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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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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 dashed up to the grocery store and picked up a really good box brownie mix, and then added a few extra surprises to make my Double Fudge And Peanut Butter Brownies.

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Coffee really enhances the flavor of the chocolate.

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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.

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Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 to 33 minutes,
Total Cook Time: 43 minutes
Yields: 16 brownies
Equipment: 8 x 8-inch non-stick baking dish, large mixing bowl, 1 large wooden skewer, a serving platter

Ingredients:
1 17.6-ounce box of Duncan Hines Decadent Double Fudge Brownie Mix, fudge packet included
1 large egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup brewed coffee, cold
1 cup of peanut butter, smooth
1/8 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips plus extra for garnish
1/8 cup of Nestle pumpkin morsels plus extra for garnish

Directions:
Note:
Preheat oven to 350-degrees F. for glass or metal pans, 325-degrees F. for dark non-stick pans. Brownies are done when a toothpick is inserted 1-inch from the edge of the pan and it comes out clean. For 8 x 8-inch pan bake for 35 to 38 minutes. For 9 x 9-inch pan bake for 30 to 33 minutes. Add 3 to 5 minutes for dark non-stick pans.
The brownie mix is a double fudge mix that includes a fudge pouch. I decided to add a few more goodies like peanut butter, semi-sweet chocolate chips, and some new Nestle pumpkin morsels. These extras should do the trick.

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, mixing the morsels, to coat the chips really well with the dry mix.

For the wet ingredients, in another large mixing bowl, add the cold brewed coffee, egg, water, oil, and fudge packet, mix to combine.

Next, slowly add the dry to the wet ingredients until just combined. Pour the batter into a buttered (to ensure brownies do not stick) greased 8 X 8-inch non-stick baking pan. Next, take 1 cup of smooth peanut butter and place spoonfuls randomly, all over the top. Take a large skewer and swirl the peanut butter through the batter. This way every bite will have some of that creamy peanut butter. 

Bake at 325-degrees F. for 35 to 35 minutes. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack before cutting and serving.

After cutting the brownies, arrange them onto a serving platter and sprinkle the top of my Double Fudge Peanut Butter Brownies with a few more of the different flavored chocolate chips.

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Savory And Sweet Puff Pastry Treats

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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: 16 elephant ears
Equipment: 2 rimmed 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 to 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: 24 cheese straws
Equipment: 2 rimmed baking sheets pans, food processor 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 to 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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