Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mastering the Art of Holiday Baking.

Look at this gem! A "vintage" Martha Stewart Holiday Cookie Magazine 2006.  Nothing better than a fantastic Goodwill find.

Dare I say it... the Holidays are right around the corner.  For the past few years I have baked the same cookie recipes, while the holiday traditions are great, it is time to change it up a bit.  I think this magazine was just the inspiration I needed.  After a quick glance I found many recipes that I can't wait to try, but the first recipe to jump out at me was Martha's Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies. 
Don't they look delicious?  THEY ARE!!

                                  Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
                            Makes 9 large or 16 small squares                  

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces, plus more for pan
2 ounces good-quality unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
4 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan and line with parchment, allowing a 2-inch overhang. Butter lining (not overhang).
Make batter: Put butter and chocolates in a heatproof medium bowl set over a pan of simmering water; stir until melted. Let cool slightly. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
Whisk granulated sugar into chocolate mixture. Add eggs, and whisk until mixture is smooth. Stir in vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until well incorporated.
Make filling: Stir together butter, confectioners' sugar, peanut butter, salt, and vanilla in a bowl until smooth.
Pour one-third of batter into prepared pan; spread evenly with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling (about 1 tablespoon each) on top of batter, spacing about 1 inch apart. Drizzle remaining batter on top, and gently spread to fill pan. Drop dollops of remaining filling on top. Gently swirl peanut butter filling into batter with a butter knife, running the knife lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
Bake until a cake tester inserted into brownies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, about 15 minutes. Lift out; let cool completely on a wire rack before cutting into squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days

People have cooked their way through Julia Child's cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I just may bake my way through Martha's Holiday Cookie Magazine. That sounds like delicious fun, and I am just crazy enough to do it!!  Stay tuned to see what sweet treats I bake up at the Tin Palace next!


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