November 18, 2014

Ina has done it Again...

It's here!  The latest wonderful cookbook by Ina Garten has hit the shelves here at Clever Girl, and it does NOT disappoint.  We always admire her straight forward, un-fussy approach to entertaining, and this book is packed with hints and tips to ease the job of the hostess.  The focus in Ina's latest book is on preparing dishes ahead of time so that you can be freed up to enjoy your own party.  Certainly her recipes work just as well for informal and family gatherings as well. 

It's not too soon to begin thinking about your Christmas list, and this will be a most welcome gift under the tree, or as a treat to yourself, as you begin to plan your holiday menus and entertaining...
I was at a recent party for a friend; and dessert was served in mini-skillets, which was rustic in it's presentation, but special to receive your own individual little serving.  As I looked through the cookbook, this brownie recipe struck a chord...  If you try it, I'd love to hear what you think!

Skillet Brownies (Serves 4)

  • ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces plus ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips, divided
  • 1½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 2 extra-large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder, such as Nescafe
  • 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, such as Haagen-Dazs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

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

In a medium bowl, sift together ¼ cup of the flour, the baking powder, and salt and stir it into the chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour together in a medium bowl and add them to the chocolate mixture. Spoon the mixture into four individual cast iron skillets (the skillets I use measure 5 inches on the top, 3½ inches on the bottom) and place them on a sheet pan. Bake for 22 minutes exactly. Don’t overbake! A toothpick inserted in the center will not come out clean. Cool slightly and serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.

***Don't Forget!  This cookbook, and oh-so many other goodies are available on our website.  Click here

**Save the date!  Thursday, December 11th is the Clever Girl Christmas Open House--plan to visit and have a bit of Christmas Cheer!

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