Monday, September 17, 2007

Chilly Chocolate S'mores

I made this one up just tonight, and it went over BIG. And why wouldn't it? It's chocolate. And chocolate chips. Mini marshmallows. Graham Crackers. So much yum, in such a compact little package.

It's really quite simple, and it was born of a serious chocolate craving, which, I am happy to report, this cool treat more than satisfied.

Here's my recipe for

Chilly Chocolate S'mores

1 sm. pkg. sugar free and fat free instant chocolate pudding
1 c. milk
4 oz. whipped topping (like Cool Whip), thawed (about 1/2 a container)
1/2 c. mini marshmallows
1/4 c. chocolate chips (or more if you want--this ain't rocket science)
9 whole graham crackers

Whisk together pudding mix and milk until no lumps remain, then stir in cool whip until well combined. Toss in your marshmallows and chocolate chips, and stir (you'll probably want to switch over to a spoon at this point, unless you want to fish marshmallows out of your whisk later).

Line a 9x9 in. pan with plastic wrap to facilitate easy removal of the chocolate mixture later.

Pour chocolate mixture into plastic wrap-lined pan, and place another piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the mixture. Press down gently to smooth chocolate into an even thickness in the pan, then wrap loose ends and place pan flat in freezer. Chill at least 1 hour--or until firm, but not solid.

Lift plastic wrap out of pan and cut frozen mixture into 9 even squares. Break graham crackers in half, and make sandwiches out of two graham halves and one square of the frozen chocolate mixture.

You can eat all of them right away, if you wish, but I bet you could also make them up into sandwiches, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, pop into a plastic bag, and freeze for future consumption (though I don't think our current batch will make it that long). In that case, I think you'd have to thaw them for a few minutes before you eat them. I'm also experimenting with simply refrigerating them, but I'll have to get back to you on that one.

Makes 9 cool sandwiches. (Each sandwich is about 156 calories.)

This recipe could have many different incarnations--watch:

1) Graham crackers, cool whip, vanilla pudding, and drained crushed pineapple
2) Chocolate graham crackers, cool whip, banana cream pudding, and banana pieces
3) Chocolate graham crackers, cool whip, vanilla pudding, peanut butter chips, chocolate chips
4) Cinnamon graham crackers, cool whip, vanilla pudding
5) Chocolate graham crackers, strawberry cool whip, vanilla pudding, diced strawberries
6) Chocolate graham crackers, cool whip, butterscotch pudding, chocolate pieces
7) Graham crackers, cool whip, cheesecake pudding, blueberries, 1/4 tsp. lemon peel
8) Chocolate graham crackers, cool whip, cheesecake pudding, chopped maraschino cherries
9) Chocolate graham crackers, cool whip, banana cream pudding, crushed chocolate sandwich
10) Graham crackers, cool whip, vanilla pudding, diced canned peaches

You could also make a basic concoction (say, cool whip and vanilla pudding) and swirl in chocolate fudge sauce or caramel, or even your favorite preserves, thinned for a few seconds in the microwave. Just mix the cool whip, milk, and pudding, and pour into pan. Drizzle swirls of topping over pudding mixture, chill for a few minutes in the fridge (just to set the topping so it doesn't stick to the plastic), then cover with plastic wrap, and freeze until firm.

The possibilities are endless.

Now, here's another idea: there's this very easy, very refreshing Jello pie--Cool 'n' Easy Pie--which sets up with a fairly similar texture in the fridge. I've never tested this theory, but I imagine you could use the basics of this Pie recipe and make up a few thousand other spins on this Chilly Sandwich idea, what with the wide range of gelatin flavors available in the grocery store these days. If you give it a try, let me know!

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