a reason to eat caramel, baking, baking while baked, brown eyed baker, candy bar pie, caramel anything

Take 5 Candy Bar Pie

It’s candy AND it’s pie?

GTFO.

Actually, it shouldn’t be much of a shock considering that Momofuku Milk Bar does it’s own naughy nougaty version of Candy Bar Pie (see the picture above from Serious Eats) and there are various recipes for pies out there naming themselves after popular candy bars. And, because I’ll make anything as an excuse to eat a pint of caramel, coming across a Brown Eyed Baker recipe for a Take 5 Candy Bar pie, was an easy temptation.

I didn’t even know what a Take 5 bar consisted of until I read the recipe and then found myself thinking, “Fuck. I need to stop doing this to myself.” But chocolate, pretzels, caramel, pecans and peanut butter all in one pie is pretty hard to resist.  So, I quickly ignored my inner thoughts and threw together the richest pie I do believe I have ever baked–or, rather, chilled. That’s right, we now have something to rival Crack Pie.

One change to the recipe is that I used toasted pecans instead of the peanuts that are called for in the recipe because I had them on hand.

For the Pretzel Crust:
4 ounces pretzel sticks, finely ground in a food processor or blender
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the Caramel Sauce:
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup water
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
¾ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed

For the Pie:
½ cup creamy peanut butter, melted
1/3 cup prepared caramel sauce
¼ cup coarsely chopped peanuts
10 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted

1. Make the Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together the ground pretzels, melted butter, and sugar. Press the mixture firmly into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and chill in the refrigerator until firm, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, Make the Caramel Sauce. Whisk the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium-size heavy saucepan until well combined. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook the sugar mixture, without stirring, until it becomes a rich caramel color, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in the cream until the caramel sauce is smooth, using caution as the mixture may bubble up. (If the sauce seizes, stir it over low heat until the hardened caramel is melted.) Whisk in the butter and set aside.

3. Assemble the Pie: Smooth the warmed peanut butter evenly over the bottom of the pretzel crust. Refrigerate for 10 minutes. Pour the caramel sauce over the peanut butter layer and gently spread with the back of a spoon. Sprinkle the chopped peanuts over the caramel layer. Refrigerate for another 10 minutes. Finish with a smooth layer of melted chocolate. Refrigerate the pie until the chocolate is firm, about 30 minutes. Pie can then remain at room temperature until serving. If you have leftovers, cover with plastic wrap and keep at room temperature or in the refrigerator.


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baking, baking while baked, getting to like foods, mallow cookies, mallows, marshmallows

Warming Up To Marshmallows

I was in the middle of making a batch of Mallow cookies when the realization kind of hit me.

I no longer loathe marshmallows.

For many, this wouldn’t be quite a significant moment. For me, it actually was.

Marshmallows and I had an understanding, you see. I would tolerate them enough to let them swim around in, and thicken up, my Swiss Miss but, otherwise, I didn’t want to see their weird cork shaped bodies. Peeps were given away, out of disgust, at Easter time and Fluffernutters were just not a part of my childhood. Rocky Road was never as appealing as Mint Chocolate Chip in the summer. I was so ambivalent about them that I would even wrinkle my nose at a perfectly toasted campfire marshmallow on a stick. My first S’mores, to my recollection, was had just a few years ago when my sister and nephews came to visit.

My aversion was always a combination of flavor (too sugary) and texture (too spongy). Outside of creating a sugar raft in my hot chocolate their only other purpose, I thought, was to bind together a batch of Rice Krispie treats. They were the bastard, underdeveloped cousin to my beloved nougat and I avoided them, or anything with them, whenever I could.

Then, sometime over the past 8 1/2 years of living in Maine, I stopped detesting them so much (That is not to say that I have openly accepted Peeps into my life, though, because I haven’t. That is one sugary confection I don’t quite get). I can’t quite say that I ever imagined that I would embrace them, let alone be standing in the kitchen pouring boiling, gelatinous simple syrup into a bowl of whipped egg whites. But, there’s something slightly satisfying when you realize that you’ve grown into liking foods that you had such a loathing of when you were younger.

So, here is to the marshmallow and our new understanding of one another.

Mallows (Chocolate Covered Marshmallow Cookies)

For the Cookies:
3 cups (375grams/13.23oz) all purpose flour
1/2 cup (112.5grams/3.97oz) white sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/8 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons (170grams/ 6 oz) unsalted butter
3 eggs, whisked together

For the marshmallows:
1/4 cup (60ml) water
1/4 cup (60ml) light corn syrup
3/4 cup (170 grams) sugar
1 tablespoon powdered gelatin
2 tablespoons cold water
2 egg whites, room temperature
1 whole vanilla bean, split open and seeded

For the chocolate glaze:
12 ounces semisweet chocolate
2 ounces cocoa butter or vegetable oil

Prepare the cookies:
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients. On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy. Add the eggs and mix until combine. Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm or parchment and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days. When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a 1 to 1 1/2 inches cookie cutter to cut out small rounds of dough. Transfer to the prepared pan and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Let cool to room temperature.

Prepare the marshmallows:
In a medium saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and sugar, bring to a boil until “soft-ball” stage, or 235 degrees on a candy thermometer. Sprinkle the gelatin over the cold water and let dissolve. Remove the syrup from the heat, add the gelatin, and mix. Whip the whites until soft peaks form and pour the syrup into the whites. Add the vanilla seeds and continue whipping until stiff. Transfer to a pastry bag.

Prepare the chocolate glaze:
Melt the chocolate and shortening together in the top of a double boiler or a bowl set over barely simmering water.

To assemble:
Pipe a “kiss” of marshmallow onto each cookie. Let set at room temperature for 2 hours. Line a cookie sheet with parchment or silicon mat. One at a time, gently drop the marshmallow-topped cookies into the warm chocolate glaze. Lift out with a fork and let excess chocolate drip back into the bowl. Place on the prepared pan and let set at room temperature until the coating is firm, about 1 to 2 hours.

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baking, baking while baked, holiday cookies, holidays, momofuku, momofuku milk bar recipes, sugar highs

Mother F**king Holiday Cookies

I’m in the thick of it now–holiday madness at work. On my days off this week I’ve baked approximately 15 dozen cookies to give to friends and coworkers. I’m burnt out and reeling from a pretty fucking big sugar crash. So, without breaking out the hyperbole… I’ll just give you some holiday cookie recipes.


(from the bottom, up)

Momofuku Marshmallow, Cornflake and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Peppermint Cookies (adding peppermint candy and chocolate chips to the mix)
Peanut Butter and Bacon Cookies

Pecan Caramel Cookies

Triple Chocolate Chunk Cookies



Momofuku Milk Bar Compost Cookies
(I used left over Cornflake Crunch from the Marshmallow cookie, cocoa nibs, pretzels, dark chocolate chips and marshmallows)

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Accidental Peanut Butter Cookies

I had half scribbled notes on a scrap piece of paper. Not a full recipe. Didn’t even know how much peanut butter was suppose to go it. Honestly, I wasn’t sure about these until they cooled off and were ready to be eaten. Peanut Butter Meringues are what they really are, definitely far from the average peanut butter cookie of my youth. Whatever they are, they were fantastic.

Accidental Flourless Peanut Butter Cookies

1 Egg White

1 cup Sugar

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

1 cup Chunky Peanut Butter

Preheat oven to 350.

Beat egg white to stiff peak.

Beat in sugar and vanilla.

Fold in peanut butter–streaks of it are ok. The overall batter consistency will be of peanut butter stirred into Fluff.

Dollop heaping tablespoon on to parchment lined baking pan

Bake 15-20 minutes.

Cool on rack.

I doubled the recipe and actually used about 1/4 cp of batter for each cookie. I loved how they puffed up a bit and then collapsed, creating these crunchy pockets in the cookie that exposed small pools of whole swirls of peanut butter. Definitely great with a cup of dark roast coffee.

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Medical Edibles

In the spirit of 4/20, and to coincide with the announced proposal from Rep. Diane Russell of Portland to decriminalize and tax marijuana in the state, here are a few smokey recipes. God knows, if a head can put weed in it, they will.

Butter: Everyone has their own variation–some cooking for >8 hours and some no more than 2. This is just one out there on the interwebs.

Makes 3 cups of pot butter.

Ingredients:

§ 3 ounces of trim

§ 2 pounds of butter

n.b. when you cook it you will probably lose a cup of butter, making your average-

1 cup of butter: 1 ounce of trim once cooked.

1- Melt butter in a microwave safe bowl for 4 minutes.

2- Add trim to a slow cooker and set on low heat.

3- Add melted butter to the slow cooker and stir.

4- Let it sit on low heat for a minimum of 6 hours, maximum 10, but keep in mind if you burn the butter, your treats will taste awful!

5- Using a strainer with tiny holes or a cheesecloth, filter out the trim.

6- Keep in the fridge for no more than one week or the butter will turn.

Rice Creeper Treats


3 tablespoons pot-butter*
1 (10 ounce) bag regular marshmallows
6 cups crisp rice cereal

Directions:
1)
Melt the butter in a large sauce pan over low heat.
2) Add marshmallows and mix until completely melted and then remove from heat.
3) Immediately add the cereal and stir until coated.
4) Press the mixture into a greased 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan.
6) Chill. Cut into 2-inch squares when cool.
7) “Enjoy my friends…enjoy.”

Rasta Pasta

12 oz Fettuccine
3/4 cup CannaButter
1 cup green peas
1 can button mushroom pieces
1 can portobello mushroom pieces
1 cup roasted red peppers
2 Clove chopped garlic
2 cups light cream (or 1/2&1/2)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp pepper
Salt to taste

1-Cook Fettuccine (drain, cover set aside)
2-In a large skillet melt cannabutter over medium heat
3-Add garlic saute 1-2 minutes
4-Stir in 3/4 cup cream
5-stir constantly over medium heat 2-3 minutes
6-add fettuccine, red peppers and mushrooms to skillet
7-stir in remaining cream, cheese, pepper and salt

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Millionaire’s Folly

We are the crafter and the cook. The Missus, when she isn’t working or being a full time library student, crafts. And she’s damn good at it. In fact, the desk that I write this at was made by her out of a reclaimed door. Our coffee table? That’s our old wooden futon frame. She’s made me a gorgeous knife roll and apron. Every month, well since her subscription ran out, I buy her a copy of Ready Made magazine. Occasionally, I’ll glance over an issue for things I want to harass her into making or to see what recipes they have that month, but usually I don’t pick it up. This month, however, I made quick work of my magazines and moved on to hers and, for the first time, I actually decided to make something from it’s pages.

The recipe, which I am apparently too unfocused to type out on my own, is from Claire Burnet of Chococo in the Uk. Essentially this is a recipe for ‘Millionaire’s Shortbread.’ While many called for the use of corn syrup and/or sweetened condensed milk, this one had you making the caramel center from scratch. Simple enough, as I’ve made caramel many times over the past few years. I’ve also done a bit of experimenting with tempering chocolate and shortbread is a cinch. Easy enough, right?

Oh, how wrong I was.

My first indication should have been my lack of looking over the recipe and realizing how much inactive prep time I would have as the shortbread rested, baked and cooled. Three hours right there, so it wasn’t the best of ideas to start this project at 8 o’clock at night.


Then there was the time to make and cool the caramel. Another hour or so, pushing things well past midnight before I finished the second step. Exactly what I wanted after a full day of work, right? Well, apparently I didn’t let it set long enough because when I poured the chocolate, the caramel started to run down and around the edges of the shortbread. It was a horrible sticky mess at the time.


But, then there was also the complete lack of realization that I had purchased unsweetened baking chocolate and not 70% dark–something I did not discover until I popped a piece in my mouth to snack on, only to spit it out instantly upon discovering what I was really eating. I made a desperate move and stirred in a bit of Icelandic milk chocolate and sugar to make it edible. Thankfully, the texture on the finished product wasn’t as grainy as I had feared.


One bright note was that I did actually have sea salt on hand, a gift from one of the Missus relatives who is studying overseas.


The end product wasn’t overly terrible. The flavors were good and, for the most part, the textures what I had hoped for, though the caramel was still a little loose even after sitting overnight. The whole thing was very reminiscent of a recipe I’ve made before and the much blogged Saveur Chocolate Caramel Tart. I’m sure this is a much better recipe than what I ended up with and is suited for those that pay much more attention than I did.

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Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake

I have to say, I haven’t been cooking much of late. The past month has flown by between looking at new apartments(we found an amazing one on the border between the Old Port and the West End), celebrating our birthday’s and our work schedules. I feel like we’ve gotten take out more in the past month than the first 5 of the year. So, to force myself into the kitchen for a little while..and to make us a celebratory cake for scoring an unbelievable apartment(a chef’s stove! a dishwasher!), I found a painless cheesecake recipe online and went to task.

I took the recipe from Epicurious.com, made some adjustments(omitted the topping;used vanilla bean instead of nutmeg; used pecans instead of hazelnuts and 365 Lemon wafer cookies from WF’s instead of chocolate cookies; Fage Yogurt instead of sour cream):

Chocolate-Swirl Cheesecake

by Basha F. Gelman: Mountain View, California


Crust

  • 7 ounces chocolate cookie wafers (about 27 cookies)
  • 1/2 cup husked toasted hazelnuts (about 2 1/2 ounces)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 1 6-ounce package semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel

Chocolate Swirl Cheesecake on Foodista

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