cartoon by marc johns.

Monday, October 24, 2011

One-Dish 15 Minute Iron Skillet Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie

Giant cookie in a skillet! Hooray!!
This is delicious.  Who doesn't love a chocolate chip cookie?  And mixing it in the iron skillet you cook it in allows you to only dirty one dish, which is awesome.  And cooking it in an iron skillet allows it to be HUGE, and huge chocolate chip cookies are better than regular sized ones, right?  Having the cookie be huge allows you to get crispy side edges, but keep the middle of the cookie ooey gooey...the best of both worlds.  I recommend eating this with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on it.  And if you're having a craving, this is a great recipe...it only takes 15 minutes to make!


Ingredients in a skillet.
1 stick unsalted butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup chocolate chips

To the baking:

1.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Melt the butter in the 8-inch cast iron skillet over medium low heat.
Melting the Butter.
3.  Stir in the sugars and vanilla until blended, and remove from heat.
Blended Sugars, Butter, and Vanilla.
4.  Let rest until the pan is warm, but no longer super hot.  This is important because you are putting the egg in next and you want the egg to mix in to the butter and sugar, not cook.  Wait about 5 -8 minutes.
5.  Crack the egg into the sugar and butter mixture and whisk in with a fork until blended.
6.  Place the flour, baking soda, and salt on top and carefully stir into the mixture until smooth and blended.
Flour, Baking Soda, Salt.
Blended Dough.
7.  Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chocolate Chips.
Mixed in.
8.  Smooth the top of the cookie flat.
Close-up of Smoothed Dough.
9.  Place in the oven for 15 minutes, or until the cookie is golden on top and around the edges, but soft in the center.
Browned and Golden.
10.  Serve warm, straight from the oven, with vanilla ice cream.  Serves 6-8.  Enjoy!

Close-up of final Cookie.
Yum.  Missing a Slice.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Apple Lemon Honey Cake

The cake.
This cake is very, very yummy.  Considering how simple this recipe is (so few ingredients!), and the fact that it is almost fat free and that it is gluten free, it packs a wallop of flavor.  It tastes crisp and sweet, but the sour of lemon (we all know my love for lemon) is what really makes this cake special.  This cake is  satisfying dessert after any meal, and I also think it is a great option for a brunch.
I baked this cake for a family dinner and it was a big hit among everyone - even the people in my family that are not the biggest lovers of lemon.  We also had a Parisian creme chocolate cake as dessert, and some people preferred my cake to that!  It is definitely an accomplishment when a gluten free cake sweetened with honey and fruit beats out a decadent chocolate cake.  That is why I recommend this cake!

To the baking!

Your ingredients:

2 cups of Almond Flour (sometimes called Almond Meal)
1/2 teaspoon of Baking Soda
A pinch of Salt
2 Eggs
1/3 cup of Honey
1/2 cup of non-fat plain Greek Yogurt
3-4 teaspoons of Lemon Zest
1/4 teaspoon of pure Almond Extract
3 Apples, cored, peeled, and cut into bite-size pieces.  (I have used Granny Smith, Fuji, and Honeycrisp apples before, and it seems any apple works for this recipe).

1.  Pre-heat the oven to 375 F.  Grease an 8" cake pan.
2.  Peel, core, and slice your apples.  If they begin to brown, sprinkle lemon juice on them.

3.  Mix the dry ingredients (Almond Flour, Baking Soda, Salt) in a medium bowl.

Almond Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt.
4.  Zest the lemon and add to the dry ingredients.

Zest with dry ingredients.
5.  Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat them until frothy.

6.  Add the eggs, almond extract, honey, and Greek yogurt to the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Greek yogurt.
The batter.
7.  Add the apple to the batter and mix.

Apples added. 
There is a lot of apples in this cake compared to the amount of batter!
8.  Pour batter into the greased pan and smooth top so it is even.

Even top.
9.  Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown.  Serves 8-10.  Enjoy!


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Spiced Roasted Chickpeas

Crunchy like corn nuts!
Those of you that know me know that I am a big snacker.  I am basically always craving a crunch, and I have been searching for a healthy alternative to crackers.  Well, I just found my new crunchy snack!  Roasting chickpeas results in them having a nice little crunch - like a corn nut (remember those?).  These chickpeas are healthy.  All they have on them is assorted spices and a little bit of grapeseed oil.  I made a sort of spice blend, kind of inspired by hummus and mediterranean spices.  You could make these spiced  with any combination you like.  I am gonna try one with lemon, basil, and garlic next I think (you know, the trifecta of my three favorite flavors).  Anyway, I recommend doubling the recipe because these little guys are addictive and you will go through them much faster than you think.  (Also, if you don't go through them quite as fast as I do, they keep really well in an airtight container).

The Ingredients:
2 (15 oz.) cans of garbanzo beans (I like to get the kind in no salt).
2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil (or olive oil...just an oil with no strong flavor)
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt (or more to taste)
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 teaspoon of paprika
1/4 teaspoon of onion powder
1/2 tablespoon of chili powder
1/4 teaspoon of cumin
1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper (optional depending on whether or not you like heat)

1. Open and drain the garbanzo beans.  Rinse the beans thoroughly.  Allow the beans to air dry or pat dry with a towel.

Beans rinsed and air-drying.
2.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
3.  Create your spice blend in a bowl that would fit all of your chickpeas.  

4.  Add the oil to the spices and mix until blended.

Oil and spice blend.
5.  Once the chickpeas are dry, pour them into the oil and spice bowl.  Mix so that the chickpeas are coated.

Garbanzos in bowl getting coated in spices.
Spice-coated garbanzo beans.
6.  Spread the chickpeas out on cookie trays.  Make sure the trays have a silpas mat on them.

Spread on the tray.
7.  Roast the garbanzos for 40-50 minutes, or until crispy.  Every 10-15 minutes, mix the garbanzos around so they don't burn.  You can eat them hot out of the oven too - just be careful not to burn your tongue.  Makes 10-15 hearty handfuls for snacking.  Enjoy!

Final product.
Recipe adapted from Natural Noshing food blog.