Posts Tagged ‘dessert’

No-Bake Peppermint Chocolate Chip Cookies


  • 2 TBS cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup quick oats
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 TBS oat flour (Make your own by blending oats in a food processor or blender until they become powder. Measure after blending.)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (mini chocolate chips would work better but don’t run out and buy them if you don’t already have them in your pantry!)
  • Slightly less than 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 TBS water
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 3 drops pure peppermint extract (don’t use more!)

In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients and stir well. I only had full-sized chocolate chips so I chopped them up a bit; otherwise they are a bit too large for the texture of the cookie.

When adding peppermint extract, put the three drops into a measuring spoon and then add to the liquid ingredients. Three drops is VERY concentrated and you don’t want to end up with too much peppermint!

Combine liquid ingredients separately, then pour wet into dry and stir until incorporated fully. If the mixture is too dry, add a bit more water. If too wet, add more oat flour. After the mixture is incorporated fully, mash it together HARD with the back of a spoon. Or put into a zippered bag and smash.

Roll into small balls and place in the refrigerator until firm. Makes about 9 cookies.

If you’ll be taking these camping, store in an air-tight container in the ice chest. I recommend placing wax paper between layers or they’ll merge into a big sticky mess!

They’re super yummy but just remember that as tempting as it is to eat the whole batch: DON’T! Or you’ll be paying the price of all that roughage!

These cookies aren’t sticky sweet. I think the cookie balls could be lightly dusted with powdered sugar to add a bit of sweetness and keep the cookies from sticking together. The original recipe called for 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon but it was way to sweet for me!

Recipe based on No-Bake Mocha Chocolate Chip Cookies

Fun Food Fridays: S’more Sundaes

I love s’mores. But, I always find that while my MOUTH may want a second one, the sugar hits me like a truck and I just can’t handle it. And I find that while I have the perfect way to make s’mores, it’s a lot of work.

Enter: The S’more Sundae


  • Waffle cones (it HAS to be waffle, the bigger the better)
  • Mini marshmallows
  • Mini chocolate chips
  • Strawberries
  • Bananas

The fruit pieces weren’t nearly small enough. Make them LITTLE so they fit in the cone better!

Cut the fruit up into tiny pieces. And when I say tiny, I mean the smaller the better! I recommend putting each ingredient into its own bowl so if somebody doesn’t like something, they don’t have to eat it!

This is your chance to control and blend the flavors how YOU want it.

Layer the ingredients into a waffle cone. I recommend starting with two or three chocolate chips since nothing else fits into the tip of the waffle cone.

It could have held a bit more!

Continue layering until the cone is as full as you can get it! Then, wrap it loosely in foil. It will probably look something like a taco.

You don’t want to wrap the foil too tightly or the sundae starts to burn.

Toast for three to five minutes over low heat. You want to heat the marshmallows and fruit and lightly melt the chocolate. But the chocolate can scorch and burn so keep an eye on it! I’ve tried this over mostly-cool charcoal briquettes and on a regular propane barbeque. Both work well. Carefully open the foil packet.

We had already cooked (and eaten!) steaks so the coals weren’t very hot.

You can mix it all together with a spoon and eat or eat it in layer. I prefer it in layers. And I don’t scoop it out of the cone with a spoon but just carefully nibble the cone and sundae together.

Other suggested ingredient combinations:

  • Carmel chips
  • Granny smith apples
  • Walnuts
  • Marshmallows

  • Blueberries
  • Chocolate chips
  • Marshmallows

  • Canned mandarin oranges
  • Marshmallows

You can buy chips in caramel, carob, white chocolate, and peanut butter so the possibilities are endless!

Fun Food Fridays: Boston Cream Pie

Boston Cream Pie


For some reason Boston Cream Pie just says SUMMER to me. And that’s fine, when I can buy it at my local Safeway because there’s no way I’ll be turning on the oven during an Arizona summer!

And who has time to make the cream filling and the chocolate ganache topping?! Not me!

But what to do when Safeway doesn’t have Boston Cream Pies in their bakery? This is a super-easy Boston Cream Pie recipe that doesn’t even require pre-heating!


  • Pound cake (defrosted and sliced)
  • Jell-o chocolate pudding cup
  • Cool-Whip
  • Strawberries (optional)

Take a thick slice of pound cake and top with some of the Jell-o pudding cup. I got three cake slices from one pudding cup. Top with Cool-Whip and garnish with a strawberry.

(And you didn’t even have to turn on the oven! Perfect for outdoor cooking!)

Pitch Your Tent: Making S’mores

7 Steps to Perfect S’mores

The Perfect S’mores Technique

The Perfect Smore

S’mores are a quintessential part of any camping trip. And they seem really easy to make right? Toast a marshmallow and smash it between two graham crackers and a half of a Hershey’s chocolate bar.

While that is the basic theory, the reality is so much more!

And, as I learned on last weekend’s camping trip with Code Wolf, writing a whole article about the best way to prepare a s’more really isn’t an unneeded topic. Code Wolf is a camping newbie so it’s really been instrumental to figure out how to fill in the gaps in his outdoor-life knowledge. And s’mores… well, let’s just say that he took to making s’mores like he’s been doing it all his life.

Personally, I think it’s because he had a great teacher!

Do me a favor and FORGET thinking you can make s’mores in a microwave or over a gas stove.


Give it up: Go camping! Get dirty! Make s’mores like a Princess: over the fire!


Fake Smore

Do you see any melted chocolate? No? Then it's NOT a s'more!



Step 1: The fire.
You’ll want an established fire that isn’t too smoky. I like to have it going for at least twenty minutes before I try to make my s’more. That way, the coals are nice and hot and you’ve progressed past the burning kindling and newspaper stage. (Very gross-tasting smoke!)

Step 2: Lower the grate.
This is why I LOVE making s’mores in a campground’s fire ring: the grate! I like it so it’s about 3-4 inches above the top of the flames. I lower the grate early so it starts to get hot.

Step 3: Prepare the toasting boat.
Make a “boat” out of tin foil. I take about a foot-long piece, fold it in half and then fold up the edges. I want a flat-bottom boat that is a bit rigid.

Step 4: The s’more bases
You’ll want a full half of a graham cracker. The closer you get to a complete half, the easier it is to assemble the s’more later.

And do yourself a favor: get the good ones! Please, PLEASE don’t settle for the tasteless store brand! Just like you wouldn’t make a steak with a cheap cut of meat, make your s’mores with the best ingredients!

S'more Boat

Top each base with 1/4 to 1/2 of the Hershey’s chocolate bar. I prefer to use 1/4 (that’s 1 row of 3 pieces) because then the whole s’more isn’t so sticky sweet.

Step 5: Melt the chocolate
With the bases in the boat, you’ll place the boat on the heated grate. I like them close to the flames but not directly OVER. I’m trying to get it so my chocolate is a bit melted at the time the marshmallow is toasted.

S'more boat over fire.

Step 6: Toast the marshmallow
I know there are people who like their marshmallows burnt black. And while I do enjoy a turn-your-teeth-black, make-every-dentist-in-the-world-cringe charred marshmallow occasionally, that isn’t how I like my marshmallow for a s’more.

Toasting Marshmallows

I toast mine until they’re evenly browned.

Here’s the trick:

  • no more than 1 marshmallow on the stick at a time
  • keep it moving (rotating)
  • keep it just above the flames so it’s HEAT not FIRE that does the cooking

My friends Les & Kathy gave me a set of Mallow Masters by Barr Brothers. These things are GREAT! The plastic keeps your hands from getting hot and the double tines (retractable) keep the marshmallow in place. Heat doesn’t seem to travel up the prongs. Get Mallow Masters from! (Affiliate link)

Perfect Color

See how these marshmallows are the perfect COLOR? But how do you get just one into a s'more? It's better to toast them one at a time!

Step 7: Assembly
This is where it can get tricky because everything is hot and melting and sticky. It’s okay to ask for help here because you don’t want to get a sugar burn from anything — they’re VERY painful and can be really dangerous!

Transfer the foil boat to a paper plate or picnic table to make life easier!

Place the roasted marshmallow on top of the chocolate and top with the other half of a graham cracker. While gently squeezing the two halves together, slide the stick out of the marshmallow.

This is where the plate comes in handy so when the chocolate oozes out it doesn’t get onto clothes, hands, or the dog!

Let cool just a bit (a burnt tongue interferes with eating a s’more!) and enjoy!


Readers Weigh In:

  • What’s you s’more making technique?

Fun Food Fridays: Chocolate Orange Camp Cake

Get this recipe and 30 others in the eBook: “The Outdoor Princess Camping Cookbook” from

This was one of my favorite sounding recipes. Last winter, when oranges were in season, I got to try it! I thought it was a good time to share it since oranges are in season right now.


  • 1 Large orange per person
  • 1 box chocolate cake mix
  • Bag of charcoal
  • Aluminum foil



Slice the top 1/4 off an orange and set aside. Remove the fruit from the orange. (This can be eaten while you’re waiting!)

Cut off the top

That was a bit tricky. You want to take MOST of the fruit out but leave some in. And you need to cut the fruit out without damaging the orange peel. The easiest tool was a grapefruit knife.

Taking out the fruit.

So the grapefruit knife made such a difference you might just want to invest in one! The other way works, but this is THE best.

But if you don’t have one handy then I found cutting the orange into sections and then scooping it out with a large spoon was a good second best.

Prepare the cake mix according to the package and spoon into orange shell. Each orange should be about 2/3 of the way full. Place the top of the orange back on the shell.

Cake in

Don't overfill it!

Make sure you get all the cake mix INTO the orange. If it’s on the outside for cooking, it makes a mess.

The oranges take some time to prep so I recommend doing it all before you light the bag of charcoal. Follow the package instructions.

Wrap each orange LOOSELY in foil (trust me on this one!) and bury in the pre-heated charcoal for 10-15 minutes.

Okay, a word about the foil! If it’s too tight, then the cake doesn’t have enough room to expand. Too loose and the ash gets in (gross!) So you need it to be not so tight the cake mix can’t expand and not so loosely it gets dirt inside.

In the coals

You’ll hear the cake mix sizzling. When that stops, the cakes are nearly baked.

If you smell burnt orange, or burning cake, then you’ve overcooked it! Although, the orange will burn a little bit.

Remember that the sugar in these will mean that they are VERY hot, juicy and sticky. Carefully brush any ash or dirt off the foil before opening.

Let it cool a bit and enjoy!

Orange Camp Cake

Yellow or gingerbread cake mixes are recommended substitutions. (I haven’t tried either though.)

Mix will fill about 6 oranges.

BTW: These are YUCKY cold or re-heated. Best to eat them warm and sticky!


Don’t forget to check out the cookbook that features this recipe: The Outdoor Princess Camping Cookbook: 30+ Fast & Easy Recipes for Cooking Outsideavailable from Amazon.

Fun Food Fridays: Pumpkin Bars

I know that not everybody gets to go on outdoor adventures and take their oven along. I guess it’s just those few that take RVs with ovens. But, this recipe, given to me by a long-time friend and newsletter reader, Kathy Levey, is just fantastic. It’s especially wonderful since fall is officially here and pumpkins are one of the best fall-fruits!


  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. each of baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. each of salt, cloves (Kathy decreases the salt to just a pinch)
  • 1 cup oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin (1 15oz. can)
  • 1/2 cup each chopped nuts and raisins, if you want, or chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350.  Grease 15x10x1 jelly roll pan.

Combine all ingredients (except nuts, raisins, chocolate chips) in a large bowl.  Beat at low speed until moistened.  Beat 2 minutes at medium speed.  Stir in nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips, if using.  Pour into greased pan.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely, then frost.


  • 1/3 cup margarine or butter, softened
  • 1 3 oz. package cream cheese, softened
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 T. milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Combine ingredients in small bowl and beat until smooth. Makes 48 bars.

Fun Food Fridays: Peanut Butter Cinnamon S’mores

No more boring s'mores!

This camping recipe was sent in by Anna D. She says: “my camping recipe was discovered the last time I went camping.”


  • Cinnamon graham crackers
  • Peanut butter
  • Large marshmallows
  • Hershey chocolate bar

Use cinnamon graham crackers instead of regular. Spread some peanut butter on one half of one cracker.

Put some aluminum foil on the grate over the fire or the coals. In the foil, place the graham cracker (with peanut butter side up), then the Hershey bar and allow it to melt a bit.

While the chocolate is melting, roast the marshmallow. Place the marshmallow on the heated graham cracker/chocolate stack, and top with the other cracker. (If you make the sandwich and THEN pull your roasting fork out of the marshmallow, you’re less likely to get burned!)

Let the s’more cool a bit before eating.


Readers Weigh In:

  • What’s your favorite s’more recipe?
  • Do you have any cooking techniques that you can’t live without?

Fun Food Fridays: Cheating Fry Bread

Fry bread with cinnamon and sugar is a camping food-food favorite in my family. The Queen Mother has a knockout recipe for fry bread that is even better than what you can get at the fair.

But, it can be a lot of work for preparation, cooking, and cleanup. So Cheating Fry Bread is perfect for when you just need a sweet snack!

All the fixings for Cheating Fry Bread


  • 1 can packaged biscuits
  • Cooking oil
  • Sugar
  • Cinnamon


Pour oil to cover 1″ deep in a skillet and heat to about 350 degrees. Take each biscuit and flatten between your palms, then slip gently into the hot oil.  It’s a big help if all the biscuits are flattened a head of time OR if you have a helper flattening them while you cook!

I only cook 2 at a time.

Cook biscuits for about 2 minutes or until each side is golden brown. Don’t put more than 3 or 4 biscuits in the oil; you don’t want to crowd them. When the underside is brown, flip over and cook until the other side is brown. Remove from oil and drain on paper towels. You also might want to pat them with the towels to remove excess oil.

Golden brown!

I recommend using all-metal tongs since plastic ones melt if you are pushing the biscuits around in the hot oil. I had to throw mine away!

While the biscuits are still warm, shake in a bag with cinnamon and sugar.

Makes 8 fry breads.

Very Yummy!

By the way: I’ve received permission from The Queen Mother to share her super-secret, super-yummy fry bread recipe with you next week!

Readers Weigh In:

How do you like to eat your fry bread? What are your favorite toppings?

Don’t forget to check out the Outdoor Cooking Forum.

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