Monday, November 15, 2010

Crack Pie!

This pie from Momofuku Milk Bar in New York has gotten a lot of press in the last few years.. and seeing how I (sadly) wouldn't be going to New York any time soon, I wanted to try it myself! With any of Christina Tosi's recipes I've seen online and in magazines, there are always many many steps to creating the final supersweet product. You gotta WORK for that crazy treat! For instance, with her blueberry and cream cookies, you make the "milk crumbs" first (a milky streusel crumbly thing using dry skim milk powder) and then you incorporate that into the cookie dough. With crack pie, you make a big old super-buttery oat cookie on a sheet pan, bake that off, cool it then you crumble it all up and add more butter and sugar to make a cookie pie crust.

Okay- now on to the crack pie. For my birthday this year I hosted a CANADIAN FOOTBALL AND PIE party... 1 hour of hilarious, muddy football played by non-sporty types in the park right by my house in the November cold, then back to my place for oodles and oodles of pie! Hence, a perfect opportunity to try out this crazy-ass pie...

I ended up making two pies by accident because I thought I messed up the crust on the first go-around. Instead of 1/4 cup butter, I used 1/2 cup because I was so dazed and confused and tired from Cake Land. As it was mixing in my Kitchen Aid, I thought "holy dingdong, that's a lot of butter. that looks nothing like a cookie dough." I used an off-set spatula to spread the "buttery oat cookie mass" onto my cookie sheet. While it was in the oven and looking like maybe a pale sheet of barf, I realized my mistake and quickly made up another batch with 1/4 cup butter instead, spreading it again on a new cookie sheet and baking it. Still, the 1/4 cup butter version looked pretty much exactly the same, pale and somewhat barfy, and baked up the same too -- it really does crisp up and form a giant sheet cookie!

The filling is a breeze to prepare, in fact the whole process isn't difficult per say it just takes a little bit of your time. I poured the filling into both prepared pie shells, then put them in the oven, for 30 minute at 350 degrees. Then the recipe tells you to reduce to 325 degrees for another 20 minutes. Here is where I would suggest watching your oven -- I found I didn't need the entire cooking time, so bake for another 10 minutes and see what's happening. If it's somewhat browned, not quite set in the middle and has some bubbly-type things, take it out!

Let cool for 2 hours, then into the fridge uncovered overnight.

The recipe says to serve cold, but when I tried a teensy slice cold, I thought it was GROSS! The crust was like a hardened chunk of butter in my mouth and I actually spit it out. BUT, when I served both pies later at room temperature, it was CRAZY DELICIOUS! Crust stayed crisp, so yummy with the sweet and salty oats, and the filling was thick but somewhat oozy and brown sugar-sweet. You DEFINITELY need to dust this with icing sugar for presentation because it is not a beauty pageant winner otherwise! I put a single raspberry in the middle of mine too, to jazz it up. And as an annotation, I liked it served at room temperature better than served cold... you can decide for yourself though.

{ CRACK PIE recipe, from Bon Appetit }

• Nonstick vegetable oil spray
• 9 tablespoons (1 stick plus 1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
• 5 1/2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar, divided
• 2 tablespoons sugar
• 1 large egg
• 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons old-fashioned oats
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1/8 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
• 1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
• 1 tablespoon nonfat dry milk powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, cooled slightly
• 6 1/2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
• 4 large egg yolks
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Powdered sugar (for dusting)
• Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch metal baking pan with parchment paper; coat with nonstick spray. Combine 6 tablespoons butter, 4 tablespoons brown sugar, and 2 tablespoons sugar in medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat mixture until light and fluffy, occasionally scraping down sides of bowl, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until pale and fluffy. Add oats, flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Turn oat mixture out onto prepared baking pan; press out evenly to edges of pan. Bake until light golden on top, 17 to 18 minutes. Transfer baking pan to rack and cool cookie completely.
• Using hands, crumble oat cookie into large bowl; add 3 tablespoons butter and 1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar. Rub in with fingertips until mixture is moist enough to stick together. Transfer cookie crust mixture to 9-inch-diameter glass pie dish. Using fingers, press mixture evenly onto bottom and up sides of pie dish. Place pie dish with crust on rimmed baking sheet.
• Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Whisk both sugars, milk powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Add melted butter and whisk until blended. Add cream, then egg yolks and vanilla and whisk until well blended. Pour filling into crust. Bake pie 30 minutes (filling may begin to bubble). Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Continue to bake pie until filling is brown in spots and set around edges but center still moves slightly when pie dish is gently shaken, about 20 minutes longer. Cool pie 2 hours in pie dish on rack. Chill uncovered overnight. DO AHEAD Can be made 2 days ahead. Cover; keep chilled.
• Sift powdered sugar lightly over top of pie. Cut pie into wedges and serve cold. (though I thought it was better at room temp).

Thursday, November 11, 2010


There are three things that I love: vintage poodle illustration and objects, ANIMALS wearing human clothing... and CAKES. Combine the three and you have... PANTALOON! The best name for a poodle ever (Pants!). And look at his adorable face! He's a friendly guy! No scary looking poodle here!

If anyone ever sent this vintage children's book to me, I would be the happiest person ever!

Images from flickr.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Baker's Coconut Cut Up Cakes!

Perfectly cute. Looks like he's made of granola.

This Santa is just about the coolest cake dude on the block.
He knows it too.

Bllllassst off!!! We're goin' to Pluto! (My cake would say CANADA)

Beautiful indeed! Love those lines of dyed shredded sweetened coconut. And little dollies in jaunty caps riding up to the high heavens!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Current Obsession: Swimming Pool Cakes!

Swimming Pool Cake

Swimming Pool Cake

Swimming Pool Birthday Cake

Swim Team Cake

Learning to swim cake

Click on the photo to see who made it. Swimming pool cakes, so hilarious and crazy and fantastic!!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Rugelach & Honey Cake

Nothing odd about rugelach or honey cake, but they are certainly delightful items... For Rosh Hoshanah (yes, I am Chinese) this year, we went to our dear pal Shira's for a warm Fall dinner... I made rugelach and a moist, flavourful honey cake... the honey cake called for strong coffee (or you could use strong tea -- I used a mega strong cup of tea), orange juice and a myriad of spices, along with vegetable oil... you mix it all up and pour it into a bundt pan! I made a quick glaze using lemon juice and icing sugar, and candied some lemon slices by blanching them in water, then boiling them in simple syrup (equal parts sugar and water, boiled til syrupy) for a garnish.

Recipe for honey cake found HERE. It has the name "Majestic & Moist New Year's Honey Cake" which is pretty much the greatest name ever. MAJESTIC!

I had made rugelach once before and it's so much fun to make... the dough is a mixture of butter and creamcheese, which makes it very rich. You have to chill the dough first and then roll it out like a big old pizza round... you feel like you're making a pizza too. First you brush it with apricot jelly, then sprinkle it with ground walnuts, sugar and cinnamon, then you put your larger "fillings" in... mini chocolate chips and currants for me. I used Martha Stewart's recipe for rugelach, which can be found HERE.

Shana Tova everyone!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Recent Foodtography Snackeria

Me likey a lot food photography. One day I will get to buy my dream lens. For now... some recent snaps I took of recent foodsnacks...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Taste Of Los Angeles

Sorry it's been so long since I chomped it up. Actually I've continued to chomp it up all this time but just haven't had time to snap pics and write about it... ! We went down to Los Angeles for my cousin's wedding in June, and we had a total blast... we ate our way through Los Angeles... a must-do for any trip we go on. I love seeing the foodstuffs that any given city or town or village or weird stop on a long drive can bring you! Rich and I had one day ONLY to explore some of L.A.'s food... we had a huge list... but that day we only made it to 5 spots in 5 hours! ;)

Presenting... the Taste of Los Angeles!

Legendary Clifton's Cafeteria. a 1930s Depression-era cafeteria in downtown Los Angeles.

Great signage!

Love this sign.

A photo of a photo of the pies...

You can't see it too well but picture an "animatronic" raccoon clunkily popping up from behind this wooden facade and catching a fish. Over and over. So excellent.

Main floor, Clifton's

Clifton's pies! Like a Wayne Thiebaud painting!

Clifton's trays all lined up.

The vanilla pudding looked just right! I had to try! With a star-tipped dollop of whip cream. (pretty sure the whip cream was edible oil product)

The hot lunch line! Carved turkey dinner with mashed potatoes and gravy.

Third floor seating! It was roped off but an employee at Clifton's told us to go on up!

Tray of delights: Spanish omelette with side of sausage, unsweetened ice tea with lemon, macaroni and cheese, jalapeno cheese bun, mashed potato, vanilla pudding


Reading up on the history of Clifton's

Old Clifton's flyers

The Cliftons! Clifford Clifton, in fact!

Upstairs dining area view

Middle floor dining area: large backlit photographic landscape vistas!

Bye Clifton's!

Next stop: Cactus Taqueria on Vine Street in West Hollywood.

Fish tacos, veggie tacos, rice and beans!

Then, on to "Milk" Bakery & Ice Cream!

Seriously mental. Caramel macarons sandwiching homemade espresso ice cream with toffee and thick swirls of caramel. Blueberry yogurt bar, fresh blueberries in frozen yogurt, dipped in white chocolate and coated with "blueberry crunch." $4.50/each.

This was really good, but sooo large and pretty sweet!

This was perfect. We should've shared this one only,
but I wanted to try two ice cream novelties...!

Next stop: In N Out Burger! The dreamiest fast food burgers in existence. For real.

The menu is simple: burger, soda, fresh cut fries, milkshake. Everything is fresh and local, service is fast. Vegetarians can get a good burger too -- just hold the patty and enjoy the fresh bun, cheese, grilled onions, crunchy lettuce and tomato!

The Double Double (double patty double cheese, grilled onions) I took home for my Dad! Yep, it flew from L.A. to Vancouver.

Iced tea with lemon, ketchup cup

Two burgers, and cheese covered fries!

My burger: grilled onions, cheese. The burger I had on the way into L.A. from the same In N Out had a bigger hunk of iceberg lettuce, but this was still delicious!

Next time we hit L.A. we will go for way more tacos, hit Joan's on Third, go back to M Cafe (macrobiotic super fresh delights) and go to Pure Luck & Scoops (vegan cafe and ice cream parlour!)

See ya soon, FoodLand!
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