Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats with Butterscotch & Chocolate Chips

"Why can't your feelings taste like rice krispy treats?"

No subtly between friends, right?   So here you go, what my feelings taste like today:  Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats, with both butterscotch and chocolate chips.  Add a little extra chocolate on top for some flair, and add some shape for some class.

I'd actually never made rice krispy treats until this past February.  Maybe because it doesn't require an oven?  Maybe because I like to pretend I am super sophisticated and refined and usually rice krispy treats don't sound like they could be either.  I was in charge of treats for a group outing and was too exhausted from life to bake anything so I decided to take a stab at some.  I made the first batch at a friend's house.  I asked if he had peanut butter and he took out a jar of cookie butter instead.  I won't lie; I almost had a heart attack.  I wasn't thrilled at him spooning globs of it into MY treats.  But I allowed it.  And it was a little magical.  Because apparently it is not love (the so-called secret ingredient to all) but cookie butter which makes a good rice krispy treat.

Have you ever had cookie butter?  It is seriously made from COOKIES.  Speculoos cookies.   When I recetly re-made these for the blog, I had to go back 3 times to Trader Joe's because people buy it all up as soon as they restock the jars and then they sell/mail overseas.  I played hooky from work one day and went to TJ's at 10:00AM.  I got the last one on the shelf.  I beat the hoarders!  Hoorah. So I made them as soon as I got home.

As all rice krispy treats are, these are super easy to make but have tons of layers of flavors to them.

Cookie Butter Rice Krispy Treats with Butterscotch & Chocolate Chips

6 cups Rice Krispy cereal
5 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup cookie butter
10 oz. bag marshmallows
1/2 cup butterscotch chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips (Optional:  1/4 cup more for drizzling)

1. In a saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely but do not let boil.
2. Add in marshmallows, stirring frequently with a rubber spatula to prevent sticking.
3. Add cookie butter and stir until combined.
4. Remove from heat and immediately add in rice krispy cereal.
5. Fold in chocolate and butterscotch chips.
6. Scoop mixture into a 9 x 13 pan lined with wax paper. Pat down with a greased piece of waxed paper until smooth and even.
7. Let sit for a few minutes. Then use your choice of cookie cutter to cut out shapes.  (I used a flower.)
8. Drizzle melted chocolate over cut out treat, if desired.
9. The scraps are totally up for grabs.

When you add the chips in, they get a little melty.  It's not too bad with the butterscotch, but a bit messy with the chocolate.  So you may just want to drizzle more chocolate on top.

Now I have half a jar of cookie butter left. I can either make something else with it, or eat it by the spoonful. I haven't decided which of those options I'm going for just yet.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

b.patisserie Review & Brownie Cookies

Hi friends.  Sorry I have been quiet lately.  I have been pretty busy eating pastries and packing on the pounds.  That sentence is hilarious (not hilarious)  because it's 100% true. Yes, I have been baking a lot the last few weeks but I have been eating a lot more baked goods than normal.  A lot. People keep BRINGING me things and I can't say no.  And I really, really, really couldn't say no when my company's president walked through the door with a box of pastries from b. patisserie for me.  Yes, a box for me.  To myself.

b. patisserie is a new bakery that opened in San Francisco a few weeks ago.  The pastry chef is Belinda Leong.  She bakes MAGIC.  There's no way to describe it but magic.  I first had her  infamous kouign amann last fall at an underground food market.  There was frozen custard in the middle of it so it was delicious for sure but the pastry was the star.  I had to find out what it was, who made it and of course how to pronounce this "kouign amann" thing.  Because it really was amazing - life changing and I have honestly stalked her since.  You can read the many good reviews here, here, here... the list goes on.

When I found out she was opening up her own bakery and I would be able to get those bad boys with so much more ease, I was ecstatic.  I told everyone, including my co-workers.  I also whined a little (a lot) about how far and inconvenient it is from work.  (I may work in the city but I only know how to get to the ballpark to see my Giants on MUNI, nowhere else. )  Which is why despite my excitement, I dragged my feet at actually visiting the shop.  I still have to!  I must.  There are too many friends with sweet tooths that I plan to bring here.  The shop has a macaron tree.  A MACARON TREE.  How can I not go?

In any case, I was brought back the delicious kouign amann - think of a croissant but sweeter.  The sugar actually pools inside the middle of the pastry.  It's divine.

And a raspberry grand macaron.  Yes, it tastes as good as it looks.  It's about 3x the size of your average macaron. That's why it's a grand  macaron.

Best macaron I have ever had.  The fresh raspberries totally make the treat.  I wish I had one right now.  So did my little kitchen mascot, Andy. I didnt give him any though.  (Meet Cupcake Andy.  He likes sweets.   He's as big as a grand macaron.)

What does this have to do with cookies you may ask?  Well, while amiss my stalking the poor  pastry chef online I stumbled upon a link to a recipe of hers featured in Food & Wine.  Brownie Cookies!  They're cookies but they taste JUST like brownies.  I printed out the recipe immediately and made no adjustments to the recipe.  I have some tips, of course I have tips, but no adjustments.

THESE ARE SUPER CHOCOLATEY.  You have been warned.  If you don't like chocolate, I can see how they could turn you off.  But if you love chocolate like me, then YUM.  A tall glass of milk next to you is recommended though.  :)

Brownie Cookies

From b. patisserie pastry chef Belinda Leong, as found in Food & Wine
Makes 3 dozen, bake at 350% for 10 minutes.

1 pound semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
One 12-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips


1.In a large bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, melt the chopped chocolate with the butter, stirring until smooth.
2. In another large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the eggs with the sugar at medium speed until thick and pale, about 5 minutes.
3. Beat in the vanilla and salt.
4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the melted chocolate.
5. Fold in the flour and baking powder.
6.Stir in the chocolate chips.
7. Scrape batter into a shallow baking dish, cover and freeze until well chilled and firm, about 1 hour.
8. Working in batches, scoop 2-tablespoon-size mounds of dough onto the prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
9 .Bake for about 10 minutes, until the cookies are dry around the edges and cracked on top. Let the cookies cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack to cool completely before serving.

See below for what the cracks looks like.  This is okay.  It means the delicious is trying to break through!

My tips to you is to melt the chocolate very carefully, make sure that the water does not boil or hit the bottom of the bowl to prevent your chocolate from seizing.  Also, when it says to work in batches that means that the dough is very very melty. There is hardly any flour in these, so keep it in the freezer in between your batches.  Also, bake them exactly as directed.  Lots of cookies will taste okay or even better slightly under cooked but not these.  Make sure the tops are cracking to prevent having raw cookies.

I brought them into work and they were gone by 11:00AM.  They called me a cookie monster.

Do you see the compact chocolaty goodness in there? Yeah, I do too.

So in summary, because Yes I am aware that I ramble, make these cookies if you love chocolate and have a tall glass of milk.  And go to b. patisserie right now.   Just make sure "right now" is before 11:00 AM because they run out of pastries fast.  The first time my co-worker went, it was 1:00 PM and all she could bring me back was their business card.  Don't make the same mistake. Unfortunately, it is not edible so it cannot satisfy your sweet tooth.


Update July 2013:

I went!!! And it was Amazing.  The Macaron tree had changed over to Summer already.

The details are actually pretty amazing on this tree.  I was impressed.

I pined after the pretty yellow chairs.

Stared open mouthed at the stack of FRUIT filled Kouigns.

And then enjoyed a pastry... or two WITH a cup of coffee.   All is well with the world!!!