Make your own Mammo-Grahams for Breast Cancer Month!

We shared these goodies last year for Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and they’re just too much fun to not share them again, especially since many of you are new to the blog! We have a few days left in October, which is officially National Breast Cancer Awareness Month. All kinds of related events take place during October, such as the American Cancer Society with its Making Strides Against Breast Cancer event.

How these came to be: A couple of years ago, when I was doing a lot of party planning and catering, specializing in theme menus, the more inventive the better, a friend asked me to cater a unique party. A childhood cancer survivor, she and her mother had decided to throw a big bash celebrating 20 years of being cancer-free. Having been to a few shindigs of mine before, she knew the kind of funky, funny theme food I loved to put together, and she wanted her own food to be very irreverent, sort of thumbing her nose and laughing in the face of cancer. An example she herself thought of was serving deviled eggs – with black olive “tumors” in them. I asked if she really, REALLY wanted me to run with that, and she insisted she did, as long as it was still good food, so off I went, creating a whole menu devoted to different kinds of cancer. It was a smash success, if I dare say so myself.

One of my favorite items I invented for that menu was the “Mammo-Graham”, which I share with you here today in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month. As you can see, it’s a fairly realistic edible depiction of the procedure, as anyone who has undergone one will attest.

This is actually very easy to put together, and, yes, inexpensive too, using potatoes as a base.  One option for the, er, fleshy part of the Mammo-Grahams was making them out of marzipan, but that could get very pricy very quickly. So I based them on a recipe for potato candy I found in Paula Deen’s dessert cookbook from The Lady and Sons; it’s normally used to make Easter Egg shapes. To make about a dozen, depending on, uh,  cup size:

Potato Candy:

2 medium potatoes
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, chopped
2 16 ounce boxes powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or almond, actually, if you really wanted faux-marzipan)
2-3 tablespoons peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons cocoa powder

Other Mammo-Graham materials:

6 regular graham cracker rectangles, each broken into 2 squares (I personally now go with these gluten-free grahams from Kinnickinnick)
6 chocolate graham cracker rectangles, each broken into 2 squares
about 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips
about a dozen pink M&Ms, preferably both plain and peanut

Boil the potatoes just until soft. Drain, mash, and measure 1/2 cup out into a mixing bowl. Make a small snack of the excess with some sour cream and chives, I say. Add butter into mixing bowl, mix in thoroughly, and let cool completely(very important).  Add sugar and vanilla/almond extract, knead until smooth.

Roll some of the dough into various ball sizes. Then add the peanut butter and knead thoroughly again – you may want to make a few different ‘complexions’, so you can add it in in increments, make a couple more balls, and repeat. Follow the same process with the cocoa, adding incrementally to represent different complexions!

Now gently squeeze each ball between a pair of graham crackers. Melt the chocolate chips (either in a microwave in 30 second increments or in a double boiler). Transfer to a ziploc bag, cut off the corner (as small as you can manage) and pipe some nice zigzaggy flourishes on top of each sandwich. Finally, complete each mammary with its own M&M nipple, using shades of pink and tan and brown as you please.

We intentionally shared this a couple of days before National Mammography Day, in hopes that some of our readers might be able to take advantage of the opportunity to get a free test on Friday.  So if you find yourself at a fundraising event this October or at any other time, or should you attend any cancer awareness events in the future, consider bringing these treats along – they were a huge hit at my friend’s party!

Other helpful information and resources:

Find a provider
for a free mammogram
Cancer-fighting recipes at the Nutrition and Food Archive blog
A good round-up of writing on breast cancer from BlogHer
Breast Cancer Support Groups
The CDC’s information page
for breast cancer
The Breast Cancer Site:
Click once a day and help donate money to fund free mammograms

And finally, a personal note, with a very important article on the importance of  breast cancer prevention through breastfeeding via Best for Babes foundation. I think it’s inarguably important to continue to look for a cure, no question. But prevention is vitally important too, and one of the most effective things women can do for both themselves AND their daughters is simply to breastfeed one’s children if possible (we all know there are some rare situations when it isn’t). According to BfB, research shows that women “can significantly lower both a mother (59% with a family history, 28% without) and her daughters’ (26-31% lower) breast cancer risk by breastfeeding!” Those are some compelling numbers. Please, check out the powerful article linked above, and share far and wide!

— posted by Anne


  1. Don says

    I entend to make these and place in the office at the RV park where I live (if they will allow it). I will place a print out of this post from your blog and and a large sign reminding the gals to get their mamagram and make a contribution to the Breast Cancer Charity of their choice. My orginal thought was to serve them with the signage at our halloween party (they are definately scary but not as scary as the cancer – my wife was a suriver) but on second thought I felt that would be inappropraite in that venue. So gals you tell me what you think.

    • Kath-e Westwood says

      Dear Don,
      Go for it. I think they are fun and I don’t know who would take offense to it. Surely none of my crazy friends!!

      • Don says

        Thanks for the encouragement but management here won’t go for it. They thought it was a rude joke (I have a rep here for my humor). They still have not read the blog I hope they change their minds. At any rate I will have copies of the blog and the signage reminding to have and give – have a Mamogram and give to a charity. Thanks for the feedback.

  2. Amy Howells says

    I just made these for a breast cancer awareness themed tailgate! They are awesome…how long will they keep and do they need to be refrigerated?

    • says

      I think they would definitely keep for at least a day at (reasonably cool) room temperature, and for another day or two refrigerated. I would be careful about refrigerating in terms of the freshness of the graham crackers, though. Thanks for giving them a whirl!

  3. says

    These are the funniest cookies I’ve seen in a long time, Great job,
    If we can’t laugh, whats left.
    I’m not in any way minimizing the seriousness, I too have had direct experience with this disease.
    So, I now honor my health and Breasts, my pink ribbon sisters, with a an annual mammo/ladies day, and will add this to my fun.

  4. Heidi says

    I am a breast cancer survivor, uterine cancer survivor and melanoma survivor! I for one think these are great, they are not disgusting or gross. Yes cancer is a terrible and frightening and often deadly disease but it’s something that we have to try and fight when we are diagnosed. I found that the power of laughter and positive thinking helped me in all 3 battles. Sure I was dealt a terrible hand of cards and looked my own mortality directly in the eye but with the help of friends, family and my own laughter and ability to laugh at myself sometimes I made it. I think that making a batch of these and taking them into my office full of women is a great idea in the month of October to be sure and remind them to get their own mammograms!!


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