Autumn is in FULL swing finally, and it’s making me want to celebrate! Its all the little things: cool, crisp air during my lunch break walks, the leaves turn SUCH pretty colors, and we all start to get hyped up for the holiday season (I include Halloween in the holidays—for the record). With autumn comes some of our favorite nostalgic movies and snacks, so what better way to celebrate than by making a cute treat and cuddling up to watch an old movie with friends? Harry Met Sally anyone?
Before we dive too deep into what these little treats are all about, I want to let you know that we are working with RITZ Crackers for this post and one more extra special thing (I’ll tell you in a second, promise!). I was seriously beyond delighted when I found out we were going to work with RITZ because I grew up eating their crunchy little crackers. 🙂 I love that they work well in both savory and sweet items. Plus they can make entertaining a complete breeze as you can simply top them with delicious things (CHEESE! oh sorry, I meant to say that in a more subtle tone) or with just a little more effort create a simple but super cute treat—which is what we’re doing here.
Like I said, these are super simple to make since you can fill the sandwiches with just about anything (jams, jellies, Nutella, nut butters, frosting, etc.). I’m going to provide you with two filling recipes in case you want to make your own, but you could also just keep it simple. Up to you.
But what are these fillings I speak of? Well, I filled these with a pumpkin pie frosting and a lambic cherry quick jam with peanut butter. I thought I’d have a clear favorite to recommend to you of the two, but I love both. The pumpkin pie frosting is a bit more seasonal and less messy. 🙂 The lambic cherry jam is SOOOO yummy. Plus it’s like a treat version of a PB&J sandwich.
Pumpkin Pie Frosting, makes enough to fill 2 dozen sandwich treats
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
With an electric mixer, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth. If your cream cheese isn’t perfectly softened, blend it first by itself to help avoid lumps in your frosting. But a few lumps won’t be a big deal here as we’ll be using this to fill our sandwich treats.
Lambic Cherry Quick Jam, makes a heaping cup (still plenty for 2 dozen sandwich treats)
12 oz. frozen sweet cherries (fresh would be OK too, but fresh cherries aren’t in season for me anymore)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lambic raspberry beer
In a medium size pot over medium/high heat, combine all the ingredients. Stir occasionally, keeping an eye on the mix as it should stay at a low boil. Cook for 30 minutes, until the liquid has significantly reduced. Remove to a blender or food processor and pulse a few times so the mixture is almost smooth (it won’t be perfectly smooth—it’s jam, guys).
If you prefer not to use beer, you can swap the amount recommended here with red grape juice and increase the sugar to 1/2 cup. The lambic raspberry beer is quite sweet and super flavorful though, so the final jam will be quite different in taste, but just giving you options here in case you need them. 🙂
Now it’s time to assemble our sandwich treats and decorate—the best part!
First you’ll want to melt a bag (12 oz.) of white, milk, or dark chocolate chips. This is easily done with a double boiler or a glass bowl set over the mouth of a pot filled with some water (not so much water that it touches the bottom of the bowl, you want the steam to heat the bowl). To thin the chocolate, add a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil. Then melt the chocolate over medium/low heat, stirring occasionally. Dip half to 2/3 of the sandwich, place on a plate or cutting board lined with wax paper, and decorate with sprinkles, chopped candy, or drizzle in a different color of melted chocolate.
You can also melt the chocolate in the microwave if you prefer. To do this, add the chips and oil to a microwave safe bowl and heat on high for 30 seconds, stirring in between each interval. It usually takes around 1 and 1/2 minutes to completely melt the chocolate. I find this works best with dark chocolate. Sometimes I have trouble melting white chocolate with this method, so I recommend the double boiler method, but this another option you can try if you prefer.
Allow the sandwiches to set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to an hour until the chocolate hardens. Then serve or store in an airtight container until you are ready to serve. Keep in mind the chocolate will melt if it gets too warm.
Speaking of celebrating all things fall, recently we realized that we’ve been in our SpG offices for almost a year—whoa. And we’ve never taken the time to host a party or get together there before. So, we are making time to remedy this ASAP. On October 6th at 4pm we’re having an Autumn Nostalgia office party—and you’re invited! We think it’s important to celebrate the everyday moments in life, and our friends at RITZ agree! We’ll be hanging out on Facebook Live to show you a mini live demo of making these treats (which we will then eat at the party!) and just hang out. Hope you can join us for a little bit before we turn off the lights and watch a favorite fall-time movie. Should be a good time—see you then! xo. Didier
Credits // Author and Photography: Didier Li. Photos edited with the NEW Spiegeling actions.