This past Friday, I had the pleasure of spending some time with my friends, the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers! This time around, we had an Oktoberfest beer tasting + soup exchange. This means, of course, that I got to eat soup, take soup home and drink some beer in my little Arbor Brewing Company tasting glass.
For my part, I brought some French Onion soup for the exchange, some butterscotch bars to snack on and Bell's Brown Ale to share.
The recipe for the French Onion soup is ridiculously simple. Since I worked all day Friday, I had to have something crock pot friendly, and here is what I did:
I sliced up about 6 large onions the night before, and sauteed them in 1 stick of butter (mmmm!!!! Smelled like Thanksgiving morning).
On Friday, I put about 60 oz of beef broth (I cheated here and used some organic stuff that I found at Kroger), 1 tsp of Worcestershire sauce and some bay leafs (plus the onions, of course) into my crock pot. Then I put it onto the slow setting, plugged it in and went off to work.
When I came home, the house smelled great! I sent Jeff off to Morgan and York for some bread and cheese. He came home with a loaf of French bread and some very yummy farmers soft cheese. Once I got to Alison's house, we put some cheese on the bread, broiled it and there we had it!
Here are our lovely soup pots:
We also had snacks!! For my part, I brought something from the Brass Sisters' cookbook and as always, my girls didn't disappoint. I made the butterscotch bars with brown sugar meringue topping.
You will need:
2 cups pecan pieces (I only had walnut, so that's what I used this time; I've used pecan before and either type of nut is fine)
1.5 c flour
1.5 t baking powder
1/8 t salt
1 c brown sugar
1/2 c cold butter, cut into dice
2 egg yolks
1 t vanilla
2 egg whites
1 c brown sugar
The recipe wants you to brown the nuts first. I have down that before, but I didn't have time this time around so I didn't do it. I don't know that there was a noticeable difference. If you choose to brown the nuts, put them on a baking sheet and bake for about 7-10 minutes at 350.
Meantime, put some foil (shiny side up) into a 9x13 pan and spray with non-stick spray.
Combine the flour, baking powder, salt and brown sugar in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Add butter. Pulse until the butter is the size of small peas. Add the egg yolks and vanilla and pulse until the mixture has the consistency of sandy clumps.
Put the mixture into the pan and press it in (I used my hands...they were clean). Press the nuts on top.
Now, you need to make the topping. Beat the egg whites until they peak. Add brown sugar and beat for 4 more minutes, at a high speed. Then spread on top of the stuff in the pan and bake for about 25 minutes at 350.
Of course, I fucked up the topping and put some brown sugar in at the beginning. I found that this makes them not "peak", no matter how long you leave it under the Kitchen Aid or how much you pray to the God of Egg Whites. So, I had to dig out some frozen egg whites from my freezer and thaw them under the hot water in the bath tub. (My sink was full). I found out that the Kitchen Aid will toss out frozen clumps of egg whites and it's quite a treat to catch them or scoop them up from the counter (it was clean). At any rate, I finally got the f'in egg whites to peak and then I put in the brown sugar and all was good.
Here is the picture of the food bloggers!!