Sunday, January 20, 2013

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies

As most of you know I’ve recently changed careers. In my new career as a Cheese Monger (official title is Cheese Master), I not only get to spend my day working with cheese and awesome team, but I also get to work with salts from around the world. Now I have gotten on my salt box and denounced the over use of salt, but when you have control of salt, and use some of the best from around the world, salt is an AWESOME flavor.

For this sweet treat I have used Fleur de Sel. You ask, what is that? Well, Fleur de Sel or flower of salt, in French is a hand-harvested sea salt collected by workers who scrape only the top layer of salt before it sinks to the bottom of large salt pans. Traditional French Fleur de Sel is collected off the coast of Brittany, most notably in the town of Guérande, but also in Noirmoutier, Île de Ré and Camargue. Fleur de sel is often slightly grey due to the sand collected in the process of harvesting the salt from the pans. Fleur de sel has more mineral complexity than common table salt. Fleurs de sel are moist salts.

So I came across this recipe in my email, and it really struck me as something I needed to make. This week at work we are doing a bunch of training, and I thought I would treat my team, and co-workers to this yummy salty chocolate treat. 
And you’ll notice that I found a limited edition red and chocolate chip package. Great for Valentine’s Day!

Fleur de Sel Chocolate Chip Blondies

2 & 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 & 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
pinch fine sea salt (optional)
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups semisweet chocolate chips
1 to 1 & 1/2 tablespoons fleur de sel
Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
Whisk flour, baking soda, and pinch of salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter until light and fluffy. Gradually add both sugars and mix until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spread dough into prepared pan. Sprinkle top of dough with fleur de sel.
Bake 30-35 minutes, until center is set and top is golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into bars.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Pecan Pie Bars

Recently, when I was surfing the web, I think it was Facebook, I came across a post for a bourbon cocktail that pictured this wonderful great dessert. When I went to the website, there wasn't a recipe for the bars. By the time I returned to the post there was about 5-6 requests for the recipe. So the site was being pressured into putting the link for the recipe. After a few changes, here is my version on this great cookie bar.

Pecan Pie Bars

Cookie Crust:

2 1/2 c. flour
2 sticks butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup pecans, chopped

Beat together until crumbly. Press in oiled jelly roll pan. Bake 20-23 minutes until golden.

4 eggs
1 1/2 c. Karo, light or dark
1 1/2 c. sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 1/2 c. pecans, halves or broken

Prepare and bake cookie crust.

Beat eggs, corn syrup, sugar, butter and vanilla until well blended. Stir in pecans. Pour over hot crust. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Makes 48 bars.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Carmelized Onion Tomato Jam

This recipe came from another post I came across, that included a veggie tart. While the recipe wasnt a hit in our home, this jam has been incredible. So far I've used it on chicken and cover on a baked brie, but I have plans to make it again, and smear it on life! So to speak.....hahaha..

Caramelized Onion-Tomato Jam


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 Vidalia onions, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
10 Roma tomatoes, cored, seeded and roughly chopped (about 2 1/2 pounds)
1/2 cup molasses


In a high-sided saute pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, season with the salt, cover and cook until they are wilted and soft, about 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook the onions until they are golden and caramelized, stirring often, about 20 minutes more.

Stir in the garlic and saute 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook an additional 10 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Stirring consistently, cook until the tomatoes breakdown and the jam becomes thick, about 20 minutes.