Baked Sunday Mornings: Classic Creme Brûlée


SXSW is finally over. It feels like it’s been going on for months, maybe because I started working on it back in February. This year was a particularly weird festival, with what felt like way more crowds than usual, that horrible crash on Wednesday night, nightmare train rides, and a general sense of things being out of control. 

Naturally, my defense mechanism was to hide out at home as much as possible and do nest-y things like read a soapy novel, fold laundry, and try a new kitchen project. That’s where the creme brûlée comes in, thanks to Baked Sunday Mornings.

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I love creme brûlée. We go have dim sum once every few months and I always choose this French custard from the dessert cart. If it’s an option on the dessert menu when the husband and I are dining out, I’ll order it. It’s a special-occasion treat for me, to be sure. And that’s why it was so surprising to me that it was so easy to make. It was also my first time using a kitchen torch, which was pretty fun, although I wish I’d caramelized the tops to order instead of all at once so that I could get a bit more practice with it. Some of the sugar came out a bit more torched than I would have liked (although not scorched). 

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However, ease of preparation will probably not entice me to make this at home very often. I made five portions instead of four, and as I was eating mine, I realized that I was eating (and enjoying greatly) a half-cup of heavy whipping cream. The smaller portions made for a whopping 13-point dessert; if I’d divvied it into four portions, the Weight Watchers points value would have been 18 (!!!!), making this a serious splurge indeed. That said, this recipe was DELICIOUS, and I really loved seeing the flecks of vanilla bean in there. (And it was nice to use one of the vanilla beans I’ve had sitting in the pantry for an age.)

That said, sometimes you need to indulge in some dessert therapy, or at the very least, demystify a special treat. And now I’m curious as to whether I could develop a low-fat creme brûlée (although what would be the point of that?). 

Check out what the other bakers had to say about this recipe. 

Baked Sunday Mornings: Good Morning Sunshine Bars


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Life has been hectic of late, forcing me to curtail my baking projects. Even my meal plans have fallen by the wayside, although I’m working on getting back on that. As usual, I’ve bitten off more than I can chew and am looking for ways to simplify and slow down.

Lucky for me, this week’s Baked Sunday Mornings project was a very simple recipe, requiring very little actual cooking and minimum cleanup. We are a peanut butter-and-chocolate-loving family, as well as a cereal-dessert-bar-loving family, so this one was a no brainer.

Hoo-boy, are these things rich! A cup of brown sugar and a cup of corn syrup create a thick sauce, the sweetness of which is tempered by a cup of peanut butter. (Thank goodness I used natural, unsweetened peanut butter, otherwise these bars would put anyone on the fast track to DIABEETUS.) I cut the pan into about 16 bars; I think I’ll go back through and cut the larger ones in half because in the case of these treats, a little goes a long way.

I think these bars would be great to bring to any upcoming holiday potlucks; I plan to send a *tiny* square in the BK’s lunchbox once or twice this week. My husband didn’t care for them (he’s not a sweets guy), and I’m counting Weight Watchers points, so the bulk of them will go to work with my guy tomorrow.

Check out the other Bakers’ experience with this recipe here. There are a lot of cakes and highly involved projects on the bake-along calendar for the next few weeks, so this may be my last Baked Sunday Mornings post for a while. We’ll see where the day takes us!