I love S’mores. Like love love S’mores. And I really like food in jars, it’s cute, so I feel like it’s S’mores Jars for the win. In my cookbook I have like 27 S’mores recipes. Okay so that’s a bold faced lie, but seriously I think there’s like five, S’mores Pie, S’mores Bars, S’more Donuts, etc. Pretty much anything I can turn into S’mores, I’m gonna do it. I would say, “So sue me”, but then if you did, I wouldn’t have money to get more S’mores ingredients and then I couldn’t keep making you S’more recipes. So in the end you’d really only be hurting yourself.
So my friend Diane from Balanced Bites is really a genius when it comes to all things business related, and also a genius when it comes to unwinding from all said business related things. She has a really good Snapchat too, you should check it out. Anyway, one day on her Snapchat story, she started talking about how
business projects are similar to breakups, in the fact that there is a common belief, it takes half the amount of time that you dated someone to get over them.
So say you dated someone for 4 years, it will take you 2 years to get completely over them, the same idea goes for business projects. You need to take a step back and not hustle for half of the amount of time that you worked your a$$ off on a project.
So for my cookbook I spent about a year and a half working 80 hours a week. 40 on the book and 40 at my full-time job. I have no assistants and no staff, so that ish was all me, all the time. When I was done, I didn’t want to look at my kitchen, let alone step in it and actually cook something, and then God forbid, photograph it. So by the old dating standard it should take me 9 months off from hustling before I’m like Stella and get my groove back. And wouldn’t you know, I’m exactly at the 9 month mark since my cookbook launched and I’m SO hungry (pun intended obviously) to get back to baking, blogging, and photographing!
I can’t say it’s all me though. I have to give credit where credit is due. Because if I don’t, I’m just as bad as the person who steals my Better Than Box Brownies recipe and changes the vanilla extract from 1 teaspoon to 2, and then passes it off as their own. You know who you are. Anyway this whole rush of inspiration and wanting to get back to the grind is due to all the absolutely amazing friends I stayed with in Austin during PaleoFx.
These people are doing the damn thing. And they are good at it. They are so incredibly great at running their own businesses (and lives for that matter) and it’s really inspiring. It makes me want to be as driven as they are to make my blog something and somehow turn it in to a business. I realize that this is what they do for a living, so they have uninterrupted time to focus on their business, whereas I’m trying to constantly juggle and divide my time between my full-time day job, blog, and social life. And that starts to wear me down. But then I think back to where I was before the cookbook and I was totally in a groove, I’d make and photograph one or two recipes over the weekend (like I did this last weekend) and still have time for a Saturday morning workout, date night and brunch the next morning. When I was working on my book I barely had time to use the bathroom and remember getting irritated that it was so far from the kitchen, and about just being human in general with the need to relieve myself…right in the middle of piping frosting. Ugh. The nerve.
In a weird way I feel like I survived something after writing my book. I’d never worked so hard on something in my entire life. I like to think it shows. Then I see bloggers like Tieghan from Half-Baked Harvest, who not only has a super cool name that’s spelled neat, but then she has her own barn to work in. A barn! If I were an emoji I’d be the one that looks like The Scream painting. She cooks in there, photographs in there and it’s a totally serene space for her to work in. #goals. You gotta aim high.
Was this post as cathartic for you as it was for me? I feel amazing! I guess I needed to just talk it out. Who knew?
- 1 ½ cups (165g) Kinnikinnick Gluten-Free Graham Cracker Crumbs or Graham Cracker Crust on page 170.
- ½ cup (120 ml) canned full-fat coconut milk
- 1 (12-ounce/340-g) bag dark chocolate (63% to 85% cacao) or semisweet chocolate chips (2 heaping cups)
- ½ cup (120 ml) cold water
- ⅓ cup (80 ml) light-colored raw honey
- ¼ cup (60 ml) pure maple syrup, any type
- ¼ teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
- 2 large egg whites
- ¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Special equipment: Candy thermometer
- Melt the chocolate chips and coconut milk in a double boiler over low heat or in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir frequently, using a rubber spatula, until the chocolate and coconut milk are completely melted and combined.
- In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine the water, honey, maple syrup, and salt. Whisk together and let cook over medium-high heat while preparing the egg whites.
- In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and cream of tartar. Beat together with an electric hand mixer (or the whisk attachment on your stand mixer) set to high speed until soft peaks form; set aside.
- By now the honey mixture should be bubbling vigorously and rising in the pan, whisk again and boil until the mixture reaches 240°F (116°C) on a candy thermometer, 10 to 12 minutes. Once it reaches temperature remove from the heat.
- With the mixer set to low, slowly pour the hot honey mixture down the side of the mixing bowl into the egg whites. After all of the honey mixture has been poured in, increase the speed to high and continue to beat until the mixture becomes white, thick, and glossy. When ribbons start to form and hold their shape, add the vanilla and mix until combined.
- In two wide-mouth mason jars (12 ounces/400ml) evenly spoon a layer of graham cracker crumbs, followed by a layer of ganache, and then marshmallow crème. Make your layers as wide as desired. For more condensed layers, use the back of a spoon to press down and spread the contents evenly. Repeat this process until you reach the top. Finish with a large dollop of marshmallow crème. Use a kitchen torch to toast the marshmallow crème. Finish by sprinkling graham cracker crumbs across the tops. Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 3 days.
MaryJune 9, 2016 at 11:22 am (7 years ago)
You go, girl! Kudos to you. I absolutely love your cookbook, and am so glad to hear you’ll be getting back into blogging! I didn’t really know about your blog before I got your book for Christmas, but promise to follow it regularly now 🙂
Random question- do you use cream of tartar instead of baking powder, and are they interchangeable?
Vanessa BarajasJune 10, 2016 at 12:21 am (7 years ago)
Thanks Mary! Oh yay! It’s so cool to hear that you found me through my cookbook and now you’re checking out my blog!!! That makes me so happy! I’m so excited that I can’t stop using exclamation points! And even more happy to hear that you are loving my cookbook!
Great question! I talk about cream of tartar vs.baking powder in the front material of my book under “Baking for Success” in the Leavening section. They can be interchangeable if you get the ratio right using it alongside baking soda. The two together act as baking powder. Baking powder is usually derived from corn, so it’s not grain free, but if you tolerate corn, I think it’s totally fine to use in recipes. If you can’t tolerate grains at all, then try the sub I give in the book, I believe it’s 2 parts cream of tartar to 1 part baking soda ratio. Happy baking!
Melissa MJune 10, 2016 at 8:15 am (7 years ago)
How long will it take for the marshmallow cream to get to the point that its ready for the sugar mixture? I don’t want to start the marshmallow cream too soon if the sugar mixture is going to take a while. I live not far from Austin, TX (I’m in San Antonio), just to give you an idea of the humidity levels in my area incase that matters. I hated not being able to go to PaleoFx this year, I met you last year. I love your cookbook and can’t wait for the next one.
Vanessa BarajasJune 10, 2016 at 11:02 am (7 years ago)
Hi Melissa! Boiling the sugar mixture usually takes about 10 minutes. This also depends on your burners though, gas will heat faster. I’ll usually get that going on the stove and then start working on melting the chocolate and beating the eggs for the marshmallow creme, which takes about 5 minutes or so. The timing usually works out really well. 🙂
PaleoFx was kind of meh this year, the cooking stage was non-existent and the whole thing felt kind of lack luster, so honestly you didn’t miss much. It’s always great to see all the cool brands that are coming out though! Really the best part about Austin is the food and the people! I love Texas but yes, that Texas humidity is crazy though!!! I was like why even bother with my hair?! Haha! I’ve been to San Antonio once to see The Alamo, but I want to come back to do the whole River Walk progressive dinner thing, it looks really cool! 🙂
I’m so glad we got to meet at PaleoFx last year! And I’m even more glad to hear you are enjoying my cookbook so much! Yay!!! I need a few more vacations first before the next one. 😉 Do you think I should do more savory recipes?
TracyJune 21, 2016 at 11:21 am (7 years ago)
What a great idea for a camping birthday party! Looking forward to trying this soon. I’ll have to make a batch before the party for me – you know, quality control.
Vanessa BarajasJune 21, 2016 at 1:29 pm (7 years ago)
Obviously! Have to make sure they are camp worthy. 😉 Enjoy!
Stacey CJune 21, 2016 at 7:45 pm (7 years ago)
Your photographs are so beautiful! I wanted to grab a spoon and swirl it into that perfectly burnt dollop of marshmallow crème with the chocolate snuggled up next to it… the tapping of the spoon on my monitor shook me out of my reverie. 🙂 Your recipes sound delicious! Thanks for sharing them.
Vanessa BarajasJune 22, 2016 at 11:02 am (7 years ago)
Thanks Stacey! The photographing and styling are my favorite part! Well, that and the eating of course.:) You should definitely make this recipe! It’s super simple to throw together and insanely delicious.
AshleyJune 29, 2017 at 7:42 am (6 years ago)
I LOVE LOVE LOVE your cookbook! My goal is to make every recipe in it. I have a question about the marshmallow creme: it says in the recipe book that if it sits too long it will weep. I’m planning to make the s’mores pie this weekend, and I’m wondering if it will weep when put on top of the pie? And what can I do to prevent it from doing that? Thanks!
Vanessa BarajasJune 29, 2017 at 8:22 am (6 years ago)
Hey Ashley! Oh yay! I’m so happy to hear you are Julie & Julia-ing my cookbook! No better compliment on earth! The Marshmallow Creme will only start weeping if you let it sit out for awhile (20-30 min.) at room temp. I’ve never had any problems when I put it on the pie right after making and then put the pie in the fridge. I would wait to torch the mallow until right before serving. The S’mores Pie is honestly one of my absolute favorite recipes in the book! You’ll be fine. 😉
IreneMarch 29, 2018 at 11:01 pm (5 years ago)
Girl, I love your cookbook and your blog is pretty dope too. I think I made all the chocolate-based recipes in the book. After reading this post I wanted to suggest the book You Are a Badass at Making Money. I think you’d really dig it. Hopefully it will inspire you to do the stuff that lights you up and not work yourself to death at the same time. 🙂
Vanessa BarajasMarch 30, 2018 at 10:18 am (5 years ago)
Hi Irene! I already know we are soul mates because you made all the chocolate recipes in my book first, bwahahaha. Oh my gosh I’m going to totally check that book out! Thanks for suggesting it! Someone also posted this really good inspirational thing the other day on IG Stories and it said, “Find a hobby that makes you money, a hobby that makes you exercise, and a hobby that let’s you use your imagination.” I was like, “Whoa. Mic drop.” So that’s kind of what I’ve been working towards. Sounds like this book is pretty similar! Thanks so much for recommending it.