Don't you just love it when you have an idea, and you try it, and it works?!
On Wednesday night, I was feeling culinarily creative. (Yes, I made that word up - culinarily. It's the adverb form of the adjective culinary. Take note, Mr. Webster - I think it's a keeper.)
This urge to be creative in a culinary way was new to me - usually I follow recipes to a T. But on Wednesday night I felt inspired and spontaneous. I felt like grabbing the first ingredients I saw and seeing where they took me, no matter where I (or they) ended up. (Maybe I've been watching Chopped a bit too often...) And guess what? I made something rather delicious. My creations may not have been gourmet, and the recipe surely isn't perfect, but for me, it's a victory, culinarily-speaking!
My main inspiration for the chocolate-lemon-graham creations below was the famous fruit dip recipe that's been a staple at family BBQ's ever since I can remember. And it was a great way to put an end to some of those half-used ingredients that were falling out of our kitchen cabinets, crowding our countertops, and freezing beyond defrosting in the fridge. Here's to creating culinarily!
Chocolate Lemon Graham Creations
Recipe by Becky
My recipe made 9 graham cracker sandwiches and two mini pies, with a generous amount of leftover filling. That was no problem - it was awesome right out of the bowl.
1 8 oz. package cream cheese
1/3 jar marshmallow fluff (approx. 1/2 cup)
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp lemon extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tbs whole milk or cream
graham crackers and/or mini graham cracker pie shells
For graham cracker sandwiches:
1. Mix marshmallow fluff and cream cheese on medium speed until creamy.
2. Add confectioners' sugar, zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.
3. Place chocolate chips in microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds. Add milk, stir, and heat for 30 more seconds. Stir until chocolate is melted and fully combined. Allow to cool for a few minutes.
4. Spread approximately 1 tablespoon lemon filling onto graham cracker. Top with second graham cracker.
5. Dip sandwich in melted chocolate or decorate as desired. Place on cookie sheet lined with wax paper to cool. Repeat with remaining graham crackers.
6. Place cookie sheet in freezer until filling thickens slightly, about one hour.
For mini pies, complete steps 1-3 as above, then:
1. Spread thin layer of chocolate on inside of pie shell and place in freezer to harden, about 15 minutes.
2. Spoon 3 heaping tablespoons of lemon filling into pie shell. Place in freezer to allow lemon filling to thicken, about one hour.
3. Decorate with chocolate chips as desired.
Due to the lemon extract, the filling had a bitter aftertaste to me. Next time, I will omit the extract and use the zest and juice of two lemons instead. (Extracts are usually used in recipes that call for baking, which allows some of the alcohol in the extract to burn off and eliminates this bitter aftertaste. That's my theory, at least.)
Also, the general consensus among me, Katie, and the Music Man was that the ratio of graham to lemon to chocolate in the graham cracker sandwiches was much better than the ratio in the mini pies. What can we say, we love our good ol' fashioned graham crackers!