April 2014


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What’s not to love about the two great tastes that taste great together–peanut butter and chocolate, don’tchaknow? If you love brownies and, like me, always thought they should have a peanut butter twist, you’ve come to the right place. Imagine the deliciousness of peanut butter pie swirled into a brownie–dark chocolate with a creamy peanut butter filling that’s light and not too sweet. Sound good? I thought so, too.

PEANUT BUTTER SWIRL BROWNIES
adapted from my all-time favorite basic brownie recipe from Ghirardelli

For the brownies
2 eggs
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), melted
3/4 cup Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa
2/3 cup unsifted flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup dark chocolate chunks (I chopped up Valrhona Guanaja feves)

For the peanut butter swirl
1/2 cup peanut butter (I use Skippy creamy)
4 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, softened (Neufchâtel)
1/2 can sweetened condensed milk
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Whip in a stand mixer till smooth, set aside.

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Now, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and let’s make the brownie batter.

Using a spoon, stir eggs with sugar and vanilla; add butter.

Sift dry ingredients together; stir dry ingredients into egg mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks. Spread half the batter in a buttered 8″ square pan.

Smooth the peanut butter swirl layer over the bottom brownie batter layer. Then spread the remaining brownie batter over that. Don’t worry about making it perfect, ’cause we’re gonna swirl it with a knife to marble the pan and make it all sorts of fancy.

Bake for 35 minutes. Cool completely before cutting, enjoying and sharing with those you care about most.

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Have you ever had the Silano pizza at Bertucci’s–the one with broccoli and chicken in a lemon cream sauce? I haven’t had it in years, but always loved it. Now that I feel comfortable making traditional pizza and scacciata, I wanted to try something different and springy. It’s really not difficult, it just takes a few steps–and you can spread them out throughout a Sunday to make it seem even easier.

Here’s a link to the dough. I recommend making it a day or two before and letting it do its thing in the fridge.

Let’s start with the lemon cream sauce on your actual pizza-making day. Make ahead earlier on and refrigerate it till it’s time to use if you like.

LEMON CREAM SAUCE FOR PIZZA

1 tablespoon butter
1 lemon, zested and juiced (I got just over 1/3 cup lemon juice from one lemon)
Dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)—add enough to the lemon juice so you have just over ½ cup between the lemon juice and wine
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1½ teaspoons corn starch
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
Freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a skillet over medium heat. As the butter melts, add the grated lemon zest; stir it around about a minute as it sizzles. Pour in the lemon juice/white wine, add salt, stir and bring the liquids to a simmer. Cover the skillet, and let simmer just a couple of minutes.

Remove the lid, slowly whisk in the cream and add corn starch. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, about 2 to 3 minutes you have a thick, creamy sauce. Remove from heat, add nutmeg (if you like) and freshly ground black pepper. If you do refrigerate, you’ll want to warm it up a bit in the microwave so it’s easy to spread over the pie. I used my handy silicone pastry brush to apply super-simply. 🙂

FOR THE CHICKEN
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

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I used just under 10 oz. (generous ½ pound) of chicken breast
Olive oil
Salt
Pepper
Rosemary
Penzey’s California Seasoned Pepper

Cut the pieces as evenly as possible, cook at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. This should leave some of the chicken a bit pink so it’ll finish cooking on top of the pizza instead of drying out.

Slice the chicken to top the pizza.

FOR THE PIZZA TOPPING
About a pound or so of broccoli, cut in pieces–steam for just 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat
Fresh mozzarella (8 oz.), sliced so you can place discs evenly over the top of the pie
3 tablespoons Pecorino Romano
3-4 cloves of garlic, pressed
drizzle olive oil over top of pie

Generously oil a sheet pan.
Press/shape pizza dough into a pan forming a large rectangle or oval–whatever shape begins to form as you even out the dough. Mine is a little of each, HA HA!
Brush lemon sauce over crust.

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Add broccoli and chicken.
Brush remaining lemon sauce over top, then add fresh mozz, pecorino and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil.

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I baked for just 15 minutes on top of my pizza stone (permanently residing at the bottom of my oven) at 450 degrees F. Take a look at the 15-minute mark to see if yours is ready, too. If not, you may need anywhere up to 5 more minutes–just depends how thin you’re able to press out the dough. I let mine come to room temperature about 30 minutes before I got started, and I think that helped.

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Et voilà! Springtime is served. Care for a slice?