Posts Tagged dessert

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!



Butternut Squash Cake with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

Hi everyone! I’m re-posting this recipe for two reasons:

1. This is one of two recipes I am choosing to feature on the “Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving” blogger extravaganza on KPAM’s “Simple Kitchen with Missy Maki” on Sunday morning. Since I am talking about this wonderful recipe on the radio (!), I thought it would be nice to have a fresh post.

2. This recipe is so good that it needed to be posted again. If you’d like to make something a little different than the classic pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving this year, I highly suggest this recipe. It’s lovely.

So, then, here is the original text and recipe. Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Happy Swap-iversary!

I can’t believe it has been a whole year since our first recipe swap.

One year ago, Christianna from Burwell General Store asked me if I’d be interested in “swapping recipes”. She’d picked up an old cookbook – “All Day Singin and Dinner on the Ground” – at a swap meet and wanted to know if I’d be interested in re-creating some of the old recipes. I’m a sucker for all things vintage and kitschy, so naturally I loved the idea.

For the very first swap, it was just the two of us. Christianna suggested that we start with a recipe for Autumn Persimmon Pudding. Christianna made a Persimmon Creme Brulee with Blackberries, while I went with a Persimmon Panna Cotta with Spiced Hazelnuts.

Fast forward one year: the recipe swap group has grown to include 30+ foodies, writers, cooks and bloggers from all over the world. Every month we re-invent a new recipe from the cook book, and my fellow swappers never cease to amaze me with their creativity. There are some really amazing people in this group, ranging from the tried and true members (Boulder Locavore, Chef Dennis, Sabrina at the Tomato Tart) to some new(er) members (Barb from Creative Culinary, The Dusty Baker, Pola from Italian Midwest, and SO many more!)…

So then, to celebrate a whole year of swapping recipes Christianna thought it would be fitting if we all made cake. She selected a simple (and lovely) recipe from the vintage cookbook called Maple Syrup Cake.

The moment I saw the recipe for Maple Syrup Cake, I knew what I was going to make. I’m not kidding. I saw the recipe and I thought, “I want to make a butternut squash cake with maple frosting.” I’ve never made – let alone eaten – a butternut squash cake. I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to do such a thing, but let’s blame it on the changing of the seasons. It got cold outside and now I want to eat squash all the time, even in cake. It happens.

As I’ve said previously, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t even own proper cake pans. But my sister Danielle — the baker in the family — happens to own cake pans and so I invited myself over for a day of sisterly cake-baking. It was a great excuse to excuse to spend an afternoon with my sister and my crazy little niece, Ramona. We listened to the Michael Buble Christmas Album (her choice, not mine!) and baked a squash cake. It felt like everything November should be: spending time with family, baking, and listening to cheesy holiday music.

Thanks to my sister and her mad cake skills, the cake turned out remarkably well. It was moist, without being overly dense. It was spicy, sweet, and honestly tasted like carrot cake (without the carrots or the nuts). The frosting was sweet, but not cloying. I may have eaten a piece (or two) for breakfast one day.

So, then, here’s to a year of swapping recipes with an amazing group of foodies from around the world! I’m grateful to be part of such a great group of people, and look forward to the next year of swapping. Please do stop by Burwell General Store’s Recipe Swap page to learn more about recipe swap (and to see what everyone else created for this month’s swap!).

BUTTERNUT SQUASH LAYER CAKE WITH MAPLE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Adapted from Sand Creek Farm

Cake ingredients:
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 cup white sugar
1 cup dark brown (or muscovado) sugar
2 eggs
1 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash (you can roast, boil, or steam the squash)
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
3 cups cake flour*
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup whole milk

*If you don’t have cake flour, see Joy the Baker’s instructions on how to make your own, using all purpose flour and corn starch!

Maple Cream Cheese Frosting:
3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese**, room temperature
1/2 cup salted butter, softened
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 cups powdered sugar
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/4 cup maple syrup

**The original recipe calls for 3 packages of cream cheese, but I had a LOT of frosting left over. I think you could get by with 2 packages. Depends on how much frosting you like on your cake!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9″ round cake pans and set aside. (You may want to line with parchment as I found the cakes stuck a bit to the pans.)

Using a stand mixer (or mixing bowl & spoon), cream together butter, white sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each is added. Mix in squash, maple syrup, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves.

In a separate bowl, stir together flour, baking powder and baking soda. Add in half of the flour mixture to the squash mixture, and stir. Add half of the milk. Add the rest of the flour mixture and stir, and then add the rest of the milk. Mix until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared 9″ round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes (or until a cake tester comes out clean). Let cool for 15 minutes before removing from pans. After the cakes have been removed from the pan, allow to cool on a wire rack.

While the cakes cool, make the frosting. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla extract, maple syrup, cinnamon and powdered sugar until combined.

Once the cake layers are cool, place one layer on a cake stand (or serving plate) and spread a layer of frosting over the top. Place the second layer directly on top. Spread a thin ‘crumb coat’ of frosting over the entire outer surface of the two layers. Once the crumb coat has been applied, frost more generously with whatever frosting design you desire. (Note: I added a ring of hazelnuts to the top of the cake as I thought it looked pretty and figured it would be delicious. It was.)

Recipe Swap: Ice Cream Sandwiches!

I can’t believe it’s already been a month since my last recipe swap post! They say time flies when you’re having fun and I’ve certainly been having a lot of fun this summer.

For those of you who may not know, I’m part of an ever-growing group of foodies from all over the world that participate in a monthly recipe swap. Christianna from (Burwell General Store) is the creator of the swap and every month she emails us with a vintage recipe (from a darling old cookbook called All Day Singing and Dinner on the Ground) that she then asks us to reinterpret. We get a few weeks to dream and think up what we’ll make, and then everyone posts their creations on the first Sunday of every month.

This month, Christianna chose an old time recipe for Sorghum Molasses Cookies.

I was glad to see the original recipe was so classic and simple, but at the same time it offered a lot of possibilities for reinterpretation. I thought about making a ginger & molasses BBQ sauce. I thought about making a dark oatmeal and molasses bread. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that all I wanted was to eat a really delicious molasses cookie. And then I realized I wanted to eat two delicious molasses cookies with ice cream stuffed in the middle.

Yep, that’s right. I made ice cream sandwiches. It’s August and I was asked to reinterpret a cookie recipe so I went with what my heart told me. In my humble opinion, there is no better summer dessert than the ice cream sandwich.

I will make a quick confession before I get to the recipe. I used store bought ice cream (gasp!). I don’t currently own an ice cream maker, so making homemade ice cream isn’t really a possibility. So, I bought ice cream from the store and dressed it up a bit. This past week, I inherited a bunch of amazing produce from my friends at Working Hands Farm, which included quite a few pints of blueberries. These blueberries were some of the best I’ve ever eaten, and it seemed like a no-brainer to include them in my recipe swap. So thank you, Working Hands Farm, for growing really delicious things and inspiring me to make particularly delicious ice cream sandwiches.

Happy August to all of you, and please do check out what the other lovely swappers have created this month!

Ice Cream Sandwiches: Ginger Molasses Cookies with Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream

Ginger Molasses Cookies
(Idea & recipe from Minimally Invasive, who adapted it from The Pioneer Woman)

1 cup sugar
3/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose white flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup candied ginger, cut into small pieces
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
Coarse grain sugar (such as Sugar in the Raw) for rolling the dough in

Method:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix sugar, butter, molasses, vanilla, and egg together until well combined.

In a separate bowl, combine dry ingredients. All dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix together until a dough forms.

Roll cookie dough into walnut-sized balls (the dough should be very moist & sticky). Roll each ball in sugar to coat.

Place balls on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 9 to 11 minutes, allowing to bake for about a minute after cookies begin to crack.

Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool. Before you assemble your ice cream sandwiches, you’ll want to chill the cookies a bit. Put them in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before assembling to ensure that they are chilled.

Blueberry Compote (for the Blueberry Swirl Ice Cream)
1 cup blueberries, washed
1/2 cup sugar
The zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger (or more, if you love ginger as I do)

Method:
Cook all ingredients together over medium heat, until blueberries begin to break down and form a sauce. Using a potato masher (or other such tool), mash blueberry mixture. Continue to heat, allowing the sauce to bubble and thicken until it reaches your desired consistency (15-20 minutes). Set aside and allow to cool before using. Can be refrigerated for at least a week (and tastes great on toast, pancakes, ice cream, etc, etc, etc).

Ice cream sandwiches:
To assemble the ice cream sandwiches, be sure to let your ice cream thaw on the counter for a bit. Once the ice cream is soft enough to stir, stir in blueberry compote until a swirl look is achieved. For a 1/4 gallon of ice cream, I used about 4 tablespoons of compote. Remove the chilled cookies from the freezer, place a heaping dollop of blueberry swirl ice cream on top, and place another cookie on top of the ice cream. Eat and be happy. Additionally, you can wrap each ice cream sandwich tightly in aluminum foil and place in the freezer for later eating.

Recipe Swap: Strawberry Champagne Jam and Thumbprints

It’s recipe swap time again!

For those of you who are unfamiliar, this recipe swap is the brain child of Christianna at Burwell General Store. Every month, she selects one recipe from a vintage cookbook and sends it out to a group of food bloggers from all over the world. We’re each asked to reinterpret the recipe however we see fit, and then we all post our recreations on the same day.

For this swap, CM picked the old time recipe of Jelly Cake.

As I’ve said before a million (billion) times, I’m not a big sweets person. But, for the life of me, I couldn’t think of a savory application for Jelly Cake. My thoughts drifted to summer berries, jams, preserves, and syrups. CM specifically told us she picked this recipe in hopes that we’d be inspired by summer preserves, and she was spot on. I was THRILLED to have an excuse to make jam!

So when I saw that strawberries were still very much in season here in Oregon, I promptly bought a flat of strawberries from my farmer’s market and invited myself over to my mom’s house for a day of canning. I grew up making jam with my Grandma, and I must admit that my Grandma’s strawberry freezer jam is one of the best things I have ever, ever tasted.

But, for whatever reason, this time I didn’t set out to make my Grandmother’s jam. I think I was too afraid of messing up her recipe. I was scared it wouldn’t taste like the jam I remember so fondly from my childhood! So, then, I decided put my own spin on my childhood favorite: I made Strawberry Champagne Jam with Thyme.

I wasn’t sure how the alcohol would work with the jam, but I decided to give it a shot. I’d seen a few recipes online (so I knew it was possible), and it just sounded like such a wonderful combination. I worried and fretted as I made the jam, hoping that the champagne wouldn’t keep the jam from setting up properly. I stared at the jars of jam as they cooled, willing them to set up properly. When I opened up a jar the next day, I was pleased to see the jam had set up nicely. I was even more pleased to discover that the jam tasted fantastic. However, I was totally and completely taken aback by the fact that his jam somehow tasted exactly like my Grandma’s strawberry jam. Let it be known that my Grandma does not put champagne or thyme in her jam. I have no idea how my jam ended up tasting so much like hers! There isn’t a lot of thyme or champagne in the jam, so I think these flavors paled in comparison to the natural fruity flavors of the strawberries. Try as I might to make my own version, I still ended up with a jam that was a lot like my Grandmas. I couldn’t be happier!

So, then, what do you do when you have 11 jars of delicious strawberry jam? First, you spread some on a piece of toast and happily devour it. Then, you make another piece of toast and devour that piece as well. Then, you give away a couple of jars to your friends and family.

Then…you make jam thumbprints!

I love thumbprint cookies, and this seemed like the perfect way to feature the jam. In addition, this cookie is such a classic old recipe, and it really seemed to fit well within the realm of jelly cake. The cookies were bright, fun, flavorful, and captured so many of my favorite flavors of summer.

As always, I had a great time participating in the recipe swap. I am thankful to Christianna for giving me the excuse to make my first jam of the summer (there will be many more to come, I hope!). Make sure you stop by the Recipe Swap page at Burwell General store, and be sure to visit all the other fantastic blogs to see what they came up with for the swap!

Strawberry Champagne Jam with Thyme
(Adapted from Recipe Circus)

(Note: The champagne and thyme flavors are very subtle in this jam. Feel free to experiment with the measurements to reach your desired flavor profile. Also, this jam is a bit runny. If you want a firm jam that sets up completely, I would suggest omitting the champagne.)

Ingredients
4-1/2 to 5 cups strawberries
1 pkg. (3 Tablespoons) pectin
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup dry champagne
6 cups sugar
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced

Method
In a large pot or stock pot, combine berries, pectin, lemon juice, thyme and champagne. Cook on medium-high heat and bring the mixture to a rolling boil. (Note: the mixture will bubble and foam and will triple in size. If you’re afraid it will boil over, feel free to scrape off some of the foam).

Once boiling, add sugar and stir constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil again. Boil, while stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately ladle into clean, hot jars.

Invert jars after applying lids and let set for a few hours before processing for 10 minutes in a boiling-water bath. (The original instructions call for this step, but I was in a hurry so I skipped the inverting part and went straight to the hot water bath).

Strawberry Jam Thumbprints
(Makes 2 dozen cookies)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup ground (toasted) almonds
8 ounces butter (2 sticks), room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
The zest of 1 lemon
2 teaspoons fresh thyme
pinch of salt
2/3 cup strawberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone liners.

In a mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter with sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy (5 mins). In a food processor or blender, grind almonds, thyme and lemon zest together until the almonds mixture is finely ground.

In a separate small bowl, Whisk together flour, ground almonds, and salt. Stir flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined. Refrigerate dough for 20-30 minutes before shaping.

Using a teaspoon (or your hands), form small balls and place on cookies sheets, evenly spaced apart. Using your thumb, make indentations in the cookies, creating a well for the jam. Fill each cookie well with strawberry jam.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until the cookies are just barely browned around the edges. Allow to cool on a wire rack. The cookies should be crumbly, buttery (and fabulous)!

Salted Honey Lavender Shortbread

Here’s the thing about hand-making most of your Christmas presents: its a lot of work. But let me be clear: I am not complaining. I know that I made the choice to hand-make my gifts. And in making that choice, I knew it would take time and energy. I did my best to budget my time and take on projects that weren’t too crazy and I did my best to enjoy the season. But, at the end of the day, you do have to put some time (and love) into handmade gifts. And when all is said and done, it can be a bit exhausting.

However, I feel that it is totally worth it. (My kitchen, on the other hand, might not feel the same way. It is a complete and utter disaster!) I ended up giving a my family (and a few friends) a combination of gifts. Not all were handmade, but I did my best to make the majority of my gifts. So, this is what I ended up making this year: cranberry orange liqueurs, spicy brown mustard, cranberry pear chutney, and salted honey lavender shortbread. And for non-food gifts, I even made my own scented reed diffusers! I was quite pleased.

So Christmas day has come and gone, and it was just wonderful. I got to spend quality time with my family, cook delicious things (I roasted a duck!), and came away feeling so spoiled and loved. In the spirit of over-sharing, I will now tell you a few of the things I received (in no particular order): a vintage bacon press (!), fresh Oregon black truffles (!!!), homemade wine jelly, a Blazers Jersey (LaMarcus! #12, baby!), vintage cookbooks, a peacock painting (by my extremely talented youngest sister), a Peugeot pepper grinder (with a lifetime warranty!), a meatloaf pan (from my father-in-law, who says that no chef can be without a proper meatloaf pan) and so much more. Upon closer inspection, it seems that my Christmas gifts speak volumes about me. Namely, that I am a nerd.

So, then, this nerd would like to share with you a recipe for salted honey lavender shortbread. While I gave out this shortbread for Christmas gifts (and yes, I know it is much to late to post about gift ideas), this shortbread is one for all occasions. It is simple, elegant, and I love the subtle floral element that the lavender brings to the buttery shortbread. In addition, I used culinary lavender that I got from my mother-in-law (she grows her own, and it is amaaaaaazing.) and so I have the distinct advantage of using the best lavender on the planet. If you are really really nice to me, I might lend you a little so that you can make this recipe.

Salted Honey Lavender Shortbread
(Adapted from Evil Shenanigans)

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tablespoons corn starch
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces and chilled
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 tablespoons honey (the better quality honey, the better the taste)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon culinary lavender
1/2 teaspoon flake sea salt, or to taste

*NOTE: I thought that my first batch of cookies came out a bit dry and so for my second batch, I used less flour than the original recipe calls for. However, I wasn’t baking at my house so I didn’t have access to a stand mixer, and my problems with the dough could have resulted from the lack of a proper mixer.

Heat the oven to 350 F and spray an 8 x 8″ pan with non-stick spray, line with parchment paper leaving a three inch overhang on either side, and spray the parchment. (*I didn’t have parchment paper onhand, so I buttered and floured the pan, and that worked just fine.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, add the flour, sugar, cornstarch, honey, kosher salt, vanilla, lavender, and butter. Blend on low speed until well mixed and smooth.

Press the dough evenly into the pan. Prick the top well with a fork, making sure not to press the fork completely though the dough.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the center of the cookies feel firm with lightly pressed and they are golden brown all over. Allow the cookies to cool five minutes then evenly sprinkle the tops with sea salt. Allow to cool for and additional thirty minutes in the pan.

Using the parchment overhang lift the shortbread from the pan (or, skip this step if you didn’t use parchment). Using a sharp knife, cut into squares. Allow the cookies to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. Sprinkle with additional lavender and salt if you so desire.