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Monday, December 15, 2008

 

holiday hiatus.


there is much crafting (i'm knee deep in felt), merry-making (cookies and Charlie Brown CD) and hall decking (sprigs! everywhere!) in our home.

and not much blogging!

i'll check in when i can on your blogs.

fa la la!
i hope your season is full of warmth, family and good food.

:: kate

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

 

dessert time :: s'mores pie recipe!


chocolate, graham and marshmallow is one of those combinations that just can't be beat. it's just completely delicious and nearly everyone loves it.

for your holiday festivities this year, consider making a S'mores Pie. i tell you, you won't be sorry! it conjures up all my best food memories. hot chocolate with marshmallows after a long day of sledding and snow fort building, s'mores 'round the campfire in summer, and my many visits to a bakery in Seattle that had dark chocolate covered graham crackers in a jar on the front counter. oooh. so good.

try it and tell me it's not heaven in a pie plate.

Chocolate S'mores Pie

Gourmet

For crust:

INGREDIENTS

Yield: Makes enough for a 9- to 9 1/2-inch pie

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus additional for greasing
1 1/2 cups cookie crumbs (10 graham crackers)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt

PREPARATION

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter pie plate.

Stir together all ingredients in a bowl and press evenly on bottom and up side of pie plate. Bake until crisp, 12 to 15 minutes, then cool on a rack to room temperature, about 45 minutes.

For the Pie:

INREDIENTS
chocolate cream filling:
7 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not more than 70% cacao; not unsweetened), finely chopped (having made this pie before, i decided to 2/3 bitter and 1/3 milk and i liked it better that way.)
1 cup heavy cream
1 large egg, at room temperature for 30 minutes

marshmallow topping
1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin (from a 1/4-ounce package)
1/2 cup cold water
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Vegetable oil for greasing

Special equipment: a candy thermometer

PREPARATION

Make chocolate cream filling:

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).

Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.


Make marshmallow topping:

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.

Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260°F, about 6 minutes.

Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.


Brown topping:

Preheat broiler.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Put chocolate in a large bowl. Bring cream just to a boil in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart heavy saucepan, then pour hot cream over chocolate. Let stand 1 minute, then gently whisk until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Gently whisk in egg and a pinch of salt until combined and pour into graham cracker crumb crust (crust will be about half full).

Cover edge of pie with a pie shield or foil and bake until filling is softly set and trembles slightly in center when gently shaken, about 25 minutes. Cool pie to room temperature on a rack (filling will firm as it cools), about 1 hour.


marshmallow topping:

Sprinkle gelatin over 1/4 cup cold water in a large deep heatproof bowl and let stand until softened, about 1 minute.

Stir together sugar, corn syrup, a pinch of salt, and remaining 1/4 cup water in cleaned 1- to 1 1/4-quart heavy saucepan. Bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then boil until thermometer registers 260°F, about 6 minutes.

Begin beating water and gelatin mixture with an electric mixer at medium speed, then carefully pour in hot syrup in a slow stream, beating (avoid beaters and side of bowl). When all of syrup is added, increase speed to high and continue beating until mixture is tripled in volume and very thick, about 5 minutes. Add vanilla and beat until combined, then immediately spoon topping onto center of pie filling; it will slowly spread to cover top of pie. Chill, uncovered, 1 hour, then cover loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap (oiled side down) and chill 3 hours more.

Brown topping:

Preheat broiler.

Transfer pie to a baking sheet. Cover edge of pie with pie shield or foil and broil 3 to 4 inches from heat, rotating pie as necessary, until marshmallow topping is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Cool pie on a rack 10 minutes. Slice pie with a large heavy knife dipped in hot water and then dried with a towel before cutting each slice.

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

 

cookie carnival :: november round-up!

the challenge for November's Cookie Carnival was the classic Chocolate Chip Cookie. we used a recipe from one of my favorite cook books called In The Sweet Kitchen. it's written by Regan Daley and i can't say enough good things about it. but i'll spare you my rant this time.


i loved these cookies. and i found there were 2 KEY elements to success with them:

1. GOOD chocolate. you need a high quality chunk. do not go sticking Nestle in here. they have no place.

2. take them out of the oven just a *bit* before you think they are totally done. if you over-do them you take away the moist, soft, pillow-like nature that they have when done just right.

we found that they went VERY fast. i think we had them around for 2 days. and we went thru a lotta milk in those 2 days, too! all in all - YUM.

The Ultimate Chewy and Soft Chocolate Chunk Cookies


INGREDIENTS
1 cup unsalted butter at room temp
1 cup tightly packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsps. pure vanilla extract
3 cups plus 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
16 oz. flavorful bitter or semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper, or lightly butter them, and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, or a large bowl if mixing by hand, cream the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well and scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the vanilla.

2. Sift the flour, baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the butter-sugar mixture, and mix until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chunks.

3. Using your hands, shape knobs of dough about the size of a large walnut and place them 2 inches apart on the baking sheets. Stagger the rows of cookies to ensure even baking. Bake 12-15 for smaller cookies, 14-17 for larger ones or until the tops are a light golden brown. If the cookies are neither firm nor dark when they are removed from the oven, they will cool chewy and soft. Cool the cookies on the sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. If somehow they don't get inhaled immediately, they may be stored airtight at room temperature for up to one week.

i'm sorry to say that i just don't have the time this month to do a full commentary-style round-up and it's likely that i may not for december either. i'm full swing into crafting for holiday gifts and am chasing my tail a bit! so, i'm sorry for that, but i do want say a big THANK YOU to all of you who participated. you have made CC a success and i am greateful. . . also, i remind you to go and visit each other's blogs and see how everyone did with this challenge because there are some great posts out there.

participating in the November challenge (pics appear above the person who took them):




holly of Phemomenon. read her post here.


stephanie of Confessions of a City Eater. read her post here.



lynn of Bites and Pieces. read her post here.


brooke of Dessert First. read her post here.


temperance of High on the Hog. read her post here.


jules at Someone's in The Kitchen. read her post here.


jessica at Mango Missives. read her post here.


kerri at K&K's Baking. read her post here.



stacey of Simply Tasty. read her post here.



michelle of Culinography. read her post here.


tammy of Wee Treats by Tammy. read her post here.


april of Abby Sweets. read her post here.


jin of Smell and Taste are My Memory. read her post here.


natashya of Living in the Kitchen with Puppies. read her post here.


laura of This and That and a Whole Lot of Food made two attempts. read the first post here. and the second here.


megan of My Baking Adventures. read her post here.


arika of My Yummy Life. read her post here.


cristine of Cooking with Cristine. read her post here.


tami of Tami's Kitchen Table Talk. read her post here.


natalie of Snooky Doodle Cakes. read her post here.


amanda of Amanda's Cookin'. read her post here.

pamela of Cookies with Boys. read her post here. (no pic)



yi of Workout Then Cook. read her post here.



jacque of Daisy Lane Cakes. read her post here.


sara of My Sweetest Day. read her post here.

brittney of Adventures in Gluttony. read her post here. (no pic)


jen of Beantown Baker. read her post here.


mary ann of Meet Me In The Kitchen. read her post here.


sihan of Fundamentally Flawed. read her post here.

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