Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Tuesdays with Dorie: Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars

While I'm in arrears for two TWD projects (the grapefruit tart and the lemon madeleines -- hooray for the upcoming rewind week!), I did manage to make the Crispy-Topped Brown Sugar Bars.

The recipe is pretty straightforward. To start, I made the crispy topping. Since I had an open box of Cocoa Krispies, I used those instead of regular Rice Krispies (seriously, who's going to argue over an extra bit of chocolate?). No problems at all with that portion of the recipe. In fact, they were a lot of fun to make. And sample.

All in all, I had no problems with the sticky dough, but I was alarmed when I checked the oven after the base had been baking for about 18 minutes. There was the dough, bubbling away almost like caramel. Since the base was golden brown, I pulled it out of the oven a little early and let it cool down for a couple of minutes. I'd melted some bittersweet chocolate rather than try to have it melt on the warm cookie base, so having a hot-from-the-oven cookie base wasn't as much of a necessity for me. The thin layer of chocolate went on, then the caramelized Cocoa Krispies. All looked good.

I figured that I'd need to be careful slicing these bars, which I suspected might be pretty brittle. For as crisp as they turned out to be, they sliced relatively cleanly.

The downside to these bars? They are insanely good and can be consumed at an alarming rate. Even worse, I now know they are ridiculously easy to make. How will I save me from myself?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Tuesdays with Dorie: Loafing Around Edition

I'm a bit late on our latest Tuesdays with Dorie adventures. Between work deadlines, obnoxious weather, and a cold/bronchitis that I'm still battling a bit, not much was getting done in the way of food, especially because while I was on meds for bronchitis, everything tasted as if I were licking the inside of a can.

Anyway, getting back to normal and getting caught up with late tasks. First, I made the Brown-Butter-and-Vanilla-Bean Weekend Cake. It didn't wow me tremendously, but it's something I'd consider making again as the base for fresh berries, as in a shortcake. For the amount of effort put into the whole process of manually combining the vanilla seeds with the sugar, I was expecting a bit more pow from the vanilla.

Then there's the Marquise au Chocolat. Easy to prepare and lovely to consume. This is something I'll definitely make again. It's a frozen dessert, but it requires a few minutes at room temperature to reach its best texture when you're ready to eat it. Otherwise, it's a bit crumbly. Also, it is rich enough that it needs a counterpoint of some sort. I used freshly whipped cream and raspberries, but I suppose a creme anglaise or berry coulis would also be nice.

I was able to get pasteurized eggs for this dessert, but I whipped them over the water bath anyway, to warm up the mixture to dissolve the sugar in an effort to minimize the risk of a grainy dessert. It was a bit of extra effort, but I figured it would be worth it.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Tuesdays With Dorie: Granola Energy Bars

Short and sweet this week for Tuesdays with Dorie. It's Granola Energy Bars, they are super easy to throw together, and they are as tasty as you want to make them. I used dried cherries and also added about a half cup of bittersweet chocolate chips because, hey, why not?

The most intriguing thing for me about this recipe is the brown rice syrup as the sweetener and binder in the bars. It's not terribly sweet and also fairly neutrally flavored, so it really allows the rest of the ingredients to shine. I also loved that the oats are toasted; it's nice touch that gives the bars an extra nuance of flavor.