Tagged: nuts

Peanut and Jelly Blondies

Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies
Our three-year-old just started preschool, and with the move from daycare to real school, comes a packed lunch. When I was a kid my mom packed a peanut butter & jelly sandwich, carrots (I only ate a few), and 2 Chips Ahoy cookies. These days such a lunch sounds scandalous from the peanuts to dessert! Of course I think I turned out just fine, and I always love a PBJ.

My son’s lunch has been a smorgasbord of snacks including hummus & pita chips, pineapple, watermelon, cucumbers and even homemade focaccia. It’s a little of this and that. Inspired by back-to-school, I baked peanut butter and jelly blondies that were salty & sweet with honey-roasted peanuts and strawberry jam. Don’t worry, I didn’t pack them in my son’s lunchbox!
Peanut Butter and Jelly Blondies
Peanut Butter & Jelly Blondies
Adapted from Bon Appetit February 2014

Makes 16 bars

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter melted, plus more for pan
1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons strawberry jam
1 tablespoon chopped honey-roasted peanuts
Flaky sea salt (I used Maldon.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper and grease with butter.

In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together the butter, eggs, brown sugar, peanut butter and vanilla extract. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and spread the batter into the prepared baking pan. Dollop the jam on top followed by the peanuts.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the bars comes out clean. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. Let the bars cool before slicing them into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container.

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Peanut Butter Popsicles

Peanut Butter Popsicles
I’ve been breaking my own rules lately. I have a policy that if I haven’t used a gadget, pot, pan or anything else in my kitchen in the last 6 months, I stash it away in a closet to test if I really miss it. If not, it’s ready to be donated. This system works well as long as I set aside the time to actually scan and reassess the crowded shelves in my cabinets.

Last weekend I rediscovered my popsicle molds, so before they hit their expiration date, I put them to use. I made a vegan peanut butter popsicles with almond milk and bananas. After they were frozen, I dipped them in fudge and sprinkled them with salted roasted peanuts. These guilt-free popsicles were a hit with everyone including my three-year-old.
Peanut Butter Popsicles
Peanut Butter Popsicles

Makes 8 3-ounce popsicles

1-1/2 cups almond milk
2 large ripe bananas
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon agave syrup
4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

In a blender, combine the milk, bananas, peanut butter, salt and agave syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour into the popsicle molds and freeze until firm.

Place a wax paper-lined sheet pan in the freezer.

In a microwave-safe bowl, heat the chocolate and coconut oil in 30 second blasts until melted and smooth.

Unmold the popsicles and dip them into the chocolate. Sprinkle with peanuts. Place the popsicles on the prepared sheet pan in the freezer. Allow the chocolate to harden before serving.

Tin Roof Ice Cream

Tin Roof Ice Cream
I’m kind of a kitchen hoarder. Whether it’s pots, pans, or gadgets, I have a hard time getting rid of things because no matter how small the chance is that I will use something, I cling to that glimmer of hope that I might need it. I have the same approach when it comes to ingredients. I do everything I can to not waste food. That explains why I have a freezer full of baked goods and other odds & ends.

I had a bunch of frozen egg yolks in little baggies, so I figured the best way to get rid of them was a batch of ice cream. Since I’m such a fan of chocolate and peanuts, I made a quart of tin roof ice cream—chocolate covered peanuts with a fudge ripple in vanilla ice cream. I folded the peanuts into the ice cream right after it was churned and then alternated layers of ice cream and fudge before freezing.
Tin Roof Ice Cream
Tin Roof Ice Cream

Adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz

Makes about 1 quart

For ice cream
1-1/2 cups heavy cream
4 large egg yolks
3/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For chocolate covered peanuts
4 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1 cup roasted, salted peanuts

For fudge ripple
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the ice cream, pour 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set aside. Whisk the egg yolks in a small bowl.

Combine the milk, sugar, salt and remaining heavy cream in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the sugar dissolves. Slowly whisk half the milk mixture into the yolks and then pour it back into the saucepan. Stir continuously until the mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into the bowl with the heavy cream and stir in the vanilla.

For the peanuts, melt the chocolate in a small saucepan over very low heat. Stir in the peanuts coating them in chocolate. Spread out the peanuts on a parchment-lined plate. Chill in the refrigerator until the chocolate hardens and then roughly chop.

For the fudge ripple, combine the sugar, corn syrup, water and cocoa powder in a medium saucepan. Whisk the mixture constantly until it just starts to simmer. Continue whisking for 1 minute before removing from the heat. Stir in the vanilla extract and cool to room temperature. Chill completely in the refrigerator.

Churn the ice cream mixture in an ice cream maker following the manufacturer’s instructions. Stir in the chocolate covered peanuts. In a quart-sized container, layer the fudge ripple and the ice cream in alternating layers, starting with the fudge. Freeze until firm.

Rainbow Carrot Salad

Rainbow Carrot Salad
My closet and my pantry have two very different color schemes. I am an interior designer who works at an architecture firm, so I tend to stick to the unofficial uniform of black and gray. It’s been this way for so long that I don’t think I look good in anything other than cool neutrals anymore, and when I wear the one of the few pieces of colored clothing that’s still hanging around I don’t feel like me.

When I shop for ingredients, it’s the complete opposite of my wardrobe. I can’t get enough brights, the more saturated the better. I nearly cut off someone at the grocery when I spotted multihued carrots across the produce department. I made a crunchy rainbow carrot salad by peeling them into ribbons and tossing them with pistachios, chives and scallions in a cumin-spiced vinaigrette.
When I shop for ingredients, it’s the complete opposite of my wardrobe. I can’t get enough brights, the more saturated the better. I nearly cut off someone at the grocery when I spotted multihued carrots across the produce department. I made a crunchy rainbow carrot salad by peeling them into ribbons and tossing them pistachios, chives and scallions in a cumin-spiced vinaigrette.
Rainbow Carrot Salad

Serves 4

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
6 rainbow carrots, peeled
1/4 cup chopped salted roasted pistachios
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 scallion, thinly sliced

In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, cumin, salt, pepper and olive oil. Using a vegetable peeler, cut the carrots into long ribbons. Toss the carrots with the vinaigrette, pistachios, chives and scallions.

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