I made my own vanilla extract! I've seen it on a few of my favorite food blogs and have been itching to try it myself. It was ridiculously easy. It took about 60 seconds (well, minus the part where it sits for two months). Slice 3 vanilla beans lengthwise, put in a jar with 1 cup alcohol (at least 80 proof vodka, rum, or bourbon), shake. Store in a cool dry place for 2 months. Shake it a few times when you remember. I made this batch with rum. I ordered some more vanilla beans online (way cheaper!) and am planning on making another batch with bourbon.
I also made brownies for my little sister, because I am really super nice. Not just any brownies: S'mores brownies. I marked this recipe a few weeks ago and decided it would be the perfect way to get rid of the graham crackers I brought home from my desk at my old job. I did, of course, try one before I sent them away. They were very cakey and also, HUGE, but who can really complain about the giantness of a chocolate baked good? The only thing I would change next time is add more graham crackers. They rose so much the cracker bits were a bit too sparse. I definitely cannot complain about the crisp and melty marshmallows on top though.
Adapted from Joy the Baker
1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (you can also use all-purpose)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup unsalted butter, melted
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup roughly crushed graham crackers (I would maybe double this)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9x13in baking pan.
Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl. Chop the chocolate into small pieces.
Put the chocolate in the melted butter and microwave until the chocolate is melted and smooth, about 1-1 1/2 minutes.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, vanilla, and sugars. Add in the chocolate mixture and then mix in the dry ingredients until well incorporated. Fold in the graham crackers.
Pour batter into pan and top with marshmallows (I used 15). Bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool for 30 minutes before cutting and removing from pan.