The Skillet Cookie

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This is one of those desserts that you see on a lot of restaurant menus, because who doesn’t love a giant chocolate chip cookie? When I found Ned Ludd’s beloved skillet cookie recipe, I knew this was the one I wanted to try at home. The cookie gets nice and browned on the top, and you’ll think maybe it’s overbaked, but the crust crackles and below the chocolate chunks almost melt into the entire cookie making for a gooey, decadent dessert.  Ice cream on top to contribute to the melty-gooey factor is a must.

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Recipe
The Skillet Cookie
Adapted from Ned Ludd
Makes one 10-inch cookie, serves 4-6 as a shareable dessert

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup white sugar
½ cup dark brown sugar
1 large egg
¼ tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 cup chocolate chunks (can use dark, semi-sweet, milk, or a combo)
Flake salt for finishing (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar on medium speed until well combined, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the egg, salt, and vanilla extract, and continue beating until combined. Add the flour and the baking soda and mix until just incorporated. Using a spatula, fold in chocolate chunks.

Flatten the dough inside a 10-inch skillet. It may seem like all of the dough won’t fit, but press it down until it’s nice and spread out, it will bake up nice! Bake for 27 – 30 minutes, or until the center is just set. Remove from oven and sprinkle with flake salt, if desired. Serve with a few scoops of vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce. Enjoy!

Fruit Pizza (The Mini Version)

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Last year was the year of the sugar cookie for me. I managed to make a new sugar cookie recipe every month, and man, it was fun. One of the best experiments was making a giant fruit pizza. It received a lot of rave reviews. When it was requested again, I thought maybe I could improve on it by making individual cookies.  Any fruit can be used, but Strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries make for a great Memorial Day or 4th of July treat. The updated ginger-mascarpone frosting doesn’t hurt either.

Recipe
Mini Fruit Pizza’s
By Baked Northwest
Makes about 4 dozen round 3-inch cookies

Ingredients

For the Cookies:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 ½ cups sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla
½ cup sour cream
4 cups flour, plus more for rolling out the dough
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp nutmeg

For the Mascarpone Cream Cheese Frosting:

12 ounces mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tbsp heavy cream (can use milk in a pinch)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger (optional)

For the Fruit Topping:

6 ounces fresh strawberries, cut into fourths (or bite sized pieces)
6 ounces fresh blueberries, rinsed and drained
6 ounces fresh blackberries, rinsed and drained

other fruits that are fun to use: kiwi, canned and drained mandarin oranges, raspberries, etc.

Directions

For the Cookies:

In a large stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, mix thoroughly. Add sour cream, mix thoroughly.

Sift together flour, salt, soda, baking powder and nutmeg. Add to butter mixture in
two parts and mix thoroughly.

Divide the dough into two parts and wrap each in wax paper. Refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

On a clean, floured surface, roll out the dough with a rolling pin. Roll the dough so it’s about 1/4 – 1/2 inch thick, and use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out shapes of the dough. For these cookies, I used the top of a stemless wine glass to cut out perfect circles. Use a cookie spatula (better known as a pancake flipper) to move your cookies from the floured surface to a well greased baking sheet. Ungreased silicone baking sheet liners work great here too.

Bake the cookies at 400 degrees F for 8 minutes. You never want them to get too browned around the edges, or they’ll be super crunchy. We like ours on the softer side. Baking time depends on what shapes you cut your cookies into – we have adjusted baking times from 8-12 minutes depending on the size of our cookies. Let cool completely before frosting.

For the Frosting:

In an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone, cream cheese, powdered sugar, cream, vanilla, and salt together until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the crystallized ginger, if using, and beat for another 30 seconds until fully combined.

Frost the cooled cookies and add the washed and sliced fruit in whatever kind of design you choose. Have fun with it and enjoy!

Double Chocolate Cookies

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This is the cookie recipe I have been waiting for. I knew it was out there, but I hadn’t had a double chocolate chip cookie since the days of the middle school snack bar. It’s a dangerously easy recipe that you can throw together before any party, picnic, or potluck. I am currently wondering if I will ever make another cookie or brownie recipe again, since these little babies are the best of both worlds.

Recipe
Double Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Trisha Yearwood
Makes about 3 dozen cookies

Ingredients

2 sticks (1 cup) butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup cocoa powder
6 ounces chocolate chips (milk, semi-sweet, or dark are all good choices)
6 ounces white chocolate chips
1 cup chopped nuts, such as pecans or walnuts (optional)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, granulated sugar and brown sugar until fully combined, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine. Add the vanilla and mix. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda and salt and mix. Add the white and chocolate chips; mix until just combined. Fold in the nuts, if using.

Drop heaping tablespoons of dough onto the baking sheets. Bake, rotating the sheets once halfway through, until the cookies are set, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool. Repeat with the remaining dough.

Major Grey Chicken Curry

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This is one of the easiest recipes in our arsenal and a total favorite! I wouldn’t know about the amazingness that is Major Grey Chicken Curry if it weren’t for my friends Ursula and Megan. They introduced me to Shamiana restaurant in Kirkland years and years ago. While everything is good there, we all agree that the Major Grey Chicken is a standout. When I started working right near Shamiana and could hit up their lunch buffet, my obsession got even worse…and my work days got a lot less productive when I was coming back from a lunch buffet so full I could barely move. I had to try to keep my trips there to a minimum but it was hard on some days!

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This recipe is super easy to make at home and is perfect served with some rice and naan. In the future I’ll probably add some veggies to this curry to make it a more well-rounded meal. The original recipe I found online calls for chicken breasts but I’m pretty sure the restaurant uses thighs. I also like to cook my chicken almost all of the way through before adding it back to the curry where some of the recipes had you add the chicken when it wasn’t cooked all the way through. You could really use any chicken for this dish, such as leftover rotisserie chicken, whatever you have on hand!

Recipe
Major Grey Chicken Curry
Inspired by Shamiana Restaurant in Kirkland, WA
Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 3 lbs boneless skinless chicken thighs (can sub chicken breasts, or use a mix of both)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup curry powder
  • 1 (9 oz) jar Major Grey mango chutney
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup diced green onion, for garnish
  • jasmine rice and/or naan, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat about 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken and cook until almost finished, about 4 minutes on each side. Remove chicken and cut into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.
  2. Add remaining 1/2 tbsp oil to pan and add diced onions. Cook for a few minutes until translucent. Whisk in curry powder and cook for at least 2 minutes. Whisk in Major Grey’s Chutney and the cream. Add salt to taste.
  3. Add diced chicken pieces and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Turn heat to a simmer, stir, and check seasonings. Serve curry over jasmine rice and garnish with green onions.

Irish Whiskey Cake

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For St. Patrick’s Day, I took our favorite (and super easy) Rum Cake recipe and adapted it with Irish Whiskey and green pistachio pudding to give it a green hue. Say what you will about boxed cake mixes, but the addition of booze sure makes for a moist, rich, and tasty cake! I thought about trying one of those car bomb recipes with whiskey, beer, and irish cream, but the choice was easy when this cake was in the oven in about 10 minutes. When you have a cute baby two feet away it’s hard to concentrate on complicated recipes!

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Thirsty Thursday | Rosemary Greyhounds

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Here we go again with herb-infused syrups! It really is the easiest way to make a regular old cocktail a little more fancy…

I first had a drink like this at a place I used to work near…I don’t want to call it a bar, I don’t want to call it a restaurant, it wasn’t quite a chain but there was definitely more than one location in the greater Seattle area…but a guy we worked with just called it the “close and gross” and it was so true but so good at the same time. Thank God we at least had somewhere within walking distance that had alcohol. And alcohol is always good, especially after work (or during your lunch hour). The Close and Gross had a Rosemary Greyhound that blew me away when I ordered it. Luckily I was able to recreate the drink at home and conjure up some old memories from a city and job well past.

Recipe Notes: I found that using grapefruit vodka mellowed the drink out a little, but regular vodka works fine too. The rosemary syrup has a pretty strong flavor as well, so go easy on it and decide how much you like in your drink. I think this cocktail could also benefit from a small splash of cranberry juice to make the drink a little more pink and level out some tartness.

Recipe
Rosemary Greyhound
By Baked Northwest
Makes 1 Cocktail

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Grapefruit Vodka
  • 2 ounces Grapefruit Juice
  • 1/2 ounce rosemary syrup (recipe follows)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 7-8 fresh rosemary sprigs

Directions

1. Make the rosemary syrup: In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, and 4-6 rosemary sprigs . Bring to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved, then reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Let cool, then strain out herbs.

2. Add vodka, grapefruit juice, rosemary syrup, and ice to a cocktail shaker. Shake, strain into a martini or a rocks glass, and garnish with rosemary sprigs.

Red Velvet Cheesecake

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I’ve never been a huge cheesecake person. I’ve never been a huge red velvet person either. Then why on earth would I ever want to make this dessert? They both just sounded so much better together instead of on their own…Plus it was Valentine’s Day! I couldn’t resist this show-stopper. As it turned out, it was perfect for a romantic night in – no dinner reservation required.

It’s super easy to make, as long as you make sure to do everything at least a day in advance! This was great since I didn’t have to do any work on Valentine’s Day. The original recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting, but I think that’s way too rich. The cheesecake itself already has a lot going on, and finishing it with light and fluffy whipped cream is a lot better than a heavy cream cheese frosting.

Recipe
Red Velvet Cheesecake
Adapted from Southern Living
Makes 1 (9 inch) Cheesecake, serves 8 – 10

Ingredients

For the Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs (1 sleeve of graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened

For the Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole buttermilk
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 (1-ounce) bottle red food coloring

Directions

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 1 tablespoon granulated sugar; press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan.

Beat 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar at medium-low speed with an electric mixer 1 minute. Add eggs, cocoa, sour cream, buttermilk, vanilla, vinegar, and food coloring; mixing on low speed just until fully combined. Pour batter into prepared crust.

Bake at 325° for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 300°, and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until center is firm. Run knife along outer edge of cheesecake. Turn oven off. Let cheesecake stand in oven 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven; cool in pan on a wire rack 30 minutes. Cover and chill 8 hours.

Serve with fresh whipped cream if desired.

Chocolate Crisps, 2 Ways

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Chocolate Orange Crisps

Plan on every post on this blog starting with “When I was pregnant…” for awhile. Now that Quinn is out in the world and I’m feeling better, I want to try to post all the things I wanted to when I was too tired to do anything. You would think I would be saying that AFTER baby, but man, I’m convinced being pregnant was like having mono. No matter how little sleep I get I still feel better than the days I got home from work and could only manage eating a PB&J or cornflakes.

Speaking of cornflakes, I had a craving for a bowl of them when I was pregnant. That craving lasted for exactly one bowl. Of course, I bought the HUGE box of cornflakes. I don’t think any other cereal comes in a box so big. So…I’ve had some cornflakes I’ve been needing to do something with for way too long.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Crisps

What’s the best thing to do with cereal? Make it into something even more unhealthy, of course! I had so many cornflakes I was able to make 2 batches of chocolate crisps inspired by Ina’s “English Chocolate Crisps.” For the first batch, chocolate, orange, and cranberry were perfect together. But then I realized that Chocolate and Peanut butter was kind of a no-brainer too. The process can get a little messy and each batch turns out slightly different. Above are the peanut crisps and below are the chocolate-orange crisps. I was able to get the orange ones into balls better and the peanut butter ones were a little harder to mold. Regardless of the messiness, these no-bake snacks are still super easy and worth it. It’s a great way to get a nice little hit of chocolate goodness without having too feel too guilty.

Chocolate Orange Crisps

Recipe
Chocolate Crisps, 2 Ways
Makes 2 dozen medium-sized crisps
Adapted from Ina Garten’s Make It Ahead

Chocolate-Orange Crisps

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces dark chocolate
  • 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • zest of 1 orange (about 1 tbsp zest)
  • 1 tbsp orange juice (optional)
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 cups cornflakes

Directions

Chop the dark chocolate (if you aren’t using dark chocolate chips) and place into a double boiler. Add the bittersweet chocolate chips, the orange zest, and orange juice and stir until smooth. Alternately, you can place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir until chocolate is melted.

Place the cornflakes and dried cranberries in a medium bowl and stir to incorporate the cranberries. Immediately fold in the melted chocolate with a rubber spatula, working quickly so the chocolate doesn’t harden.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Working with 2 large spoons or soup spoons, spoon mounds of chocolate onto the paper. This gets a little tricky since everything doesn’t quite stick together, but try to get the mounds clumped together. It’s messy, but the chocolate will harden in the fridge! Make about 2 dozen, 2-inch round crisps.

Refrigerate crisps until hardened, at least 1 hour.

Chocolate-Peanut Butter Crisps

Ingredients

  • 1 (12 oz) bag semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup salted peanuts
  • 3 cups cornflakes

Directions

Place chocolate chips into a double boiler. Add the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Alternately, you can place the chocolate and peanut butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave in 30 second intervals, stopping to stir until chocolate is melted.

Place the cornflakes, dried cranberries, and peanuts in a medium bowl and stir to incorporate everything. Immediately fold in the melted chocolate and peanut butter mixture with a rubber spatula, working quickly so the chocolate doesn’t harden.

Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Working with 2 large spoons or soup spoons, spoon mounds of chocolate onto the paper. This gets a little tricky since everything doesn’t quite stick together, but try to get the mounds clumped together. It’s messy, but the chocolate will harden in the fridge! Make about 2 dozen, 2-inch round crisps.

Refrigerate crisps until hardened, at least 1 hour.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

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I think this was the first recipe I ever Pinned on Pinterest, and I seriously took way too long to finally follow through and try it out. But hey, since 95% of recipes that people pin probably never make it to the oven, I consider this a win!

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I’m no biscuit expert – this blog is called Baked Northwest after all, and this area of the world isn’t exactly known for biscuits. In fact, I can’t really say I’ve had many good biscuits in my life, they always taste so boring and bland to me. But these! They come out this beautiful orange hue and have SO much flavor. And they are a pretty versatile vessel for whatever you want – ham, honey, butter, jam, fried chicken, savory or sweet! An no worries on the little chunks of sweet potato flecked throughout the biscuits – it’s a very good thing. Continue reading

Blueberry White Chocolate Scones

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Let’s talk scones. Out of the bajillion recipes out there, I have found the only one I will ever need. Actually, my Aunt Tricia found it, has made it countless times, and will continue to make it because these scones are just that good. I’ve never been a fan of the coffee house scone that’s dry and could practically be used as a hockey puck. To me, scones are meant to be adorned with butter and jam, like the Fisher Fair Scones so many people in the Seattle area grew up with. Continue reading

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