sweet things Archive

Vanilla Bean Rhubarb Bars

Every Tuesday evening, I meet up with six of my closest girlfriends.

We make dinner together. We drink wine, we talk, we laugh.

I look forward to it every single week. We’ve been making dinner together on Tuesday nights for almost 3 years now.

This week, we said goodbye to our friend Stacie. Stacie is getting married and moving to Spokane and is going to do all sorts of wonderful and exciting things with her life. I’m positively thrilled for her. But, she’s moving a lot sooner than expected – we thought we weren’t going to have to say goodbye until August. But, sometimes life hands you a curveball. In this instance, life handed Stacie a good job in Spokane. And the job starts now.

I’m horrible at goodbyes. But I showed up on Tuesday night with a bottle of champagne and some rhubarb bars. (I happen to think that bubbles and baked goods are a perfectly acceptable way to say goodbye.)

Here’s to you, Stacie! Safe travels and happy adventures, my dear.

P.S. I’ll see you soon, friend. This isn’t goodbye.

P.P.S. As for the rhubarb squares, they speak for themselves. We devoured them all in one sitting.

VANILLA BEAN RHUBARB BARS
Adapted from Two Spoons
(Makes one 8×8″ pan)

Crust ingredients:
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

Rhubarb puree:
3 cups chopped rhubarb stalks
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 a vanilla bean

Rhubarb topping:
1 (heaping) cup rhubarb puree
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup of white sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon corn starch

To make the rhubarb puree (can be done ahead of time):
Place rhubarb and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir to combine rhubarb and sugar. The mixture will look dry at first, but as the rhubarb heats up it will release moisture. (You don’t need to add water, I promise!) Let the rhubarb simmer on the stove until it is soft and pulpy (10-15 minutes). When the rhubarb is soft, stir in orange zest and scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the mixture. Allow to simmer for a couple more minutes. Remove from heat and puree the mixture, using an immersion blender or food processor. Set aside to cool, or store in the fridge for later use.

Make the crust:
Mix together the butter and sugar until well combined (with a wooden spoon or mixer). Mix in the flour until the mixture in uniform. Press the mixture into the bottom of the pan. (Note: I ended up adding a little extra flour and butter to the mix, as I wanted the base to be a bit thicker). Place the crust in the freezer while your oven preheats to 350 degrees. Once your oven is preheated, remove the crust from the freezer bake it for 15-20 minutes, until golden at the edges. Remove from oven.

While the crust is baking, make the filling:
Whisk eggs and sugar together. Whisk in the lemon juice, rhubarb puree and corn starch until combined and uniform. Pour the rhubarb mixture over the crust. Return to the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is set and just starting to brown along the edges. Allow to cool completely before serving. Dust with powdered sugar (if you desire) just prior to serving.

Gin & Tonic Jellies: A Vintage Recipe Swap (and a Tribute to Mad Men)

Today is a big day.

It’s April Fool’s Day. Game of Thrones (Season 2) premiers tonight. A new recipe swap goes up today.

And there’s a new episode of Mad Men on tonight.

I adore Mad Men. I think the writing is fantastic, the sets and wardrobes are stunning, and I have a soft spot in my heart for Don Draper.

So I think that it’s entirely fitting that I’m giving my recipe swap post a Mad Men twist.

If you’re unfamiliar, I’m part of a Recipe Swap group that re-interprets vintage recipes. Christianna from Burwell General Store selects a recipe from an old cookbook and emails it to the group. We then create our own interpretations of the recipe, and we all post on the first Sunday of the month.

This month’s recipe was bizarre, to say the least. Christianna selected “Ham Snails“, in honor of the post going up on April Fool’s Day.

I read through the recipe a few times and to be honest, I was somewhat repulsed. I just couldn’t wrap my mind around the recipe. Nothing about it sounded appealing to me. (And, I’m still in the middle of Lent, so I knew that I couldn’t actually make something with ham.) But for whatever reason, I kept coming back to the “jelly roll” part of the recipe. I wasn’t about to make a ham snail, but I could work with a jelly roll.

And somewhere along the way, a jelly roll turned into a jello shot.

I’m not quite sure how it happened, but I’m happy that it did. I was researching classic cocktails to make for this evening, as we’re having a few friends over to watch Mad Men and Game of Thrones. And I cam across a recipe for Gin & Tonic Jellies. Done and done.

You see, the gin and tonic is my all time favorite cocktail. It is simple, crisp, refreshing, and perfect. I was giddy at the prospect of turning my favorite cocktail into jello. So I decided to kill two birds with one stone: these gin & tonic jellies are my ode to both ham snails and Mad Men.

Sure, it might be a stretch. But it’s a delicious (and boozy) stretch.

So happy recipe swap, everyone! (And happy April Fools! And Mad Men! And Game of Thrones!)

GIN & TONIC JELLY SHOTS
(Adapted from The Food Network)

10 ounces tonic water (I use Q Tonic Water)
6 ounces gin
4 teaspoons fresh squeezed lime juice
2 limes, hollowed and flesh/pulp removed (See note below)
2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin
Lime zest, for garnish

Note: If you would like to make jello shot lime wedges, first cut two limes in half lengthwise. Using a spoon or small paring knife, remove the lime flesh and pulp, leaving the “shell” in tact. Once all the flesh is scraped out, set aside until ready to use.

Pour half of the tonic water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the gelatin over the top of the tonic (do not stir) and allow to set until the gelatin blooms (5 minutes).

Meanwhile, heat the rest of the tonic water and the lime juice in a small saucepan over low heat. Bring the tonic to a low simmer and then whisk the hot tonic into the gelatin mixture. Whisk in the gin. Pour the mixture into shot glasses or hollowed lime halves and place in the refrigerator for 2+ hours (or until set). Garnish with lime zest. Keep chilled until ready to serve.


On Life, Los Angeles, and Blackberry Cream Scones

Holy smokes!

Life is certainly never ever boring. I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off for the past few weeks and I don’t even know how to start writing about it. I keep starting blog posts, but then I never finish them. I feel overwhelmed, but in a good way.

So I’ll just start with the basics.

*If you happen to be reading my blog, you might notice that the site looks completely different. The blog got a whole lot prettier recently (thanks to Randall at Dept3), and I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response to the new look. Thank you all for your kind words!

*I went to Los Angeles for a long weekend and ate a lot of good food and saw a lot of good friends. Highlights included: meeting Christianna of Burwell General Store (and dining at the fantastic Cook’s County Restaurant, where she currently works), eating a classic beef dip sandwich at Philippe’s in downtown LA, spotting Julie Taylor (Friday Night Lights!) at Intelligentsia, taking in the Pacific Standard Time exhibit at The Getty Museum, and discovering The Thirsty Crow’s amazing happy hour ($5 Manhattans, Moscow Mules, Old Fashioneds, etc.). Overall, it was a fantastic trip.

*Secondly, my first two articles for the Plate & Pitchfork Almanac were published a week ago, so if you haven’t seen them yet I’d encourage you to check out the first issue. The P&P Almanac is a collaboration between a few talented Portland ladies, and the first issue contains great photos, stories, and reports from the Portland food community.

*In a moment of complete and utter insanity, I signed up to run the Shamrock Run. I am not a runner. In fact, I generally hate running. But, my sister talked me into signing up for the Shamrock and so I best figure out how to run a 15k (9 miles) by March. This could be interesting. ;)

*This past weekend, I was hired to do “craft services” (aka provide food) for a commercial shoot and it was a great experience. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also a lot of fun. Strange as it may sound, I really enjoy the challenge. It’s experiences like this enable me to learn more about my abilities as a cook. I love it. Bring on the challenges!

*In the middle of all the madness, I found the time to make these delicious blackberry scones. Yes, I know that blackberries are decidedly not in season in January. But there they were, staring at me from the shelves of my local Trader Joe’s. They were so plump and perfect looking, I simply couldn’t help myself! So, I caved and I bought blackberries in January. (I then made myself feel better by justifying my purchase by using the fresh blackberries in combination with the last of the blackberries in my freezer from last summer’s pickings.)

Honestly, I’m just happy I found time to cook anything at all! In the middle of a busy couple of weeks, these scones were a welcome change from chard and beets.

That being said, you could easily substitute other berries (raspberries, marionberries, blueberries, etc) in these scones. I plan on making them again with the last of the raspberries I have in my freezer!

Blackberry Cream Scones with Lemon Glaze
(Adapted from Eat Live Run)
Note: I tripled this recipe, as I was cooking for 20+ people. I originally wanted to make blackberry sage scones, but realized that I was all out of dried sage. So, I used a bit of dried thyme, which worked nicely.

Ingredients:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup white sugar
1 cup blackberries (fresh or frozen)
3 tbsp cold butter, cut into small squares
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon whole milk or cream

for glaze:

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons cream

Method:

Preheat oven to 425.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Cut in the butter with your fingers and work mixture together until it resembles coarse sand. Gently cut in the blackberries, making sure to not overmix. You want large chunks of blackberries in the mix.

Add the cream and mix with your hands (or gently with a spatula) until a wet and sticky dough forms. On a well-floured surface, form the dough into a small circle and slice the dough into 8 small wedges. Place wedges on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown.

To make the glaze, mix together the powdered sugar and cream. Add in lemon zest and vanilla, and mix to combine. Once the scones have cooled, drizzle the glaze over the scones.

Note: I forgot to take pictures of the scones after I iced them, so you’ll just have to imagine how lovely they were!

Recipe Swap: Coconut Brown Rice Pudding

 

It’s our first recipe swap of 2012, and I’m only a few days late to the party. (Oh well! Better late than never, I suppose…)

As many of you know, I’m part of the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap. The swap consists of 25 foodies and writers from all over the world, and each month we re-interpret a vintage recipe (selected by Christianna of Burwell General Store) and post our creations on the first Sunday of the month.

This month, Christianna selected this recipe for the swap: Zabaglione for Two.

I was a bit flabbergasted by this recipe. First off, I had to google Zabaglione as I had no idea what it was. The images that appeared on my screen horrified me: it looked like a rich, lumpy, custardy mess. Granted, this recipe came at a bad time – I had just started my January detox and was feeling particularly over-sugared from the holidays. I couldn’t stomach the thought of a heavy custard. I decided that I needed to transform zabaglione into something light and healthy.

The only problem was that I could not, for the life of me, figure out how to pull off this transformation. I was stumped.

After a lot of thought, I finally decided to make a coconut milk brown rice pudding. It’s vegan, gluten free, and it doesn’t contain much sugar. And, most importantly, it’s easy to digest. It makes my belly happy. And as of right now, a happy belly is a top priority.

I won’t bore you with all of the details, but I do think it is worth mentioning that I have IBS.

Meaning: my stomach hates me.

I’ve tried various medications, elimination diets, fasts, probiodics, kombucha, vitamins, herbs, and more. I’ve been tested for various diseases and allergies, but everything comes back negative. In my opinion, IBS is the diagnosis doctors give you when they can’t figure out what’s wrong with your digestive system. So, I just do my best to take care of myself. I try to listen to my body. I started a detox on January 1st, because I wanted to cleanse after the holidays. I drank a lot of chicken broth and ate a lot of veggies. And the funny/tragic thing is, my stomach felt even worse during the cleanse. I was downright miserable. Nothing I ate or drank (or didn’t eat or drink) seemed to help.

I just didn’t have the heart to cook anything, let alone create a recipe for the swap.

But, I gave it a couple days and gradually I began to feel better. I allowed myself to dream of delicious and tummy-friendly recipes that might work for the swap. And then I remembered an amazing rice porridge I had for breakfast a couple years ago at a local brunch spot in Portland. I specifically remember that I ordered the porridge because I wasn’t feeling well and it was named something clever like “The Belly Pleaser”. It was made with coconut milk and had fresh mango on top. I loved it (and so did my stomach).

So this is my ode to “The Belly Pleaser”. It’s no zabaglione, to be sure. But it is a pudding — a pudding that happens to be vegan, gluten free, low-sugar, and is quite easy on the stomach. It also happens to taste wonderful. And that, my friends, is a fabulous thing.

Coconut Brown Rice Pudding
Adapted from The Witchy Kitchen
Note: This recipe uses pre-cooked brown rice, so make sure you factor that into your cooking time. Once the rice is cooked, however, this recipe takes 5-10 minutes to throw together.

Ingredients:
2.5 cups pre-cooked short grain brown rice
1 can (14 ounces) of light coconut milk
1/4 cup soy milk (or dairy milk)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon corn starch
1 teaspoon cinnamon (plus cinnamon stick for garnish)
1 teaspoon vanilla*
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3 cardamom pods
1/4 cup golden raisins (plus more, for garnish)
Slivered almonds, for garnish

*I think this recipe would be incredible with real vanilla bean, I just didn’t happen to have any at home when I made this. Vanilla extract works nicely, I just think that real vanilla would be killer.

Method:
Heat coconut milk, soy (or dairy) milk and sugar together in a medium sized pot. Until warm. Whisk in corn starch and vanilla. Add in rice, 1/4 cup of golden raisins, and cardamom pods and bring to a simmer. Stir constantly and reduce heat if necessary. Allow mixture to gently simmer for 4-5 minutes, stirring often.

Once the pudding has thickened, remove from heat. Stir in cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve warm, with a dusting of cinnamon. Garnish with almond slivers and extra golden raisins. Can also be enjoyed cold.

Chai Snickerdoodles

We made it through the holidays! High fives all around.

Granted, my house is in shambles and my pants feel like they are two sizes too small. But that’s what the holidays are all about, right? In all seriousness, I had a wonderful Christmas. I spent a lot of quality time with my family (and adorable nieces), I ate a lot good food, and played a lot of Just Dance 3. (In case you were wondering, I’m absolutely horrible at Just Dance 3.)

However, the holidays aren’t technically over yet. We still have to ring in the new year! I’m not one for New Year’s resolutions – namely, I don’t like making promises I can’t keep – but I do plan on making a few dietary changes on January 1st. No, I am not going on a diet. I’m just going back to the way I normally eat. I like eating fruits, veggies, and whole grains. I feel better when I eat healthy and exercise (call me crazy, but I actually like feeling good). So, I’m going to listen to my body and I’m going to cut back on sugar, carbs, alcohol, etc.

But, that starts on January 1st. Meaning: I’ve got a few more days to eat cookies. And so do you!

So make these cookies now and gobble them up before your New Year’s resolutions begin. ;)

P.S. I’m aware that these cookies may appear to be sprinkled with black pepper, but I can assure you that they are sprinkled with Chai tea leaves (and cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, etc). And I can assure you that they are really, really delicious.

CHAI SNICKERDOODLES
Adapted from The Novice Chef

2 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons cream of tartar**
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks), room temperature
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs

**If you do not have cream of tartar, you can substitute a 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice.

For the Chai sugar:
5 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons Masala chai tea leaves (Use loose leaf, or empty the contents of a couple of tea bags)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

Method:
Using a food processor or mortar & pestle, grind the Chai tea until it is fine. Combine chai with the sugar and other spices in a small bowl. Set aside.

In another (medium) bowl, combine dry ingredients.

Using a stand mixer (or hand mixer), cream together butter until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Add in vanilla (and lemon juice, if substituting for cream of tartar).

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, and mix until combined. Place dough in refrigerator to chill for a half hour.

Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper (or a Silpat).

Once the dough has chilled, remove from fridge. Using your hands, form dough into large balls (about 1″). Roll each ball in the chai sugar mix, and place on a baking sheet (leave space, as the cookies will expand during baking). Bake for 12-14 minutes, until edges are just barely beginning to turn golden brown. Allow cookies to rest for 5 minutes on cookie sheet before transferring to a cooling rack.

Hazelnut and Dried Cherry Biscotti with Orange and Cardamom

It feels good to sit down.

I’m taking a minute for myself. Elf is playing on the television, my (turquoise-themed) Christmas tree is twinkling in the background, and my cat is snuggled up next to me. It’s been a busy month, and I’ve not had many moments to myself recently. I blinked, and before I knew it my December schedule was filled with meetings, holiday parties, food swaps, catering gigs, meetings, baking, cooking, crafting, and so much more.

To be honest, I sort of love the hustle and bustle of it all. I’m the queen of overcommitment and I’m always busy, busy, busy. But, that gets old quickly. In fact, it’s downright exhausting. I have to remind myself to slow down, and to take things one day at a time. I desperately want to enjoy this holiday season, and the only obstacle standing in the way of a peaceful and restful holiday is me.

But, I’m working on it. Baby steps. Tonight, I snuggled with my cat and watched Elf and all felt right.

And the cherry hazelnut biscotti? They were part of my holiday stress-reducing plan. I needed something to bring to the PDX Winter Food Swap and I needed a treat to bring to a holiday party. So I made a double batch of biscotti and I killed two birds with one stone. The biscotti were an absolute hit at each event (i.e. they disappeared quickly), they were easy to make, and they crossed two things off my to-do list. Huzzah!

I’d like to say thank you (yet again) to my sister, Danielle, for baking with me. We baked the biscotti together while her baby and my bunny played together on the kitchen floor (and made a giant – but adorable – mess). Baking is so much better with company (if I do say so myself)…

DRIED CHERRY & HAZELNUT BISCOTTI (WITH ORANGE AND CARDAMOM)
Adapted from Williams Sonoma

Note: This recipe could easily be adapted to include various dried fruits and nuts (cranberries, blueberries, dates, pistachios, almonds, pecans, etc), I just used what I had on hand. And, of course, I decided to dip each biscotti in dark chocolate…because it seemed like the right thing to do.

Ingredients:
8 Tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1/2 cup dried bing cherries, coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
12 oz. (1 bag) dark chocolate chips (I used extra dark, 60% cacao from Ghiradelli)

Method:
Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line one large baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer (or in the bowl of a stand mixer), beat butter on high speedy, until fluffy (1-2 minutes). Add in the sugar, and continue beating until well combined. Reduce the speed to low, and add in the eggs one at a time. Mix until blended, and then mix in the vanilla.

In a large bowl, sift together dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and beat on low speed or stir with a wooden spoon just until incorporated. Gently stir in the hazelnuts, cherries and orange zest until evenly distributed. The dough should be very soft.

Turn the dough out onto a generously floured work surface and divide in half. With well-floured hands, transfer one-half onto one side of the lined baking sheet and shape into a log about 12″ long and 1.5 inches wide. Repeat with the remaining dough on the other side of the sheet, leaving at least 4 inches between the logs.

Bake the biscotti until the edges are golden, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Gently (and carefully) transfer the biscotti “logs” to a flat surface. Using a serrated knife, cut off slices of biscotti (1/2 inch wide). Place biscotti pieces on the baking sheet (on their side) and bake for 10 minutes more, or until golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on wire racks.

Optional: Once the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate chips, using a double boiler. (You could always try the microwave to melt the chocolate, but you can easily overcook the chocolate and then it becomes gritty and gross. I prefer the double boiler method.) Dip each biscotti in the chocolate, coating 1/4 to 1/2 of the cookie (I just like to coat the tip of the biscotti, so I dip it 1/4 of the way in the chocolate). Carefully place each biscotti on a piece of parchment or wax paper, and allow to cool.

Store biscotti in an airtight container. Makes about 2 dozen biscotti.

A photo of my biscotti at the PDX Winter Handmade Food Swap

Recipe Swap: Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

For thirteenth installment of the Burwell General Store Recipe Swap, we’re switching things up!

For the past year, we’ve been remaking recipes from a funny old cookbook (and hymnal!) called All Day Singin’ and Dinner on the Ground. I don’t personally own the book, but I feel a connection to it as I’ve been making (or re-making) recipes from it for a year now. I love how old timey the book is and how utterly simple the recipes are. For most of the recipes, the instructions are a few mere sentences.

As you may recall, last month was the year anniversary of the Recipe Swap. To celebrate, all the recipe swappers were asked to make our own versions of a Maple Syrup Cake. I went with a Butternut Squash Layer Cake with Maple Cream Cheese frosting (and yes, it tasted every bit as good as it sounds). The cake was the perfect way to celebrate the year anniversary of a group I’ve grown so fond of.

However, going forward, we’re going to be making recipes from a new book: The Second Ford Treasury of Favorite Recipes From Famous Eating Places.

I’m not what you would call an inflexible person, but some might describe me as stubborn. When I heard that we were going to be using a new cookbook, I was dubious. I’d grown rather fond of our funny little cookbook! I wasn’t quite ready to say goodbye to All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground. But, then I realized that introducing a new book to the group only further encourages creativity in the kitchen and will bring a whole new set of interesting recipes to recreate. I’m all for creativity in the kitchen, and so I set aside my hesitations and decided to embrace the new book.

It probably didn’t hurt that the first recipe that Christianna selected from the new book was a recipe for the classic Tollhouse Cookie. I mean, seriously, what’s not to like about the Tollhouse cookie? It is the epitome of classic recipes; it is the ultimate chocolate chip cookie.

I was slightly flustered by the idea of remaking such a classic, so I decided to give the Tollhouse cookie a slight twist. I didn’t want to do anything TOO crazy, as I’m a big fan of the original Tollhouse cookie. I wanted to make something that paid proper homage to the original recipe, and yet updated it at the same time. So, I made one giant whole wheat chocolate chip cookie in a cast iron skillet and sprinkled it with sea salt.

The cookie was rich, chewy, dense, and was the perfect marriage of sweet and salty. The whole wheat flour added density and flavor (and I’d like to pretend that it means this cookie is healthy). At the end of the day, I loved this recipe because it tasted like everything I want out of a chocolate chip cookie. The dark chocolate, whole wheat, and seat salt work so well together. This is the perfect (giant) cookie.

I didn’t attempt to improve on the original Tollhouse cookie as I believe that is an impossible feat. But, I took the spirit of that recipe and I made it my own. I baked it in a cast iron skillet. I sliced off a big old wedge of cookie and ate it warm with vanilla bean ice cream. And I was happy (!).

All that to say: happy recipe swap, y’all. I hope you found as much happiness in your Tollhouse recreations as I did. I certainly had a good time.

“Cast Iron Skillet Cookie”: Whole Wheat Chocolate Skillet Cookie
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

3 cups whole wheat flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
8 ounces (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes, plus more for buttering the pan
1 cup dark brown (or muscovado) sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
6 ounces bittersweet or dark chocolate, roughly chopped into small pieces (I used lightly salted dark chocolate from Lindt)
High quality sea salt, for finishing

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 10 (or 11″) cast iron skillet, that is at least 2″ deep (this is important! if the skillet isn’t deep enough, it will overflow).

Sift the dry ingredients into a large bowl.

In another large bowl (or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment) add the chilled butter and the white and brown. Mix just until the butter and sugars are blended (low speed), about 2 minutes. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the bowl along the way. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each is combined. Mix in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture to the bowl and blend on low speed until the flour is barely combined, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.

Add most of the chocolate to the batter and mix until the chocolate is just incorporated. Use a spatula to scrape the batter out into the skillet, pressing it into an even layer. Sprinkle any remaining chocolate across the top and sprinkle a bit of high quality sea salt over the top.

Bake the cookie for 35-45 minutes, or until until the dough is a deep golden brown along the edge, and the center has set. Remove from oven and let cool before slicing. Cut into wedges (or squares). Best served warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Please see below for all the other fantastic contributions to this recipe swap!