Gimme Gimme S’mores

I had been wanting to make this cake for months, ever since I came up with the idea of a graham cracker pie crust for my Strawberry & Graham Cracker Layer Cake. This weekend, I finally felt like the moment was right. I’m not sure how I waited so long but I’m sorry I did because this cake is definitely up there with the best. In two words, it’s a s’mores cake. In better words, it’s a s’mores cake piled high with toasted marshmallows, oozing with chocolate ganache and marshmallow frosting between layers of graham cracker pie crust and fudgey chocolate cake. One of my cousins actually compared it to Mallomars – if you don’t know what those are, I’m so sorry. Click here to find out what you’re missing. I thought that was a pretty spot-on comparison and you could easily call this a Mallomar Cake instead of a S’mores Cake, if you’re so inclined. Thank god my (very big) family finished the whole thing, because I would not have been able to resist the leftovers, had there been any.

Toasted Marshmallow S'mores Cake - STARTED FROM THE BATTER

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It’s Going Down for Cereal

I love cereal – any and every kind. As far back as I can remember, I hardly ever ate anything else for breakfast. In the morning before school I could easily wolf down two huge bowls of Life, Rice Krispies, Frosted Mini Wheats, Raisin Bran, Cheerios, Froot Loops, you name it. My cereal addiction didn’t stop when I got to college but I just couldn’t manage to get myself to the dining hall before my 9am classes. Easy solution – keep cereal and milk in my dorm room. Big problem – cereal at the campus convenience store was obscenely expensive and I was going through over a box a week. Finally, parents’ weekend rolled around some time in October and my parents took me to Costco to stock up. We brought back somewhere between 15-20 boxes of cereal to my dorm room and then realized that, oh yeah, dorm rooms are TINY. My roommate happened to be gone for the weekend and she came back Sunday night to a room packed with cereal boxes in every nook and cranny. I’m not kidding; there were boxes under my bed, stacked up in the back of the closet, behind the TV, between my desk and my dresser, and god knows where else.

Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie - STARTED FROM THE BATTER

I have NEVER needed an excuse to eat cereal at any time of day, but in case you do, I can’t think of a better reason to eat cereal for dessert than Lucky Charms Cereal Milk Ice Cream Pie.

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This the Type of Pie to Make the Hood Go Crazy

Guess who’s back, back again… So I haven’t blogged in a ridiculously long time and I really have no excuse, especially since it’s not like I’ve stopped making amazing desserts whenever I get the chance. If you follow me on Instagram (follow me on Instagram! @startedfromthebatter), you know that I’ve made some baller cakes in the past few months and also, this INSANE Peanut Butter Ice Cream Oreo Pie. I made it for the first time in mid-May and since then I’ve made it three more times. I’ve never made the same thing so often in such a short period of time and I’ve also never gotten as many compliments as I have on this dessert. Let me break it down for you: Oreo pie crust, homemade peanut butter ice cream (easy and you don’t need an ice cream maker), layered with hot fudge and Oreos. It’s peanut butter and Oreo overload and I swear if you make it you will not regret it.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream Oreo Pie - STARTED FROM THE BATTER

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Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies

Caution: For serious Peanut Butter Lovers only! These cookies look pretty innocent at first glance, don’t they?

Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies - Started From The Batter

But beware, unsuspecting cookie eaters, because these Peanut Butter Stuffed Chocolate Cookies pack a serious peanut butter punch. I’ll be honest, I know these cookies are not the most impressive looking on the outside, but haven’t you learned that it’s what’s on the inside that counts? Don’t judge a book by its cover? First impressions aren’t everything? Come on, just the name of the cookies should be enough to convince you! Did you read it correctly? PEANUT. BUTTER. STUFFED. CHOCOLATE. COOKIES. Well, if you’re still not convinced, maybe this will do it:

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My Cake Do Stuff That Your Cake Wish It Could

Summer is sadly still a few months away, but with a hint of warm weather last week in New York (I think it might actually have reached 60 degrees one day!), it really got me longing for warm, sunny days. Not just the beach and barbecues, but the real stars of summer: things like ice cream, s’mores, margarita popsicles, and Ralph’s Famous Italian Ices (the creme ones, duh).

Strawberry Graham Cracker Layer Cake - Started From The Batter

For those not blessed with Ralph’s in their lives, it’s an Italian ices and ice cream establishment with locations all over New York City, Long Island, and New Jersey, open seasonally. To me, Ralph’s is synonymous with summer, the beach, warm summer nights, and basically, my childhood. My all-time FAVORITE flavor of Ralph’s is Strawberry Shortcake (not to be confused with Strawberry Cheesecake!). It’s refreshing and sweet and so perfectly embodies summer, AND it has graham cracker pieces mixed in.

Strawberry Graham Cracker Layer Cake - Started From The Batter

Due to my love affair with graham crackers (see: s’mores cake with graham cracker frosting) Strawberry Shortcake has been able to clinch the title as my favorite Ralph’s flavor, beating out tough competition like Mint Chip, Mudslide, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup.

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Haman’s Gonna Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate, Hate

Esther’s gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off! So Taylor Swift is not exactly a rapper but this pun was too good to pass up. Also, I’m shocked that this parody has not been made yet (Maccabeats??). Just to keep my credibility in check, here’s a Kendrick Lamar/Shake It Off mash-up:

Anyway, for those of you who are really confused right now, Haman and Esther are people from the story of Purim, a Jewish holiday coming up on March 4th. If you want to read up on the story of Purim you can Google it and do that on your own time, but just for some context: Esther, a beautiful Jewish woman, was the Queen of Persia, and Haman, an evil Jew-hater, was the king’s royal adviser. Long story short, Haman wanted all of the Jews dead, Esther foiled Haman’s plot, Haman was hanged, all of the Jews survived, and here we are today.

Samoa Hamantaschen - Started From The Batter

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Red Velvet on Peak, Cheesecake on Fleek

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, I bring you red velvet cheesecake swirl brownies from Sally’s Baking Addiction! Most people know that red velvet is delicious, but a lot of people don’t know what red velvet actually is. Red velvet is a mixture of chocolate and vanilla flavors – it includes both vanilla extract and cocoa powder, but the amount of cocoa powder is significantly less than you would use for chocolate cake/brownies. Traditionally, red velvet cake is topped with a cream cheese frosting. This recipe puts an awesome twist on that by incorporating the cream cheese in the form of a cheesecake swirl. These brownies are the perfect Valentine’s Day treat because they look so beautiful with the vibrant red and white(-ish yellow) swirls, and they’re also different from your average cookie or brownie.

Red Velvet Cheesecake Swirl Brownies - Started From The Batter

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I’m In Love With the Cocoa

What do you do when you hear that there’s a blizzard coming? If you’re a bake-aholic like me, you immediately check your kitchen for the only things that matter – butter, sugar, flour, and eggs. So when I heard that a “historic” blizzard would be hitting New York earlier this week, that’s exactly what I did. The blizzard ended up falling quite short of historic proportions, but I was thankful to have the day off on Tuesday to bake these amazing chocolate sugar cookies that I’ve been dying to make for weeks. Unlike the blizzard, the cookies met and exceeded my expectations!

Chocolate Sugar Cookies - Started from the Batter

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