Tiramisu Brownies

Drumroll please… Finally our first dessert of 2015 will make its debut. So this is a recipe I have been perfecting for some time. I finally finished it and its fabulous! I have to say that the tiramisu cupcakes are still my favorite rendition of tiramisu. But those require a full day of work. The tiramisu brownies can be whipped up in minutes. Especially if you can find soft lady fingers at a specialty food store. Which I of course could not find… so I made my own and everything was fine. Tiramisu translates to “pick me up” in Italian. And if you are in a baking slump, this recipe will certainly give you the lift that you need.

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I would serve these with sparkling wine of course. If you want to keep things Italian, you should have prosecco. These wines are made with Glera grapes, they must be 85% glera to be prosecco. This wine is protected in Italy similar to how Champagne is regulated in France. You should always buy prosecco that is labeled at least DOC – denominazione de origine controllata. This is the second highest designation of Italian wine. DOCG is the highest (denominazione di origine controllata e garanita). Sorelle Bronca Prosecco is an excellent choice. It is one of the higher end sparkling Italian wines that you can find at most grocery stores. Mionetto Prosecco is also delicious for about half the price. Mionetto is very refreshing and quite dry, perfect for dessert. Continue reading

Apple Slab Pie

I have been changing my mind constantly lately about where we should move when we land in Kansas City this summer. My most current dream is to get a little more space/land in the country, maybe on a lake. And we can raise mini pigs, mini horses, chickens… endless possibilities. And of course plant an insane garden – and apple trees! Because I have a love affair with apples right now. There are my constant classics that I have made time and time again – Apple Crisp  and Apple Oatmeal Cookies. And now my new favorite dessert, apple slab pie.

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There is something so rewarding and therapeutic about making your own pie crust. The funny thing is when people say, “You made this yourself?” Yes! And you can make it too! 1 out of every 20 recipes on this blog gets a “wow” response from my husband. This recipe is wow approved by him. This pie crust is so so so good and there is so much of it which makes this special. This slab pie is also easily served in squares making it ideal for pot-lucks, parties, and no-fuss Thanksgiving dessert.

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It may be apple overload to serve this apple pie with apple cider. But if you have not had Foggy Ridge Cider, you need to find it, immediately. Foggy Ridge is bringing back old style cider from the colonial days. It is not super sweet like most of the ciders you find in the grocery store today. It is closer to sparkling wine than hard cider. I have had a few varieties from Foggy Ridge and they are all excellent. A perfect alternative to wine for Thanksgiving.

Apple Slab Pie

Crust
3 3/4 cups flour
1 1/2 tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp table salt
3 sticks unsalted butter, very cold
3/4 cup very cold water
1 egg for egg wash

Filling
4 pounds apples, peeled, cored and chopped into 1/2-inch chunks
Squeeze of lemon juice
3/4 cup sugar
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground allspice1/8 tsp table salt

Make the Crust

In the bowl of a food processor, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut the butter into 1/2 inch pieces and place in the bowl of the food processor. Pulse the mixture until the butter is mostly in pea sized pieces. Add the water and pulse for 15 seconds – until you have a loose mass of dough. Do not over mix.

Divide the dough in half, pat into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour minimum. You can make the dough a day ahead. You can freeze the dough for 1 month.

Make the Pie

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a 10x15x1 inch pan with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the chopped apples with lemon juice. Mix in the remaining filling ingredients.

Lightly flour a countertop surface. Roll out one of the dough halves into 18×13 inch rectangle. You can roll this out between sheets of floured parchment to make transfer easier. Roll the dough out quickly, do not let it warm up much. Transfer to the prepared pan and gently drape the dough into the corners. Trim the overhang of dough to 3/4 inch. (It is ok if it doesn’t reach the edges and you end up with a more freeform edge, don’t worry!)

Pour the apple mixture over the rolled out dough in the pan. Roll out the second half of dough into 16 x 11 inch rectangle. Drape this over the filling and fold the bottom dough over the edges, pinching to seal. Cut slits all over the top crust. Brush with egg wash.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the crust is golden brown.

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen.

Brown Sugar Cupcakes

This last month has been super crazy, filled with exciting travel, a fabulous wedding, and nonstop working between. And sports have been taking up a lot of my time…. the Kansas City Royals went to the World Series! In honor of the boys in blue, I made some Royals Cupcakes! Despite the heartbreaking loss in game 7, they made Kansas City proud and have renewed our faith in KC sports. Brown sugar smells like fall to me – cookies, oatmeal, winter cakes. This recipe is very simple and can easily be whipped up at the last minute for any of your fall events. I am so excited about the photography below as well. I took these pictures with my new Canon Rebel that my wonderful husband got me for my birthday!

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Continue reading

Compost Cookies

It seems like a lot of people at my job have been baking lately. There are a lot of cookies and bars laying around the workroom and people have really been judging me for not eating other people’s baked goods. I go to the gym almost every day and I am constantly in a swim suit on most of my few days off… I cannot just eat whatever baked goods are laying around. If I am going to eat a calorie laden treat, it is going to be the absolute best. And maybe I am being a little ostentatious about my own baking. But I will tell you that these compost cookies are better than any other cookie, maybe in the entire world. You do have to be a bit adventurous and you should appreciate them for what they are with their long list of random ingredients.

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Momofuku Milk Bar has blown our minds again, these cookies are insane!!! They are not even difficult to make. Which is a relief considering the Momofuku crack pie I made the other day did not turn out all that perfect. This recipe actually contains the remaining portion of the graham crust that we made for our Brownie Pie. The extra graham crust can be stored in the freezer for 1 month. So next time you are making dessert to take to a summer party… make the brownie pie. Then make the compost cookies and keep them all to yourself. I actually froze some of these compost cookies in their ball shape and baked them from the freezer, they were just as good! You will absolutely not regret eating these calories.

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Graham Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup milk powder
2 tbsp sugar
3/4 tsp kosher salt
4 tbsp butter, melted
1/4 cup heavy cream

Toss together the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the butter and cream. Use a fork to mix this into the dry ingredients.

Compost Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup light brown sugar
2 tbsp glucose (can substitute 1 tbsp corn syrup)
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp kosher salt
3/4 cup mini chocolate chips
1/2 cup mini butterscotch chips
1/4 recipe graham crust (85 g or 1/2 cup)
1/2 cup old fashioned rolled oats
2 1/2 tsp ground coffee
2 cups potato chips
1 cup mini pretzels

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set this aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter, sugars, and glucose. Cream together on medium-high for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add in the egg and vanilla. Beat for another 8 minutes.

Decrease speed to low and add in the flour mixture. Mix this just until combined, for less than 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

On low speed, mix in the chocolate chips, butter scotch chips, graham mixture, oats and coffee. Mix until just combined, less than 30 seconds. Add the potato chips and pretzels, mix for just 20 seconds more.

Use a 4 tbsp cookie scoop and portion the dough onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Flatten the balls of dough a little bit. Wrap with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 357 degrees. Arrange the chilled dough balls on parchment lined baking sheets, giving them plenty of space to expand. Bake for 18 minutes, rotating pans halfway through. The cookies should be just slightly brown around the edges when done.

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar.
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Momofuku Brownie Pie

When I got my hands on Momofuku Milk Bar , I could not wait to bake dessert! There are some special ingredients required for a number of the recipes. You should have all the ingredients for this brownie pie on hand. It is very rich and I actually cut up the leftover pie into 1 inch squares. The perfect texture of the brownie with the crunchy graham cracker crust is an addictive combination. This is so simple to make and you get to use a disposable tin pie dish, what’s easier than that? I have been working my way through Robicelli’s A Love Story with Cupcakes and it has been a truly fabulous journey. I needed to switch up my dessert style and this was just the book to do that. I often read cooking magazines or check out cookbooks from the library, and I mark the recipes I am interested in with post-its. Well, I would pretty much mark every page in Momofuku Milk Bar.

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This brownie pie is the perfect dessert to take to a 4th of July barbecue. Now below you are going to make two recipes, the filling and the graham crust. The brownie pie only uses 3/4 of the absolutely delicious graham crust. You could use this to sprinkle on ice cream or fresh fruit. But that leftover 1/4 recipe is actually the amount you need to make compost cookies. So save it in the freezer for when you make compost cookies, because if you don’t make compost cookies, you are an idiot. They are unbelievable cookies! You can actually make the graham crust ahead of time and form it in the pie tin and store the pre-made crust in the fridge. I hope by now you have all purchased a kitchen scale, it really is the best way to bake. It is actually less of a hassle than dirtying all those measuring cups and of course is more accurate. Almost all the baking books I pick up lately are in grams. I have had this American Weigh Pocket Scale for a few years now and it has not failed me! It uses AAA batteries and measures down to the tenth of a gram. It is really a great value for $18.

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Brownie Pie

3/4 recipe graham crust – 255 grams
125 g 72% chocolate (I used a combo of 60% and 80%)
6 tbsp butter
2 eggs
150 g sugar
40 g flour
25 g cocoa powder
2 g kosher salt
110 g heavy cream

Graham Crust

190 g graham cracker crumbs
20 g milk powder
25 g sugar
3 g kosher salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
55 grams heavy cream

Make the graham crust

Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt, together in a medium bowl. Whisk the butter and cream together. Pour the wet ingredients into the graham crumbs mixture. The butter will glue the crumbs together, you may need a little more to get it to hold its shape. Add 1 tbsp at a time.

Make the brownie pie

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Measure out 210 grams of graham crust into a 9 inch pie tin. Press the crust into the pie tin, covering the bottom and sides completely.

In a microwave safe bowl, mix together the chocolate and butter. Heat on 50% power for 30 seconds at a time until they are melted. Stir with a spatula until glossy.

In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the eggs and the sugar on high for 4 minutes. The mixture will be fluffy and pale, in the ribbon stage.

Switch out for the paddle attachment. Add the chocolate mixture into the eggs and mix on low. Increase the speed to medium and beat for 1 minute, until all mixed in.

Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt, paddle on low for 1 minute. Stream in the cream on low speed, mix for 45 seconds.

Remove the bowl and gently fold in the 45 grams of graham crust.

Place the pie tin with graham crust on a sheet pan. Scrap the batter into the pie tin. bake for 25 minutes. It will puff up in the oven.

You will likely not have any leftovers, but if you do, store them in the fridge.

Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar