And so it begins, as all things should, with chocolate.
And with a confession. This recipe was chosen as no. 1 because I had half a bag of Reece's Pieces peanut butter chips in my pantry.
I hope this sounds familiar. I worry about ingredients that need to be used all the time. In fact, I have an open jar of pesto in my fridge I'm mulling over right now.
But I digress. These globs looked simple and delicious. And they were both.
I love the Barefoot Contessa, who came up with these killer goodies below. I try to echo her elegant simplicity in the kitchen where I can.
But Ina's a bit fussy about ingredients. I appreciate this. I know it makes a difference to use fresh heirloom or San Marzano tomatoes instead of any other tomato in the world. But I'm going to just go ahead and grab that Safeway brand chopped tomato in a can anyway ... sorry.
I can't put as much of the household budget toward groceries as Ina does. I like ease where I can find it. I don't own a springform pan. For these reasons and more I will make some tweaks here and there in this adventure.
I'll make note of them (in parentheses) and with a few *. Promise!
These decadent chocolate globs come from Ina Garten's Foolproof.
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 extra-large eggs*
1 tablespoon instant espresso
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup whole walnut halves*
1 cup whole pecan halves
2/3 cup peanut butter chips, such as Reece's
*2 large eggs worked just fine. I also only had chopped walnuts on hand, but they worked easily into the batter.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a few sheet pans with parchment paper.
In a bowl set over simmering water, melt the butter, 6 ounces of the chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate, stirring occasionally, until just melted. Remove from the heat and cool for 15 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs, expresso powder, and vanilla until combined. Add the sugar, raise the speed to medium-high, and beat for 2 minutes, until the batter is thick and falls back on itself in a ribbon. Set aside.
When the mixer is on low, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the egg mixture. Combine the 1/3 cup of flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl and fold it into the chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. In another bowl, combine the walnuts, pecans, peanut butter chips, and the tablespoon of flour and fold it into the chocolate mixture. With 2 soup spoons, drop rounded mounds of batter 1 inch apart onto the prepared sheet pans. Bake for 15 minutes exactly. Cool on the baking sheets.
My globs were too big. That's what I get for not following the 2 soup spoon mounding methodology by the Contessa.
As a result of my impatience, they also took more like 20 minutes to bake. Exactly what I deserved.
They may have resembled large brownie cookies at the end, but the insides were nice and gooey. When warm from the oven, these were an incredible mid-afternoon treat on New Year's Day.