Tuesday, August 23, 2016

S'mores And Dragons!

So, it's been a while. Two things quick: I had a new baby, Danae, and she is a precious stubborn toddler now; also, we bought a house! Three story townhouse - I craft and create in the basement. Oh, a third thing, while I'm at it - I have been working out every day for 462 days so far (yes I passed a year and kept going) and I've lost almost 40 lbs! More on some of those things in future posts. 

Two family pictures for you though! The left is us at church for Mother's Day(I made both purple dresses), the right is us at GenCon Indy 2016, a wonderful gaming convention. I made my costume and Thia's - I'm Zuul from Ghostbusters (the first one) and she's Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Danae had a little Jedi costume too but was too tired to let me dress her in it! Adam is wearing a new Star Wars shirt to go with the girls.


  Now, to pick up where we left off... if you know me, you know I love baking, I love dragons, and I love playing role playing games - especially Dungeons and Dragons. Today I'm going to tell you about all three - specifically a deliciously sinful new cookie recipe I mashed together, and a dragon fight on the night I made them!

First, the cookies! 
Yep, I posed the dice and miniatures on my plate because I'm that cool. The girl in the black dress is my character, the wizardess Gwen bin Magus. The armored fighter is her knight, Sir Elwood - a higher power told him to guard her. My figure is from Reaper Miniatures, painted by me. The knight is a Warhammer figure I think, painted by his player, my friend Ron. And the dice are mine!
I baked the cookies fresh for the gamers, because gooey delicious melty marshmallows and chocolate and ooooh I want one right now! I made the cookie dough the night before, shaped into balls and rolled in graham cracker crumbs, then stuck them in the freezer till baking time.
Some Friday nights I really spoil my gamers. Ask me later about the homemade cake batter ice cream and pound cake - or the chocolate cake batter fudge swirl ice cream and brownies...

These cookies came about after looking through my pinterest boards with my daughters, and deciding I wanted a s'mores based recipe. I liked a pie I had pinned, but my seven year old daughter Thia fell in love with these layered s'mores cookies, which did look tasty. But I read the recipe, and the blogger used peanut butter cookies as the bottom layer - she didn't say that in the title. Peanut butter marshmallow Kiss blossoms would be yummy, but not the s'mores flavor I was looking for. 

So I took inspiration from one of my favorite dessert blogs, Cookies and Cups, with the dirty s'mores cookie recipe. Using her cookie dough as the bottom layer, with a healthy helping of graham cracker cookie crumbs in the dough - but not the chips and mini mallow bits, gave these cookies just the flavor I was looking for! But the first blog with the peanut butter marshmallow chocolate cookies did tell me how to toast the marshmallows ontop of the mostly baked cookies, so I used something from both recipes. 

I made a test dozen (because I love my family and wanted the cookies just right) and my husband said they were terrible, he'd take care of them all. Which meant, of course, he loved them and wanted them all to himself! That's always a good sign when trying a new treat, either from a recipe or that I made up myself.

So I pulled more cookie dough (enough for a pan of 2 dozen cookies) out of the freezer to thaw before we started the game, which was one combat after another once we were exploring the ruined dwarf city (Moria jokes flew freely).  
This is something that's never happened with our unstealthy group - we succeeded in a group stealth check and got the drop on a group of enemies in a partly destroyed building! The silver dice were goblins that died quickly, but the gold was this genie looking monster that my wizardess and the bard knew nothing about - simply put, we failed our knowledge rolls on it.
It summoned this big earth elemental! And then stone shaped walls splitting the party up...

The silver dice mark the edges, the pieces of paper are about where the walls were. See the dwarf off by himself? And the half-orc separated too... not good! The knight finally finished the monster(which my husband the dungeon master revealed was a Dao), and the walls disappeared. Then we healed up and looked around some more...

And were taunted by dark elves across the underground river(the red die and the gold die in the upper left corner). They're part of this evil group in the world called the Lash, and have a grudge against our characters. There were a few of them at first, then just two, then one. Only the half orc and the dwarf went across the river after them, my wizardess hurled spells as did the bard (the only unpainted figure, new character after our first bard died). The dwarf was threatening the final dark elf over the bridge, when suddenly, his leader appeared from the shadows - a Shadow Dragon!

Dragons are in the name of the game for a reason, and this one wasn't an easy fight, especially considering how we'd used a lot of our resources already! I was down to just two first level spells and cantrips (simple spells that I can cast anytime), the bard and warlock were low, our paladin at least had saved his smites!

One of the dangers with dragons, though... 

They fly!
And they're smart too... And sometimes petty.

A dragon might notice that the knight is protecting the fragile wizardess, for example, and decide that's her new prey (it was a girl dragon - not all the bad dragons are guys!).
But even if she zaps the dragon with lightning hands, and runs away while the dragon is shocked...
The dragon still gives chase!
Bad dragon, mean dragon! Leave Gwen alone!

Run Gwen!
And then there was a wizardess down... Then her valiant knight and friends defeated the fearsome wyrm and she was saved! And we found some nice treasure too, hooray! Our characters now get to rest for a week before a plane-hopping journey.

If you can't tell, this was a nail-biter of a fight! Normally I can blast enemies with fireball, lightning bolt, cancel spells with counterspell... and I did do those things - before this fight! But we survived, no characters died, which is a very good thing.

Fun fact - that dragon miniature was the first dragon I bought! I still haven't finished painting it... I started painting it red because, hello, red dragons are classic. Then my husband showed me the shadow dragon artwork its sculpt is based on, and I started all over again with dark purple. But I didn't get past the base coat before something else demanded my attention. Maybe after I finish painting the party (everyone except the knight is my painting), I can make this dragon great again! In another post I'll show you this shiny fearsome pink and purple dragon I painted for another game of ours...

So, I hear you want that cookie recipe, do you? I suppose you did earn a reward, scrolling through all my pictures.

S'mores Layer Cookies

yield: 68 small balls [I froze some for later]

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 cups flour

graham cracker crumbs to dip in (I buy the box of precrushed crumbs but you can stick whole crackers in your food processor to pulverize)
large marshmallows cut in half, 1 half per cookie
regular Hershey's Kisses, 1 per cookie

Mix butter and sugar in stand mixer with paddle attachment until fluffy. Add in egg, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Slowly add graham cracker crumbs and flour just until mixed in.

Scoop cookie dough with small scoop, roll into balls, dip in graham cracker crumbs, chill for 30 minutes or more (or freeze till needed).

Bake at 350 degrees 7 minutes(cookies should be mostly baked, a little brown around the edges) on a parchment paper lined pan, remove from oven and top each cookie ball with marshmallow half, sticky side down(push down, cookie with crackle a little and spread), then return to oven on broil for 1-2 minutes. After marshmallows are puffy and lightly toasted, remove from oven and push in Kisses. Let cool a few minutes before devouring because gooey marshmallow chocolatey deliciousness!
Note: I used a Pampered Chef small cookie scoop - you might get less cookies with bigger size if you use a different sized scoop.
Inspiration recipes: 
I hope to make their versions at some point but loved mashing together my own cookie! 
Let me know in the comments your favorite thing about dragons or s'mores, and if you want more RPG and Sweets posts like this! I plan to start blogging a bit more regularly now - next post might be about scones, or our costumes!
Stay Fancy! <3 Lizzy