Friday, March 26, 2010
Monday, March 22, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Of all of the people in my family (in-laws excluded), I am probably the one least likely to choose the chocolate dessert when there is another option. If it's made with high quality dark chocolate, I am embarrassed to say that I probably won't like it. However, the exception for me is brownies from a box. I know, not especially dignified, but sooo delicious.
That being said, if I'm having company, I feel like I owe them better than that. So this is one of my favorites: a layer of blondies (aka chocolate chip cookie batter in disguise), topped with a layer of brownies. The last time I served them, one of my friends told me to "blog the [expletive] out of them." So there you go. Enjoy!
Blondie Brownie Bars:
1 box of brownie mix (make sure it's the kind that fits a 9 x 13 pan), with all required ingredients
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/4 cup skim milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) chocolate chips
Preheat the oven to 350.
Prepare the brownies as instructed by the box. Set aside.
Mix the butter, vanilla, eggs, milk, and both types of sugar until well blended. Add the dry ingredients and mix. Add the chocolate chips and mix the batter until the chips are evenly distributed.
In a 9 x 13 pan, evenly spread the cookie batter through the pan. Pour the brownie batter on top and spread evenly. Bake at 350 for 40-45 minutes, or until the middle is solid and a toothpick comes out clean. Be careful-- these are really thick, so they might need more time than that, depending on your oven.
Allow to cool before cutting and serving.
Monday, March 15, 2010
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Want to hear a sad story? They don't have Pi Day in England, and all because of the stupid way they write dates. Instead of today being 3.14, it's 14.3. Since there are only 12 months in the year, that means that they can never experience the true nerdy delicious glory that is Pi Day. Luckily, they've got me!
This pie, called "Crack Pie" because it's so good it's like crack, comes from the restaurant Momofuku in New York. Admittedly, I made it a while ago, but I wanted to save blogging about it for this very special occasion. My friend Phileda picked it out. She is a lot of fun to cook and bake with because both of her parents are chefs, so she is very good at improvising and not freaking out when something goes wrong. And a lot of things went wrong, mostly thanks to my not realizing that there were two pages of recipe and not buying all the necessary ingredients. But thanks to Phileda's cool head and ingenuity, we perservered. And the pie was soooo good! Unbelievably rich (not surprising if you look at the ingredients), so I could only eat a little slice. Still, me, Phileda and our two other friends finished off almost the entire pie that very night. If you are looking for an amazing Pi Day treat and you have a table full of very hungry people (or just four 20-year-old girls who can eat like nobody's business), this is the pie for you!
Momofuku's Crack Pie
From the LA Times Web site
Servings: Makes 2 pies (6 to 8 servings each)
Note: Adapted from Momofuku. This pie calls for 2 (10-inch) pie tins. You can substitute 9-inch pie tins, but note that the pies will require additional baking time, about 5 minutes, due to the increased thickness of the filling.
Cookie for crust
2/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (3 ounces) flour
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Scant 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
1/3 cup (2 1/2 ounces) light brown sugar
3 tablespoons (1 1/4 ounces) sugar
Scant 1 cup (3 1/2 ounces) rolled oats
1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment, or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat the butter, brown sugar and sugar until light and fluffy.
4. Whisk the egg into the butter mixture until fully incorporated.
5. With the mixer running, beat in the flour mixture, a little at a time, until fully combined. Stir in the oats until incorporated.
6. Spread the mixture onto a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking sheet and bake until golden brown and set, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to the touch on a rack. Crumble the cooled cookie to use in the crust.
Crumbled cookie for crust
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons (3/4 ounce) brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
Combine the crumbled cookie, butter, brown sugar and salt in a food processor and pulse until evenly combined and blended (a little of the mixture clumped between your fingers should hold together). Divide the crust between 2 (10-inch) pie tins. Press the crust into each shell to form a thin, even layer along the bottom and sides of the tins. Set the prepared crusts aside while you prepare the filling.
1 1/2 cups (10 1/2 ounces) sugar
3/4 cup plus a scant 3 tablespoons (7 ounces) light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup plus 1 teaspoon (3/4 ounce) milk powder
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
8 egg yolks
2 prepared crusts
Powdered sugar, garnish
1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, brown sugar, salt and milk powder. Whisk in the melted butter, then whisk in the heavy cream and vanilla.
3. Gently whisk in the egg yolks, being careful not to add too much air.
4. Divide the filling evenly between the 2 prepared pie shells. Blogger's note: Don't be worried if the filling is really liquid-y. It will congeal, but it took us a lot longer than 15 minutes. Although we were using 9-inch pie pans, so that might be it.
5. Bake the pies, one at a time, for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 degrees and bake until the filling is slightly jiggly and golden brown (similar to a pecan pie), about 10 minutes. Remove the pies and cool on a rack.
6. Refrigerate the cooled pies until well chilled. The pies are meant to be served cold, and the filling will be gooey. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Now, I know I am late to the New York Times cookie party. I feel like everyone in the blog world has made these cookies already. However, until now I haven't had all the ingredients and all the patience in one place. However, a few days ago I just decided to go for it. I had been collecting the ingredients for a few months (cake flour, chocolate disks for Jacques Torres in New York, French sea salt, among other things) and my husband has been bugging me to get rid of all the non-kosher for Passover food before Passover, so this seemed like the perfect time.
These were very easy to make. You basically just combine the ingredients in a mixer bowl. I mixed in the chocolate discs by hand so that I would not break them, but you could probably do that with the mixer too. Then, you have to let the dough rest in the fridge for 24-36 hours (or up to 72).
The only trouble I had with these cookies was that, after taking the dough out of the fridge, it was really hard to scoop out because it was so cold and hard. However, I persevered and I am glad I did. They were delicious.
The recipe says that it made 18 cookies, but I got 27. I thought I made mine pretty big (six ran together on the baking sheet) but since I don't have a scale, I don't know how much each ball of dough weighed. I don't think I would want to make them any bigger. I ate one, with a cold glass of milk, and I was stuffed, but in a good way. I am going to freeze the rest of them and will probably zap them in the microwave before eating them. But I don't think I will be able to eat all 30 before Passover in a little over two weeks. Now I have to think of a way to distribute all these cookies before Passover. Any takers?
Here is the recipe from the New York Times: