Belgian Brownies

No matter what, baking usually occurs in the month of December. I have a love/hate relationship with it. Love the outcome, hate the process. This recipe originally from Smitten Kitchen is the perfect treat to bring to a holiday party. A one bowl masterpiece if you will.
Belgian brownies
7 ounces bittersweet chocolate (70 or 72%), roughly chopped
14 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
4 large eggs
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour

Place chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl. Either over a saucepan of simmering water or in the microwave in 15- to 30-second bursts, stirring frequently, melt the two together. Off the heat, whisk in sugar, which should cool the mixture down significantly. Whisk in salt, then eggs, one at a time. Stir in flour.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. The batter will thicken a bit as it stands.

Heat oven to 325°F (165°C).

Either coat a 12-cup muffin tin with nonstick spray or line it with cupcake papers. Spoon batter halfway into each cup and bake for 25 to 30 minutes 20 minutes in a 24 mini-muffin pan) , or until a toothpick inserted into the center of cakelets comes out batter-free. (Fudgy crumbs are to be expected.)

Let cool on a rack for 5 to 10 minutes before unmolding. Puffed tops will fall a little as they cool.

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Brown Sugar Cookies

brown sugar cookiesIf you’re the type of person who likes chocolate chip cookie dough minus the chocolate, then you’ll LOVE these cookies. Soft, chewy, buttery and sweet, it is everything you’ll want in a cookie.

INGREDIENTS
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla

PREPARATION

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with a paddle and beat until smooth and creamy. Add the egg and beat well. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Place the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl and mix well. Add to the butter mixture and beat until everything is well incorporated. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat again.

Drop large teaspoonfuls of dough onto an unbuttered cookie sheet about 2 inches apart and bake until the edges are just brown, 10 to 12 minutes. For crispy cookies, let cool on the sheet. Let the cookie sheet cool completely between batches and repeat with the remaining dough.

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Clean Eats: Swordfish with Olives and Tomatoes

swordfishI like quick, simple and healthy when it comes to preparing dinners. Lots of times if it’s quick, it’s not healthy. But I found this delicious recipe on Food.com and have sworn by it for quick and easy weeknight dinners.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 12-2lbs swordfish steaks, cut into 4 – 6 portions
  • salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 -4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans tomatoes, with liquid or 2 cartons of fresh cherry tomatoes
  • 1cup black olives or 12 cup green olives (try not to use canned olives)
  • 14cup chopped parsley
  • 3 tablespoons capers, drained
  • hot red pepper flakes (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat oil in large heavy skillet over high heat.
  2. Season swordfish generously with salt and pepper.
  3. Sauté until browned on both sides.
  4. Transfer fish to a platter.
  5. Add remaining ingredients to skillet and reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Transfer fish to the sauce and cook, turning once until the fish is firm to the touch and cooked through, about 5 minutes.
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Crab Toast with Sriracha Mayonnaise

abc kitchen crab toastIf there is one restaurant that I find my mind wandering to time and time again, it would be Jean-Georges’, ABC Kitchen in New York City. Everything from the interior design, table settings and food are pure perfection.

When I was in the city last, I ordered the crab toast appetizer and I find myself thinking about it whenever I get a pang of hunger. Luckily, Jean-Georges shared his recipe on his website.

Ingredients:

  • 4 slices good sourdough bread
  • 3 tablespoons Sriracha Mayonnaise (recipe follows)
  • 8 ounces picked lump crabmeat, preferably peekytoe, picked over for bits of shell
  • Crushed red chile flakes, optional
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Sriracha Mayonnaise:

  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Sriracha

For the Sriracha Mayonnaise: Whisk together the yolk, mustard, and salt until well blended. Continue whisking while adding the oil in a slow, steady stream to emulsify the mixture. Whisk in the lemon juice and Sriracha until well blended. The mayonnaise can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Directions:
Toast the bread until golden brown. Cut each slice into 2-inch pieces.
Gently fold the mayonnaise into the crabmeat until well mixed. Spoon the crab mixture into a serving bowl and set inside a larger serving bowl filled with ice to keep cold if desired. Garnish with chile flakes if desired. Serve with the lemon wedges and toasts.

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