Happy Hobbit was asked to send in footage for PBS’s The Great American Read episode “Other Worlds” featuring a segment about J.R.R. Tolkien. Since they didn’t use our interview, we are sharing it here for your enjoyment!
Kili wants to bake a tasty treat to thank Bilbo for the “brownie bites” recipe he gave to Fili… but will it all be a disaster?
– 4 to 5 cups of fresh or frozen berries (if using frozen you will need more thickener)
– 2/3 cup of sugar
– 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon
– 1/4 cup of flour
– Instant Clear Jel, quick-cooking tapioca, or another thickener.
– 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
– 1 1/4 teaspoons of salt
– 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) of chilled butter (or lard)
– Up to 6 tablespoons of ice water
Use your torture device of Sauron (food processor) to chop the butter into the flour and salt until it has a grainy, sand-like consistency. Add ice water one or two tablespoons at a time as needed.
Flour your workspace and your rolling pin then roll out the dough for the tarts one handful at a time. Place a spoonful of the berry mixture in the center and have fun trying to seal it all up! You can make it a dumpling shape or more of an open top. Use a fork to seal the edges. Brush the crust with milk and sprinkle with sugar, if desired.
Place in Smaug’s mouth (the oven) and bake at 450 F for 10 minutes, then 350 F for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is a golden brown.
Join Fili as she makes a chocolately surprise to welcome Kili home!
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
1 cup (2 sticks) salted butter
5 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
4 ounces chopped bittersweet chocolate
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with cooking spray and line with parchment paper.
Heat the butter together with the unsweetened chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, whisking occasionally, until fully melted and smooth. Sprinkle in the cocoa powder while whisking; whisk until smooth. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
Stir in the sugar and vanilla until just combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour until just combined. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan, distributing it evenly.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes. Allow the brownies to cool completely, then flip out onto a cutting board. Cut the brownies into bite-size pieces and transfer to a baking rack.
Put the bittersweet chocolate in a medium bowl. Heat the cream over medium-high heat until the edges begin to bubble, 2 to 3 minutes. Immediately pour the cream over the chocolate. Allow to sit for 2 minutes, then stir until smooth.
Spoon the ganache over the brownie pieces until completely covered. At this point, you can sprinkle whatever you want on the top. Be sure to hide these from your sister who has rolled in Farmer Maggot’s manure, and enjoy!
Join Kili to learn how to make cherry wine from fruit juice!
We filmed this in 2015 and I kept waiting until I bottled the wine to have a complete episode, but it has been 3 years and I still haven’t, hence the delay!
“I will take the hidden path that runs west of the moon and east of sun…” A peaceful amble through a meadow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of northern California. Indulge your inner Elf!