The weather was starting to get cold as fall moved in.  I was yearning to bake and craving peanut butter.  I didn't want anything too sweet though.  This is my savory version of PB classic.
Peanut Butter Chip Cookies
1/2 c butter
1 c smooth peanut butter
1 1/4 c light brown sugar
3 tbs soy milk
1 egg
1 c white flour
3/4 c spelt flour
1 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 12 oz. bag peanut butter chips
  • Mix first 4 ingredients in a large bowl with hand mixer.  Add egg and mix to incorporate.  Sift flours into small bowl and add salt and baking soda.
  • Add half of flour to wet ingredients and mix on medium.  Add remaining dry to wet and mix to incorporate well.  Gently form dough into a log, using extra flour on your hands if too sticky.  Wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 min.  
  • Preheat oven to 350 bake.  Break off dough to form half-dollar sized balls by squeezing like playdoh and gently forming into balls.  Place on greased baking sheet.  Press down each cookie softly with two fingers (do not completely flatten).  Gently push chips into cookies and bake for 13 minutes.  

This page is devoted to tantalizing daydreams that turn into yummy bites of bliss.  Mmmmmm.....

This year the annual family BBQ fell on labor day weekend.  A few weeks back my cousin and I were flipping through the food network magazine - love it- and he pointed out a burger cake.  It looked quite neat so when I remembered it it seemed like the perfect dessert to bring.  So, this is an adapted version.  It really was not that hard and thankfully, a big hit!

Burger Cake
1 box vanilla pudding
2 boxes favorite cake mix (1 van, 1 choc) 
4 large eggs
1 c buttermilk
1/2 c canola oil
1 tub or box prepared white icing 
1/8 c cocoa powder
Red and yellow food coloring
Chocolate crunchies
Green fruit rollup or fruit leather (I used sweet&sour flavor kickers fruit by the foot)
Rice puffs cereal
  • Make pudding as directed.  Add red food coloring a few drops at a time and mix into pudding until a cheesy yellow color is achieved.  Transfer pudding to dish and refrigerate immediately.  
  • Meanwhile prepare cake mixes as directed, and add the eggs, buttermilk and oil to the vanilla cake mix.  Pour chocolate cake mix into a round 8x8 greased baking pan.  Split vanilla mix into greased 8x8 baking pan and pyrex baking bowl (you can use less for pan as this will be the bottom bun.  Bake as mixes direct or until inserted knife comes out of cake center  clean.  Cakes should spring back slightly when you touch the tops.  I would allow 30-45 minutes for cakes.  Allow to cool for about 15 minutes afterwards.
  • While cakes are baking add cocoa powder and yellow food coloring to make icing light brown for top of bun.  Set aside in fridge. 
  • Unmold cakes gently onto a baking rack and let cool longer, if you wish before assembling. To assemble, place the bottom bun on your serving platter.  Carefully peel the green fruit roll-up off and place on top of edge of bun for lettuce.
  •  Next, gently hold chocolate burger cake in one palm and use other hand to spatula icing around the edge.  This part is messy so enlist children if you have them!  I just wiped the counter up afterwards. Gently shake chocolate crunchies onto iced area over bowl until it looks like a burger edge. Spread pudding on top of burger for the mustard layer.  Be careful to avoid too much spillover. 
  • Place top bun on wax paper and ice it.  Transfer to freezer to harden for 15 minutes.  C arefully peel off wax paper and place burger on top of bun.  It will be a little wobbly, but that's ok.  Sprinkle on rice puffs to mimic sesame seed bun.  Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.  Enjoy :)  

Usually I turn to something with salt or chocolate.  This time it was pizza!  I made 3 different versions.  Nothing beats fresh toppings on crusty bread :)
Creamy mozzarella cheese, juicy garden tomatoes, basil pesto, and roasted eggplant sit atop a thin crusty dough.

1 package pizza dough
3/4 c white flour
3 garden ripe tomatoes 
1 small package of buffalo mozzarella
1/4 c basil pesto
Some roasted eggplant
  • Preheat oven to 500 degrees on bake 30-60 minutes beforehand.  The hotter over, the crispier the pizza.
  • Cut off half of pizza dough and reserve the rest  for another pizza day.  Coat dough and hands with flour and roll dough out on floured cutting board with rolling pin.  Pick up dough and rest on top of fist gently.  Carefully toss dough around fist while stretching with fingers at the top.  Place dough on upside down buttered or sprayed baking sheet (I use foil to coat and for easy cleanup).  Alternatively, you can cover a pizza stone with coarse cornmeal before placing dough on top.  
  • Place in oven and bake for 8 min or until dough is golden brown underneath.  While waiting, slice tomatoes.  Cut mozzarella into 1/4 inch slices and then into quarter sized pieces.  Use a spatula to check pizza progress and pop bubbles that form on top.  I do like to keep some small ones.  
  • Open oven and carefully pull pizza crust onto a large cutting board.   Flip dough over.   Coat pizza with pesto, tomatoes, chunks of mozzarella, and roasted eggplant, if you have any.  Mine was so good that only some of it made it onto the pizza.  Bake 8 minutes or until cheese melts.  Place under broiler for crispy top at the last couple of minutes.  Enjoy :)

Roasted garlic and eggplant, fresh spinach and mozzarella  Cast Iron Crusty Pizza
  • Follow all steps of above pizza, except place a cast iron grill pan in the oven when you turn it on and....
  • Very carefully pull HOT grill pan out of the oven.  Spray it with canola oil or brush quickly with olive oil.  Gently place pizza dough on top and return to oven.
  • Bake for about 8 minutes, but check bottom to ensure golden brown crust.  When ready, remove from oven and flip over onto a large cutting board.  Spread roasted garlic on top and follow with eggplant, fresh spinach and mozzarella.
  • Return to oven and bake until cheese is melted.  Broiling for a few minutes can provide a crusty top and touches of brown on the cheese.   Enjoy :) 

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