Vegetarian S’Mores

Today’s guest post comes from Sherrilee

I became a vegetarian when I was 16. Way back then, there weren’t any vegetarian restaurants, whole food grocery stores or edible meat alternatives. I didn’t meet another vegetarian until I went away to college two years later and I ate a lot of cheese sandwiches during those two years. But it wasn’t a hard road to travel; I was sure of my reasons and happy to make sacrifices for what I considered my cause.

Over the years I’ve only missed a few things. On hot summer days when my dad was traveling, my mom would make tuna fish salad and served it in scooped out tomatoes. My dad didn’t like tuna, so it was a special “girls only” meal. The smell of tuna salad takes me back to those days. I miss BLTs… lettuce and tomatoes just aren’t the same without that crisp bacon.

But what I miss the most are S’mores – the melty chocolate with the marshmallows burnt to a nice dark brown crisp, surrounded by graham crackers. Of course it doesn’t hurt that S’mores are almost always eaten around a campfire, with friends and family in attendance. As Rachael Ray would say “Yum-O”. Since marshmallows are not vegetarian (they contain gelatin) – I’ve missed them tremendously for decades – so when I discovered a company that was making vegetarian marshmallows I was thrilled.

In July we took all the S’more makings, including the vegetarian marshmallows with us on our camping trip to Colorado. The marshmallows aren’t as large as what you usually find at the store, but you can put 4 or 6 of them on your stick and get going. Due to the wildfires out west this summer we couldn’t have a campfire, so we did the next best thing – we grilled over a propane cookstove. The marshmallows smoked, then bubbled and then broiled; a perfect hot accompaniment to the chocolate and grahams. It was heavenly and we ate S’mores every night of our trip. I think S’mores are my new favorite dessert!

What’s for dessert?

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88 thoughts on “Vegetarian S’Mores”

  1. Nice post, vs, I never considered that marshmallows are off limits for vegetarians.

    All of my friends know not to ask me to bring dessert for a potluck, I do better in the savory department. Fresh fruit, especially this time of year, is my first choice, perhaps drizzled with a little yogurt mixed with honey and lime juice and a sprinkling of freshly ground pepper, and I’m good to go. Or, some Gorgonzola cheese with fresh pears and walnuts, yum. Sometimes a surprising mix of something bitter and sweet is nice; arugula and fresh figs with a sprinkle of Parmesan would do nicely. I know there are a lot of chocolate fiends and baking aficionados among the baboons, so I’ll sit back and wait to see what’s for dessert today. Whatever it is, I’d like a glass of dry sherry with it.

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  2. Good morning. It’s almost always ice cream and I never get tired of that. Pie is another favorite, as well as cake, or just about anything that is sweet. I am big on desserts of all kinds. You would be hard pressed to find one I don’t like.

    I will have to tell my vegetarian daughters about vegetarian S’mores, VS. I would guess they might already know about them. They have been vegetarians for many years. I have a collection of vegetarian cookbooks. My favorite is 1000 Vegetarian Recipes by Carol Gelles. I like a wide variety vegetarian food and could very easily live on a vegetarian diet if I decided to stop eating meat. Thanks for the great guest post, VS.

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    1. Jim – since ice cream is your favorite, I’ll think of you today while I’m samping Beth-Ann’s Mini-Donut ice cream!

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  3. After Wednesday when I promise the pressure to vote for Mini-sota Donut Ice Cream at at http://www.kempsnextflavor.com/ and https://apps.facebook.com/kempsfavs/contests/ baboons will need to reward themselves with dessert.
    May I suggest a treat from the diners in Charlottesville, VA the home of the University of Virginia? They serve Grilleds With. In this dessert a cinnamon or glazed donut is split in half and grilled until the outside is a crunchy sugar crust. Then it is plated and topped with ice cream. Yum!

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  4. Rise and Shine Baboons!

    I attended the fair Thursday after arriving home from Bayfield. We went to the Mavis Staples/Bonnie Raitt concert, which was great, but got rained out at the end. I would have stayed in the rain, but the lightening Ina Grandstand with a metal roof was too much of a challenge for mr. I ran into MIG. And the s&h, as well.

    However the theme is desserts, which is pertinent to the fair–the Apple Dumplings at the Stand are just like grandmas. Yum. So worth the calories.

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  5. I can’t afford the calories of eating desert. Just can’t. So I basically don’t do desert. And (quiet sob) I like desert as much as anyone! Because I almost never get desert, it doesn’t take much to impress me. A regular Long John doughnut with maple topping and just a bit of cinnamon in the dough will make my knees go weak. I love ice cream with the kind of lusty desperation of someone who only gets to eat it about three or four times a year. It is not literally true that I would “kill” for a piece of really good pecan pie, but I might knee-cap someone if the piece was big enough.

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    1. I don’t know how many calories you can afford, Steve – but there are desserts that might be affordable for you. And they taste good, too.

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  6. Last December I impulsively made and canned the mincemeat recipe out of the Ball canning book. It has no meat or suet, just lots of dried fruit, raisins, spices and a little bit of brandy and sherry for flavor. Now I have 8 pints of the stuff, and i haven’t figured out the best way to use it except for pie. I have an idea for an ice cream dessert that I would make in a 8×13 cake pan. I thought a nut crust, a layer of really good vanilla ice cream, a layer of the mincemeat, then a layer of butter pecan , another layer of mincemeat, and a nut or streusel topping. I bet that would use up at least two jars, and I could take it to a pot luck or something like that.

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    1. Mmmmm, let me know where the potluck is. Has anyone here ever tried making mincemeat with meat? (I considered not posting that question since it’s a vegetarian intro, but decided the vegetarians would mind.)

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    2. These jars sound like the perfect hostess gifts, Renee; not something you can find in stores and unique and home-made. Depending on what the spices are, I can envision this mincemeat used in several different ways. Is the recipe available on line?

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  7. Huh – like we can cover this topic in one weekend? Although I have cut down on dessert eating desserts, I could go on all day about my favorites.

    First there are all the cheesecakes, my favorite being Mini Cheesecakes, which call for Vanilla Wafers as crust and are baked in muffin tins. (I skipped the wafers once and they were still excellent). I love all kinds of tarts, custards, flans, and puddings made from scratch. Husband discovered something for an office Christmas party called Chocolate Fantasy that involved a pecan crust, chocolate pudding, and whipped cream. Sigh.

    Childhood favorites were Special K Bars and Soda Cracker Pie, for which I’ve finally found a recipe. But I haven’t made it yet – we just don’t do dessert unless it’s a special occasion. Today, however, I am going to make Barbara Kingsolver’s Zucchini Chocolate Chip Cookies, and either some zucchini bread or zucchini cake (like there’s a difference).
    Anna – you’ve mentioned freezing grated zukes – any tricks? Do you press out as much liquid first as you can…?

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    1. When I freeze grated zucchini, I just shred it up and freeze it. Leave the liquid in – you’ll need it for whatever you’re baking. Since I use mine in 3 cup increments for cake, I just put in ziploc freezer bags of 3 cups each, mark the bag with the date and into the freezer it goes.

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        1. No – we had tired feet by the time we got to the Ag building (guessing that’s where it would be, at least). We did have to stop in the Dairy building to see the butter heads and managed to time it right so we got to meet this year’s Princess Kay…but missed the prize zuke. Sorrow.

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        2. We didn’t either! We were there early in the morning and the veggie room was dark and roped off. We never made it back. But it was a wonderful day at the fair anyway!

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        1. I currently have enough frozen for 8+ cakes (I have one bag with only 2 cups in it). A reasonable amount to get me through ’til next year, though another bag or two would feel more secure…(Hi, my name is Anna and I have a zucchini cake problem…)

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        2. One of my coworkers, “the new guy,” asked me how much zucchini I want from his dad’s garden. Would a 5-gallon bucketful be enough? I said, “Sure, I’ll freeze it.” Guess what I’m doing this week. Shred, scoop, freeze, repeat.

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  8. Oh…today? Mini donuts from the fair. (I can now officially speak highly of Mini-Sota Donut ice cream, having taste-tested it today. The other flavor was lacking in rhu- and berry and just didn’t measure up.) Other days? Ice cream. Dark chocolate. Something I have created in a Bundt shape (chocolate chip zucchini cake is a favorite of the house), friendship bread (got the starter cooking again), dark chocolate mousse has been known to happen (my recipe does not use whipping cream – only egg whites for stiffening), chocolate chip cookies…re-discovered a favorite lemon bar recipe and those have been making appearances again…brownies (only from scratch, never a box – unless I have to attempt gluten free, then I will succumb to the mix)…ice cream…

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  9. Greetings! Mmmmmm …. desserts … let me count the ways I love dessert. My top favorites that I have great difficulty resisting are pies, cheesecake or real specialty desserts like tiramisu. Love ice cream, but a coconut cream or pecan or pumpkin pie with real whipped cream will trump ice cream. Fruit pies are good, but I won’t go out of my way to eat them. Unless it’s strawberry rhubarb. The best way to put me in a tizzy is to have an assortment of church-basement-ladies bars. I would have to have one of each just to try them.

    I have a great bar recipe from an old Bake-Off that has all the best stuff: chocolate chips, crushed pretzels in crust, coconut and lots of great stuff. Instant sugar coma and it’s so rich. But … I just don’t make desserts. I gain weight just looking at them or sniffing them. I’ll never understand the compulsion to make dozens of different Christmas cookies — it’s a nightmare for my easily weakened will power. Now where did I hide my stash of cookies

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    1. Sherilee, you are going to be soooo sorry once you eat these bars — no other bar comes close. It has everything you love about bars: chocolate, coconut, butterscotch, crunchy, rich and a nice crust. If this bar was in a church-basement-lady assortment, I would turn up my nose at the rest. Here it is:

      COCONUT CRUNCH PRETZEL BARS
      from Pillsbury Bake-Off #37 (1996 – I was there!)
      Crust
      1 package Pillsbury German Chocolate Cake Mix
      ½ cup crushed pretzels
      ½ cup melted butter
      1 egg

      FILLING
      ¼ cup sugar
      1 cup dark corn syrup
      2 eggs
      1 cup pecans, chopped
      1 cup butterscotch chips
      2 ¼ cups coconut
      1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

      1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease 13” x 9” pan. In large bowl, combine all crust ingredients; mix at low speed until blended. Press in bottom of greased pan. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes or until crust puffs and appears dry. Cool 5 minutes.
      2. Meanwhile, in large bowl, combine sugar, corn syrup and 2 eggs. Mix at low speed until well blended. Stir in remaining filling ingredients. Spoon evenly over partially baked crust.
      3. Bake an additional 30-40 minutes or until edges are deep golden brown (center will not be set). Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Once completely cooled, cut into bars.

      Enjoy — in moderation

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        1. Oh, you’re baaad, Sherrilee. Your guests will probably stuff extra bars in their pockets and purses, ’cause you just can’t get enough of these!

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        2. OK, Joanne – these bars are AWESOME!!!!!! I didn’t have chocolate chips, but I did have some milk chocolate toffee bits so I used them instead… still magnificent. However, I now understand the “in moderation” — they are so rich – but obviously not too rich; everybody at the table asked for seconds!

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  10. Today, the only dessert I had was a smidge (well, maybe more than a smidge) of dark chocolate. But, like Joanne and Barbara, I could go on and on about the desserts I love. Love good chocolate desserts – I gave away my Joy of Cooking book the other day and copied only 1 recipe from it, the Chocolate Mousse Cake. It’s my birthday cake most years.

    Ice cream – yum – I’m trying to learn how to make my own (somewhat) lowfat and healthy ice creams, but haven’t gotten too far with that. For middle daughter’s graduation party, I made great ice cream parfaits, the best ones were layers of vanilla ice cream, lime sherbet, and lemon curd – so good.

    Some favorites…Boathouse Black Devil’s food Cake; Coffee-Walnut Toffee; Chocolate Fudge Cookies with Dried Cherries (and Amaretto); Chocolate Truffle Cookies,; Chocolate, Candied Ginger & Grapefruit Biscotti; GINGERBREAD (spiked with rum and served with rum whipped cream, I love gingerbread); English Sticky Toffee Pudding, and I better stop there…

    Lately, I’ve been enjoying more fruit desserts than I used to – they taste so good, and I like experimenting by adding fresh herbs to them. They can be simple like fruit and nonfat yougurt with a swirl of honey or maple syrup I also make a good Raspberry Tart. A really, quick easy (and pretty healthy) dessert is Clafouti – I’ve made it with all sorts of berries and cherries and it’s always delicious.

    Sorry…I think this was longer than than VS’s post. I thought I was restraining myself – I guess not.

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      1. It is awfully good, PJ. I found the recipe at startribune.com a few years back…I wonder if it’s in the archives. I will see if I can find it.

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    1. Nice to meet another Sticky Toffee Pudding fan. Every time I see this on a menu in a restaurant, I have to have it. The very best I ever had was in a teeny restaurant down a back road in Grand Cayman!

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      1. Grand Cyman, huh? Someday I want to go to the British Isles and maybe I will eat it there. It really is sinfully good.

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    2. I have a recipe for Black Devil’s Food Cake that has a cup of boiling, strong coffee in it. Does your recipe have coffee? What makes it “Boathouse”?

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      1. I bet your recipe is similar, Krista. I do not know what makes it “boathouse” – it was a cake at the potluck after my dad’s memorial service (my dad was big on chocolate desserts) and I liked it so much that my mom got the recipe for me from the person who had brought it. It says “Boathouse Black Devil’s Food Cake” adapted from an old Superior, WI. cookbook” and it has the usual flour, sugar, cocoa, egg with 1 T. soda, oil, buttermilk and “1 cup very hot coffee.”

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  11. Double chocolate chip ice cream and chunky real peanut butter in seperatedo containers (dip the spoon in the ice cream then top it with the peanut butter each spoonful) tiramisu, Cream brûlée
    Strawberry rhubarb pie, fudge without the marshmallows in the recipe, tin roof sundae (vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and lots of peanuts) one particular cheesecake recipe, coconut macaroons, strawberry shortcake, wurthers butterscotch, raspberries and cream, and this from a guy with no sweet tooth.

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  12. Rødgrød med Fløde and Citronfromage are two of my favorite Danish desserts, although it has been a very long time since I’ve made either. tim’s mention of strawberry rhubarb pie reminded me that I have lots of excellent rhubarb in the garden. Perhaps it’s time to get some strawberries and make a batch of strawberry rhubarb rødgrød.

    OT- Last night husband and I celebrated our 33 anniversary with a very nice dinner at the Himalayan Restaurant on Franklin Ave. in Minneapolis. Neither of us had ever been there before, and we were both pleasantly surprised. Tasty and plentiful food, with lots of vegetarian choices; nice ambiance, and reasonable prices to boot. The service was excellent too, so much so that husband added a 100-trillion-dollar bill from Zimbabwe to the tip!

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    1. We had Rodgrod med Flode at your garden party, PJ, and I fell in love with it there. I’ve made it a few times since…the best one was a combination of rhubarb and black currants – not sure if black currants qualify as a red berry, but it was incredible. Citronfomage sounds amazing (I had to google it to see what it was). I’m going to definitely try that sometime. And I live not far from the Himalayan Restaurant and have never been there…that will make it on my list of restaurants to visit, too. Did you have dessert there?

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        1. It’s on the corner of 24th Ave. S. and Franklin; it’s on the opposite side of the street from the Northern Clay Center which is in the middle of the block. You have the choice of mild, medium, hot and extra hot in terms of spiciness, we chose hot; I think next time I go, I’ll try medium and request that they ease up on the salt a little.

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      1. No, Edith, we rarely eat dessert. Instead we had Mo-Mos for a shared appetizer, very delicious with a flavorful dipping sauce. We each brought half of our meal home with us, their entrees are large enough to share.

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    2. I have a friend who lives near that Himalayan restaurant and we have gotten things “to go” from there a couple times…soooooo yummy.

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  13. Morning-
    Desserts vary; ice cream is always good- usually plain vanilla is what we have on hand. Topped with peanuts and ‘Magic Shell’ is a special treat. Cookies, Peanut M&M’s, popcorn, LOVE the Special K bars…

    Don’t you hate it when you’re standing staring into the pantry / cupboard trying to figure out what you’re hungry for??

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  14. My best buddy Bill is a doctor, and he used to be married to a Nurse-Practitioner. Both of them were as fit as professional athletes, and they preached nonstop about good nutrition and avoiding poor food choices. But they had a weakness for one dessert bar, something they called “Horrible Bars.” It seemed to embarrass them greatly that they couldn’t resist Horrible Bars, and every time I dropped by their house they “just happened to have” Horrible Bars sitting on the kitchen counter. I’ve eaten several hundred Horrible Bars on various hunting and fishing trips, and I can promise that they are worth the trouble of making them.

    Horrible Bars
    1 cup butter
    2 cups brown sugar
    2 eggs, beaten
    2 tsp vanilla
    2½ cups flour
    1 tsp baking soda
    1 tsp salt
    3 cups quick oatmeal

    Cream the butter and sugar. Mix in egg and vanilla. Mix flour, soda, and salt together and add to the creamed mixture. Mix well. Then, stir in the oatmeal.

    Spread 2/3 to 3/4 of the above mixture in a greased 9 x 13 pan. Then make the following filling.

    1 12 oz pkg chocolate chips
    1 can sweetened condensed milk
    2 Tbsp butter
    1 cup chopped walnuts
    1 tsp vanilla

    Melt chocolate chips and milk in a double boiler and stir until smooth. Add nuts, butter, and vanilla. Pour over first layer. Dot with remaining 1/4 to 1/3 of first mix. Bake at 350º for 18 to 20 minutes.

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  15. I have to say that, for Baboons who have a goodly supply of zucchini and a hankering to use the oven, Anna’s Zucchini Cake with chocolate chips TOTALLY ROCKS! My coworkers are going to LOVE me tomorrow. Thanks, Anna!

    I think I might have the sweetest tooth in the world. I’ll make oatmeal raisin bars and eat them for breakfast, rationalizing to myself that they’re healthy because they have oatmeal, raisins and nuts in them. I don’t think I’ve ever met a dessert I didn’t like. I’m possibly a little weird about ice cream though. I love unadorned vanilla ice cream with the little vanilla bean flecks in it. I don’t like anything to disturb that creamy goodness. A recent find has been Greek yogurt. I like one with vanilla and honey.

    I’m a chocolate fiend – once I start eating chocolate, I find it impossible to stop. Addiction runs in my family, so I need to stay away from chocolate. But thanks for those recipes for bars with chocolate in them!

    I love strawberry-rhubarb and apple pies. I can’t make the crust as well as my mom, though. She uses lard and it does make a superior pie crust. I don’t like to use the lard (it’s not vegetarian and I don’t use it all up).

    Great post, Sherrilee! It’s always fun to talk about food and share recipes.

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    1. Hope your co-workers like the zucchini cake as much as mine do. It’s a freakishly easy recipe and so darn yummy. (Full disclosure: I got the recipe from my mom, so I don’t know if I can call it “my” recipe…)

      Tomorrow I am trying a new recipe – an applesauce Bundt cake. Looks pretty fool-proof. Will try that one on the co-workers Tuesday.

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    2. I just discovered then crust Julia child has hash out there forever. Cold vegetable Cisco instead of lard. Mixed with butter it is very good. My computer is down ( capital letters are proof) but I will get that and the cheesecake recipe to die for I have access to, up down the road here.

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    3. Krista, Cooks Illustrated had a super recipe for pie crust in a magazine a while back. I have it somewhere…it’s the first pie crust recipe that actually was Flaky for me; previously all my pie crusts were the consistency of shoe leather. Downside is that it has what seems to me a huge amount of fat in it (and fat = calories).

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  16. OT – Husband has a photo in the Fine Arts Exhibit at the Fair. This afternoon he got a call from a guy, who had tracked him down through the internet, who wanted to buy the photo, but apparently the one in the exhibit has already been sold. So he wondered if husband could make an additional print for him. Sure, no problem. They exchanged names and addresses etc. and hung up. Ten minutes later the fellow called back and said “I know you.” Turns out that when his wife looked at the name and address, she recognized husband as a neighbor to our mutual friend, Helen (the woman I chicken sit for on occasion). What are the chances of the thousands of people who have walked by that photo that the one who wanted to buy a copy of the print is a person we’ve met several time over the years at parties at Helen’s house? Small world.

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      1. Thanks, Steve. He’s pleased. We haven’t been to the Fair as yet, so haven’t seen the exhibit. Will try to make it out there sometime this week.

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  17. I have strawberries AND rhubarb in the freezer, so I considered pie or rødgrød for tonight, but who am I kidding. I’m too lazy to cook or bake on a Sunday night. It will be chocolate ice cream with cappuccino pudding, and a little fresh whipped cream if I get ambitious.

    It’s not baking season yet.

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  18. I was up near Detroit Lakes this weekend. I’m sorry I missed this dessert discussion but I was busy stuffing my face with (among other things) homemade baklava. Mmmmm. (not made by me – our hostess had bought it at a church auction. I’m sure it was a ton of work to make it).

    I like ice cream but it’s not a craving or a favorite. I’d rather have cake or pie or cookies. I thirded the motion on English Sticky Toffee Pudding above. I’m surprised to find others who are familiar with it. I have had some killer bread puddings (one with chocolate, chocolate everywhere and another with a toffee sauce similar to the ESTP sauce. You could pour that over cardboard…)

    I’m off to the Fair Monday to try my newest favorite dessert (nevermind that it’s ice cream – it will have mini-donuts in it).

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