Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale Recap & Recipes

 The first ever Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale, held this past Saturday at The Art Market at Vega Metals was a smashing success. Matt and I were
initially concerned about the weather but to our great relief, the weather was our friend and it turned into a beautiful morning.
 
Many many thanks to the amazing food bloggers/foodies who

Cecilia from The Art Market at Vega Metals

participated.  Their hard work and delectable creations helped us raise a whopping $650….in 2 hours!!

 
Thanks to all for making that happen.
 
Money raised will go to Share our Strength, a National non-profit fighting to end childhood hunger. Share our Strength takes the money raised and grants it back into our local community. One such example is the Inter-Faith Food Shuttle and their “Cooking Matters” program.
 
We also held a raffle during the bake sale and I’d like thank the people who donated items to give away.
 
Edible Piedmont – 1 year subscription to the magazine
Debbie Moose, Food Writer and Cookbook Author – Copy of “Deviled Eggs”
 
Nancie McDermott, Food Writer and Cookbook Author – Copy of “Southern Pies”
 
I want to personally thank Matt Lardie (Green Eats Blog) for asking me to partner with him to put the event together. Matt came across the “What’s Gaby Cooking” Blog and found out about the Food Blogger Bake Sale and got us signed up. Gaby began the Food Blogger Bake Sale last year as part of the Share Our Strength, Great American Bake Sale and turned it into a National event for food bloggers.
 
Me (right) and Matt, courtesy of Debbie Moose
The great bakers involved were gracious enough to share their recipes with me so I could post them on Durhamfoodie, thank you! Most of them have these recipes and many more on their own blogs for you to enjoy.
 
Debbie, Nancie and Mandy
 
THE TRIANGLE FOOD BLOGGER BAKE SALE RECIPES (in random order)
 
I chose to look back into one of my favorite storybook/cookbooks, The Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg, author of the blog Orangette. I felt it fitting to choose a recipe from an admired food blogger who’s recipes I’ve used over and over again.
 
Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients:

3 cups (lightly packed) sweetened shredded coconut
¾ cup sugar
¾ cup egg whites (about 5 or 6 large)
1 ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
4 ounces bittersweet, finely chopped
1/2 cup heavy cream

Place the coconut, sugar and egg whites in a large, heavy saucepan, and stir to combine well. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly, about 10-15 minutes. The mixture will look very creamy as it heats and then it will slowly get a bit drier, with individual flakes of coconut becoming discernible. Stop cooking when it no longer looks creamy but is still quite sticky and moist, not dry. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Scrape the mixture into a pie plate or small baking sheet, spread it our a bit to allow it to cool quickly, and refrigerate until cold, about 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat baking mat. 

Using your hands or a small, spring-loaded ice cream scoop, scoop and firmly pack the coconut mixture into small domes. Space them evenly on the baking sheet.

Bake the macaroons until evenly golden, about 30 minutes.  Cool completely on the pan on a wire rack. Then remove the macaroons from the baking sheet, and set them on the rack. Set cookies on rack over a rimmed baking sheet.

Place the chopped chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan until it is very hot and steamy (not boiling), remove from the heat, and pour it over the chocolate. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until the mixture is smooth. Spoon the warm ganache generously over the macaroons, shaking them gently if needed to coax the ganache down their sides.

Refrigerate the macaroons until the ganache sets, at least 2 hours. Transfer the macaroons to an airtight container, and refrigerate or freeze.

Note: Macaroons will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Frozen, they will keep for a month or two.

Yield: 12 macaroons

Matt whose blog Green Eats is a must follow, made the most ridiculously tasty Blue Cheese and Bacon Scones (isn’t everything better with bacon?)I hope to post his recipe soon or at least provide a link to it. Matt did not in fact follow any particular recipe, instead he followed his own baking skills and instincts to turn out these amazing scones. A little bit of this, a little bit of that, and voila! C’est tres magnifique monsieur!

Courtesy of Demandy

“Wastin’ Away in Bananaville” is how our beloved Debbie Moose describes her muffins on her blog Moose Musings. With how moist and banany these were, I doubt any of us will be “wastin’ away” anytime soon. “I’ll just eat one more…I swear!!”

 Bananaville Bread or Muffins  (recipe copied from her blog)

 
Ingredients
 
1 stick unsalted butter or unsalted margarine at room temperature (I use the dairy-free margarine for my dairy-allergic husband)
 
2/3 cup sugar

2 eggs

3 tablespoons dark rum

1/2 teaspoon vanilla

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed ripe banana

3/4 cup flaked coconut, toasted in the oven

1/4 cup crushed pineapple, well drained

1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted in the oven

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spread the walnuts and coconut in separate pans and toast in the oven for about 10 minutes. Spray a 9 1/2-inch by 5 1/2-inch loaf pan with cooking spray.

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, rum and vanilla.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add to the creamed butter and sugar on medium speed. When combined, add the banana, coconut and pineapple. On low speed, stir in the walnuts.

Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then turn the bread out onto a rack and cool completely before storing or freezing

Nancie McDermott, local food writer and cookbook author arrived with her effervescent personality loaded down with Caramel Cupcakes, Buttermilk Pie and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie…..Yes Please!!

Nancie’s Strawberry-Rhubarb Pie

Ingredients

Pastry for a 9-inch double-crust pie

1 1/4 cups sugar

Courtesy of Hadassah

 

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 cups chopped fresh rhubarb, cut into 1/2-inch chunks (about 1 pound)

2 cups hulled and chopped fresh strawberries, cut into 1-inch chunks

(1 pint, about 8 ounces)

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

Preparation

Heat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a 9-inch pie pan with crust, leaving a 1-inch overhang.

In a large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cinnamon, and salt, and use a fork or a whisk to stir them together well. Add the rhubarb, strawberries, and lemon juice and mix very gently using a large spoon. Scrape the mixture into the piecrust, and distribute the butter bits evenly over the strawberry-rhubarb filling. Top the filling with a lattice crust; or simply lay out a tic-tac-toe crust, placing strips in one direction, and then laying the other-directional strips on top of the first batch.

Place the pie on a baking sheet to catch spills, and place it on the bottom rack of the oven. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes, and then lower the temperature to 350 degrees. Bake until the pink filling bubbles up and the pastry is golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes more. Place the pie on a cooling rack or a folded kitchen towel and let it cool for at least 15minutes. Serve it warm or at room temperature.

Makes one 9-inch pie

Nancie’s Notes: I’ve made this using frozen fruit, both the strawberries and the rhubarb, with great results. If using frozen, don’t defrost — chop any gigantic chunks of fruit while they are still frozen, or just leave them whole. Don’t worry if your rhubarb isn’t fire-engine red— the flavor will be there and it’s a fantastic pie, no matter what.

Gabrielle from the blog Nutella is Evil got her cookie recipe from Elise at the food blog Simply Recipes, they were soooooo good!

 
Heath Bar Cookies
 
Ingredients
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

1 1/2 cups sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups chopped Heath Bar pieces (Eight 1.4 ounce bars)

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preparation

Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine heath bar pieces and chopped walnuts. Set Aside.

Beat together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs one at a time, and vanilla.

Alternatively mix in the Heath Bar mixture and the flour mixture, a third at a time, until well blended. Chill cookie dough for at least 30 minutes (better an hour).

Preheat oven to 350°F. On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper or Silpat, spoon out the cookie dough in small 1-inch diameter balls (size of a large marble). Place dough balls 3 inches away from each other on the cookie sheets. (Make sure there is plenty of room between the cookie balls, and that the cookie balls aren’t too big. These cookies spread!)

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until the edges are just starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes. Then transfer the cookies to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 6 dozen cookies.

Tiffany from the blog Como Water diversified our offerings by providing a delicious vegan option.

Earl Grey Tea Shortbread (Vegan)

Courtesy of Demandy

1 cup Earth Balance (softened)

1/2 cup vegan sugar

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon orange extract

1 teaspoon lemon extract

leaves from 2 earl grey tea bags

turbinado sugar for sprinkling

Preparation

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Cream earth balance, sugar, and extracts. Stir in earl grey tea leaves. Sift in flour, cornstarch, and salt. Stir until fully combined.

Press dough into a 9 1/2 inch tart pan with removable bottom. Sprinkle lightly with turbinado sugar (~ 1 teaspoon – 1 tablespoon). Bake for approximately 20 minutes or just until shortbread turns light golden brown. Cut shortbread into slices while warm. Remove bottom of tart pan and let cool completely. 

Ben from The Food Life blog brought us two baked options, both worthy of gobbling up and asking for seconds.

Raspberry Buttermilk Cake (Ben substitued Hill Top Farms strawberries for the raspberries, recipe from epicurious)

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 stick unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup plus 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, divided

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 large egg

1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk

1 cup fresh raspberries (about 5 ounces)

Preparation

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in middle. Butter and flour a 9-inch round cake pan. Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat butter and 2/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes, then beat in vanilla. Add egg and beat well. At low speed, mix in flour mixture in 3 batches, alternating with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour, and mixing until just combined. Spoon batter into cake pan, smoothing top. Scatter raspberries evenly over top and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar. Bake until cake is golden and a wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack and cool to warm, 10 to 15 minutes more. Invert onto a plate.

Food Bloggers, courtesy of Demandy

Brown Butter Toffee Blondies (Ben substituted chocolate chips for the toffee bits, recipe from Martha Stewart)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for pan

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for pan

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons salt

2 cups packed light-brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

2 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 cup chopped walnuts (about 4 ounces)

1 cup toffee bits

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper; butter and flour parchment paper.

In a saucepan over medium heat, cook the butter until it turns golden brown; remove from heat, and let cool. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine browned butter and both sugars; stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Attach bowl to mixer; add eggs. Using the paddle attachment, beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add vanilla, and beat to combine. Add flour mixture, walnuts, and toffee bits. Mix until thoroughly combined, and pour into prepared pan.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes (do not overbake). Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before turning out of pan onto a cutting board. Peel off parchment paper; cut blondies into 3-inch squares or into suit shapes with 1 1/2- to 2-inch cookie cutters. Just before serving, dust half with confectioners’ sugar, if desired. Yields about 1 dozen.

Miss Mandy from Demandy, brought us into her family by sharing her great great Aunt’s Biscotte Recipe. (recipe copied from her blog)

Ingredients

Courtesy of Hadassah

4 eggs

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup vegetable oil

2 teaspoons anise seed

2 cups flour

1 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation

Beat eggs, sugar, and oil. Mix in flour, baking powder, vanilla, and anise. Spread in greased metal ice cube trays or loaf pans. If using loaf pans, only fill 1/3 full. This recipe makes about 3 trays or pans worth.

Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven and cut in slices crosswise. Place slices on baking sheet and brown under broiler, then flip slices and brown on other side. Watch the cookies carefully, it is easy to burn them in this step. Normally the best idea is to broil with oven door open a crack and watch as they go.

Matthew, AKA, Burgeoning Foodie had us yelling “Whoopieeeeee” with his recipe.  

Bull City Whoopie Pies

Cookies

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

Courtesy of Demandy

1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Filling
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature

2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted

7 1/2 oz marshmallow fluff

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

To make the cookies: In a medium bowl sift the flour, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, and baking powder together.  (Don’t skip the sifting – you will have lumps of cocoa powder in your cookies if you do.)  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Beat in the buttermilk and vanilla extract until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing just until combined.

Using a 1-oz dough scoop, drop the batter onto the prepared baking pans, 12 cookies per pan.  Bake for 10-12 minutes (rotating the pans halfway through) until the cookies spring back when lightly touched and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them to wire racks to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining dough.

To make the filling:  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed until smooth, about 1-2 minutes.  Add the confectioner’s sugar and beat until incorporated – the mixture will become crumbly at first, just keep beating and it will come together.  Add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

When the cookies have cooled completely, pair them up by size.  Spread (or pipe) a dollop of the filling on the flat side of one cookie from each pair.  Sandwich the cookies, pressing together to push the filling to the edges. Makes 24. Store in airtight container

To get the full low-down on these devilish cupcakes, link on over to Magie’s blog, “Magie’s Noms,” you’ll never use red food dye again.

Natural Red Velvet Cupcakes

Ingredients

1 1/2 stick (6 oz.) butter

1 3/4 c. sugar

5 egg whites

Courtesy of Demandy

1 1/2 c. buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 c. cake flour

1 c. flour

3/4 c. cocoa powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

beet juice (optional)

Preparation

First, make sure all your butter, eggs and buttermilk are room temperature.  Beat the butter and sugar together with a mixer until the sugar is dissolved and the texture is light and fluffy.  Add the egg whites, one at a time.  Whip again until the texture becomes light and fluffy, like white frosting.  Then add the buttermilk and vanilla.  In a separate bowl, sift together the cake flour, regular flour, cocoa, baking soda, powder and salt.  Then gradually mix together the wet ingredients and dry ingredients until the batter is smooth.  The texture and consistency should be something like chocolate mousse.

Lately I’ve been using either home-made beet juice or the beet juice dye from Whole Foods.  The pack of 3 dyes (red, yellow and blue) are $20, so you might want to make your own.  Just slice up a beet, add about a cup of water and 1/4 white vinegar, then slowly simmer it down until there’s less than 1/4 cup liquid left.  You can just add that last to your cupcake mix to your desired red coloring.

Spoon the cake batter into approximately 30 cupcake cups, depending upon how full you want them, and how much you’ve whipped your batter.  I found some red cupcake cups at a craft store that compliment the color nicely.  Bake at 375 degrees approximately 20 minutes.

I stored the cupcakes overnight in the fridge before frosting them.  I used a simple cream cheese frosting recipe of 12 oz. cream cheese, 3/4 cup butter, and 2 cups of powdered sugar, whipped up until smooth and fluffy.  Then I used a quart plastic bag with the corner cut off to pipe nice little spirals of frosting onto each cupcake.  The cupcakes need to be stored in the fridge after frosting as well, so make sure you’ve got plenty of room for 2 dozen cupcakes in there!

The Masalawala and Cynthia

Our darling Jyotsna from The MasalaWala brought smiles to many a face with her fabulous cookies =)

Thick and Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies (Source: The New Best Recipe, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine)

Tips from The Masalawala: These oversized cookies are chewy and thick and rely on melted butter and an extra egg yolk to keep their texture soft. These cookies are best served warm from the oven but will retain their texture even when cooled. To ensure the proper texture, cool the cookies on the baking sheet. Oversized baking sheets allow you to get all the dough into the oven at one time. If you’re using smaller baking sheets, put fewer cookies on each sheet and bake them in batches.  Also, I like walnuts so I reduce the chocolate chips to 1 cup and add a cup of rough chopped walnuts as well. 

 Ingredients

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons unbleached all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Courtesy of Demandy

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled until warm

1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg plus 1 egg yolk

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1-1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)

Preparation

 Adjust the oven racks to the upper- and lower-middle positions and heat the oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl; set aside.

Either by hand or with an electric mixer, mix the butter and sugars until thoroughly blended. Beat in the egg, yolk, and vanilla until combined. Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed just until combined. Stir in the chips (and walnuts, if using). 

Roll a scant 1/4 cup of the dough into a ball. Hold the dough ball with the fingertips of both hands and pull into 2 equal halves. Rotate the halves 90 degrees and, with jagged surfaces facing up, join the halves together at their base, again forming a single ball, being careful not to smooth the dough’s uneven surface. Place the formed dough balls on the prepared baking sheets, jagged surface up, spacing them 2 1/2 inches apart.

Bake until the cookies are light golden brown and the outer edges start to harden yet the centers are still soft and puffy, 15 to 18 minutes, rotating the baking sheets front to back and top to bottom halfway through the baking time. Cool the cookies on the sheets. Remove the cooled cookies from the baking sheets with a side metal spatula.

Makes about 18 large cookies.

Ashley of Smashed Goods blog came with her Maple Oat Scones, and as she states on her blog “this is one of the best scone recipes I’ve ever made, please enjoy.”

Maple-Oatmeal Scones (adapted from the Barefoot Contessa)

The Dough

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Courtesy of Demandy

1 cup whole wheat flour, plus a bunch extra for the rolling pin

1 cup oats, plus additional for sprinkling

2 tbsp baking powder

2 tbsp granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 lb unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup pure maple syrup

4 large eggs

The Glaze

1 cup powdered sugar

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Preparation

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. (Do this on a slow speed or your counter will end up covered in flour.) Blend in the chopped butter (Sometimes I stop the mixer and reach in and break up the butter bits into smaller pieces with my hands.) Whisk the milk, maple syrup, and eggs and then add to the flour/butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will be stupid sticky.

Dump the dough out onto a really well-floured surface. Flour your rolling pin (I used whole wheat, but you can use all-purpose as well) and roll the dough to about 1 inch thick. (You might have to keep adding more flour to the surface and that’s ok.) Like most scone dough, lumps of butter will still be visible. Cut into rounds using a cookie cutter or the rim of a glass and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.

Bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are just starting to brown.  Use a fork to make sure the insides are done, too.

While they are baking, combine the powdered sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla for the glaze.

When the scones are done, cool for about 10 minutes on the counter and brush each scone enough glaze to cover the scone’s top and sprinkle few oats on top.  Remember, if the scones are too hot, the glaze will thin. 

I leave you with the recipe for Claire’s Brassies. Brassies you ask? Based on her recipe for Pecan Tassies, Claire filled the pie-like base with a brownie mixture to make these sell-out bites of chocolatey goodness. You can find her comments about the “brassies” on her blog, The Pie Daily with a link to the Pecan Tassies recipe.

Please Note: Since writing this blog, Claire has posted her official recipe in the comments section, enjoy!

Pecan Tassies (Southern Living magazine, November 2007, via myrecipes.com)

Ingredients

1 cup butter, softened

1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, softened

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar

1 1/2 cups chopped pecans

2 large eggs

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Beat 1 cup butter and cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add flour to butter mixture, beating at low speed. Shape mixture into 48 balls, and place on a baking sheet; cover and chill 1 hour.

Place 1 dough ball into each lightly greased muffin cup in mini muffin pans, shaping each into a shell.

Whisk together brown sugar and next 5 ingredients. Spoon into tart shells.

Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or until filling is set. Cool in pans on wire racks 10 minutes. Remove from pans; cool on wire racks 20 minutes or until completely cool.

Yield: Makes 4 dozen

Recipes to come:

Cynthia made Sweet Potato Cookies with Candied Orange Peel

Courtesy of Hadassah
Meghan from the Blog Nest Meg made Chocolate Coconut Crispies while Hadassah from The World on a Table made StrawberryHoney Crecent Rolls
 
Courtesy of Hadassah
 HAPPY BAKING FRIENDS!
 
 
 
 
 
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8 thoughts on “Triangle Food Blogger Bake Sale Recap & Recipes

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  2. Belinda, Thank you for your kind words.
    Debbie, Thanks for being a part of the event, we will definitely be doing it again next year =)
    Claire, You Rock!!! Thanks for posting the official recipe, long and short version, lol.

  3. Hey Johanna, you are co-organizer extraordinaire! Thanks for all you and Matt did. $650! We ROCK.

    Here’s the Brassie recipe, short version and long version!

    SHORT VERSION: use your favorite brownie recipe, and your favorite pie crust recipe. (If you use a storebought crust, please do not tell me, for I am a snob about such things. Boxed brownie mix is OK.) Grab a cupcake pan. Mold some pie crust in the cups, pour some brownie batter over it, bake at 350 until a skewer stuck in the middle comes out clean. Even if proportions are off, you will still have some balance of brownie+piecrust, which equals happiness.

    LONG VERSION: Here’s what I did on Saturday.

    For the piecrust, I followed my standard recipe, which is based on Martha Stewart’s “pate brisee” recipe, and which I’ve also seen other places. If you prefer shortening, great! Use that. Same thing with vodka, lard, whole wheat flour, whatever works for you.

    2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 t. salt
    2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch size chunks
    A few tablespoons of ice water

    Method: Follow your standard pie crust method, which involves keeping everything as cold as possible at every stage; cutting the fat into the flour+salt; then adding just enough water until the dough holds together. Chill dough at least one hour or overnight.

    Then divide dough into 24 roughly golf-ball sized balls. Mold them into mini-cupcake pan as detailed in my Pecan Tassies post. Anytime the dough gets sticky, or otherwise uppity with you, place the whole shebang into the freezer for five minutes.

    For the brownie, I split in half the brownie part of the “Sweet & Salty Brownie” recipe from “Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented,” by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito, p. 93:

    [This is their recipe, verbatim, and I have to assume it’s copyrighted material]

    1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
    1 t. salt
    2 T dark unsweetened cocoa powder (like Valrhona) (Claire used Hershey’s)
    11 ounces quality dark chocolate (60 to 72 percent), coarsely chopped (Claire used Belcolade bittersweet pistoles)
    1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
    1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
    5 large eggs, at room temperature
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and cocoa powder.

    Place the chocolate and butter in the bowl of a double boiler set over a pan of simmering water, and stir occasionally until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and combined. Turn off the heat, but keep the bowl over the water of the double boiler, and add both sugars. Whisk until completely combined and remove the bowl from the pan. The mixture should be at room temperature.

    Add three eggs to the chocolate mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the remaining eggs and whisk until just combined. Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage, or your brownies will be cakey. Sprinkle the flour mixture over the chocolate. Using a spatula, fold the dry ingredients until there is just a trace amount of the flour mixture visible.

    [END excerpt from “Baked Explorations”]

    Spoon brownie batter into pie dough-lined cups, careful not to overflow. They will puff up. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until piecrust edges are starting to brown, and a toothpick/skewer stuck into the brassie comes out mostly clean.

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