Chocolate Makes Everything Better

The next recipe up on my Pinterest food board couldn’t be following a more perfect one.  I couldn’t have planned it better myself!  Before I get much further though, I wanted to update on the Apple Rose Tart, it was a very light dessert, but a little heavy on the orange flavor.  Perhaps my zesting got out of hand?  Should I decide to make it again, I would most likely make a Vanilla Bean Pastry Cream instead. The Hubs liked it though, which wasn’t surprising because he likes things to not be as rich as I do.  In my mind if it isn’t drenched in chocolate, is it really a dessert?

Today I tackled Chocolate Pie Sticks.  Ok, so maybe I didn’t exactly “tackle” them, seeing how ridiculously easy they are.   The point of these are to use up leftover pastry or pie crust!  I do tend to save mine when I make home made crust (which is every. single. time.  I NEVER buy store bought crust… )  Totally made that last part up, I do on occasion, when time doesn’t allow for it, or I don’t feel like it!  Here is the blog the post originated from http://domesticfits.com/2011/08/16/chocolate-pie-sticks/

Here we go!

The leftover crust I used was from the Apple Rose Tart recipe.  I think the little bit of orange zest in the dough will give the pie sticks more of a “gourmet” taste, but you can use whatever pie crust you have on hand.

Ingredients needed:

Chocolate Chips

1 tblsp cold water

1 egg (lightly beaten)

1 tblsp sugar

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If you are using leftover dough, remove from fridge and let it warm up a bit so its easier to roll out.  I think I let mine set for probably about 20 min.  I don’t have a whole lot, so if you are wanting to make a lot of these, I suggest making dough just for this purpose.

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I sprinkled a bit of flour on the counter before I got down to rolling so it wouldn’t stick.  Pretty typical stuff, like I said before, easy peasy!

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I halved the dough so I had enough to roll out for the top and bottoms of the pie sticks.  You don’t want to make it too thick, or too thin.  Then my pizza cutter came in handy to cut strips.

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Now with a pastry brush, brush the strips with a bit of the cold water, just enough to make it slightly damp.

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Feel like you can do this yourself yet?  This would be a great recipe to bring in some little helpers for in fact!  I think I have one…

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Here is that adorable helper I had with me the other day!  She is a chocolate lover like her mama so I called her over for one of the most important steps.

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Yep, official Chocolate Chip tester!  She approved fully….

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Turns out she is also an expert at lining up chocolate chips as well.  So I put her to work, I am thinking about promoting her!

Now you are going to take the other half of dough you set aside and roll that out and cut strips, just like you did with the first portion.

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Layer those strips on top of the chocolate chips, making sure to seal the edges so the delicious melty chocolate doesn’t leak out the sides.

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Prick the tops of the pie sticks with a fork to let out any steam once they are in the oven.  Which should be shortly!

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Brush the tops of the pie sticks with a lightly beaten egg and then sprinkle them with sugar.  Pop in the oven for about 12 minutes at 350 degrees, or until a light golden brown.  Then force your kiddos to be taste testers, because it is clearly cruel for me to have offered them a yummy Chocolate Pie Stick…

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All in all this was a simple little treat to put together with stuff you already have on hand.  Providing you recently made a pie…

Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!  I am pretty sure you could maybe substitute in other kinds of pie filling, butterscotch chips with coconut would be brilliant, I’m sure!
 

 

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Apples to Apples

Pinterest is like a drug, and from the very beginning it drew me in with pretty pictures and promises of delicious meals.  I pinned and pinned and pinned!  And made maybe 1 out of every 10 things I pinned.  Kind of sad if you ask me.  I have all these great recipes, and when it comes time to make something for dinner, I go and look elsewhere.  I went to the very end of my food boards and decided to make EVERYTHING!  I started today, and well I am already overwhelmed.  Not surprising since I like to over challenge myself and then wonder why….

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Meet the first thing I ever pinned, over a 1 year ago.  I thought it was pretty, and probably had no intention of ever making it.  Or maybe I did, hard to remember!  1 month ago when I went and looked at the site it was pinned originally from, I discovered it was a blog written in Bulgarian…

Challenge accepted!

Image  First thing I did was dig out my tart pan, it doesn’t get a lot of use, because honestly, who makes tarts on a daily, or even a weekly basis?  I also noticed there is a dent in the bottom.  Ok ingredients list:

Pastry Dough:

125 g soft butter   (1 stick)
’70 powdered sugar (I had no idea if this was grams, or what so I just did 1 tablespoon)
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp grated orange peel
100 g finely ground almonds  (ok, I just kind of eyeballed this and tossed some in for texture)
150g flour (this comes to about 3/4-1 cup, I used 3/4 and had some dough left over)

Butter the bottom of the tart pan

This was fairly easy to put together, I let the butter soften and tossed it into my Kitchenaid.

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Then added into the powdered sugar and vanilla and mixed. Now zest an orange!  If you haven’t ever zested something citrus, you need to!  I don’t know why I get such a big kick out of zesting, but I do. I also kind of like writing it…

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Alright, from here, add the egg and flour and mix until it comes together as a dough.  I also tossed in the ground almonds.  Which by the way, you don’t have to do yourself.  I bought some.  Super easy.  Take the dough and pat it into the pan and up the sides until its fairly even, not too thin, and you can patch any holes.  Place in the fridge while you make the next portion, the pastry cream!

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See my adorable helper?  She was fantastic when it came to patting down the pastry dough!

Now I found the next part to be a little awkward when I followed the directions.

Pastry Cream:

400 ml milk  (13.5 oz)

100 ml white wine (3.3 oz)

3 egg yolks

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp grated orange peel

6 tablespoons sugar

4 tablespoons flour

What I should have done was separated the dry ingredients, beat the egg yolks and add in a bit of milk and then add that to the dry ingredients.

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See what a mess that is?  It was tough to mix up and I should have done what I mentioned above.  Lesson learned!  Add in the rest of the milk and the white wine (I used Moscato) and stir until completely combined, bring to a boil.

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I do realize that there may have been something lost in translation.  (See what I did there?)  Google Translate is brilliant!  Seeing a recipe completely post in Bulgarian is a little scary.  Add in conversions, and it becomes a major headache.  Look how nice I am to take care of all that for you!

After I brought the pastry cream to a boil, it had thickened up quite nicely and I set it aside to cool down just a bit.  Now take the tart pan from the fridge and pour the pastry cream over the crust, spreading it around so it completely covers the bottom.

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Now comes the fun part, or the really hard part, depending on how much you like to punish yourself. The recipe calls for 5-6 apples, I used Fuji, but maybe something with a firmer texture would have been a better choice, so do some research and choose wisely my friend.  I ended up using about 8 apples.  You are going to take a vegetable peeler (make sure you wash your apples!) And peel!  Preserve the skin since that helps with making the roses.  The strips need to have some firmness to them so they don’t break, but not too much or they won’t roll up prettily.  Image

Look at that, 1 down.  I’m not going to lie, this was ridiculously time consuming.  I found myself wishing for either someone to come peel the dang apples for me, or was there some way I could only do one ring… But since I am a classic overachiever, or more likely just a glutton for punishment, I filled the entire pan.

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And there you have it!  Isn’t it glorious?  Now the instructions on the other blog direct you to brush a glaze of apricot jam over the apple roses before popping it in the oven, but I neglected to pick some up at the store so ours went without.  Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes and the apples and crust are golden.

I chilled it and will be having a slice with my crazies tonight!

I will leave you with the original post this apple rose tart is from, let me know if you make one too!

http://yoli-www.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post_18.html