Chocolate Love: A Wicked Good Brownie

04 Feb 2012 30 Comments

by georgiecakes in Bake, Bloghop Love, Dessert, Gourmet, Sweet Tags: Brownie, donna hay #chocolatelove, penut butter

Jeff: you put peanut butter in my chocolate?  Georgie: you put chocolate in my peanut butter?


I can honestly say, in an embarrassing kind of way… that I have been known to eat reese’s peanut butter cups at least once a week (sometimes more). I try to stay away from the stuff, well, because it makes a girls hips jiggle.


Chocolate Brownie Cookie & Peanut Butter Frosting

That being said…

I recently picked up a copy of the 10th birthday collector’s edition of Donna Hay magazine. Inside I found an entire section devoted to brownies, and one recipe in particular inspired me to get baking right away… brownie cookies with peanut butter frosting.


Brownie Cookie Mix

These are perfect for #chocolatelove bloghop and as a Valentines day treat. I decided to add another layer of flavor by making maple frosting brownie cookies as well… for those who don’t share in my love in peanut butter or have allergies. This way everyone gets some chocolate love.


Something Wicked Good Comes This Way... Brownie Cookies

All I can say is… hold on tight you’re about to crash into the most luscious, scrumptious wicked chocolate decadence.


Wicked Good Brownie

Here’s what you’ll need: parchment paper, baking sheet, makes 12 saucer cookies.

For the Brownie Cookies

12.5 ounces dark chocolate (chopped) I used milk chocolate spacer

2 – 3/4 tablespoons butter (40 grams)

2/3 cup of caster sugar (superfine)

1/4 cup all purpose flour (sifted)

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

1 cup smooth peanut butter

1 cup confectioners sugar (powder sugar)

5 – 3/4 tablespoons butter (80 grams)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup of heavy cream

For the Maple Frosting

1 cup confectioner’s sugar (powder sugar)

5 – 3/4 tablespoons butter (80 grams)

1/2 cup maple syrup

1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste

2 tablespoons of heavy cream

Preparing the Brownie Cookie


Baking Brownies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

(Please use parchment paper these cookies spread out wide and burn quickly).

Place 8 ounces of chopped chocolate and butter in a saucepan on low heat, stir until smooth and melted. Set aside for later use.

Place eggs, sugar and vanilla in an electric mixer and whisk for 15 minutes until pale and creamy. Stir in the flour, baking powder, chocolate mixture and the remaining chocolate and let rest for 10 minutes.

Use a teaspoon – these cookies spread out like saucers. Scoop a teaspoonful of the brownie mixture onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until brownies are puffed and cracked on top. Remove from oven and allow to cool on trays.

Preparing the Peanut Butter Frosting

Place sugar, peanut butter, butter and vanilla in an electric mixer and beat for 6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the cream and beat for another 2 minutes.

Preparing the Maple Frosting

Place sugar, butter, maple syrup and vanilla bean paste in an electric mixer and beat for 6 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the cream and beat for another 2 minutes.

Once the brownie cookies have cooled, spread a heaping scoop of frosting onto one cookie and sandwich with another. If you’re like me and love chocolate and peanut butter and maple then you’re gonna want to make a double batch… or hide some for later – they go really – really fast.


Maple & Peanut Butter Frosting Brownie Cookies

I’m part of bloghop, where the food blog community connects with other blogs to share recipes and spread the love. This month, February is #chocolatelove month!

You’re more than welcome to join us in #chocolatelove fun by simply adding your recipe at the end of this bloghop! Be sure to link back to this post, so that your readers know to stop by the #chocolatelove event! The twitter hashtag is #chocolatelove – have Fun!

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Bocuse d’Or USA

31 Jan 2012 3 Comments

by georgiecakes in Gourmet, What I think..., Around Town Tags: bocuse d'Or, CIA, culinary institutte america, culinary, #bocuseusa2012, #bocused'or

​This past weekend I had the privilege to have attended The Bocuse d’Or USA held at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. The competition is one of the most rigorous culinary events of its kind, where it is determined who will represent the USA in the next annual International Bocuse d’Or, held in France in 2013.


KitchenAidUSA is one of the sponsors, and they graciously extended an invite with VIP tickets to this spectacular event. The competition took place in the CIA gymnasium. Each team worked within the beautifully built Manitowoc Kitchen centers, and had a total of 5 1/2 hours to prepare and present their dishes. The competitive menu consisted of River & Glenn Cod and D’Artagnan Chicken – the aromas that filled the stadium were intoxicating, I wish I was one of the judges.


The competition was intense – teams preparing their dishes in front of a flurry of onlookers, media bustling from one kitchen to the next, and the stadium seats packed with students and team supporters. It felt like a rock concert for chefs! The judges consisted of an array of renowned American culinary talent, such as chef Thomas Keller (The French Laundry, Per Se) who has been president of the American team since 2008. Daniel Boulud (Daniel, New York) Chairman, Bocuse d’Or Foundation and Jerome Bocuse (Les Chefs de France, Epcot, FL) Vice President, Bocuse d’Or and son of the French chef Paul Bocuse who established the Bocuse d’Or contest in 1987.


The talent that graced the kitchens this year already have an incredible list of credentials, some having competed in the Bocuse d’Or in previous years, like this years Gold winner… Richard Rosendale, executive chef of the Greenbrier in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., wining with his commis, Corey Siegal. Silver went to Jeffrey Lizotte of Restaurant ON20 in Hartford, Conn., (from my neck of the woods); and Bronze went to William Bradley, an instructor at Le Cordon Bleu College in Cambridge, Mass.


I feel fortunate to have experienced this exciting competition and to have been surrounded by such impressive company. I’m hoping that one day you get to experience this unique and tasty affair.

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Pistachio Orange Oatmeal Cookies

19 Jan 2012 5 Comments

by georgiecakes in Bake, Bloghop Love, Cookie, Gourmet, Sweet Tags: Cookie, cookies, oatmeal, oatmeal cookie, orange, orange zest, pistachio

Here is the scrumptious Pistachio Orange Oatmeal Cookie recipe I promised to post.  I served these with my Orange Peel Sweet of the Spoon dessert and a bowl of vanilla bean ice cream.  These tasty little cookies are crunchy on the outside and chewy on the inside, similar to a granola cookie.  I hope you enjoy them!


Pistachio Orange Oatmeal Cookies

Here’s what you’ll need…

Makes 20 to 30 cookies

4 tbsp salted butter, melted

1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

1/2 cup oats, chopped

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

2 tablespoon orange juice

1 tablespoon orange zest

1 tablespoons corn syrup ( I used Lyle’s Golden Syrup)

dash of salt

Preheat oven to 425

Melt the butter in a saucepan, set aside. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios and raw oats into tiny pieces. Combine all ingredients – the butter, sugar, oats, flour, baking powder, orange juice, orange zest, corn syrup and salt into a bowl, mixing until all ingredients are incorporated.


Orange Pistachio Oatmeal Cookie

Using a measuring teaspoon, scoop a spoonful onto a baking sheet, be sure to space several inches apart.  Bake for 6-8 minutes (each oven varies, so keep an eye on them – they bake fast), or until the cookies begin to brown around the edges. Let them cool on a baking sheet.


Pistachio Orange Oatmeal Cookies & Greek Coffee

Serve with a glass of milk, ice cream or a nice cup of Greek coffee – the way I ate them.

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Peasant Boule #Baketogether

11 Jan 2012 14 Comments

by georgiecakes in #baketogether, Bake, Gourmet Tags: #baketogether, boule, Bread, homemade bread, peasant boule

There is something simply wonderful about the smell of homemade bread baking in the oven…. then the breaking of the bread… and finally slathering butter all over…  its pure heaven.  If you haven’t done this, well, then you must!


Peasant Boule and Orzo Soup

I grew up eating homemade bread, like this “Rustic Village Bread“.  So when I read that Abby’s #baketogether challenge for January was a Peasant Boule I immediately gathered the ingredients and began making this delicious – oh’ so tasty bread.

I followed Abby’s “Peasant Boule” recipe step by step since this was my first attempt at this bread and I’m happy I did.

Here’s what you need…

Makes one 8-inch round loaf or two 4-inch round loaves

3 – 1/3 cups all purpose flour

1 – 1/4 ounce package instant yeast

2 tablespoons sugar

1 – 1/2 teaspoons salt

1 – 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1 – 1/3 cups very warm water, should register on a thermometer between 115 and 125 degrees

3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1 tablespoon toasted onion, dry herb mix


Making dough for Peasant Boule

In a large bowl whisk the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and baking powder. Clip the bowl into the mixer stand and fit the mixer with the dough hook.

Check that the water temperature registers about 120 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.

With mixer on medium-low speed, slowly pour the water into the flour and mix until the flour is completely incorporated. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the bottom and sides of the bowl, about 6 minutes.

Scoop up the dough and shape it into a ball. Lightly grease using some of the melted butter the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl and pop the dough back into the bowl. Cover the top securely with plastic wrap. Let the covered dough rise in a warm spot until doubled in size, about 45 minutes. I use a blanket or towel to cover the entire bowl to keep warm.

Using some of the melted butter, generously butter an 8-inch round cake pan. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface, there’s no need to flour—the dough is soft but not sticky, and press to deflate it. Shape the dough into a 7-inch-wide round and place it, like Abby’s recipe with smooth side up, in the center of the prepared pan. Generously brush the top and sides with some of the melted butter.

I made two small 4-inch-wide round loaves, placing them on a buttered baking sheet.  Using a knife make 3 diagonal lines across the top of loaves, these will spread open, letting you know when the dough has risen.

Allow the dough to rise, there’s no need to cover it, keeping in a warm spot until doubled in size for about 25 minutes. If using a 8-inch pan, it will fill the pan. If using the baking sheet the slits you made atop of loaves will spread open.

I brushed one loaf lightly with the melted butter. The second loaf I added some dry toasted onion sprinkled on top and brushed remaining butter generously all over.


Peasant Boule with Onions and Butter

About 15 minutes before the dough is ready to bake, position a rack in the middle of the oven and the oven to 375 degrees. When the dough has risen to about 2 inches above the edge of the pan, bake until the boule is well browned and sounds hollow when tapped about 40 minutes. Transfer the pan to a rack and tip the baked bread onto a rack and remove the pan. Set it right side up and let cool completely.


Soup & Bread

I served this with a Orzo Soup and Jeff and I ate one entire loaf for dinner.

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Citrus Love with Orange Peel ‘Sweet of the Spoon’

07 Jan 2012 36 Comments

by georgiecakes in Bloghop Love, Canning, Dessert, Gourmet, Greek Dishes, Sweet Tags: #citruslove, bloghop, bloghop love, citrus, citrus love, Gliko Koutaliou Portokali, Greek dessert, γλυκο του κουταλιου, sppon dessert, sweet of the spoon

As a child I would watch my mother baking in the kitchen, all the while waiting for her to call me over – her “little helper”. How I loved to watch my mother bake, I was amazed as she created works of art. One of my favorite desserts she would make was a sweet of the spoon, in Greece called “γλυκο του κουταλιου”, where she simmered assorted fruit peels into a delectable dessert.


Citrus Love

As a Greek tradition, it is customary to offer this luscious spoon sweet to your guest upon arriving, served alongside water and Greek coffee.  My mother carried this tradition well into my adulthood.  Today for #citruslove I am inviting you into my kitchen and passing along this beautiful tradition, serving you “Gliko Koutaliou Portokali” also known as “Orange Peel Sweet of the Spoon”.


Greek Sweet of the Spoon

Here’s what you’ll need…

Makes 2 – 12 ounce mason jars of sweet preserves

8 navel oranges

2  cups of sugar

1 1/2 cups of water

2 teaspoons of lemon juice

Preparing the orange peel:

Clean by washing and brushing your oranges. Slice and remove the peel in strips, removing all of the oranges external rind using a knife or a peeler.  There’s no need to remove all the pith, keeping some of the pith adds to the flavor.  Continue to cut the orange peel rind into 1/2 inch thin strips – julienne style. (save the inside of the orange for eating, smoothie or juicing).


Preparing Orange Peels

Note: Traditionally in Greece when preserving large strips of fruit peels, like oranges, grapefruits and watermelons, it’s routine to sew and thread the fruit rinds into a circle, similar to the photo below.  I also used a skewer to speed up the process, though this leaves large holes in your fruit.


Threading Orange Peels

Place the peels in a large saucepan with enough cold water, be sure to cover about 2 inches.  The peels will naturally want to float to the top so I placed a dish atop to fully submerge them in the water. Let soak for 12 hours or overnight. You will need to pour the water out, rinse the orange peels and refill saucepan with cold water. Repeat this process approximately every 4 hours.


Drying the Orange Peels

After the peels have soaked, pour out the water, rinse the peels and refill saucepan with water.  Place saucepan on stove at medium high heat and bring to a boil, cooking for 5 minutes from when water begins to boil.  Drain and rinse the peels with cold water.  Repeat boiling and rinsing process two additional times for three minutes each time.  Rinse the orange peels and strain in colander removing excess water.

In order to remove excess moisture, place orange peels on a flat surface atop of a towel to dry anywhere from 15 minutes to 2 hours.

Preparing the sweet of the spoon:

Place sugar and water in a saucepan and stir until sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add orange peels and allow to simmer on a low boil for 20 minutes until a syrup begins to form and thickens slightly. My mother wanted me to tell you – it should be thick like honey, enough to coat your spoon, hence sweet of the spoon.  Once you’ve reached the desired consistency, add the 2 teaspoons of lemon juice, stir until combined.


The Orange Peel Sweet of the Spoon

Allow to cool completely before storing in sterilized jars.  Since I was serving this for a dinner party and gave some as party favors in small 4 ounce jars, I bypassed the canning process.

There are so many ways to serve this luscious sweet syrupy dessert – with a scone, on toast or simply by the spoonful.  Do as the Greeks do and serve it as  your first course at a dinner party.  But… this Greek got adventurous and served dessert last, graciously set atop a heaping scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with a pistachio orange oatmeal cookie – (recipe soon to follow).  I wanted my guests blabbering sweet nothings at their departure.


Ice Cream Orange Peel Topping

I’m part of bloghop, where the food blog community connects with other blogs to share recipes and spread the love. This month, January is #citruslove month!

You’re more than welcome to join us in #citruslove fun by simply adding your recipe at the end of this bloghop!  Be sure to link back to this post, so that your readers know to stop by the #citruslove event!  The twitter hashtag is #citruslove – have Fun & OPA!

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Baker Street ~ Anuradha ~ @bakerstreet29
BigFatBaker ~ Erin ~ @BigFatBaker
CafeTerraBlog ~ Terra ~ @CafeTerraBlog
Cake Duchess ~ Lora ~ @cakeduchess
Cakeballs, Cookies and More ~ Sue
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Georgiecakes ~ Georgie ~ @georgiecakes
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