BWD: Brrr-ownies

It’s always a hard decision when it’s your turn to select the Baking with Dorie recipe.  Her cookbook is so full of amazing looking recipes!  This is the third recipe I’ve chosen for our group, and each time I’ve chosen, this recipe for Brrr-ownies has always been my second choice.  Well, it was time for it to be my first choice, and I’m so glad that it was! 

I had planned to make these in advance since I’m currently on vacation with the toddler visiting my mom in Florida (hooray for warmth and sunshine!).  Unfortunately, I ran out of time, but thankfully my mom was up for some yummy brownies, so we made them this evening.  We both absolutely loved them, and that’s saying a lot for me since sweets have been my nemesis since I found out I was pregnant three months ago.  These brownies are fudgey and full of chocolate mint deliciousness.  They aren’t overly sweet or rich, so it is easy to eat more than one, or two, or three, or…(what can I say, the baby loved them!!).

See below for the recipe for these fantastic brownies.  You can also find the recipe on page 103 of Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours.  To see how everyone else enjoyed these tasty treats, head on over to the BWD page and check out the blogroll.  Next up, we’re making Bill Bill’s Carrot Cake.  YUM!

Brrr-ownies

5 Tbsp unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) York Peppermint Patties, chopped into bits

Getting Ready:  Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet. 

Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water.  Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates.  Remove the bowl from the pan of water.

With a whisk, stir in the sugar.  Don’t be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy.  Whisk in the eggs one by one.  Add the vanilla and whisk vigorously to bring the batter together and give it a shine before gently stirring in the salt and flour; stir only until incorporated.  Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the peppermint pieces.  Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean.  (The tip of the knife may be a touch streaky.)  Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature. 

When they are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board.  Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.

Source:  From Baking: From My Home to Yours, page 103

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Crash Hot Potatoes

Oooo, these were so good!  Huge hit with all of us!  I’m always on the lookout for an easy and delicious side dish option, and these potatoes definitely fit that description.  While they are very easy to make, they do take awhile between the boiling and the baking.  I started these later than I should have, which pushed our dinner a little later than I like.  Oh well, they were worth the wait!  Probably the best part of these is that you can use any seasoning/herbs that sound good to you.  Tonight I used lemon pepper on some and Southwest seasoning on others.  We loved the lemon pepper, but weren’t crazy about the Southwest.  Next time I want to use red potatoes instead of the Yukon Gold…the husband said he would have liked the red ones better.  For some reason, my grocery store was out of small red potatoes when I went.  Give these a try…YUM!

Crash Hot Potatoes

12 whole New Potatoes (or Other Small Round Potatoes)
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
Kosher Salt To Taste
Black Pepper To Taste
Herbs/Seasonings Of Choice To Taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add in as many potatoes as you wish to make and cook them until they are fork-tender.

On a sheet pan, generously drizzle olive oil. Place tender potatoes on the cookie sheet leaving plenty of room between each potato.

With a potato masher, gently press down each potato until it slightly mashes, rotate the potato masher 90 degrees and mash again. Brush the tops of each crushed potato generously with more olive oil.

Sprinkle potatoes with kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper and herbs/seasonings.

Bake in a 450 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Source:  Very slightly adapted from The Pioneer Woman Cooks

Deviled Chicken

I’ve been craving spicy foods since my morning sickness let up a few weeks ago.  I saw this recipe in one of the many Cooking Light magazines I have sitting around, and immediately bookmarked it.  My mother-in-law gave me a church cookbook probably five years ago that had a similar recipe that we loved, but it somehow got lost and I’ve really missed that chicken recipe!  This was a very close replica of that recipe, only much, much healthier.  Whereas my old recipe was fried, this one is baked at a high temperature, which made the outside nice and crunchy while keeping the inside moist.  Even the toddler loved this (although I coated his chicken with just mustard – no red pepper for him!).  This will definitely be a frequent dinner for us!

Deviled Chicken

4  (8-ounce) skinless, bone-in chicken breast halves
1/2  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
1/4  teaspoon  salt
Cooking spray
2  tablespoons  prepared mustard
1/2  teaspoon  ground red pepper
1 cup panko

1. Preheat oven to 475°.

2. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper and salt; lightly coat with cooking spray.

3. Place chicken on rack of a broiler or roasting pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 475° for 15 minutes; remove pan from oven.

4. Combine mustard and red pepper in a small bowl; brush over chicken. Sprinkle panko evenly over mustard mixture on chicken, pressing lightly to adhere. Lightly coat panko with cooking spray. Return pan to oven. Bake at 475° for 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs are browned and a thermometer registers 165°.

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light November 2010

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

I’m a big fan of shrimp scampi, and anything lemon pepper, so when I saw this recipe, I knew it was something I had to try.  I’ve been hungry for shrimp lately, so tonight was the night to try it!  This was very easy to throw together…I had dinner on the table in about 20 minutes.  I made a few changes to this.  I cooked the orzo in about 2 cups chicken broth to add some additional flavor and creaminess to the orzo.  I also forgot the parsley, and deceided to double the sauce since I know the husband likes a lot of sauce.  The husband and I both enjoyed this; the toddler, however, did not like it, and opted for PB&J instead (I expected as much though…he’s never tried shrimp before).  The husband thought it was a little to “light” for a main dish dinner, and thought I should make this again as a side dish.  Men.  I loved it, but for some reason, the shrimp that sounded so good earlier today did not satisfy as much as I’d hoped.  I will definitely make this again, but may substitute chicken next time.

Lemon Pepper Shrimp Scampi

1  cup  uncooked orzo
2 cups chicken broth
1/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
7  teaspoons  unsalted butter, divided
1  pound peeled and deveined large shrimp
3 cloves garlic, minced
4  tablespoons  fresh lemon juice
1/2  teaspoon  black pepper

Cook orzo according to package directions, omitting salt and fat and substituting chicken broth for the water. Drain. Place orzo in a medium bowl.

While orzo cooks, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle shrimp salt. Add half of shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer shrimp to a plate. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in pan. Add remaining shrimp to pan; sauté 2 minutes or until almost done. Transfer to plate.

Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in pan. Add garlic to pan; cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Stir in shrimp, juice, and pepper; cook 1 minute or until shrimp are done. 

Source:  Adapted from Cooking Light March 2009