The generations of cooks before us didn’t have gadgetry readily available at the click of a button like we do. Back in the day, well-seasoned cast iron skillets were necessities, lovingly seasoned and preserved, and used constantly. My grandmother would be shocked at the current cult-like status of the humble cast iron skillet. New to the cast iron genre are mini-skillets. Be still my heart!
bMj introduced me to these micro-wonders during a long winter weekend spent on Hatteras Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That’s what I love about traveling with friends: all the gracious intel we end up swapping back and forth, like recipes and other helpful tips. Leave it to bMj to knock the socks off our tastebuds with Ina Garten’s Skillet Brownies baked and served in mini-skillets.
When I hosted friends at the river recently, I put this decadent and showy dessert on the menu.
Ina Garten’s Skillet Brownies – recipe follows at the end of the post
One batch of the simple recipe makes 6 servings, and it doubles easily. OK, very cute, but why invest in the adorable mini-skillets for only one recipe? you just thought to yourself.
Au contraire! You know how practical I am. I need serious arm-twisting to buy a single-use anything. It will end up in the yard sale box or Goodwill bag faster than you can say crepe maker.
Never fear, I found several recipes using the mini-skillets:
Roasting Garlic for Charcuterie Platter via Vindulge.com
Mini Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookies via Grandmother’s kitchen.org
Blueberry Skillet Crumbles via Tutti Dolci
Individual Over-Easy Eggs, Fritattas and Fried Eggs via Vindulge.com
I plan to use my skillets as rustic servers for nuts, candies and condiments as well.
If you’re now convinced that you can’t live without these future heirlooms-in-waiting, bMj found hers in Richmond at Linens and Ladles. amazon.com carries them, too.
The skillets make a great borrow-from-a-friend item too, but they might cost you a Skillet Brownie in return!
- ¼ pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 4 ounces plus ½ cup Hershey's semisweet chocolate chips, divided
- 1½ ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 2 extra-large eggs
- 2 teaspoons instant coffee powder, such as Nescafe
- 1½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, divided
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 pint vanilla ice cream, such as Haagen-Dazs
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Heat the butter, 4 ounces of the chocolate chips and the unsweetened chocolate together in a medium heatproof bowl set over simmering water just until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee powder, vanilla and sugar. Stir the chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and set aside to cool to room temperature.
- In a medium bowl, sift together ¼ cup of the flour, the baking powder and salt and stir it into the chocolate mixture.
- Toss the remaining ½ cup of chocolate chips and one tablespoon of flour together in a medium bowl and stir them into the chocolate mixture.
- Spoon the mixture into 4 individual cast-iron skillets (see note at left) and place them on a sheet pan.
- Bake for 22 minutes exactly. Don't overbake! A toothpick inserted in the center will not come out clean. Serve warm with a scoop of ice cream.
February 15, 2017
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