As much as I love s’mores, I have to admit there is that whole “marshmallow oozing down your chin, chocolate gushing out of the sides onto your fingers” mess factor to consider. You also have to build a fire (microwaved s’mores are just not the same) and toast a marshmallow to perfection. If you just brown the outside of the marshmallow quickly, the inside stays cold and the chocolate won’t melt. These are all important factors when creating the perfect s’more.

I found myself putting a “S’mores Cookie” together in my imagination at 2:00 am, proof that my sis-in-law is right: I have OCBD – or “Obsessive Compulsive Baking Disorder.” You know how things you think of in the middle of the night sound like genius? And then the next morning you say “What the hell was I thinking?” This was what I ran into. The cookies were a mess. My original idea was to dip mini marshmallows in chocolate, freeze them, and put them inside a graham cookie with the hope that a frozen marshmallow covered in chocolate wouldn’t dissolve and disappear as the cookie baked. Hah.

When imagination fails, improvisation comes to the rescue! The final result was a graham cookie with a milk chocolate center, topped with toasted marshmallow and more chocolate. It just doesn’t get any better than that.

S’MORES COOKIES – a little bite of heaven.

I’m not getting a kickback from Hershey’s, (though that’s not a bad idea) but I’ve got to tell you – these Hershey’s Drops are a great idea! They’re like big M&Ms without the candy shell. I taste-tested quite a few of them before I deemed them worthy.

The cookies are very simple to make, and since the dough doesn’t spread much you will only need to use two cookie sheets. That’s a plus for me, because I have a short attention span when it comes to baking cookies, and am known for getting bored with the whole process and ignoring the last batch until the smoke alarm sounds. Two sheets is very do-able!

Makes approximately 30

1 cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar, packed
½ cup powdered sugar
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups graham flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup cornstarch
½ cup marshmallow cream (I used Kraft Jet-Puffed)
1 package Hershey’s Drops
15 large marshmallows, cut in half

  • Heat oven to 350 F.
  • In large bowl beat butter, brown sugar, and powdered sugar until well mixed.
  • Add egg yolk and vanilla and beat well.
  • Add graham flour, all-purpose flour, and cornstarch and beat on low until combined.
  • Add marshmallow cream and beat on low until combined.
  • With #50 scoop (or a very rounded tablespoon), scoop out dough, roll into a ball, and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  • Working with one cookie sheet at a time, press one Hershey’s Drop in the middle of each cookie so it’s level with the top of the dough.

Pressing chocolate drops into the balls of dough.

    • Bake for approximately 12 minutes. The cookies should be a golden brown. Remove the cookies from the oven.
    • Turn the oven to broil and move the rack to the second position from the top.
    • Place one marshmallow half on each cookie, sticky side down, covering the chocolate drop.

Cookies, hot out of the oven. Press the marshmallow gently onto chocolate drop.

    • Put the pan under the broiler with the door ajar for approximately 30 seconds. Watch very carefully. Seriously! About 30 seconds. The marshmallow should toast to a light brown. Any darker, and the marshmallow will get chewy.

Go for the gold! Toast them gently to perfection.

  • Remove pan from oven and place on a cooling rack. Press one Hershey Drop onto each marshmallow. Allow to cool on cookie sheet.

The cookies will cool quickly, but it will take a long time for the chocolate drop to get solid. If you stack them on a plate too soon you’ll end up with a big, gooey mess. I know this for a fact!

Don’t ask me how long these will keep; it’s a non-issue in my household. If you have to ask that, you obviously have a lot more self-control than I. Speaking of no self-control, if you would like to take the s’mores theme to a new level, check out my July “Food for Thought” column in Yummy Northwest for a truly decadent s’mores cake! Yummy Northwest

Kum Ba Ya!

Learn to love it!

I hear it all the time: “I’m a good cook, but I don’t like to bake.”

That’s such a hard concept for me to understand. If you are going to go to all the trouble to make a mouth-watering meal, go the extra mile and include fresh rolls or a simple homemade dessert. Even if baking isn’t your favorite thing to do, you can do it!

Honestly, it’s just not that hard. For most everyday baking there are really only four rules you absolutely must follow:

  • Make sure your leavenings are fresh. (This means baking soda, baking powder, and yeast.)
  • If you are beating egg whites, don’t get any yolk in the bowl.
  • Don’t substitute flours. If it calls for bread flour, use bread flour. If it calls for cake flour, use cake flour. As your confidence grows, you can experiment with substitutions; for now, use the type the recipe calls for.
  • Use the best-quality ingredients you can afford. Never skimp on sugar – use pure cane white sugar and brown sugar. When the recipe calls for butter, use good butter – never margarine. Ugh…never use margarine for any reason!

I love to fuss over pastries – Danish and croissants that are a two-day project, cakes with gum-paste decorations, pies that have scenes built into their crusts – but most of the baking I do is the everyday kind. Biscuits, cookies, breads. My husband was in construction, and we had two sons and a daughter. Believe me – we didn’t live on petit fours!

If you’re already an accomplished baker, there will be plenty of fun and challenging recipes on this blog for you. But for now, I’m going to offer a recipe for one of the easiest (most forgiving) goodies you can bake: cookies!


Everyone loves them. They usually don’t need special ingredients or fancy equipment, are hard to ruin (unless you *ahem* forget to set the timer and start playing on the computer,) and accept substitutions easily. Dark brown sugar instead of golden brown, pecans instead of walnuts, old-fashioned oats instead of “quick” oats…you get the picture. See? Nothing is sacred – just wing it! As long as you don’t do much messing around with the fat to dry ingredient ratio, or substitute baking soda for baking powder, the cookies will be just fine. Here’s a simple, hearty cookie to try:


1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt *
3 cups “quick” oatmeal (you can use old fashioned if you’d like)
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted peanuts

*If you can’t find unsalted peanuts (unsalted dry roasted is fine) you can use lightly salted peanuts and reduce the amount of salt in the recipe to ½ teaspoon. See how this works? Improvise!

Heat the oven to 350 F.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until thoroughly mixed.

Add the eggs and the vanilla and beat until creamy – about 15 seconds.
Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
Add the oatmeal, chocolate chips, and peanuts and mix well.

Using a cookie scoop or a rounded tablespoon, drop the dough onto ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake approximately 12 minutes, or until they are a light golden color. Leave on cookie sheets until set (about 3 minutes) and then move to a wire rack to cool.


Pretty easy, huh? I love mixing ingredients together, but get bored with the actual baking part of it, so I usually freeze some for later. I just put the scoops on a cookie sheet, place it in the freezer for an hour or so, and then pop them into a zipper bag. Then when I need cookies quickly (the fragrance disguises the smell of wet dogs when company’s coming) I just put the frozen balls of dough on a cookie sheet, preheat the oven, and “Ta Da!”. You’re an instant domestic goddess. Remember, you may have to let them cook an extra minute or two if they’re still partly frozen.

More cookies coming up soon. I’ll let you bask in the glory of cookie success before we move on to breads!