You can make this basic crust by hand or in a food processor. The most important tips are to work with butter straight from the fridge, use ice water, and not to overmix – make sure your butter doesn’t melt and you don’t overwork the flour. You can also add flavorings to this crust: I like to substitute rum for some of the water and add a little cinnamon for pecan pie, or add a bit of seasoning if I’m using the crust for a savory pie.
This recipe makes a single crust. For a double crust pie, double the recipe.
In a food processor, pulse together the flour, any dry flavorings, and butter until the mixture resembles coarse meal. (If working by hand, cut butter into flour, being careful not to warm butter as you work)
Begin adding water 1 Tbsp at a time until dough just comes together, pulsing or mixing as you go. If you are adding liquid for flavor, alternate with the ice water.
Turn out onto plastic wrap and form into a disc. Chill to firm, about 15 minutes.
Roll out with a heavy rolling pin and place in pie dish.
So, obviously I did not make it back to Make’n’Tell last month. I still haven’t finished that sweater, though the end is finally in sight (and it turns out the deadline was May 12, not April, so at least I didn’t actually miss the deadline). I’ve been sick with allergies and busy doing lots of stuff with family (both the one I live with and my derby one), so I haven’t been making much, or at least not making new stuff.
Although, now that I think about it, I did cook quite a bit, and I really should have blogged that. One of the things I cooked(baked) was these delicious oat-nut bars — I love them for breakfast, and used to make them all the time, but I ran out of coconut oil and never restocked. But a member of my derby family recently was hospitalized with bacterial meningitis, and we wanted to show her some love at our last bout by baking some treats in her honor. I picked these because they remind me of her: Sweet, full of goodness and energy, a little nutty, and totally awesome!
I originally found this recipe on Half Baked Harvest, and modified it just a tad (mostly by adding the nuts).
Sweet Nutty Goodbars
A quick energy boost in every bite of these delicious bars.
In a large bowl, mix oatmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, oil, eggs, and vanilla
Beat until dough holds together -- it will be somewhat oily
Stir in chocolate and nuts
Turn batter into pan, smoothing and evening
Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes, until top is no longer shiny
Do not overbake
Allow bars to cool in pan, then lift out and continue cooling on rack
Slice in to 1 1/2" squares
* I have made this with different flour ratios depending on what I have on hand and it comes out just fine.
** You may sub another oil or combination of oils -- I sometimes do a few tablespoons of flax seed.
*** Use whatever chocolate you like. The batch shown has all of the leftover chocolate chips I had -- semi-sweet, dark, bittersweet, even a few minis and some white!
**** Y'all, my baking life has completely changed since I started lining things with parchment paper. If you prefer to butter or spray your pan, you do you. But I'll be over here stuffing my face full of these delicious bars while you're washing that pan.
Yep, another re-publish from Tasteful Diversions. Next week it’ll be a new one, I promise.
To follow up last week’s lemonade recipe, I give you brownies. Specifically, I’m publishing these two recipes close together because one of my very favorite summertime combos is brownies and lemonade.
I avoided making brownies from scratch for years because not only were they WAAAAY too much effort (double boiler? No thank you very much!) but they also never came out fudgy like I like them. Then I stumbled across this recipe from Cook’s Illustrated which is only slightly more work than making from a box (no double boiler!) AND makes the fudgiest brownies I’ve ever had.
Updated 6/6/20: It turns out that for awhile now, I’ve been shorting the baking chocolate. I discovered this accidentally, and didn’t have enough to make up the shortage, so I upped the cocoa, and they turned out even better. The recipe below reflects the new measurements.
These brownies are perfect every time...dense and fudgy on the inside with a lovely crisp top.
(Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010)
Servings: ? I dunno -- depends on how big you like your brownies
Preheat oven to 350°.
Line 13×9 pan with foil; spray lightly with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, whisk cocoa and boiling water together until smooth.
Add in unsweetened chocolate and continue to whisk until chocolate is melted.
Whisk in melted butter and oil. [CI notes at this point that the mixture may look curdled; I have not had this issue.]
Whisk in eggs, yolks, and vanilla.
Whisk in sugar.
Stir in flour and salt [CI indicates a rubber spatula for this part; I use a wooden spoon and it seems to work fine] until all ingredients are fully incorporated.
Fold in chips.
Pour batter into prepared pan and bake at 350° 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan on a rack for 1 1/2hrs.
Using foil, remove brownies from pan and place on rack to cool another hour before serving.*
*Okay, look, this is 2 1/2 hours of cooling time. I don’t know about you, but there is no chance in hell that fresh brownies are going to get that much alone time at my house. I usually make it about 45 minutes before I start cutting.