Subscribe: Spork or Foon?
http://www.sporkorfoon.com/spork_or_a_foon/atom.xml
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade B rated
Language: English
Tags:
back  baking  bowl  brownies  butter  cheese  chicken  cook  cup  day  don  heat  make  medium  pizza  super bowl  tsp 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Spork or Foon?

Spork or Foon?



Restaurants, Recipes, and Random Rants.



Updated: 2012-08-30T03:42:00-04:00

 



Twix Brownies

2012-08-31T09:31:10-04:00

If these don't want to make you nomnomnom all over the place, I don't know what will. When I was making these, I kept singing "Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that......

(image)

If these don't want to make you nomnomnom all over the place, I don't know what will. 

When I was making these, I kept singing "Give me a break, give me a break, break me off a piece of that... DAMNIT" as I realized I kept singing the Kit Kat song (another equally delicious candy bar made up of rainbows and unicorn tears). I wracked my brain to try to remember what song Twix had and then I remembered.

Mmmmm BOW BOW. Chick, Chick-a Chick-a.

Oh yea, the Ferris Bueller theme song. 

I don't know which song is more annoying to sing on end, but I am sure that I annoyed Jack to no end singing these songs all morning as I made these brownies. 

I made up for the fact that I can be completely annoying when I get something stuck in my head by how awesome these bars are. 

Like, they are TWIX in a BROWNIE. Drizzled with CARAMEL. Do I need to sell you on anything else? Because I don't think I do.  Gooey chocolate brownies? Crisp cookie center topped with creamy caramel? Together in one mind explosion of a dessert. COME ON. I'd crash Cameron's dad's car for a plate of these (let my Cameron GO).

Let's just bring it back a little. 

frameborder="0" height="344" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/ZjhDj6MLEaU?fs=1&feature=oembed" width="459"> 

A commenter on this said they didn't know it was the Ferris Buller song, they always thought it was the Twix song. I wish young people not knowing things didn't make me feel so OLD (like when 21 Jump Street came out in the movies and the young people just couldn't understand why Johnny Depp made a cameo in it. COME ON PEOPLE, LEARN YOUR HISTORY!)

This recipe is courtesy of My Baking Addiction, so head on over there and MAKE. 

Click Here for the Recipe


(image)



Incredibly Amazing Pumpkin Spice Donuts with Cinnamon Whipped Cream

2012-08-27T12:53:31-04:00

So I'm going to try to be better at blogging. I know I won't be able to post every day for a plethora of reason - my wedding in Italy is 6 weeks away (WHAAAAAAAA?) and I have a ton... So I'm going to try to be better at blogging. I know I won't be able to post every day for a plethora of reason - my wedding in Italy is 6 weeks away (WHAAAAAAAA?) and I have a ton of stuff to plan for it. My wedding in Italy is 6 weeks away and I'd like to keep the poundage off, so food is strictly healthy right now. But I will try my best to be the best blogger I can be in the limited time I have :) So there is no better way than to start with these incredibly amazing pumpkin spice donuts.  Listen. I'm obsessed with fall. OBSESSED. Like, when Starbucks brings back their pumpkin spice lattes, I pretty much do a happy dance right in front of the barista. There is something fundamentally wrong about drinking a pumpkin flavored iced coffee, but frankly, it's still hot in September (thanks Global Warming!) and I'm not ready for the switch from cold to hot, but you'd better believe I'm ready for some sweet, syrupy pumpkiny goodness.  So Sunday night was my fantasy football draft and I wanted to bake something for it, since we do it live every year. My fantasy football nemesis is one of my closes friends in real life (but God do I hate him when it comes to fantasy). He, even moreso than me (or any other human on this planet), loves the fall. As in... he has already decorated his apartment for Halloween. And though I wanted nothing more to revel in his misery at his crappy fantasy drafting skills, I did want to surprise him with some fall treats.  To say these donuts were delicious was an understatement. Listen. I'm used to dieting. I can't really eat what I make, because I don't have the metabolism for it. I get it. And I'm fine with it for the most part. I have a bite to taste it to make sure it is ok and then it stops there. It doesn't upset me. There are few times in my life where I actually get MAD that I can't eat something ... and this one of those times. These donuts are RIDICULOUS. Like, AMAZING. I liked them best when they just cooled down from the frying pan. Roll them in a little cinnamon sugar, top them with whipped cream and BOOM. Amazingness. (The inspiration to top them with whipped cream is from Tabard Inn, a DC institution, that has the most ridiculous donuts ever and serves them with an amazing whipped cream. I thought those were my favorite donuts ever... until now). Get ready for fall. It's coming.  And get ready for Fantasy Football, because I am going to dominate, my friends!  Pumpkin Donuts - Adapted from Annie's Eats Pumpkin Doughnuts Yield: about 16 donuts and donut holesIngredients:For the donuts:3½ cups all-purpose flour4 tsp. baking powder½ tsp. baking soda1 tsp. salt3 tsp. ground cinnamon1 tsp. ground ginger½ tsp. ground nutmeg¼ tsp. ground cloves ¼ tsp. all spice1 cup sugar3 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature1 large egg2 large egg yolks1 tsp. vanilla extract½ cup buttermilk1 cup pumpkin puree Canola oil or peanut oil, for frying For the cinnamon-sugar:½ cup sugar2 tsp. ground cinnamon For the cinnamon whipped cream:1/4 cup powdered sugar1 tsp. ground cinnamon1/2 pint whipped cream1 tsp vanilla Directions: To make the dough, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices in a medium bowl.  Whisk to blend, and set aside.  In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the sugar and butter and beat until well blended.  Stir in the egg, then the egg yolks, and then the vanilla until incorporated.  Combine the buttermilk and pumpkin in a liquid measuring cup and whisk together.  With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the pumpkin mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients.  Once the dough is mixed, cover and chill for at least 3 hours or until firm.  (The dough still seemed quite soft so we did an additional 30 minute chill in the freezer.)   On a well-floured work [...]



In honor of my Dad...

2012-08-27T18:28:39-04:00

I feel like this post has been such a long time coming. It has been months since I have blogged and years (holy crap) since I have blogged on a consistent basis. I have been feeling an urge to start... I feel like this post has been such a long time coming. It has been months since I have blogged and years (holy crap) since I have blogged on a consistent basis.  I have been feeling an urge to start blogging again over the past few months, and have been baking and cooking and photographing but not posting. I think it's time to come back to posting :) But first, I want to explain where I've been.  Life, needless to say, over the past few years has been crazy. I had a job working for a professional sports team in marketing that took up all of my time. Worked 6, 7 days a week, 15 hours a day. It was the most fun I have ever had at a job... but also the most stress. I needed a change. I got a new position at a fantastic advertising firm. I had my life back. I could see friends and family again. I could finally start planning my wedding. And then my life changed. On February 7, 2012, I lost the most important person in my life - my dad. Two days after his annual Super Bowl party, where he watched his beloved Giants (G-men!) win the big game, I got a phone call from my brother saying my dad had died. It was so sudden... I talked to him the night before and he sounded fine. To say I was shattered would be the biggest understatement in the world. There are no words for the pain, confusion, sadness and anger I went through after losing my father. 8 months before my wedding, where I was so excited to have him walk me down the aisle, where I was so excited to take him to Italy, the country of his heritage of which he was so proud, and I lost it all in an instant.He was my best friend. I talked to him four, five times A DAY. No joke. I would call him on my walk to the subway to chat for a few minutes. At work to say whats up and ask what his dogs were doing. When I read an article and I wanted to get his opinion on it (people loved hearing my dad's take on things - me included). When I wanted to talk about Mob Wives or American Idol. And he LOVED Behind the music: Notorious BIG and Tupac.  And my father was loved by everyone around him. He was the person who MADE every party a party. He had a "chair" in everyone's house where he would sit with a glass of Dewar's in hand, and he would sit back and watch the party and people would flock to him. Everyone called him "Uncle Bob", whether he was your uncle or not, because if he wasn't, he may as well have been, because he made everyone feel like family. Not only was he nice, but he was hysterically funny. He loved fart jokes, cursing, and telling stories from his days as a New York City police officer in the tumultous times of the city during the 70s and 80s.  When I had to complete the horrific task of passing on the shocking news to people, most people said "but he was my best friend." And he was. He was everyone's best friend. He was the epitome of a "shirt off my back" type of person, who would give and give even if he didn't have. He made everyone feel like his entire world, because we all were his entire world. Friends. Family. Strangers. It didn't matter if he knew you for 50 years or 5 minutes, he always wanted to make everyone feel like family.  I found a lot of beauty within all of the sadness of the days surrounding his wake and funeral. I was floored by the outpouring of love and support from friends and family. At his wake, literally hundreds of people come to pay their respects, with a line going out of the funeral parlor. We laughed and cried and told stories of the wonderful man he was. The day of the funeral was an oddly serene day as the snow fell ever so lightly and the bells of the church tolled while the NYPD color guard walked my father's casket, adorned in a green US flag (the green flag is a sentimental colored flag used by the NYPD) slowly up the steps of the church.  The driver commented t[...]



HOLLA!!! NEW DESIGN!!!

2012-03-28T16:49:06-04:00

I am SORRY For the two-month hiatus. That will be explained in another post. But I promise I'll be back soon with some more stuff. But first, let's talk about this new design!!! I'm still working out some kinks, but...

I am SORRY For the two-month hiatus. That will be explained in another post.  But I promise I'll be back soon with some more stuff. But first, let's talk about this new design!!!

I'm still working out some kinks, but I had to take matters into my own hands and design this puppy all by myself (yes, I did just say "this puppy", a phrase that I don't think has been used to describe something since Top Gun or some other 80s movie) and it's been a lot of trial and error. There are still some things that don't work (like the links up top that say "Home, Archives, Subscribe") that I can't figure out how to make work/delete, and some other design things I'm slowly working through. But since I have no patience, I decided to publish my blog as is, because I LIKE IT!!!! Not to toot my own horn. But I can't believe I did this and coded it by myself! Thanks Google and all of your tutorials! HOLLA! 

YAAAAAAAAAAAY New design! 

(image)



Sausage and Pepper Quesadillas

2012-02-02T10:22:13-05:00

... or as we call them in New York: Saw-sage and peppuhs. Now, normally you'd never serve these in a quesadilla. Sausage and Peppers are supposed to be served in a nice loaf of Italian bread. Once, I was in... ... or as we call them in New York: Saw-sage and peppuhs.  Now, normally you'd never serve these in a quesadilla. Sausage and Peppers are supposed to be served in a nice loaf of Italian bread. Once, I was in the supermarket with Jack and he asked me if he needed to get hot dog buns for the sausage and peppers.  Horrified, I exclaimed "Hot dog buns!?  Who does that? That's an abomination. Don't ever suggest something like that again!"  I knew I was justified in my horror when the woman besides us looked at us and started laughing a knowing laugh. She knew. You would never do such a thing. Horrible. So I know I'm slightly bastardizing sausage and peppers as we know it.  But I wanted to make this a good party food, and frankly, sauage and peppers can be a meal in itself. And with all of the other foods that clog our arteries grace our tables on Super Bowl Sunday, I wanted to make this a fun, shareable dish.   At first, I tried these with just sausage, peppers and caramelized onions between two tortillas. While delicious, there was something amiss.  The tortillas really didn't adhere to the sausage and peppers the way most quesedillas do. And then I realized something was missing. Cheese.  Now, normally, you wouldn't add cheese to Sausage and Peppers (unless you're at the San Gennaro feast in Little Italy and ordering a Philly-Cheesesteak Style Sausage and Peppers, where they add cheese). But in this case, it really needed something to make this whole dish come together. So I added mozzarella. And BAM. There it was. Perfection.  I also learned another lesson from this. I think... I THINK... that quesedillas are always supposed to have cheese. Because queso means "cheese" right? Quesedilla? Cheese...dilla? Until now, I had never realized that.  I know. I know. Laugh if you must. I deserve it.  I ALSO JUST REALIZED SOMETHING!  This dish is super New York! So I dedicate it to the Giants! You're welcome, Eli. Sausage and Pepper Quesedilla Makes 4 Quesedillas 4 Hot Italian Sausages 4 Peppers, sliced 4 Onions, sliced into 1" rings 1 cup shredded mozzarella Cheese Extra Virgin Olive Oil Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent. Lower heat to medium low and cook until caramelized, stirring often so they don't burn, about 20 minutes.  Add peppers and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes over medium low heat until peppers are tender and onions are beautifully caramelized. Remove from heat.  In a separate skillet, cook sausages until cooked through, about 7-8 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.  When sausage has cooled enough to handle, carefully slice into 1" rounds.  Add to peppers and onions. Heat a clean, medium skillet over medium high heat. Arrange 1/4 of sausage, pepper, and onion mix on one tortilla and top with 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese. Top with another tortilla. Place on skillet and cook for 2 minutes, or until tortilla is gold brown. Press down slightly with a spatula to make sure cheese is melting. Flip and repeat on the other side.  Repeat to create three more quesadillas.  Cut into quarters and serve immediately. Root for the Giants.    [...]



Buffalo Chicken Pizza

2012-01-31T00:46:00-05:00

The first time I ever heard of Buffalo Chicken Pizza was a few years back. A friend of mine was raving about it. I thought it was disgusting and slightly judged him. As an Italian, how could he like something...  The first time I ever heard of Buffalo Chicken Pizza was a few years back. A friend of mine was raving about it. I thought it was disgusting and slightly judged him. As an Italian, how could he like something that so bastardized pizza? This is sacred!!!  Now, I see buffalo chicken pizza everywhere. And it never bothered me any less than it did that day. Why? Why would you do such a thing? I've seen all types of pizza - I mean, really, I live in the pizza mecca of the United States: New York City (sorry, Chicago, but it's true). I've seen pizza with ziti on it. Pizza with pineapple (gross. I mean, really. Just gross.) and at Pizza Hut in London (don't judge, I was in college, and it was a weekly thing while we studied abroad), even corn on pizza. But for some reason, nothing bothered me as much as buffalo chicken on pizza. Until Sunday.  Sunday, the day that would live in caloric infamy for me. The day I stuffed my face with nachos, and yes, pizza. Because this was RIDICULOUS.  Some things get me really excited when I am able to mock familiarity. For example, I play the piano. I am not a great piano player by any means, but I used to be very good. Now, I get by. But when I start to play a song and I hear that familiar chord that I have heard played so many times before by others, but now I have played it myself, I start to squeal with excitement.  And this is how I felt when I successfully made the buffalo sauce for this chicken. I kid you not. It's sad, I know. But when that buffalo smell hit my nose and slightly made me want to sneeze from the spices, I started jumping up and down from excitement, and stuck my nose back in the pan to smell again.  I tossed the chicken in the sauce, placed it atop my pizza crust, popped it in the oven, and waited with breathless anticipation.  I chopped up some celery, to add some positive nutritional value (they say that celery has negative calories, which of course is a big fat lie told by big fat liars, but if you want to believe that, then you can say that the celery cancels out the cheese calories of this pizza) and drizzled some blue cheese dressing atop the pizza. HEA. VEN.  My Italian friend earned his Italian card back, because this pizza transcends nationalities. It is just goodness in every single bite. And SO easy to make. And SO perfect for a Super Bowl party food.      BUFFAL CHICKEN PIZZA 1 lb package of chicken breasts Extra Virgin Olive Oil 2 tbsp butter 1 tbsp worchestershire sauce 1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Frank's Red Hot, because they have the best slogan ever. I love the ad geniuses that came up with the little old lady sayin "I put that sh*t on everything.") 1 celery stick, chopped (optional) 1/2 cup blue cheese dressing (you can use more if you'd like) 1/2 cup tomato sauce 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese Kosher Salt and freshly ground black pepper 1 pre-made store-bought pizza crust Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet or pizza stone with parchment paper.  Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium-large saute pan over medium high heat.  Season chicken with salt and pepper, and cook until cooked through, about 7 minutes.  Set aside and let cool slightly. In a small sauce pan, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add worchestershire sauce and hot sauce and combine.  Remove from heat.  Cut chicken into pieces (I cut them into 2" cubes).  Toss in hot sauce.  Set aside.  Place pre-made pizza on baking sheet or pizza stone.  Top with tomato sauce and mozzarella. Top with chicken.  Place in oven and bake until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted, about 18 minutes.  Remove from oven. Top with blue cheese dressing and celery. Serve immediately.      [...]



Beer-Braised Chili Cheese Nachos

2012-01-30T10:44:26-05:00

It's Super Bowl Week! Which means this week will be jam-packed with awesome foods that are sure to make your waistline cry and raise your blood pressure just a tad. I love the Super Bowl. It has become the best...    It's Super Bowl Week! Which means this week will be jam-packed with awesome foods that are sure to make your waistline cry and raise your blood pressure just a tad.  I love the Super Bowl. It has become the best unofficial holiday in America.  It has gotten to the point where people complain that we don't have the Monday after Super Bowl off. And it's true. Even non-football lovers watch the Super Bowl, if not for the game, if not for the guys in tight white pants, but for the other things.  Who is going to sing the National Anthem?  Will the halftime show ever be worth watching? And it is the only time where people demand SILENCE during the commercial breaks so they could watch brilliance that cost companies 8 bajillion dollars a second.  Yesterday was a rough day for me.  I've got t-minus 8 months to my wedding, and I was full-on in exercise mode, working out for an hour-and-a-half a day.  Thursday morning, I was on the elliptical in my apartment, doing a pre-work workout, as I was going out to dinner with friends that night and didn't want to miss a day.  I briefly stepped off the elliptical to grab some water and stepped onto a weight that was placed in the middle of the floor. "Oh." I thought to myself as I stepped back onto the elliptical, "I'd better be careful that I don't step on that weight again." Did I think to move it? No. Of course not. That would be what normal people would do, not me. 30 minutes later, as I complete my workout and get ready to do some Jillian Michaels 30-Day Shred, I step off the elliptical and BLAM. Face right in the floor. Ankle twisted. Weight still there. Almost mocking me.  So now, here I am, swollen ankle, hobbling around because I tripped on a weight. Do you know how embarrassing it is to explain to people that you are limping because you tripped on a weight?  Now that I come to think of it, it is embarrassing explaining any story of why you sprained something. Some how, you always sound like an idiot, unless you were, like, rescuing a small puppy or running a 64-mile marathon.  To not ruin all of my hard work, I swore I was going to eat SO HEALTHY until I could work out again. Or, little did I know it, until I started cooking some super bowl recipes. These nachos were the death of me. I had to keep tasting the chili, you know, because the flavors go through so many stages of development, I had to make sure it was right. And then the chips. Why is it so true that once you pop, you can't stop?  And really, guacamole is the death of me. But it's a good fat, right?   I mean, really, doesn't this just make you want to slide right down that greasy mountain of cheesy, meaty goodness? These nachos are the business. I don't even know what that really means, but I've heard people use this term when something is awesome. So that's what these are. The business. The meat is so tender and flavorful, and really, it is braised in beer so you can't get more American Football than that. Cheese. Chips. Guac. Sour Cream. Jalapenos. COME ON. EAT THIS NOW!  I adapted the recipe from Top Chef Chili Cookoff Winners Sarah, Chuey (remember him!) and Chris C and made a simplified version of theirs. So there are no beans in this chili (who knew? I mean, besides Texans), and I've gotta say, I like it better without the beans! It's the business!      Beer Braised Chili Cheese Nachos 1 pounds ground beef chuck 1 cup whole peeled tomatoes and juice from can Olive oil, as needed 1 tablespoon oregano 1/2 white onions, sliced 1 clove fresh garlic 1 tablespoon ground cumin 1 bottles beer Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, as needed 1 cup chicken broth 1 whole Roma tomato 2 [...]



Surf and Turf - Scallops with Filet Mignon, Caramelized Shallots and Grilled Corn

2012-01-23T15:14:58-05:00

This is a dish that was born from the fact that I REALLY DIDNT WANT TO COOK DINNER the other night. Jack had been out of town for a few days, I was sick (and I never get sick), and...    This is a dish that was born from the fact that I REALLY DIDNT WANT TO COOK DINNER the other night.  Jack had been out of town for a few days, I was sick (and I never get sick), and it snowed for the first time since Halloween (that sounds so weird).    When Jack got home, I was so thrilled to see him. I hate it when he is away, because I love him (I know, don't groan, it's gross), but I hated it even more because we had to put Remy in boarding at doggy daycare in NJ while he was gone. So it was a total family reunion. We were happy, laughing and petting Remy and Jack looked at me and goes "So what are you making for dinner?" "I think you should cook for me tonight," I said.  What was flowers and roses and unicorns and ponies, turned into a full on 5-year-old temper tantrum, complete with foot stomping and arms flailing (we are 30 years old, mind you). "What do you MEAN I should cook?" Jack asked incredulously, his voice getting higher and higher pitched with each syllable.  "I mean that you never cook for me and I think you should cook for me - I'm sick!"  "No, no, no, no, no!" Jack whined (I am not kidding). "Can't we cook together?" "Jack, seriously, why do I always have to cook?" "Because you're the cook!"  "OK, but you can cook, too!" "But I don't like cooking!" (at this point, his voice was at a high-F). "If you don't cook, then I guess we're not eating." I finally got him to agree on cooking and we went to the supermarket to pick up a few things. He wanted scallops and corn, so I suggested adding some filet mignon (I had some in the fridge from the day before) and other accoutrements. We got home, went into the kitchen, and I started cooking.  Yes, you read that right. I started cooking. And it wans't even a conversation. I just started slicing the shallots, pulling out ingredients, and cooking. At least Jack hung out with me in the kitchen while I cooked. That made me happy.  This is why I will never win these arguments. I can't help myself. I don't want anyone else to cook but me.  Damn me!!!  But let's talk about the dish a little - it was AMAZING. I had no idea what I was doing when I was putting it together, but it came together SO beautifully, and the addition of the filet mignon just REALLY brought this dish to another level. Sweet caramelized shallots mixed with corn, tender bay scallops, juicy filet mignon and a delicious broth just really made this dish one for the books.   This is a perfect Valentine's day dinner that holds a core relationship lesson at its heart - I think? Something about comprimise? Selflessness? Giving back? Maybe? I still don't get how I ended up cooking.  SURF AND TURF - SCALLOPS WITH FILET MIGNON, CARAMELIZED SHALLOTS AND GRILLED CORN Serves 2 1 8 oz beef tenderloin, trimmed 1/3 lb bay scallops (or if you want to splurge, diver scallops) 1 tbsp sherry 1/4 cup chicken stock 1/4 cup vegetable stock (you can just use 1/2 cup chicken or veg stock if you don't have both) 1/2 cup corn (I used canned corn (GASP! I know! But it's January!) 3 tbsp heavy cream, divided 2 shallots, sliced thin 3 tbsp butter, divided 1/4 cup diced baby bella mushrooms 2 tsp sweet paprika chives, for garnish 1 tbsp thyme, chopped Kosher Salt Freshly Ground Black Pepper Heat butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Let brown (the butter will smell wonderfully nutty), but be careful not to burn it. Turn heat to medium lower and add the shallots. Cook until caramelized (this takes me about 10 minutes or so), stirring often so they do not burn. Raise heat to medium and add corn, thyme and paprika.  Cook for 2-3 minutes, until corn is warmed through, then add 2 tablespoons heavy cream[...]



Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies

2011-12-23T13:55:55-05:00

Alright, I know this isn't the prettiest photo in the world. But that doesn't matter, because these are the best brownies ever to hit the history of the world. I'm not a brownie person. When I was young, my parents... Alright, I know this isn't the prettiest photo in the world. But that doesn't matter, because these are the best brownies ever to hit the history of the world. I'm not a brownie person. When I was young, my parents would make the box mix brownies and the smell would literally make me want to vomit. I'm not kidding. I shudder at box mix brownies.  I do not shudder, however, and smooth, fudgey brownies, that are enhanced by the smooth, sweet,velvety mascarpone cheese and topped with a decadent ganache. No, no. These brownies don't make me want to vomit at all. Quite the contrary. These brownies make me do the happy dance.  I don't know what else to say. These seriously, seriously are the best brownies I have ever had. Hands down. Forget your diet. Eat these today.  Chocolate Mascarpone Brownies  adapted from Bake or Break 1 cup unsalted butter (plus more for preparing pan) 3 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped 1 cup granulated sugar 1/2 cup cocoa powder 1/2 cup mascarpone cheese, softened 3 large eggs, at room temperature 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 1/4 teaspoon salt Ganache 6 ounces high quality bittersweet chocolate (60%), finely chopped 6 tablespoons heavy cream 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter  Preheat oven to 350°. Butter an 8-inch square glass baking pan and set aside. Place the butter and chocolate in heat-proof bowl and set over a pot of simmering water.  Stirring constantly, melt butter and chocolate.  Set aside and let cool. Sift sugar and cocoa powder. Add to the butter/chocolate mixture. Beat in (by hand) the mascarpone, eggs, and vanilla extract until smooth. Fold in flour and salt. Pour batter into pan and spread evenly. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on cooling rack. Ganache Place chopped chocolate in a small bowl. Set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the butter and cream over medium heat, stirring constantly. When mixture is almost boiling, pour over the chocolate. Let stand for 30 seconds. Then, stir until smooth. Pour ganache over cooled brownies and spread evenly. Allow ganache to firm before cutting brownies. Brownies may be placed in refrigerator to expedite this. Yields 16 brownies.   [...]



Peanut Butter Criss Cross Cookies

2011-12-23T13:31:30-05:00

OK I know we're still all watching what we eat here, but for those of you who are bored of healthy food or blessed with lightning speed metabolism and don't need to worry about calories, I'm back on the wagon... OK I know we're still all watching what we eat here, but for those of you who are bored of healthy food or blessed with lightning speed metabolism and don't need to worry about calories, I'm back on the wagon of posting fun sweets!   These cookies are from Dorie Greenspan, my baking hero. I met her once and I honestly felt like I could die happy.  She is my go-to when it comes to dessert.  We all know the beauty of mixing peanut butter and chocolate. I honestly would love to give a big "Holla!" to the person who invented that combo - they have made millions of people very happy. It's funny - normally, I don't like peanut butter cookies. Add chocolate? Bam. I'm nomnomnoming all over the place.  These cookies are crisp on the edges with a wonderfully soft and chewy center. And of course, studded with little chocolate chips that make my heart jump with delight.  Peanut Butter Crisscrossesadapted from Baking: From My Home to Yours, by Dorie Greenspan2 ½ cups all-purpose flour1 tsp. baking soda½ tsp. baking powder¼ tsp. saltpinch of grated nutmeg2 sticks (8 oz.) unsalted butter, at room temperature1 cup peanut butter (crunchy or smooth) (I used crunchy Jif)1 cup packed light brown sugar¾ cup sugar2 large eggs1 ½ cups chopped salted peanuts (I used honey roasted peanuts) 4 oz mini chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate about ½ cup sugar mixed with 2 tsp cinnamon, for rollingPosition the racks to divide the oven into thirds and preheat the oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.Working with a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for a minute or two, until smooth and creamy. Add the peanut butter and beat for another minute. Add the sugars and beat for 3 minutes more. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Scrape down the sides and the bottom of the bowl and, on low speed, add the dry ingredients, mixing only until they just disappear. Mix in the chopped peanuts and chocolate chips. You’ll have a soft, pliable (mushable, actually) dough.Pour the ½ cup of sugar into a small bowl. Working with a level tablespoonful of dough for each cookie, roll the dough between your palms into balls and drop the balls, a couple at a time, into the sugar. Roll the balls around in the sugar to coat them, then place on the baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between them. Dip the tines of a fork in sugar and press the tines against each ball first in one direction and then in a perpendicular direction – you should have a flattened round of dough with crisscross indentations.Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating the sheets from top to bottom and front to back at the midway point. When done, the cookies will be lightly colored and still a little soft. Let the cookies sit on the sheets for a minute before transferring them to cooling racks with a wide metal spatula. Cool to room temperature.Repeat with the remaining dough, making sure to cool the baking sheets between batches.Storage:The cookies will keep for at least 5 days in the cookie jar. Wrapped airtight, they can be frozen for up to 2 months. [...]