Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Fresh Fruit Tart

I don't know why but I just love the idea of summer and sun and all things hot...

Ya with two little girls around here you know we have Frozen memorized. Ty was desperately trying to convince me that we should make a video rocking out to "Love is an Open Door" But alas... these two beat us to it... Next time Ty... next time. ;)

Once it warms up we love have lazy Saturday afternoons at the local farmers market. And let me tell you... Tyson is all about those fresh raspberries. Fresh fruit is one of my favorite things about the summer months and seeing how we feel the need to coat everything in sugar around here.... we had to whip up a fruit tart.

Fresh Fruit Tart
Recipes from: Paula Dean, Brown Eyed Baker, and I Knead to Bake

1/2 c. powdered sugar
12 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 1/2 c. flour

Pastry Cream
2 c. half-and-half
1/2 c. sugar, divided
1/8 tsp. salt
5 egg yolks
3 Tbsp cornstarch
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, cold
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

2 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1/2 lemon
1/4 c. water
2 Tbsp sugar

Fruit Topping
Any assortment of: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, kiwi, raspberries, etc.

Directions: Begin by making the glaze. Heat your water, sugar, lemon juice, and honey on the stove until simmering. Allow to simmer about 7-10 minutes, stirring occasionally throughout. Place hot glaze in a small bowl to be set aside and allow to cool.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Next make the dough for the crust by adding all the ingredients into a food processor and process until mixture forms a ball. Press the dough into a 12 inch tart pan with a removable center, working the dough evenly through the pan and up the sides. Bake about 10-12 or until lightly golden brown. Set aside.

For the pastry cream begin by heating the half-and-half, 6 tablespoons of sugar, and the salt in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. Stir occasionally to ensure the sugar dissolves and continue to heat until the mixture has reached a simmer.

In the meantime, place egg yolks in a medium bowl and whisk until combined. Whisk in the 2 remaining tablespoons of sugar and continue whisking for about 15 seconds or until sugar is dissolved.  Finally add the cornstarch and continue to whisk for about 30 seconds.

Once the half-and-half mixture has begun simmering, slowly add to the yolk mixture, being sure to whisk constantly, allowing the yolks to temper. After combined, return to the saucepan and bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Whisk continually until a few bubbles reach the surface and the cream has visibly thickened. Immediately remove from heat and whisk in the butter and vanilla. Strain pastry cream through a fine mesh strainer into a bowl. Press plastic wrap gently over the surface and refrigerate until cold and set, this should take a few hours.

Once all of your components have had time to cool you are ready to assemble your tart. Fill the crust with the pastry cream and arrange desired fruit on top. Brush the fruit with lemon-honey glaze and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars

You know its a good day when you get home from an exhausting grocery trip and find these gooey treats fresh out of the oven, just waiting to be eaten. Okay but seriously grocery shopping is the worst.

These however are not the worst.

In fact they are pretty dang good. I may or may not have eaten an entire row from the pan... by myself... in one sitting. It was one of those kinds of days. Gotta love when Ty gets a sugar craving and I'm the beneficiary.

Oatmeal Peanut Butter Bars
Adapted from: Baking Blonde

1 c. melted butter
1 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
2 1/4 c. old fashioned rolled oats
1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c. peanut butter
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips

 Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9x13 inch pan.

In a mixing bowl combine butter, sugar, baking soda, oats, flour, and salt. Mixture will be crumbly.
Reserve 1 c. of the mixture and set aside. Press the remaining oatmeal mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes.

In a small bowl combine peanut butter and sweetened condensed milk. Gently spread over baked crust. Sprinkle the reserved oatmeal mixture over the top and bake for 15 minutes.

Immediately after removing from the oven, evenly sprinkle with chocolate chips and place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Using a rubber spatula spread the chocolate out evenly coating the top of the peanut butter bars.

**These bad boys are way messy if you cut into them before they completely cool.... but if you ask me, its totally worth the mess.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

This is the story of how Tyson came home to a disastrous house and homemade brownies.

Seriously since adding another girly to the mix I feel like I can only focus on about one thing a day. If I decide to make bread, Monkey-girl and Sis are both still sporting their jammies at about noon (Exhibit A). Or if I get ambitious and take the girls to the park my house is likely in shambles. This day was one of those. The house looked baaad. But on the upside... homemade brownies. ;)

Tyson does so much around here so we decided to do something little to let our favorite guy know how much we love and adore him. ...And if there is one thing I have learned so far from marriage, its that food is the quickest way to Tyson's heart.

These are our all-time favorite brownies.

And they have the calories to prove it.

Normally I like to frost them up with some chocolate buttercream frosting and maybe some sprinkles, but I had some leftover raspberry frosting in the fridge.. so convenience won out.

Also we love these even better the next day. They seem to be extra dense and rich after a good 24 hours. And on a totally separate note have you ever tried brownies frozen?? LOVE. Freeze them whole and then cut them into delicate little slivers and you will die and go to brownie heaven. Promise.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies
Recipe from: Good Life Eats

12 Tbsp butter
1 1/2 c. sugar
2/3 c. cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla
3 large eggs
1 c. flour

Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8x8 square baking pan (or equivalent) with baking spray. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl lightly beat eggs. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt butter over medium heat. While stirring, add sugar and extract. Continue stirring until just incorporated. Remove from heat.  Next whisk in cocoa powder. Slowly add chocolate mixture to the eggs and continue whisking until combined. Finally stir in the flour being careful not to beat.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.

Cool completely and frost if desired. (Our favorite is with chocolate buttercream!)

Friday, February 28, 2014

Everything Brioche Burger Buns

Don't I have just the cutest baking assistant ever?? Each time this little monkey would toss an ingredient in the mixer she would announce, "I did it! I did it!"

And she sure didn't mind helping herself to a little taste here and there.

Homemade burger buns have been on my list of things to try for a few months now and they sure didn't disappoint! I don't think we will ever be able to go back now!

Everything Brioche Burger Buns
Adapted slightly from: Annie's Eats
Yield: 8 Buns

3 Tbsp milk
1 c. warm water
2 tsp yeast
2 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
3 1/3 c. flour
2 1/2 Tbsp butter, softened

For topping:
1 egg
1 Tbsp water
sesame seeds
poppy seeds
dried minced onion

Directions: Begin by heating the milk in the microwave on high for about 25 seconds. Add warm milk, warm water, yeast, and sugar to a mixing bowl and combine. Set aside for 5-10 minutes or until beginning to foam.

Add salt and egg to yeast mixture and mix until combine. Slowly add the flour about a cup at a time. Once all the flour is incorporated knead with a dough hook for about 6 minutes. The dough will be pretty sticky. Transfer to a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside until doubled in size. (1-2 hours.)

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Divide dough into 8 equal parts and gently form each into a ball and place on prepared baking sheet. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. Allow dough to rise again until doubled in size - about an hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine egg and water in a small bowl. Carefully brush the top of each bun with the egg wash. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, poppy seeds, and dried minced onion. Bake for 15 minutes flipping half-way though baking.

Transfer to a rack and allow buns to completely cool before slicing.

(We love to toast ours a little in the oven before using.)
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