was concerned about the sandwiches becoming too sweet, but the peep has just enough of a flavor without being too overwhelming. Plus, the vanilla flavor in the peeps goes well with the icing and the cookie. The challenge is pushing the cookie down without breaking the cookie and popping the peep out of the sandwich. Once you mess up a couple, it’s smooth sailing and off to enjoying your Peep-Sandwich.

Vanilla Sugar-Peep Sandwich Cookies

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Endless Peeps: Peeps Popcorn

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Yes, MORE Peeps! Really…there is no thing as too much Peeps. The opportunities are endless! So this time, I took a different route—a sweet and salty route: POPCORN. Popcorn is great. But let’s be honest, unless it’s drowning in greasy fake movie theater butter, it just isn’t that good. UNLESS you drown it in something sweet. This brings us to…Peeps Popcorn.

Yes, it’s sweet…and it’s also easy. So easy, a kid could do it (as long as they don’t touch the stove or burn the sugar, or touch the hot melted Peeps). I do have to tell you though; you have to be okay with killing innocent marshmallow bunnies and chicks. Their suffering was worth it (as it typically is) and ends in a tasty treat that is not loaded with calories and carbs.

I used the chocolate mousse Peeps and the raspberry Peeps, and did two separate batches. The nice thing about this is that it takes one package or less of the Peeps, and some fresh-popped popcorn. Other than some butter in the pan, there are no other ingredients. The chocolate mousse popcorn came out a little crispier than the raspberry. Must be something in their blood…

The chocolate flavor stands out on the popcorn, so I added some sea salt and it was tasty. The sweetness of the raspberry reminded me of cotton candy for some reason—no salt needed. Since Peeps offers so many different flavors now, I would definitely pick two flavors and make two different batches. This way, you can compare and contrast. Now consider this…what if you mixed two flavors? Hmmm…

Here’s the “recipe” (pay attention – it’s complicated)

Peeps Popcorn

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Strawberry Ice Cream Funfetti Cake

Super Sweet Valentine’s: Strawberry Funfetti Melted Ice Cream Cake

Happy V-Day! Whether single, attached, or somewhere in the middle, there’s one unifying reason for everyone to celebrate the holiday of love: SUGAR. Valentine’s Day is a no-holds-barred marathon of sweets. Chocolates, strawberries, truffles, cupcakes, whipped cream…the sugary possibilities are endless. Personally, I’m a “red wine and dark chocolate” type of dessert lover, but I do have a couple vices when it comes to sweets, and here’s my most guilty one: funfetti. I’m powerless before funfetti. You know what I’m talking about, that boxed rainbow cake you see at birthday parties? I love it.

Strawberry Ice Cream Funfetti Cake

Anyway, this is a recipe that was sent to me by our friends at Arctic Zero, so it’s festive and sweet but definitely lower in cals/fat than your average dessert made with cream, butter, etc. Meaning you can still feel H-O-T in whatever seductive outfit you want to flaunt after sharing this dessert with your love (significant other, friend, family member, TV screen?) of choice.

The cake itself is cute and pink and rainbow-y, and super moist thanks to using Arctic Zero versus oil or something in the cake batter. It tastes like a homemade birthday cake with a scoop of melted ice cream mixed together. What could be better than that?

Strawberry Funfetti Melted Ice Cream Cake

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Valentines Peeps Products

Two of Hearts: Ultimate Valentine’s S’mores

The best thing about Easter — PEEPS! — is now the best thing about Valentine’s Day! A few weeks ago, a box of glory appeared on my doorstep. A box full of VALENTINE’S PEEPS. Oh, yes. It was ON. (And by “it,” I mean “intense sugar highs and almost immediate sugar crashes.”)

Take a glimpse of the offerings:

Valentines Peeps Products

Chocolate Mousse teddybears, Strawberry Creme hearts, Vanilla Creme hearts, regular marshmallow hearts, sugar-free hearts, and Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry chicks! My favorites are the Vanilla Creme and Chocolate-Dipped Strawberry.

So, what to do with all these marshmallows? There’s an obvious answer here: s’mores.

Recently, one of my (GENIUS) coworkers mentioned an awesome trick: instead of using a regular ol’ Hershey bar in your s’more, use a Reese’s Cup to add some peanut buttery goodness. What?! Mind. Blown. Lucky for me (and you!) Reese’s makes heart-shaped candies for Vday. This is some heart-on-heart action.

Peeps S'mores

Peeps S'more Reeses

I mean… I don’t even know what to tell y’all about this. It’s so simple. The answer was there all along. REESE’S CUPS. I made mine with a Vanilla Creme Peep (because I love me some vanilla + PB) and it was heavenly. (By the way, no shame in using a microwave on this guilty little pleasure… it’s way too cold to be messing with a backyard bonfire this winter.)

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