Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

This Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie is so quick and easy. There is also minimal cleanup involved. Yay! The cookie comes out soft and delicious. It is awesome on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Cast iron skillets come in a variety of sizes and are usually numbered. The skillet number is often marked on the bottom of the skillet or on the handle. The numbers range from 0 – 20. The 0 skillet in tiny, while the 20 skillet is humongous (and hard to find). The numbers are not universal and depends on the cast iron skillet’s manufacturer. I have a vintage number 8 (which is about 10 1/2 inches in diameter) and a Lodge number 10 (which is about 12 inches in diameter). For this recipe, you want a basic 10 – 10 1/2 inch cast iron skillet.

Chocolate Chip Skillet Cookie

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
2  large eggs
1 3/4 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350º F.

Melt the butter in a number 8 cast iron skillet (which is about 10 1/2 inches in diameter) over medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugars and vanilla. Add the eggs and mix well. In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture in the skillet. Mix well. Gently stir in the chocolate chips and spread the dough evenly in the skillet.

Place in the preheated oven. Bake 25 minutes at 350º F, or until golden brown and cooked through. Let cool about 15 minutes before slicing.

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Whoopie Pies

Whoopie Pies

Move over Chocolate Gobs and make room for these Whoopie Pies.  They are much easier to make and taste better (which is saying something….I love the Chocolate Gobs).  The filling for these treats contain marshmallow cream.  Marshmallows are not vegetarian, but marshmallow cream does not contain gelatin, so it is fine for vegetarians.  Marshmallow cream is also great for making vegetarian s’mores.

Whoopie Pies

Batter
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup milk
2 cups flour

Filling
3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) butter, melted
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup marshmallow cream (Fluff)
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat baking sheet(s) with non-stick spray or line with parchment paper.

Batter:  Beat butter, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy.  Beat in egg and vanilla, then cocoa powder until blended.  With mixer on low speed, slowly beat in milk until blended.  By hand, stir in flour. Drop level tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheet(s).

Bake 8 minutes or until tops spring back when lightly pressed.  Cool on baking sheet 1 minute befoe removing to a wire rack to cool completely.  Repeat with remaining batter.

Filling:  With a wooden spoon, vigorously mix all ingredients untl blended and smooth.

Spread 2 teaspoons onto flat side of half the cookies; top each with another cookie, pressing to adhere.

Storage:  Refrigerate in an airtight container with wax paper between layers up to 1 week or freeze up to 1 month.


Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

fuyu-persimmon-crumble2

Recently, one of my customers gave me a bunch of Fuyu persimmons from her tree. Best tip ever. Fuyu Persimmons are delicious!

There are basically two types of persimmons, astringent and non-astringent. Astringent persimmons must be very, very ripe before they can be consumed. Non-astringent persimmons can be eaten when firm. Fuyu persimmons are non-astringent. They have a taste and texture similar to pears and apples. They are  great eaten raw, in salads, and in salsas. They are also delicious baked into pies or crumbles.  

persimmons

Cinnamon and pistachios compliment the flavor of persimmons, so I wanted to incorporate them into this recipe. The persimmons I had were very sweet, so I didn’t have to add much sugar. Feel free to adjust the sweetness level based on how your fruit tastes. I served this crumble with some whipped cream. So good.

fuyu-persimmon-crumble

Fuyu Persimmon Crumble

6 Fuyu persimmons,
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Crumble Topping
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup chopped pistachios
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut off the stem end of the persimmons. Peel and cut each in half. Slice each half and place pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the persimmons and mix well. Place in a small oiled baking dish.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, chopped pistachios, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 40 to 50 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Almond Bundt Cake

Almond Bundt Cake

I am running a bake sale at my oldest son’s school next Saturday. I am considering baking this Almond Bundt Cake as one of the items I contribute to said bake sale. I have made this cake a few times over the past year. It’s delicious! It’s quick and easy to prepare, but extraordinary enough for a special occasion. I think it will sell quickly.

Tip:  Trader Joe’s sells Almond Meal at a reasonable price that is perfect for this recipe.

Almond Bundt Cake

Almond Bundt Cake

2 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cups ground almonds
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract
1 cup milk

For the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 tablespoons milk (plus more, if needed)

sliced almonds for garnish (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.

Mix together the flour, ground almonds, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well. Add the vanilla and almond extracts.

Mix the flour into the mixture, alternating with the cup of milk.

Pour batter into prepared bundt pan.

Bake for 60 – 70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool the cake for at least 10 minutes and then invert onto a cooling rack. Let the cake cool.

Make the glaze. In a bowl, mix the powdered sugar, almond extract and milk together until smooth. Drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle sliced almonds over the top of the cake, if you wish.

 


Peach and Blueberry Crumble

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

I picked up 3 pounds of locally grown South Carolina peaches this week at Aldi for only $1.38! I used some of those peaches and some blueberries from our blueberry bush to make this crumble. We ate the crumble with a dollop of whipped cream, but vanilla ice cream or even just a splash of cream is delicious too.

Peach and Blueberry Crumble

4 peaches
1/2 cup blueberries
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup oats
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter (or substitute coconut oil)

Preheat oven to 350° F.

Cut the peaches in half and remove the pit. Slice or chop the peaches and place in a small baking dish. Add the blueberries to the peaches and sprinkle with the sugar (you can skip the sugar or adjust the amount to suit your taste) and gently stir to combine.

In a bowl, combine the oats, flour, sliced almonds, and brown sugar. Work the butter into the mixture with a fork, pastry cutter, or your hands. Spread evenly over the fruit in the baking dish. Bake at 350° for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the crumble is golden brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm or at room temperature.

 


Trix Marshmallow Treats

Trix Marshmallow Treats

In November, I made Trix Marshmallow Treats for a bake sale at my oldest son’s school. They turned out so cute, especially when individually wrapped and tied with colorful curling ribbon. They also sold well. They are a fun and colorful variation of Rice Krispies Treats.

Trix Marshmallow Treats Wrapped 2

Trix Marshmallow Treats Wrapped (640x480)

Trix Marshmallow Treats

1 10 ounce bag mini marshmallows
1/4 cup butter
10.7 ounce box Trix cereal

Melt the marshmallows and butter together in a large sauce pan over low heat. Add the entire box of Trix and mix well. Pour into a greased 9 X 13″ pan and spread the mixture out evenly with your hands. I spray my hands with a little bit of cooking spray to help keep the mixture from sticking. Cut into squares with a sharp knife.

 

 


Collard Greens Tart

Collard Greens Tart

Every once in a while the planets align and something goes right. This was the case one day not long ago when I was cleaning out my fridge, looking for something to make for dinner.

I had fifty-gabillion bunches of collard greens that need to be cooked before I got another fifty-gabillion bunches from my CSA in a couple of days. The collards from my Pinckney’s Produce CSA are magical.  They are so tender and delicious. I have never had collards so good before. Well, I cleaned what I had in my fridge, and sliced them up very thin and cooked them in salted water until tender. I let them drain, with plans to freeze at least half of them (in hopes of finding another excuse to make the Hot Collards and Artichoke Dip).

While the collards were cooking, I came across a roll of store-bought pie crust, a small wedge of Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese, and a package of baby bella mushrooms in the fridge. It was then that I just knew. I had to make a savory collard greens tart with these ingredients. I had to.

The tart turned out perfectly. It looked so beautiful….and green. I put a lot of collards on that tart shell. It sliced like a dream. My husband had serious doubts about the tart, but tasted it anyway. He was pleasantly surprised and inhaled half the tart (or at least a fourth). He declared it to be “very good” and all was well with the world.

Collard Greens Tart Sliced80)

Collard Greens Tart

1 very large bunch of collard greens, washed, stems removed, and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 8 ounce package baby bella mushrooms (or white button), chopped
1 large egg, beaten
4 ounces Collier’s Welsh cheddar cheese (or a sharp cheddar), shredded or finely cubed
1 pie crust (can be homemade or store-bought)
salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

Cook the prepped collard greens in salted water until tender. Drain well in a colander. When the collards have cooled, use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as you can. Set aside.

While the collards are cooking, roll out and press the pie crust into a tart pan that has been sprayed lightly with cooking spray. Trim off any excess crust. I like the tart pans with the bottom that pops out, but use what you have.   Use a fork to pierce the pie crust in the bottom of the pan a few times. This will let steam escape and keep the crust from puffing. Bake the crust until it starts to get lightly golden, 6 – 8 minutes. I just think pre-baking the crust a bit will help the finished product from being soggy.

While the crust is baking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions and mushrooms in the oil over medium heat until they are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the reserved collards and season to taste with salt and pepper. Take off the heat and mix in the eggs and the cheese.

Pull the tart shell out of the oven and spread the collards filling evenly over the shell. I use my fingers to press all the filling evenly into the shell. Bake for 30 minutes until set. Cool slightly before slicing and serving.