Author Archives: Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

About Liz {E2 Bakes Brooklyn}

I'm a blogger, freelance baker, and recipe developer in South Brooklyn.

Monster Carmelitas

Monster CarmelitasWell, there goes one more January full of savory recipes (well, mostly savory). Loads of good weeknight meals, my favorite no-slow-cooker pulled pork, Cornmeal Biscuits, and fancied up pigs in blankets—all good things ❤ Monster CarmelitasI’ve gotta be real with you though: I’m glad to be back to making desserts. The annual sugar break was good for my mind and body, but I really missed serving up sweets! I’ve got some great new Valentine’s Day-appropriate recipes coming your way next week and there may be a couple more weeknight meals in the near future, but first…Monster Carmelitas.Monster CarmelitasY’all, these are a Super Bowl dessert, if I’ve ever seen one! Delicious and festive enough to celebrate a win, and just decadent enough for eating your feelings during a loss. Also, they’re handheld and don’t require anything more than a small plate or a napkin, so they’re perfect for snacking on in front of the TV 🙂 Monster CarmelitasThese simple-to-make bars are flavored with the popular “monster” combination of peanut butter, chocolate chips, M&Ms, and oats. Oh, and they’re jazzed up with a layer of soft caramel in the middle. YUM.Monster CarmelitasMonster Carmelitas are a texture lover’s dream! The egg-free (!) cookie layers are buttery and a little crumbly with melty chocolate and crispy, crackly M&Ms candy coating, while the caramel layer tows the line between sliceable and pleasantly gooey.Monster CarmelitasI mean, does dessert get better than this?!Monster CarmelitasMonster CarmelitasNo. No, it does not.Monster Carmelitas

Looking for more “monster” treats? Check out my Monster Blondies! For more carmelitas, check out this Salty Pretzel variation ❤

Monster Carmelitas
makes one 8-inch pan, about 16 bars

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup old-fashioned oats
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup creamy-style peanut butter
2/3 cup M&Ms candy
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 11-ounce bag caramel candies
6 tablespoons heavy cream

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with aluminum foil and grease heavily with butter. Set aside.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, oats, light brown sugar, baking soda, and salt.

Combine butter and peanut butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in 30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted. Use a silicone spatula or wooden spoon to fold it into the dry ingredients—mixture may be crumbly, but should hold together when pinched. Ensure that the dough is not too warm before folding in M&Ms and chocolate chips. Set aside.

Combine caramels and heavy cream in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside.

Firmly press about 2 1/2 cups of the dough into an even layer at the bottom of the prepared pan. Pour caramel over the top and smooth to the edges. Scatter remaining dough mixture over the top. Use the palms of your hands to gently pack it into a even layer, covering the caramel.

Bake full pan for 23 minutes, or until turning golden at the edges. Let cool completely in the pan on a rack,

Slice bars with a lightly greased chef’s knife, wiping the blade clean between cuts. Do not try to slice bars until they are completely room temperature.

Bars will keep in an airtight container at room temperature for up to five days. Layer them with wax paper to keep them from sticking together.Monster CarmelitasMonster Carmelitas

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Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsWhen I think back on the Super Bowl parties of my youth (and since I am Texan, there were a lot), I don’t remember who played or much else, except for the food. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (probably on Friday): I don’t care about football or the Super Bowl at all, but I *love* football food. If it’s rich, salty, creamy, cheesy, meaty and/or buttery, and can be used to distract me from a sporting event in which I’m uninterested, I. am. in.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsSometimes when I am bored, I tune out and think about recipes. That said, you won’t be surprised to learn that the idea for these Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets popped into my head during the last Super Bowl.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsThese are the sorts of things I think about instead of thinking about things that are actually important. I mean, *someone* has to think about the game day food, right? No? Just me? Anyway…Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets are exactly what they sound like: classic pigs in blankets (aka cocktail wieners wrapped in yeast dough), made with puff pastry. Miniature hotdogs wrapped in flaky, buttery pastry? Sign me up!Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsThese little morsels are super easy to make. Start by rolling out a sheet of puff pastry. I like to use Rough Puff, but any all-butter puff pastry will do.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsSpread a thin layer of dijon mustard over the top and then slice the pastry into strips. Wrap each strip around a cocktail wiener…Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets…then brush them all with egg wash and sprinkle them with poppyseeds and/or sesame seeds. This is purely for aesthetics, but I like the added texture it provides.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsBake the pigs in blankets for 15 minutes at 450F. The pastry will be gorgeous and golden when they’re done.Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsServe ‘em with ketchup and more dijon mustard, or any condiment you like. Make sure to hoard a few for yourself before putting them on your Super Bowl table though because they’ll disappear before you know it, especially if I’m invited.Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets
makes about 40 pieces

Rough Puff Pastry:*
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
5 ounces unsalted European-style butter, very cold, cut into small pieces
1/4 cup water or milk, very cold

For assembly:
1 1/2 tablespoons (4 1/2 teaspoons) prepared dijon mustard
1.5 packages cocktail weiners (about 30 per package)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon poppyseeds (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)

For serving (optional):
ketchup
mustard

Make Rough Puff Pastry. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour and salt. Use a pastry blender or two forks to cut butter into dry ingredients until the largest pieces are the size of small peas. Pour in cold water or milk and stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until a shaggy dough forms.

Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Turn dough out onto surface, and use your hands to pat it into a rough rectangle. Roll the dough into an 8×10″ rectangle. Fold dough in thirds, and give it one quarter turn. Roll into an 8×10″ rectangle again, fold, and turn. Repeat rolling, folding, and turning until it has been done six times total. Wrap folded dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 48 hours.

Preheat oven to 450F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.

Assemble the pigs in blankets. Flour a surface and a rolling pin. Unfold dough. Roll dough out to 10×14-inch rectangle. Use a large, sharp knife to trim any uneven edges. Brush surface of the dough with dijon mustard.

Use a floured chef’s knife to slice the sheet of dough in half lengthwise, and then into 3/4-inch thick strips. Working with one strip at a time, place a cocktail wiener at one end and roll it toward the other end, so that most of the wiener is coiled in dough. Place each piece, dough ends down, on prepared pans. Repeat until you run out of strips, chilling dough for 15 minutes if it becomes warm or soft.

Make an egg wash. In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together egg and water. Use a pastry brush to brush all exposed dough. Sprinkle with poppy and/or sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake pigs in blankets for 15-17 minutes or until pastry is golden. Let cool a few minutes on pans before removing to a serving platter.

Serve with ketchup and/or mustard, if desired. Pigs in blankets are best the day they are made. Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Note:

You may use frozen all-butter puff pastry instead. Thaw according to package directions and begin the recipe at the paragraph that begins “Preheat oven to 450F.”Puff Pastry Pigs in Blankets Puff Pastry Pigs in BlanketsPuff Pastry Pigs in Blankets

Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight Meals

Hey there! I hope you’ve been enjoying my annual post-holidays savory food content. While I love baking desserts and am ready to get back to it, I thoroughly enjoy changing it up for a month every year. I still have one more savory recipe coming your way this month, but it’s more Super Bowl-centric than balanced, nutritious, and delicious.

Before we start talking about cheesy dips and chili and guacamole and brownies though, I want to take a minute to acknowledge some of my favorite cold weather weeknight meals from the archives. After four Januaries (Januarys?) as a blogger, I have a lot of them. For this post, I’ve narrowed the list down to the five that I make most frequently. Three of them are soup—depending if you are a #soupseason person or not, I’ll either say “you’re welcome” or owe you an apology…in the form of a big cookie.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsSopa de Pollo

My iPad keeps autocorrecting “sopa” to “soap” de pollo, which sounds very gross. But this soup is the exact opposite of that—it’s delicious and nourishing with a decidedly Mexican flavor. Oh, and it’s dead easy; the prep takes all of ten minutes. Just put a bunch of vegetables, herbs, bone-in chicken and stock on to boil. Forty minutes later, remove the chicken, shred it, and return it to the pot. And um, well, that’s literally it. Easiest chicken soup ever.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsEveryday Cassoulet

This might be my favorite weeknight meal on this site. I’ve been making it for eight years and it always hits the spot. I mean, who doesn’t like sausages baked with tomatoes, pearl onions, and white beans?! Like Sopa de Pollo, this meal takes one hour start-to-finish and most of it is hands-off. Everyday Cassoulet is hearty without being heavy, and is a guaranteed crowd pleaser. While it’s perfect for any weeknight, I’ve made this recipe for multiple dinner parties to rave reviews. Love that versatility!Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsSausage, Kale & White Bean Soup

If you love the flavors in Everyday Cassoulet, this soup is for you! In this one-hour recipe, Italian sausage, white beans, mirepoix (fancy French word for the combination of carrot, onion, and celery), and kale are simmered together in a tomato broth. This is the kind of good & good-for-you comfort food that I love, especially when it’s paired with cheesy Parmesan & Black Pepper Biscuits!Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsRoasted Cauliflower Soup

I am the sort of person that generally doesn’t care for cream soups or savory dairy-based things (except for this), but this Roasted Cauliflower Soup is so good, it may well change my tune. Made by roasting cauliflower florets until golden and then puréeing them with aromatics, butter, stock and half-and-half, this vegetarian soup is one of my favorites to make and eat. I’m not alone in this—I make it at work at least once every two weeks and it always disappears quickly.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsPasta Bolognese

Now, you may not think of bolognese sauce as a weeknight meal because it takes a while to prepare, but if you simmer a pot on the weekend and then chill it, you can get at least two family-of-four-sized meals out of it. If spending three hours making sauce sounds daunting, just know that most of it is spent letting the sauce bubble away. When all is said and done, the final product is rich, delicious, meaty magic that will have you wondering why you didn’t make a double batch! I like to keep this stuff in the freezer for when the big-bowl-of-pasta mood strikes. And while I have not yet tried it, I imagine this sauce would make killer lasagna.Friday Favorites: Wintry Weeknight MealsHave you made these or any of my other weeknight meals? Let me know in the comments or on social media!

Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceRemember that Slow-Roasted Pulled Pork I posted a few weeks ago? It’s one of my very favorite weeknight staples.

Have you tried it yet? If not, get on it! You’re in for a treat 🙂 It makes killer sandwiches, of course, and the recipe makes plenty to freeze for later. Quantity is pretty important for a recipe like that—it’s called “slow-roasted” for a reason.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceI like to freeze the leftovers by the pound, which works out to about four loosely-packed cups of pulled pork. That way, I can thaw just a little bit at a time. You know, for more sandwiches. Or salads. Or nachos. Or eating directly out of the refrigerator.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceAll of those are great options (especially that last one), but these Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce are almost certainly my favorite way to repurpose my leftovers! Succulent pulled pork wrapped in tender corn tortillas, covered in a simple homemade sauce, smothered with monterey jack and baked until bubbly? Sign me up!Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceI absolutely love these enchiladas. I made a big batch last weekend, ate them for dinner for four days, and was still sad to see them go! They’re meaty and smoky, cheesy without being greasy or heavy, and since the filling is prepared beforehand, they’re pretty low-maintenance as far as enchiladas go. Did I mention that the sauce can be made ahead, too?Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce would be great with rice and beans, but I like them paired with a big salad and a few slices of avocado. They’re also the sort of dish that works just as well for a weeknight as they do for a dinner party.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SauceOn that note, if you’re making these for a dinner party, I would like to be invited, okay? Okay.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce
makes about 4-6 servings

Smoky Chipotle Sauce:
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 small onion, large diced
3-4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes
1-4 chipotles in adobo + 2 teaspoons of the sauce
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons sugar, honey, or maple syrup
1/2-1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock

For the enchiladas:
canola oil, for frying
12-16 corn tortillas
3 1/2 cups Smoky Chipotle Sauce
1 pound (about 4 cups) pulled pork
1/2 small onion, finely diced
8 ounces Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Garnish (optional):
sliced scallions
chopped cilantro

Make the Smoky Chipotle Sauce. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add diced onion and crushed garlic cloves and cook, stirring frequently, until onion has softened (about 7-10 minutes). Remove from heat. Add tomatoes, chipotles in adobo + sauce, cumin, oregano, smoked paprika, sugar, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stock. Use a stick blender to purée until smooth. Alternatively, you may put all the ingredients, including onion and garlic, into a regular blender and purée.

Return pot to medium heat. Simmer, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Taste and adjust the salt as necessary. Sauce may be made up to 2 days in advance and refrigerated.

Make the enchiladas. Heat 1/2 inch of canola oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Using tongs, briefly fry each tortilla for 5 seconds per side before laying on a plate.

Assemble the enchiladas. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a large casserole (9×13″) with oil. Pour in 1 cup of sauce and spread it to cover the bottom of the pan. Set aside.

Pour 1 cup of the sauce in a shallow bowl or pie plate. Take tortillas one-by-one. Dip in the sauce to get a thin coat on both sides. Fill each tortilla with about 3-4 tablespoons of pulled pork and a sprinkle of diced onion. Roll them tightly before placing them seam-side down in the prepared pan. Once enchiladas are rolled, top with remaining sauce (about 2 cups) and cheese.

Bake 25-30 minutes, or until the cheese is brown at the edges. Let cool 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sliced scallions and/or chopped cilantro, if desired.Pork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle SaucePork Enchiladas with Smoky Chipotle Sauce

One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip CookieI know I’ve been keeping it savory and vaguely healthy this month, but I like to live on the edge. Especially on Saturday nights while wearing my softest/oldest/ugliest/best pajamas and a sweatshirt only the person who bought it in college (12 years ago!) could love.

(With a wardrobe like that, it’s a wonder that I’m single.)One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMy partying days are well behind me now. I don’t drink or smoke anymore. I quit Diet Coke completely and have cut my seltzer intake to a maximum of two a day. My coffee…well, that’s neither here nor there.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe point is that my list of vices is pretty short these days, but making myself One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie on the occasional late night is one that I have no intention of parting with. Sometimes you just need a cookie the size of your face. Sometimes it’s the answer to all your problems.

Well, a big cookie and acceptance. Acceptance is a pretty important important part of solving problems.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieBut this is a baking blog so…back to this big, no-sharing-required dessert for one (or two, if you’re feeling benevolent). It requires miniscule amounts of 8 ingredients that you likely already have, and only about 25 minutes start-to-finish.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThis recipe differs drastically from that of my usual Chocolate Chip Cookies. For one, there’s no egg. I have tried many of the single big cookie recipes out there and have always been frustrated by the fact that they require you to scoop one tablespoon of a beaten egg. Have you ever tried to measure a spoonful of beaten egg? It’s stupidly difficult. Also, what do you do with the leftover two tablespoons of beaten egg?!

This is the sort of baking silliness that infuriates me (clearly), so I found a way around it. This recipe mitigates the egg-measuring problem by swapping in one teaspoon of water, and it works incredibly well. I wouldn’t try this for any large-batch cookie recipes, but it works here.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieThe other differences from my regular recipe are less…scientific. I use melted butter here because creaming one tablespoon of butter is ridiculous and unnecessary. Oh, and there’s no need to chill your dough. This recipe is meant to be made on the fly and enjoyed while the chocolate is still melty.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieMelted chocolate + soft centers + chewy caramelized edges = ❤ ❤ ❤ One Big Chocolate Chip CookieA quick word about leaveners before I get to the recipe. I tested this recipe seven times (!) with both baking soda and baking powder. Baking soda, which I use in my large-batch recipe because it produces browner cookies with more surface area, won out, but just barely.

Generally speaking, baking soda and baking powder are not interchangeable, but this is one recipe where you can use either one (in a 1/8 teaspoon volume) and still have a quality cookie. The baking powder version will be a bit thicker and won’t have the same dark, buttery edges as the baking soda version, but it will still be delicious. This soda/powder swap will not work for many (if any) other recipes, but it works here. I thought about leaving this information out of this post, but I don’t want a lack of leavener to come between you and a cookie the size of your face.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieThank me later.One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie

One Big Chocolate Chip Cookie
makes 1 large cookie

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon water (not cold)
1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking soda*
pinch of Kosher or sea salt
2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips, plus more for optional topping

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.

In a small bowl, use a fork to whisk together melted butter and brown sugar. Mix in water and vanilla. Add flour, baking soda and salt, and whisk until a dough forms. Use a silicone spatula or spoon to mix/fold in chocolate chips.

Use your hands to form dough into a ball and place on parchment. Dot with additional chocolate chips (for aesthetic purposes), if desired. Bake for 14-16 minutes or until edges have darkened to a golden brown color and center is still a bit pale.

Let cookie cool on the pan for 5-7 minutes before using a spatula to remove it to a plate. Enjoy.

Note:

An equal volume of baking powder will work in place of baking soda. The cookie it produces will be a bit thicker and paler, but still delicious. I do not recommend swapping baking soda and baking powder in any other recipes.One Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip CookieOne Big Chocolate Chip Cookie