Archive for March, 2014

Pipe Dream #259: To Be Brûléed – Orange & Chocolate Chunk Oat Cookies

orange choc cookies 3

orange choc cookies 1

Sometimes, your dad buys a 5 1/2 pounds of Lindt Piccoli dark chocolate, and you just have to find a use for all of it. You know, in case it goes bad. And because you know that it might be gone in a week and a half.

I had been thinking about these blood orange chocolate cupcakes for a long time–the flavor combination is classic, but for some reason, in these cupcakes, it really comes off fabulously. Of course, I didn’t actually want to buckle down and go through the hard work of making cupcakes. Why cupcakes, when drop cookies of the same flavor combination are just that much simpler?

The answer, of course, is that sometimes, cupcakes are the only thing. But not today. These cookies are soft and flavorful. They have a caramel-ly flavor that melds interestingly with the chocolate and orange. Kind of like the orange has been brûléed with brown sugar. Everything should be brûléed with brown sugar. I am not wrong.

Tricks of the trade: you can zest citrus fruits IE ORANGES and store the zest in a plastic bag in the freezer for later use. It saves time, and you can bust it out on days when you need some flavor, but don’t want to skin your knuckles.

orange choc cookies 2

Brûléed with brown sugar,


Orange & Chocolate Chunk Oat Cookies

Adapted from HowSweetEats

Makes about 15-18 cookies

1/2 cup unsalted butter

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar

1 large egg

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 cups rolled oats

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

zest from 1-2 oranges

1 cup chocolate chips

optional: 1- 2 tablespoons milk, if dough is crumbly

Heat a small saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter. Cook butter, swirling occasionally, until small brown bits appear on the bottom of the pan – about 5-6 minutes. When the butter turns brown and smells nutty, immediately remove from the heat, whisking for an additional 30 seconds or so. Pour into a large bowl, scraping out all the brown bits, and let cool.

In a bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, oats, zest and cinnamon, mixing to combine.

Once the  butter is cool, whisk in sugars, stirring until smooth. Add in the egg and vanilla, whisking until smooth. Slowly stir in dry ingredients, using your hands to bring dough together, if necessary. If you find that the dough is too crumbly, add in milk 1 tablespoon at a time. Fold in the chocolate chips, distributing them evenly. Refrigerate dough for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Using an ice cream scoop or your hands, form dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place about 2 inches apart on a nonstick baking sheet, then bake for 10-12 minutes, or until bottoms and edges are golden. Let cool before serving.

A Lazy Recipe Roundup

fudge cake 7

People do these “recipe roundups” sometimes, so I guess I will. Plus, I have been lazy on the photography for, oh, about a year or two, so I have nothing decent to show you.

Anyway, remember these?

butter pecan 3

Select Things I’ve Posted About in Marches Past (not necessarily seasonal)

Also, I have never once in three years figured out (or bothered to take the time to figure out) why some links on this blog show up in purple like they’ve already been clicked. I hope this doesn’t bother you. It does me, but clearly not enough.



Pipe Dream #40: To Use Up Leftovers, Revisited – Custard Tart with Leftover Christmas Cookie Crust

custard tart 6

Leftovers. Extremely useful when re-purposed correctly. In the case of these orphaned Christmas cookies, the correct re-purposing was in a cookie crust for a half-classic custard tart. The custard and my carelessness were classic, not the crust.

custard tart 5

custard tart 1

I crunched up the cookies (all sorts here, gingersnaps, sugar cookies, Mexican wedding cookies) with some sugar, flour, butter and pre-baked it all together in one big mess.

custard tart 2


I proceeded to whisk the eggs a little too hard and failed to skim the cream, so my custard had odd bubbles atop it.

custard tart 3


I also spilled the custard when I pulled it out of the oven halfway through baking time, which is why it looks like:

custard tart 4

Clearly, I was in fine form. Who even know what I was distracted with…picking my cuticles?

custard tart 7

After a quick cleanup, I chilled it and served it. It turned out fine, but please skim your custard and leave it be once in the oven. Things will turn out a lot prettier for you. At least I used up the leftovers, a very old and foundational pipe dream for me.

custard tart 8


Custard Tart with Leftover Christmas Cookie Crust

An LH original, with custard adapted from The Boy Who Bakes

For the crust:

2 cups cookie crumbs (Gingersnaps work well. I processed my cookies in a food processor.)

1/4 cup flour

2 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons butter, melted

pinch salt

For the custard:

1 1/2 cups heavy cream cream
1/2 cup whole milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
8 large egg yolks
1/2 cup white sugar
ground nutmeg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Pulse together the cookie crumbs, flour, salt and sugar in the bowl of a food processor. Add the melted butter and pulse until large clumps form. Press the crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pie pan, pressing the crust up the sides of the pan. Put the pan on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes until the crust just starts to brown. Remove from the oven, reduce oven heat to 265 degrees and let cool while you make the custard.Place the cream and milk into a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Add the vanilla extract and bring the cream to a simmer. Place the egg yolks and the sugar into a bowl and whisk together. Pour the hot cream over the yolks, whisking constantly. Place the crust in the oven and pour in the custard. Grate or sprinkle the nutmeg generously over the entire tart and then bake for around 30-40 minutes or until set around the outside but still with a little wiggle in the middle. Allow the tart to cool fully before trimming. Serve warm or at room temperature and store in the fridge.

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