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.

Nutella Stuffed Cookie Crumble Blondies

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, browning butter before baking cookies or blondies will change your life.  It creates a beautifully toasty flavour that adds a little something extra to anything you make and will make everyone wonder what your secret is!

These blondies are chock full of all good things like brown butter, Nutella, chocolate chips, cookies and of course, sea salt.  I think we all deserve these rich morcels of deliciousness to make it through the winter.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 2 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tbsp vanilla 
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1/4-1/2 cup crushed chocolate wafer cookies
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13 pan with parchment.
  2. Brown butter over medium heat, whisking frequently. The butter will bubble and foam, remove from heat once it is golden brown and smells nutty. Pour into large bowl and cool slightly.
  3. Beat in brown sugar until incorporated.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and beat until light and smooth, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add dry ingredients in 2 parts, mixing until each part is incorporated.
  6. Fold in chocolate chips.
  7. Divide dough in half and press one half into the bottom of the pan, spreading towards the edge.  A spatula is useful for this.
  8. Dollop the Nutella by the tablespoon on the first layer of dough and spread with a spatula to the edge of the dough layer.
  9. Sprinkle on crumbled cookies.
  10. Take the last half of dough and place dollops all over the Nutella layer. Carefully press into a layer with your fingers until it covers the Nutella layer.
  11. Bake for 24 minutes until edges are golden brown.  Allow to cool in pan for a half hour before cutting into squares.



Adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Salty Honey Custard Pie

Christmas has come and gone, which means I’ve exhausted my pecan pie repertoire and I’m ready to mix it up on the pie front.

This pie is weird. But really, really good.

Texture wise, it’s a standard custard pie, but the surface almost caramelizes into a delicious chewier top. Flavour wise, the honey makes it very sweet (not in a typical sugary sense), however this is balanced out by the sea salt sprinkled on top.

So no matter how “pie-d out” you think you are, this pie will change your mind and renew your pie palate for 2017.

Ingredients

  • Pie shell, crimped and frozen (see blood orange custard pie post)
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tbsp cornmeal
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 cup honey (I used orange blossom, mix it up and see what you like)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tsp white vinegar
  • Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tsp water)
  • 1-2 tsp sea salt, for sprinkling

Steps

Preheat oven to 375F.

Mix together butter, sugar, cornmeal, salt and vanilla. Stir in honey, then add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.



Add cream and vinegar and mix well.

Place the frozen shell on a baking sheet and strain the filling into the shell.  Carefully brush the crimped edges with egg wash.  


Bake for 50 minutes, rotating the pan after 30 minutes, until the edges are puffed, the centre is set and the top is golden brown.

Sprinkle with sea salt and allow to cool before serving, 2-3 hours.


Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds

Brown Butter Sea Salt Nutella Cookies

These cookies have a long name but oh boy they deserve it.  Believe it or not, I had never browned butter before, but I think this recipe convinced me that it is the way to make a cookie.  It adds a depth of flavour that along with sea salt, totally makes a cookie.  You NEED to try it at least once.

And the Nutella in there helps too.

In terms of assembly, the folding of the dough over Nutella can be a trick, but I find if you split your dough piece in half and carefully sandwich it around the Nutella, it’s easy and you’re less likely to have it seeping out of dough cracks.

But seriously.  This cookie might change your life.  Share it and spread the holiday cookie love.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 yolk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • Nutella, chilled in fridge

Steps

To brown your butter, melt over medium heat.  After melting, allow the butter to bubble and foam, stirring frequently until it begins browning on the bottom.  Continue cooking and stirring until the butter is a dark golden brown and gives off a nutty smell.  Carefully pour into a heat proof bowl and allow to cool slightly.

Once cool, mix butter and sugars until combined.  Add egg, yolk and vanilla and stir until the mixture has lightened slightly, about 1-2 minutes.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and sea salt and slowly add to wet ingredients, mixing until combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Chill dough in freezer for 30 minutes.  Once chilled, take 1.5-2 tbsp of dough and 1 tsp of chilled Nutella for each cookie.  Flatten each portion of dough with your palm (I did this on a small plate), dollop on the Nutella, and carefully fold the dough around the Nutella until it’s sealed inside the dough, then flatten ever so slightly on the top.  As mentioned earlier, you can also divide the dough portion in two, flatten each and sandwich the Nutella between each piece, sealing the edges with your fingers.

Preheat oven to 350 and bake cookies for 10 minutes, until bottom edges are starting to brown but the centre is still SLIGHTLY underdone.  Allow to cool on the sheet for 1-2 minutes, sprinkle with sea salt, then allow to cool on a wire rack normally.

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Recipe adapted from Ambitious Kitchen

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookies

I had a good amount of caramel left after making the apple pie last weekend, so there was obviously only one thing to do… Make cookies.

I’ve already elaborated about my love for sea salt in baking, but I’m super happy right now because I got an amazing Ile de Re sea salt while in Portland that is potentially the best salt I’ve used. I sprinkled it liberally on these cookies and it’s so perfect with the subtle caramel flavour and chocolate chips.

If you have a full batch of the caramel, spread a thin layer on the cookies and sandwich them together for a double dose of caramel goodness!

Ingredients (makes 3 dozen cookies)

  • 1/2 cup salted, softened butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup caramel (see full recipe in Salted Caramel Apple Pie post)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp flaky or coarse sea salt for topping

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugars until light and fluffy.  Add vanilla and egg and beat until incorporated and very fluffy (2-3 minutes).  Add caramel and mix until combined.

Mix together flour, baking soda and 1/4 tsp salt and gradually beat into dough until completely combined.  Stir in chocolate chips.

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Scoop 1 tbsp of dough at a time onto cookie sheet and press down slightly. Sprinkle with sea salt.

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Bake for 11 minutes at 350F, until edges brown slightly.

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Recipe adapted from Sweet Phi

Salted Caramel Apple Pie

Well, Fall is officially upon us so we may as well go big or go home.

This pie goes big.

The salted caramel sauce really differentiates this pie from other apple pies and is amazing to have on hand for ice cream, cookie filling or just on a spoon.  I think any sweet and salty combination is a dream and this one is right up there.

I used a mix of golden delicious and granny smith apples and they created a nice flavour combination.  The granny smith slices still had some bite on them post-baking which I liked whereas the golden delicious slices were softer, yet sweeter.  It’s important to use a mix to get this flavour profile on point.

 

Next week is Thanksgiving, which means double pies next weekend, stay tuned…

Pie Ingredients

  • Prepared dough for double crust pie (see rhubarb pie post)
  • 6 apples (3 granny smith and 3 golden delicious), peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 1/3 cup demerara sugar, plus more for sprinkling
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Pinch of cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • One grind black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 1/4 tsp coarse or flake sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • Egg wash (Egg whisked with 1 tsp water)

Salted Caramel Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Steps

For crust braiding steps, see Blueberry Peach Pie post.

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Begin by making the caramel sauce.  In a saucepan, whisk sugar and water and cook over medium heat until sugar dissolves, whisking occasionally.  Add butter and bring to a slow boil, cooking continuously until caramel turns dark golden brown.  Remove from the heat and slowly add cream (be careful with the steam).  Whisk together and pour into a bowl, allowing to cool while making the pie.

Mix apple slices with the lemon juice in a bowl and sprinkle with 2 tbsp sugar, lightly mixing again.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes to “sweat” the apples, removing excess moisture.

Meanwhile in a large bowl, mix demerara sugar, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg, cardamom, vanilla, pepper, salt and flour.  Remove apples from lemon juice, leaving excess liquids behind and add to spice mixture.  Mix lightly with your hands to ensure all slices are evenly coated.

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Layer the apples tightly (I did a haphazard circular pattern) in the prepared pie crust, placing more in the centre of the pie.  Pour just over a half cup of the caramel sauce over the apples and sprinkle with 1/4 tsp coarse/flake sea salt.  Assemble lattice and crimp as desired.

Allow pie to chill for 15 minutes and preheat oven to 400F.

Brush pie with egg wash and sprinkle with demerara sugar and coarse/flake sea salt.

Place pie on a rimmed baking sheet and place on the bottom oven rack, baking for ~25 minutes until crust is beginning to brown. Lower oven temperature to 375F and move pie to centre rack, baking 30-35 minutes until juices are bubbling and the crust is a deep golden brown.

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Cool for 2-3 hours.

Recipe adapted from Four and Twenty Blackbirds

S’more Bars

It’s campfire season, and there’s no better way to celebrate than these super easy and totally addictive s’more bars.

I used to make these at least once a month and I would always take them to school to load them off on friends.  It actually became a thing.  These bars are easier and cleaner to eat than a regular s’more and in my opinion, more delicious.

The graham cracker crust is buttery and crunchy and offsets the pillowy, golden marshmallows in taste and texture.  The key to success however, is the sea salt.  It makes everything a bit brighter in taste and offsets the sweetness of everything else.

Take these to your next campfire and make it your thing too!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 270g packages milk chocolate chips (I use Chipits)
  • 3 cups mini marshmallows

Steps

Preheat oven to 350F and line a 9×13 inch baking sheet with foil, leaving a few inches of overhang on each side.  Lightly butter the foil.

Stir together crumbs, butter, sugar and salt until combined and it looks like wet sand.

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Set aside 1/2 cup of the crumb mixture (for topping) and evenly spread the rest on the foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown and allow to cool.

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Meanwhile, melt the chocolate chips over low-medium heat until smooth.  Keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn.

Spread the melted chocolate over the graham cracker crust evenly and then sprinkle all the marshmallows over the chocolate.  Then, take the 1/2 cup of remaining crumb mixture and sprinkle it on top, filling in any gaps between marshmallows where you can see chocolate.

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Put the sheet under the broiler for 30 seconds-1 minute, until marshmallows are golden brown and puffy.  Let cool and refrigerate until chocolate is solid and cut into bars (you’ll need a big knife, chocolate is hard.)

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Recipe adapted from Anne Thornton