August 24, 2015

PB & J Multigrain Pancakes

Now that I've made these Cooking Light pancakes, I'm intrigued on how else I can impart peanut butter flavor using the powdered peanut butter. These pancakes, particularly the first ones of the batch, were delicious. They tasted like warm peanut butter and jelly sandwich perfection.

The "but" statements: But they didn't rise much especially the later ones I cooked, probably due to the batter resting a bit too much. But I wouldn't make a double batch again just for that reason. But they are a bit of work that makes them more of a weekend treat. But they are worth trying.

PB & J Multigrain Pancakes
3.4 oz. whole wheat flour
3 Tbsp. cornmeal
3 Tbsp. oats, finely ground
1/4 cup peanut butter powder
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 2/3 cups buttermilk
1 egg
6 Tbsp. jam (I used raspberry)
Butter, as desired
Powdered sugar, as desired

Preheat oven to 350˚F. Heat a large non-stick griddle (or grease your griddle) to medium-high heat.

Combine flour through salt in a large bowl. Add buttermilk and egg, and stir until combined. Spoon 3 Tbsp. batter onto griddle for each pancake. Once pancakes begin to bubble, spoon 1 Tbsp. jam onto the top of half of the pancakes. Gently flip the un-jammed pancakes onto the jammed pancakes, so the browned sides face outside. Carefully transfer the pancake sandwich to a baking sheet.

Bake for 12 minutes or until pancakes are cooked through. Serve warm, topped with butter and powdered sugar.

The recipe said it makes 6 pancakes, but I ended up with nearly double that. They are supposed to freeze well, reheating in the microwave. (I have frozen our leftovers but haven't tried any yet and likely won't remember to update this when I do.)

August 17, 2015

Peach Jam

I combined two recipes from Food In Jars to make this peach jam. I was extremely pleased with how this jam turned out. It's a slightly softer set, but that makes it perfect for spreading easily. I could picture this used in tarts or between vanilla cakes. I tested it on pancakes, and it was amazing!

Peach Jam
4 cups peeled, pitted and chopped peaches
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, sliced
3 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 packet liquid pectin

Combine the fruit and sugar in an airtight container, and refrigerate for 2 to 48 hours. (Note: An easy way to peel peaches is to halve and pit them, drop them in boiling water for 60 seconds and then place them in ice water. The peels will slide right off.)

When you're ready to make jam, prepare a boiling water bath and 4 half-pint jars and lids. Bring the fruit mixture to a boil after you add the lemon juice. Cook it about 20 minutes until it's thickened somewhat and starts to reach a runny jammy consistency. (Note: Use a large pot as my pot almost boiled over many a times.) Smash fruit as you go or use an immersion blender if desired. Stir in liquid pectin, and bring to a rapid boil for one minute. Remove from heat.

Ladle into jars with 1/4-inch headspace, making sure to leave out the actual vanilla bean. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes. Makes approximately 4 1/2-pint jars.

Olive Oil and Sea Salt Lindt Truffle Brownies

Lindt truffles came into our house last winter, specifically with the purpose of making killer hot chocolate in a variety of flavors. I seriously had a jar with about 6 different flavors and would pop 3 into a mug of hot milk for delicious hot chocolate. (I also yelled at people when they stole ones just to eat.)

When I saw this brownie recipe from How Sweet It Is, I was immediately captivated by the truffles and used that as an excuse to go buy a few bags in the summer. Fortunately, I stopped snacking on them in time to have enough left for the brownies.

These are delicious brownies, but they don't quite take the spot for my favorite brownies. Worth repeating, perhaps with other truffle flavors.

Olive Oil and Sea Salt Lindt Truffle Brownies
1/3 cup boiling water
1/4 cup dark cocoa powder
1/3 cup + 2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 oz. high-quality dark chocolate, chopped
1 large egg
2 large egg yolks
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. salt
10 LINDOR dark chocolate caramel sea salt truffles, coarsely chopped
1 tsp. flaked sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line an 8 x 8 pan with foil, and spray with non-stick spray. (I didn't line my pan with foil and had to pry out every brownie.)

In a large bowl, whisk the boiling water and cocoa powder until combined. Whisk in the chopped chocolate until melted, and then whisk in the olive oil. Whisk in the egg, yolks and vanilla extract until combined. Whisk in the sugar until combined. Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour and 1/4 tsp. salt, stirring until the flour is just mixed in. Stir in the chopped truffles. Sprinkle the top with the flaked sea salt.

Bake the brownies for 32 to 38 minutes or until the middle is set.  Let the brownies cool completely before cutting. They will cut best if refrigerated first. Makes 8 x 8 pan of brownies.

Summer Garden Hummus

So I went to take a photo of this recipe from How Sweet It Is for the blog. I went as far as scooping some into a cute little dish and then realized it would look horrible if I photographed it. I opted for no photo instead of an unappealing one. Check out the original post for far more creative and stylistic photos than I can do with two toddlers helping.

This was a tasty meal for me for quite a few days. It makes a huge batch, which is only problematic if you're the only person in your house who will dig into this. I was extremely excited, though, to find a recipe that used some of our many herbs.

Summer Garden Hummus
3 (15-ounce) cans cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
2 Tbsp. ice water
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh rosemary, plus extra for garnish
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme, plus extra for garnish
2 Tbsp. fresh chopped chives, plus extra for garnish
2 ears grilled corn, cut from cob
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
Basil leaves for garnish

Place the beans in a food processor, and blend until pureed and creamy. Add in the garlic powder, salt and pepper, then continue to blend while streaming in the olive oil and ice water. Spoon the dip into a large bowl, and stir in the rosemary, thyme and chives. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil.

Top the dip with layers of the grilled corn, tomatoes and scallions. Finish by topping with some basil leaves and extra herbs. Add another sprinkle of salt and pepper, and serve. Makes probably 6-8 cups of hummus.

July 29, 2015

Peanut Butter Ice Cream

As a fellow peanut butter lover, I knew I had to try Brown Eyed Baker's recipe for peanut butter ice cream. This is a good, creamy ice cream. If I were to make it again, I would like to swirl this ice cream with a good chocolate ice cream to have a delicious chocolate peanut butter ice cream.

Peanut Butter Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of salt
6 egg yolks
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, melted and cooled

Warm the milk, sugar, peanut butter, 1 cup of the heavy cream and the salt in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved and the peanut butter has melted. Continue cooking until the mixture comes to a slight simmer, bubbling around the edges of the pan.

Meanwhile, pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl, and place a fine-mesh sieve on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl. Slowly pour the warmed milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly. Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan.

Place the saucepan over medium heat, and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spatula, a few minutes. The mixture should register 170 to 175 degrees F on an instant-read digital thermometer.

Pour the custard through the fine-mesh sieve, and stir it into the cream. Stir in the vanilla extract, and place the bowl over an ice bath. Stir occasionally, until the mixture is cool. Cover, and transfer the custard to the refrigerator until completely chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight. (Note: I sped up the process because I had to make this all in one day to use up heavy cream before vacation. I stuck the bowl in the freezer, and stirred it periodically and then tossed it in the refrigerator after it was completely cold.)

Freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. As you remove the ice cream to a freezer-safe container, drop dollops of the melted peanut butter over each layer of ice cream. Once all of the ice cream and peanut butter has been placed in the container, use a butter knife to gently swirl the mixture. Store the ice cream in the freezer. Makes about 1 quart.