butter

Pumpkin Blondies

Pumpkin Blondies

Another entry in the “Holy crap, I have way too many cans of pumpkin in my little pantry” series…

Blondies are typically brownies without the chocolate, and using brown sugar instead of white sugar.

Michelle, over at Brown Eyed Baker took it a step further and added pumpkin to the blondies (would that make it a strawberry blondie, as the pumpkin is red-ish?).  As my pantry was overflowing with cans of pumpkin, I figured I’d give this a go.  Very glad I did, as this is both a tasty recipe, but also easy to make.

Don’t be scared by the laundry list of ingredients, this literally takes less than 5 minutes to prepare.  It will take you longer to get the ingredients out than it will to make it.

Pumpkin Blondies

2 1/2 cups / 10.625oz / 301g flour
2 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp ginger
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup / 7.5oz / 213g dark brown sugar
1/2 cup / 3.5oz / 99g sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla
1 (15-oz) can pumpkin (about 2 cups)
1 cup butterscotch chips
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 cup pecans, coarsely chopped

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9×13″ baking pan.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter and both sugars until completely smooth and no lumps remain. Add the egg and vanilla and whisk to incorporate, making sure the egg has been completely mixed in. Add the pumpkin and again whisk to fully incorporate. Add the flour mixture to the batter and, using a rubber spatula, fold the mixture until combined and no pockets of flour remain. Fold in the butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth into an even layer.
  • Bake until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool completely, then cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days.

Notes:

  • As these have almost two cups of pumpkin in them, they won’t be the same consistency as a traditional blondie, so keep that in mind.  Not quite blondie consistency, but not cake consistency either…

Source: http://www.browneyedbaker.com/2012/10/31/pumpkin-blondies/

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Double-Chocolate Browned-Butter Rice Krispy Treats

Double-Chocolate Browned-Butter Rice Krispy Treats
A CheesecakeForBreakfast original recipe!

Who doesn’t love Rice Krispy Treats (RKT)?  Easy to make, cheap, and quick, there is a reason they’re a staple at just about every bake sale you run into.

But lets face it, they’re a simple tasting treat too.  Rice Krispy’s don’t have a lot of taste to them and neither do marshmallows.  I was looking to make a RKT that was not only simple/easy to make, but also make them a more adult-like treat.

Tried using whiskey, which made boozy RKT. RKT are not rum balls!

I noticed in Joanne Chung’s Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe cookbook (read my review here, or do yourself a favor and order the book here) she uses brown butter to add some depth to her RKT.  Knowing how well the browned butter worked in my chocolate chip recipe, I made a batch using browned butter.  Better, but still not what I was looking for, so I added the browned butter to my bag of tricks and kept searching.

Figuring chocolate was what I was looking for, I melted some chocolate in with the marshmallows and butter.  The taste was there, but with the amount of chocolate I had to add, the texture suffered.  They were no longer light and airy, the hallmark of RKT.

I switched to using chocolate Rice Krispies, but the chocolate flavor just wasn’t strong enough.

Finally, I realized that with the chocolate Rice Krispies, I could still add some real chocolate without affecting the texture of the RKT.  With the nuttiness of of the browned butter, and the double punch of chocolate Rice Krispies and real chocolate, I had a winner.

The only hard part about these RKT was getting a photo of them before they were all gone! [continued after the jump...]

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A quick Google search of ‘pâte brisée’ will lead to almost as many variations as there are of pizza.

Different ratios of flour to butter, substitution of Crisco for some of the butter, number of eggs, use of egg yolks vs whole eggs…you get the idea.

I’ve tried at least a half dozen different variations, including Julia Child’s from Mastering the Art of French Cooking, Vol. 1.

None were bad, and all of them had some flakiness to the crust, but I noticed while browsing through Joanne Chang’s Flour: Spectacular Recipes From Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe Joanne didn’t use a food processor at all, but a stand mixer, then smearing the flour and butter together with the heal of your hand.

This smearing, known by the French term fraisage, converts all the chunks of butter into thin sheet layers. Those long thin sheets will make the crust full of wonderful flakes.  Joanne actually demonstrates this technique in this King Arthur Flour YouTube video.  It’s actually easier than it looks, you’ll be surprised.

I tried to tweak the recipe Joanne lists in the book, but nothing made a difference; it’s pretty hard to improve on perfection!

I’ve used this dough at least a dozen times since I read about it, in various recipes, and every time, it came out light and flaky.  It’s my go-to pastry dough recipe now.

Pâte Brisée

1 3/4 cups (245g/7oz) flour
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup (2 sticks/228g/16tbsp) cold butter, cut into 12 pieces
2 egg yolks
3 tbsp cold milk

  • In a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, mix together the flour, sugar, and salt until combined.  Scatter the butter over the top.  Mix on low for about 90 seconds, or until the flour is no longer bright white, the lumps of butter are the size of pecans, and it hold together when you clump it.
  • Mix egg yolks and milk in a small bowl until combined.  Add to the flour mixture and mix on low speed until the dough just barely comes together (about 30 seconds).  It will not look like your normal dough at the time…don’t worry!
  • Dump the dough onto a unfloured work surface, then gather it into a mound.  Using the palm, start on one side of the mound and smear the dough bit by bit, starting at the top and sliding your palm down the side and along the work surface.  Do this until most of the butter chunks are smeared into the dough and the dough comes together.  Repeat this 1-3 times until the dough actually looks like dough, smeared with streaks of butter.
  • Gather up the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and press down to flatten into a disc about 1″ thick.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours.  Use within 4 days, or it can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Notes:

  • If you haven’t picked up this book yet, I highly highly highly recommend it.  Check out my review here, or order the book here.

Source:  Joanne Chung, Flour: Spectacular Recipes from Boston’s Flour Bakery + Cafe, page 92

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Apple Galette

Apple Galette

This was one of the first tarts I’ve made in the new house.  Most of the tarts I’ve made before were a disappointment, mainly in the crust of the tart not meeting my standards.  Of course, that’s why you have seen me posting any recipes for tarts here, as I didn’t think they were good enough to blog about.

This one was damn tasty, and got me some much needed work on my tart-dough skills, knife skills while trying to slice the apples evenly (see note below), and my presentation skills.

The apple galette is impressive looking, but from a taste perspective, not much different than a free form apple tart, with the apples piled in the middle.  If you have the time, and want to impress, make this; if you’re in a hurry, make the free form tart.  You, and your guests will be happy no matter what.

[continued after the jump...]

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Baked Alaska

Baked Alaska

The August 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Elissa of 17 and Baking. For the first time, The Daring Bakers partnered with Sugar High Fridays for a co-event and Elissa was the gracious hostess of both. Using the theme of beurre noisette, or browned butter, Elissa chose to challenge Daring Bakers to make a pound cake to be used in either a Baked Alaska or in Ice Cream Petit Fours. The sources for Elissa’s challenge were Gourmet magazine and David Lebovitz’s “The Perfect Scoop”.

Baked Alaska has a reputation of being difficult to pull off.  Well, after making this one, I can tell you that’s not true.  The key is not to be in a hurry, and to allow the ice cream and base (typically a sponge cake) to refreeze after layering the two.

This is a very fancy looking dessert, sure to impress anyone who gets a slice put in front of them.  If you want to be super-impressive, make a flambe Alaska, by dark rum over the meringue after torching, and light the rum on fire. [continued after the jump...]

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Having made browned butter for chocolate chip cookies in the past, I knew how much flavor browned butter could add to a recipe. I wasn’t disappointed in the results.

Used as a base for the Baked Alaska.

Brown Butter Pound Cake

19 tbsp (9 1/2 oz) butter
2 cups (7 oz) cake flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (3 3/4 oz) brown sugar
1/3 (2 2/3 oz) cup sugar
4 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla

  • Preheat the oven to 325°F.  Butter and flour a 9”x9” square baking pan.
  • Melt butter, in a traditional (not non-stick) skillet,  over medium heat.  Brown butter until the milk solids are a dark chocolate brown and the butter smells nutty.   As it gets darker, watch it very very closely, as it goes from light brown to burnt in less than 30 seconds.  Pour into a shallow bowl and chill in the freezer until just congealed, 15-30 minutes.
  • Whisk together cake flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • Beat the brown butter until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add the brown sugar, and sugar in an mixer and beat further until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well, and then the vanilla.
  • Stir in the flour mixture at low speed until just combined.
  • Scrape the batter into the baking pan. Smooth the top with a rubber spatula and rap the pan on the counter. Bake until golden brown on top and when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
  • Cool in the pan 10 minutes. Run a knife along the edge and invert right-side-up onto a cooling rack to cool completely.

Source: Epicurious.com

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