Salted Brown Butter S’more Tart

I think we can all agree that s’mores are one of the best parts of summer? Sweet, chocolatey and toasty, it taps into the highlight reel of summer, from cottage trips to roasting marshmallows on the stove. Just me? Ok.

I thought up this tart yesterday morning, wanting to put all the things I love about s’mores into a simple yet elevated tart.  The addition of brown butter to the graham crust enhances the toastiness of the torched meringue, the sea salt cuts the sweetness and adds a delicious salty crunch, and the torched meringue tops everything off on a light note.

The lightness of this tart is what stands out I think. Despite the rich ganache and buttery crust, the ganache and meringue together have a chiffon like texture, so you don’t feel heavy after eating.

I am obsessed.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 6-7 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups milk chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 egg whites
  • Pinch of cream of tartar 
  • Flaky sea salt

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, 3 tbsp sugar and 1/4-1/2 tsp of sea salt. 

In a medium pan, melt butter over medium heat.  Allow it to bubble and foam, stirring frequently until it turns golden brown and smells nutty.  Remove from heat and pour over graham cracker mixture, stirring until the mixture has the texture of wet sand.


Press mixture evenly into a 13×4 inch rectangular tart pan or 9 inch circular tart pan. Bake for 10 minutes until golden and allow to cool.


Meanwhile, to make the ganache, scald cream over medium heat and pour over milk and dark chocolate in a bowl. Whisk until smooth and sprinkle in a pinch of sea salt. Spread ganache into cooled crust (about 3/4 full) and place in fridge to chill for 1 hour.


To make meringue topping, beat together egg whites, 1 tbsp of sugar and cream of tartar until foamy. Add 2-3 tbsp sugar (depending on how sweet you like, I used 3tbsp) and beat until meringue is shiny and stiff peaks form.


To assemble, sprinkle flaky sea salt over ganache filled tart. Spread meringue over ganache, sealing to the edges of the crust and creating any design as desired. Using a kitchen torch, toast the top of the meringue until golden brown. I recommend testing a small corner area to start in order to get a feel for the torch and how quickly the meringue will brown.


If you don’t have a torch, place tart under the broiler and remove when meringue begins to brown.

Sprinkle with a bit more flaky salt and serve immediately.

The ~Baked~ Brownie

I like my brownies fudgy.

I like them dark, chewy and gooey,

I don’t think I’m the only one either.

If you agree – this recipe is for you.  The Baked Bakery really got it down pat here, because this brownie is everything I listed above and more.  The fact that it’s super simple to make is just the cherry on top.

I don’t want to say this brownie will get you a boyfriend/girlfriend or anything… But I made these with my boyfriend on our third date and we’ve been dating awhile now…  So make your own assumptions.  They’re THAT good.

If you want to put a little twist on these, I would sprinkle the top with a bit of flaked sea salt halfway through baking.  These brownies are super rich and salt would definitely cut the richness in the best way.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 11oz dark chocolate, coarsely chopped (you can also use high quality chocolate chips!)
  • 1 cup salted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 5 eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and line a 9×13 pan with parchment paper (trust me, these would be sticky otherwise!).

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sea salt and cocoa until combined.

Set a large, heatproof bowl over a pot of gently simmering water.  Place butter and chocolate in the bowl and stir occasionally until completely melted and smooth.  Turn off heat and add sugars to chocolate mixture, whisking until completely combined.  Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

Add 3 eggs to chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Add the remaining eggs and stir until incorporated.  Add vanilla and stir until just incorporated, careful to not overmix (will otherwise be cakey texture).

Sprinkle flour mixture over the batter and fold flour into the batter using a spatula until there are very slight streaks of flour remaining.  Again, the key is to ~just~ mix so you keep a fudge texture in the end.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes (turn the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking).

Let the brownies cool completely in the pan, then lift them out with the parchment as a handle to cut.

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Adapted from Baked

Strawberry Ginger Pie

Okay I feel like I’ve been teasing with this pie.  I’ve made it as hand pies, a galette but only now have I made it in classic pie form.  I just cannot get enough of this flavour combination (and strawberries are treating me well while I wait for other berries to come into season).

I tried a more freeform lattice on this pie – a few braids thrown in, smaller strips and treating two strips as if they are one.  Again, this is what I love about pie.  There are so many options for decoration and it’s strictly up to you, be creative!

Now for a fun fact, I’ll be doing a demo of this pie on Global News The Morning Show on Thursday June 15th!  If you want to catch a first hand glimpse of how you can make it, tune in at 8:50am.  I’ll also post a link to the clip afterwards.  Exciting!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into quarters
  • 3 tbsp plus 1 tsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2-2/3 cup packed brown sugar, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
  • 1 tsp flour
  • Egg wash (1 Egg plus 1/2 tsp of water)
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

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Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Fold the rolled out crust in half and set into a buttered 9 inch pie pan.  Unfold gently and settle the bottom of the crust into the corners.

Roll out the other dough disk and cut into 8 evenly sized strips with a paring knife or pizza cutter. This will be your lattice.  Refrigerate strips and crust lined pan for 30 minutes. (To create this lattice design, turn 3 of those strips into braids and cut the other 5 in half again).

To make the filling, sprinkle hulled and quartered strawberries with 3 tbsp white sugar, gently toss and allow to macerate for 30 minutes.  This releases the strawberry juices and makes for a more flavourful pie.

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Once macerated, drain excess strawberry juices (be sure to save for cocktails!) and sprinkle on grated ginger and lemon juice, stirring gently to combine.  Add brown sugar, spices, salt and arrowroot and stir until fully incorporated.

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Remove pie shell from fridge and sprinkle 1 tsp each of flour and sugar on the bottom to keep the crust from getting soggy.  Pour in filling.

To make the lattice, arrange a braid in the middle going vertically and cross two thin strips over it horizontally.  Place two thin strips over the horizontal strips on each side of the braid.  Place one more braid on the far right under the horizontal strip, like below.

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Lift the bottom pieces of the two braids and place two thin strips going horizontal, like below.

Repeat on the top side – once with the braids and once with the thin strips and the pie will look like below.

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Roll the crust overhang over top of the ends of the lattice strips, like a crust wall trimming any overhang if you feel you need to.  Make sure the “wall” is sealed well so it doesn’t unroll while baking.

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To crimp the edge of the crust, “pinch and push” using your thumb and pointer finger and other thumb, like below:

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Place the pie in the fridge for 10 minutes and preheat the oven to 425F.

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Remove pie from fridge and brush with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar to your liking.  The egg wash ensures the pie is nicely browned.

Place the pie on a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack and bake for 20 minutes until the pie crust is starting to set and brown.  Reduce the oven heat to 375F and bake for 30-35 minutes until the crust has browned and juices are bubbling throughout the pie.  Let cool for 2-3 hours and enjoy!

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Strawberry Scones

I am insanely excited about these scones, you know when you make something kind of unsure how it will turn out and it comes out not only good, but INSANELY delicious?

Yeah.  That’s these scones.

I’m basically using any excuse I can right now to use strawberries because they’re so delicious and around for what feels like too short a time frame (that’s Canadian summer I guess…).  Pies, scones, pavlova, anything.

The key to these scones is to get the butter pieces as crumby as possible, it will ensure the best crumbly texture.

Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup whipping cream, plus extra for brushing
  • 1.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup fresh strawberries, diced (about 6-8 small strawberries)
  • Raw sugar for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Whisk together flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.  Using a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the dry ingredients until the mixture looks like rough crumbs.  Some pea sized pieces are okay.

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In a small bowl, whisk egg, sour cream, cream and vanilla until combined.  Add in two parts to butter and flour mixture, mixing until just combined after each addition.

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Add diced strawberries and stir until just incorporated.

Turn dough onto floured surface and press into a disk about a half inch thick, don’t worry if it’s not perfect.  Cut disk into 8 pieces and using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheet.

Brush lightly with cream and sprinkle on raw sugar.

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Bake at 400F for 17 minutes, or until just golden.

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Champagne Vanilla Donuts

I’ve been thinking about baking with champagne for awhile, something about the fizz and the association with celebrations and glamour make me want to put all those feelings in a baked good.

Then today when I started thinking about how National Donut Day is tomorrow, it hit me.  Kind of how champagne does;)  Champagne donuts were the answer to my pondering.

Donuts and champagne are in a way, the perfect pairing.  You only need one hand to consume both and you can dress up donuts however you want, kind of how champagne can dress up any occasion.

I decided to dress up these donuts in both rainbow sprinkles and coconut, but if i had some edible gold leaf you can bet your life I would have used that!

Best part?  These came together in probably an hour.  From first whisk to final glaze.

Donut Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups cake flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • Pinch of baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 6 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup champagne (no need for Moet, I used Veuve Ambal which is under $20 at the LCBO)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla

For glaze:

  • 1 cup icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp champagne
  • Any topping you like

Steps

Preheat oven to 425F and grease donut tin with butter.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together butter and sugar until smooth and combined. In a separate, small bowl, whisk together milk,  champagne, egg and vanilla.

Add half the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until combined. Add the milk mixture and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour mixture and mix, careful not to overblend.


Spoon or use a piping bag to pipe batter into donut pan until 1/2-3/4 full, bake for 7-8 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool.

Tip: when filling your piping bag, placing it inside and over a glass makes it so much easier!

For the glaze, whisk together sugar, milk, vanilla and champagne until combined. Adjust proportion to taste if needed.

Dip donut in glaze and move around to cover sides.  Allow to set on a rack with parchment paper underneath (or anything to catch dripping glaze).  Sprinkle on coconut, sprinkles, or any other festive topping you can think of!

Strawberry Ginger Hand Pies

The next few weeks will consist of me buying strawberries at the market and proceeding to make any and every kind of strawberry based pie/hand pie/galette possible.  These strawberries are far too delicious and the season too short to pass that up.

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I decided to whip up some hand pies again as they’re perfect for parties.  People can literally eat a pie out of the palm of their hand with basically no mess.  They’re also so fun and satisfying to make, it’s the ultimate pie therapy.

In terms of flavour profile, I love the fresh, spicy zing that ginger adds to the sweetness of strawberries, which is important to the pie not being overly sweet.  Another great trick is to use any leftover liquid from the filling in drinks!  I added it to perrier and a bit of gin, but any fizzy combo will work (I think prosecco would be ideal!)

If you want a better visual of how to assemble hand pies, check out the video I posted on Instagram a couple of weeks ago!  Happy Baking!

Makes about 14 hand pies, with enough leftover filling to make a galette or ice cream topping!

Crust Ingredients

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 cup butter (straight from the fridge, cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 1 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar, mix it in the water)

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into eighths (cut the quarters in half)
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about half a lemon)
  • 2 1/2 tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 1/2-2/3 cup packed brown sugar, depending on your preference for sweetness
  • Pinch cardamom
  • Pinch allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 tbsp ground arrowroot
  • Egg wash (1 Egg plus 1/2 tsp of water)
  • Raw sugar, for sprinkling

Steps

To make the crust, mix together flour, sugar and salt.  Using a pastry blender, “cut” in the butter. This means you’re almost mashing the butter into the flour with the blender, ensuring all butter is covered in flour until the butter pieces are about the size of peas or a bit bigger.

Then, splash in a bit of your water mixture (2-3 tablespoons) and mix it around with your hand.  Continue to add a little at a time and mix and squish with your hand until a large dough ball forms.  If you need to get a bit more binding, add a bit of water to your fingers to help it along.  Don’t feel compelled to use all the water, mix it in until just combined and the dough is holding together.  Cut the dough ball into two halves and flatten into disks. Wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.

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Remove from fridge and let sit for 5-10 minutes so the dough doesn’t crack. Roll out each disk on a floured surface until about 1/4 inch thick (it will be about 12-13 inches in diameter).

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Once rolled, use a 3 inch cutter (I used a mason jar lid) to cut dough into small rounds.  I recommend re-rolling scraps once, and using the rest for dough cookies.  Refrigerate cut rounds for 15 minutes.

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Meanwhile, make the filling.  Sprinkle white sugar on top of strawberries and mix gently.  Allow to macerate at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in lemon juice and grated ginger.  In a separate bowl, mix together brown sugar, cardamom, allspice, cinnamon, salt and arrowroot.  Sprinkle dry mixture over strawberry mixture and gently toss until incorporated.

To assemble, take a chilled dough round and brush the edge with egg wash (one egg mixed with 1/2 tsp water).  Using a fork (to avoid excess liquid), place about 1 tbsp of filling into the middle of the round.  Take another dough round, place on top and carefully press the edges together until sealed.  Once sealed, you can crimp like a regular pie edge or use a fork to crimp.

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Place finished hand pies on a parchment lined baking sheet and place in freezer for 10 minutes to set.  Brush the tops of the pies with egg wash and sprinkle with raw sugar.  Bake at 400F for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown.  Cool on a wire rack for at least 20 minutes.

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Coconut Macaroons with Chocolate Glaze

A few weeks ago, I had an aggressive amount of leftover egg whites.  After about 5 minutes of Googling “leftover egg whites”, it became clear there was only one solution.  Coconut macaroons.

While I’ve enjoyed many a macaroon, I had never made them or honestly even known what really went into them.  I’ve gotta say, it was a pleasant surprise – one may even call them “healthy”.  They’re basically coconut, egg whites and sugar (and not even an aggressive amount).

They’re also ridiculously easy to make.  10/10 will make again next time I have leftover egg whites.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups shredded coconut (I used unsweetened and I liked that they weren’t too sweet but you can definitely use sweetened)
  • 4 large egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Optional: 1/2 cup melted chocolate

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F.

Spread coconut on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5 minutes (or until just starting to brown) to add additional colour and flavour.  Mix around to colour evenly if you have to.  Cool slightly.

Mix egg whites, sugar, vanilla and salt with the whisk attachment of a mixer until completely combined and frothy.  Pour the coconut over the egg white mixer and stir until combined.

Line a baking sheet with parchment.  With wet hands (prevents sticking), shape mixture into balls about 1.5 inches in diameter and place on the prepared sheet one inch apart.

Bake until golden, 15-20 minutes.  Cool on the sheet for about 5 minutes and then cool completely on a wire rack.

If you are using chocolate, place parchment paper under wire rack to avoid a mess.  Dip spoon in melted chocolate and drizzle macaroons with chocolate or dip the tops into the melted chocolate.  The design is up to you!

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Recipe adapted from The Kitchn