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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Double Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies

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2015-10-29 17.48.22

It can get a little stressful in my house when, Steve’s team, the Miami Dolphins are playing. If they’re scheduled to play the New England Patriots, well, that’s a whole different kind of worry. As a loyal fan, he takes game day very seriously. Don’t get me wrong, I love football too. I thought, how can I make this night extra special.

I thought, how about one of his favorites, brownies! Because I’ve been busy myself, I decided to take a little help from the store and make these semi-homemade.  I rushed up to the grocery store and picked up a really good box mix, and then added a few extra surprises to go into the brownies.

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The brownie mix was double fudge and included a fudge pouch inside, but I’d add more goodies. Peanut butter, more chocolate chips, and some new Nestle pumpkin white chocolate chips. This should do it. All I did was to follow the instructions on the box. To the dry mix, I added in a 1/4 cup mixture of the semi-sweet chocolate and pumpkin morsels. I stirred in the morsels so they would be coated with the dry mix.

Next, I also added 1/4 cup of cold brewed coffee to the wet ingredients before combining them with the dry. Coffee really enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

Next, I slowly added the dry to the wet ingredients until they were just combined.  I poured the batter into a buttered greased 8 X 8 pan. Next, I took 1 cup of smooth peanut butter and placed spoonfuls randomly, all over the top. I took a large skewer and swirled the peanut butter through the batter. This way every bite would have some of that creamy peanut butter. Finally, I sprinkled the top with a few more of the different flavored chocolate chips. I baked this according to the package and that was it.

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This worked out great!  It didn’t take that much longer to add these extra ingredients. The fact that I started out with a really good box mix and just added a few extra special ingredients gave Steve the impression that they were made from scratch. I made store bought brownies seem as though they were homemade and without spending a lot of time that I didn’t have.

2015-10-30 10.15.57

2015-10-29 17.48.22

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Puff Pastry Savory And Sweet

 

Puff Pastry

Puff Pastry is a staple in my house. I use Puff Pastry for both sweet and savory recipes. I’ve been making these two for many years.  Ina Garten, from the Food Network, also had an episode where she made these recipes. What was crazy about it was, my recipe for Elephant Ears was close to Ina Garten’s recipe. The Cheese Straws, well they were a bit different. I used Grana Padano cheese with mine, whereas she used two kinds of cheese, Parmesan and Gruyere. When I made this recipe, I added the Gruyere to mine too and they were delicious. Two kinds of cheese are better than one!

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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Yields: 8 ears per sheet
Equipment: baking sheet pans, parchment paper, and rolling pin

Ingredients: (for one sheet of puff pastry)
1 cup of granulated sugar divided into 2 bowls (1/2 cup per bowl)
1/8 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 sheet of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry

Directions For The Elephant Ears:
Preheat oven to 450-degrees F.

The first thing is to move the puff pastry to the frig the day before so it will thaw out overnight. You want to work with it as cold as possible. Set up two bowls, one with granulated sugar mixed with a pinch of Kosher, and one with sugar and cinnamon combined.

Spread the bowl with the sugar and salt mixture all over a flat surface like my cutting board. A marble surface is fine too. I unfold the pastry and lay in right on top of the sugar mixture. The top of the pastry, pour the cinnamon sugar mixture evenly all over covering the top. So now there’s sugar on the bottom surface of the pastry, and cinnamon sugar on the top surface.

You need to move quickly so the dough remains as cold as possible. Take a rolling pin and roll the pastry out into a rectangle, about 12 inches square. Doing this it allows for the sugar to be pushed into the pastry on both sides. Next, fold the sides of the square towards the center so they meet in the middle. Repeat this process again with those halves to the folds meet in the middle, as shown in the pictures above. Then fold both halves on top of each other making 6 layers.

Next, slice the dough into slightly under 1-inch slices. Place the slices, cut side up onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake the pastry for 5 minutes, or until the bottoms are caramelized and brown, then flip them over with a spatula, and bake for another 4-5 minutes. This will allow for the other side to caramelize. Carefully move each one to a rack to cool.

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Prep Time:15 minutes
Yields: 12 straws per sheet
Equipment: baking sheets, parchment paper, pizza cutter

Ingredients:
2 sheets of Pepperidge Farm puff pastry thawed overnight in the frig
1 large egg for the egg wash (beaten with 1 tablespoon of water)
1/2 cup of freshly grated Grana Padano cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 cup of freshly grated Gruyere cheese ( divided into two bowls)
1 teaspoon of freshly minced basil leaves
1 teaspoon of Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper

Directions For Cheese Straws:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
First, grate the cheese in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Once all the cheese has been grated, then roll out each sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured board. You want it to be a rectangle, about roughly 10 by 12 inches.

Divided equally into two bowls add the grated Gruyere, Grana Padano cheese, chopped basil, Kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Brush egg wash over the top surface of one of the pastry sheets.  From one of the prepared cheese bowls, spread the cheese over the top of the brushed pastry.

Using a rolling pin, press the cheese mixture into the pastry. Next, use a pizza cutter to slice crosswise the pastry into 10 strips. Twist each strip and lay them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned and puffed. Turn each one over and bake for another 2 minutes. Be sure to keep a close eye on them, watching that the cheese doesn’t burn.

Cool and serve at room temperature.

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