Friday, April 11, 2014

(New and Improved) Salt Lake Bomb Pie

There's no recipe for this. So sorry. Because it's the easiest pie in the world.

Here's how you do it:

Make pie dough. This is a good recipe. I know because it's mine.

Buy 3 Kouing Aman from this place. You'll probably want to buy more than 3 because they're the most delicious things in the world and this little Salt Lake bakery is kind of famous for them. You can have them shipped anywhere in the US. Cut your Kouing Aman up into cubes like so.


Find a Chess Pie recipe and follow the instructions. Here's a good one (it's on my blog, but it's from the Fannie Farmer Cookbook). I used only 3/4 cup of sugar because there's a good bit of sweetness to the Kouing Aman. Especially pay attention to the instructions re: prebaking the crust. After prebaking, place your cubed Kouing Aman in the crust and pour in the Chess Pie filling. Follow the instructions in your Chess Pie recipe for baking. Take out of your oven the most beautiful pie you'll ever see.


Serve it to friends and family with a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla ice cream. Watch how amazed they are at your culinary skills. Don't tell them that this pie required no skills. Aside from knowing where to buy good pastries.


Honestly, it's ridiculous how good this is. It's like caramel bread pudding pie. With kind of a crunchy top and softy sweet eggy insides. But not too soft. Or too eggy. Or too sweet. I've mentioned before that we often have a surplus of baked goods at our house and they sometimes end up in the trash (shame). This pie disappeared faster than anything I've made in quite some time. And Seconda said, "This is what they sell at pie shops in heaven." Success.


TGIP Rating--Salt Lake Bomb Pie, Kouing Aman Chess Pie, whatever you want to call it--such a KEEPER.

Next up: I'm about to embark on a food-related project that is top secret for now. It will use up a good portion of my cooking/baking free time at least until the end of May. I will probably bake treats here and there and blog about them, but with less frequency than I have been. At any rate, stay tuned!

P.S. I finally did get some cake that scratched my itch. It was not homemade. It was from Mrs. Backer's Pastry Shop, another beloved bakery here in Salt Lake (maybe all bakeries should be pink). I'm pretty sure their buttercream isn't all butter, but I also know that it's strangely comforting. And sometimes that's just what a girl needs to hit the spot.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Lazy Cake AKA Aunt Naomi's Chocolate Fudge Cake


Let's get one thing straight right now: this is not a chocolate cake. I know. It says it is in the title. It even has a brownish tinge to it like a chocolate cake would (see below). But it's not. And it CERTAINLY doesn't deserve the word "fudge" anywhere near it.


Now, DON'T GET ME WRONG. This is a good cake. Delicious. In fact, there were a couple of people (namely, Seconda, who wants this as her birthday cake) who thought it was one of the best cakes they've ever had. It's tender and moist and the frosting is really tart and sweet and creamy and cream-cheesy and lovely. AND it does deserve the "lazy" part of the title. No, it's not exactly a one-bowl cake, but it's so easy to mix up batter and not fuss with layers, just pour it all into one pan and slather that thing with a thick layer of frosting. Exactly what I wanted. BUT I wanted CHOCOLATE. Hence, my cake itch is still not scratched. I'm starting to worry that it may never be.

I know you have a family recipe out there (that doesn't come from a box) for a good, old-fashioned, chocolate lazy Sunday cake. Send it to me. Like, now.

In the meantime...

TGIP Rating--Lazy Cake--KEEPER. Like I said, Seconda wants it for her birthday. And it's really a lovely cake. It just won't scratch your chocolate itch.

Next up: A while back I tried to do a riff on the Baltimore Bomb Pie, I called it a Salt Lake Bomb Pie. I think it needs improvement. Namely, it needs to contain the thing that my favorite Salt Lake bakery is really famous for: Kouing Aman. If you live in Salt Lake (or nearby) and you haven't been to this bakery or tried this pastry...mend your ways. 



Friday, March 14, 2014

Coconut Curry Chicken Pot Pie


HAPPY PI DAY!


I rarely make savory pies and every time I do make one I wonder why I don't do it more often. I guess there's a lot of chopping involved. And usually you have to get the sauce to just the right level of thickness so the pie isn't runny when you cut into it. And that's intimidating. But, honestly, I make some pretty complicated desserts, so I need to just get over my savory pie aversion. Especially because they always end up YUMMY. This was no exception. I was initially concerned about the coconut part of the recipe because mr. is not much of a fan. But it is really subtle and just lends a richness to the flavor without making it heavy like cream would. The sauce is spiced nicely and has just the right amount of thickness. The vegetables are perfectly cooked, not underdone but not mushy. All around, completely delicious. Go here for the recipe.


I used my own crust recipe, but used a different method of making it. A method named Food Processor. That was a mistake. When you have a method that works, don't mess with it. The crust still tasted fine, of course, but was impossible to deal with, both cooked and uncooked (you can see my shoddy patching job above). It was just SO fragile. And when it was cooked, it looked okay, the patching job isn't very evident (see below), but it SHATTERED when I cut into it. So, even with a good thickness to the sauce, due to my own error in judgment the pie was virtually impossible to serve in any sort of pie-like shape. Everybody essentially got a pile of filling and crust on their plate. Not pretty.


TGIP Rating--Coconut Curry Chicken Pot Pie--KEEPER. I'll definitely try this again, and do the crust the right way. I have no doubt that it will be delightful.

Next up: Lazy Cake AKA Aunt Naomi's Chocolate Fudge Cake. I've still got that cake itch that needs to be scratched. But I need a lazy Sunday project.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Brown Butter Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream


I give this one a resounding "meh". I had such high hopes for it. What could be better than a Brown Butter Cake anyway?! I don't know, I guess a cake with a more tender crumb. Or something. I can't even put my finger on what it was that disappointed me about this. But it utterly failed at scratching my cake itch. What it succeeded at is making me want to mix up some brown butter buttercream frosting. Now I need to go find a recipe...

TGIP Rating--Brown Butter Cake with Vanilla Bean Cream--MEH. Won't make this one again. Far too many other good cakes out there.

Next up: A savory pie, for a change. Coconut Curry Chicken Pot Pie, to be exact.



Friday, February 21, 2014

Easiest Sugar Cookies

And they are. As easy as
1.
2.

3.


Go make them. Make up a holiday. Dye your frosting pink or blue or something appetizing. Sprinkle some sprinkles and then eat them. Because these won't take you 12 hours like normal sugar cookies do. And you'll be so pleased with the softy chewy crunchiness of them. In fact, you'll make them for your kids and then you'll eat them all yourself.

TGIP Rating--Easiest Sugar Cookies--KEEPER. I'm never using any other recipe. Ever.

Next up: Okay, so I didn't make the cake I was going to make. We had planned a gathering that got waylaid by sickness, so a fancy layer cake seemed like too much for our little family. Which still leaves me wanting cake. But something simple. A Sunday night cake, if you know what I mean. I think I'll try this one

Friday, February 7, 2014

Cookie Time!



It's cookie season at my house. Apparently. I've been making a big batch of oversize cookies every weekend to get my people through the week. I think mainly I'm just trying to keep them off the Oreo wagon. Although, speaking of Oreos, mr. mentioned the other day that he'd really like a salted Oreo. Ideas? Recipes you can fling my way?

Anyway, mostly I've been making regular Nestle Toll House Cookies, but adding a 1/2 cup of coconut and scooping the dough into double-sized cookies. A couple of weeks ago I gave these a try (and *shame* didn't take any pictures). My kids objected to the nutty flavor of the whole wheat, but my husband quite liked them. For my taste, the coconut oil made them a little greasy. So, I'm not sure I'm a fan. This last weekend I made these. They're really delicious. I think the salt is what brings the recipe together and makes the flavor unique. They get stale really quickly, though. So, if you are a person who restricts your kids to one (giant) cookie a day, (this is mainly a reminder to me) you might want to roll and refrigerate or freeze some of the dough to bake another day.



TGIP Rating--Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip and Coconut Cookies--MEH. Maybe just not to my taste.
Brown Butter Salted Caramel Snickerdoodles--KEEPER. Beware of quick-staling.

Next up: As cookie season continues, I'm going to give these a try. I cannot bear to refrigerate, roll out, and cut cookie dough. It's just dreadful. Bonus, I really like this blogger's recipes. Partly for deliciousness, but also partly because I don't have to make altitude adjustments.

AND, as I'm not one to let a holiday cake opportunity go to waste. I'm ALSO going to make this cake for the people I love on Valentines Day. I'm feeling a little daunted by it as I haven't made a layer cake in several months. But it looks too delicious to pass up.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Chocolate Chip Almond Coconut Bread



Remember how I told you to make this? Did you? Did you try any of the alterations I mentioned? Oh well, here. I've written out the recipe for one of them for you. NOW you can try it. It's probably the best quick bread I've ever eaten in its original form. But the addition of chocolate chips and toasted almonds makes it a little decadent. And there's just nothing wrong with that.


Chocolate Chip Almond Coconut Bread *click here for printable version*


Ingredients:


2 large eggs
1-¼ cups milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2-½ cups all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
1-½ cups sweetened flaked coconut
½ cup semisweet chocolate chips
½ cup chopped, toasted almonds
6 Tbls unsalted butter, melted (and browned if you prefer)
Nonstick cooking spray or butter for baking pan


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


In a small bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla


In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Add sugar, coconut, chocolate chips, and almonds and stir to combine. Make a well in the center and pour in the liquid mixture. Stir until just combined. Add melted butter, stirring until smooth. Do not overmix.


Spray (or butter and flour) a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan. Spread batter in pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60-75 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack to cool completely.


My favorite way to eat it? Toasted in the toaster oven with a little butter spread over it. But just sliced up and popped in your mouth is pretty amazing as well.

TGIP Rating--Chocolate Chip Almond Coconut Bread--KEEPER. More alterations on the original to come.

Next up: I've not used coconut oil in my baking at all yet. I'm giving it a try with these. I guess I'm on a bit of a coconut kick. Maybe I'm just longing to be someplace warm and wild.