Posts Tagged chocolate

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!

Recipe Swap: Chocolate Spice ‘Depression’ Cake

So, I’ve been involved in this recipe swap for awhile now. For those of you who may not know, Christianna at Burwell General Store created this swap a few months back, in order to encourage creativity in the kitchen. Back then, it was just the two of us, but it quickly grew into a large group of foodies from all over the world.

I love the swap for so many reasons: but mostly, I love seeing how one recipe blossoms into so many tasty things (from so many talented people!). Every month, CM emails us a recipe from a darling old cookbook/hymnal – All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground – and we re-interpret the recipe however we see fit.

For this swap, CM asked us to create our own versions of “Wacky Cake” (Original recipe pictured below).

When I first saw this recipe, I panicked. First off, I’m not much of a baker. Secondly, this cake is made with VINEGAR. Vinegar?! I was stumped. I’d never heard of using vinegar in a cake! I just didn’t see how it could possibly be good. I had no idea what to do.

So, I did the only thing I could do: googled the heck out of “cake made with vinegar”. Thanks to Google, I found out a lot of interesting things about cakes made with vinegar. Namely, I found out that Wacky Cake is an old wartime recipe (it can also be called Depression Cake – a name which I personally prefer). It was originally created out of necessity, when butter, eggs, sugar and other common ingredients were rationed and hard to get. (If you want to know a little bit more about the history of this ‘wacky’ cake, listen to this great NPR piece about one family’s history with this particular cake.)

All that to say, after a little bit of research I was completely inspired by this cake. I loved the idea of a cake being borne out of hardship. It is a true testament to perseverance and ingenuity. When you don’t have eggs or butter – by golly, use vinegar.

In order to keep with the spirit of the original recipe, I decided to limit myself to ingredients that I had on hand. To be honest, I happened to have some pretty stellar ingredients lying around: one blood orange, local raw wildflower honey, and Scharffen Berger cocoa powder. But, the rest of the ingredients were quite simple.

I must say, I was totally surprised at how great this cake turned out. The vinegar worked wonders! The cake was amazingly light and fluffy, yet moist with just the right amount of density. The dark chocolate cocoa powder and fresh ginger gave the cake a flavor somewhat akin to a traditional gingerbread. It wasn’t terribly sweet (which I love) and it paired so nicely with the honey orange compote. Did I mention that it’s vegan?!

Please do check out all the other amazing creations from my fellow recipe swappers. You can find them all on CM’s Recipe swap page!

Chocolate Spice ‘Depression Cake’ with Honey Blood Orange Compote
(Cake recipe adapted from The Perfect Pantry)

1.5 cups white flour
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown or muscovado sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup cold water

Preheat oven to 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugars, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Using a spoon, create an indent (or ‘hole’) in the dry ingredients. Pour remaining ingredients (in the following order) into the indent: vinegar, oil, water. Mix well.

Pour mixture into a greased 8×8 cake pan. Bake 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.

For the compote:
1 blood orange
1 Tablespoon good quality honey
Dash of nutmeg

Peel and cut blood orange into segments or supremes. Gently mix orange segments with honey and nutmeg. Serve with chocolate spice cake. Enjoy!