Sunday, April 30, 2017

Double chocolate skillet cookie

This giant deep dish double chocolate skillet cookie will definitely satisfy your chocolate cravings. Feel free to share this with someone else or eat it all on your own - I won't tell!

It's been a crazy travel month for me. Last month, I drove 6+ hours to compete at Adult Sectionals (figure skating). A few short weeks later, I flew to Chicago for work and had to fly back a week afterwards for another work event. Then I competed at Adult Nationals, which was in yet another state.

I don't mind the travel, but it's just been weird that I haven't been around much. The day I was traveling to Chicago for the second time, I wanted to make sure that my husband and daughter had plenty to eat while I was gone. I baked some muffins, prepared a pierogi bake dinner for them and made this cookie.

I was so tempted to dive right into this cookie but then remembered that the skillet and the cookie were both super hot and that I would very likely burn my mouth. So, I mustered up some patience and allowed the cookie to cool down a bit before I sampled some.

This skillet cookie was phenomenal - the edges were crispy and the middle was soft and chewy, just like a cookie should be. I used two types of baking chips (semi-sweet and salted caramel) and liked how the salted caramel made the flavors more intense. Plus, the cookie didn't end up too sweet.

If you're looking for a satisfying and easy to make chocolate dessert, this is it!

Double chocolate skillet cookie 
  • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cups baking chips of choice (I used a blend of semi-sweet and salted caramel)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease a 10" cast iron skillet (if you don't own one, you can use a round baking pan - just make sure you grease it well).

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.

Add in the egg and vanilla and mix well.

Add in the cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix thoroughly. Turn the mixer down to low and gently add in the flour and mix until just combined.

Turn the mixer off and fold in the chocolate chips by hand. Save a few to sprinkle on top after the cookie is done baking.

Transfer the batter to your prepared skillet and smooth out the top (I used an offset spatula). Bake in your preheated oven for 20-22 minutes or until the center is just about set. The cookie will continue to cook and will firm up.

Allow the cookie to cool before serving. Top with ice cream, whipped cream and any additional sauce you might like (chocolate or caramel syrup, or even fresh berries would be good).

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 10" cookie; about 8-12 servings, depending upon how large you slice them

Source: the view from great island

Friday, April 28, 2017

Skating Fridays

Recap from Adult Nationals

Well, friends - my 3rd Adult Nationals is in the books. If you followed me on Facebook, you'll already know the results from my two events.

The summary is that I did not skate my best and wound up placing last in both events. But, please don't feel sad or bad because I am not upset. Quite the opposite, actually. Yes, I am disappointed that I missed a few elements here and there, but I really had a wonderful time. We had a great representation from our local club, and each of us was there to cheer the others on.

I reunited with old skating friends and met new ones, and the atmosphere was overwhelmingly supportive. We also kept joking that everyone in an event should buy a drink for the person who comes in last. That means that 14 people owe me a drink in my freestyle event, and another 5 in my dramatic event. Yes!

All kidding aside, I am actually pretty energized. I am excited to work on new elements as well as fine tune and improve my skating skills. I am motivated by watching others' performances and would love to be a beacon for someone else in the stands.

Here are some highlights from the weekend:
  • I got to meet and take photographs with Charlie Tickner and "Jumpin' Joe" Jozef Sabovcik, who are both skating celebrities (I had met Jumpin' Joe in 2014 at Adult Nationals there so it was cool to meet him again):
    Charlie Tickner, 1978 World Figure Skating Championships Gold Medalist
    "Jumpin' Joe" Jozef Sabovcik, 1984 Olympic bronze medalist
  • I met Rohene Ward, who was briefly in attendance on the final day of competition. He is Jason Brown's choreographer and such a fantastic and amazing skater!
    Rohene Ward, 4-time US National competitor and Jason Brown's choreographer
  • I made the Raleigh News & Observer, which is the local Raleigh newspaper. Check out the video at the top of the page and you'll see me at 1:13 and 1:29.
  • I received a crazy amount of 'tossies,' which are gifts that fellow skaters throw on the ice after each performance. It was humbling to see how many people cared and wanted to show their love and appreciation.
  • I also got to have several heart-to-heart conversations with some pretty inspirational people, and their encouragement and advice lifted me to want to become an even better person and skater.

Next week I'd like to tell you about our new club mascots. They were quite popular and certainly made everyone laugh!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Funfetti mug cake

Got a craving for cake but don't want any leftovers? Make this single serving mug cake and satisfy your sweet tooth in about 5 minutes!

I had a craving for something sweet one lazy afternoon but did not want to bake an entire cake. Call me crazy, but I didn't want to have an entire cake sitting on my kitchen counter for the next few days. While I normally welcome that kind of thing, I wasn't feeling it this particular day. Rather, I wanted something small that I didn't need to share with anybody. You know, because I am selfish like that. So I made myself a Funfetti mug cake.

There are so many good things about this mug cake. You can make it in less than 5 minutes, there are no bowls to clean, and everything is mixed in the mug! Oh, and the best part - you don't have to share. Heck, you could eat this in a few minutes and have the kitchen all cleaned up in the time it takes to watch a commercial break.

If you want, you can always add a scoop of ice cream, some caramel drizzle or even a dollop of whipped cream on top. Whatever way you top it, this Funfetti mug cake is sure to become a new favorite!

Funfetti mug cake 
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Tablespoons vegetable/canola oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons sprinkles
Mix the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder in an 8 ounce (standard sized) mug. Add in the milk, vanilla and oil. Mix well until the batter is smooth and free of lumps. Stir in the sprinkles and add a few sprinkles on the top.

Microwave for 90 seconds and serve immediately.

You can always top with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream (and extra sprinkles of course).

Yield: One mug cake (serves 1-2)

Source: Mel's Kitchen Cafe

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Caramel toffee brownies

Got brownies on the brain? These cake-like brownies contain a fun toffee layer for a more sophisticated flavor. Enjoy with a cup of milk or coffee!

Brownies seem to be a staple at our house. If it's not muffins, then it's brownies. I mean, who can resist a square full of rich, chocolate-y goodness, right?

One lazy Sunday morning, I got a craving for brownies but didn't want to repeat a recipe. I happened to have half a bag of toffee bits left in the pantry and decided find a recipe that featured these fun baking chips. Enter these caramel toffee brownies.

This recipe makes a large 9"x13" pan so it's perfect for sharing (or not!). There are 3 layers to these brownies... a caramel/toffee middle layer that's sandwiched in between two identical brownie layers. I do want to note that these brownies are more on the cake-y side and not the typical fudge brownies that I am addicted to. Regardless, they are still awesome despite not being ooey gooey.

My family and I loved these cake-like brownies and were happy when I kept half the pan for ourselves. Although fudgy brownies are my jam, these cake-like ones were great too!

Caramel toffee brownies 
Caramel layer
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened 
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup caramel ice cream topping
  • 2 Tablespoons milk of choice
  • 1 cup toffee bits

Brownie layer
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cubed
  • 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or line a standard 9"x13" pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt and set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter and sugars on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla.

In a small bowl, combine the caramel topping and milk. Pour this into the bowl and mix until well blended. Turn the mixer off and fold in the toffee bits. Set the batter aside.

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter and chocolate and stir until uniform. Add the eggs, one at a time, until each is well blended. Add in the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Slowly fold in the flour and mix until no dry streaks remain.

Pour half of the brownie batter into your prepared pan and smooth out the top. Dollop all of the caramel batter on top and smooth the top (I used an offset spatula). Add the remaining brownie batter and spread it evenly (or if you prefer, you can swirl the batter in using a knife).

Bake in your preheated oven for about 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow the brownies to cool before cutting and serving.

Brownies should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One 9"x13" pan; about 24-30 servings (depending upon how big you cut your slices)

Source: Taste of Home

Friday, April 21, 2017

Skating Fridays

Skating Fridays 

I don't have much of an update for you this week since I am competing at Adult Nationals. Tonight I am skating in the dramatic entertainment event.

In the meantime, I hope you enjoy this video of a jump sequence I am working on.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Funfetti skillet cookie

The best kind of cookies are made in one pan (or skillet). No rolling, no chilling and no cookie sheets to clean! This giant Funfetti skillet cookie is so fun to make and eat - don't forget to add extra sprinkles for a festive look!

I hope you're not tired of Cookiepalooza here at Eva Bakes. I've just got cookies on the brain thanks to Dorie Greenspan.

This is a fun recipe that Addie and I worked on together one Sunday morning before we were getting ready to attend a birthday party. She and I mixed the batter together and painted our toenails and watched Daniel Tiger while we waited for this cookie to bake.

As I was getting ready to photograph the cookie, my little Rembrandt came in and showed me her rendition of the scene I had set up:

Isn't that just precious? So back to this cookie. You can use whatever baking chips you want to jazz things up a bit and can also top your cookie with whatever makes your heart sing. I chose to add salted caramel baking chips because duh. I didn't add a scoop of ice cream this time, but I probably will the next time I bake this.

The cookie was light and crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside. It's essentially one giant fun-filled sugar cookie with lots of chips and sprinkles. Just the way cookies should be!

Funfetti skillet cookie
  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips (I used salted caramel baking chips)
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease or spray a 9" or 10" cast iron skillet (if you don't own one, then use a 9" or 10" round cake pan).

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and corn starch. Set aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, cream the butter on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute. Add in the sugar and continue creaming for 2-3 minutes until the butter is pale.

Add in the egg, egg yolk and vanilla extract and mix well. Turn the mixer down to low and add in the dry ingredients. Mix until no dry streaks remain.

Turn off the mixer and fold in the baking chips and sprinkles by hand (using a spatula or wooden spoon).

Transfer the batter to your prepared skillet and evenly spread it out. The batter is fairly sticky so you could use damp hands or an offset spatula to help you.

Bake in your preheated oven for about 25 minutes or until the cookie appears lightly browned. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before serving (the top may sink a little, and that's to be expected). Top with ice cream, whipped cream, caramel sauce or whatever makes you happy.

Leftovers should be stored in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator and will keep for several days.

Yield: One large skillet cookie (about 8-12 servings)

Source: Ever so slightly adapted from Posh in Progress

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Vegan butterscotch pudding

This smooth and creamy vegan butterscotch pudding might be better than its dairy counterpart. With just a few simple ingredients, you can have this made in no time!

My 6 year-old daughter has a few obsessions: Shopkins, reading and butterscotch  pudding. Whenever we go out to run errands, she has to bring a book to read in the car. If it's late at night, she'll turn on the light so she can read quietly to herself. She always like to point out Shopkins-branded items at stores and ooh and ahh over the newly released editions or characters while I discreetly roll my eyes and watch my bank account balance drop.

Her newest obsession is butterscotch pudding. I've made it for her before, and she was so smitten with it that I hear about it on a weekly basis. "Mom! Can we make butterscotch pudding?" I finally gave in one Sunday morning but didn't realize that we were out of milk. All I had left in the refrigerator was soy milk.  No problem - I decided to make an almost vegan version instead.

Addie was so excited about her butterscotch pudding that she stopped reading her book and came over to help. She's all enough where she can reach the stove without using a step stool so she helped me mix all the ingredients together. I'd stop and ask her if the pudding was ready yet, and she astutely would tell me no and that the pudding was too watery. I took over the stirring and told her once the pudding had firmed up. Her little eye lit up and she was super excited.

After we stirred in the (regular) butter and vanilla extract, I poured the pudding into mini bowls to place in the refrigerator. There was a little bit left over so I made her a little bowl for being such an excellent helper. She ate this up in about 1 spoonful and was happy to brag to her daddy about her new dessert.

My husband tried some later that evening and remarked that this actually tasted better than the non-vegan version. That's a pretty bold statement since he gets a bit weary about my healthy substitutions in desserts. I hope you enjoy this and get to make it with a loved one - I had a blast making this with Addie and look forward to sharing more time with her in the kitchen.

Vegan butterscotch pudding 
  • 3 Tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¾ cups dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 and ¼ cups milk of choice (I used unsweetened soy milk), divided
  • 1 Tablespoon dairy-free soy margarine, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In a medium sized saucepan, mix together the cornstarch, sugar, salt and ¼ cup of the milk until well blended.

Place the saucepan on the stove over medium heat. Stir constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Slowly stream in the remaining milk. Keep stirring until the mixture starts to thicken, at least 3-5 minutes.

Turn the stove off, remove the pan from the heat and add in the margarine and vanilla. Whisk thoroughly until the pudding is smooth and uniform.

Transfer the pudding into individual ramekins or cups and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until cool before serving.

Keep leftover pudding, covered, in the refrigerator.

Yield: About 6 servings

Source: The Spruce


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