November 2, 2016

Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie

So, I've made plenty of skillet cookies before like this one and this one and these adorable ones that I might have specifically purchased mini skillets to make. Might have.

But I hadn't made any peanut butter versions until I tried this recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction. Sally's version won over others I looked at because hers required a substantial amount of peanut butter versus just a dab.

This was delicious, rich, peanut buttery and a worthy accompaniment to the other skillet cookies in my arsenal. (It helps that I have a freezer full of mix-ins for cookies. I'm avoiding that freezer this month since I'm doing Whole 30. It misses me already, and it's only the morning of Day 2.)

Peanut Butter Skillet Cookie
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups creamy peanut butter
2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips, Reese's Pieces or other mix-ins

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease oven-safe skillet. Whisk flour, baking soda and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and both sugars together on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs, and beat on high until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the peanut butter and vanilla, and then mix on high until combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix on low until combined. Stir in the mix-ins.

Using a rubber spatula, spread the cookie dough evenly into prepared skillet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until puffed, browned on the sides and lightly browned on top. If you want the skillet cookie a little more set, bake for 40 minutes. Allow the cookie to slightly cool in the pan set on a wire rack to avoid scalding your mouth. Makes 1 (giant) cookie.

October 13, 2016

Garlicky Kohlrabi Relish

My family occasionally had kohlrabi growing up, and my parents planted a huge variety this year. (As in huge kohlrabi ... not many different types of kohlrabi.) I was hoping to score one of theirs when I found this recipe from Food in Jars. Their kohlrabi were all eaten, but I snagged a few at the farmers' market for this relish.

I haven't opened a jar yet, but I'm excited to try it. I always enjoy finding new unique recipes to try each year.

Garlicky Kohlrabi Relish
4 lbs. kohlrabi
3 cups apple cider vinegar
5 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
2 Tbsp. sea salt
1 Tbsp. crushed black pepper

Prepare a boiling water bath canner and four pint jars. Shred the kohlrabi using the grating disc of your food processor or a box grater. You should have about ten cups of grated kohlrabi.

In a large, non-reactive pot, combine all ingredients. Set over high heat, and bring the contents of the pot to a boil. Once the liquid boils, cook for 3-4 minutes, until the kohlrabi slumps a little and release some of its liquid.

Using tongs, pack the kohlrabi into the prepared jars, and ladle the liquid over to cover, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Use a chopstick to remove any trapped air bubbles, and add more liquid, if necessary.

Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings and process in a boiling water bath canner for 15 minutes. Remove the jars from the canner, and cool completely. Check the seals and store. Makes 4 pints.

Bourbon Pecan Fudge Brownies

One of my good friends has a birthday this month. She loves bourbon and pecans, so I knew I had to make this recipe from Love & Olive Oil for her birthday treat. These definitely are a fudge brownie, not at all like a cake brownie. Personally, I'm still not a huge fan of nuts in brownies, so I'm not sure I'd go the pecan route for me ... but these are for her.

Bourbon Pecan Fudge Brownies
1/4 cup flour
1/3 cup dark cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into cubes
5 oz. dark or bittersweet chocolate (70-75%), finely chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
3 Tbsp. bourbon (or homemade bourbon vanilla)
1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chunks, plus more for topping
3/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans, divided
Flake sea salt, for topping

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line an 8-by-8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, and lightly butter parchment.

Whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Set aside.

Combine butter and chopped chocolate in a saucepan. Stir over low heat until chocolate is almost melted. Remove from heat, and continue to gently stir until smooth. Whisk in sugar until incorporated. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, until batter is smooth and shiny. Whisk in bourbon.

Sprinkle dry ingredients over top of melted chocolate mixture, and stir until just incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and 1/2 cup of pecans. Spread into prepared pan, using a spatula to smooth batter into corners. Sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup pecans, chocolate chips and flake sea salt, as desired.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until top is shiny and crackly and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean. Cool on a wire rack for until completely cooled before slicing into squares. (Refrigerate for an hour before cutting for the neatest slices.) Brownies will keep, refrigerated in an airtight container, for up to 5 days. Makes 16 brownies.

September 23, 2016

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

I realize it's been way too long since I've posted a recipe on here, but life's been busy with back-to-school for the first time, so I guess really to-school. Anyways, I think this is a new record for me that I found this recipe in the morning and baked it in the afternoon. I needed a treat for this weekend, and this looked simple and delicious.

These bars from Brown Eyed Baker come together quickly, and I used the caramel bites I had on hand and a splash of milk because I wasn't running to the store. Simple and delicious. My only regret was sticking nearly the whole batch in the freezer, so we wouldn't eat them all before this weekend ... I think last night after the kiddos went to bed my husband and I wanted to eat about 3 ... each ...

Salted Caramel Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars
2 cups plus 2 Tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tsp. vanilla
 2 cups chocolate chips
10 oz. caramel candy squares, unwrapped
3 Tbsp. heavy cream
Fleur de sel (or other sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

Preheat oven to 325ºF. Line a 9-inch pan with foil, and grease. Set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.

Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined. Add the egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Mix until smooth. Slowly add the dry ingredients, and mix on low, just until combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream. Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.

Press half the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border. (If you forget to leave this space, you'll be pulling foil that's stuck to caramel after they're baked.) Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt. Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel, and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered. (I actually squished my dough into flat pieces to make the covering easier.) Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan. Place the pan on a wire rack, and cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set. Cut into squares, and serve. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the refrigerator if your caramel is too gooey. Makes 16 bars.

September 22, 2016

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes

So the title on these is a bit misleading since they really aren't cupcakes. They're brownies baked in cupcake wrappers, filled with a peanut butter cheesecake center and topped with peanut butter and chocolate frosting. I'm guessing you're probably OK with me misleading you in this direction.

My sister-in-law shared this recipe with me after seeing it on Facebook, and I traced it back to Gretchen's Bakery. My favorite part is that I have frosting left because that was my favorite part of this treat, but then again, I'm a sucker for frosting.

Peanut Butter Brownie Cupcakes
Brownie Cupcake
6 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour 
Peanut Butter Filling
1/3 cup cream cheese
1/2 cup peanut butter
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp. milk 
Peanut Butter Frosting
Chocolate Frosting

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Combine butter and chocolate together, and melt together, stirring often (either in microwave or on stove). In a large mixing bowl, combine sugar, salt, eggs and vanilla. Whisk together well. Add melted mixture, and whisk to incorporate. Stir in flour just until mixed. Portion batter into 15 prepared cupcake liners.

Make the peanut butter filling by beating the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, and mix until incorporated. Add the peanut butter, and mix well. Add the egg and then the milk. Drop spoons of the mixture into each cupcake, pushing slightly so it goes into the batter.

Bake for 25 minutes or until brownies reach desired texture. Cool completely before frosting. I made a standard peanut butter buttercream frosting and used a chocolate frosting from Brown Eyed Baker. I filled a pastry bag with both to swirl my delicious frosting on top of the cupcakes. Be sure to make only a half batch of each frosting, unless you double the cupcake recipe. Makes 15 cupcakes.