Creme Brulee

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This may be the easiest creme brûlée recipe ever!

Ingredients
4 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c sugar
6 egg yolks
1/2 c fine sugar

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a medium sauce pan, heat the cream and vanilla to a simmer. Remove pan from heat and let sit for 10 minutes. In a bowl whisk together the sugar and yolks until they are a pale yellow. Whisk cream into the egg mixture and pour into 6 custard dishes.

Place dishes in a large baking dish. Pour boiling water into baking dish so that it comes to half way up the custard dishes. Bake for 30 minutes or until custard is firm but still wiggles.

Chill for at least one hour. Top with sugar in an even layer and place under broiler until sugar melts and bubbles. Serve.

Makes 8 servings.

Fig Clafoutis

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Our little fig tree is in full swing. So what’s a gal todo when she has a good deal of figs, but not enough for jam – bake em! Today I made a Clafoutis with figs. This is a classic French baked custard with figs. I did not have vanilla sugar so I seeped the vanilla in with the butter while it melted and added a little vanilla to the the mix.

Ingredients:
2 lb is figs, halved lengthwise
4 TBSP butter
2 TBSP honey
6 eggs
1/2 c vanilla sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 vanilla bean
2/3 c flour
2 tsp vanilla
1 c milk

Preheat oven to 400. Butter a 10 inch porcelain or glass pie pan. Place figs in the pan, so they are nice and snug. Drizzle with honey.

Scrape vanilla bean into a small sauce pan, add bean and butter and melt butter over low heat. Once melted remove from heat.

In a larger in mixing bowl, combine eggs and sugar and beat until frothy. Remove vanilla bean pod from butter and add all the remaining ingredients, beat to combine.

Pour over the figs and bake for 30 minutes until the custard is set and puffy. Remove from the over and cool for 30 minutes. Dust with powdered sugar and serve.

Serves 8.

Bouchons aka Brownie Bites

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This is my test batch if Thomas Keller’s Bouchons from Bouchon Bakery Cookbook. I used a scale – trust me it’s worth. I could not find a Bouchon pan so I used a brownie bite pan.

141 grams unsalted butter
50 grams flour
50 grams cocoa
1/8 tsp salt
2 eggs (75 grams)
163 grams sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla paste
112 grams chocolate, smashed into small pieces
Powdered sugar for dusting

Melt 1/2 the butter. Pour over the other half and whisk until creamy with little chunks of butter.

Whisk together flour, cocoa, and salt.

Combine eggs, sugar and vanilla and whisk in an electric mixture. Add 1/2 butter and 1/2 the flour, mix and the rest. Stir in chocolate bites. Set aside for 2 hours.

Spoon into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 for 12 – 16 minutes.

Makes 20 mini brownies.

Caramel Pudding

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I love anything with caramel!! Last night we went out to dinner and had the most amazing caramel pudding so of course i had to try and make it.

2 c 2-percent milk
3 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 tsp cornstarch
1 tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1 c sugar

In a small bowl, whisk 1/4 c of the milk with the cornstarch, vanilla and salt until smooth.

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar with 1/8 cup plus 1 TBSP of water and bring to a boil. Cook over moderately high heat, undisturbed, until a deep amber caramel forms, about 8 minutes.

Remove from the heat. Very gradually whisk in the remaining 1 3/4 c of milk, 1/4 c at a time.

Whisk over moderate heat until the caramel has dissolved. Simmer over moderately low heat until the mixture thickens slightly and deepens in color, about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Gradually whisk the cornstarch mixture into the caramel. Cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the pudding is very thick, about 1 minute. Scrape the pudding into four 1/2-cup ramekins and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours. Garnish with nut brittle, if desired.

Serves 4.

Vanilla Cheesecake Bars

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I was craving cheesecake and Bake or Break posted this on Facebook today – so of course I had to give them a try!! I lightened them up a bit.

Ingredients:
For the crust:

1/4 c unsalted butter, softened

1/4 c coconut palm oil

1/3 c sugar
1 & 1/2 c all-purpose flour

1/4 tsp salt

For the filling
:
16 ozs cream cheese, softened
1/2 c coconut palm sugar

1/2 c half & half
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 TBSP vanilla extract

1 TBSP all-purpose flour


To make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan.

Beat butter palm oil and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Reduce mixer speed to low, and gradually add flour and salt until mixture is crumbly. Press evenly into prepared pan and bake for 15 minutes.


To make the filling:
Place cream cheese, sugar, and half & half in the bowl of a stand mixer or a food processor. Mix until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the mixture, or add extract if using. Add flour. Mix until smooth.


Pour filling over partially baked crust. Bake for 22-24 minutes, or until the filling is set. 
Refrigerate until ready to cut into bars and serve.

Serves 24.

Butternut Blondies

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This recipe appeared on Whole Foods tweet last week. Veggies in Blondies – oh yeah!! I added pecans because nuts make everything better!

Ingredients:
4 TBSP melted butter
1 1/2 c butternut squash purée
1 1/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
1 c white chocolate chunks
1/4 c chopped pecans
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 c coconut palm sugar
2 eggs
1 TBSP vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Grease an 8-inch square baking pan with butter; set aside.

In a medium bowl, toss together squash, flour, chocolate, baking powder, nutmeg and salt. In a large bowl, whisk sugar and eggs together until pale and thickened, 1 to 2 minutes. Whisk in butter and vanilla, then add flour mixture and stir together just until combined.

Transfer to prepared pan and bake until just set in the middle and golden brown around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Set aside to let cool, then cut into 24 squares and serve.

3 ww pp per cookie

Chocolate Hazelnut Tart

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It’s the holidays and I’ve been good all year, so it is time to splurge – butter, chocolate, nuts, heavy cream and Nutella? No she didn’t! Yes I did! Thanks to my favorite recipe folks at Epicurious for the amazing inspiration! If you are going to be decadent this tart it totally worth the calories. And best of all this tart can be prepared in less the 20 minutes of active time – everyone will think you slaved all day!

Ingredients
1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
6 TBSP unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp salt
1 c hazelnuts, skinned and coarsely chopped
1/2 c whole hazelnuts, skinned
1 c heavy cream
10 1/2 oz fine-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped
3/4 c Nutella

Preheat oven to 350.

Stir together crumbs, butter, and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a bowl, then press onto bottom of springform pan. Bake crust in lower third of oven 7 minutes, then cool crust in springform pan on a rack.

Bring cream to a boil in a 1- to 2-quart saucepan, then pour over chocolate in a heatproof bowl, whisking until chocolate is melted and smooth. Whisk in chocolate-hazelnut spread until combined, then whisk in nuts and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt. Top with whole nuts.

Pour filling onto cooled crust and put in freezer until just set, about 25 minutes. Remove side of pan before serving tart.

Serves 8 – 10.
WW PP: don’t want to know

Ginger Pear and Apple Crisp

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Dessert is one my favorite courses! This crisp beings together the best of fall with apples and pears! And since this choke full of fruit you don’t have to feel as guilty indulging.

Ingredients
3 Pinklady apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
3 Bosc pears, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
2 TBSP lemon juice
2 TBSP ginger, chopped
1 TBSP ground cinnamon
¾ c unsalted butter
1 c brown sugar
1 c old fashioned oats
1 c Flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the apples and pears in a large bowl and toss with the lemon juice, crystalized ginger and cinnamon until everything is evenly incorporated. Transfer to mixture to a baking dish big enough to hold all the fruit.

In a food processor, combine the butter, sugar, oats and flour pulse until you have a course crumbly mixture.

Pour the crumble mixture on top of the fruit and evenly distribute everything so the fruit is covered

Place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 45-50 minutes until the top is golden brown.

Remove the baking dish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.

Serves 10.

Lemon Lavendar Cupcakes

Lemon Lavender CupcakeThese little cakes are amazing! Adapted from a Sunset recipe they are the perfect things when I am craving something sweet that is not chocolate.

Ingredients:

Cake:

1 c flour (I use 1/2 whole-wheat & 1/2 regular)
1 1/2 tsp dried lavender buds
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

3 TBSP unsalted butter, at room temp
1/2 c granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 TBSP lemon zest
1/2 c buttermilk

Icing:

1/2 cup loosely packed powdered sugar
5 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lavender buds

Preheat over to 350 and prepare 12 muffin tins (add paper, spray, whatever it is that you do to prep them).

Whisk first 4 ingredients in a bowl. Set aside

Beat butter and sugar with an electric mixer or food processor for 3 min until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg, lemon juice & lemon zest.

Add 1/3 flour mixture, beat until just combined.
Add 1/2 the buttermilk, beat same as above.
Add 1/3 flour mixture, beat same as above.
Add rest of buttermilk, beat same as above.
Add remaining flour, beat till combined.

Scoop mixture into prepared muffin tins – I like to use an ice cream scoop. Fill about 2/3 full.

Bake 24 – 26 min – turning 1/2 way through to ensure even baking.

When toothpick comes out clean, remove from oven.

Cool 10 min and remove and cool on wire rack.

While they cool combine all ingredients for the icing with a whisk till smooth. If too think – add a touch more lemon juice, if too thin, add a touch more powdered sugar.

Drizzle cakes with icing.

Keep in airtight container at room temp.


Serves 12.
4 WW PP