Flourless Chocolate Cookies

If you’re looking for cookies that taste like straight chocolate but have a much creamier texture than biting a candy bar, today is your lucky day! These cookies are chocolate filled chocolate, and they’re fantastic. Just keep in mind, when you want them, that you have to prepare the dough the day before – this’ll be a heartbreaker if you haven’t planned ahead!

IMG_4088Ingredients:

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs
It's been a long time since I took a picture of all the ingredients, but I was amused/happy to see that my mom had at least 3 of those giant bags of chocolate!

It’s been a long time since I took a picture of all the ingredients, but I was amused/happy to see that my mom had at least 3 of those giant bags of chocolate!

In the top of a double boiler, carefully melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips.

IMG_4074While the chocolate melts, melt the butter in a small dish in your microwave. Once the chocolate is entirely melted, turn off the stove and stir the butter into the melted chocolate.

IMG_4075Leave the bowl with the chocolate/butter mixture over the hot water, with the stove turned off.

IMG_4076In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the eggs.

IMG_4077Slowly whisk in the melted chocolate mixture.

IMG_4079Fold in the remaining chocolate chips. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap down on the surface of the batter. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough into roughly 2 tablespoon-sized balls, and place at least 2 inches apart on the lined sheets. Even after chilling, this was a really messy step!

IMG_4083Bake 1 sheet at a time on your oven’s middle rack for about 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Take them out when the dough has begun to crack around the edges, but still looks soft in the center.

IMG_4086Let set at least 5 minutes before eating. After 5 minutes, they’ll still be prone to flopping and falling apart, but still edible. After several hours, they’ll be firm enough to pick up and have them stay in one piece. …assuming they make it several hours without disappearing!

IMG_4087

Flourless Chocolate Cookies

Adapted from the StarTribune.

  • 2 cups dark chocolate chips, divided
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 eggs

In the top of a double boiler, carefully melt 1 1/2 cups of the chocolate chips. While the chocolate melts, melt the butter in a small dish in your microwave. Once the chocolate is entirely melted, turn off the stove and stir the butter into the melted chocolate. Leave the bowl with the chocolate/butter mixture over the hot water, with the stove turned off.

In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt. Whisk in the eggs, then slowly whisk in the melted chocolate mixture. Fold in the remaining chocolate chips. Cover the batter with plastic wrap, pressing the plastic wrap down on the surface of the batter. Refrigerate overnight.

The next day, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment. Scoop the dough into roughly 2 tablespoon-sized balls, and place at least 2 inches apart on the lined sheets.

Bake 1 sheet at a time on your oven’s middle rack for about 8 minutes, rotating halfway through. Take them out when the dough has begun to crack around the edges, but still looks soft in the center. Let set at least 5 minutes before eating.

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Chicken Parmesan Calzones

For a while now I’ve been going every week to a potluck/Battlestar Galactica watching night. Most weeks, at least one person asks what they should bring, I suggest a chicken parm calzone, and the suggestion is ignored or assumed to be a joke or something. Eventually, I decided to take matters into my own hands.

IMG_4061Ingredients:

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for cooking the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 chicken breast tenderloins (the thin sliced ones)
  • 1 cup pasta sauce (I like a cheesy one)
  • 2 eggs
  • Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 4-5 slices provolone cheese, from the deli counter
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded parmesan, for sprinkling

To prepare the dough, first dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil and salt, and then gradually stir in the flour. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, roll to lightly grease on all sides, then cover, and let rise 40 minutes or until almost doubled.

IMG_4052While the dough rises, you can prepare the chicken. Lightly beat the eggs together in a small bowl, and pour some of the bread crumbs into a plate. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan on the stove. Dip the pieces of chicken into the eggs, then cover thoroughly with the bread crumbs, then lay each in the pan, only covering as many at a time as fit in the pan. Cook until the bread crumbs are golden, then flip. Cook until the other side is done as well, then remove to a plate and cook the rest of the chicken.

IMG_4054When the dough has finished rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, and roll each out into a circle.

I continue to be terrible at circles. Um, and if anyone has thoughts on what I should do with those leeks, I'm listening!

I continue to be terrible at circles. Um, and if anyone has thoughts on what I should do with those leeks, I’m listening!

Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce on each of the dough circles, leaving a 1/2″ clear around the edges. Place three pieces of cooked chicken on each of the pieces of dough, on one side, then spread the remaining sauce on the chicken.

IMG_4056Cover the chicken with the provolone, then the mozzarella.

IMG_4057Fold the dough over, and press the edges firmly to seal. Transfer carefully to the baking sheet.

IMG_4058Brush some of the remaining egg over the top of each, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cut small air vents in the top of each calzone.

IMG_4060Bake 30 minutes until browned.

IMG_4062

Some cheese leak-age on one of ‘em.

There was a ton of food at last week’s BSG night, but most of the calzones managed to disappear, so I think they were a success! It’s only now that I’m looking at the name of the recipe, and the amount of parmesan cheese used, and going “hmmm….”

This wasn't even everything!

This wasn’t even everything!

Chicken Parmesan Calzone

  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil + more for cooking the chicken
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 chicken breast tenderlions
  • 1 cup pasta sauce (I like a cheesy one)
  • 2 eggs
  • Italian flavored bread crumbs
  • 4-5 slices provolone cheese
  • 2/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • shredded parmesan, for sprinkling

To prepare the dough, first dissolve the yeast and sugar in the water and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the tablespoon of oil and salt, and then gradually stir in the flour. Knead until smooth. Place in a greased bowl, roll to lightly grease on all sides, then cover, and let rise 40 minutes or until almost doubled.

While the dough rises, you can prepare the chicken. Lightly beat the eggs together in a small bowl, and pour some of the bread crumbs into a plate. Heat a bit of olive oil in a pan on the stove. Dip the pieces of chicken into the eggs, then cover thoroughly with the bread crumbs, then lay each in the pan, only covering as many at a time as fit in the pan. Cook until the bread crumbs are golden, then flip. Cook until the other side is done as well, then remove to a plate and cook the rest of the chicken.

When the dough has finished rising, preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment. Divide the dough into 2 equal portions, and roll each out into a circle. Spread about 1/4 cup of the pasta sauce on each of the dough circles, leaving a 1/2″ clear around the edges. Place three pieces of cooked chicken on each of the pieces of dough, on one side, then spread the remaining sauce on the chicken. Cover the chicken with the provolone, then the mozzarella.

Fold the dough over, and press the edges firmly to seal. Transfer carefully to the baking sheet. Brush some of the remaining egg over the top of each, and sprinkle parmesan cheese on top. Cut small air vents in the top of each calzone. Bake 30 minutes until browned.

Posted in Bread, Dinner | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Chipotle Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw

As soon as I saw this recipe in September, I knew I wanted to make it with my friend Lindsay. It took us a while until our free weekends lined up, but boy was it worth the wait! I’m not even usually really into coleslaw*, but this apple slaw is delicious and crisp for days, and the pork is amazing! This recipe can be prepared in advance and will keep well to be reheated when you’re ready to serve, but after you’ve smelled the pork cooking, you’re not going to want to wait!

IMG_4049*The internet is telling me that coleslaw and cole slaw are both valid spellings, and firefox’s spell-check seems to prefer coleslaw, so I’m going with it!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder

Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Apple Slaw

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 14 ounce coleslaw mix (or two 8 ounce bags)
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • Buns, for serving

Giant hunks of pork like this tend to come with a big sheet of fat on them. I cut most of that off, and some other smaller bits from the other side, as it seems highly unappealing to eat straight fat, but you don’t want to obsessively remove every little bit – leaving some fat will make sure that the meat stays moist and tasty as it cooks.

Over you’ve got the meat to a level of fattiness you can stand, combine all the ingredients of the dry rub and stir together in a bowl. Place the pork on a large cutting board, or in a baking dish with sides to catch the excess dry goods, and coat the meat with the rub. Transfer the meat, and any rub that’s fallen off, to a crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 on low.

IMG_4028IMG_4030IMG_4042 IMG_4044Once the meat is in the crock pot, in a small bowl stir together all the slaw ingredients except for the coleslaw mix and apples. Combine the apple and coleslaw in a large bowl, then pour in other ingredients and stir to combine. Cover, and refrigerate until the pork is ready. The slaw is better if the flavors have some time to come together, and, once covered in the sauce, the apples don’t brown or get squishy, so there’s no reason to wait to do this step.

IMG_4031 IMG_4035When the pork is done, it should be easy to pull apart with a pair of forks. Remove the meat from the crock pot to a large cutting board or a dish with sides, and shred the meat with two forks. Place shredded meat back in the crock pot.

Stir together the BBQ sauce ingredients, then pour over the shredded pork and stir to coat. Reduce the heat of the crock pot to Warm, and cover until ready to eat.

IMG_4045 IMG_4048To serve, make pork and slaw sandwiches, realize you’ve made piled way too much on the buns for them to support, and just go at it with your hands silverware, like a civilized person.

With the use of Greek yogurt, rather than mayo, the slaw seems healthy enough, and every bite tastes like crunchy apples, rather than soggy vegetables. The pork… it’s just fantastic! The chipotle Tabasco adds a good flavor, without making either the pork or slaw especially spicy. (I suppose you could add more if you actually wanted spicy?) You should check it out, it’s pretty delightful!

Chipotle Pulled Pork with Apple Slaw

From Cookies and Cups.

  • 3-4 pound boneless pork shoulder

Dry Rub:

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Chipotle BBQ Sauce

  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce

Apple Slaw

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Tabasco brand Chipotle Pepper Sauce
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 14 ounce coleslaw mix (or two 8 ounce bags)
  • 2 apples, small diced
  • Buns, for serving

To prepare the meat, first combine all the ingredients of the dry rub and stir together in a bowl. Place the pork on a large cutting board, or in a baking dish with sides to catch the excess dry goods, and coat the meat with the rub. Transfer the meat, and any rub that’s fallen off, to a crock pot and cook for 4 hours on high, or 8 on low.Once the meat is in the crock pot, in a small bowl stir together all the slaw ingredients except for the coleslaw mix and apples. Combine the apple and coleslaw in a large bowl, then pour in other ingredients and stir to combine. Cover, and refrigerate until the pork is ready.

When the pork is done, it should be easy to pull apart with a pair of forks. Remove the meat from the crock pot to a large cutting board or a dish with sides, and shred the meat with two forks. Place shredded meat back in the crock pot.

Stir together the BBQ sauce ingredients, then pour over the shredded pork and stir to combine. Reduce the heat of the crock pot to Warm, and cover until ready to eat.

 

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Duck Soup

After last week’s duck, I took home the carcass to make soup with. I very roughly followed a recipe for tteokguk, a Korean rice cake soup (that I have never had). That’s made with beef, and this isn’t, so this turns out to be a different thing. I didn’t do a lot of measuring on this one, so the amounts are mostly approximations, but if you follow along you can at least get an idea for your own next experiment!

IMG_3937Ingredients:

  • 1 leftover duck carcass
  • water
  • 5 carrots, divided
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 pound sliced rice cakes, soaked 30 minutes and then drained
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 green onions, chopped

IMG_3928Roughly chop three of the carrots and the onion half and combine them with the duck carcass in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, and simmer for 4 hours, checking on it every 30-45 minutes to skim any gray gunk off the surface.

IMG_3925Strain the mixture, keeping both parts. Chill the stock in the fridge, and let the carcass cool until you can touch it without getting burnt.

IMG_3926Pick all the remaining meat off of the bones and keep that, while throwing out the bones, carrot, and onion.

IMG_3927Skim any fat that has collected on the surface of the stock and discard. Put the meat back in the stock.

Heat the mixture over medium heat. Add salt to taste. The stock will taste really pretty boring until you’ve reached the right level of salt, when it will suddenly taste like duck. You don’t actually need it to taste salty, just…ducky. Salt is a bit magical in how it amplifies flavors. Chop the other two carrots and toss them in, as well as a big pinch of pepper and the garlic.

Separate the eggs and add salt to both the whites and the yolks. Heat a pan over medium heat, spread some oil around the pan, then wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Turn off the heat. Beat the yolk/salt mixture, then spread it thinly and evenly in the warm pan. Let it cook for about a minute, then flip and let it cook on the other side for another minute. Remove from the pan and cut into thin slices. This isn’t something I’ve seen before, and I don’t think it worked quite perfectly because my stove is super un-level, but…practice makes perfect?

eggBring the broth up to a boil, if it isn’t already. Take your rice cakes, which have soaked and been drained, and add them to the pot. Let the boil until they are all floating. Add the fish sauce, sesame oil, and egg whites beaten with salt, and stir in. Sprinkle the green onions on, and serve. I brought this to a potluck, so had it half cooked at home, then heated it and added the rice cakes at my friends’.

This thing's gonna smell like fish sauce for the rest of eternity.

This thing’s gonna smell like fish sauce for the rest of eternity.

IMG_3932

I really need to get some proper tupperware/a pot with a lid…

I really love the texture of these rice cakes, and the flavor of this soup was excellent.

IMG_3934The rice cakes are best, texture-wise, day of, but leftovers of this will still be delicious for a few days. I really loved this, and everyone else who tried it seemed to as well.

IMG_3935Duck Soup with Rice Cakes

  • 1 leftover duck carcass
  • water
  • 5 carrots, divided
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 pound sliced rice cakes, soaked 30 minutes and then drained
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • 5 green onions, chopped

Roughly chop three of the carrots and the onion half and combine them with the duck carcass in a large pot. Fill the pot with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat until the mixture is simmering, and simmer for 4 hours, checking on it every 30-45 minutes to skim any gray gunk off the surface.

Strain the mixture, keeping both parts. Chill the stock in the fridge, and let the carcass cool until you can touch it without getting burnt. Pick all the remaining meat off of the bones and keep that, while throwing out the bones, carrot, and onion. Skim any fat that has collected on the surface of the stock and discard. Put the meat back in the stock.

Heat the mixture over medium heat. Add salt until it tastes noticeably duck-y. Chop the other two carrots and toss them in, as well as a big pinch of pepper and the garlic.

Separate the eggs and add salt to both the whites and the yolks. Heat a pan over medium heat, spread some oil around the pan, then wipe off the excess with a paper towel. Turn off the heat. Beat the yolk/salt mixture, then spread it thinly and evenly in the warm pan. Let it cook for about a minute, then flip and let it cook on the other side for another minute. Remove from the pan and cut into thin slices.

Bring the broth up to a boil, if it isn’t already. Take your rice cakes, which have soaked and been drained, and add them to the pot. Let the boil until they are all floating. Add the fish sauce, sesame oil, and egg whites beaten with salt, and stir in. Sprinkle the green onions on, and serve.

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Duck with Cherries and Lemon

Two weekends ago, my friend Hillary and I spent a day at a bunch of food-related places outside DC. At the Chinese supermarket, we saw duck for so cheap that we couldn’t pass it up, and decided to get one and cook it together the following week. The duck came out to something like $10, which was great until it came time to cook it, and the thing was plucked but otherwise intact. We got some hot duck-cleaning tips from the internet, got our hands dirty, and then were prepped to actually cook!

20141013_150125IMG_7964 IMG_7969 IMG_7975Ingredients:

  • 1 duck, about 4-5 pounds
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • salt
Hillary has better knife skills than I.

Hillary has better knife skills than I.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the duck, butter, and salt. Simmer this mixture until the cherries are soft.

Rinse the duck and then pat dry and place in a roasting dish. Prick the duck all over with a fork. Rub the butter all over the skin, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Pour half of the cherry-lemon mixture over it and place the dish in the oven.

IMG_7978Bake 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with a large spoon, then check for doneness.

IMG_7988

Google knows all!

Google knows all!

Remove to a serving platter for several minutes to rest, then serve with the other half of the cherry sauce.

IMG_7992I really liked the sauce, and kind of thought we should have put the extra on ice cream, although that idea wasn’t met with a lot of enthusiasm. We served with some bread and crispy smashed potatoes. (Boil potatoes until soft, rub with olive oil, sprinkle on some salt and whatever herbs you like, lightly press until about half crushed, then bake until crispy.)

IMG_7989Duck with Cherries and Lemon

Adapted (in part because of poor reading comprehension skills) from The Inn at the Crossroads, the official Game of Thrones food blog.

  • 1 duck, about 4-5 pounds
  • 1 lemon, zested, juiced
  • 1 lemon, cut into thin slices
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 2 cups frozen cherries
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened
  • salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients except the duck, butter, and salt. Simmer this mixture until the cherries are soft.

Rinse the duck and then pat dry and place in a roasting dish. Prick the duck all over with a fork. Rub the butter all over the skin, then sprinkle lightly with salt. Pour half of the cherry-lemon mixture over it and place the dish in the oven. Bake 1 1/2 hours, basting occasionally with a large spoon, then check for doneness.

Remove to a serving platter for several minutes to rest, then serve with the other half of the cherry sauce.

Posted in Dinner | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Caramel Apple Shortbread Bars

This recipe is actually one that I tried this spring in Greece with one of my classmates, but it didn’t work out quite right then. It turned out delicious, but the caramel was rock hard, so eating it was a challenging, somewhat drooly event. This time, though, thanks (I think) to the use of a candy thermometer, the caramel came out soft enough to bite, but still firm enough to hold its shape. Everyone that had some of this batch loved it, and it feels fall-appropriate!

IMG_3923Ingredients:

Shortbread:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Apples:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Caramel:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract

Line a 9X9″ pan with parchment paper and set aside. I only had an 8X11″ (and last time I used a 10″ round), and the ingredients still seemed sufficient for the slightly greater area.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt for the crust with a fork, then stir in the egg yolk.

Villy did lots of the work when we tried it in the spring!

Villy did lots of the work when we tried it in the spring!

Add the flour, the combine with your hands until flaky. For me, this means squashing the butter bits until they’re super thin.

IMG_3911Transfer the dough to your lined pan and press down evenly across the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes.

IMG_3913During that time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 minutes, until lightly browned, then take out and set aside.

IMG_3916While the shortbread bakes, combine the apples, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the apples are soft. It may seem weird at first, expecting some apples, with no liquid but the melted butter, to boil, but the apples release some liquid and it does happen.

IMG_3914Combine the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup, salt, sugar, and cream for the caramel in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then stir for 5-10 minutes until thick and bubbly, at about 248 on a candy thermometer.

IMG_3918

Apparently if it looks like this for too long, you might be over heating it?

Remove the heated mixture from the stove, stir in the vanilla, then add the softened apples.

IMG_3919Pour the caramel mixture on top of the shortbread and spread evenly.

IMG_3920Refrigerate 2-4 hours, until firm. Slice cold, and keep chilled when not serving.

IMG_3922There is a lot of butter in this, and you can tell because it is really delicious! When you don’t overcook the caramel, it’s a good chewy texture that’s nice with the slight flakiness of the crust, with just a bit of gooeyness. It’s quite delightful!

Caramel Apple Shortbread Bars

From Culinary Concoctions by Peabody.

Shortbread:

  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Apples:

  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar

Caramel:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup golden syrup or light corn syrup
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract

Line a 9X9″ pan with parchment paper and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the butter, sugar, and salt for the crust with a fork, then stir in the egg yolk.  Add the flour, the combine with your hands until flaky.  Transfer the dough to your lined pan and press down evenly across the bottom of the pan. Refrigerate 30 minutes. During that time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bake 25 minutes, until lightly browned, then take out and set aside.

While the shortbread bakes, combine the apples, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer until the apples are soft.

Combine the butter, brown sugar, golden syrup, salt, sugar, and cream for the caramel in a large pot. Bring to a boil, then stir for 5-10 minutes until thick and bubbly, at about 248 on a candy thermometer. Remove the heated mixture from the stove, stir in the vanilla, then add the softened apples.

Pour the caramel mixture on top of the shortbread and spread evenly. Refrigerate 2-4 hours, until firm. Slice cold, and keep chilled when not serving.

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Pluot and Cheese Galette

Recently my friend Hillary told me about Relay Foods (if you use that link to buy food, you and I both get $30 off), a local-ish food shopping website for Charlottesville, Richmond, DC, and Baltimore. With the $30 off from that discount, I got a variety of things, including some fancy cheeses. This particular cheese, the Brillat-Savarin Triple Creme Cheese, is a soft white cheese made slightly tangy bit a bit of lemon flavor. It’s really nice!

IMG_3744I really like pluots, and get excited every time I see them, so I was relieved when this flavor combo came out as well as hoped – would have hated to have wasted fancy cheese and pluots! Instead, the flavor is sort of like an amazing plum jam, with everything you love about pie crust. I’m into it!

IMG_3755Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can swap out up to half for shortening if you desire)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons water

Filling:

  • 2 large pluots
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2-3 ounces soft white cheese
IMG_3741

Good news: I ordered a cutting board last night!

IMG_3745To prepare the crust, first cut the butter into small cubes. Place the butter and some water in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor, then add your chilled butter. Process for 3 pulses, each of about 3 seconds. Turn the machine to ‘on’ and drizzle in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just starts to clump. Turn the food processor on, dump the contents into a bowl, and use your hands to press the dough into a ball. It will seem quite dry, but should stick together.

Looks real dry...

Looks real dry…

Add any remaining water, if necessary, to help it all stick together. Roll it all into a large ball, then flatten into a disk, rolling the edges along your hand/counter to smooth them out. Wrap in saran wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

Came together, though.

Came together, though.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine the cinnamon, flour, and sugar in a medium bowl. Slice the pluots into thin slices, then stir them into the flour mixture.

IMG_3743Roll the crust out on parchment paper or a silpat. Slice the cheese as thinly as possible, and spread it around the crust, leaving at least one inch clear around the outside. Because it’s a soft cheese, it may clump up when you cut it, but just spread it back out as thinly as possible.

The great thing about galettes is you can just shout RUSTIC whenever anyone judges your skills at rolling out an even/round crust!

The great thing about galettes is you can just shout RUSTIC whenever anyone judges your skills at rolling out an even/round crust!

Arrange the fruit slices over the cheese, and spread any remaining flour mixture over the pluots.

IMG_3748Fold the edges of the crust in, leaving a gap in the center, and press the sides together to hold in place.

IMG_3749Bake 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Let cool several minutes before slicing and serving.

IMG_3752It’s really nice, and the crust stays crisp enough that you can pick any chilled leftovers up like pizza the next morning evening.

IMG_3756

Setting a terrible example, as you really shouldn't cut on a silpat!

Setting a terrible example, as you really shouldn’t cut on a silpat!

Pluot and Cheese Galette

Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter (you can swap out up to half for shortening if you desire)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3-4 tablespoons water

Filling:

  • 2 large pluots
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 1/2-3 ounces soft white cheese

To prepare the crust, first cut the butter into small cubes. Place the butter and some water in the freezer for 15-20 minutes.

Combine the flour and salt in a food processor, then add your chilled butter. Process for 3 pulses, each of about 3 seconds. Turn the machine to ‘on’ and drizzle in the water, a tablespoon at a time, until the mixture just starts to clump. Turn the food processor on, dump the contents into a bowl, and use your hands to press the dough into a ball. It will seem quite dry, but should stick together. Add any remaining water, if necessary, to help it all stick together. Roll it all into a large ball, then flatten into a disk, rolling the edges along your hand/counter to smooth them out. Wrap in saran wrap and chill at least 30 minutes.

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Combine the cinnamon, flour, and sugar in a medium bowl. Slice the pluots into thin slices, then stir them into the flour mixture.

Roll the crust out on parchment paper or a silpat. Slice the cheese as thinly as possible, and spread it around the crust, leaving at least one inch clear around the outside. Arrange the fruit slices over the cheese, and spread any remaining flour mixture over the pluots. Fold the edges of the crust in, leaving a gap in the center, and press the sides together to hold in place.

Bake 35-40 minutes, until the crust is golden brown and the filling is bubbling hot. Let cool several minutes before slicing and serving.

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