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Graham Cracker S’mores Cookies.

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September 1st, I woke up thinking such thoughts as, “I can officially bake with pumpkin and make cinnamony apple pies and it’s socially acceptable because it’s fall.”

Well, it’s not officially fall. But for me, September signals the end of summer and the start of school, holiday baking, crunchy leaves, and autumn.
Besides, Starbucks is selling their pumpkin spice lattes again. If that doesn’t mean fall, then I don’t know what does.

So. What did I bake? Pumpkin muffins? A pecan pie? Something with maple or nutmeg or cranberries? Of course not. The most summery thing of all: s’mores cookies!

And I regret nothing.

Because I also have cinnamon swirl bread rising in the kitchen as we speak. That smells like September.

These are perfect for Labor Day weekend. Chocolate chip cookies with bits of Hershey bars and toasted marshmallows baked right onto a graham cracker. You know you want to.

Graham Cracker S’mores Cookies
2/3 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 package chocolate chips
1 cup mini marshmallows, plus extra
About 3 regular-sized Hershey bars, cut into pieces
2 packages graham crackers, broken into squares

Preheat oven to 375°F. On an ungreased cookie sheet, lay out 12 large graham cracker squares.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together shortening and sugars. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined.

In a medium mixing bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Add flour mixture slowly to shortening mixture. Mix until combined.

Add chocolate chips and marshmallows and stir together. Form into golf-ball size balls and place on top of graham crackers. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove and press Hershey pieces and an extra marshmallow or two on top.

Return to oven and bake for 5-7 minutes more until cookies are lightly golden and marshmallows are slightly melted.

Source: Barely adapted from Fahrenheit 350°.

On average, two restaurants a week closed in the year to the end of March, including casual dining chains, as well as upmarket and independent establishments, according to the latest data from analysts CGA and corporate advisory firm AlixPartners. Graeme Smith, the managing director of AlixPartners, said he expected restaurant numbers to continue to drop throughout the year as large chains in particular slim down. There have already been high-profile closures by burger chain Byron, Jamie’s Italian, Carluccio’s, the Prezzo Group and Sir Terence Conran’s Albion restaurants, but more large chains and independents are expected to suffer. “It’s easy to say this is a crisis in casual dining,” said Peter Martin at CGA. “This is a crisis happening for everyone.” Restaurants are suffering because the fall in the value of the pound since the Brexit vote has made ingredients more expensive while staff costs have risen, partly due to increases in the minimum wage. Economic uncertainty has stalled growth in the sector just as competition has increased after a surge in openings partly fuelled by private equity investment.

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