Saturday, November 15, 2014

No Willpower Equals Skillet Brownies!

I've mentioned the food board that I belong to.  We've been together over 10 years now.  We are spread out all throughout the United States.  Some of us have been able to meet up in person.  I traveled to a drag race in Pennsylvania a few years back and was able to meet up with Elsa.  A trip to Phoenix resulted in a meet-up with Eileen. A few ladies, Nancy and Sharon, live along the California coast and we have met up more than once, the latest being when a member from Maine, Kim, was vacationing out here. It's amazing how it feels as though we've known each other forever, our love of food and entertaining unites us. It's a wonderful group of women, I feel very blessed to be a part of the group.

We share recipes, restaurants we've been to, where to find certain ingredients, and our review of cookbooks.  We also share our lives.  We've "watched" kids grow, celebrated graduations and marriages, we all put up with the posting of grandchildren pictures. We've had a few members die much too early from cancer.  It's a community.

Now there is a downside to this group.  We are always posting about cookbooks we've bought, dishes, linens, where to find a certain piece we saw in a magazine. It's very easy to get caught up in the action and buy things that I didn't know I needed, especially cookbooks.  I have a lot of cookbooks. I've been collecting cookbooks since I was in high school. I've been on a mission to pare down my collection and to stop buying.  I was doing really well, haven't bought a cookbook in over a year.  Then Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa, came out with a new cookbook.
I resisted pre-ordering it last spring.  I resisted for almost two weeks as the food board members started talking about how they were enjoying it, the recipes they were making.  I felt so strong!  Then I watched the Barefoot Contessa one Saturday morning.  She made skillet brownies from her new book.  She made them in the cutest little skillets!  I CAVED! Not only did I buy the cookbook, but I ordered the skillets, too!  No Willpower!

I can attest that the latest Barefoot Contessa cookbook is awesome.  So are the skillet brownies.  The little skillets are adorable (you can get them here).  I know I will use them for many things, such as individual portions of cornbread, fruit crisps, even a mini frittata. So, all is well with the purchases.  I will try to resist better next time!
Skillet Brownies

¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 ounces plus ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
1½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 extra large eggs
2 teaspoons instant coffee granules

1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 pint vanilla ice cream

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter, 4 ounces of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl set over simmering water. Set aside for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee, vanilla and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

In a medium bowl, sift together ¼ cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt and add to the chocolate mixture. Toss together the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into five 3½ inch cast iron skillets and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Don’t over bake!

Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream on top.

Having a kitchen helper makes things so much more fun!  She loves to bake with me.  She loved the brownies, too!

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