Maple Pecan Pie Squares

This makes a fantastic dessert to share in potlucks and gatherings.

Ingredients
For the crust
1 cup unsalted butter, to room temperature (2 sticks)
2/3 cup sugar
2 2/3 cup flour
1/4 tea spoon salt

For the filling
1/2 cup salted butter (1 stick)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 table spoon milk (or cream)
2 cups halved pecans

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F. Line a 9 x 13 baking dish with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray. Use a paper towel to spread on any missed spots and remove the excess.
foil

2. In a mixer or food processor, cream together the sugar and butter.
crust1

3. Add the flour and salt. Mix on low speed.
crust2

4. You want to have pea-sized chunks of butter. crust3

5. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and press down into an even layer. Bake for 20 minutes.
crust4

6. While the crust is baking, combine the butter, maple syrup, brown sugar and milk into a sauce pot. Allow to simmer for 1 minute.
filling1

7. Stir in the pecans.
filling2

8. Remove the crust from the oven. it should barely be starting to get golden.
crust-cooked

9. Pour the hot filling unto the hot crust and spread the pecan as evenly as possible. Return to the oven for 12-18 minutes. It’s best not to overcook, the filling will thicken and set as it cools.
pour

10. Allow to cool fully.
cook

11. remove from the dish using the aluminum foil sling. Discard the foil.
remove

12. Cut into small squares and eat.
cut

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Fudgy Brownie

The type of brownies you dream about. The ones you hope show up at the potluck because you want to stuff all of them in your face. Also the ones you have to plan to have a sharing option because you will eat the entire pan by yourself otherwise.

The recipe also works gloriously well in a gluten-free option, just swap the flour one for one with your gluten-free all purpose mic (no adding xantham or guar gum). The first time I tasted those they were done with quinoa flour and I am immensely sad that quinoa flour went up in price. It added a little something that I miss.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup butter (3 sticks)
1 1/4 cup cocoa, sifted
2 3/4 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon salt
5 eggs
2 tea spoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cup flour
1 cup good dark chocolate
ingredients

***

1. Line a 9×13 baking mold with aluminum foil. Spray with Pam (or grease with butter) and set aside. Pre-heat the oven to 325F.
pan

2. In a medium to large pot, melt the butter.
butter

3. Once the butter is melted, turn the heat off. Add the cocoa.
cocoa

4. Whisk until smooth.
cocoa2

5. Add the sugar and the salt.
sugar

6. Whisk together. It will turn into a gritty mess. Don’t panic. If it’s still hot, set aside. You need it warm, not hot,
sugar2

7. Add two eggs and whisk them in.
eggs

8. It should smooth out as soon as the eggs get incorporated. Add the remaining 3 eggs and whisk well.
eggs2

9. Add the vanilla extract. The batter should be smooth and shiny by now.
vanilla

10. Sprinkle the flour on top.
flour

11. Switch to a spatula and fold the flour in until just incorporated.
folded

12. Add the dark chocolate and mix until distributed.
chocolate

13. Transfer to the prepared foil lined pan. Bake for 35 minutes.
pour

14. Remove from the oven and let cool fully in the pan, on a cooling rack. This will take a minimum of 3 hours.
cool

15. Once cooled, turn over on a cutting board, using the foil sling to help things along.
turn

16. Cut into small squares.
cut

17. Serve room temperature. Can keep 3 days or so in a sealed container. If you have sufficient will power.
brownies

Chocolate Chips Pancakes

The thick and fluffy kind. Good warm, good cold as left overs. Filling and not too sweet.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup flour
2 table spoon sugar
1 table spoon baking powder
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 1/4 cup whole milk
1 egg
1 tea spoon vanilla extract
semi-sweet chocolate chips, to taste
butter, for the pan
ingredients

***

1. Combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Whisk well (baking powder taste horrible and you don’t want a bite of it).
dry

2. Combine the milk, egg, and vanilla. Whisk with a fork to break the egg.
wet

3. Add to the dry ingredients and whisk until combined, but still lumpy.
mix

4. Melt butter in a large pan on medium-low heat. Scoop out 1/4 cup of batter per pancake.
scoop

5. Add the chocolate chips.
chocolate

6. Once the edges look solid (2 minutes or so) flip and cook the other side. Set aside and repeat until you run out of batter.
cook

7. Serve and enjoy! (maple Syrup is optional)
serve

Chai Masala Macarons

Because I had a day off and wanted a project. Chai Masala Macarons, with garam masala spices in the cookies and salted caramel as the filling. You get a punch of black pepper to offset the sweetness and the other spices round it up.

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup heavy cream
85g butter, in small cubes
1/2 tea spoon fleur de sel
140g egg whites
90g sugar, two times
160g almond powder
160g icing sugar
1 tea spoon garam masala
gel food coloring
ingredients

***

1. In a large, thick bottom pot, combine the sugar and water. Try to avoid the sugar getting on the sides.
sugar1

2. Turn the heat on medium and let the sugar bubble away. Gently swirl the pan if needed, but leave it mostly alone. It will bubble up and thicken.
sugar2

3. Then it will go from light yellow to amber to copper. The second it reaches copper, remove from the heat.
sugar3

4. Drop in the butter and whisk it in. The sugar will foam and bubble up. Add the cream and whisk it in. Stir in the fleur de sel. Transfer to a heat proof vessel and set aside to cool.
caramel

5. Measure out the rest of the ingredients.
prep

6. For the spices, you want to grind them finely.
spices1

7. But remove the cardamom pods.
spices2

8. In a food processor, combine the almond powder, icing sugar, and spices.
dry1

9. Pulse until blended. Set aside.
dry2

10. In a stand mixer with the whisk attachment, pour the egg whites.
egg1

11. On low speed, beat until foamy. Add the first 90g of sugar. Increase the speed and beat for a further 2 minutes.
egg2

12. When it gets shiny and more opaque, add the remaining sugar. Increase the speed again and beat for an other minute or two.
egg3

13. Add the food coloring of your choice (I used yellow).
egg4

14. Beat until stiff peaks form. Remove from mixer.
egg5

15. Add the dry ingredients to the bowl.
combine1

16. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients into the eggs.
combine2

17. Keep folding, from the outside in and going underneath the mixture until it becomes more supple, and ribbons slowly, slowly meld back into the mass.
combine3

18. Transfer to a piping bag. If you have someone to help you have them hold the bag. if not, a mason jar will do.
piping

19. Pipe cookies of about equal sizes on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bang tray on the counter top a few times to let air bubbles out. Set aside so the outer shell dries (about 15-30 minutes)
bang

20. Heat the oven to 290F. Bake the shells 15 minutes.
cookies1

21. Allow to cool fully on a cooling rack. Then smear one cookie with caramel and sandwich with another. Transfer, uncovered, to the fridge for 24h. Cookies will keep, covered, for about a week.
assemble

 

Blueberry Rhubarb Pie

Strawberries were not quite out when I started tinkering with this. This is the edited version, as the test version came out a bit too sweet and too heavy on the cardamom.

Ingredients
1 pie dough recipe
8 stalks of rhubarb
4 cups blueberries
1 cup sugar
2 green cardamom pods
1/2 tea spoon vanilla seeds
2 table spoon cornstarch
2 table spoon instant tapioca
pinch of salt
zest of a lime and half the juice
egg and coarse sugar, for the top
ingredients

***

1. Roll the bottom disk of the dough and line a pie plate. Put in the fridge so it stays cold.
bottom

2. Slice the rhubarb stalk lengthwise into halves or thirds depending on the stalk then dice finely and transfer to a large mixing bowl.
rhubarb

3. Add the blueberries to the bowl.
blueberries

4. Add the sugar.
spices

5. Grind the cardamom pods. Discard the husks.
cardamom

6. Add the cardamom and the vanilla to the blueberries and rhubarb.
spices

7. Add the cornstarch, the tapioca, and the salt.
starches

8. Stir gently to coat evenly. then put in the fridge for later.
stir

9. Roll out the top of the pie in a squarish shape. Cut into 8 strips.
roll-top

10. Retrieve the pie and filling from the fridge. Pour the filling into the pie shell.
filling

11. Put 4 strips of dough horizontally across the pie.
strips

12. Fold the top and middle strip of dough from the right toward the middle and add a vertical strip. Unfold the dough. Fold the other two bands and add the second band. Unfold and repeat on the left side (starting with the middle and bottom strips). Put the whole thing back in the fridge for 20 minutes for the dough to firm up.
lattice

13.Pre-heat the oven to 375F

Beat an egg in a small bowl and brush the strips with the eggwash. Sprinkle coarse sugar.

Put the pie on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. The juices will bubble up and spill and you don’t want them on the bottom of the oven.
eggwash

14. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The spilled juices are awesome over ice cream.
juices

15. Allow to cool fully.
baked-pie

16. Slice and serve.
cut-pie

 

Mini pies

Perfectly cute one bite mini pies. Would probably work with any fruit preserve. Dangerously easy to just eat the whole tray.

Ingredients
1/2 pie dough recipe.
1/2 pint pear butter
Flour
Pam or other non-stick spray

ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375F.
Roll out the dough until fairly thin.
dough

2. Spray the mini-muffin tin. Cut the dough roughly into squares or rectangle and push into the tin, making sure it’s all the way at the bottom”
dough2

3. Spoon in the pear butter.
fill

4. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
cook

5. Remove from the muffin tin with a chopstick and allow to cool.
Enjoy!
eat

Baked cider doughnuts

Tiny bites, perfect with tea or coffee or just to eat by the handful. Slightly modified from the recipe found here.

Next time I make them I might add a shredded Granny Smith apple to the dough.

Ingredients:
1 1/2 cup apple cider
2 cups flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 tea spoon baking soda
1 tea spoon baking powder
1 tea spoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tea spoon salt
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
2 table spoon melted butter
1 tea spoon vanilla extract

For the glaze:
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tea spoon cinnamon (or more, to taste)
4 table spoon melted butter
ingredients

***

1. Pre-heat the oven to 350F
Pour the apple cider in a pot and boil for 15-20 minutes until reduced and syrupy.
reduced

2. Meanwhile, combine all of the dry ingredients.
dry

3. Whisk the wet ingredients in with the reduced apple cider.
wet

4. Combine the wet into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. If you over-reduced the apple cider, add some more until the batter is loose enough that no more dry flour remains.
combine

5. Spoon into a non-stick mini-muffin pan (or spray the thing with something like Pam). Or use a doughnut pan if you own one.

Put in the oven for 15 minutes.
spoon

6. In the meantime, melt the butter for the glaze. In a large shallow plate (pie dish, here) combine the sugar and cinnamon.
dusting

7. Remove the warm little doughnuts from the pan (they should just fall out).
baked

8. Using a pastry brush, brush some melted butter on each doughnut. Dust with the cinnamon sugar (or roll it in the sugar for a thicker glaze) then allow to cool fully.

Yields 48 mini doughnuts. Enjoy!
dust