Archive | July, 2013

Peanut Butter Chocolate Puffs

28 Jul

Hello hello, it’s been a while.  In the past few weeks I’ve moved out of Chicago…

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driven to New York…

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and spend a week on Block Island.

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As such, I have not had much time to bake or do Internet things such as blogging.  But that will all change beginning this week, not least because I have finally secured some matcha powder and can now make green tea pound cake.  At last!

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But first, a super simple, easy, and very tasty little recipe.  I got the idea from Joy the Baker, as per, but her puffs were much more legit.  She used puff pastry.  Puff pastry was mysteriously either unavailable/expensive in the places I was looking, so I got one of those Pillsbury crescent roll tubes that you peel the wrapping off of until they pop…  Do you know what I’m talking about?  If you want the fancier version, hit up Joy, but for the “poor” person’s version, continue reading.

Ingredients:

  • One tube of crescent roll dough
  • Peanut butter
  • ~1/3 cup chocolate chips

Recipe:

Open up the dough and lay it all out without breaking it up along the perforations.

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I recommend leaving the dough in the refrigerator for an hour before you use it since it tends to fall apart when warm.

Cut into an even number of rectangles.

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Spoon a teaspoonful of peanut butter onto half the rectangles (depending on the size of your rectangles; mine were fairly small so really you just have to eyeball it, but be mindful of ooze).  Sprinkle a few chocolate chips into the peanut butter.

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Take the other rectangles and press them on top of the peanut butter covered ones, pinching the edges tightly.

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Obviously tighter than that.  I was in a hurry because I needed chocolate like ten minutes ago when I started making these.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Like so.

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So I’m reading a number of lovely books right now, but I actually want to recommend  podcast I recently started listening to (confession: I’m listening to it while I write this) called Welcome to Night Vale put out by Commonplace Books.  I know nothing about how or why it’s made, but it’s in the style of a radio broadcast from a small and terribly mysterious town in the southwest of the US and it is quite absurd and excellent.

Here’s a summary from one of the episodes:

“A large, philosophical pyramid appears in town, announcing several messages, but is it what it seems? Plus, best practices for regular skin-checks, an update on the levitating cat, and whatever happened to that vile barber?”

I’ve been listening to it on iTunes, but there are some alternative venues for listening here.

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Crêpes!

8 Jul

Crêpes seem so intimidating to make at home.  How do you make them thin enough?  What if the batter sticks and you end up with an epic disaster of crumpled dough?  What if the batter is lumpy???

These are fears I had before making crêpes a week or so ago and they are all deeply unfounded.  Crêpes are so easy to make.  So easy that you may find yourself making them ALL THE TIME.

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Maybe that’s just me.

But look, depending on what you put in a crêpe they’re totally healthy.

Totally.

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Look at that!  A healthy crêpe!  You can also make savory ones with spinach, egg, cheese, ham, etc.  I like sweet breakfasts, though, so I’ve only made sweet crêpes.  And I have made so many.  I even made a video of crêpe-making (not a how-to, by the way).  It’s actually a video about my love of breakfast, but crêpes feature heavily.

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(Can we talk about how great the etymology of video is?  Just for a second.  Because that is a word that knows no deception.  In Latin it literally means “I see” and it hasn’t been tweaked at all after many centuries except to go from a verb to a noun.  What a great little unassuming word.)

This recipe is from The Kitchn, originally part of a fancy bananas foster crêpe recipe, but I ditched most of the recipe.  I’m sure the original is awesome, but I’m afraid I’ll never know.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp sugar (I used brown because that’s all I have)
  • copious amounts of nutella, peanut butter, bananas, speculoos, and strawberries

Recipe:

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees.

Mix all the ingredients together.  Whisk until no lumps remain.  Pour through a sieve to make sure it’s really smooth and then let rest in the fridge for at least half an hour.  You don’t have to wait, but waiting gets rid of any bubbles that may pop up (sorry not sorry).

In a medium skillet, heat up a pat of butter on medium-high heat and grease well.  Definitely do not cook from a lukewarm skillet – wait until it gets hot.

By the quarter-cup-full spoon batter into the skillet and swirl around until it coats the bottom of the pan.  Cook until the edges barely start to curl up (really right before they curl up), or about a minute and a half.  Flip and cook for another minute/minute and a half.

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Stick the crêpes in the oven until you’re done cooking.  The batter will keep overnight but no longer than that.  (I learned this the hard way.)

Serve warm with whatever toppings you want.

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I’ve been pretty underwhelmed by the books I’ve read and the movies I’ve seen lately, but I’m reading J.M. Coetzee’s Summertime right now and it’s pretty good.  Honestly, I can’t stop thinking about Absolution.  That book really snuck up on me, and even though I was very invested while I was reading it, I didn’t understand how deeply it had sunk into my brain until after I’d finished it.