From Cupcakes to Traditional Korean Food and Everything in Between

Homemade Starbucks S’mores Frappuccino

I first began venturing into making my own blended coffee drinks at home about 2 years ago with my mocha, cotton candy, and pumpkin spice frappuccinos.  I have to say, they’re just way too easy to not give a try.  Not to mention, it’s a sure fire way to save money and ensure you’re using the best of ingredients.  A DIY frappuccino only requires a handful of ingredients with the aid of a blender but even my ancient one accommodated my craving for a homemade frappuccino.  For my recipe, I used a bold fair trade coffee and unsweetened coconut milk, sans carrageenan but since you’re making this at home, you could use anything from regular dairy to hemp milk.  It’s completely up to you.

So let’s break down the anatomy of the s’mores frappuccino.  It’s quite an extravagant layered affair.  First, on the bottom is a gooey marshmallow fluff that’s fun to slurp up through your straw.  As it gets sucked through your straw, it also picks up sweet and silky chocolate sauce which is then followed by a creamy, milky blended coffee, topped off by a crowning glory of fluffy whipped cream dressed up with cookie crumbs and more chocolate sauce.  If you’re not a fan of coffee, you can simply omit it and produce what starbucks calls a blended creme….a la fancy pants milk shake.

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This homemade Starbucks s’mores frappuccino tastes like cool and rich s’mores in a cup, capturing all the elements of a classic s’more but without all the waiting.  Until it melts from this inevitable heat {and it’s not even officially summer, you say?!} you get the sticky sweetness from the marshmallow goop on the bottom to the crispy cookie crumbles on top, making this creamy blended treat both a flavor and texture explosion!

 

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 4 reviews
Homemade Starbucks S'mores Frappuccino
 
Author:
Serves: 1 Serving
Ingredients
Blended Coffee
  • 1 c strong brewed bold coffee or 1 espresso shot
  • ½ c whole milk
  • 1-2 tb sugar
Chocolate Sauce
  • Store-bought OR
  • ⅔ c whole milk
  • ½ c sugar
  • ½ c unsweetened natural cocoa
  • Pinch of salt and instant espresso
  • 1 ts pure vanilla extract
Whipped cream
  • Store-bought OR
  • ¼ c cold heavy cream
  • 2-3 tb sifted powdered sugar
  • ½ ts pure vanilla extract
Marshmallow Fluff
  • ¼ c store-bought marshmallow fluff OR
  • 2 tb homemade melted marshmallows + 2 tb homemade whipped cream
Toppings
  • Crushed graham crackers and more chocolate sauce
Instructions
  1. Freeze half the coffee and milk. Pour the rest together and set aside. Freezing half the liquid prevents you from having to use ice cubes but if you're in a rush, you can just use ½ c ice instead.
  2. If using homemade chocolate sauce, make it second since it needs to cool down. Whisk everything together and cook in a saucepan over the stovetop or heat in the microwave in a large heat proof vessel. It's ready when it's thick and glossy. It will also slightly thicken further as it cools down. Cover and chill until ready to use.
  3. For homemade whipped cream, whip the cold heavy cream until it gets frothy. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it becomes soft, pillowy and fluffy. Take care not to whip too much or it will turn into butter.
  4. For homemade marshmallow fluff, melt the marshmallows just until it gets soft, cool for 1-2 minutes then fold in the whipped cream.
  5. For the coffee base, blend the frozen coffee, milk, {or ice cubes} and the rest of the coffee and milk with the sugar.
  6. To assemble, spoon in the marshmallow fluff on the bottom of your cup.
  7. Follow with a liberal drizzle of chocolate sauce.
  8. Pour in the blended coffee.
  9. Top with whipped cream, cookie crumbs, and more chocolate sauce.

My video/recipe for homemade marshmallows is here.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

The story of my “love me more” pie.

No Bake Pie

I have a couple confessions to make.  First, I used to dislike pie {I know, right?} Second, I’m not really all that into chick flicks.  The latter changed the moment I watched The Waitress which is about a small town girl who feels trapped by her life, finding solace in baking, specifically pies.  Keri Russell captures the unhappy heart of her character, Jenna so well and I found myself mesmerized by her pouring the filling or slathering the toppings onto her pies as if they were a manifestation of the beauty she longed to release but could never find a way to express except through her pies.  She assigns an appropriate name for each of her creations, tied to how she feels when she’s baking them whether they be savory creations {“bad baby pie,” a quiche with egg and brie cheese with a smoked ham center} or sweet, {“Earl murders me because I’m having an affair” pie with smashed blackberries and raspberries in a chocolate crust}.  This movie is primarily what seduced me into pie-lusting.  I’d always had a fondness for whipping up batter to bake into cakes and such but never did I realize the classic versatility of pie making.  Since then, I’ve even incorporated them into my videos like my apple pie baked apples with my favorite, perfect crust.

Today, I made you chocolate peanut butter pie.  Not only does it taste like chocolate truffles swirled with peanut butter cheesecake, it only takes 20 minutes to whip up from start to finish and is completely no-bake.  If I had to name this pie, I think I’d name him “love me more pie” as peanut butter and chocolate are a match made in heaven and I do believe that J fell a little bit more in love with me the moment he bit into his first forkful.  Precisely speaking, his eyes lit up and he leaned over and planted a fat, messy chocolate peanut butter smooch on me.  I’d say mission accomplished.

 

 

5.0 from 6 reviews
No Bake Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 8" Pie
Ingredients
  • 1 chocolate cookie crust
Chocolate Ganache Layer
  • 8 oz bittersweet chocolate
  • ¼ c heavy cream
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • ¼ ts instant espresso powder
Peanut Butter Layer
  • ½ c natural peanut butter
  • 2 oz room temperature cream cheese
  • ¼ c raw honey
  • ¼ c whipped cream
Topping
  • Whipped cream and chocolate
Instructions
  1. In a double boiler or microwave, slowly melt the chocolate, cream, salt, and espresso on low. Allow the residual heat to continue melting the chocolate to prevent it from scorching. Stir until smooth and pour into the prepared crust. Cool and allow to harden {in the fridge this takes 5-10 minutes}.
  2. For the second layer, cream everything together except the whipped cream. Blend until creamy then fold in the whipped cream.
  3. Spread the peanut butter mixture onto the top of the set chocolate layer.
  4. Top with whipped cream and chocolate, if desired. {Or sprinkles/candy/cocoa}

If you liked this recipe, you’ll love my no-bake chocolate peanut butter cups too!

p.s, I will be traveling next week and will return with a new episode on June 17th.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!

Cookies

These chocolate chip cookies are soft, chewy and thick with a toffee like caramel flavor that blossoms throughout each bite and each of those bites are stuffed with the explosion of ooey-gooey chocolate.  Be still my heart!!  The browned butter lends a matured flavor profile to the dough while the melted aspect of it will yield an even chewier cookie.  Making them even chewier is the higher proportion of brown sugar to granulated sugar.  The salted tops balance out the sweetness while the soft hint of coffee compliments the chocolate and the cornstarch mixed in with the dry mixture allows the dough to stay even softer with the aid of baking soda which will help tenderize the dough too.  The extra yolk imparts a richness {and extra chewiness} that can’t be achieved any other way.  Basically, these are super star cookies that cover every angle for achieving the perfect anatomy for an exception chocolate chip cookie.

You’ll never bite into a softer or chewier cookie.  These are cookies that actually taste fresh and delicious days later.  I found this out during the half dozen trial runs in my kitchen testing this recipe, tweaking and perfecting it as I went.  You see, I’ve searched my entire life for the cookie.  Nothing seduces me more than a warm chocolate chip cookie.  Ooey-gooey love of my life!  This cookie is just exploding with chocolate and as they bake, what they leave behind are intense luxurious puddles of sinful melted chocolate.  I use almost an entire bag of chocolate for these.  It’s optional, but why wouldn’t you?  Stuff those suckers, you only live once!  If you never bake one thing in your life from scratch, please let homemade chocolate chip cookies be the one exception.  Particularly this one because I’m that deeply in love with them and I just know you will be too.

As they have lasting power after they’ve been baked, the same goes for how long they age in the fridge.  This alone will double the success of any ole plain cookie dough but when it’s applied here, it elevates it to a whole other level.  I beg you to chill your cookie dough.  If you’re in a huge rush, you could get away with a 24 hour period but as they sit and the flavors co-mingle, truly magical things happen as I mention to you in my how-to recipe video.  Speaking of, come and hang out with me and I’ll demonstrate each step and show you how I make these epic homemade chocolate chip cookies and how you can too.

 

 

 

 

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Best Chocolate Chip Cookies Ever!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 1 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 2¼ c unbleached flour
  • 2 ts cornstarch
  • 1 ts baking soda
  • 2 sticks unsalted, browned butter
  • ⅔ c brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ c granulated sugar
  • 1 whole room temp. egg + 1 room temp. egg yolk
  • 2 ts pure vanilla extract
  • ½ ts instant espresso powder
  • ¼ ts fine salt
  • 10-12 oz bittersweet or semisweet chocolate chips/chunks
  • Flaked sea salt for topping {like Maldon...Fleur de Sel is nice}
Instructions
  1. In a sturdy pan, slowly melt the butter {go low and slow}, swirling every so often until it gets golden brown and smells nutty. Be watchful so it doesn't burn, which can happen very quickly.
  2. In your first bowl, cream the cooled brown butter with both sugars for 3-5 minutes. Blend in the egg yolk then egg.
  3. Add the espresso power, salt, and vanilla.
  4. To the second bowl, sift together the flour, cornstarch, and baking soda.
  5. In thirds, pour the second bowl into the first bowl, taking care not to over mix
  6. Finally, fold in almost all of the chocolate.
  7. Scoop and roll each dough ball and press extra chocolate chunks into the tops of each.
  8. Triple wrap and refrigerate for 2-5 days.
  9. When ready to bake, allow the cookies to sit out for 20-30 minutes before baking then preheat the oven to 325* and line a baking sheet with either silpat or parchment {never wax}.
  10. Lightly press flakes of salt onto the tops of each cookie and bake for 8-11 minutes. {This is how long it takes for 2 oz cookies} When in doubt, slightly undertake as the cookies will continue to heat on the baking sheet even after they've been pulled out.
  11. After baking, allow the cookies to set up on the baking sheet for 3-5 minutes then carefully transfer onto a wire rack.
Notes
Prep time does not include inactive chilling time.

Tips for success:

  • Always cream cookie doughs for at least 3-5 minutes so that the sugars get suspended in the fat and get completely blended to impart a soft and tender texture.
  • Scrape the bowl as you go so you don’t end up with unmixed pockets.
  • Never over mix which leads to the over development of gluten making for a tough, bread-y cookie.
  • Salt and coffee are your friends.  They enhance the flavors with salt highlighting the doughs sweetness and the coffee complimenting the chocolate. The browned butter blooms a tangle of flavors making the finished cookie taste caramelized and nutty all at once.   At the very least, always use salt.  Cookies and most all baked goods are just sad and flat without it.
  • Cornstarch lends a super soft and thick consistency to the cookies while the extra yolk makes them extra rich and chewy.
  • Chill the dough!  This allows the flavors to meld and redistribute while the flour absorbs into the liquid, hydrating it for a chewy and moist cookie.  If you roll/scoop out the dough then chill, it will also produce a much thicker cookie.
  • When in doubt, under bake rather than over bake.  You can always hit it with a little bit of heat later but you can’t ever take it back.
  • You can definitely freeze pre-scooped cookie dough balls.  I like to line them on parchment/silpat and allow them to freeze this way and then transfer them to a zip top bag.  My double wrapped batches stay good for up to 4 months.

Cheers to warm, chocolate chunk cookies!

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Soft Glazed Lemon Cookies

These soft lemon cookies are melt in your mouth delicious with a pillowy texture and a glaze that’s as easy to whip up as the cookies themselves.  Each bite sparkles with the brightness of lemon infused two ways.  First, the freshly squeezed juice and second, the vibrant zest where a ton of the flavor lives in the essential oils packed in the rind.  The natural sunny disposition of lemons which are then packed into a cookie make for a great treat for your #epicnic

A picnic on the beach is precisely where I took these babies with me and I may or may not have gobbled up 4 of them {after a fairly hefty sandwich, quinoa salad, and 2 glasses of sparkling lemonade, mind you}.  I rationalized that my frequent dips in the water would easily take care of the extra calories.  Glazed lemon cookies and the first day warm enough to swim in the ocean?  Epic all the way in my book.

As easy as they are to eat, they’re easy to make too. These puffy cookies only take 5 ingredients and then 2 of those ingredients are reused for a most simple lemon glaze that sets up incredibly thick and glossy atop each cookie with flecks of lemon zest “sprinkles.”  The results are soft and tender cookies that are an almost hybrid of both cake and cookie with a dough that you don’t even have to chill.  It goes from bowl to oven to mouth in 20 minutes or less.  An added bonus?  You can make these with a spatula or whisk and a single bowl with no mixer necessary, if you so choose.  If you love lemon, cake-y or glazed cookies and recipes that require minimal effort, this is the cookie for you.  As I mention in the video, it’s like sunshine in your mouth and I mean it.

 

 

5.0 from 3 reviews
Soft Glazed Lemon Cookies
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 3-4 Dozen
Ingredients
  • 2 sticks of soft, unsalted butter
  • 1¼ c powdered sugar
  • 2 room temperature eggs
  • Zest of 3 unwaxed lemons
  • 2 c self rising flour*
Glaze
  • ½ c powdered sugar
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • Zest of 1 lemon
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar together for 3-5 minutes. Blend in the eggs, one at a time with the lemon zest.
  2. Mix in the flour in thirds just to combine. Do not over mix.
  3. Scoop and bake at 350. My 2 tablespoons of dough baked for about 8 minutes.
  4. Cool completely.
  5. For the glaze, whisk everything together. You want the consistency of glue to ensure that it doesn't slide off.
  6. Spoon 1-2 ts of glaze onto each cookie and allow to dry before serving.
Notes
Homemade self rising flour: combine 1 c unbleached flour with 1½ ts baking powder and ¼ ts kosher salt or ⅛ ts fine salt.

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

Homemade Fudgsicles with 3 Ingredients

Fudgsicles

These homemade fudgsicles are made from scratch with just 3 ingredients.  No funky or hard to acquire ingredients either, just fast, easy and straightforward.  Just like my 3 ingredient Korean melon bars.  This is another recipe that will yield a creamy and fudge-y popsicle but this one has a rich chocolatey flavor that’s sure to satisfy your sweet tooth and the nostalgic pull of the ice cream truck that would draw you to trail after it during those sweltering summer months when you were a kid.  Those were the days, huh?  It was summer vacation and you didn’t have too much more on your agenda than playing with the neighborhood kids which was further highlighted by the presence of the ice cream truck where cold, fun treats gave way to instant, cooling satisfaction and a sugar rush that could fuel you for several more hours of play time.  No bills, no meetings, no commitments.  Just endless days of play time which were regularly broken up by meals that magically appeared and and yummy treats like fudgsicles that would be just part of your summer routine.  That’s pretty much what these fudgsicles symbolize for me.  Childhood on a stick.

Besides the fact that you can make these at home with just 3 ingredients, all of which you can pronounce by the way, it’s a cool creamy treat that will help you beat the heat.  They’re also fun to experiment with.  This past weekend, I layered salted nuts pressed into my 3 minute homemade caramel sauce then filled the rest of the way with my fudgsicle mixture making for a sweet and salty combination and the possibilities are endless from spicy chocolate to a swirled peanut butter and banana fudgsicle.  Let me know if you try any fun variations, I’d love to know and until then, enjoy my recipe for super simple 3 ingredient fudgsicles!

 

 

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Fudgsicles with 3 Ingredients
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Author:
Serves: 6 Pops
Ingredients
  • -2 c whole milk or whole half and half*
  • -1/2 c unsweetened natural cocoa
  • -3/4 c sweetened condensed milk
  • Optional ingredients: 2 tb bourbon or orange liquor, pinch of sea salt, ¼ ts instant espresso, vanilla extract, etc.
Instructions
  1. Gently warm your milk and whisk in the cocoa and sweetened condensed milk.
  2. Freeze in desired molds. My small paper cups took about 4 hours to set when filled ¾ of the way.
Notes
*I highly recommend the half and half but you may also use a dairy substitute or even an avocado

Love,

Your Squishy Monster

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