Friday, March 19, 2010

Rice Krispie Treats Grow Up

Do you remember just how good those rice krispie treats were? The ones your mom made. The ones that seemed like magic-the transformation of marshmallows and cereal, yes, cereal, into something so much greater? You know, before they came in the shiny blue wrapper.  When they were a treat your best friend's mom sent with her to school during the holidays?  Oh, they were good.

But like this? They even better. I have to say, Rice Krispie Treats have grown up a bit. 

Make a ganache. Let it set. Take your butter and brown it. Add some salt. Let it set.  Frost with ganache. Watch the fireworks.

See my ganache topped treat (as opposed to the adorbs sandwich versions above. I'll let you guess which ones are easier to eat) after the jump.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Currant Pecan Scones

Fed up with all the Irish themed stuff swirling around you yet? Me neither. For those of you who are, though, this recipe isn't really Irish exactly, but it's pretty close without doing a soda bread-type thing. I'm not a huge fan of soda bread, but maybe all that really means is I haven't had a great one yet.

Sometimes, it is really nice to bake with a friend. Though most of my adventures involving oven and flour are solo expeditions, I occasionally am fortunate enough to have an evening off and the luxury of a friend there with me.  After a delicious dinner of pizza and PBR (because really what more do you need on a Tuesday night) we felt the need to call ourselves civilized. Thus began the very simple task of scone making.
I like scones much less in coffee shops. They always taste floury and aseptic. A good scone, a really really good one, should be flaky. Melt in your mouth. Kind of crumbly, even, to the point where you're picking up after yourself and reminding you why you shouldn't eat them in the car on the way to work-you already had one anyway, and now you're getting your pants crumbly. Everyone at work will know of your impatience, plus you'll distract yourself from driving if you keep trying to get every last morsel that you've dropped.

These were not overly sweet which makes them feel more appropriate for breakfast, and they take to freezing really well. If you're a big planner, may I recommend flash-freezing them and cooking on an as-needed basis? They won't keep until next St. Patty's, but they'll keep for your cup of tea over the weekends of the next few months. My tip on that is after the jump, accompanied by some step by step photos! These "process shots," though not the gorgeous images to which you've become accustomed, are going to make my sister so excited.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Irish Fix #2: Pistachio Praline Bars

Did you SEE the Irish-flag inspired apricots from J Fierce on Monday, people?!  In my best Chandler Bing voice, could they BE any cuter???  We've been busy thinking up good "green" treats for you, internet, and we hope you like them.

If you're up for a little more of a challenge this St Patty's Day, you should try these pistachio praline bars.  Do not be afraid of making these.  Do not let "candy making" scare you away.  All you need is a little self-restraint.  You'll need self-restraint in Not Stirring The Boiling Sugar For Ten Minutes, and a little more self-restraint in Not Eating The Entire Tray In Ten Minutes Flat After You Finish.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Toasted Oat Shortbread Cookies

Is there anyone out there who doesn't just love a good dinner party?  No?  I didn't think so.  A few weekends ago some friends got together for dinner, drinks and some very impromptu nineties-pop-hip-hop-karaoke.  (Okay, it wasn't karaoke in the sense that we actually had microphones, or speakers, or those tvs with the words on the screen.  A remote-control-substitute-for-the-mic does just fine when you really need to belt out some Mariah, BoyzIIMen, TLC, or maybe even some Ace of Base.  Or some All4One.  I won't judge.  Nor will I post any of those photos on this blog.)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Your Irish Fix

Who here likes Saint Patrick's Day? When we were little it was just another day you had to remember to wear green to school so you could avoid getting pinched. When you're older it's a day for drinking and celebrating the irish heritage you have, you know, way back in there somewhere.

One of my (many) hidden talents is my ability to find four-leaf clovers at the drop of a hat. I would irritate my friends who were actually irish with my effortless discovery of the charms.  Eventually we decided I must be part leprechaun to have such luck.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Spinach Mascarpone Dip

You may have caught on to the Sisters Fierce trait that is loving food in miniature.  It's true, food is always better when it's little.  For Christmas, J Fierce gave me six mini brioche tins and six mini bread loaf pans (which brings the total I own to 14, which is completely and utterly normal).  Last year she gave me a set of mini cookie cutters and a mini whisk keychain which is quite possibly the cutest thing in the world (outside of a weiner dog in a hot dog outfit).  

This fascination with making baked goods small doesn't stop there.  Each year on our birthdays we end up getting each other things like Le Creuset ramekins.  You know the ones - tomato or pepper shaped?  Last year J Fierce received an artichoke.  A few years back she gave me a little garlic one, and this year I received a Staub pumpkin.  What can I say, we're easy to please.  Well, easy to please when it comes to buying gifts for one another that involve food items.  Other than that, a little tougher.
Here is some delicious spinach dip in the pumpkin.  SERIOUSLY isn't that CUTE.  Almost as cute as these guys.  Okay I promise, I'm done.  Moving on!