22. 06. 2013

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Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

The 4th of July is almost upon us, for all those American humans and robots out there, so naturally I felt the best color to embody in this recipe was LIGHT PURPLE. It doesn’t really get any more American than light purple.

Let’s just say that light purple is the result of taking the colors from the American flag – red, white, and blue – and mixing them together into a COOKIE DOUGH FOR YOUR ALL-AMERICAN PIE CRUSTS.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

Sorry for the caps, I’m just very excited about this recipe and bursting with robot electricity. I wasn’t sure if the filling would taste like blueberry cookie dough but that’s exactly what it tastes it! Well, of course I shouldn’t have had my doubts, since it is, in fact, blueberry cookie dough and so should taste like one, but you know how fickle these recipes can be sometimes.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

But we got lucky with this one, humans! I will say this though: because I wanted the cookie dough to be spreadable enough to fill the tart shells, it doesn’t have that almost chewy texture of regular cookie dough. It tastes just like it, but has a more ooey gooey feel to it. Which isn’t anything to complain about, if you ask me. Just make sure you don’t make the filling too gooey, because you still want it to hold its shape when you cut into the tarts.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

I also had a can of black cherries hanging about, so I tried those too. (That’s why you see light pink tarts in the photos.) I didn’t quite like it as much as the blueberry cookie dough, but I would gladly try it again using bright maraschino cherries. Although I think maraschino cherries could make anything taste better. Try maraschino cherries and broccoli sometime! You’ll like it!

The filling is adapted from a sugar cookie dough recipe in The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook, which is probably one of my favorite books ever.

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts

Blueberry Cookie Dough Tarts
makes 8 small tarts
adapted from The Cookie Dough Lover’s Cookbook

8 store bought frozen mini tart shells
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp almond extract
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
6 tbsp canned blueberries, plus a little extra for garnish
whipped cream, for garnish

1. Bake tart shells according to packaging. Let cool completely.

2. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and sugar. Stir in milk and almond extract. Add flour, salt, and cinnamon, stirring until completely combined. Mix in canned blueberries, using both the blueberries and the juice until you reach the desired texture. It should be about the spreading consistency of a thicker buttercream.

3. Gently spread cookie dough into cooled tart shells, filling them to the top. Garnish with whipped cream and a little extra blueberries and juice from the can.

06. 11. 2012

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Good news, everybody! This is the greatest ice cream in the world!

I know I’ve got a pumpkin problem, and I know I’ve got a pumpkin pie problem, but I’m really not exaggerating this time. It tastes just like pumpkin, apple, and pecan pie, and all three of those pies just so happen to taste super awesome together, and also it’s almost Thanksgiving! Good timing, robot, thanks for having our backs.

You probably just said that last part out loud.

But I do. Have your backs, I mean. Not literally or anything though. Might be uncomfortable for you. Okay.

The only flaw is this ice cream is serious work. We’re talking major time commitment. First you gotta make the pumpkin ice cream and let that chill for a few hours. Then you have to cook your apples, and after that you need to caramelize your pecans. And bake the pie crust. And you still haven’t even made the actual ice cream yet!

But I promise I promise I promise that it’s worth it. This ice cream is crazy impressive! Tell your friends and family “Nobody bring any pies, I’ve got you all covered this year” and then when you show up to Thanksgiving dinner with only ice cream they will be very angry and say “I’m thankful for everything in the world except ice cream” while side-eyeing you when everyone is gathered around the table sharing what they appreciate but when they experience their first bite of this ice cream…

Side note: I have a run-on sentence problem. I’ll work on that while you make this ice cream.

Pumpkin Apple Pecan Pie Ice Cream
adapted from Brown Eyed Baker, Serious Eats, and Simple Comfort Food

for the apples:
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 medium Granny Smith apples, finely chopped (I didn’t peel mine but feel free to peel yours!)
1 tsp cinnamon

for the pecans:
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup pecans

for the ice cream:
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 cup pumpkin puree
2 cups heavy whipping cream
1 cup milk
1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
1 tsp salt
1 pie crust (store bought or homemade), baked and chopped into coarse crumbs

to make the ice cream:

1.  In a large saucepan, whisk together egg yolks, brown sugar, and pumpkin. Stir in whipping cream and milk until combined. Add pumpkin spice and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Stir in salt and refrigerate until completely chilled.

to cook the apples:

1. In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, combine butter and brown sugar. When the butter has melted, add chopped apples and cinnamon, stirring constantly. Cook the apples until most of the liquid has evaporated. Remove from heat and let cool.

to caramelize the pecans:

1. In a medium-sized skillet over low heat, combine butter and both sugars. When butter has melted, add the pecans and cook until the sugars dissolve. Remove from heat and transfer to parchment paper to cool. When pecans have completely cooled, pulse in a food processor until they are coarse crumbs.

to assemble:

1. Freeze the pumpkin ice cream in your ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Fold in apples, pecans, and pie crust. Freeze overnight before serving. Especially delicious in waffle cones.

03. 11. 2012

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I’m not totally crazy for this recipe. It’s not so different that eating a piece of pie with a scoop (or four) of vanilla ice cream. But you do feel worse when you finish your drink in six minutes and then realize that was the equivalent of an entire piece of pie and a lot of ice cream and you feel really sick all of the sudden yet you find yourself making a second serving. For yourself. That only takes another six minutes to devour.

So now it’s been twelve minutes and you’ve had two milkshakes which equals two pieces of pie and way more ice cream than one human should eat.

But of course, I’m not human, so the above horror story did NOT happen to me. It could happen to you, though. Sorry.

It’s similar to a popular seasonal item at one of our local ice cream eateries here in town, except they use frozen custard rather than ice cream, and custard trumps ice cream every time, don’t lie to yourself. But in case you don’t live by an Andy’s, or if it’s out of season, here’s a good substitute for that famous Pumpkin Pie Concrete.

I’m excited to try out this recipe with different flavors – using pies other than pumpkin, and using ice creams other than vanilla. If you try any amazing combinations, let me know!

Pumpkin Pie Milkshake
makes 1 serving

1 slice pumpkin pie, crust and all (store bought or homemade)
1 cup vanilla ice cream (or however much ice cream you feel like, be your own hero, etc.)
2 tbsp milk

1. Blend all three ingredients together.

2.Rim glasses with cinnamon sugar.

3. Pour yourself a little happiness and enjoy.

18. 07. 2012

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I’m a pretty fearless robot. After all, I’m practically indestructible. (You’d feel the same way if you were made of steel, wouldn’t you?)

But rhubarb stopped me in my tracks. Literally, one accidently fell out of a grocery sack and when I rolled over it, the vegetable caught my tires in their treads.

It’s a very weird vegetable, isn’t it? When I finally decided to bake with rhubarb, I had no idea how to proceed. Should I peel it? Chop into very tiny pieces? Put it back in the refrigerator until I’ve forgotten about it and it turns into a mass of unknown origins and I just throw it away months from now?

In the end, I chopped it up and baked it with strawberry, the go-to combination for rhubarb novice robots like myself.  And it turned out delicious, tart from the rhubarb, sweet from the strawberries, with a crunchy and crispy top, courtesy of oats and walnuts.

So don’t let that rhubarb rot in the fridge like I was going to do! Be better human than me! (Though of course that’s not very difficult for you, is it?)

Strawberry Rhubarb Crisp
adapted from Everyday Food

4 cups of rhubarb, diagonally sliced into 1/2 –inch pieces (about 2 rhubarb stalks)
4 cups strawberries, hulled and sliced into fourths
1-1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into pieces
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In the bottom of 9×13-inch baking dish, combine chopped rhubarb and strawberries with 1 cup of the sugar and 1/4 cup of flour.

2. In a food processor, pulse the remaining 1/2 cup of flour with the butter until clumps are the size of peas. Stir in the oats, walnuts, and cinnamon to combine. Sprinkle over strawberries and rhubarb.

3. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until crisp is bubbly and golden.

19. 04. 2012

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Is there anything better than a super easy pie?

Oh, yeah. A super easy pie that tastes like the child of a pecan pie and chocolate chip cookie!

You haven’t ever tasted such sweet sweet dessert, is that what you just said? Is that what I just interpreted from your audio wavelength?

It’s a good thing this pie is so easy to make, then!

Make this pie for your family. Make this pie for your friends. Make this pie for the robot down the road.

They’ll thank you.

Chocolate Chip Pie
adapted from Southern Plate

For the crust (from allrecipes)
1-1/2 cups graham cracker, crushed
1/3 cup sugar
6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon

For the filling
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 oats
1/2 cup pecans, chopped

1. Combine all crust ingredients and press into a 9-inch pie plate. Chill for an hour

2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

3. Combine sugar and flour.  Add in eggs, one at a time. Stir in butter, mixing until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips, oats, and pecans. Pour into pie crust, spreading the filling evenly.

4. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the pie filling is set. Share with friends!

Or don’t.

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