Have you ever tasted Mississippi Mud?

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MIssissippi Mud Cake.  As a little girl growing up in the South, big family dinners every Sunday would include your cousins, aunts and uncles and grandparents. You never really knew exactly what dish a person might bring, but you knew one thing; there was going to be lots of home-baked goods. No matter what else was served, I always looked forward to dessert.  We would have yummy frosted cakes, fruit pies, cookies and brownies. I loved them all and still do!.

I remember one Sunday dinner (not sure how old I was) when my out-of-town aunt came to visit.  She brought a large luscious looking chocolate cake. Being a lover of anything chocolate, my eyes grew wide when I walked in to Grandma’s house and saw it sitting up on the sideboard usually reserved for desserts.  At the time, I didn’t know the official name of this spectacular dish, but I knew that I had to have a piece. The dessert was called; Mississippi Mud Cake. It’s not a grandiose type of cake because it is usually served directly out of the pan it was baked in.  No need for a fancy cake platter.

If you haven’t had the pleasure of tasting this cake, you need to know that it is very rich and sweet with a gooey chocolate texture made with marshmallows and pecans. It’s not a neat treat; the fudgy chocolate pours out onto your plate as you are served. It is sinfully delicious and I must be diligent and limit my serving to one then take a break and think long and hard before having a second serving in order to avoid a sugar rush.

All good Southern cooks have some version or another of a Mississippi Mud Cake, sometimes referred to as Mississippi Mud Pie.   It is a fairly simple recipe that mixes basic ingredients including all-purpose flour, cocoa, sugar, eggs, butter, and lots of butter, pecans and marshmallows. This cake is not intended to be fluffy, rather it is a densely chocolate sheet cake, lightened with melted chocolate, marshmallows and pecans.  Once baked, it often resembles a deluxe frosted brownie.

My curiosity was peaked as to the name Mississippi Mud cake and I searched the internet to find who was the first to create this cake and why the name Mississippi Mud. First, I learned that no one actually “creates” recipes, good recipes evolve over time. Passed down from generation to generation, each person puts their own twist on the recipe. From what I gathered, this dessert took off in popularity in the 1970’s and is believed to have come to life in domestic kitchens with cooks eager to use the new packaged ingredients that were starting to get mass-produced, such as miniature marshmallows. Some people felt the dark chocolate appearance of the fudge-like batter and chunky texture resembled the banks of the muddy Mississippi River, thus the name Mississippi Mud.

Although my sister makes a really good Mississippi Mud Cake, I wanted to see what other recipes were out there that I could make with a little variety.  Browsing through my Southern Living magazines, I found an article titled, “Mississippi Mud Madness”. Apparently there are all kinds of ways you can use the same ingredients and put a twist on this cake. The article suggested several options, such as Mississippi Mud cupcakes, Mississippi Mud Brownies, Mississippi Mud Cookies and even a Mississippi Mudslide. They all looked delicious, but I opted to try the cookies.MScookie2

The Mississippi Mud Cookies turned out to be fairly simple to make and were a big hit with my family.  Definitely would recommend trying them.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with an old classic recipe and put your own personal touch on it. You never know what new recipe your could create with very little effort.

The following is the recipe that I used.  Give it a try to let me know if you liked them as much as we did.  ingred

Mississippi Mud Cookies

 Ingredients

  • Chocolate Cookie
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 3 cups pecans, coarsely chopped
  • Chocolate Frosting
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Chocolate Cookie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a stand mixer or large bowl using a hand mixer, blend the butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, vanilla and eggs. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture and blend until combined.

Drop the dough by tablespoonful onto the prepared baking sheets, 12 cookies per sheet, and bake 9- 10 minutes. Once you have baked it about 9-10 minutes, pull out pan and add 6-8 miniature marshmallows to each cookie, you can gently press in if they fall out, but really you shouldn’t need to do that much. The cookies are so hot the marshmallows stick right to them. Then stick back in the oven for 1 more minute. Remove and immediately sprinkle 1 tablespoon or more (depends on your taste) of pecans onto the marshmallows, you will need to gently press these in, gently! Then set aside and allow to cool on a baking rack.

Once cool remove and make frosting.

Chocolate Frosting

In a medium mixing bowl, add powder sugar and vanilla, set aside. Then in a small sauce pan combine first 3 ingredients and heat over medium. Stir constantly, about 3-4 minutes or until butter melts. Remove from heat, and pour into powdered sugar and vanilla, stir (using a whisk is best) until smooth.

Using a spoon, drizzle large amounts of frosting on each cookie, about 1- 1 ½ tablespoons. Dress all the cookies and if there is extra frosting, add more too each one. Let frosting cool and harden before serving.   (recipe from http://www.dashofsanity.com)

Key Lime Whoopi Pies

Key Lime Whoopi Pies; by Martha Stewart

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INGREDIENTS

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup whole-wheat flour (spooned and leveled)
1 cup packed dark-brown sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
1/2 cup full-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon grated lime zest plus 3 tablespoons juice (from 6 key limes or 2 limes)
1/4 cup granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, with racks in middle and bottom thirds. Whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking soda, 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and salt. In a large bowl, with a mixer, beat yogurt, oil, and eggs on medium, 3 minutes. With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions; beat in vanilla until combined. Refrigerate batter 30 minutes. Meanwhile, using clean mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in confectioners’ sugar and lime zest and juice until smooth. Refrigerate filling, covered, until ready to use (or up to 3 days).
STEP 2
Combine remaining 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and granulated sugar. Drop dough in 40 rounded tablespoons, 1 1/2 inches apart, on parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until puffed and set, about 10 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Remove cakes from oven and immediately sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Let cool completely on sheets on wire racks. Peel cakes from parchment. Spread 1 tablespoon filling on flat sides of half the cakes and sandwich with remaining cakes. Serve immediately (or refrigerate in a single layer in an airtight container, up to 2 days).

GOOD LUCK  AND EAT UP!

Campfire Banana S’mores

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My family just loves these.  We made them last Fall at a cookout with the whole family.  So much fun to make and they were just oozing with melted chocolate.  Definitely one of those “lick your fingers clean” kinda dessert but Oh, so delicious!

The neat part is that each person can personalize their own Campfire Banana S’more to their liking by adding options. such as nuts, M&M’s, coconut, caramel sauce, and my favorite, peanut butter chips.

The directions are as follows:

Take approximately 8 bananas, 1 bag of chocolate chips and 1 bag of marshmallows. ( I prefer the miniature marshmallows)

Split your banana lengthwise, but don’t cut all the way through.  Try to create a boat to hold in all the ingredients and don’t take the peeling all the way off.  It helps hold in all of your items.  Then load the split banana with chocolate chips, marshmallows and then any extra add-on that strikes your fancy.

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Wrap each filled banana in heavy-duty tin foil and place near the campfire.  Avoid placing them directly into the fire.  They will burn.  Leave them near the hot coals for approximately 5 to 7 minutes until everything has melted.  Remove and let cool.  Now you can enjoy one gooey concoction.