Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Oooohhh man. I found a spot in my house with some good lighting. Also, I was awake when the sun was up. These gorgeous photos speak for themselves

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Even though the crust was a little snaggle toothed, this tart tastes like a giant reeses cup.

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Shortbread crust, topped with peanut butter cream cheese filling and a chocolate ganache. Just for good measure, some sea salt to balance out the whole deal.

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Whats that? Closer you say?

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Oh lighting, you did me good.

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Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Recipe from SmittenKitchen

For the crust:
2 cups shortbread cookie crumbs, finely processed in food processor
3 tablespoons melted butter
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

For the peanut butter filling
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/2 cup plain cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoon room temperature butter
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the chocolate ganache
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Etc:
Fleur de sel for sprinkling
Angled spatula for spreading

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, combine all of your crust ingredients until wet crumbs form and press into a 9 inch tart pan. Make sure you press it into the edges to get the nice rim. This part can be hard, but even if your crust crumbles, know that it will taste delicious. Bake on a baking sheet for 10 minutes. Use the back of a spoon to smooth out any imperfections fresh out of the oven. Let cool in the fridge while preparing the rest.

Whisk together your peanut butter, cream cheese, butter, powdered sugar and vanilla extract until smooth. Spoon over your shortbread crust until you have an even layer of peanut butter filling. I found that an angled spatula is the perfect tool for this because the peanut butter tends to want to lift off the crust with every move. If you don’t own one, a spoon and some patience will do. Let cool again in the fridge while making the ganache.

Place your chocolate chips and heavy cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave for 1 minute at a time until the chips are completely melted. I like to use a whisk. I find that it breaks apart secret chocolate chips much faster than any other tool. Spread on top of your peanut butter mixture, again, using an angled spatula if possible.

Sprinkle with fleur de sel, or any other high moisture salt. Place in fridge until ganache hardens (approximately 1 hour) or overnight for optimal cutting experience.

Enjoy!

 

 

 

Bourbon Espresso Blondies with Caramel Sauce

Time to get drunk off some baked goods! I set out to just make some good old fashioned blondies…but then got sidetracked by adding bourbon.

IMG_5631_2and then some espresso…and then some caramel drizzle…and then a toasted pecan…

IMG_5618_2Then I put the mix into not a baking pan, but a mini muffin tin.
IMG_5623_2So I ended up making shots…in the form of blondies. But hey…who’s complaining?

Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Makes ~ 20 mini blondies

For the blondies
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon espresso powder
pinch of salt
1/4 cup bourbon
1 cup all purpose flour

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix your bourbon into your butter and whisk in your brown sugar. Add in the remaining ingredients until well incorporated.

Butter a mini-muffin pan. Pour your batter into the muffin tins approximately halfway full. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the edges just start to be golden brown and pull aware from the tin. Let cool before removing.

For the caramel sauce
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup heavy cream

Over medium heat, heat your sugar until it starts to clump together. Once it starts to clump, stir constantly until it becomes dark brown color and the sugar crystals have dissolved. Add in your tablespoons of butter, being careful as the mixture may bubble up. I find it helpful to mix the caramel off direct heat until the butter is incorporated. Once incorporated, heat for 2-3 minutes until butter is completely dissolved. Add in the cream, taking caution again as each time a cooler ingredient is added, the mixture can tend to bubble. Stir over low heat for approximately 30-60 seconds until everything is well incorporated.

Drizzle over your blondies, with toasted nuts of your choice for decoration!

Enjoy!

Mini Banana Nut Muffins

Holy hiatus. Life got kind of nuts these last few weeks! Updating this site was always on the back of my mind but getting to a computer to do it seemed impossible. Getting home to my oven was even harder from all around the world (yup, world travels got in the way. pity me…)

For this, I apologize. During this time, my medical school friends and I all found out where we’re going to go for our residency and we’re now only a mere few days away from graduation!

Alright, enough! Time to discuss muffins! I made these guys before we embarked around the world for a brunch and they were so cute. Not to mention, they were just as banana nut muffins should be – full of banana flavor with some walnut crunch on top.

Nothing like freshly mashed bananas into these little guys. I added the nuts on top right before I put them in the oven (they were also in the batter, no fear) which gave them a nice aesthetic.

Stay tuned for more posts coming soon!

Mini Banana Nut Muffins

Makes 24 mini muffins
Adapted from Tyler Florence

2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
5 overripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cool
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup walnut pieces (some set aside for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 375F and lightly butter your mini muffin tin

In one bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.

Mash 3 bananas in a small bowl with a fork until mushed but still have some texture to them. Set aside.

In another bowl, take your remaining 2 bananas and mash together with the brown sugar until completely mixed, no banana texture left! To this, add your melted butter, eggs, and vanilla. Beat well until well incorporated. Add in your dry ingredients and fold in your nuts and remaining bananas.

Spoon your batter into your mini-muffin tins (about 3/4 of the way full) and sprinkle with some remaining nuts.

Bake for 8-10 minutes or until the tops spring back at your or a toothpick comes out clean. Enjoy with a good cup of coffee!

 

Cherry Almond Scones

Do you think they ate these on Downton Abbey? These are traditional English scones: fluffy and barely sweet. I bet they ate these on Downton Abbey.
You know what I love? Baked goods with giant sugar crystals on top. Baked goods with crunchy nuts and chewy fruit will do the trick, too.
Scones are such a winter food and although we had just a touch of spring the past few days, it’s dumping snow outside again right now (whhhhhyyyyyy?!?) but at least I have pictures of scones to comfort me.
I loved loading these guys with giant sugar crystals. What a beautiful sight! They’re full of sliced almonds and dried cherries. To bring out the almond flavor, I added a bit of almond extract to the recipe and I’m glad I did.
After my husband and I ate some, one lucky friend got all the rest to save our winter waistlines. Side note, I replaced the cream in this recipe with 2% milk for a lighter scone.

In other news, spring you can come now.

Cherry Almond Scones

Adapted from How to Cook Everything
Makes 8-10 scones

2 cups all purpose flour (+ a little more for shaping)
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
5 tablespoons cold butter, diced
1 egg 1/2 cup
2% milk & more for brushing
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup sliced almonds
Sanding sugar for sugar crystal topping

Preheat your oven to 450F
Note: I did this entire thing in a food processor (so easy!) so I will write it as such, but you can easily do this by hand.

In a food processor, pulse together your flour, salt, baking powder, and sugar. Throw in your butter and pulse until it looks like cornmeal.

Add in your egg, milk, and almond extract and pulse until the dough just starts to come together. Wasn’t that easy? (Yes.)

At this point, transfer your dough to a floured work surface. Pile on your almonds and cherries and minimally handle the dough to fold them into the mixture. When it just starts to look incorporated and using your fingers, shape your dough into a circle about 3/4 inch thick and cut into wedges as pictured above. Try not to over-touch the dough.

Transfer your wedges onto a baking pan lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Brush with some milk and sprinkle generously with sanding sugar. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Serve warm with a dollop of jam, butter and of course, a cup of coffee. Enjoy!

Variations:

1. Cut this recipe in half and make a smaller scone round to make 8 – 10 mini scones. You can you the half of the egg to brush the top instead of the milk, too.

2. Shape the dough into a giant rectangle and make adorable square scones.

Buttered Pecan Biscuits

It’s a beautiful Saturday afternoon here and the perfect day for baking.

Perfect day for making biscuits (y’all). Especially some stuffed with toasted, buttered, salted pecans.

These were amazing drizzled with a bit o’ honey as the biscuits were just the slightest bit sweet. We might make these into bacon sandwiches later. Can you imagine the flavor combination in your mouth?!

Or slathered in more butter with some salt (photo courtesy of the husband – pretty impressive huh?)

 

Buttered Pecan Biscuits

Adapted from joy the baker
Makes about 12 biscuits

For the buttered pecans
1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons butter
sprinkle of salt

Roast your pecan halves at 350F in an oven for 10 minutes. Then move the pecans to a saucepan and toss them in the butter and salt until your butter is melted. Set aside to cool while you prep your biscuits.

For the biscuits
3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup cold, unsalted butter cut into small cubes
1 large egg
3/4 cup cold milk + some for brushing (I used 2% milk, you can go up to buttermilk if you desire)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Some extra sugar for sprinkling on top

After your pecan halves are cooked, up your oven temperature to 400F.

In a large bowl, sift together your flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, salt, and brown sugar.

In another bowl, combine your egg, milk and vanilla.

FYI for these next steps, I recommend getting messy and using fingers! Using your fingers, pastry cutter, or fork, cut your butter into your dry mixture until it looks like corn meal with some pieces as big as small peas. Add in your wet mixture and mix until it just starts to come together. Fold in your buttered pecans until just incorporated. Try not to overmix/overknead otherwise you will end up with tough biscuits (yuck!)

Dump onto a floured board and flatten your dough to about 1 inch thick. Using a biscuit cutter or a cup, cut out rounds of about 2 inches in diameter and plop onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. You can place the biscuits relatively close together. If the edges touch, the biscuits easily pull apart.

Brush on some extra milk and sprinkle on some sugar.

Bake for 15-18 minutes.

Enjoy!