Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Nutella S'mores Mini Pies

While walking around downtown New Haven the other night, I caught a whiff of something I don't normally get to smell - a campfire. Maybe it was just someone burning some leaves in a nearby backyard (I think that's legal in CT), but nevertheless, normally all I smell around New York is garbage or the occasional hot nuts stand. I breathed in that evocative scent of a freshly lit wood-burning fire and was immediately transported back to summer days spent camping in Wisconsin and Northern Michigan, gathering around the fire with my friends, cooking up hot dogs and eating s'mores.

Which got me thinking, "Wow, how long has it been since I've had a s'more?"

To which I answered, "Well, there was that misguided experiment involving leftover Christmas candy and my microwave last January, but that didn't really count."

And then I realized that I was talking to myself while enthusiastically sniffing the air and that even the bums were starting to give me a weird look, so I quickly walked on.

The next day, I combined my great culinary skills with memories of summer, and made these.

6 mini graham cracker crust pie shells
8 oz. Philadelphia Cream Cheese
2 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 cup Nutella hazelnut spread
Marshmallow Fluff, for decoration

How to

In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese, heavy cream and Nutella until smooth.

Spoon the mixture into each pie shell and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. This will make it easier for you to add the marshmallow topping.

When you're ready to decorate the pies, spread and dollop the Fluff in fun patterns.

Some things I discovered about working with Marshmallow Fluff:
   - It's a feisty condiment, and takes some encouraging to get it to do what you want it to do
   - If your fluff is too stiff to work with, put the entire jar in the microwave for about 10 seconds. This should make it maleable enough to work with for a while. If it starts to re-harden, warm it up again.
   - Disposable applicators are your friends - I used wooden chopsticks and a plastic fork to decorate my pies, because I had no desire to try to scrape fluff off of my silverware.

*Normally, I'd have a few more pictures of the pies. But right after getting the second close-up photo, my phone face-planted itself in the spiral pie. I then learned that of all the things you don't want your phone to be covered in, Marshmallow Fluff is pretty much #1. Luckily, I had invested in one of those plastic screen protectors and my phone is hearty and survived the fall, unscathed. But if you can help it, you should probably keep your phone away from all things Fluff. 

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