Saturday, May 30, 2020

MINT JULEP BROWNIES

Today is Mint Julep Day! Celebrate with these fabulous Mint Julep Brownies. You might want to bookmark this recipe to make for your Kentucky Derby Party. Because of the coronavirus the Derby has been rescheduled for September 5.

MINT JULEP BROWNIES

Ingredients
1 cup unsalted Butter
4 ounces dark Chocolate
4 Eggs
2 cups Sugar
1 1/2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Peppermint Extract
2 Tbsp Bourbon

Directions
Melt butter and chocolate together in saucepan over low heat.
Remove from heat and cool a bit.
In large bowl, beat eggs on medium for 2 minutes. Add cooled chocolate, sugar, flour, salt, peppermint extract, and Bourbon, and stir to combine.
Pour batter into greased 9 x 13 pan (either lined with parchment or greased and floured)
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick in middle comes out clean.
Cool before cutting.

Serve with candied pecans, whipped cream....on top of a splash of bourbon, if you want!
Garnish with a sprig of mint!


Friday, May 29, 2020

2 MINUTE OREO CAKE IN A MUG

I've posted a lot of Mug Cakes in the past few months since we've all been Sheltered-in-Place, but here's yet another! This one has been taking TikTok by storm, and it's absolutely terrific and so simple. It only has two ingredients: Oreos and Milk! It's not so much a recipe as throwing the two thing together. Want to get fancy? Substitute other flavored Oreos such as the new Tiramasu Oreos

2 MINUTE OREO CAKE IN A MUG

Put 6-8 Oreos in a mug (depends on size of your mug- I use a 1 cup Pyrex measuring cup).
Fill upd= half the mug with milk  (whatever kind of milk you prefer - whole milk, almond milk, oat milk?).
With a fork, crush up Oreos into small chunks. Continue crushing and then stir until you have a smooth batter with a few Oreo bits.
Microwave Mug for 1-2 minutes. Check at 1 minute.
Remove from microwave and eat!

This is bound to satisfy your need for a little Chocolate Goodness!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

SKILLET CHOCOLATE CAKE: Shelter-in-Place Chocolate Goodness #13

Lately I've been thinking of upping my Skillet game. O.k. I'm Sheltered in Place and have been baking and cooking more than usual, so pots and pans are in my face all day. Of course I have a great old seasoned cast iron skillet, but I was ready for a change. So I decided to get a 'pretty' Le Creuset cast iron skillet. I watched a dozen videos before deciding on Le Creuset for my new skillet. I do have several sizes of Le Creuset Dutch ovens, grill pans, and assorted other pots and pans, so Le Creuset definitely seemed the right choice. I like enameled cast iron cookware, and Le Creuset is beautiful. But more importantly, it delivers on performance, versatility and ease of maintenance.

In the past I've found my Le Creuset cookware at the Flea Market, garage sales, or the White Elephant sale. Not cheap, but cheaper. And, I like to imagine the life each led, the people it knew, the recipes it simmered and baked. Alas, since there are no garage sales or flea markets while SIP,  no one is parting with these precious commodities on NextDoor or elsewhere. So I bit the bullet and ordered the Le Creuset Signature Cast-Iron Deep Skillet from Williams Sonoma -- on sale and free shipping. The only decision I had to make was whether to get a red one or blue one. I'm not into trendy colors, but if you are Le Creuset has a myriad of cool colors. My old O'Keefe Merritt stove is dark blue and all of my Le Creuset cookware is blue, so I went with the red skillet for pop! Don't judge me! And, I opted for the 12" rather than the 11 3/4 because it's deeper and more versatile.

So what to make first in this easy to care for skillet? Chocolate Cake, of course! Here's a great recipe for Skillet Cake that I found on Southern Living a few years ago. It's delicious..with or without the frosting and nuts, but even better with! My new skillet is the perfect size -- 12". My old skillet is only 10". Although the original recipe mentions eating this Skillet Chocolate Cake as a group event right out of the skillet, I wouldn't recommend it given that we're all worried about the Corona Virus. I advise separate servings with separate utensils! This recipe, BTW, is best served warm!

Don't have the Le Creuset Skillet? No worries. You can make this Skillet Chocolate Cake in the one you do have!

SKILLET CHOCOLATE CAKE
Photo: Southern Living

Cake 
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chips (about 10 oz.)
3/4 cup unsalted butter
4 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed light brown sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting 
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Additional Ingredients
1 cup toasted pecan halves, chopped
Vanilla ice cream  

Directions

Prepare Cake: 
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Combine chocolate chips and butter in a medium-size microwavable glass bowl. Microwave on HIGH until melted and smooth, about 2 minutes, stirring every 30 seconds. Cool 10 minutes.
Beat eggs, granulated sugar, and light brown sugar in bowl of heavy-duty stand mixer fitted with whisk attachment on medium speed until thick and creamy, about 5 minutes.
Whisk together flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Add flour mixture and melted chocolate mixture to egg mixture in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat on low speed just until each is incorporated.
Pour batter into 12-inch cast-iron skillet
Bake in preheated oven until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 40 minutes. Place on wire rack to cool slightly.

Prepare Frosting: 
Combine granulated sugar, butter, milk, cocoa, flour, and salt in small saucepan over medium. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil, about 5 minutes. Cook, stirring constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute (it will still be a bit thin).
Remove pan from heat, and stir in vanilla extract.
Pour into medium-size heatproof bowl, and let cool slightly, about 15 minutes.
Pour warm Frosting over warm Cake.
Sprinkle with chopped pecans.
Serve warm or at room temperature with ice cream.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Blueberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust: National Blueberry Cheesecake Day

I love blueberries, so any chance to add them to chocolate is fine by me. They're plentiful at my market right now, and since today is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, I suggest you make a Blueberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust.

BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH CHOCOLATE CRUST

Chocolate Crumb Crust:
1 1/2 cups chocolate crumbs
 2 Tablespoon granulated sugar
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted

Cheesecake:
16 ounces cream cheese,  room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup granulated sugar

Blueberry Topping:
2 cups fresh blueberries
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch

Crust:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease glass pie plate with butter. Melt butter in small saucepan over low heat.
Mix together crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Mix butter in and form crumbly texture. Press into pie plate. Place into preheated oven and bake for 8-10 minutes. Remove and place on cooling rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325F.

Filling:
Put cream cheese in large mixing bowl and using electric mixer, beat until smooth. Add sour cream, vanilla, and sugar and mix to combine. Add eggs and mix in until well combines. Transfer to prepared pie crust. Place in preheated oven and bake 40-45 minutes. Center will be jiggly.  Outside edges should be set, but not brown. Remove and put on cooling rack. Cool to room temperature, then put into refrigerator. Cover with plastic wrap and let cool before putting blueberry topping for at least an hour. Remove from refrigerator, pour room temperature blueberry sauce on top, cover again, place into refrigerator and set at least 4 hours or overnight.

Topping:
Place berries, water, and sugar into heavy bottom saucepan. Bring  mixture to boil. As soon as it starts to boil turn down to low. Simmer for about 3-4 minutes stirring as needed so as not to stick to pan. Meanwhile; stir cornstarch into 2 tablespoons of water. Stir  cornstarch mixture into blueberry mixture. Turn heat back up and bring to boil, stirring whole time. Cook for a minute or so. Mixture will thicken quickly. Remove from heat, transfer to glass bowl and let cool to room temperature. Remove chilled cheesecake pie from refrigerator, pour blueberry sauce on top.

Put into refrigerator, cover, and set for 4 hours to overnight.