Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

Did you know they sell pre-crushed Butterfingers? Perfect when you need to make some cookies in the morning without waking up the whole house whamming things on counters! These are sturdy, very stuff-filled cookies, and not life-suckingly dry as some peanut butter cookies are. They also happen to go over well as a gift!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Butterfingers
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth.

Add the peanut butter and beat until combined.

Add the egg and vanilla and again beat until combined.

Add the flour, beating until just combined.

Add the crushed Butterfinger and the chocolate chunks. After adding the flour, looking at the dough it didn’t seem like it would take 2 1/2 cups of add-ins, but it came together no problem.

Scoop the dough, with a medium cookie dough scoop, if you have one, into roughly golfball sized balls on the lined sheets.

Press criss-crossed marks into the top of the dough with a fork, partially flattening it.

Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through – they won’t be hard when you take them out, but they’ll firm up while they cool.

Cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Wrap some of ’em up, and throw them at a friend!

Peanut Butter Butterfinger Cookies

From Picky Palate.

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup peanut butter
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed Butterfingers
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment and set aside.

Cream together the butter and both sugars until smooth. Add the peanut butter and beat until combined, then add the egg and vanilla and again beat until combined. Add the flour, beating until just combined, then the crushed Butterfinger and the chocolate chunks.

Scoop the dough, with a medium cookie dough scoop, if you have one, into roughly golfball sized balls on the lined sheets. Press criss-crossed marks into the top of the dough with a fork, partially flattening it. Bake 12-15 minutes, until cooked through. Cool for 10 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Posted in Dessert | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

This is not the first flourless chocolate cake on this blog, but it is by far the new best. It’s not as dense and heavy as the others, and is super smooth and creamy. There’s a sliiiight hint of cheesecake, despite the relatively small amount of dairy, but mostly it’s just CHOCOLATE. Until now I had thought for years that the flourless chocolate cake at Giorgio on Pine (in Philly) was kind of the best possible, but now… hmm.

The one thing I changed about the recipe was instead of using dark and semisweet chocolate, I used Ghriardelli bittersweet chips for both the cake and the ganache, and it was the right level of sweetness for me. (Not that long ago I only ever wanted milk chocolate??)

Cake:

  • 14 ounces dark (or bittersweet) chocolate chips
  • 1 pound salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large eggs

Ganache:

  • 6 ounces heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips

Little bit of estimating involved because our (salted) butter comes in logs and my scale is somewhere buried in the basement…

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10″ springform pan. If your pan is like mine (untrustworthy), you might also wrap the bottom in foil, just in case, and later be glad you did. In a large bowl, whisk all the eggs until combined. You don’t need to beat to a specific color or texture, you just want to break up all the yolks.

In a heavy pot, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat until smooth.

Aaaand you’re done, just drink this.

Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then the half-and-half, vanilla, and salt until evenly mixed.

Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking the combination constantly while you pour, and continuing to whisk until evenly combined.

I was glad I had used our largest bowl.

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform.

Bake 45 minutes, or until almost set. The whole surface of mine was still jiggly at 45 minutes, but by 50 only maybe 1/3 of the surface was still jiggly, which was just right.

Let cool, in the pan, to room temperature, then refrigerate until cool. The whole cooling process will take a few hours.

Sometimes you defend against cats…

…other times you’re worried about humans.

When the cake is chilled, remove the sides of the pan and place the cake on a wire rack over a piece of wax paper or foil.

In a small pot, heat the cream over medium until it begins to steam and just starts to simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and add the semisweet chocolate, stirring until evenly melted. Pour the ganache over the cake, letting any excess drop off onto the wax paper.

Let set, refrigerating to speed the process if desired.

If desired, you can beat up the remaining cream you probably have to make whipped cream to serve with. Pro-tip from my mom – if you add some pudding mix (she uses white chocolate, I’m sure cheesecake or vanilla pudding mix would be good too) to sweeten your whipped cream, the liquid won’t separate out and you can keep it in the fridge for days.

 

Flourless Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache

From Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking by Kelli Bronski and Peter Bronski.

Cake:

  • 14 ounces dark (or bittersweet) chocolate chips
  • 1 pound salted butter
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large eggs

Ganache:

  • 6 ounces heavy cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet (or bittersweet) chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10″ springform pan. Wrap the bottom in foil if needed. In a large bowl, whisk all the eggs until combined. You don’t need to beat to a specific color or texture, you just want to break up all the yolks.

In a heavy pot, melt the chocolate and butter over low heat until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar, then the half-and-half, vanilla, and salt until evenly mixed. Slowly pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs, whisking the combination constantly while you pour, and continuing to whisk until evenly combined.

Pour the mixture into the prepared springform, and bake 45 minutes, or until almost set. Let cool, in the pan, to room temperature, then refrigerate until cool.

When the cake is chilled, remove the sides of the pan and place the cake on a wire rack over a piece of wax paper or foil.

In a small pot, heat the cream over medium until it begins to steam and just starts to simmer. Remove the pot from the heat and add the semisweet chocolate, stirring until evenly melted. Pour the ganache over the cake, letting any excess drop off onto the wax paper. Let set, refrigerating to speed the process if desired.

If desired, beat remaining cream to make whipped cream for serving.

Posted in Dessert | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Although last week’s double chocolate banana bread was excellent, apparently not everyone wants chocolate in their breakfast baked goods (weird??), so here’s a no-chocolate option that is super moist, has a nice, firm outside, and can stand up to being sliced and slathered with peanut butter!

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix already contains it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed (about 2 bananas)

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum (if needed), salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, whisking to combine.

Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, whisking until just combined.

Add the sour cream, again whisking until just combined. Fold in the mashed bananas, stirring gently until just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased bread pan, smoothing the top.

Bake 45-50 minutes, until the loaf passes the toothpick test.

Cool in the pan 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

From Gluten Free on a Shoestring.

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix already contains it)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 eggs at room temperature, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup sour cream, at room temperature
  • 1 cup bananas, mashed (about 2 bananas)

Preheat your oven to 350. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, add the flour, xanthan gum (if needed), salt, baking powder, baking soda, and sugar, whisking to combine. Add the butter, eggs, and vanilla, whisking until just combined, then the sour cream, again whisking until just combined. Fold in the mashed bananas, stirring gently until just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased bread pan, smoothing the top. Bake 45-50 minutes, until the loaf passes the toothpick test. Cool in the pan 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

 

Posted in Bread, Breakfast, Brunch | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Double Chocolate Gluten Free Banana Bread

I didn’t really do much with my mother back on Mother’s Day (sorry mom) besides make two banana breads, but they both came out great (very moist, able to stand up to being sliced, etc) so…not the worst day? This one has both chocolate batter and chocolate chunks, without entirely overwhelming the banana flavor that’s the point of the whole thing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder , Dutch processed
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix has xanthan gum already)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 medium)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened coconut)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum (if needed), both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate chunks and stir until coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, mashed banana, milk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine.

Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined.

Pour the batter into the greased bread pan and bake 50-60 minutes, until the loaf passes the toothpick test. (Be careful when you’re testing it that you’re not just sticking your toothpick into a melted chocolate chip, and thinking that that means the batter is uncooked!)

Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Double Chocolate Gluten Free Banana Bread

From What The Fork.

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose gluten free flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder , Dutch processed
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour mix has xanthan gum already)
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chunks
  • 1 cup banana, mashed (about 2 medium)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup milk (dairy or unsweetened coconut)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5″ bread pan and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, xanthan gum (if needed), both sugars, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and whisk to combine. Add the chocolate chunks and stir until coated with the flour mixture. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, mashed banana, milk, oil, and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Pour the liquid mixture into the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour the batter into the greased bread pan and bake 50-60 minutes, until the loaf passes the toothpick test. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

 

Posted in Bread, Brunch, Dessert | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Raisinet Gift Cookie Mix

Apparently homemade cookie mix is a thing as a gift, and I’m all for it! This mix fits just right in a 1 quart mason jar, allowing you to layer the ingredients like sand-art, to make a pretty gift that the recipient can, with a few extra ingredients, turn into tasty cookies. I haven’t done the jarring part, but I have done the sharing and eating, and these are some excellent cookies! They’re sturdy, and benefit from the contrast of the different chocolates between the chocolate chips and the Raisinets.

Ingredients:

For the gift:

  • 1 quart sized, wide-mouth mason jar (something like these)
  • a note card to write directions on
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Raisinets
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To finish the cookies:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Layer the sugars, Raisinets, chocolate chips, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in the jar in whatever order you think looks nicest, pressing firmly after each addition. Write the following directions on the card and attach to the jar, perhaps with ribbon:

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment.

Pour contents of jar in a large bowl and stir to until mixed. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 room temperature stick of unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix together with your hands. The mixture will appear dry at first, but will eventually form a dough. Shape into walnut sized balls, and place 2″ apart on the lined sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.”

Super simple for, say, someone that just moved house and doesn’t have their entire kitchen unpacked, and delicious enough to bake again even not as a gift!

Raisinet Gift Cookie Mix

From AllRecipes.

For the gift:

  • 1 quart sized, wide-mouth mason jar
  • a note card to write directions on
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup tightly packed brown sugar
  • 1 cup Raisinets
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

To finish the cookies:

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Layer the sugars, Raisinets, chocolate chips, flour, baking powder, and baking soda in the jar in whatever order you think looks nicest, pressing firmly after each addition. Write the following directions on the card and attach to the jar, perhaps with ribbon:

“Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment.

Pour contents of jar in a large bowl and stir to until mixed. Add 1 lightly beaten egg, 1 room temperature stick of unsalted butter, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and mix together with your hands. The mixture will appear dry at first, but will eventually form a dough. Shape into walnut sized balls, and place 2″ apart on the lined sheets. Bake 13-15 minutes, until lightly golden at the edges. Cool 5 minutes on the pans, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.”

Posted in Dessert, gifts | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I’ve been getting lucky with great textured gluten-free baked goods lately, and this is another example! The cake feels somehow dense and fluffy at the same time, and the frosting is super light, fluffy, and delicious. This is a good cake full-stop, not just a good gluten-free cake.

Ingredients:

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 4 teaspoons potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 1/4 cups milk

Frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and vanilla on high speed for 1 minute or until well combined.

Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

Add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with halves of the milk, beating after each addition (flour, milk, flour, milk, flour).

Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans. This is a very thick batter, and doesn’t spread much while baking, so you’ll need to spread it evenly or have extremely lumpy cakes.

Bake 30-35 minutes, until the cakes pass the toothpick test. Cool in the pans 10-15 minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, add all the ingredients and beat together until smooth. Beat several minutes further to incorporate more air into the frosting, until the color has lightened noticeably. Place one cake on a plate/platter, and frost the top. Add the second cake, and frost completely. If you have some random chocolate sprinkles, feel free to throw them on top too! Yum!

Gluten-Free Yellow Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Slightly adapted from Artisanal Gluten-Free Cooking.

Cake:

  • 1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup sorghum flour
  • 2/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 4 teaspoons potato flour
  • 1 tablespoon xanthan gum
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 3/4 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  •  1 1/4 cups milk

Frosting:

  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup salted butter, room temperature
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted
  • 3 tablespoons milk, plus more as needed
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 2 9″ cake pans, tapping out any excess flour. In a medium bowl, stir together the brown rice flour, sorghum flour, cornstarch, potato starch, potato flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, and salt, then set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the sugar, butter, and vanilla on high speed for 1 minute or until well combined. Add the egg and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture by thirds, alternating with halves of the milk, beating after each addition. Divide the batter between the 2 prepared cake pans, spreading evenly. Bake 30-35 minutes, until the cakes pass the toothpick test. Cool in the pans 10-15 minutes, then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, add all the ingredients and beat together until smooth. Beat several minutes further to incorporate more air into the frosting, until the color has lightened noticeably. Place one cake on a plate/platter, and frost the top. Add the second cake, and frost completely.

 

Posted in Dessert | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Polenta Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese is hard to do wrong, and this is another delicious way to do it right! The polenta makes a nice change from your usual grilled bread, matching well with the gooey melted cheese and providing it’s own flavor as well. This will never be the healthiest meal ever, but for an occasional treat I do recommend it!

Something green on the plate, maybe it actually is a healthy meal?? Ok still no.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry polenta/ground cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder (optional overkill but nice)
  • cheese (we used slices of Hoffman’s Super Sharp Cheddar and Muenster)
  • any other preferred grilled cheese add-ins, such as sliced tomato, roasted red peppers, or cooked bacon

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minute or until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cheese powder, if desired.

Line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper and spread the polenta in it. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to spread it evenly. Leave covered and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the polenta to a cutting board and cut into 8  evenly sized pieces.

“even pieces” remains my weakness

Place cheese on 4 pieces.

Add any other desired toppings, and cover with the other 4 pieces. If the side of the polenta that was against the pan is smoother than the side you pressed flat, try to make that side the outside of the sandwich for more even grilling.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat on the stove, and melt butter in the pan. Grill the sandwiches for approximately 5 minutes per side, adding more butter for the second sides.

When you flip them, be careful to try to scrape all the way down to the pan so that you don’t spatula-off the crispy brown bits from the outside of the polenta. Once the outsides are crisped and the inside is gooey, enjoy!

Polenta Grilled Cheese

Adapted from Tablespoon.

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups dry polenta/ground cornmeal
  • 1/3 cup King Arthur Flour’s Vermont Cheese Powder (optional overkill but nice)
  • cheese (we used slices of Hoffman’s Super Sharp Cheddar and Muenster)
  • any other preferred grilled cheese add-ins, such as sliced tomato, roasted red peppers, or cooked bacon

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer, then add the polenta. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minute or until smooth and creamy. Stir in the cheese powder, if desired. Line a 9X13″ pan with parchment paper and spread the polenta in it. Cover with another piece of parchment and press down to spread it evenly. Leave covered and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, remove the polenta to a cutting board and cut into 8  evenly sized pieces. Place cheese on 4 pieces, add any desired toppings, and cover with the other 4 pieces. If the side of the polenta that was against the pan is smoother than the side you pressed flat, try to make that side the outside of the sandwich for more even grilling.

Heat a large pan over medium-high heat on the stove, and melt butter in the pan. Grill the sandwiches for approximately 5 minutes per side, adding more butter for the second sides. When you flip them, be careful to try to scrape all the way down to the pan so that you don’t spatula-off the crispy brown bits from the outside of the polenta. Once the outsides are crisped and the inside is gooey, enjoy!

Posted in Dinner | Tagged , , | 2 Comments