Lemon Tart with Raspberries

It was a Sunday afternoon and Emily tells me she wants to bake something. Something instantly comes to mind: Tarte au Citron avec des framboises. Or, a lemon tart with raspberries! I kid you not, I had a dream about this tart the night before so I knew I needed to make it. (Side note: yes, I do dream about baking things… I know, I know, it’s a bit crazy but I can’t help it when inspiration comes!)

Lemon curd is one of Emily and my’s favorite things in the whole wide world so when I mentioned making a flaky pie crust filled with lemon curd topped with raspberries, she was in. 100% in. So we headed to Central Market to get some groceries and then an afternoon of baking began!

IMG_8853Warning: This tart has multiple steps but trust me when I say it’s so worth it. The lemon curd is tart while the raspberries provide a bit of sweetness and the crust is flaky and buttery. My mouth is watering!

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Pie Crust:

Ingredients
6 tablespoons very cold unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon sugar
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons cup very cold vegetable shortening
3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

How To: Dice the butter into cubes and put it to the refrigerator to stay chilled. In an electric mixer, place the flour, salt, and sugar in the bowl. Once combined, add the butter and shortening and mix until the butter is the size of peas. With the mixer running, add the ice water an keep mixing until a dough ball begins to form. Once formed, dump onto a floured surface and roll into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

When ready to bake the dough, take the dough out of the refrigerator and roll the piece on a well-floured board into a circle using a floured rolling pin. Make sure to continually move the dough in a circle so it won’t stick to the rolling surface. Fold the dough in half, place in a pie pan, and unfold to fit the pan. This recipe only makes one crust since there is no top crust to this tart. In the case you are making a pie, double the recipe for two crusts. Preheat the oven at 375 degrees and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the pie crust begins to lightly brown on the edges. Once cooked, let the crust completely cool before topping with lemon curd.

Lemon Curd:

Ingredients
3 lemons
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 pound unsalted butter at room temperature
4 eggs
1/2 cup lemon juice (3 to 4 lemons)
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

How To: Remove the zest of 3 lemons. Chop the zest with a knife until very fine. In an electric mixer, add the sugar and zest and mix until combined. To this mixture, add the room temperature butter and mix for 2-3 minutes until creamed together. After this, add the eggs one at a time. Then add the lemon juice and salt. Mix until fully combined.

Pour the mixture into a saucepan and slowly cook over low heat until thickened (about 10 minutes), stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and allow to fully cool before pouring over the baked pie crust. Also, lick the spoon and bowl. Waste nothing…lemon curd is like gold. It’s the good stuff.

IMG_8863Putting it all Together: To put everything together, take the cooled pie crust and pour over the cooled lemon curd. Top with raspberries and BAM. You’ve got yourself a French and fancy dessert.

xo, Brinkles Sprinkles

Lucy’s Fried Chicken

If you’re in Austin, go to Lucy’s Fried Chicken. Don’t ask questions, just go. Who can say no to hot and delicious fried chicken? My brother, Daddy, and I went last week for dinner and were so happy with our meals. The atmosphere is fun and the food is good. What more could ya ask for?

For appetizers, we ordered the Texan Wood-Fired Grilled Oysters and the Deep Fried Deviled Eggs. Both dishes were phenomenal.  

For the main meals, Davis out ordered us all. He got the Deep Fried Chicken Spaghetti…! It was, as you can imagine, the best. I had the Burn-It Bowl and my dad ordered a basket of fried chicken with collard greens and mashed potatoes that we all munched on. YUM!

As if we hadn’t eaten enough, we ordered dessert. I’m so glad we did, it was delightful. And let’s be honest. there’s ALWAYS room for dessert……. We had the banana pudding and slices of the sweet tea and s’mores pie.

I rolled away from the restaurant after this meal. So worth the #foodcoma. The best part of the meal, however, was being with my favorite boys…thanks for coming down to ATX, Daddy and Davis! xoxo.

Girl Scout Cookies: Homemade Samoas

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It’s that wonderful time of year when the Girl Scouts are on every corner selling those delicious Girl Scout Cookies that we all know and love. I promised myself that i wouldn’t buy a box this year because I’m trying to be “good”…and because I have no restraint and can eat a box of Thin Mints in a day. Gosh.

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So, basically I decided to go around the fact that I wasn’t going to buy a box and decided to make my own! 🙂

I decided to make some Samoas and holy cow, they came out even better than the ones I’d buy from the Girl Scouts (sorry, girlies). My Samoas were practically on steroids because they were so big but hey, they were SO good.

Here’s the recipe:

For the shortbread cookies:
2 sticks of unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the coconut topping:
3 cups shredded sweetened coconut
15 ounces caramels (I just bought 2 packages of Werther’s Soft Caramels and it was the perfect amount)
3 Tablespoons milk
1/2 package of chocolate almond bark

The How-To: To make the cookies, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract. Finally, add all of the dry ingredients until the dough forms in the bowl. It will be very sticky. Using your hands, form the dough into a ball and then place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour. After the dough has chilled, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch and cut the dough using two circle cookie cutters, one smaller than the first to make a “donut” shape. Place the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350 degrees. The cookies will be lightly golden brown. Let cool and off to make to coconut caramel topping!

In a large pan, toast the coconut for 5-7 minutes over medium heat until the coconut becomes *lightly* browned. This step will make your house smell so good but make sure the coconut doesn’t burn! While toasting the coconut, melt the caramels with 3 tablespoons of milk. Once melted, pour over the coconut and mix together until combined.

Okay, now for assembly. Using a spoon, get the coconut/caramel topping and spread it over the top of the cookie. The mixture is quite sticky and will adhere to the cooled cookie easily. Do this for all the cookies. Then, melt the chocolate bark in the microwave. Spread the cookies out on parchment paper and then dip the bottom of each cookie into the melted chocolate. Then, place the chocolate-covered cookies on the parchment paper and let sit until the chocolate hardens. With the excess chocolate, place it in a plastic bag and then snip the tip of the bag so the chocolate can come out. Drizzle the cookies with the chocolate and voila! Homemade Samoas that everyone will LOVE.

I was never a Girl Scout when I was younger but I’d say I deserve some type of badge for this right???

Brinkles Sprinkles

Super Bowl Sunday

Super Bowl Sunday is as much about the food as it is about the football and commercials. In my opinion, we balled out with our Super Bowl snackies. Emily and I were the hostesses with the mostesses (just go with it…?!) and made an awesome spread. Some stop bought and some homemade, we basically could have our own catering company…

Here was the menu:

  • Mexi-Corn Dip with Fritos
  • Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks
  • Jalapeño Poppers
  • Chips, Queso, and Salsa
  • Assortment of Desserts and Ice Cream

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Mexi-Corn Dip:

  • 1 12 ounce can whole corn, drained
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 pound cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup  chopped white onion
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped

Mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate for a while then serve with Fritos! Warning, this stuff is addictive!

Tequila Lime Chicken Drumsticks

  • 3/4 cup tequila
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeeze lime juice (about 6-8 limes)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4.5 pounds chicken drumsticks (about 20)
  • 3 tablespoons oil (we used olive oil)
  • Orange wedges, for garnish

Combine the tequila, lime juice, honey, salt, pepper, chicken, and oil in a large plastic bag and let marinate for an hour.

Preheat the oven for 375 degrees. Remove the chicken from the marinade and allow excess marinade to drip back in the bag. Reserve the excess marinade. Place the chicken on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet and bake until cooked through and golden brown. It’ll take about 40 minutes.

While the drumsticks are cooking, transfer the marinade to a saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until thickened and reduced to about 1/3 cup. It will take about 15-20 minutes. Transfer chicken to a serving platter and immediately brush with glaze. Garnish with orange wedges. Enjoy!

Jalapeno Poppers

  • 10 Jalapeños
  • 1 cube of cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 pound pound bacon

Cut the jalapeños in half, length-wise. With a spoon or knife, remove the seeds and white membrane. Smear the softened cream cheese into each jalapeños half. Wrap the jalapeño with bacon slices and cook at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes. It’s all done, it’s that easy! Yum!

Chips, Queso, and Salsa

We just bought our favorite chips and salsa from the grocery store and picked up some queso from Torchy’s!

Dessert and Ice Cream

We went to Whole Foods and picked up some mini tarts from the bakery. We got some key limes tartlets, fruit tartlets, chocolate turtle cheesecake, and raspberry chocolate triffle. We also picked up a pint of Lick Ice Cream in the best flavor: Honey Country Honey and Vanilla!! Lick is a local ice cream shop here in Austin that has the craziest and fun flavors. This flavor is pretty tame for thier standards but is so delicious. If you’re at Whole Foods, pick up a pint!

We ended the nights in food comas on the couch watching the game. It was great! Hope everyone had a wonderful Super Bowl Sunday like I did!

Browned Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

I finish class on Monday’s at 2 o’clock. I walk myself home and plop myself right down on the couch just in time to watch my three favorite shows on Food Network (Giada at Home, Barefoot Contessa, and Pioneer Women). It’s quite possibly my favorite part of the day.

Well, these cookies were a direct result of seeing Ree Drummond from Pioneer Women making them on the episode I watched. I thought to myself, “I have all the ingredients, I want a sweet treat, my friends love my baked goods…therefore, I’m making cookies.” And so it was decided. And since I’ve never used browned butter before, I was sold.

Now, I’ll write down the recipe here on my blog but honestly, The Pioneer Women has the recipe all nicely typed with pictures explaining detailing everything so clearly that I’ll just provide y’all with the link HERE.

But whatever recipe you refer to, these cookies are the bomb.com. Basically, they’re a simple update on the classic chocolate chip cookie and they are soooo chewy and melt-in-your-mouth. These babies rank up there as some of my favorite desserts (which is saying a lot).

IMG_6770 IMG_6768 IMG_6767_2Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (2 Sticks) Salted Butter
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 2 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 2 Tablespoons (additional) All-purpose Flour (rounded Tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons (heaping) Instant Coffee Granules
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or Chocolate Chunks)

The How To:

Melt a stick of butter over medium heat. Allow it to melt and then continue cooking it for 3 to 4 minutes, continually stirring with a spoon. The butter will bubble up and then turn a caramel/golden brown color. At this point, take it off the heat and transfer everything (even the brown solids at the bottom of the pan) to a heatproof bowl and allow it to cool COMPLETELY. For the other stick of butter, allow it to come to room temperature.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees*.

Cream the softened butter together with the brown sugar and regular sugar until it’s all fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla and scrape the sides of the pan to make sure everything is all combined.

Now, pay attention. This next step is important: With the mixer on medium-low, very slowly drizzle in the cooled melted butter, making sure to add all the darker brown solids! MAKE SURE YOU POUR IT IN SLOWLY. Make sure everything is combined and then move to the dry ingredients.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, coffee granules, baking soda and salt. Stir together and then add to the wet ingredients. Add in the chocolate chips. Taste the dough, let’s real, it’s the best part. Put the batter in the fridge for 15 minutes and then scoop out by the tablespoon. Then bake 9 minutes and oh my goodness, you’ve got yourself one heck of a cookie. I recomend serving it with some milk or a big scoop of vanilla ice cream (maybe make an ice cream sandwich if you’re feeling extra naughty!).

Brinkles Sprinkles

Counter Cafe

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I went to lunch this afternoon at Counter Cafe. What I thought was going to be an average but tasty lunch proved to be so much more. I had heard/read tons of good things about Counter Cafe’s food but particularly, their hamburger. When I got it, all my expectations were blown away. Everyone, I kid you not this simple hamburger is one of my new top 5 favorite meals EVER. This medium-rare patty on a sourdough bun with cheddar cheese, bib lettuce, ketchup, bacon and jalapeños really made me the happiest girl on the planet. So simple yet so unbelievably delicious and juicy. The food gods were sure looking down on me today, that’s for sure.

Counter Cafe has weird hours (only open 7:30 am-4 pm!) so make sure you think about that when going! If you’re in Austin and haven’t been, get on over there! Their breakfast and everything else on the menu looks so good that you really couldn’t go wrong with anything. But as for me, I highly recommend the hamburger. I promise you’ll thank me.

Brinks

Kazy’s Gourmet Sushi

My love affair with sushi started in high school when my best friend, Rachel, took me to go get Reikyu Sushi & Bar in Mockingbird Station here in Dallas. Ever since, I have absolutely loved it. When I came home for Christmas break, my dad and brother raved about this place called Kazy’s and said we just had to go. I didn’t know much about this place before going but when I arrived I was floored. Kazy’s Gourmet is one of my new favorite restaurants in Dallas.

It is more than just a restaurant, however. This is an unsuspecting place one drives by all the time in the side of the road but always ignores it, until now. Kazy’s is not only a Japanese market with a newly renovated area to eat, it is the wholesale provider for most Dallas area restaurants that serve sushi, sashimi, and all that jazz. So when you arrive, you are guaranteed to get the best of the best and it will, of course, be super fresh. Second best characteristic about Kazy’s: the prices. Everything is so cheap. You can get a wide variety of uniquely crafted rolls for $2 to $4 when the same rolls would be close to $12 in the restaurants. Bam. If that didn’t convince you, I don’t know what will. Daddy, Davis, and I went for an afternoon lunch. We ordered a bit of everything to share and were so pleased when it all came out.

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If you’re in the Dallas area and want some delicious sushi, stop by Kazy’s (9256 Markville Dr. Dallas, TX 75243). Y’all, you won’t regret it!

Rolled Sugar Cookies

Christmas cookies! Possibly one of my favorite things about the season. It’s basically just another reason to bake which I’m all about. I made these cookies while in Knoxville while visiting some friends. These cookies are really easy and make a ton of cookies so you can share them with everyone (…or not, up to you).

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Rolled Sugar Cookies 

2 cups all purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

6 tablespoons butter

1/3 cup shortening

3/4 cup sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon milk

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/4 teaspoon salt

Mix the flour, baking powder, and salt. In your mixer, beat the butter and shortening then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg, milk, and vanilla and beat again. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Cover and chill at least 3 hours (it’s best to chill it over night).

After the dough has chilled completely, work with a quarter of the dough at a time (place the rest in the fridge while you’re rolling out the cookies). Roll the cookies on a floured surface to 1/8 inch thickness. (Tip: the thinner the cookies, the better they hold their shape while baking in the oven. This way they won’t puff up to something that doesn’t look like the Christmas tree you meant it to look like!) The more flour the better, this way your cookies won’t stick! Cut into the desired shapes with fun cookies cutters. We used Christmas shapes! Place on a pan lined with parchment paper and bake at 375 degrees for 8 minutes or until done. This makes tons of cookies…3-4 dozen!

We iced them with a simple icing made with powdered sugar, vanilla, and milk. Add milk to the powdered sugar until you get the desired thickness and decorate with tons of sprinkles. Make sure the cookies are completely cooled before attempting to frost or the icing will just melt off the cookie. Just a tip! Enjoy!

Chocolate Chip Brioche Pretzels

Hey y’all! It’s officially Christmas break for me! Done with finals and the fall semester! Say hello to sleeping in, tons of Netflix, family time and lots of baking! I baked these soft pretzels the night after one of the most difficult final exams. Getting in the kitchen and making something delicious really clears my mind and makes me (…and my friends who get the treats) so happy!

I’m going to warn you now, these pretzels are time consuming. You have to prep earlier in the day to allow the dough to rise and all that jazz but they are so worth it. I hadn’t ever made anything with yeast in it before so this was a first for me and I can definitely say that I’m going to want to make some more “bread” products in the future!

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Dough:

1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon table salt
2 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Glaze:

1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon table salt
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions:

To make the dough, whisk the milk and yeast together in a dish until the yeast has dissolved. With your electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, and salt. To this mixture, add the eggs and the milk/yeast mixture. Mix this all together until it forms into a shaggy pile. At this point, add the softened butter, eggs, and chocolate chips and mix for 5-7 minutes on medium speed (this step allows for the dough to develop the stretchy strands brioche is so well known for). After the 5-7 minutes, switch to the paddle attachment and beat for another 5 minutes until a dough ball forms.

Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled bowl (I just used vegetable oil), cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise in a warm spot for at least 2 hours and at most 12 hours. The dough should have at least doubled in size. If you make this dough the night before, you can leave it in the fridge overnight and then when you need to use it the next day, allow it to come back to room temperature before continuing to the next step.

After the dough has risen, line a couple of baking sheets with parchment paper and preheat the oven at 350 degrees.

To form the pretzels, gently deflate the dough and divide into 8 pieces. Roll each piece on a clean surface to about 18 inches long and 1/2 inch thick. Since the dough was a bit oiled from the bowl, I found it quit easy to role the dough but if you need some extra flour because the dough is a bit sticky, by all means, go for it.

Here comes the part everyone gets a little nervous about: the twisting of the pretzel. Y’all I promise it’s not that hard! To form the pretzel, form a circle with the dough. With the two ends, make a twist in the middle and fold the twist down into the circle, adhering the loose ends of the rope at five and seven o’clock on the base. Transfer them to prepared baking sheets with the parchment paper, brush them with glaze (instructions for the glaze: mix it all together!), and let them rest for about 15 minutes. This allows the dough to rise a bit more after deflating them during formation of the pretzels. Before putting the pretzels into the oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt and sugar. Cook for 17 minutes at 350 degrees or until the bottom of the pretzels in a golden brown.

They come out of the oven and I promise you they will be gone in an instant!

Enjoy!

Brinkles Sprinkles