Monday, December 31, 2007

Live together in perfect harmony

Today I am making Mississippi Mud Bars to take to a casual New Year's Eve gathering. As always, I found a recipe and then modified it, largely because it calls for me to spread chocolate frosting on melted marshmallows, and I am just not sure how that is physically possible. So I will update as we go along.

If this turns out to be a big chocolate mess, I have a back-up plan: oven s'mores, which people always like because you only associate s'mores with campfires and are pleasantly surprised when you can eat them without having to burn anything or anyone. I discovered these one day when a bunch of people from church showed up at my house in DE, and I had nothing on hand to feed them with (gasp!). But I had the makings of s'mores, randomly, and thought that perhaps there was something to be done here. And there was. You can make whole batches of s'mores at a time under the broiler on a cookie sheet and then everyone can eat at the same time, another unexpected pleasure of the oven s'more. In addition, you can make more creative s'mores in the oven. My personal favorite variation involves spreading one graham cracker with peanut butter and then adding the chocolate and melting the chocolate covered crackers along with the marshmallow covered crackers and combining into a peanutty, chocolatey, gooey treat. Yum!

Wait! There goes the timer. Back with news of disaster or success.....

Okay, so the chocolate frosting thing really was insane, and I skipped it. Instead, I added marshmallows to the top of my brownie base and then toasted them briefly under the broiler. Then, I drizzled chocolate fudge and caramel ice-cream toppings over the marshmallows (after letting some of the air out of them--they puffed up considerably) and topped half the sheet pan with chopped pecans (again, only half because of nut allergies). And they look pretty good, though now they must cool indefinitely and then I have to see if they actually taste good before I plate them and/or move on to plan B. But for now, voila! Charleston Mud Bars (in recognition of all the changes to the original). Or should I say, Plough Mud Bars, which is what all the smelly, disgusting, brackish mud in the marshes around the city is called. Nah, maybe not...bad associations!

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