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!
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