Chocolate Stout Tart + 5 Unique Beer Dessert Recipes

stouttart-4847stouttart-4868

He would say their love story began with a mutual affection for good beer and dessert.  She wouldn’t deny him that bit of nostalgia…most days.  [Lately her moods changed with the tide, the phases of the moon, the direction of the wind.]

She would say their love story began with a conversation, his kindness evident with every word spilling from his sweet mouth. [ His sense of humor, intelligence, opinions, though less appreciated today, fused her soul to his many years ago.]

And what would they say now?  The moon is in the waning Gibbous phase, the tide is low, the winds wild.  A tempestuous phase in their many years together.  Both will agree something was lost along the way. A persistent trickle, not a gash, slowly absorbing into their everyday.  Yet, despite arriving at this volatile juncture they remain in awe of all that followed since their love story began.  So tonight, when the house is quiet, the day almost done, they will split a beer, nibble on some chocolate, and each wonder silently: what’s next in our love story?

Chocolate Stout Tart

tart dough recipe adapted from David Lebovitz

chocolate stout filling adapted from Ambrosia Baking

Serves 6-8

Ingredients for Tart Dough:
1 cup + 5 tablespoons all-purpose unbleached flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon sugar

8 tablespoons or 1 stick unsalted butter, cold and cubed

1 large egg

Ingredients for chocolate stout filling:

1- 11 ounce bottle of Guinness, reduced to 1/4 cup

1 + 1/4 cups heavy cream

9 ounces of dark chocolate, chopped

1 teaspoon of vanilla

a generous pinch of kosher salt

Fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels for topping

Directions:

Using a food processor fitted with a blade attachment mix the flour, salt and sugar until combined.  Add the butter and pulse until the butter is pea-size.  Next add the egg and continue to pulse until the dough comes together and is smooth.  Remove dough from food processor and shape it into a disk.  Wrap the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes up to overnight.

Flour a clean surface and roll the dough until it is about a 13 inch circle.  Transfer dough to a 9 inch tart pan with a removable bottom.  Press the dough firmly into the tart pan and in the corners of the pan.  Trim any excess by running the side of a knife around the top of the tart.  Hold onto any scraps for patching.  If there are any holes in your tart, use the excess dough to patch them.  Prick the dough five times with a fork.  Place in the freezer for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the tart shell, pre-heat your oven to 400F.  Line the frozen tart with aluminum foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights.  Bake until the tart is golden brown about 25 minutes but check after 15 minutes.   Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.  Next make the chocolate stout filling.

Pour Guinness into a small pan and bring to a simmer.  Reduce to about 1/4 cup.  Remove from the heat and set aside.  Grab a second sauce pan and heat the cream until it just begins to simmer.  Using a medium bowl, add chopped chocolate, vanilla extract, salt and 3 tablespoons of reduced Guinness.  Remove simmering cream from the heat and pour over the chocolate mixture.  Let it stand for 5 minutes, then whisk until completely blended and very smooth.  Pour the chocolate ganache into the cooled tart shell .  Spread evenly using a spatula.  Refrigerate for at least two hours or until the ganache has completely set.  Just before serving, top the tart with fresh whipped cream and crushed pretzels.  The tart is best the day it is made but will last up to two days in air-tight container in the refrigerator.  Enjoy!

5 Unique Beer Desserts You Must Check Out!

Beer + Brownies = Tasty Beer Brownies!  How Sweet It Is has the recipe for you.

If you are a fan of IPAs check out the Beeroness’ recipe for IPA Lemon Bars.  I am intrigued!  While you are there check out her recipe for beer doughnuts with IPA lemon curd.  Again, intrigued!

Don’t wait until the next holiday season to make Food 52’s gingerbread bundt cake with chocolate glaze.  Seize the day or rather the cake.

Gimme Some Oven’s honey beer bread looks like the perfect vehicle for a generous smear of salted butter.  Yum!

 

 

Twix Bars with a Twist + 5 DIY Sweet Treat Links

twixbars-4097twixbars-4136

Halloween night I will walk our leaf covered sidewalks [crunch, shuffle, crunch…God I love that sound] with a warrior, Robin Hood and a jovial [fingers crossed, two is tough] ghost. Cold little hands resting in my hand, momentarily, before breaking free in a frantic scamper for more candy.  A warrior, headstrong and fierce will lead the way, while brave Robin Hood and a charming ghost shuffle along.

Robin Hood’s Epi-pens stored in one coat-pocket while a bag of “trade” candy sits in the other pocket…waiting.  Please no ER trips, not tonight.

Charleston Chews, Tootsie Rolls, Swedish Fish, Twizzlers, filling their orange plastic pumpkin buckets, while I hand off Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups and Snickers to Bubba quickly, efficiently, much like a bomb squad taking care of a situation before someone gets hurt.

Our boy, our prince of thieves, safe for now. 

House after house, we will trek along, until the air is just too chilly, our feet weary, the sugar high becoming a low.  When we reach our front door, the candy basket we left out will be nearly empty.  Robin Hood will steal the remaining safe candy, as he should.  With a tired ghost resting against him, snuggled in his neck, sticky cheeks touching coarse stubble, Bubba will open the front door.  The heat from the house will escape out the front door, warming our cold faces, reminding us we are home.  Safe.  Happy.

Happy Halloween.

Twix Bars with a Twist

A shortbread cookie topped with caramel, Sunbutter and a dark chocolate glaze

adapted from Not Without Salt’s Homemade Twix Bars

Makes 12 large bars or 24 small bars

Ingredients for shortbread:

1 stick + 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1/4 sugar

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350F.  Spray 9×13 baking pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper, leaving a bit of an overhang.  (This will make it easier to remove the bars later.)

Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a handheld electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Slowly add the flour and salt.  Mix until the dough comes together.  The dough will be crumbly but should hold together when pressed in between your fingers.

Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking pan.  Bake for 12 minutes.  Rotate pan and bake for another 12 minutes or until the shortbread is golden brown.  Allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Next prepare the Sunbutter layer.

Ingredients for the Sunbutter layer:

1 cup, all natural, no sugar added Sunbutter

1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

4 + 1/2 teaspoons unsalted butter

Directions: 

Place Sunbutter, sugar and butter in a medium size bowl and mix together with a wooden spoon until completely smooth.  Set aside.

Now prepare the caramel.

Ingredients for caramel:

2 cups sugar

3/4 light corn syrup

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 cup heavy cream

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

Sea Salt for sprinkling

Directions:

Combine sugar, corn syrup, water and lemon juice in a large saucepan.  Using your hand or a pastry brush, wipe down any sugar crystals on the side of the pan with water.  Over medium-high heat bring the mixture to a boil.  Again wipe down any stray sugar crystals.  Do not stir the caramel from this point on.  The mixture will bubble vigorously.  When the syrup begins to turn golden brown, insert a candy thermometer.  When it reaches 300F, remove the pan from the heat.  Allow to rest for 1 minute.  Add heavy cream and stir until smooth, then whisk in the condensed milk.  Next, add the salt.  Whisk until smooth.

Return the pan to the heat and stir constantly until the caramel reaches 240F.  Remove from heat and pour over cooled shortbread.  Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.  Place in the refrigerator and allow to set for 2 hours.  While the caramel layer sets prepare the chocolate glaze.

Ingredients for chocolate glaze:

6 ounces of dark chocolate- chocolate chips are fine

3 tablespoons of butter

Directions:

Slowly, melt the butter and the chocolate in the microwave.  (I checked it every 20 seconds.)  Stir well until completely melted and smooth.

Spread Sunbutter mixture evenly over caramel  layer.  Pour the melted chocolate over the Sunbutter layer.  Smooth with an offset spatula.  Decorate with holiday sprinkles, if desired.  Cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight.  They are easiest to cut when cold.  Cut into squares, big or small and serve.  Enjoy!

**If taking to a party, cut into squares when cold.  Store in an air-tight container in between layers of parchment paper.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.**

5 DIY Sweet Treat Links

If you love chocolate turtles check out Creme de la Crumb’s 3 ingredient caramel cashew clusters.  My mouth is watering!

One of my favorite sweet treats is chocolate covered almonds.  Sally’s Baking Addiction has a recipe for sea salt dark chocolate almond clusters that is now on my  must make soon list.

Love truffles?  Make your own!  Head to Alexandra’s Kitchen for her boozy Grand Marnier chocolate truffles recipe.

Screw moderation.  Make  I Am Baker’s Halloween saltine toffee candy and eat every last bite.  You deserve it!

Dealing with nut-allergies?  We are too.  I feel your anxiety especially around Halloween. Head to The Kitchn  and check out 5 nut-free Halloween treats that are sure to make your kids smile.

Brownie Pie with Raspberry Sauce + 5 Perfect Brownie Recipes for Heart Day!

 

bt209G

I’m prepping dinner.  Taco night again, the one meal the kids and Bubba will eat without complaining.  I could make tacos with eyes closed.  Number of tacos shells for each person, the perfect portion of chopped red pepper, avocado slices and shredded cheese.  Some like black beans only, others a spoonful of ground turkey.  A dollop of Greek yogurt, but never, ever any salsa.  “Too spicy, mama.”  I mindlessly hurry through this task.

My mind wanders to my to do list: valentines, allergists appointment, email C’s teacher, make safe cupcakes for G’s class, well-check for the baby coming up Friday, continuing training and fundraising for the marathon.  How many miles this week?

I’m tired today.  Next time I’m awake at 3am for no reason at all, I’m getting up and working on this list.  Why can’t I sleep?

I look up for a moment and the notice the sky glowing pink, the large naked trees behind our house illuminated in the winter’s setting sun.  To the right, the yellow of the sun shines so brightly, I squint my eyes, wondering if the day is just beginning.  How odd to feel both the beginning and end of a day at once.

I grab my phone and snap a quick picture.  “Mama and her pictures,” chimes C.

“Pink sky goose.” Me.

“I know.” C, unimpressed.

I snap another picture and then one more, attempting to hold on to the colors, carry them around with me, and look at them when I need to.  She doesn’t understand this need, not yet.

“Mama, time to eat!”

I sit down with them at our narrow, wooden kitchen table and look out the window.  A rich, dark blue replaces the pink and yellow, the trees still discernible, but quickly fading into the night sky.

bt222T

 

Brownie Pie  with Raspberry Sauce

Rich, intense chocolate brownie pie paired with a bright raspberry sauce is sure to make your Valentine swoon.  This is easy to make pie will take no time at all so make the day of and serve slightly warm. Enjoy!

Recipe slightly adapted from Ina Garten

Serves 8

Ingredient for Brownie Pie:

6 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted

3 1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

3 extra-large eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 tablespoon instant espresso

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

2 or 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Directions:

Pre-heat your oven to 350F and then grease and flour a 9 inch pie pan or tart pan with removable sides.  ( I used a pie pan.)

Using a medium size bowl, melt the butter over a pan with simmering water.  Once the butter is melted add 2 cups of chocolate chips and stir until the chocolate is almost completely melted.   Be careful not to burn the chocolate.  Remove from heat and stir until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth.  Set aside and cool.

Using a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the eggs, sugar, espresso, vanilla and orange zest on medium/high-speed until pale and fluffy, a few minutes.  Stir in the cooled chocolate. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and 1 cup of chocolate chips.  Gently fold the dry mixture into the wet batter until just combined.  Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes or up to 40 minutes.  The center will puff up and crack.  The inside should be soft.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

Melt the remaining chocolate chips with the heavy cream and drizzle all over the pie.

Slice and serve with raspberry sauce.  The pie tastes best the day it is made, but tastes pretty good the next day too.  Maybe add ice cream on day two if it seems too dry.  Enjoy!   Happy Heart Day!

Raspberry Sauce

barely adapted from Emeril Lagasse

makes 1 cup

Ingredients:

1- 12 ounce bag of frozen raspberries or 1 pint of fresh raspberries

1/8 cup of sugar

scant tablespoon of lemon juice

Directions:

Combine raspberries, sugar and lemon juice in a pan and cook for about 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and strain with a fine mesh sieve to remove seeds.  Serve at room temperature or refrigerate in air-tight container for a few days.  Enjoy!

5 Brownie Treats Perfect For Valentine’s Day

Obsessed with Trader Joe’s brownie brittle? Make your own! Bakers Royale has a recipe for a crisp pecan brownie brittle that will convert even the most devoted TJ’s fan.  Check it out!

If you love ice cream even in the dead of winter, check out Top With Cinnamon’s no-churn pistachio, mint, olive oil and fudge brownie ice cream.  I love the idea of these flavor combinations- so creative!

Need a quick, 5 minute dessert for your valentine? Cooking Classy has a microwave mug brownie recipe for you that looks so, so good.

Solo on Valentine’s Day? No worries, you can still enjoy something sweet!  Top With Cinnamon has a recipe for a single lady, vegan, molten fudge brownie and a gluten-free version is available too!

Cookies or brownies? Tough call. How about brownie cookies? Pastry Affair has the yummy recipe for you.

Support YES as I run the Boston Marathon on Aril 20th. https://www.crowdrise.com/youthenrichmentboston2015/fundraiser/kellyfitzpatrick1 Thank you in advance for your kindness and generosity!

 

 

Baked Vanilla Bean Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze + 5 Delicious Doughnut Links for Mother’s Day!

bd037The conversation went something like this:

Bubba: “What do you want to do for Mother’s Day?”

Me: “I don’t know. I haven’t really thought about it.”

Lie. Lie. Lie. Of course I thought about it! Just tell him already!

Ok.

“I want to sleep in. Then I want a large cup of coffee, but more importantly I’d like to drink that cup of coffee while it is still warm. Drink, not chug. Then I would like to go to the bathroom by myself without one of the kids bursting in because they need something. Maybe while I’m in the bathroom you can take the kids, yes all 3, to Mamadou’s and pick up some delicious, buttery, chocolate croissants for breakfast. After we eat the croissants and open cards and give lots of hugs and kisses and I think about how lucky I am to have such an awesome husband and 3 sweet kids; I want to be alone. Yup, alone. I want a quiet minute or hour. Take them to the park, please!

Maybe I’ll go for a run or take a shower without rushing. Maybe both? I’ll call Mom and wish her a happy day. How did you do it? And she’ll laugh and say “I just did it.” I’ll call my grandmother and sister. I’ll ask my grandmother the same thing and she’ll say “I don’t remember, but I did. You will too.” Jamie: “I don’t know how you do it.” She’ll laugh and say “I don’t know how you do it, Kel.” After I get off the phone, the empty house will feel odd. I’ll wander around it aimlessly. Now what? Laundry? Prep dinner? No, I know organize the office! No, c’mon its Mother’s Day. Relax. Sit on the deck and read? Maybe? Try out my new donut pan and bake a dozen, warm and sweet vanilla bean doughnuts? Yes!

bd001

But wait, if I eat a croissant for breakfast, can I have a donut for a snack? Sure, it’s Mother’s day.

I’ll think: I should bake donuts everyday. This is so easy. Then I’ll remember: I’m not alone everyday. Oh ya.

Ok, these sweet bites are ready to go in the oven. I love this pan.

bd005b

All done and ready for the chocolate glaze. Dam, this house is quiet. When are they coming back? Oh wait. I hear crying. They’re back. It’s N. No it’s G. No it’s N. He needs to nurse. Ok, buddy. I’m here. Ouch! Daddy! I need a band-aid. I better grab one. Don’t grab a pink princess one. My goose doesn’t like pink or princesses anymore. Mama! Are you here? I’ll sing my song now. “Mama, mama let me say: have a happy mother’s day!” G. My sweet boy. Bubba: “smells good in here! What did you make? Wash your hands! Everyone needs to wash their hands before they can help mama.”

Deep breath.

“Mama, can I help you?” Sure.

bd0014 bd0011I love their little hands. Someday, baby N, you’ll help too. I love their excitement when they see rainbow sprinkles. Rainbow sprinkles! Making them happy is easy. It won’t always be easy. Enjoy this.

bd016

bd042

Bubba smiles and asks ‘Did you get a minute?”

Yup. I got a minute.

Our house is loud again and that’s ok. They finish decorating the donuts and ask “can we be your taste testers?” They gobble up the donuts leaving a ring of chocolate around their little mouths. I wipe them clean, give them a kiss and we head outside.

Baked Vanilla Bean Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

doughnut recipe adapted from Ina Garten

chocolate glaze recipe by Joy the Baker

makes 1 dozen

Ingredients for Doughnut:

2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

1/4 tsp.  kosher salt

1 extra-large egg, lightly beaten

1 1/4 cups whole milk

2 tbsp. unsalted butter, browned

1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

Ingredients for Chocolate Glaze:

1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder

pinch of kosher salt

3 to 4 tbsp. milk

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Directions for doughnuts: Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease donut pans and set aside. Sift together the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl whisk together the egg, milk, browned butter, and vanilla bean seeds. Stir the wet mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined. Do not over mix!

Pour the batter into a Ziploc bag. Twist the top of bag so the batter doesn’t leak out and then trim the bottom corner of the bag. Pipe the batter into the baking pan about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for about 17 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let the donuts cool for about 5 minutes and then tap them out on to a sheet pan.

Directions for the glaze:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder and salt. If you still see lumps in the sugar use a sifter!

Add 3-4 tablespoons of milk and 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix together until completely incorporated and smooth. The glaze should be, thick but pourable.

Once the donuts are cool, dip them top side up into the chocolate glaze and place on a wire rack set inside a sheet pan. Decorate with sprinkles and allow to set for 30 minutes before stacking them. The donuts taste best the day they are made, but will still taste good two days later. Enjoy!

5 Doughnut Links for Mother’s Day

Want to eat a glazed doughnut filled and topped with funfetti? Head to Sally’s Baking Addiction for her baked funfetti donuts recipe. Just looking at her donuts makes me happy.

Glazed chocolate doughnuts are my favorite. The Faux Martha’s recipe for Baked Glazed Chocolate Doughnuts is on my must make list!

Should you make French toast or bake doughnuts for Mom this weekend? Tough call. How about French Toast Cake Donuts with maple glaze? Bakingdom has a delicious recipe for you. Check it out!

Want the real, fried, fluffy dough topped with a maple bacon glaze? How Sweet It Is has a recipe for mini maple bacon doughnuts. My mouth is watering!

Cheesecake doughnuts with salted caramel. Yes, you read that right. Head to Gourmet Traveller for the recipe.