Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Small Batch Baking

What is it?

My Book Nook guest today was author and food writer, Debby Maugans who has perfected the art of "small batch baking". Her newest cookbook, "SMALL BATCH BAKING FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS", is ideal for singles, small families, college students, retirees and brides-to-be. (And for ALL chocolate lovers, as well!)

If you have ever craved chocolate, gave in to the temptation of making a whole pan of brownies, and then proceeded to polish off all (or most) of the entire thing, you'll want to get this cookbook!

Debby explained that she got the idea for the book from her daughter, who would come home from school and request a dessert (at 8pm, no less!) Debby experimented and perfected all the recipes in this new cookbook.

There are over 120 pies, cakes, tarts, muffins, cookies and scones. You don't really need any special equipment other than a mini tart pan and a mini loaf pan -which she said you can pick up in the grocery aisle. When making the cakes, you can just recycle a tin can (a 14 1/2 oz. works best). You should use a can opener that doesn't leave a sharp edge and Debby has some recommendations in her book.

I shared one of her recipes after the interview today (see below). You can also get more information at her website: http://www.smallbatchbaking.com/.

Brownie Cookies
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped
1 ½ Tbsp. unsalted butter
¼ c. firmly packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp. well beaten egg
½ tsp. pure vanilla extract
¼ tsp. baking soda
Pinch of salt
¼ c. all purpose flour
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°. Line baking sheet with piece of parchment paper; set aside. Place chocolate and butter in medium, microwave safe bowl; microwave on MEDIUM until soft, about
1 ½ minutes. Stir until smooth. Stir in brown sugar; whisk in egg, vanilla, baking soda & salt until well blended. Stir in flour. Cover and refrigerate until dough is firm, about 30 minutes. Spoon dough by Tbsp. onto baking sheet, 2” apart. Bake until cookies have puffed then flattened, about 14 minutes. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Yield: 7 cookies.

Debby says these are great for an afternoon snack, crumbled to make your own "cookies and cream" blend of ice cream-or used as ice cream sandwiches!

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