Archive for the 'cookies & squares' Category

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

peanut butter brownies 1 585x390 Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

These, for the weekend. Be careful not to overbake them – brownies are always best slightly underbaked. You can’t rely on the skewer test because you want lots of moist, fudgy crumbs.

peanut butter brownies 2 585x382 Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

Adapted from Betty Crocker.

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 Tbsp. milk or cream
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup cocoa
1/3 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup peanut butter

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugars until pale and light; beat in the eggs and milk. Don’t worry if the mixture looks like it’s separating. Add the flour, baking powder and salt and stir (or beat on low) until combined. Remove about a cup an put it into another bowl.

Stir the cocoa and chocolate chips into the original bowl, and the peanut butter into the batter you put in another bowl. Drop the chocolate batter in big dollops in a parchment-lined (or greased) 8×8-inch pan, and drop the peanut butter batter in spoonfuls in the spaces between. Drag the tip of a knife or a bamboo skewer through both, creating a swirled effect.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan, but the brownie is still soft in the middle. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.

Makes 16 brownies.

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February 28 2015 | cookies & squares | 1 Comment »

Mincemeat Torta Sbrisolona

Torta Sbrisolona 585x390 Mincemeat Torta Sbrisolona

I made this last year (as you’ll see by my old kitchen table) and then forgot to post it until it was well past mincemeat season. And although I only have one mediocre photo I didn’t want to lose it altogether – it’s so delicious, and different from any other cookie or bar I’ve made. It’s more bar than pie, despite its wedge shape, and the rubble of butter, sugar, flour and almonds that make up the base and topping is the perfect vehicle for all kinds of preserves, lemon curd, fig jam – you name it.

But I particularly like it as a means of getting mincemeat to my mouth without having to bother with tarts. And I imagine it’s not just me left with half a jar of mincemeat in my fridge this week.

Torta Sbrisolona

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sliced or slivered almonds
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla or almond extract

1/2-1 cup mincemeat, fruit preserves, fig jam, lemon curd, chopped chocolate, or anything else you want to use

Preheat the oven to 350F.

In the bowl of a food processor, pulse the flour, almonds, sugar and salt until well blended and the nuts are finely ground. Add the butter and vanilla or almond extract and pulse until well combined and crumbly. The mixture should hold together when you squeeze it.

Divide a little more than half the mixture between two 8 or 9-inch cake pans, 8×8-inch pans, fluted tart pans or one 9×13-inch pan. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. Spread with mincemeat, preserves, or whatever you want to top it with, then sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture overtop, squeezing slightly as you go. Bake for 30 minutes, or until pale golden around the edges and set.

Cool before cutting into wedges or squares. Serves 16-20.

pixel Mincemeat Torta Sbrisolona
button print gry20 Mincemeat Torta Sbrisolona

December 27 2014 | cookies & squares and dessert | 5 Comments »

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