Oven S’mores in 5 Minutes: Recipe #208

Graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate, all melted together over a campfire. It’s a classic Girl Scout recipe, but you don’t need to be camping to enjoy the gooey and crunchy sweetness. Here’s how to make oven s’mores under a low broil in your own kitchen. Yay!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2 for 3 large s’mores)

6 graham crackers – $0.83
6 large marshmallows – $0.37
1 cup chocolate chips – $1.00

Directions for Oven S’mores

1. On a parchment-lined baking sheet, spread out 6 graham crackers. Split each marshmallow in half and arrange 4 halves on each of 3 crackers. Split the chocolate chips evenly over the other 3 crackers.

2. Put the baking sheet in the oven set to a low broil. Turn on the oven light and keep a close eye on the marshmallows – pull them out of the oven when the marshmallows get puffy and a tiny bit golden. It should only take 2-3 minutes. The chocolate chips will be glisten-y and soft too.

Carefully pick up the marshmallow cracker and flip it over on top of the chocolate cracker to make a gooey sandwich. Enjoy your oven s’mores hot and fresh, with plenty of napkins!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 1 = 1-3 servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If any of you amazing home chefs tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Lemon Poppyseed Colossal Cookies: #193 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

You’ve heard of lemon poppyseed cake and muffins, but why not cookies? Megan found this recipe from Sommer that combines the soft, moist goodness of the cake into a giant cookie. We adapted them here to be dairy-free. They’re also very nice broken up into vanilla ice cream.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total for 10 colossal cookies)

2 1/3 cups flour – $0.37
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1 cup margarine, softened – $2.48
1 cup brown sugar – $0.52
1 egg – $0.29
Zest plus juice of 2 lemons – $0.40
2 tsp vanilla – $0.40
1 tbsp poppy seeds – $0.08

Directions

1. Make the batter: in a medium bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. In a separate bowl, cream together the margarine and brown sugar until they form a thick paste, then add in the egg, lemon zest and juice, vanilla, and poppy seeds. Mix well to combine.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture gradually, stirring to incorporate as you go. The batter should be nice and smooth with no lumps in it.

2. Drop by heaping tablespoonful onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, and bake at 350F for 10 minutes. The edges will be slightly golden. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of servings
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If any of you amazing cooks tried it, or have other recipes you’d like us to experiment with, please let me know. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Panda Oreo Cake: #151 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Plant-based desserts are very fun to make and can be even more delicious than ones made with butter – but no judgment at all if you’re a dairy fan. This was a kid-crafted creation at our house, including homemade chocolate sandwich cookies and marshmallowy frosting. We also had to play the song “Panda” from the movie Secret Life of Pets 2 while decorating it. 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($9 total for the whole cake)

Oreos:
3/4 cup flour – $0.12
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp cocoa – $0.33
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp sugar – $0.25
1/4 tsp salt – $0.02
1/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1/4 cup coconut oil – $2.20
3 tbsp soy milk – $0.07
2 tbsp honey – $0.28
1/2 cup powdered sugar – $0.44
1/2 tsp vanilla – $0.10
1/4 cup margarine – $0.62

Cake:
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup sugar – $0.88
6 tbsp cocoa – $0.41
1 tsp baking powder – $0.02
3/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1/2 cup soy milk – $0.18
1/4 cup canola oil – $0.18
1 egg – $0.29
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1/2 cup boiling water – free

Frosting:
1 1/2 cups brown sugar – $0.78
2 egg whites – $0.58
6 tbsp water – free
Dash salt – $0.01
2 tsp vanilla – $0.40

Directions

1. Make the oreos: we followed this excellent recipe for healthy vegan oreos from Chocolate Covered Katie.

2. Make the cake: in a medium bowl, stir the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Mix well. Add the soy milk, canola oil, egg, and vanilla and beat with an electric mixer until well combined. Turn the speed down and carefully add in the boiling water, then mix for 1 minute.

Pour the cake batter into two parchment-lined 9″ cake pans (the batter will be very thin but don’t worry). Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Best chocolate cake ever!

3. Make the frosting and decorate: we followed this yummy fluffy marshmallowy frosting recipe from The Spruce Eats.

Remove the cooled cakes from the pans and slice any bumpy tops off to make flat surfaces. Put some frosting on one cake, then some optional walnuts, then lay the other cake on top. Cover the whole thing with frosting, in any pattern you like, then make a panda face out of the oreos and add any sprinkles or marshmallows or other bits you might have in your kitchen.

Kids or adults can get creative and have fun here, there’s no wrong way to decorate it. 🙂

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 1 = >3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 14/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Chocolate Macadamia Nut Shortbread: #141 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, the Honolulu Cookie Company makes some amazing chocolate macadamia nut shortbread. We decided to try it at home, and they came out pretty well! Tastes like Hawaii. 🙂 Original recipe credit to Trang at Wild Wild Whisk.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($14 total for about two dozen cookies)

1 cup coconut oil or butter, room temperature – $2.48
2/3 cup white sugar – $0.58
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 cups flour – $0.32
1/2 cup cocoa – $0.55
1 cup macadamia nut, ground up in a blender – $9.99
1/4 tsp salt – $0.03

Directions

1. Make the dough: mix the first three ingredients together, then add in the rest. Mix it with a spoon and then by hand until the dough comes together, then roll it out into a long log or ball. Wrap with cling wrap and put in the freezer for an hour to firm up.

2. Remove from the freezer and slice into rounds with a sharp knife, or mold into whatever shapes you like. The kids had fun with this part! Put the shaped cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then put the baking sheet back in the freezer while you preheat the oven.

3. Bake at 350F for 20 minutes, then remove from the oven and cool in the pan for 5 minutes. Press chocolate chips or decorations into the tops of the cookies while they’re cooling if you like. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy with coffee or a fresh glass of soymilk.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per serving: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness:  2 =decent meal
  • Environmental impact: 2 = moderate impact
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 13

Experiment Outcome: This recipe does not get added to our Family Favorites.

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Grandma’s Old Faithfuls (Oatmeal Raisin Cookies): #123 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Whenever my British Grandma went to a potluck, party, or family gathering, she would have these cookies in hand. She nicknamed them “old faithfuls” because they’re so easy to make and everyone likes them. Our girls Megan and Sara made these this past weekend. Hope you enjoy them too!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($2 total for 16 cookies)

1 cup flour – $0.16
1/2 cup sugar – $0.44
1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1/4 tsp baking soda – $0.01
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
1/2 tsp cinnamon – $0.03
1 1/2 cups rolled oats – $0.18
1/2 cup raisins – $0.50
1/2 cup canola oil – $0.37
1 egg – $0.19
1/4 cup soy milk – $0.09

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, mix the first 6 dry ingredients. Then stir in the oats and raisins.

2. Add in the oil, egg and soy milk. Mix just until combined.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack. These freeze very well.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings: 3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person: 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having these again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Grandma’s Fudgy Brownie Cookies: #110 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

My British Grandma used to make these for teatime when she was still with us. They’re fudgy and decadent. I loved going over to spend Friday afternoons with her when I was a young adult, and she still lives on in my heart and in my baking. This one’s for you, Grandma! 🙂

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($4 total for 20-24 cookies)

1/2 cup canola oil – $0.37
1 1/2 cups brown sugar – $0.78
1 tbsp water – free
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
2 eggs – $0.58
1 1/2 cups flour – $0.24
1/2 cup cocoa – $0.55
1/4 tsp baking powder – $0.01
1 cup chocolate chips – $1.00

Directions

1. In a medium bowl, mix the oil, brown sugar, water, and vanilla, then beat in the eggs.

2. Stir in dry ingredients and chocolate chips just until it’s all mixed in. Then drop by spoonfuls on a parchment-lined cookie sheet, ideally 2″ apart if you have space.

3. Bake at 375F for 7 minutes until the cookies are set. Do not overbake! Cool them on aluminum foil, then enjoy! They also freeze very well for warming up another day with some ice cream.

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Linzer Cookies (aka Jam-Jams): #93 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

Linzer cookies are an Austrian holiday treat. Think of shortbread cookies sandwiched with strawberry or apricot jam and dusted with powdered sugar. The texture mellows and gets less crunchy over time, so they’re actually just right a day or two after baking them. Feel free to freeze leftovers, if there are any!

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5 total for 2 dozen cookies)

3/4 cup butter – $1.86
1/2 cup sugar – $0.44
1 egg yolk – $0.29
1 tsp vanilla – $0.20
1 3/4 cup flour – $0.28
1/2 cup strawberry or apricot jam, for filling – $1.28
1/4 cup powdered sugar, for dusting – $0.22

Directions

1. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until they’re light and fluffy, which should take 3 minutes. Add the yolk and vanilla and keep mixing until well combined. Then add the flour mixture and mix just until the flour is mixed in. You don’t want to over-mix it.

Wrap the dough in cling wrap and put it in the fridge for 1-2 hours to firm up.

2. After this, get a lightly floured board ready and cut the dough in half. Roll each half out until it is about 1/4″ thick. Cut out cookies with any shape cookie cutter you like, and for half of the cookies, cut a different shape out of the middle so the jam can peek through (we used circles and hearts). 

Transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined baking sheet and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bake at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes, just until the edges start to turn brown. Cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling.

3. Once the cookies are cool, dust the cookies with the holes in them with the powdered sugar. Turn the filled (no holes) cookies flat side up and put 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of jam on top, spreading it around the cookie. Put the dusted cookies on top to make a sandwich, and voila! 

Store in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for longer term. Enjoy during the holidays or anytime you like!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 2 = 1-3 hours
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely
  • TOTAL: 15/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Fudgy Cookie Brownies: #65 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

What do you get when you cross a brownie with a cookie? Something so good you have to taste it to find out! And it’s as easy as dropping spoonfuls of cookie dough into a pan of brownie batter before baking. These are fantastic straight from the oven or warmed up another day with vanilla ice cream on the side. 

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($15 total for a large pan of treats)

BROWNIES:
1 cup butter or margarine, melted – $2.48
1 1/4 cups white sugar – $1.09
1 cup brown sugar, packed – $1.04
4 eggs – $1.16
1 tbsp vanilla – $0.50
3/4 tsp salt – $0.04
1 cup flour – $0.16
1 cup cocoa powder – $1.10
1 1/2 cups chocolate chips – $1.50

COOKIES: 
1 cup margarine (we use Soy Balance) – $2.48
1 cup brown sugar – $1.04
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or water is ok too) – $0.37
1 tsp vanilla extract – $0.20
1 3/4 cup flour – $0.28
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
2 1/2 cup rolled oats – $0.30
1-2 cups chocolate chips – $1.00-2.00

Directions

1. Make the brownie batter: Preheat oven to 350°F and rub butter around a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Whisk melted butter and sugars together in a medium bowl. Add eggs and vanilla and beat for about a minute until light in color. Gently mix in flour, cocoa powder and salt until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into the prepared pan. Try not to eat too much batter straight out of the bowl like I do. 🙂

2. Make the cookie dough: Cream margarine and sugar together with a fork. Gradually add the soy milk and vanilla extract and mix well. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl but don’t mix until they’re all added. Then give it a good thorough stir. Finally, add as many chocolate chips as you like. I like my cookies very chocolatey so we use closer to 2 cups of chocolate chips. This dough is also amazing to eat straight out of the bowl! Drop by tablespoonfuls on top of the brownie batter in the pan.

3. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350F for 15 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for 15 more minutes. The cookies should just be set. If they’re super jiggly, you can leave it in another 5 minutes, but don’t overbake. They’re supposed to be ooey gooey! 🙂

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = lots of leftovers
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 1 = eat rarely (high sugar content)
  • TOTAL: 16/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!

Vegan Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies: #46 of 1000 Sustainable Food Experiments

I always have the ingredients for these cookies lying around the house. They’re chewy, warm, sweet cookies that can cheer anyone up, and the cookie dough is amazing too. Plus because it’s vegan, you don’t have to worry about eating raw eggs in the dough. We like to save some of the dough uncooked in the fridge to put on ice cream or just eat with a spoon.

This is part of our 1,000 Food Experiments to create sustainable meals for our family and hopefully yours.

Ingredients ($5.50-6.50 total for 2 dozen cookies)

1 cup margarine (we use Soy Balance) – $2.48
1 cup brown sugar – $1.04
1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (or water is ok too) – $0.37
1 tsp vanilla extract – $0.20
1 3/4 cup flour – $0.28
1 1/2 tsp baking powder – $0.02
1/2 tsp salt – $0.03
2 1/2 cup rolled oats – $0.30
1-2 cups chocolate chips – $1.00-2.00

Directions

1. Cream margarine and sugar together with a fork. Gradually add the soy milk and vanilla extract and mix well.

2. Add all the dry ingredients to the bowl but don’t mix until they’re all added. Then give it a good thorough stir. Finally, add as many chocolate chips as you like. I like my cookies very chocolatey so we use closer to 2 cups of chocolate chips.

3. Drop by tablespoonfuls onto a parchment-lined baking sheet (feel free to save some cookie dough raw in the fridge or freezer too). Bake at 400F for 10 minutes. These freeze very well, and reheat nicely with 10-15 seconds in the microwave. Sooooo good!!!

Sustainability Score (explained here)

  • Time to make: 3 = <1 hour
  • Servings:  3 = >6 servings
  • Cost per person (prices based on Trader Joe’s/Costco): 3 = <$5
  • Deliciousness: 3 = when are we having this again?
  • Environmental impact: 3 = minimal damage
  • Nutritional value: 2 = healthy-ish
  • TOTAL: 17/18

If you tried it, please let me know how it came out for you. Wishing you and your family a healthy, happy day!