Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Chocolate Crème Brûlée

Time for this classic dessert on Crème Brûlée Day. One of our favorite dessert to make and eat – delicious baked chocolate custard topped with that amazing crackling burned sugar crust. Perfect for popping open with a spoon and digging in.

INGREDIENTS
1 ¼ cups heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
2 ounces chopped dark chocolate
3 large egg yolks
1/3 cup vanilla sugar
Extra vanilla sugar for the topping

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat the oven to 325˚F. Place six ramekins into a large cake pan or roasting pan. Heat an electric or stovetop kettle full of water to hot.

Add the cream and milk to a large saucepan, bring to just to a boil. Remove from the heat and add the chopped chocolate; stir to melt completely.

In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks and vanilla sugar together until well blended. While you continue to whisk, slowly drizzle in about ½ cup of the hot chocolate milk and cream mixture; whisk until well combined. Continuing to whisk, slowly pour in the remainder of the mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined.

Pour the mixture evenly into the 6 ramekins. Carefully pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake just until the crème brûlée is just set, but still a little movement in the center, approximately 40 to 45 minutes. Remove and cool completely.

Tightly cover each baked custard with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, overnight is preferred, and up until to two days. Chilling the custards thoroughly so the sugar is successfully caramelized.

Sprinkle the top of each custard evenly with 1 tablespoon of vanilla sugar. Brown the caramel using a kitchen torch or the broiler in the oven. If broiling, watch carefully, so the topping doesn’t burn.

Serve immediately.

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp

The delicious sweet and sour flavors of summer in a super easy recipe made with seasonal fresh strawberries, a quick rhubarb pulp, pecans, and crispy butter cookies. Then baked to bubbly perfection and served topped with whipped cream.

INGREDIENTS
1 pound fresh rhubarb chopped into ½” pieces
½ cup sugar
4 cups ripe fresh strawberries, hulled and quartered
1½ cups coarsely chopped crispy butter cookies, homemade or premium store-purchased, we like Pepperidge Farm Chessmen
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
½ cup coarsely chopped pecans
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Whipped Cream, for serving (optional)

INSTRUCTIONS
To make rhubarb pulp, cook the fresh, chopped rhubarb in the sugar with ¼ cup water in a saucepan over medium heat until very soft. Crush to a pulp and simmer for 10-15 minutes longer or until thickened. Set aside.

In a bowl, toss the strawberries with warm rhubarb pulp. Rest for one hour on the counter at room temperature.

Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly butter four 12-ounce ramekins. Add ½ cup cookie crumbs and ¼ teaspoon of salt to the strawberry rhubarb mixture. Mix well and add evenly into the ramekins. In another bowl, toss the remaining 1 cup cookie crumbs with the chopped pecans, melted butter, and brown sugar; sprinkle evenly over the berries. Place on a parchment-lined baking tray and bake until the berries are bubbling out of the ramekins, about 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes to serve warm or serve at room temperature.

Serve topped with freshly whipped cream.

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

Strawberry Jam Streusel Cookie Bars

It’s strawberry season and these cookie bars are as delicious as they are festive! Our simple, sweet base is topped with strawberry jam then a crunchy streusel topping that browns lightly in the oven. 

INGREDIENTS:
½ cup butter, melted

1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
8-ounce container mascarpone cheese, room temperature
zest of one lemon
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of kosher salt
1 cup flour
1 cup strawberry jam, homemade or high quality

For the streusel topping:
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup butter, room temperature

INSTRUCTIONS:
Preheat the oven to 350°F Lightly butter and flour an 8 x8” pan. Whisk together the melted butter and sugar in a bowl. Add the egg and vanilla extract, mascarpone cheese, lemon zest, and mix thoroughly until smooth batter forms. In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together. Add the flour mixture in three amounts to the wet ingredients and stir until combined. Pour into the pan and spread evenly. Then top with the strawberry jam, spreading evenly over the batter.

Make the streusel:
In the bowl, use your hands to combine the butter, flour, sugar, and vanilla until your crumbs have a coarse and clumpy texture – about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Using your hands sprinkle the streusel evenly on top of the jam.

Place in the oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the center is set and the streusel is lightly brown. Allow cooling on a wire rack. 

Chocolate Bourbon Tart With Pecan Crust with Whipped Cream

Chocolate Bourbon Tart With Pecan Crust with Whipped Cream

Just because the Kentucky Derby isn’t the first Saturday in May this year doesn’t mean we can’t add bourbon to our chocolate ganache tart! We make our tart with a ground pecan crust filled with bourbon chocolate ganache. Topped with a dollop of fresh cream, it’s perfect for any spring treat.

INGREDIENTS
Crust
1 cup pecans
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
½ teaspoon salt
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon cold water
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
6 tablespoons sugar

Filling
8 ounces fine chocolate, like Scharffen Berger or Ghirardelli
1 cup cream
6 tablespoons of softened butter
2 tablespoons bourbon

Whipped Cream
1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
1 tablespoon bourbon (optional)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Bourbon Tart
INSTRUCTIONS
Butter a 9” square or round tart pan with fluted sides and a removable bottom. Place on a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pecans on a baking tray and toast the pecans for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool. Place in a food processor or mini chopper and grind until fine ground.

In a large bowl, combine the ground, cooled nuts, flour, cocoa, and salt; set aside. In a separate bowl add the butter and sugar. Using a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together, mixing for about 3-4 minutes on medium speed, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the egg and water and beat for another minute. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture. Mix until just combined. Add the dough to the buttered tart pan and press to fit the bottom and all the way up the sides. Cover with plastic cling wrap and refrigerate for 3-4 hours.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line the tart pan with buttered foil (butter side down on the dough) and fill with pie weights or beans. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and the weights. Return the crust to the oven and bake 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and cool completely.

In a bowl, add the chopped chocolate. In a small saucepan, heat the cream to very hot. Pour the cream mixture over the chocolate and stir to melt the chocolate completely. Add the butter, one tablespoon at a time, melting completely before adding the next tablespoon. Stir in the bourbon. Pour the chocolate ganache into the tart shell and smooth the surface. Chill until set. Remove and bring to room temperature before cutting.

Fresh Whipped Cream

INSTRUCTIONS
In the refrigerator, chill a medium metal bowl and the beaters to an electric mixer for 20 minutes. Add the cold cream to the bowl and using an electric mixer, beat the cream with the sugar until soft peaks form. Add bourbon (if using) and vanilla and continue to beat until stiff peaks form.

Serve with the tart.

Valentine Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing

Valentine Brownies with Cream Cheese Icing

These bright red Valentine Brownies are a delicious fudgy treat for your loved one! Colored to match the holiday with a crunchy exterior, they’re a rich chocolaty brownie topped with a smooth cream cheese icing and shards of white chocolate. 

INGREDIENTS
¾  cup butter, plus more for the pan
4-oz. high-quality dark chocolate such as Guittard
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1-oz. bottle red liquid food coloring, we used McCormick
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon expresso powder
1/8 teaspoon salt

Topping (below)
cream cheese icing
white chocolate

INSTRUCTIONS
Preheat oven to 350°. Using butter, lightly grease two 12 cavity nonstick brownie bar pan.

In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter whisking until smooth. Remove from the heat and cool slightly. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until light in color Slowly, a small amount at a time, temper the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Whisk in the red food coloring and the vanilla extract. In a separate bowl combine the flour, baking powder, expresso powder and salt. Add to the chocolate mixture and combine well. Add to the prepared pan.

Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely on a wire rack for ten minutes, then remove the individual brownies from the pan to a wire rack and cool completely for about an hour.

 

Cream Cheese Icing
INGREDIENTS
8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS
Using a stand or hand mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the powdered sugar, salt, and vanilla beating until blended. Add the icing to a piping bag and pipe a small amount of icing on top of each brownie. Top with shards* of white chocolate.

*using a vegetable peeler with a bar of white chocolate, peel off thin pieces of chocolate.

Rose Petal Shortbread Cookies

Rose Petal Shortbread Cookies

It’s the perfect combination for Valentine’s Day – all in one cookie. These heart-shaped shortbread cookies are flavored with delicious floral rose water, then filled with crushed rose petals, and topped with a sprinkle more of dried rose petals. It’s a delicious combination for your special Valentine.

INGREDIENTS
3  cups flour
1 ½  cups powdered sugar
1  cup butter, at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 ½  teaspoons rose water
1 ½  teaspoons lemon zest
¼ cup crushed rose petals

INSTRUCTIONS
Whisk together the flour and powdered sugar in a large bowl. Using a stand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Beat in the eggs, rose water, and lemon zest until blended. With the mixer on low, slowly add in the flour mixture in to create a stiff dough. Add 3 tablespoons crushed rose petals and gently combine. Remove dough from bowl and wrap tight in plastic wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight.

Preheat your oven to 300˚ F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Remove the dough from the wrap and roll on a floured board to ¼” thick. Using  cookie cutters, cut heart shapes, rerolling the dough until completely cut. Sprinkle the remaining rose petals over your rolled dough, pressing into the dough so the petals stick. Bake on a parchment-lined baking sheet for 20 – 25 minutes or until bottoms are just golden. Cool completely.