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Peanut-Butter Swirl Brownies

Peanut-Butter Swirl Brownies | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

Chocolate and peanut butter really sells itself, but I'll go ahead and put in a plug for these brownies anyway.  They are the perfect combination of dense, fudgy brownies and salty-sweet peanut butter.  If you're going to attempt this recipe (and I really recommend that you do) here are a couple tips:  1) Make the peanut butter filling before the brownie batter.  I found that the brownie batter cooled and firmed up too much while I made the filling, making it more difficult to spread in the pan 2) Space your dollops of filling about an inch apart so the peanut butter doesn't pool together too much.  This makes the final result more visually appealling and, I suspect, easier to tell when the brownies are done.  I think I ended up baking mine an extra 10 minutes because the peanut butter still seemed too runny after the time listed in the recipe.  That being said, it does firm up considerably after the brownies cool. 

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How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time | The Kitchn

How to Cook Moist & Tender Chicken Breasts Every Time | The Kitchn | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

Sometimes it's good to talk about the basics, right? This reminds me of Julia Child's method for Suprêmes de Volaille à Blanc from Mastering the Art of French Cooking.  The advantage I can see to this technique from The Kitchn is that you don't have to warm up the oven!  I would definitely recommend trying Julia's highly technical poking method, however.  The chicken is done when it feels springy and firm when pressed.  If it is still soft and yielding when you touch it, continue cooking for a couple more minutes and test again.  Trust your sense of touch!

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The Ultimate Pumpkin Pie Recipe at Epicurious.com

Back before I discovered the amazingness that is pumpkin cream pie, this was my go-to recipe for traditional pumpkin pie.  It really is the best recipe I've found.  If you're accustomed to the recipe off of the can of pumpkin, this is definitely worth trying.  It has a few more ingredients, but the result is a pie with a more mousse-like texture and wonderful flavor.  You could skip the apricot preserves, but they really do make a nice addition.  You might notice that the recipe calls for a 16 ounce can of pumpkin.  I'm afraid you won't find this in the store anymore since cans of pumpkin seem to have been downsized to the new standard of 15 ounces.  It is somewhat annoying to have to buy two cans, but there are lots of things you can do with extra pumpkin!

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Pumpkin Cream Pie

Pumpkin Cream Pie | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

This is a new addition to my holiday pie repertoire but absolutely one of my favorites.  I'm usually not a big fan of pumpkin pie.  I don't dislike it, but with the other options on the table I'm usually not even tempted.  That is, until this pie came along.  It is luscious and creamy with the perfect balance of spices and a crisp gingersnap crust (more on that in a moment).  Yet, the pumpkin flavor is undeniable.  Be warned though, if you make this, your friends and family may never let you go back to standard pumpkin again!

 

Now, with the glowing reviews out of the way, on to more practical matters.  The first time I made this pie, I wouldn't call it a success.  The flavors were there so I knew it could be a contender, but the crust slumped and pooled in the bottom of the pan and the custard never fully set.  After some fiddling I found that what worked best was to reduce the amount of butter in the crust just a bit.  Also, I lined the shell with parchment and filled it with pie weights, which seemed to keep it in place a bit better.  I've never had to do this with a cookie crust but whatever works!  The custard took much longer to thicken than the recipe states.  The first time I made the pie I took it off the burner too soon in spite of the little voice in my head telling me it wasn't thick enough.  The second time I listened to my cooking intution and waited for it to thicken.  That time it set up perfectly. 

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Sweet Potato Cake Recipe - Saveur.com

Sweet Potato Cake Recipe - Saveur.com | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

I made this cake over the weekend and it was definitely over the top!  With the four different components (cake, marshmallow filling, candied pecans, and praline) it is a time consuming dish but a show-stopper for sure.  The cake is moist and fragrant with spices (perhaps a tad too much cardamom) and the candied pecans rich and toasty.  I thought I wouldn't be too fond of the marshmallow filling but with just a touch of salt it was perfect. 

 

Allow yourself plenty of time to pull this all together and be cautious when handling the layers as they can be rather floppy and prone to breaking.  Next time I would probably pour the praline in two batches so less runs over the sides.  I might also refrigerate the layers before assembly to make them easier to handle or even try baking it in a round cake pan. 

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Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal | Wendolonia

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal | Wendolonia | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

I mentioned in my post about the Ultimate Pumpkin Pie recipe that there are lots of things to do with leftover pumpkin pie filling and this is definitely one of the more delicious ones.  Creamy, filling, and nutritious, you can't go wrong with this for a hearty winter breakfast.  Just like the picture, slivered almonds make a wonderful addition, as do dried cranberries.  Enjoy!

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Apple Spice Cake

Apple Spice Cake | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

Another recipe that I've been making for years and for a good reason!  The cake is moist and flavorful, with the outside developing a slight crunch in the oven.  Delicious!  Granny Smith apples are definitely the right choice for this recipe as they stay intact during baking and provide a nice tart contrast to the sweetness of the cake.  Also, the caramel sauce is to die for - don't skip it!   

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Triple-Chocolate Pudding Pie with Cappuccino Cream Recipe at Epicurious.com

Triple-Chocolate Pudding Pie with Cappuccino Cream Recipe at Epicurious.com | What's Cooking? | Scoop.it

At this point I could probably make this pie in my sleep.  But there's a reason why I keep coming back for more.  It is delicious, goof-proof, and, quite frankly, my friends would turn me away from holiday parties if I didn't bring it.  Everything about this pie is perfect...thick, rich, chocolate perfection. 

 

I usually toss in an extra graham cracker and a bit of extra butter (slightly less than a tablespoon) because I found myself fighting too much with the crust to get it to cover the pie pan.  Also, the pie is just as delicious with plain whipped cream if you're not a fan of coffee.  If you don't like chocolate, I can't help you. 

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Sweet Or Savory: Stuff, Bake And Devour A Pumpkin : NPR

This recipe is all over the Internet but I first encountered it when I heard Dorie Greenspan on NPR.  I later got her wonderful book Around My French Table as a present and intend to cook my way through every recipe in that book.  I made a this recipe over the weekend and can see myself making it over and over again.  It is so simple but makes for an impressive presentation.  And really, how can you go wrong with these ingredients? 

 

I followed the recipe exactly except that I used a kabocha squash since the pumpkins at the store looked a bit worse for wear.  I'm actually glad that I did because I prefer the texture of the kabocha squash to that of a pumpkin.  It was dense and smooth and perfectly sweet.  Just the right counterpart for the rich, creamy filling.  I can't wait to make this again!

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