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!!

  5. Cindy Fashingbauer says

    A local radio station does a bake sale every October to raise money for a couple local breast cancer charities and last year I dropped off 15 dozen of these at 6 am. At 9 am I had a facebook message from one of the DJs from the station asking how fast I could make more and get them to the bake sale because the first batch was gone in 20 MINUTES. If they can be used to bring awareness and raise money to help people what is the problem with that????

  6. Margot says

    I do hope these ladies can lighten up! I think these are very fun. I am a radiologic technologist, have performed mammography, and also am a survivor of breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy at the age of 45. Laughter IS the best medicine. This recipe I’m sure is not to disrespect anyone or a woman’s sexuality. It is a fun reminder to get yourself checked!
    We all get through life in different ways, but I do believe a good laugh makes it all worthwhile!

    • cindy says

      Thanks for such a fun way to remind women to think about the need to self examine, schedule appointments, etc. I will be making one for the women in my wing at school will have a note on each baggie to remind them to do thier exams and screenings!!

      I have read the comments to this blog and feel for those who have suffered through various cancers. It it rare to find anyone who has not gone through this or known someone close who has. For those who find this idea bad, remember that we all are different and cope in our own ways…doesn’t make it bad – just different.

  7. Theresa says

    I thought these were hilarious!! I work for a company that promotes Continuing Education and Research for Doctors and they have come so far in the efforts to fight off and prevent some of the most horrific diseases in the world. I am proud to support them. I have also had personal experience in my family with cancer. Sexual abuse is another issue that I have dealt with. I think that having a sense of humor that embraces our short comings and the horrible things that we have to deal with in everyday light is the best thing that I can do for myself. Not everybody looks at things the same way but I choose the lighter side when at all possible. Life is way too short to not laugh at myself.

    • CR says

      If these could raise awareness to the effect that some might be spared your pain is it really that bad? No one is making light of cancer. Did you read that a survivor-friend ASKED her to make some irreverent treats; and they were a hit? I wish you well.

    • Kathy Schroeder says

      Disgusting? I think not. They are used to raise money, and to lighten the mood. I have many loved ones who have or had breast cancer. Some have succumed to this horrible disease. Don’t ever stop fighting, or let it steal all your joy! If you do, it wins, game over. I am at risk, as cancer runs in my family.

  8. Amanda says

    I love these! Too cute. Everyone who thinks they are disrespectful, get a life. These are made to be fun and enjoyable. She’s not saying run around with your breasts out for crying out loud! I will be making these and sharing them at our next football party! Cheers to the chi-chi’s or tata’s or fun bags… whatever you want to call them. Cancer is a serious thing, but you have to remember to enjoy life, too.

  9. Laura Borders says

    I think you have lost your mind. Cancer is not a joke food. It is not cute. It is not a good way to spread awareness of breast cancer and by the way, you might want to read the cumulative information on the efficacy of mammograms in preventing deaths. I had my mammogram yesterday, although I think it’s a waste of time and money, because I barely survived malignant melanoma and both my parents died of untreatable cancers. One was only 34. I think this is a lousy idea and you are meshuges.

    • JReeves says

      For someone who has had a number of types of cancer that took your parents (I can relate) then anything that makes OTHERS recognize just how SERIOUS any type of cancer can be and is, then it is a tender way to represent the devilish disease. I have a sister that survived breast CA and was at her side during treatments and recovery so don’t talk down about how others try to HELP others recognize and learn about what may be scary for them. Your bitterness is ill-fated. Glad You survived and prayers are with you but I shared this for OTHERS, NOT for my own selfishness.

  10. Emily says

    Though I understand the debaters opinion on modesty and self respect. I do not understand how this equates to a mans genitals. A penis is a sexual part of a man, the breast is not a sexual body part, it is a life support system for children. Now thanks to cancer it is also one of the deadliest parts of our bodies.I can’t tell you to lighten up, but I can say maybe you need to learn respect of the female form.

  11. Brenda says

    Because of your post, I think I will make my mamo appointment today. I am a survivor but have not been to the DR for several years. Got too busy and also tired of Drs, blood draws, and all of that. Have some pain that is not going away. Who knows maybe this post might save my life. Cute idea, I like the pink marshmallow idea as I don’t cook but I can press a microwave button.

  12. says

    I love this. I am one of the Four Personal Chefs that makes breakfast for the 1200+ walkers at The Avon Walk here in Charlotte, N.C. Many of the teams walking are wearing boobie Head Pieces, tata shirts, booby booble head lights etc. Is there anyway to make these on a large scale I would love to make a few hundred with out any nut product ( as no nuts can be used) any idea on how to make it in the hundred + Thanks for you help

    • says

      Hi there! Making them nut free is the easy part – I would use Sunbutter (made with sunflower seeds) instead of peanut butter or any other nut butter, and use chocolate-filled M&Ms only. As for how to make hundreds – you let me know if you have any brilliant ideas!

      Best of luck on your Avon Walk!


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