Crockpot Bourbon Baked Beans

Four years ago today I started dating a boy, and I can’t think of any better way to celebrate than by eating cake.

We went to our favorite place to grab some cake in the market in Ottawa, ordered a Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake, grabbed two forks and devoured the slice. I was so into the cake that I begged Paul to not let me lick the plate! My manners go out the window at dessert restaurants. Thank goodness I live in a big city where I know no matter what there are weirder people than me – like the guy who sells popsicle sticks downtown. They’re $2 if you’re interested.

This recipe is obviously not for cake, but it is a recipe that is one of my favorites. It’s one that the boy and I love to have on cool nights, especially with the cooler weather we’ve been having. Hope you enjoy it!

To make this, make sure to add beans to a large pot the night before and cover with water . Drain the next morning.

Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain.

While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add beans and onions to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally.

After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. I actually prefer these the next day – so awesome.

Enjoy!

Crockpot Bourbon Baked Beans
Recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is
Serves at least 6-8

Ingredients:
1 pound dry navy beans
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups water
3/4 cup of your favorite barbecue sauce
1 cup loosely packed brown sugar
1/4 cup ketchup
2 tablespoons molasses
1 cup bourbon
1 1/2 tablespoons ground mustard
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce

Directions:
The night before, add beans to a large pot and cover with water. Drain the next morning.

Bring beans to a boil in a large pot of water, let simmer for 30-40 minutes, then drain. While beans are cooking, heat a large skillet to medium-low and add onion, cooking for 8-10 minutes, until caramely and soft. Add in garlic, cook for 30 seconds, then turn off heat.

Add water, bourbon, brown sugar, bbq sauce, ketchup, ground mustard, vinegar, molasses and worcestershire sauce to the crockpot and whisk well to combine. Add beans and onions to the crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours, stirring occasionally. After 10-12 hours, turn crockpot to “warm” setting or turn off completely and let sit anywhere from 30 minutes-2 hours, which will help the sauce for the beans thicken even more. These are awesome the next day!

Note: after 10-12 hours the liquid may still seem “liquidy.” It is important to let the beans sit for a while on the lower setting (or on the off setting, still covered) so they become thick and syrupy like traditional baked beans.

Advertisements

Nanaimo Bars

Christmas is this weekend! Whoa.

Have I told you that I work in a shopping mall? Well, I do. While I’m going to school I work in a bookstore so that I can pay for college, but it’s more than that. I really like the people I work with, I like talking to customers about books AND I get a mad discount. So things are usually good.

As you know it is currently the holiday season, so this is the time of year where going to work is not so fun. Customers can be angry, rude, and plain and simply crazy! If we don’t have a book they are looking for many of them freak out. Here is some stuff I hear on a daily basis:

Customer: “Five cents for a bag? I donate to enough charities and don’t need to donate to yours”.
My thoughts: I don’t care.

Customer: “Why the hell are you selling books at the Canadian price when the American dollar is at par”?
My thoughts: I don’t make the prices, the publishers do.

Customer: “I’m looking for a book. It’s blue”.
My thoughts: ?

Customer: “I ordered that book a week ago and now it won’t make it for Christmas? I need it NOW”.
My thoughts: Stop last minute shopping.

There are nice customers too. There always are, and of course they usually out number the crazy ones. But it’s the crazy ones that I remember because they’re so ridiculous! People just need to relax. Sit down, have a coffee, and breathe. When I’m stressed I like to run. And when I’m not running I like to bake. It’s a vicious cycle.

I love these nanaimo bars. I was never really into the whole nanaimo thing until I went to my boyfriend’s Grandma’s house back in October and she served these. I fell in love and added them to my Christmas baking list as soon as I got home. The center is more of a buttercream, but still has that custard texture. The crust is buttery and soft and will blow your mind! I hope you enjoy these. I did. My thighs not so much.

Let’s start with the crust. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa. I did mine in a pot, but a microwave or a double broiler would be great too!

Beat the egg, and quickly whisk it into the hot chocolate mixture. You need to add the egg slowly and keep the whisk moving, otherwise you will have scrambled eggs! Mix in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts.

Press the crust into an 8×8 pan that has been lined with parchment. Put the crust into the fridge to chill for a half hour. I hate waiting.

Cream together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder. Add the cream slowly, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spread the cream layer evenly over the crust. Back in the fridge for another half hour or so.

Melt together the butter and chocolate (either a double boiler or microwave) and pour over the chilled cream layer. Put the pan back in the fridge for it to set up.

Cut into small squares (since they are really rich) and keep in the fridge until ready to serve. Enjoy!

Namaimo Bars
Makes enough for an 8×8-inch pan
Recipe adapted from Baked Bree

Ingredients
Crust:
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 Tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 cup coconut
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Middle Layer:
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup room temperature butter
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 Tablespoons custard powder

Chocolate layer:
3 ounces (1/3 cup) chocolate chips
1/4 cup (1 stick) butter

Instructions
Crust:
Start with the crust. Melt together the butter, brown sugar, and cocoa. I did mine in a pot, but a microwave or a double broiler would be great too!

Beat the egg, and quickly whisk it into the hot chocolate mixture. You need to add the egg slowly and keep the whisk moving, otherwise you will have scrambled eggs!

Mix in the graham crackers, coconut, and walnuts. Press the crust into an 8×8 pan that has been lined with parchment. Put the crust into the fridge to chill for a half hour.

Buttercream Layer:
Cream together the powdered sugar, butter, and custard powder. Add the cream slowly, and beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Spread the cream layer evenly over the crust. Back in the fridge for another half hour or so.

Chocolate Topping:
Melt together the butter and chocolate (either a double boiler or microwave) and pour over the chilled cream layer. Put the pan back in the fridge for it to set up.

Cut into small squares (since they are really rich) and keep in the fridge until ready to serve.

Pure Canadian Butter Tarts

It’s my uncles birthday this week, and unlike most years, I get to celebrate it with him! So to get ready for the occasion I asked my aunt what kind of cake he’d like the best. Personally I like birthday PIE! Butterscotch pie to be exact…but it’s not my birthday.

Anyways, my aunt said that if my uncle could have anything it would be a batch of gooey butter tarts. And being the true Canadian that I am, I think that this is a GREAT favorite! Over the years I’ve collected quite a few recipes for this amazing dessert, and the question is always “maple syrup or corn syrup?”. Yes, I am Canadian. Yes, I love my country. Yes, I love maple syrup on everything (cookies, pancakes, ice cream..even snow). Buuuuuut, butter tarts are simply better with corn syrup. It’s a fact, and I have my cousin to thank for that trick. No one has a better recipe than hers – not any store OR anyone.

This recipe has been in the family for years, and thank goodness it’s not a secret. Why would we keep this delectable treat to ourselves? I surely wont. I want to share it with everyone so that they can make it for me one day. Also, butter tarts are on my all-time favorite foods list! So I simply must let the world know how to make them.

The one thing that can be tweeked in this recipe is the pie-crust. I posted my personal favorite (making a fresh crust) that is made especially for these butter tarts, but you can always use a regular pie crust recipe, or a thawed frozen crust as well. Whatever your lovely heart desires.

Ready to get started? This recipe makes 12 lovely butter tarts.

Ingredients:
Tart Crust:
2 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
6oz cold cream cheese
1 cup cold unsalted butter
2 tbsp ice water

Filling:
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup corn syrup
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
*1/4 cup raisons or pecans if desired

Directions:
Crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 12-cup muffin pan.
2. Place the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Grate in the butter and cut the cream cheese into chunks before adding to the mixture.

3. Then mix together until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Stir in enough water to form a firm dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
4. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick. Use a circular fluted cookie cutter to cut out 12 dough rounds. Press the dough rounds into the prepared cups.

Filling:
5. With a mixer on high speed, beat the egg until frothy. Beat in the rest of the filling ingredients
6. Spoon the filling into the cups until almost full. Bake until piecrust in browned