Friday, December 13, 2013

Key Lime Squares (with Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust)

I'm baaaaaack!  It's been a long time since I've posted.  My 6-month-old and almost-3-year-old seem to have a handle on the majority of my time lately. :)

This is a recipe I made for a luncheon with girlfriends in September.  The results were mouth-watering, and Martha Stewart can take every ounce of credit.  You may not love her or be into her style of doing things...but, man alive, the recipes that she publishes (whether they're her own or are the handiwork of her team)?  They're DELICIOUS.  And this one sealed the deal for me.

4 TBSP butter (melted and cooled), plus more for the pan
2/3 c shelled pistachios
1 c graham cracker crumbs (8-10 full crackers, roughly)
1/4 c sugar
1 TBSP grated lime zest

2 large egg yolks
1 can (14oz) sweetened, condensed milk
1/2 c fresh lime juice (I used bottled key lime juice, and you're gonna want to do the same!)

Preheat oven to 350°.

Cut a piece of parchment paper to about 8"x12".  Place into the bottom of a buttered 8x8 pan. (Martha says the butter holds it in place, and the parchment helps you lift them out.  And Martha?  She's right.) There will be a 2" overhang on 2 sides.

Grind pistachios, graham crackers, sugar, and zest in a food processor until finely ground.  Add (melted and cooled) butter.  Press mixture into pan and 1" up the sides.

Bake 8-12 minutes, or until slightly browned.  Cool 30 minutes.

For the filling, combine egg yolks and sweetened, condensed milk in a bowl.  Whisk until smooth.  Add lime juice (key lime, remember?) and whisk again until smooth.

Pour into cooled crust, carefully spreading to edges.

Bake until set, or about 15 minutes.  Cool in pan on rack.  Chill at least 1 hour before serving.

To cut, lift parchment paper (by the overhanging pieces) and transfer to a cutting board.  Cut into 4 columns and 4 rows with a serrated knife (I used a chef's knife, so don't tell.), wiping knife clean with a damp towel between cuts.

Makes 16.

Comments from the cook:  TRUST MARTHA.  These are mouth-watering.  Tangy and a little sour, with just enough sweetness to make you reeeeally want to be Martha's next-door neighbor. (Imagine the Christmas neighbor gifts!) :) 

I was tempted to forego the pistachios in the crust at the last minute because I didn't have any, but a friend had some on hand, and they were the perfect addition.

Originally found here.  Most text (including ingredient list) taken from her website.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Chocolate Marshmallow Frosted Brownies

I'm baaaaaack!  I'm sure you're well aware that this little recipe blog has suffered two casualties.  Each has lasted about 8 months...and, upon further consideration, is very definitely linked to a little pink bundle of joy.  My pregnancies are rough, and new recipes are few and far between when everything I eat leaves a bad aftertaste in my mouth.  BUT, we're just a few weeks from welcoming that 2nd pink bundle, and I have a recipe to share.  My mom has been making these brownies for years, and I thought I'd pass the recipe along.

Bottom Layer:  Brownies.  Normally, I'd grab a boxed mix for this.  But, I didn't have one, and didn't want to go to the store to get one.  So I chose an even better alternative.  I used my very favorite from-scratch brownie recipe, found here.

Bake according to directions.  For best results, go with a shorter cook time and a softer brownie rather than a crispier one.  

Middle Layer:  Mini marshmallows.  About half a bag.  Remove hot brownies from oven, and sprinkle with marshmallows.  Turn oven off, and place brownies back into oven to allow marshmallows to puff up.  This should just take a few minutes.  You want them to puff, but not brown.  I think mine took 3-4 minutes.

Allow marshmallow-topped brownies to cool for about 15-20 minutes.  Then frost.

Frosting: The chocolate frosting from this awesome cake has become my new go-to.  This time, I added another cup or so of powdered sugar.  I wanted the texture to be a bit more firm, and the thickness turned out perfectly.

So, there you have 'em.  Thick, chewy, and marshmallowey frosted brownies.  Perfect for a summer BBQ or family gathering...and richer than you think!  Trust me... you'll want a big one, but ought to start small.  And, while you're at it, make sure the milk is close-by :)

Comments from the cook:  I don't usually do so, but decided to line my 9x13 pan with parchment paper this time.  After melting the marshmallows and then frosting the brownies, I allowed them to cool for a few hours.  When I was ready to cut them up, I removed the parchment paper and used a large knife to do the job.  It worked BEAUTIFULLY.  So, take my word for it.  Use parchment paper if you want the cutting to go more smoothly.
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