Rhubarb Brown Butter Bars

Rhubarb Brown Butter Bars / Patty's Foodl love rhubarb.  My favorite way to eat it is either oven roasted or stewed with sugar and spices.  I love to eat stewed rhubarb in a little bowl with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream on top.  I also like to try new recipes with rhubarb, like this one for rhubarb brown butter bars.  The season for field rhubarb is a fairly short one so I want to make sure I enjoy my fair share before the bright red stalks we find in the markets fade in our memory as we move into warmer weather.

I first drooled over these jammy rhubarb bar cookies on Pinterest and then realized that I had the recipe in my copy of  The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook, lucky me!  I love a bar cookie made with homemade rhubarb jam, bright flavored tangerine juice, spices and a healthy amount of brown butter.  The rhubarb jam is spread over a pre- baked shortbread like crust and then deliciously swirled on top of  all those browned buttery layers, oh my.

I made a few small adaptions to the original recipe,  like using tangerines from my backyard tree instead of oranges.  I reluctantly admit to thinking about cutting back on some of the butter in the recipe but quickly came to my senses.

Rhubarb Brown Butter Bars / Patty's FoodThe rhubarb jam for these bars is excellent all by itself and if you can your hands on a larger quantity of rhubarb then I would suggest doubling the jam recipe to use later for spreading on your morning toast.  This recipe has a few components, first making the rhubarb jam, then pre-baking a brown butter crust, which uses a more time consuming technique than similar recipes I’ve used for bar cookie crusts and finally the brown butter filling..but it’s all so good when it comes together and so worth the extra time.
Rhubarb Brown Butter Bars / Patty's Food

Rhubarb Brown Butter Bars

Yield: 30 bars

Recipe adapted from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz.

Ingredients

  • for the rhubarb jam
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 4 tangerines
  • 1/2 half vanilla bean
  • 4 large rhubarb stalks, cut into 1/2" pieces
  • for the brown butter crust
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • for the brown butter filling
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 & 1/4 cups sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 tangerines
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 vanilla bean
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Instructions

  1. prepare the rhubarb jam
  2. Place the sugar, grated zest and tangerine juice, the pod and pulp of 1/2 vanilla bean that has been split in half and scraped and the sliced rhubarb in a medium heavy pan.
  3. Bring to a boil over high heat, cook and stir until rhubarb mixture turns into a thick jam, about 10 minutes.
  4. Transfer to a bowl (discard the vanilla pod) and cool while you prepare the crust and filling.
  5. prepare the brown butter crust
  6. Melt the butter over a medium-high heat while whisking.
  7. Cook the butter for about 5-7 minutes until the milk solids separate, it will brown and become fragrant, remove from heat.
  8. Pour the browned butter into a shallow bowl and freeze solid, about 30 minutes.
  9. Place the powdered sugar and flour into a medium bowl and whisk together.
  10. Remove the brown butter from the freezer and cut into small cubes.
  11. Mix the butter cubes into the sugar/flour mixture until large crumbs begin to form.
  12. Work the crumbly mixture into a dough that can be evenly pressed into a foil lined 9x13 pan.
  13. Chill for 30 minutes.
  14. Preheat the oven to 375F.
  15. Bake the crust on a middle oven rack for 15-18 minutes or until lightly brown.
  16. Cool the crust before assembling the bars.
  17. prepare the brown butter filling
  18. Whisk together the eggs, sugar, zest and flour in a medium bowl.
  19. Split and scrape out the pulp of the other half of the vanilla bean and place in a saucepan with the butter.
  20. Cook the vanilla bean/ butter mixture over a high heat until the milk solids separate, turn brown and become fragrant (discard the vanilla pod).
  21. Gently pour the brown butter into the egg mixture, whisking until smooth.
  22. assemble the bars
  23. Spread half the brown butter filling over the baked cooled crust.
  24. Spoon the rhubarb jam over the filling, reserving about a quarter of the jam to finish the top.
  25. Spread the remaining brown butter filling over the rhubarb jam and finish by spooning smaller dollops of rhubarb jam over the top.
  26. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is deep golden brown.
  27. Remove pan from the oven and cool completely before cutting into small (1&1/2") squares.

Notes

These bars freeze well.

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brown butter vanilla bean weekend cake~baking chez moi

Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake from Baking Chez Moi / Patty's FoodAfter a second try using a loaf pan and an addition of  brown butter vanilla bean glaze, this simple brown butter vanilla bean weekend cake turned out to be a keeper recipe, just the way I imagined it would be.  The first time I tried this recipe it was a colossal disappointment and I’m guessing the thick luscious fragrant cake batter did not like my cute new Bundt pan which may have been the cause of it turning out slightly dry and too sturdy, not good qualities in a weekend cake.

So, was my baking experience this week from Baking Chez Moi for Tuesdays with Dorie an episode of woman versus cake?… kind of.  After baking the first weekend cake in a Bundt pan and waiting a few days before cutting off a slice to taste, as advised to develop the flavors, I was not impressed with my results.  My first thought was, forget it-I’m not baking this one again, but then I remembered how good the brown butter vanilla bean infused batter looked and smelled- so tempting.  And that I also have the benefit of baking through a wonderful collection of recipes from Baking Chez Moi with a group of dedicated bakers, the gang from Tuesdays with Dorie and that many of these bakers loved this recipe…Please check out their results here.  So, I decided to make it again, this time in a loaf pan and with a glaze.  I just felt like it needed something sweet on it or with it, like ice cream, a sauce or a glaze.  So glaze it was,  I stirred brown butter, vanilla bean paste, cream and rum into powdered sugar and after a short time of whisking I had a pretty tasty glaze which I spread over the slightly warm cake.  Yum, it was good and finally I-the woman- had in the end won this round with cake. Brown Butter Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake from Baking Chez Moi / Patty's FoodBrown Butter Vanilla Bean Weekend Cake from Baking Chez Moi / Patty's Food

Berry Financiers for French Fridays with Dorie

 

After the disaster I had with the last berry filled pastry for French Fridays with Dorie I wasn’t sure I would attempt another one… I’m happy to report that my berry financiers were a total success and I was excited to use the financier molds that were a gift from a friend and have been stashed in my kitchen for several years.  Traditionally  financiers are made with brown butter and I think have a wonderful chewy texture from almond flour.  The mixed berries nestled on top are a kind of icing on the cake of  this beloved Parisian born sweet.

The cooking schedule of  the online cooking group French Fridays with Dorie features seasonal recipes selected from Around My French Table.  This week’s recipe with the option to use fresh berries is perfect for this time of year and I hope it inspires everyone to make it over to their local farmer’s market and load up on berries.

Instead of a chicken in every pot maybe we could have berries in every bowl.  Even though I haven’t been a regular participant with French Fridays with Dorie, I try to keep up with the cooking adventures of this wonderful group.  Please venture over to check out all the home baked financiers shared on the site this week.

I think we’re skipping over Spring here in the Bay Area with temperatures in the high eighties today.  Believe me I’m not complaining but I think the garden may wonder what’s going on with these temperatures.  Between the frogs, birds and a gazillion bugs that just hatched we are good to go for Summer!

I’ve made so many excellent keeper recipes out of Around My French Table..I guess I should give the Isaphan Loaf Cake another try…How about on a warm Summer day?  I will bake a beautiful loaf  (early in the day before it gets too hot!) and serve it with ice tea sweetened with my homemade rose syrup.  I’m feeling another  FFWD inspired blog post coming on…..Hopefully I won’t wait until July to share another recipe From Around My French Table.

Here is a link to Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for financiers with the addition of fresh berries nestled on top of the batter before baking.

Brown Butter M&M Cookies

Congratulations to the San Francisco Giants- our World Champions!  Last night’s game was a thrill to watch, winning the series in a four game weep was an unexpected accomplishment by the team and one that will be celebrated here in the San Francisco Bay Area for months to come. The victory parade is on Halloween day so I didn’t know it at the time but I baked these brown butter M&M cookies to celebrate our Giant’s World Series win.  I broke into my Halloween candy stash (twice!) and unleashed the inner cookie monster this week.  For these latest brown butter cookies I used a bag of Fall color themed milk chocolate M&M’s.  After weeks of warm temperatures leading up to Halloween night, our forecast is for rain-I hope it’s wrong!  Our neighborhood hosts hundreds of trick or treaters every year and this past week Halloween decorations went up on the street.  Ghouls wearing rags chained to large piles of assorted pumpkins set up right next to cheerful scrappy scarecrows stuck on wooden sticks in leaf covered lawns are a few of my favorites.  I also love seeing the ghost made from a white sheet that is eerily pulled across our street from tree top to tree top and the skeleton pirates reclining in a creek while passing a bottle of rum with dry ice smoking from a treasure chest in the background.  But, best of all are the little people wearing costumes trick or treating after the sun goes down.  I’m hoping for a dry raincoat/umbrella free day for  both the Giants parade and Halloween evening.
Once again I have to thank my go-to source for fun cookie recipes- my blogging friend Lizzy@That Skinny Chick Can Bake for this recipe and for all her baking inspiration, thanks Lizzy!  I hope everyone has a fun evening planned for Halloween and if baking cookies is part of your celebration I hope you’ll consider trying this recipe for Brown Butter M&M Cookies or my previous post of Milky Way Cookies.

Brown Butter M&M Cookies

Yield: 2 dozen cookies

Gently adapted from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.

Ingredients

  • 14 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1&3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1&1/2 cup milk chocolate M&M's

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment of silpats.
  3. Melt 10 tablespoons of the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, continue cooking until the butter is light brown with a nutty fragrance.
  4. Pour the butter into a heatproof bowl and stir in the remaining butter until melted.
  5. Add the sugars and then vanilla.
  6. Mix in the egg and egg yolk.
  7. Stir in the baking soda and then flour, mix until combined.
  8. Stir in the M&M's.
  9. Scoop out rounded tablespoons and space evenly on baking sheets, about 2" apart.
  10. Bake for 11-12 minutes, until light brown.
  11. Cool on metal racks.
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Brown Butter Apple Tartlets


My brown butter apple tartlets made with the last of my Gravenstein apples went fast! I like to bake with Gravenstein apples during their short season, but any tart baking apple would work well in this simple recipe. I used purchased pie dough for an even quicker batch of apple tartlets but feel free to substitute your favorite 9″ pie crust dough recipe. My tartlets are like  apple pie cookies and would make wonderful after school treats for my ‘littles’ or for my husband Scott, who, after eating two tartlets rather quickly asked me to take the plate away, oh well-more for the ‘littles’!  Next time I’ll double this recipe by adding 2 more apples and another pie crust dough to make 16 tartlets. The brown butter filling recipe makes more than you will need for this recipe, so it could be easily stretched to make a double batch.  I froze my extra brown butter filling to make a future batch of tartlets.  I also think it could be added to a batch of cookies or quick bread in place of butter, egg and/or sugar in a different recipe.  I like experimenting with ingredients when I bake, that’s part of the baking adventure.  Yes, baking is an adventure as well as a science.  We’ve been told to measure our ingredients and be very precise but some recipes are more forgiving than others so that’s the time to play around and have some fun!

One of my favorite things about keeping a bowl of Gravenstein apples on my counter is the way their sweet scent permeates the kitchen. They ripen fast at room temperature and turn a soft yellow color which I think is striking next to the red stripes covering their sides.  I’m always looking to show off fresh picked apples, like in a favorite cobalt blue bowl that contrasts with the yellow, green and red colors.  This is one of the ways I know that Fall is on the way.  We generally have a long Indian Summer  in California.  The leaves turn colors and the evenings become cooler, so although the seasonal changes might be considered subtle  in comparison to other parts of the world, we ease out of Summer and into Fall just like everybody else.  One of these apples is from a tree in my backyard and it’s not a Gravenstein, can you tell which one it is?  Hint:  It has a redder top than the other apples, way easier than finding Waldo!

Brown Butter Apple Tartlets

Yield: 8 tartlets

Adapted from Sweet Gratitude by Judith Sutton

Ingredients

  • For The Brown Butter Filling
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla bean paste
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • For The Tartlets
  • Pie dough for single crust 9" pie, I used purchased pie dough
  • 2-3 Gravenstein apples
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla sugar, homemade or purchased

Instructions

  1. To Make The Brown Butter Filling
  2. Place the butter in a medium size heavy skillet over medium heat.
  3. Cook until the butter is golden brown with a nut like aroma and you see dark specks in the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes,remove from heat.
  4. In a medium bowl whisk together the egg, sugar and vanilla bean paste, whisk until well blended.
  5. Stir in the flour and salt, stirring until well combined.
  6. While constantly whisking gradually add the browned butter, leaving the dark speck solids at the bottom of the heavy skillet, cool and refrigerate this mixture, for at least 1 hour up to 2 days, until ready to use.
  7. To Make The Tartlets
  8. On a lightly floured surface roll out the homemade pie dough, if purchased- defrost, peel off the plastic and lay on work surface.
  9. Using a large size biscuit cutter, cut out 8 rounds, you may have to re-roll scraps to cut out the last 2 rounds.
  10. Place the dough rounds on a baking sheet and place in the fridge.
  11. Peel,core and halve the apples, rubbing sides with lemon juice.
  12. Cut each apple half into thin slices, about 1/8- inch thick, place in a bowl and add a few additional drops of lemon juice.
  13. Bring the dough rounds out of the fridge and spread each one with a generous spoonful of the brown butter filling, leaving a small border of plain dough around the edges.
  14. Place 4 slices on top of the filling and sprinkle with vanilla sugar, slightly crimp the plain edges of the dough around the apple slices and put back in the fridge while preheating the oven to 400F.
  15. Place the tartlets in the oven and reduce the temperature to 375F, bake for about 18 minutes until the apple slices look cooked and the crust is golden brown.
  16. Cool on a metal rack, serve warm or at room temperature.
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