momofuku milk bar exam no. 3 {apple pie layer cake}

applepielayercake

So last year, I was at pub trivia night in Brooklyn and one of the questions was: Name all four members of the band, The Black Eyed Peas.

Ok… well Fergie, obviously. Um, Will.i.am. Alright, we got this. Uh, gosh what’s his name… the one with the, you know, I…… and that’s as far as we got. Because NOBODY could remember what the other two even looked like. Answer: Fergie, Will.i.am… Taboo and apl.de.ap. Ohhhhhh… yah, I totally didn’t know that.

What I do know is that it makes for a nice segue into this apple-de-app dessert, Apple Pie Layer Cake aka Momofuku Milk Bar Exam no.3! no.1 was cookies, no.2 pie, and now CAKE. But Momofuku Milk Bar cakes are unlike any other cake I’ve ever seen or made. Christina Tosi is like the Betty Crocker of the future, so of course her cakes are assembled in a cake ring, wrapped in acetate sheets, and presented with their sides unfrosted.

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Although I usually like a perfectly frosted cake, I’m marveled by this presentation. It reminds me of a trifle in which you see each layer of the individual components of the dessert. But let me tell you, I had a bit of a doozy tracking down the equipment.

  • 6-inch cake ring: Ok, I just bought this one off Amazon so not that hard.
  • acetate sheets: ??? You’d think in a city like New York, I’d have no problem finding them but when I went to Michael’s they told me to try Staples. I went to Staples and they said ‘maybe Michael’s?’ Needless to say, I Amazon-ed these last minute as well and was biting my nails with worry, afraid that they wouldn’t arrive in time for me to make this cake for my friend Emily’s birthday.

But they did and I sighed in relief and I made this cake and my friends all ate it. All’s well that ends… with cake. So word of advice, if you’re planning on making any Momofuku Milk Bar cake, make sure you locate all the necessary parts at least a week before you need them. Now, I’m not gonna lie. There’s a lot of parts to this cake. Just make sure you have everything prepared and stay really organized (the finished cake has to freeze for 12 hours before being served, so it’s not a last minute dessert).

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momofuku milk bar exam no. 2 {grasshopper pie}

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I always say I’m not a chocolate person but the fact is… of course I am. Who am I kidding. Chocolate is great. Chocolate AND Mint is fantastic. So I’m not sure why I was hesitant to make this Grasshopper Pie but I was. It’s just not something I usually jump to make when I’m in a baking mood or crave at night during my ladytimes. But that’s the beauty of this wonderful endeavor I’ve decided to take on. I get to learn on a constant basis that I have no idea what’s good for me.

Make this pie NOW. Especially since today is Galentine’s Day. Celebrate ladytimes!

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Anytime you start with a graham cracker crust you can’t go wrong. Add a mint cheesecake and brownie layer and… I’m just preaching to the choir here, right?

Despite the fact that this pie requires a few separate components, it was actually pretty easy to put together. And as I’ve found with most of Christina Tosi’s recipes, really fun! Serve cold, frozen is even better.

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{my Jackson Pollock tribute}

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grasshopper pie
from Momofuku Milk Bar
makes 1 (10-inch) pie; serves 8 to 10
  • 1 recipe Brownie Pie, prepared through step 8
  • 1 recipe Mint Cheesecake Filling (recipe follows)
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) mini chocolate chips
  • ½ cup (25g) mini marshmallows
  • 1 recipe Mint Glaze (recipe follows), warm
(1) Heat the oven to 350°F.
(2) Grab a sheet pan and put your pie tin of graham crust on it. Pour the mint cheesecake filling into the shell. Pour the brownie batter on top of it. Use the tip of a knife to swirl the batter and mint filling, teasing up streaks of the mint filling so they show through the brownie batter [I wanted to keep the layers separate so I didn’t do this].
(3) Sprinkle the mini chocolate chips into a small ring in the center of the pie, leaving the bull’s-eye center empty [I literally made a bull’s eye in the center of the pie, using a ½ measuring cup]. Sprinkle the mini marshmallows into a ring around the ring of chocolate chips.
(4) Bake the pie for 25 minutes. It should puff slightly on the edges but still be jiggly in the center. The mini chocolate chips will look as if they are beginning to melt, and the mini marshmallows should be evenly tanned. Leave the pie in the oven for an additional 3 to 4 minutes if this is not the case.
(5) Cool the pie completely before finishing it. (You can speed up the cooling process by carefully transferring the pie to the fridge or freezer directly out of the oven if you’re in a hurry.)
(6) Now the pie needs to be Jackson-Pollocked with mint glaze. Make sure your glaze is still warm to the touch. Dunk the tines of a fork [I found a small spoon to work better] into the warm glaze, then dangle the fork about 1 inch above the bull’s-eye center of the pie.
(7) Transfer the pie to the fridge [freezer is better] so the mint glaze firms up before serving—which will happen as soon as it’s cold, about 15 minutes. Wrapped in plastic, the pie will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
 
Brownie Pie
makes 1 (10-inch) pie; serves 8 to 10
  • ¾ recipe (255g, 1½ cups) Graham Crust [I love graham crust, so I just used 1 full recipe. Why not?]
  • 4½ ounces (125g) 72% chocolate
  • 6 tablespoons (85g) butter
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup (150g) sugar
  • ¼ cup (40g) flour
  • 3 tablespoons (25g) cocoa powder, preferably Valrhona
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) kosher salt
  • ½ cup (110g) heavy cream 
(1) Heat the oven to 350°F.
(2) Dump 210g (1¼ cups) graham crust into a 10-inch pie tine and set the remaining 45g (¼ cup) to the side. With your fingers and the palms of your hands, press the crust firmly into the pie tin, covering the bottom and sides of the pan completely. Wrapped in plastic, the crust can be refrigerated or frozen for up to 2 weeks.
(3) Combine the chocolate and butter in a microwave-safe bowl and gently melt them together on low for 30 to 50 seconds. Use a heatproof spatula to stir them together, working until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
(4) Combine the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whip together on high for 3 to 4 minutes, until the mixture is fluffy and pale yellow and has reached the ribbon state. (Detach your whisk, dunk it into the whipped eggs, and wave it back and forth like a pendulum: the mixture should form a thickened silky ribbon that falls and then disappears into the batter.) If the mixture does not form ribbons, continue whipping on high as needed.
(5) Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment. Dump the chocolate mixture into the eggs and briefly mix together on low, then increase the speed to medium and paddle the mixture for 1 minute, or until it is brown and completely homogenous If there are any dark streaks of chocolate, paddle for a few seconds longer, or as needed. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(6) Add the flour, cocoa powder, and salt and paddle on low speed for 45 to 60 seconds. There should be no clumps of dry ingredients. If there are any lumps, mix for an additional 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(7) Stream in the heavy cream on low speed, mixing for 30 to 45 seconds, just until the batter has loosened up a little and the white streaks of cream are fully mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(8) Detach the paddle and remove the bowl from the mixer. Gently fold in the 45g (¼ cup) graham crust with a spatula. (These crumbs will add little bursts of flavor and texture into the pie filling.)
(9) Grab a sheet pan and put your pit tine of graham crust on it. With a spatula, scrape the brownie batter into the graham shell. Bake for 25 minutes. The pie should puff slightly on the sides and develop a sugary crust on top. If the brownie pie is still liquid in the center and has not formed a crust, bake it for an additional 5 minutes or so.
(10) Cool the pie on a rack. (You can speed up the cooling process by carefully transferring the pie to the fridge or freezer directly out of the oven if you’re in a hurry.) Wrapped in plastic, the pie will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.
 
Graham Crust
makes about 340g (2 cups)
  • 1½ cups (190g) graham cracker crumbs
  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder
  • 2 tablespoons (25g) sugar
  • ¾ teaspoon (3g) kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons (½ stick, 55g) butter, melted, or as needed
  • ¼ cup (55g) heavy cream
(1) Toss the graham crumbs, milk powder, sugar, and salt with your hands in a medium bowl to evenly distribute your dry ingredients.
(2) Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it is not moist enough to do so, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1 to 1½ tablespoons) butter and mix it in.
(3) Eat immediately, or deploy as directed in a recipe. The crust is easiest to mold just after mixing. Stored in an airtight container, graham crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.
 
Mint Cheesecake Filling
makes enough for 1 grasshopper pie 
  • 2 ounces (60g) white chocolate
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) grapeseed oil [used canola]
  • 2 ½ ounces (75g) cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) confectioners’ sugar
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) peppermint extract
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
  • 2 drops green food coloring [only 1 drop]
(1) Combine the white chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe dish and gently melt the mixture on low for 30 to 50 seconds. Use a heatproof spatula to stir the chocolate and oil together, working until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
(2) Combine the cream cheese and confectioners’ sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and stir together on medium-low speed for 2 to 3 minutes to blend. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(3) On low speed, slowly stream in the white chocolate mixture. Mix for 1 to 2 minutes, until it is fully incorporated into the cream cheese. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
(4) Add the peppermint extract, salt, and food coloring and paddle the mixture for 1 to 2 minutes, or just until it is smooth and leprechaun green [I kept mine more minty green]. (You may need to scrape the bowl down once midmixing.) No point in making ahead—you don’t have any use for it otherwise and it will make it trickier to swirl in later.
  
Mint Glaze
makes enough for 1 grasshopper pie
  • 1 ounce (30g) white chocolate
  • 2 teaspoons (6g) grapeseed oil [used canola]
  • scant ⅛ teaspoon (0.5g) peppermint extract
  • 1 drop green food coloring
(1) Combine the white chocolate and oil in a microwave-safe dish and melt the chocolate on low for 20 to 30 seconds. Use a heatproof spatula to stir the oil and chocolate together, working until the mixture is glossy and smooth.
(2) Stir in the peppermint extract and food coloring.

momofuku milk bar exam no. 1 {blueberry & cream cookies}

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This cookie was actually the first item I ever tried at Momofuku Milk Bar (thus starting this obsession). For a place known for its eccentric Crack Pie® and Bagel Bombs, these blueberry & cream cookies look deceptively simple. Ohhh but think again! Imagine a chewy, buttery cookie dotted with blueberries and white chocolate and multiply those flavors by 1000! You’re gonna love this cookie.

The thing I really appreciate about the Momofuku Milk Bar cookbook and Christina Tosi is that she’s very clear with her directions as well as the specificity of her ingredients. I’m a recipe/cookbook connoisseur and I hate when chefs leave out the specifics– Tosi keeps no secrets. She’s very direct in the intro pages about EXACTLY what brands she uses for her butter, flour, sugar, chocolate, fruits, etc.  which is a tremendous help to an obsessive nit-picker like myself. I’m going to try my darnest to listen to her suggestions and adhere as closely as possible to each recipe. My new motto is: What Tosi Wants, Tosi Gets. She would probably be mortified and slightly disturbed by my cult-ish devotion but I’ve tasted her Kool-Aid (cookies) and I’m just not going back!

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What makes these cookies stand out are a handful of key changes. Since this was my first Momofuku Milk Bar endeavor for y’all, I was a bit nervous. Milk crumbs? Glucose? I’ve never baked with these ingredients before. But it all makes sense. The milk crumbs (a combination of mostly butter, milk powder, and white chocolate) give the cookies an additional oomph in the creamy, milky department. And the addition of glucose (which I previously only associated with my dreaded year of organic chemistry) is now my new best friend and the secret to what keeps these cookies nice and chewy.

Most of my ingredients I procured at either Trader Joe’s, Fairway, or Whole Foods, but the glucose I actually purchased at Michael’s. The directions say that corn syrup can be substituted for the glucose but speaking from experience now, I can say that glucose is WAY stickier and less sweet than corn syrup (and thus probably produces a better chewier texture).

{milk crumbs}

{milk crumbs}

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As hard as it is, resist from eating all the cookie dough before baking. Or eat half then bake half. Compromise.

{ready to eat. or scoop.}

{ready to eat. or scoop.}

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{momofuku milk bar exam no.1 complete!}

 

blueberry & cream cookies
from Momofuku Milk Bar
makes 12 to 17 cookies

  • 16 tablespoons (2 sticks, 225g) butter, at room temperature [preferably Plugra, I used Whole Foods brand– sorry Tosi!]
  • ¾ cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • ⅔ cup (150g) light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • ¼ cup (100g) glucose [can substitute: 2 tablespoons (35g) light corn syrup]
  • 2 [large] eggs
  • 2 cups (320g) flour [preferably King Arthur bread flour]
  • ½ teaspoon (2g) baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) baking soda
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • Milk Crumb, recipe below
  • ¾ cup (130g) dried blueberries [can be bought at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s]

(1) Combine the butter, sugars, and glucose in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium-high for 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7 to 8 minutes.
(2) Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix just until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. (Do not walk away from the machine during this step, or you will risk overmixing the dough.) Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
(3) Still on low speed, add the milk crumbs and mix until they’re incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Chase the milk crumbs with the dried blueberries, mixing them in for 30 seconds.
(4) Using a 2 ¾-ounce ice cream scoop (or a ⅓-cup measure), portion out the dough onto a parchment-lined sheet pan. Pat the tops of the cookie dough domes flat. Wrap the sheet pan tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour [I did overnight], or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature—they will not bake properly.
(5) Heat the oven to 350° F.
(6) Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4 inches apart on parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pans. Bake for 18 minutes [Mine were done at 15-16 minutes, don’t overbake!]. The cookies will puff, crackle, and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges yet still bright yellow in the center; give them an extra minute or so if that’s not the case.
(7) Cool the cookies completely on the sheet pans before transferring to a plate or to an airtight container for storage. At room temp, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they will keep for 1 month.
 

Milk Crumb

  • ¼ cup (20g) milk powder [non-fat dry milk]
  • 2 tablespoons (20g) flour
  • 1 tablespoon (6g) cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon (12.5g) sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon (1g) kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons (¼ stick, 27.5g) butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons (10g) milk powder
  • 1 ½ ounces (45g) white chocolate, melted

(1) Heat the oven to 250° F.
(2) Combine the 20g (¼ cup) milk powder, the flour, cornstarch, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Toss with your hands to mix. Add the melted buter and toss, using a spatula, until the mixture starts to come together and form small clusters.
(3) Spread the clusters on a parchment- or Silpat-lined sheet pan and bake for 20 minutes. The crumbs should be sandy at that point, and your kitchen should smell like buttery heaven. Cool the crumbs completely.
(4) Crumble any milk crumb clusters that are larger than ½ inch in diameter and put the crumbs in a medium bowl. Add the 10 g (2 tablespoons) milk powder and toss together until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixtures.
(5) Pour the white chocolate over the crumbs and toss until your clusters are enrobed. Then continue tossing them every 5 minutes until the white chocolate hardens and the clusters are no longer sticky. The crumbs will keep in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer for up to 1 month.

Happy Birthday Katherine!

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While most of you are probably busy wrapping (or buying) last minute presents, I have a special place in my heart for Christmas Eve for several different reasons. Not only is it my parents’ anniversary (27th this year!) but it’s also my friend Katherine’s birthday!

Happy Birthday Katherine! I hope it’s the best yet xo

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For her early birthday this year, I made Katherine these strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Her favorites are strawberry and cream cheese frosting (as coincidentally are mine) so these were the perfect surprise birthday treats!

And if you know Katherine, you will know she is THE sparkle, glitter, sequin queen. So in lieu of topping them with strawberries or graham cracker crumbs, I sprinkled some edible silver glitter and colored sugars on top. They were incredibly delicious and fun!

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{cheesecake + cupcake: best of both worlds}

I adapted the proportions of this recipe quite a bit as it made way too much graham cracker crumbs and cream cheese frosting. The recipe below is how I would suggest the cupcakes should be made– this is now one of my favorite cupcake recipes!

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
adapted from Joylicious

  • 2 sleeves of graham cracker crumbs (about 18 whole crackers)
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 ½ cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 ½ sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream/Greek yogurt
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 2 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and coarsely chopped (and more for garnish)
  • Cream Cheese Frosting, recipe below

(1)  Preheat oven to 350° F and line 20-22 muffin tins with cupcake liners. 
(2)  Mix graham cracker crumbs with butter using a food processor.  Sprinkle about 1 tablespoon of the crushed graham cracker into the bottom of each prepared muffin tin.  Press down using a ¼ measuring cup and bake for 3-5 minutes or until slightly browned.  Remove immediately from oven and set aside to cool.
(3)  In a medium bowl beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks appear, about 3-4 minutes, be careful not to overbeat. Set aside.
(4)  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.
(5)  In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and then add the vanilla.
(6)  Next, add half the flour mixture and incorporated on low speed until it’s almost all incorporated.
(7)  Then mix in the sour cream/yogurt. Add the remaining flour and mix until just blended. Don’t over mix.
(8)  Using a rubber spatula, gently fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the batter until combined, do not over mix the egg whites or the cake will fall flat. Add remaining egg whites and fold in the chopped strawberries.
(9)  Fill each muffin tin almost to the top and bake for about 20-22 minutes depending on your oven. You can test to see if they are done by sticking a toothpick through the center and seeing if it comes out clean.
 

Cream Cheese Frosting 

  • 1 block (8 ounces) cream cheese
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

(1)  In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together until smooth.
(2)  Add the sugar slowly in small batches, beating on low speed until incorporated. Once all sugar has been added, increase the speed to high and mix until light and fluffy.
(3)  When ready to serve, spread icing on cupcakes or use a pastry bag with a star tip. Garnish with freshly cut strawberries and graham cracker crumbs and serve.

Makes about 20-22 cupcakes

pumpkin mousse parfaits

hello November!

So far November in New York has been, to put it kindly… a bitch. First, we welcomed the month with Hurricane Sandy aka Frankenstorm and then Athena the Nor’easter brought an onslaught of our first snow this year. I don’t mean it lightly when I say I feel incredibly grateful and lucky to have been safe and warm.

To anyone who still needs a warm place to stay or electricity or pumpkin parfaits… this is for you.

This dessert requires no baking and is super easy to put together. I was skeptical about the pumpkin-orange mousse but I think my final verdict is… I like it? I only added 1 teaspoon of orange zest instead of 2 and that was plenty. Next time, I may reduce the whipped cream to 1 cup as well for a more intense pumpkin-y flavor.

I think this is perfect for the Thanksgiving holidays. It’s a nice variation on pumpkin pie and feels deceptively light (despite the copious amounts of heavy cream. I’m so evil.). I took these adorable parfaits to my friend Emily’s party and they were quite popular. Make sure not to make them too big as these little things are richer than they appear.

{my favorite part}

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{cute tiger ginger cookies}

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{parfait assembly line}

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Pumpkin Mousse Parfaits
adapted from Barefoot Contessa

  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 packet (2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin powder
  • 1 (15-ounce can) pumpkin (not pie filling)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • Sweetened whipped cream (recipe followed)
  • ½ cup crumbled ginger cookies

1)    Place the water in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside for 10 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
2)    In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
3)    Set the bowl of gelatin over a small pot of simmering water and cook until the gelatin is clear. Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
4)    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream and vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the pumpkin mixture.
5)    To assemble, spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into parfait glasses, add a layer of whipped cream, then some chopped cookies. Repeat, ending with a third layer of pumpkin.
6)    Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight. To serve, decorate with whipped cream and some more crumbles of ginger cookies.

Sweetened whipped cream

  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • ½ tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1)    In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the heavy cream, sugar, and vanilla until firm peaks form. Use to layer and decorate the parfaits.

Makes 8-10 servings

childhood… with sprinkles!

Rice krispies treats are my childhood. And if they weren’t a part of yours, then I am sorry. Not a snarky kind of sorry but a truly, deeply, hold-you-close-to-my-bosom-as-you-weep sorry because that, my friends, is a travesty. I hope these make up for your lack of a childhood. I really hope they do… (ok that was a little snarky)

As a little girl, I loved helping my mom make rice krispies– hovering over the stove to stir the marshmallows and hoping she wouldn’t scrape all the leftover bits from the pot. If it’s physically possible, I think my love for them has only grown with age. And now that I am one year older and wiser I thought I would make this sophisticated version of my favorite childhood treat.

{ooey gooey goodness}

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What makes these ‘grown up’ is the addition of browned butter and a sprinkling of sea salt, but I still wanted to inject my inner child hence the healthy dose of sprinkles and heart shape cutout (use any fun shape you please).

Salted Brown Butter Rice Krispies Treats
adapted from smittenkitchen

  • 4 ounces (¼ pound or 1 stick) unsalted butter, plus extra for the pan
  • 1 10-ounce bag marshmallows
  • Heaping ¼ teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal (about half a 12-ounce box)
  • sprinkles of your choice

(1) Butter (or coat with non-stick spray) a 13 x 9-inch pan.
(2) In a large pot, melt butter over medium-low heat. It will melt, then foam, then turn clear golden and finally start to turn brown and smell nutty. Stir frequently, scraping up any bits from the bottom as you do. Don’t take your eyes off the pot as while you may be impatient for it to start browning, the period between the time the butter begins to take on color and the point where it burns is often less than a minute.
(3) As soon as the butter takes on a nutty color, turn the heat on low and stir in the marshmallows. Melt until the marshmallows are smooth.
(4) Remove the pot from the stove and stir in the salt and cereal together. Quickly spread into prepared pan. I like to non-stick spray my (very clean) hands and press firmly and evenly into the edges and corners, although a silicon spatula works almost as well.
(5) Decorate with sprinkles and a pinch or two more of sea salt on top. Let cool, cut into squares or shapes and get ready to make new friends.
 

Makes 16 2-inch squares or 32 1- x 2-inch small bars

key lime pie

While I consider myself a Nashville girl, deep deep down inside I’m actually from Miami. Yep, that was the first place my parents lived when they moved to the States and where I was born and raised until I was two. Palm trees, Cuban music, art deco… and I remember none of it. One of the few things that I like to think does link me to Miami however is my love of key lime pie.

Tart, creamy, with a graham cracker crust– it’s the perfect summer treat. Oddly enough I have never made key lime pie myself which is inexcusable as it’s surprisingly easy to make. Don’t take any shortcuts though. Make your own crust, squeeze fresh limes, whip the sweetened cream. You’ll thank me. As did my coworkers.

 

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Happy Tax Day!

It’s springtime! The weather’s warmed up, the flowers have bloomed, and swimsuit season is in sight *screeching of brakes* *hitting of panic button*. No, no it’s okay, you’ve still got a solid two months, maybe three until then, so I tell myself. As we wait around for that annual two-piece terror season to begin, why not go ahead and celebrate your last indulges with a couple of these cute coconut macaroons! They’re just wee little things that say ‘what harm could I do? Please eat me, especially now that all your Girl Scout cookies are gone.’

My coconut macaroon obsession is really my mother’s fault. On my 21st birthday, she bought me a box of chocolate dipped coconut macaroons from Godiva that I still lust after today. Also for Easter this year, she sent me two huge bags of my current obsession: Pretzel M&M’s. She reeks of swimsuit sabotage. Anyways, this recipe is just as good as my precious Godiva macaroons. They’re dense and chewy and just the perfect sweetness. So go ahead, indulge away whether you’re celebrating the fact that you just finished your taxes or accomplished some major spring cleaning. As my mom would tell you, ‘You deserve it!’

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