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Single Serving Cookie in a Cast-Iron Skillet

July 9, 2012

Ever since college, one of my favorite desserts to share with friends was the Broadway Grill‘s cookie in a skillet sundae. Served hot and topped with a drizzle of chocolate sauce and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream, what’s not to love? The cookie is perfectly cooked, almost cakey and bready in the pan, which makes it all the more delicious. It’s not crispy or chewy like a traditional cookie made in a batch of many, but it’s moist, dense, buttery, and super absorbant which is ideal for soaking up that melting vanilla ice cream. It’s so heavy and rich, you have to eat it with a spoon.

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I’ve been wanting to make this at home for so long, but the recipes I found online were for cookies in a large 10 or 12 inch skillet. I wanted to make this for one (or two, if you’re in a sharing kind of mood). I found Martha Stewart’s recipe to be seemingly the best, so I gave it a try. With a few math conversions (simply plug the specs of your skillet into the formula for the volume of a cylinder–pi*radius squared*height–and compute the ratio of your skillet’s volume to that of the skillet used here, or in Martha Stewart’s recipe), it was easy as pie. Or as cookie.

Ingredients:

2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 teaspoon baking soda
dash of salt
1/4 cup (or half a stick) unsalted butter, softened
1/6 cup white sugar
1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
1/2 whisked egg
splash of pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

Equipment/Materials:

small bowl
medium mixing bowl
small cast-iron skillet (5 to 6.5 inches will do)
electric mixer

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
3. Cream butter and sugars until mixture is light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; mix until they are fully incorporated. Gradually add flour mixture, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips but set aside a few for later.
4. Transfer cookie dough to a 6-inch cast-iron skillet, and press to flatten, covering bottom of pan. Top with remaining chocolate chips.
5. Bake until edges are brown and top is golden, or about 20 minutes. Don’t overbake it as it will continue to cook a few minutes out of the oven.
6. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve warm with a heaping scoop of vanilla ice cream. Dig in!

M.I.A.

May 18, 2012

Hello friends!

I’m so sorry I haven’t blogged the past few months! 2012 has been crazy busy–with my beautiful twin sister Stephanie getting married in April and all my associated Maid of Honor obligations, getting my Ph.D., job-hunting, entertaining, etc. I hosted two bridal showers, planned two bachelorette parties including a destination party to L.A. for eight ladies, and hosted a wine tasting party to help Jeff and I decide what wine to buy for the wedding (the booze was our wedding present to the happy couple). I did all this while helping Steph plan the big day and finishing my 148 page dissertation. I also went on three trips in four weeks. Anyway, though there have clearly been many opportunities to blog about the lovely treats I made, it just wasn’t a priority. Go figure. The bad news is that I’m behind on blogging. The good news is that I will catch up soon AND I’m now officially Dr. Campbell! You can call me Doc now. I won’t stop you. :)

To make my blogging goals more difficult, my picture editing tool is no longer around (Picnik) so now I have to research other tools to use. If you have any suggestions on free online photo editing tools, I’m all ears.

I promise I will be back soon. With tasty recipes to share.

Xoxo,

Vicki

Healthy Sloppy Joe Sliders

February 11, 2012
I love making these sloppy joes when I’m craving something meaty and hearty, yet healthy. Sloppy joes can be as unhealthy as you like, or as healthy as you like. I like to add a ton of veggies to mine and honestly, you can’t even tell the difference between all-meat sloppy joes and these sloppy joes. As long as you season everything well with herbs and spices, the veggies really  just enhance the meat. Jeff hates mushrooms, but in these suckers, he doesn’t even notice they are there.
Ingredients:
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2-3 medium sized carrots, minced
½ cup white button mushrooms, minced
1 lb. extra lean (96/4) ground beef
4 tbsp tomato paste
4 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp chili powder
1/8 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp brown sugar
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
buns of choice; I like Hawaiin sweet rolls as sliders
toothpicks
Directions:

1. On medium low heat, saute garlic and onions for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and translucent.
2. Add the carrots and dash of salt and pepper and saute for 5 more minutes, until carrots soften a little.
3. Add mushrooms and celery and stir; Saute for a few more minutes until softened.
4. Add ground beef and cook on medium high until the meat is no longer pink. Add the remaining ingredients and stir until everything is integrated well. Season to taste.
5. Lower heat to low and cook for at least 15 more minutes. Let liquids reduce down and flavors intensify. The longer you cook it, the more deep the flavors will be. Scrape spatula against the bottom of the pan periodically so the mixture doesn’t stick. Feel free to add a splash of water if the mixture gets too thick.
6. Served on toasted buns or slider rolls and hold together with toothpicks. Enjoy!

Mexican Cinnamon Cookies

January 20, 2012

I originally made these cookies for Mexican Ladies Night a couple years ago, but today I made them for Jeff because he likes cinnamon/sugar cookies, and he went snowboarding. If I don’t go boarding with him, I always try to make him a special treat to come home to.

These are some of the easiest cookies I’ve ever made. I adapted this recipe from Allrecipes.com, but per some of the reviews, cut back on some of the powdered sugar. I like them better than other cinnamon/sugar cookies because they are more like shortbread than cookies, really. More dense, buttery, and melt-in-your-mouth, and less chewy/crispy.

If you know someone who adores cinnamon, or if you have a Mexi Ladies Night to attend, these are sure to be a hit!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (I use half whole wheat flour for a healthier spin)

Equipment/Materials:

  • 2 mixing bowls (one large, one small)
  • electric mixer
  • 1 small bowl for cinnamon/sugar mixture
  • cookie sheets
  • cookie drying rack

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and butter until smooth. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, salt, and 1 tsp of cinnamon; stir into the creamed mixture to form a stiff dough. Shape dough into 1 inch balls.
  3. Mix together the other 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon; roll balls in cinnamon mixture.
  4. Bake for 15 minutes in preheated oven, or until nicely browned. Cool cookies on wire racks.
  5. Feel free to sift over more of your cinnamon/sugar mixture.

Enjoy!

Dissertation survey is launched!

January 11, 2012

So this is not a post about food, but a post asking you to please help me in my dissertation research. I’ve been working on this thing for a couple years now, and the idea has been in my head for even longer. It has taken me a very long time to get to this point, with multiple revisions, presentations, and approvals from various committees. One of the final steps to help me graduate and get my butt out of grad school is to actually do my study (thinking of the idea and defending why my study is important was half the battle). This means I need people to take my survey. A lot of people. If you know anything about survey research and statistics, you know that there is a minimum sample size a researcher needs in order to draw conclusions and make inferences about a larger population. With that said, please take my survey and get all your friends to take it too!

This research is important. My study is on salary negotiations and the persistent gender wage gap.

So, if you have a minute, take the survey here: http://myhome.spu.edu/gravicca

And for all you foodies out there, here is a picture of food :P

Kentucky Bourbon Mint Julep Cake Bon Bons

Raspberry Frangipane

January 9, 2012
I didn’t know what to call this delightful dessert because it’s kind of a hybrid of bakewell tart, frangipane, and clafoutis. Not quite a tart because there is no crust. Kind of like clafoutis because I poured the batter over a single layer of raspberries (in clafoutis, you traditionally use cherries or other seasonal summer stone fruits), but not as egg-based nor cream-based. Kind of like bakewell tart because of the presence of raspberries, but again, no crust. So I guess it’s more like frangipane, and that is fine with me.
I adapted the recipe for this frangipane tart, but omitted the crust and added more almondy goodness via amaretto liquor AND almond extract. Yes, I love my almonds.

P.S. I’ll be posting in the Metric system from now on, now that I have my handy, dandy new electronic kitchen scale.

Ingredients: (Serves 4 in 4’’ ramekins)

75 g butter, at room temp
75 g white sugar
75 g almond meal
2 eggs
1 tsp amaretto liquor
1 tsp vanilla extract
t tsp almond extract
15 g white flour

handful of raspberries (frozen or fresh; I usually place about ten in each ramekin, just enough to cover the bottom in a single layer)

Equipment/Materials:
large mixing bowl
stand mixer or electric mixer
4 ramekins
cookie sheet
spatula

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
1. Cream the butter and sugar until pale, light ,and fluffy (at least 5 minutes).
2. Add the eggs, almond extract, and vanilla extract.
3. Add the almond meal and beat until mixed.
4. Add the white flour and beat until mixed. Set batter aside.
5. Spray your ramekins with olive oil spray, butter spray, or butter.
5. Line the bottoms of each ramekin with a single layer of fresh or frozen raspberries. Pour the batter over the tops of the raspberries, dividing the batter equally across the four ramekins.
6. Place the ramekins on top of a cookie sheet (this allows for easy entry and removal from oven) and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the batter has set (it will be springy to the touch).

Let cool and enjoy!

Breakfast for Laura

January 3, 2012
My college roommate Laura came to stay with me for a night over the holidays and I wanted to make her a delicious breakfast she would remember, but that would be super easy and fast to make, as I predicted (correctly) that we would stay up into the wee hours of the morning yapping and catching up on girl talk. With this prediction in mind, I decided to make a large dutch baby (I had no desire to flip dozens of pancakes for Laura and my other guests who would be joining us) which be a cinch to make. Topped with bananas flambe in honor of Laura (and her obsession with all things yellow and banana-y) and served with a healthy side of veggie bacon and turkey bacon, this was one yummy, yet guilt-free breakfast. And it took only 40 minutes to make from preparation to serving!

Dutch Baby (serves 8)

  • 1.5 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1.5 cup skim milk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into small bits

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) and place 9×13 baking dish (or another similarly sized dish) into the oven, while preheating.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the milk and eggs. If you feel so inclined, add in a splash of almond extract (this extra almond kick makes it smell divine). Stir until smooth and slowly whisk in flour and salt until well-blended.
  3. Open the oven and, with oven mitts, carefully pull out the rack with the baking dish on it. Dump the pieces of butter into the hot dish and swirl the baking dish around so as to coat the entire dish. Pour the pancake batter into the dish, push rack in, and close the oven door. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to 325 degrees cooking for additional 10-15 minutes or until knife comes out clean. Top with a sprinkling of powdered sugar and serve immediately.


Laura and I go way back. Friends since freshman year of college when we were randomly assigned to a triple room, it has been such a blessing having her in my life.

Fall quarter of college at UW, 2003. Me, Laura, and our 3rd roomie Hanna.

Cancun, Mexico, 2010.

 

Laura woke up to the smell of dutch baby baking, turkey bacon cooking on the stove in a cast-iron skillet, and a saucepan simmering on low with bananas flambe. What’s not to love about this meal?

Bananas Flambe (serves 6-8)

Like the Dutch Baby, the bananas flambe was super easy to make. In a large saucepan set on medium heat, simply melt the butter and sugar together. Then add in the bananas and cinnamon and simmer on low heat. Before serving, add in the rum and voila! A yummy, banana-y topping for your dutch baby (or pancakes, waffles, ice cream, etc.).

  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 4 bananas, sliced in rounds and tossed with the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup to ½ cup rum (I used Bicardi)


If you have 1.5 or 2 cups of leftover bananas flambe and don’t want to waste it, simply make a loaf of healthy banana bread! I tossed together dry ingredients including: 2 cups whole wheat flour, dash of cinnamon, pinch of salt, and 1 tsp baking soda. Into a bowl, I poured the leftover flambe and kind of mashed it up to break up the banana slices. I tossed in one egg white and a splash of vanilla and blended together. Simply blend in the flour mixture and pour into a 9’’ loaf pan sprayed with olive oil spray. Bake into a preheated oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. This particular loaf of bread was less moist than others, but topped with a sprinkling of chocolate chips, it was just perfect. Yum.

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