Make it stopppppp.
Why is it the end of October already? First, September flew by me and now October too? No no no no no. It’s supposed to be the most beautiful time of the year and I haven’t even had the time to enjoy it! Plus with all these “violent” rain storms, there hasn’t been a single crunchy leaf for me to giddily step on.
Guys, life has been extremely busy but the thing that has kept me busiest is the business of being busy. Ya know what I mean? There’s always SOMETHING to do. Another list to make. And don’t even me started on the bajillion comments/messages/emails with their own timely demands. It’s not really the doing that takes up my time, it’s all the planning. My schedule fills up before I even realize it and all of a sudden, the three weeks that I have set aside to study for my CDRE (Canadian Dietetic Registration Exam) are gone.
Not complaining though! As crazy busy as it has been, I’m so thankful for everything that has come my way. I’ve got some pretty cool things coming up including a short written article in a magazine as an RD, an interview with a lifestyle and entrepreneurship blog, and this Zwilling collaboration! By the way, next month I’ll be sharing a discount code for you all to use! Take a gander on their website and see if there’s anything that you or a friend will like – Christmas IS coming up!
With the sudden change of weather from summer to winter here in Vancouver, I’ve been craving cozy comfort foods like chicken pot pie, stews, and carb-based foods like jambalaya and gumbo. Maybe it’s my biological instinct to gain as much fat as I can to insulate my vital organs for the winter?
My biological need for comfort foods has met its enabler: cast iron. Cast iron is perfect for the job because it can cook/bake/roast/stew things slowly and thoroughly. I find that heat is better controlled and more evenly distributed with this material. Also, as someone who burns EVERYTHING, cast iron has been a blessing!
I’ve tried other brands of cast iron before but I find that Staub carries the most variety of sizes and shapes and also uses a higher quality cast iron. This is my first time I using it and my cookie didn’t even stick! It’s like it’s pre-seasoned or something. If you’ve been eyeing some pretty dutch ovens, cast iron skillets, pots and pans, fancy knives that actually cut, I gotchu covered! Next month, I’ll be sharing a discount code for you to get whatever you want!
Ok now let’s talk about this salted caramel chocolate skillet cookie. Notice what a monstrosity this is? Yep, I intentionally created this. I doubled the dough and put it ALL in the pan then watched as it rose and grew and bubbled and cracked into THIS. Isn’t it beautiful?
I paired it with white chocolate for a colour contrast and because white chocolate tastes hella good. Then I topped it with vanilla ice cream, homemade salted caramel and homemade candied hazelnuts. If you’re from Vancouver then you probably have heard of an ice cream joint called Rain or Shine and you’ve probably tried their addictive crunchy candied hazelnuts. By sheer coincidence, this recipe closely mimics those in the ice cream shop!
Alright, I’ve done a lot of talking. I leave you with this piece of wisdom:
- This recipe is half of what I made. It’s the perfect amount of an 11” oval or 10” round skillet
- If you wanna go fancy, take a round cookie cutter and make individually plated cookies
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup good white chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used Callebaut)
1/2 cup hazelnuts
1/4-1/2 cup icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
In a large bowl, cream the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, 1 at a time, and mix well. Add the cocoa and mix again.
Sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and add to the chocolate dough. Mix until just combined. Fold in the chopped white chocolate.
Scoop into skillet and bake for 10-15 minutes
Roast hazelnuts at 350 degrees F for 10 minutes
Peel skins off
Soak hazelnuts in a bowl of water, and drain
Combine with icing sugar (the water helps the sugar to stick and to caramelize)
Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees F
Top with ice cream, salted caramel and candied hazelnuts