Saturday, November 27, 2010

Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie

I recently became extremely interested in making pies. . I was going to work on "fall" type pies but, I am traveling home and then on business so, making pie seemed a poor decision when I wouldn't be able to eat it in time or transport it.

Plus, my cousin was making all kinds of yummy pies for the holiday and there is no way I could top her treats.

I made this pie in the summer and had simply been holding onto the recipe and pics. I am not sure why I haven't posted it before this point because- this recipe is astoundingly delicious. Probably because it's a lot more intensive then my usual recipe. It is from the cookbook "Bubby's Homemade Pies" which has an endless amount of home-made pie recipes and crust recipes that are guaranteed to make your mouth water.

This pie in particular is creamy, delicious, and extremely rich. It's a beautiful melding of chocolate and peanut butter- arguably the best flavor combination there is- if you have the time and energy to whip (literally) this sweet dessert up. You won't be disappointed :)


Bubby's Homemade Peanut Butter Chocolate Pie

-1 Oreo Pie Crust (The cookbook uses Graham but, I wanted this chocolate-tastic)

Peanut Butter Mousse:
-1 cup confectioners' sugar
-1 cup creamy peanut butter
-3 oz cream cheese (softened)
-1 teaspoon vanilla extract
-1 1/2 cups heavy cream

-6 oz semi sweet chocolate (I used chips but, 1 bar would work out smashingly)
-1/4 cup heavy cream

To make the mousse: Beat together the sugar, peanut butter, cream cheese, and vanilla until they are fluffy. In a separate bowl whip together the cream until it holds good, stiff, peaks.. Place a few spoonfuls of whipped cream in a peanut butter mixture and mix on medium to combine it all evenly. Cover and refrigerate.

To make the ganache: Melt the chocolate until smooth. Add the cream, stirring continuously, until completely combined. Spread a thick layer of ganache in the pie shell, covering the bottom and the sides of the crust as evenly as possible using the offset spatula, spreading from the center outward and up the sides. Layer the rest on the bottom of the pie crust.

Fill pie crust with remaining mousse- Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Beer Bread. Bread with Beer Baked Into It.

Okay, so. We are taking a step back from the ultra geeky and ultra sweet desserts and moving on to something simple, savory, and oh my, so delicious.

I actually made this some time ago and simply haven't posted the recipe until now but! Here you go kids, share and enjoy :)

I had seen this recipe and had decided I wanted to make it but, had never really dealt with this kind of a bread before. Short of the random yeast bread, I usually stick to cake like doughs, going for the sweets like pumpkin and banana.

Yummmmmm, pumpkin bread. Hope that makes an appearance this Thursday!!!

In any case, this bread (as you can see) lacks yeast but, doesn't lack from it. I drizzled mine with butter and then topped it with herbs for good measure and then a big dash of salt.

Buttery flavors + salty flavors + distinct beer flavors + yummy delicious herbs...

I may stink at math but, that all adds up exceptionally well in my kitchen!!!

Enjoy :)

Beer Bread
-3 cups flour
-3 teaspoons baking powder
-1 1/2 teaspoon salt
-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
-One 12-oz can of beer

Preheat the oven to 375. Grease your bread pan- I used a lot of butter to give my bread that buttery outside. Combine all your ingredients, mix it as best you can! And then pour into the loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Once I had poured mine into the pan, I added a bunch of herbs and some extra salt to the top of mine along with some melted butter. Basil, rosemary, garlic to name the biggies. Garlic is emphasized for a reason, yes. It was DELICIOUS with the beer. Go plain or add herbs of your choice- this recipe is simple enough either way and can hold its own.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Salted Storm Trooper Sugar Cookies

The force is very strong with this cooking blog as of late. Or at least the Dark Side. It's unlikely any of the drone-like Storm Troopers were in touch with the Force or their inner powers. Or emotions for that matter.

SO! Anyway. I made storm trooper sugar cookies. They tasted phenomenal and I got rave reviews- and not just because of the shape! The sugary/salty flavors worked in such lovely harmony, even though these cookies were rather large- everyone wanted one and would polish theirs off.

I think the cookies kind of spread too much (you can see freshly cut dough as the first image) but, that's how the recipe called for them to be made and I am unsure of a recipe that tastes better then this one. I rolled mine extremely thin- almost see thru by the last batch- to get them to stay in more clean lines but, still, they became more blended. Which kind of made them look like frogs to me... Anyone else see that?

Just me then? Okay. Here's one platted up with an attemped Death Star. Sadly, the Death Star looks more like a droid from the film- (remember the one with spidery legs and a red lazer that tries to kill them at the start? That one.)- but still! Everything tasted great :)

May the force be with you!

Butter Sugar Cookies:
-1 cup butter
-1 cup sugar
-1 egg
-2 1/2 cups flour
-2 tbls orange juice
-1 tbls vanilla
-1 teaspoon baking powder

Combine butter, sugar, and egg in a large bowl. Beat until creamy. Add flour, juice, vanilla, and baking powder. Beat until well mixed.

Divide dough into thirds: wrap in plastic food wrap, refrigerate until firm (2 hours or overnight).

Heat oven to 400, roll out dough on lightly floured surface, one third at a time, to desired thickness. Cut with cookie cutters, place onto ungreased cookie sheets and bake for 6-10 mins or until golden.

To Make them Storm Trooper Salted Awesomeness:

First cut into the shape of storm troopers! Very important. To make them slightly salty to balance out all that sweetness- you want to:

-Sprinkle Dough before baking with a mixture equal parts sugar and salt

IF icing them as I did, I wanted a SUPER sweet icing so, went canned:
-1 can vanilla Icing
-1 splash (1/2 teaspoon or more to taste) coconut flavor
-Sprinkle AGAIN once you apply the icing to make sure the ultra sugary icing is balanced with the saltiness :)


Monday, November 8, 2010

Dark Forces Chocolate Nut Torte

"You cannot resist the Dark Side". Nor can you resist this rich chocolate, nut, torte. This tart is flakey crust, caramel, and melty chocolate. Try and resist, I dare you. Yep. YEP!

And, oh yeah. You're seeing right. That, my friends, is Darth Vader.

Kind of. It's pastry cut with a William Sonoma pancake mold into the shape of Vader which was the all time perfect topping for my "Dark Forces" Chocolate Nut Torte.

Someday when I have more money then I have rent, I will get a really nice camera and take respectable photos and have a respectable blog. But in the meantime, that is a zoom out of the tart itself. The size of a large pizza and piles of dessert deliciousiocity.

Wish that was a real word so I could spell it correctly. ANYWAY!

This tart is really one my mom made time and time again when I was young, but never for us kids. This dessert is cemented in my mind as a "fancy" treat. She would prep this dessert for all the dinner parties that she and my dad would hold at our house for business partners, clients, and the like. Or just friends but, all their glamourous friends, the ones who needed meals comprised of several courses and used words like "poached" and "wellington".

Fancy times call for a fancy dessert. And while this may APPEAR fancy, it's really a cinch. And is best eaten cold, the day after, in my opinion. But this could also just be because I was raised on the left overs from said fancy dinner parties.

I don't know if it's me being a girl but, when my mom made this and her entire spread as well as got ready for a dinner party, tamed myself and my three siblings, and cleaned the entire house- she cemented herself in my mind as SuperWoman. But much much prettier. I remember watching her get ready for these guests in her big bathroom, fancy dress that I couldn't touch, but sharing her lipstick and makeup with me as long as I would behave myself. Then it was back to the kitchen to shift food around, share splinters of the chocolate, and then hurry me upstairs with my brothers and a sitter.

How hardcore was that?

Now- seeing how easy the torte is, I suppose she wasn't just making it look easy. Or at least the dessert part. In my opinion though- the woman is still a super hero.

Make this tart and enjoy my friends. With or without Darth Vader, it's a sure fire sensation. Eat chilled in slices or hot (like a chocolatey, nutty, caramel-y, sundae topping!) over ice cream. Yummmmmmm!

Ultimate Nut and Chocolate Chip Tart
-1 pkg. unbaked pie crust
-3 eggs
-1 cup light corn syrup
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-1/3 cup butter (melted/cooled)
-1 tsp vanilla
-1 cup coarsley chopped, salted, mixed nuts
-1/2 cup mini chocolate chips (dark or semi sweet)

Ease pie crust into an 11" tart pan with removable bottom, trimming the crust to fit. Or just do what I did and stretch it to cover an entire pizza pan... It KINDA worked.

Either way, do NOT prick the pastry.

For the filling, beat the eggs slightly with a fork. Stir in the corn syrup. Add in remaining ingredients- EXCLUDING the nuts/chocolate. Once well combined, stir nuts/chocolate into the caramel-ish coating. Pour filling into the crust.

Bake at 350 in oven for 40 minutes. Or until a knife inserted into the middle of the treat comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Serve hot/cold as you prefer.

My mom used to make a fancy sauce for her fancy parties- (melt 1tbs shortening & 1/2 cup choc chips)- and drizzled it over in a lovely pattern, serving the ice cream on the side. If you choose to be as fancy and lovely as my mother, that is also an extremely viable option