Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Good Visitors Bring Baked Goods

Blueberry Crumb Bars

Our friend Carmela came into town for the weekend and brought some baked goods with her. Carmela is quite the cook and baker herself, so I knew she wouldn't disappoint. To satisfy all cravings, she brought Blueberry Crumb Bars AND Espresso Brownies. Seriously, what did we do to deserve this? The crumb bars could serve as a breakfast or dessert, showcasing this season's blueberries. The espresso bars were fudgy and dense, perfect for my chocolate cravings. Not only did she bring the goods, but she brought the pictures as well. 

Blueberry Crumb Bars
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen

Makes approximately 36 small bars

1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cold unsalted butter (2 sticks or 8 ounces)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest and juice of one lemon
4 cups fresh blueberries
4 teaspoons cornstarch

Mise en place
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9×13 inch pan.

2. In a medium bowl, stir together 1 cup sugar, flour, and baking powder. Mix in salt and lemon zest. Using a fork, blend in the butter and egg. Your dough should be nice and crumbly at this point. Spread half of dough into the prepared pan.

3. In another bowl, stir together the sugar, cornstarch and lemon juice. Gently mix in the blueberries and spread the blueberry mixture evenly over the crust. Grab your extra dough and crumble it over the berry layer.

4. Bake in preheated oven until top is golden brown (approximately 45 minutes). Let the squares cool completely before cutting into squares (your cuts will be cleaners) and store in your refrigerator.

Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies
Recipe from Smitten Kitchen (originally from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook)

1 pound unsalted butter
28 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 extra large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups chopped walnuts

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12×18x1 inch baking sheet. Melt together the butter, one pound of the chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly.

2. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup flour, then add them to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
3. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and dough. Bake for another 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake!
4. Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into squares.

Ina’s notes: Flouring the chips and walnuts keeps them from sinking to the bottom.
It is very important to allow the batter to cool well before adding the chips, or the chips will melt and ruin the brownies.
Do ahead: This recipe can be baked up to a week in advance, wrapped in plastic, and refrigerated.

1 comment:

  1. Made the crumb bars with blackberries the other day...try it!