Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

This is my go to Graham Cracker crust recipe.  For cheesecakes, pies and S’more donut topping.  It’s easy and tastes AMAZING.  You can use regular honey graham crackers, cinnamon or chocolate for different flavors.

an easy and delicious recipe for the perfect graham cracker crust
I also like to use ginger snaps or ground nuts.  As long as the ground “crackers” amount stays the same your good!  But the classic, basic honey graham cracker crust is always a good way to go.

graham-cracker-crust-ingredients

You can use a food processor to turn the crackers into crumbs… OR manual labor…  This is a great job when you want to get your frustrations out

crushed-graham-crackers

OR a great job for your kids.  My kids are ALWAYS asking to help in the kitchen.  So I love finding parts of each recipe where they can participate.  Crushing the crackers with a rolling pin and a gallon size freezer bag is a GREAT job.

making-graham-cracker-crust

They can even do the next few steps as well.  While still in the bag add the sugar and mix it in.  Then add the melted butter and mix it in as well, just kneading through the bag.

graham-cracker-crust-crumbs
Now just pour the moist crumbs into your pie pan (or cheecake pan)

pressing-graham-cracker-crust

Using the back of a glass or measuring cup spread out the crumbs and pat them down and around the sides.  This does get a bit messy AND it’s a little trickier so I do this part myself.  But if you have older kids this is part that they can do for you!

Now your ready to bake it!

graham-cracker-crust
Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Graham Cracker Crust Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 C graham crackers (a full sleeve)
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Crush the graham crackers, I use a gallon size freezer bag and a rolling pin
  3. Add the sugar and mix it in.
  4. Add the melted butter and knead it (still in the bag)
  5. Press into your pan and along the sides.
  6. Bake for 7 mins
  7. Let the crust cool before filling
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perfect-graham-cracker-crust

And DONE!  What do you think? Are you a graham cracker crust fan? or do you like tradition pie crust (which I love too).

ice-cream-pie

Today I’m sharing my Caramel Toffee Ice Cream pie over at 30 Handmade Days today!  I hope you all head over and check in out!  It’s one of my kids favorite summer treat!

S’more Donut Recipe

Time for another S’more recipe!  I seriously had the hardest time NARROWING down the recipes I wanted to create and share for S”more week!  I”ll eventually try them all but for now I wanted to share a recipe that is two loves in one, S’mores and donuts in one, Mmmm

Easy to make S'more donut recipe.  Homemade donuts filled with chocolate and marshmallows topped with a graham cracker crumble
Start out by using this homemade donut dough recipe.

donut-dough

When it says to roll the dough out to 1/2 an inch roll it out to 1/4 of an inch instead.  And rather than using a donut cutter use a round cookie cutter or a glass.  I went with 3 1/2 inch circles.

filling-smore-donuts
Next brush milk over half of the circles.

homemade-smore-donut-recipe
Then add marshmallows and chocolate (I used MINI marshmallows and mini chocolate chips, but you could add chocolate bars and half a large marshmallow if you want too).

Then place the other half of the circles on top, press down and pinching the edges around the circle. This will spread out the circles a bit.

how-to-fill-homemade-donuts

Then take the same cutter or glass and recut the donut, this will totally seal the edges so you won’t have to worry about the insides coming out when your frying the donuts!

Now go back to the instructions, let them proof and then fry them.

smore-donut-recipe
Now your ready for the glaze, pour it into a wide bowl.  Press the donut into the glaze, twist, then life and let it drip off.

Vanilla Glaze

Vanilla Glaze

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 C powdered Sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp Milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Mix the powdered sugar, 2 Tbsp milk and the vanilla. Stir with a whisk or fork until smooth, add more milk if the the glaze is too thick 1/2 Tbs at a time.
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smore-filled-donut-recipe

Now time for the graham crumble!  Make sure you sprinkle it on while the glaze is warm!

Graham Cracker Crumble topping

Graham Cracker Crumble topping

Ingredients

  • 4 graham crackers crushed
  • 1 Tbs sugar
  • 2 Tbsp melted butter

Directions

  1. Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar.
  2. Add the melted butter
  3. Mix!
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homemade-smore-donuts
That’s everything! Mmmmm  I think I’ll add even more marshmallows next time, I was a little hesitant to overfill the first time, but lets face it, you can’t go wrong with more marshmallows!

marshmallow-chocolate-donut-recipe

And there you have it!  Don’t forget to check out Monday’s Peanut Butter Cookie S’more Sandwiches! And all the S’more recipe link’s from all the other amazing bloggers!


Stabilized Whipped Cream

I love fresh whipped cream, I’m not a big fan of store made dessert whipped toppings.  BUT some recipes call for that stabilized whipped topping, so why not make my own? It tastes better AND it’s really easy!

Easy recipe for making stabilized whipped cream, so your whipping cream holds

You really are just adding gelatin to the whipped cream your making.  There are a few tips and trips, like when to add it, but pretty much that’s it!  This way it’s stronger, you can use it in recipes, or pipe it even, like onto a pie or cake without it getting all melty!

making-stabilized-whipped-cream

So you need whipping cream, vanilla and sugar, just like normal, and some gelatin and some water to dissolve it into!  Easy peasy, I always have these around!

soaking-gelatin

Pour the gelatin into the COLD water and let it Bloom (isn’t that a pretty way of saying it swells up?)

whipped-cream

While that’s “blooming” you can start with the whipping cream.  You don’t have to use the measurements I do, that’s just the flavor I like.  So add the sugar and vanilla and whip it up a bit.  Once it starts to thicken up you can taste it to make sure your happy with it, does it need more vanilla, or more sugar? Add it now.

taste-whipped-cream

Once the gelatin has bloomed microwave it until it dissolves.  Add the gelatin mixture to your whipping cream. Keep whipping until soft of stiff peaks form and your ready to go!  Refrigerate what you don’t use.

gelatin-whipped-cream

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Stabilized Whipped Cream

Ingredients

  • 1 tsp unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1/8 C cold water
  • 2 C whipping cream (regular or heavy--I always use heavy cream)
  • 1/4 C confectioner's sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let it bloom for 5 mins.
  2. While that's resting add the sugar and vanilla to the whipping cream (feel free to do more or less to your tastes).
  3. Once the gelatin has bloomed microwave it until it's dissolved. Then, while whipping the cream, slowly add the gelatin to the cream.
  4. Beat in a mixer with a whisk until soft or stiff peaks form (your preference) and keep refrigerated!
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stabilized-whipped-cream

Do you love fresh whipped cream like me? or are you a whipped topping fan?  No judgement, some people LOVE it, I grew up on it.

Peanut Butter Cookie S’mores

I am so excited to be participating in a S’more week with a ton of other amazing food bloggers this week! I’ll have two more recipes myself this week, and so will everyone else!  I can’t wait to see all the marshmallowy chocolate goodness!!

my new favorite way to eat s'mores, between peanut butter cookies

So today I’m starting out with my new FAVORITE way to eat S’mores… with the best Peanut butter cookies ever.  Seriously this recipe is AMAZING!

peanut-butter-cookie-marshmallows

Because I don’t have a firepit AND I don’t always want to start a fire I have started making OVEN BAKED S’mores.  YUP fast, easy and I can make them any time I want (which is more often than I’d like to admit these days…

peanut-butter-cookie-oven-smores

Preheat the oven to 350, place the cookies upside down on a cookie sheet (I suggest using parchment paper), then place a marshmallow on each cookie and bake in the center of the oven for 3-4 mins.

peanut-butter-cookie-broil-smores

To get a nice golden brown I like to place mine under the broiler for just a min more (or two if you like them more dark)

peanut-butter-cookie-baked-smores

Don’t they look AMAZING!?!?!?! Seriously I’m craving one all over again now!

chocolate-peanut-butter-cookie-smores

finish off by adding chocolate on top of the marshmallow while they are still warm…

peanut-butter-cookie-smore-sandwiches

Top with another cookie and your ready to go!

peanut-butter-cookie-smores

I like to add mini chocolate chip’s to my cookies for extra chocolate when I’m making these S’more sandwiches, but plain peanut butter tastes great too!

peanut-butter-smores-cookie-sandwiches

I love how easy these are to make, and my kids do too!  We don’t have to wait for night to have them (just make sure I have a batch or two of these cookies around).  It’s dangerously simple and everyone loves them!

chocolate-chip-peanut-butter-cookie-smores

Is there anything better than warm marshmallow and melted chocolate? Mmmm I personally like to eat them without the top cookie as well, more marshmallow ratio!


Homemade Donuts

I love donuts! Earlier this summer I had the most amazing made-to-order donuts and ever since I’ve been obsessed with fresh donuts!  I’ve been trying a few different recipes all summer and I’m FINALLY happy with one. And today I’m over at Skip to my Lou as part of her summer series sharing the donut picnic party we had including all the glaze recipes we love to use!

easy homemade donuts, this base recipe is good for a ton of donut options

These are a basic raised donut, meaning they are made with yeast and you let them rise before frying them. (vs baking or dropping them into the oil, other classic donuts).  I’m working on some recipes for the other styles but I’m not ready to share them yet!

homemade-donuts-ingredients

Basic Raised Donuts
Makes 2 dozen
6 Tbsp active dry yeast
2 C whole milk (heated to 110 degrees)
5 C+ bread flour (divided)
4 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 C butter (one stick
canola oil for frying

homemade-donuts-batter

In your mixer, with your paddles, add the yeast, milk and 2 C flour and mix until smooth.  Then let it rest, covered, in a warm spot for 20 mins.

homemade-donuts-first-rise

This is what it will look like at the end of the rise. Mix to deflate and switch over to a dough hook.

homemade-donut-recipe

Add the sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and egg yolks and mix on low until smooth!  Now your’ll start adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

easy-homemade-donuts

Keep adding flour and mixing on low until the dough pulls away from the sides. It will still be very moist, and a little sticky, but not too much.

Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 12.

homemade-donuts-preparing-pan

Prep some pans by lining them with plastic wrap and spray them down with some no stick spray, like Pam.  Start heating 2 inches of oil over medium high.

homemade-donuts-dough

Pull the dough out and place on a lightly floured surface.  Flour the top and roll out the dough…

homemade-donuts-roll-out

For traditional donuts you want to roll it out 1/2 inch thick.

homemade-donuts-cutter

Take your cutter (I like the 3 1/2 inch, but a 3 inch cutter works well too) and dip it in flour before each cut.

homemade-donuts-cutting

Press the cutter all the way down, the twist a bit,  then pull up.

cutting-homemade-donuts

This is great for the kids to help with.  Even Baby Boy could do it, super easy.

homemade-donuts-rest

place the donuts and the donut holes on the plastic wrap, make sure there is space between each one.

homemade-donuts-rising

spray some more plastic with pam and cover the donuts, let proof/rise for 5-20 mins

homemade-donuts-hot-oil

You want the oil to be at 360 degrees, for me I maintained 360 between medium and medium/high.  It’s tricky, I wish I had a deep fryer, it would be easier, but alas, that’s a toy I don’t have yet!

homemade-donuts-proofing

Check every 5 mins by pressing a finger into the dough and if it springs back fast it needs more time, springs back slowly and it’s ready!

homemade-donuts-frying

Fry for 1-2 mins on each side. For me 1 1/2 mins on each side was perfect!

frying-homemade-donuts

Flip to the second side carefully, you don’t want to splash hot oil everywhere, I used a wide slotted flipper.

homemade-donuts

Pull out and let drain on a wire rack over paper towels (I like to do it in a jelly roll pan to keep the grease contained.

homemade-donuts-glaze

And now your ready for the glaze!  I’m sharing these glaze recipes over at Skip to my Lou today!

My favorite is to roll them in cinnamon and sugar while they are still warm.  But my kids love the glazes.  Our favorite are vanilla, chocolate and maple.  And of course top them with any extras, like sprinkles, coconut, and more!

Homemade Donuts

2 dozen

Homemade Donuts

Ingredients

  • 6 Tbsp active dry yeast
  • 2 C whole milk (heated to 110 degrees)
  • 5 C+ bread flour (divided)
  • 4 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 C butter (one stick
  • canola oil for frying

Directions

  1. In your mixer, with your paddles, add the yeast, milk and 2 C flour and mix until smooth.  
  2. Then let it rest, covered, in a warm spot for 20 mins.
  3. Mix to deflate and switch over to a dough hook.
  4. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla, eggs and egg yolks and mix on low until smooth!  
  5. Now your'll start adding the flour, 1/2 cup at a time.
  6. Keep adding flour and mixing on low until the dough pulls away from the sides. It will still be very moist, and a little sticky, but not too much.
  7. Cover the dough and refrigerate for at least 1 hour, up to 12.
  8. Prep some pans by lining them with plastic wrap and spray them down with some no stick spray, like Pam.  
  9. Start heating 2 inches of oil over medium/high.
  10. Pull the dough out and place on a lightly floured surface.  Flour the top and roll out the dough...
  11. For traditional donuts you want to roll it out 1/2 inch thick.
  12. Take your cutter (I like the [3 1/2 inch
  13. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000DDYZN/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B0000DDYZN&linkCode=as2&tag=imtotu-20&linkId=BYKYDZWCYOBI4TJE], but a 3 inch cutter works well too) and dip it in flour before each cut.
  14. Press the cutter all the way down, the twist a bit, then pull up.
  15. Place the donuts and the donut holes on the plastic wrap, make sure there is space between each one.
  16. Spray some more plastic with pam and cover the donuts, let them proof/rise for 5-20 mins
  17. You want the oil to be at 360 degrees, for me I maintained 360 between medium and medium/high. It's a little tricky, just keep the thermometer in to keep an eye on it.
  18. Check the dough every 5 mins by pressing a finger into the dough and if it springs back fast it needs more time, springs back slowly and it's ready!
  19. Fry for 1-2 mins on each side. For me 1 1/2 mins on each side was perfect!
  20. Flip to the second side carefully, you don't want to splash hot oil everywhere, I used a wide slotted flipper.
  21. Pull out and let drain on a wire rack over paper towels (I like to do it in a jelly roll pan to keep the grease contained.
  22. And now your ready for the glaze!  
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One Hour Parmesan Breadsticks Recipe

These breadsticks are AMAZING!  I remember the first time my girlfriend Robin brought them over for dinner!  I got the recipe from her THAT night and I’ve been making them ever since.  My girlfriend Heather won’t even let me in the door of her house unless I bring a batch with me!

The best part is that they are FAST and easy to make, like under an hour!  So those nights when I’m like, crap what am I going to make for dinner, I know that I can throw these together fast and the kids will be happy no matter what else I make!

delicious one hour garlic parmesan breadsticks recipe

We are a dipping family, we like to dip foods, like grilled cheese in soup, fries in frosty’s, etc…  These breadsticks are perfect for dipping.  My favorite is my Alfredo Sauce, in fact I usually make a double batch when I make Fettuccine Alfredo and the next day for breakfast, lunch and snack I enjoy just breadstick dipped in warmed sauce!

breadstick-recipe

You can top the breadsticks with any topping you want, as much or as little, but I always top with garlic salt and parmesan, I love when the cheese get’s crusty and crispy, mmmmm.  These are my favorites with lasagna, manicotti, and a lot of my soups.

The funny part is I realized recently that I’ve shared a lot of my specialty recipes, but there are so many of the basic/make-all-the-time recipes that I never take the time to photograph and share with you guys.  I’m trying to be better about that!

breadsticks

One Hour Parmesan Breadsticks Recipe

40 minutes

20 minutes

1 hour

18-20 depending on size

One Hour Parmesan Breadsticks Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp yeast
  • 1 1/2 C warm water
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 C flour
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 C)
  • Parmesan cheese
  • garlic salt

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375
  2. In the bowl of your mixer dissolve yeast in the warm water and sugar, let ist for 5 mins (the yeast will start to grow and poof.
  3. Add the salt and 1 1/2-2 C flour and mix with a dough hook until dough is smooth and elastic.
  4. Add remaining flour, 1/4-1/2 C at a time, mixing well, the dough will still be sticky.
  5. Mix (kneed) 3 min more.
  6. Roll dough into a ball and turn over once in a greased bowl, cover with a damp towel.
  7. Let rise in a warm place, free from drafts for 10 min
  8. Place the dough onto a floured counter and roll out into a long rectangle, 1/2 inch thick.
  9. Cut dough into 4-5 in x 1 inch strips (I get 18 usually).
  10. Melt the butter in a bowl
  11. Roll the dough in the butter, covering completely, and lay on jelly roll pan (they will be spread out), spray some plastic wrap with Pam (or any cooking spray) and cover the rolls.
  12. Let rise 10 min more.
  13. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and garlic salt, as much or as little as you want (if you don't have garlic salt you can use a mixture of garlic powder and salt).
  14. Bake at 375 for 18-20 min, until they are slightly golden.
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breadsticks-recipes

These breadsticks are light and airy and completely delicious.  I can’t say enough how good they are and how much we all love them.  Even my husband, who isn’t a big bread fan, LOVES these!  I think I’m going to have to start making a triple batch because everyone eats so many of these and I want some leftovers the next day.

bread-sticks

My favorite side will always be carbs, what about you?  I think breads belongs at every meal no matter what your serving and these are fast and easy enough that you can always add them even last minute!  Plus they make great bribery to get your kids to eat the rest of the meal; “Want another breadstick? eat 6 more bites of dinner”, works most of the time!