CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

For the life of me I cannot remember where I adapted this recipe from, but it is a serious home run! It’s actually more sugar than I can tolerate and hubby said it was good, but felt we could go without the fudge layer completely and that it would still be great. I had also added a thin layer of blackberry jam that I will omit next time.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE MARBLE CAKE ~ THE PERFECT CELEBRATION CAKE

This recipe uses 1 batter 2 ways (vanilla and chocolate) swirled with a fudge ripple to create a simply delicious layer cake topped with a fudgy buttercream frosting. This was a scratch recipe that I’ve adapted to use weights trying for a more exact baking science.

VANILLA CAKE BATTER
3 cups all-purpose flour or 390 grams by weight
3 cups granulated sugar or 600 grams by weight
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder or 10 grams by weight
1 teaspoon salt or 5 grams by weight
1 cup butter or 225 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 teaspoons or 10 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1 cup egg whites or 245 grams by weight – about 6 LARGE egg whites
1 1/2 cups buttermilk or 360 grams by weight, at room temperature
1/8 cup vegetable oil or 30 grams by weight

  • Mix together all dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt) in a stand mixer with a paddle until fully combined.
  • Mix chunks of room-temperature butter slowly into the dry mix, on a low speed. Continue to mix until no large chunks of butter remain, and the mixture becomes crumbly.
  • Pour in egg whites, and mix on low until just incorporated.
  • Mix in the buttermilk in two installments, on a low speed.
  • Add in vanilla and oil, and mix at a low speed until fully incorporated.
  • Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, then beat on medium speed for about 30 seconds.
  • Pour half of the batter (950 GRAMS) into a separate bowl and set aside.

CHOCOLATE CAKE BATTER
1/3 cup or 35 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa powder
1/4 cup or 50 grams by weight granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 2 grams by weight baking powder
1/4 teaspoon or 1 gram by weight salt
1/4 cup egg whites or 60 grams by weight (about 2 egg whites)
1/4 cup or 45 grams by weight buttermilk

  • Whisk together the cocoa powder, sugar, 1/4 salt, and baking powder into the remaining batter.
  • Add the egg whites and buttermilk, mixing on a low speed until smooth.

CHOCOLATE FUDGE SWIRL
1 cup or 150 grams by weight MINI semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup or 55 grams by weight unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup or 60 grams by weight heavy cream, room temperature

  • Combine the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream into a heatproof bowl.
  • Heat in microwave for two 30-second intervals, stirring in between.
  • Allow the mixture to cool 1 minute, then stir until smooth and set aside to cool.

CAKE PREPARATION

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line three 9 inch round cake pans with parchment paper AND grease with non-stick baking spray.
  • Alternate spoonfuls of vanilla cake batter with the chocolate cake batter into the prepared cake pans, filling them roughly one inch high with batter.
  • Randomly add small dollops about one inch in diameter of fudge swirl on top of the vanilla and chocolate cake batter.
  • Drag an offset spatula or butter knife through the batter in horizontal and vertical lines to create a marbled pattern.
  • Bake for 33-35 minutes until tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then run an offset spatula around perimeter of the pan to separate the cake from the pan.
  • Level the cakes with a serrated knife as necessary once they’re fully cooled.

FUDGE BUTTERCREAM FROSTING – if simply icing without fancy decoration halve this recipe.

1 1/2 cups unsalted butter or 325 grams by weight (3 sticks) unsalted butter at room temperature
5 1/2 cups or 685 grams powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon or 3 grams by weight salt
1/4 cup or 30 grams by weight heavy cream
1 tablespoon or 15 grams by weight PURE vanilla extract
1/2 cup or 40 grams by weight unsweetened baking cocoa
1/2 cup or 90 grams by weight semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips

  • Beat the butter on a medium speed for 30 seconds with a paddle attachment, until smooth.
  • Mix in the vanilla extract and salt on a low speed.
  • Gradually add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time. Alternate with cream.
  • Mix on low for a couple minutes until the ingredients are fully incorporated, and the desired consistency is reached.
  • If the frosting is too thick, add in more cream 1 tablespoon at a time or if frosting is too thin, add in more powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time.
  • Mix in baking cocoa powder and the melted chocolate chips.
  • Place half of the buttercream into a separate bowl.

CAKE ASSEMBLY

  • Stack the cake layers on a grease proof cake round or large serving plate.
  • Spread a thin dab of buttercream on the center of the board, to help your cake layer stay in place.
  • Next, center the first cake layer the cake board.
  • Spread an even layer of buttercream onto the cake layer with an offset spatula.
  • Repeat with remaining cake layers.
  • Place the top cake layer upside down.
  • Cover the cake in a thin layer of frosting, and smooth using a bench scraper.
  • Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting is firm to the touch.
  • At this point you can get creative with your decorating or add a final layer of buttercream smoothing as you go.

NOTES

  • You can make the parts in advance and freeze them to make the process A LOT less tedious.
  • Make your frosting ahead of time too and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Be sure to stir it well to smooth the consistency.
  • You can add a marmalade or berry layer on top of each buttercream layer for a bit of an added oomph!
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month. The buttercream locks in all the moisture, keeping the cake fresh and delicious! If you cut into the cake and have any leftovers, you can use remaining frosting to cover the cut section to keep it moist and store in the fridge for up to a week.

ALTERNATE CHOCOLATE CREAM CHEESE BUTTERCREAM
8 ounces cream cheese – 1 brick, 226 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
1/2 cup unsalted butter – 1 stick, 113 grams by weight, softened to room temperature
4 cups powdered sugar – 455 grams by weight, sifted
3 tablespoons QUALITY cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoons PURE vanilla extract

  • Beat the cream cheese, butter until fluffy.
  • Add vanilla and blend until creamy.
  • Add powdered sugar, cocoa, and salt on low until combined.
  • Beat on high 3-4 minutes until smooth, light, and creamy.
  • Decorate as desired.

BRAISED BALSAMIC CHICKEN for 2

This recipe was originally written to serve 6 over at ALLRECIPES.com. It uses dried herbs and a can of diced tomatoes. Unfortunately, diced canned tomatoes don’t come in small enough sizes for 2 so I adapted the recipe to make my own using cherry tomatoes AND use FRESH(er) herbs.  I also don’t particularly care for olive oil so I substitute avocado oil and instead of onion I substitute shallot for a little extra flavor.

BRAISED BALSAMIC CHICKEN
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
FRESH ground black pepper
garlic salt, to taste
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 large shallot, sliced
1 ¼ cup quartered cherry tomatoes
¼ cup QUALITY balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons Gourmet Garden “squeeze” Italian herbs
1 tablespoon Gourmet Garden “squeeze” Basil

  • In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, basil and Italian herbs.
  • Fold in tomatoes, cover and refrigerate until dinner.

  • Generously season chicken breasts with FRESH ground pepper and garlic salt.
  • Heat oil in skillet over medium heat.
  • Add shallot, cooking until browned. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Add chicken to skillet and sear each side, about 3 minutes per side.
  • Top chicken with shallots and tomato mixture.
  • Bring to a QUICK boil, reduce heat and simmer, covered, 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Turn chicken to coat well in glaze.
  • Serve over pasta or mashed potatoes.
  • Garnish with FRESH herbs.

BLUEBERRY BANANA MAPLE MUFFINS

I made these recently for a friend’s birthday and instantly fell in love <3 with them!  I’ve adapted the original recipe just slightly and think it’s absolutely perfect now.

BLUEBERRY BANANA MAPLE MUFFINS slightly adapted from Brandi Milloy
yields 18 muffins

½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
²⁄³ cups PURE maple syrup
1 LARGE egg, room temperature
2 small VERY RIPE bananas, mashed
¹⁄³ cup WHOLE milk
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla extract
2 cups sifted cake flour
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of sea salt
2 cups SMALL WILD blueberries
¼ cup FINELY chopped walnuts
¼ cup DARK brown sugar, for topping

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Line muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease tins well.
  • In an electric mixer bowl, cream together the butter and maple syrup.
  • Add egg, mashed banana, milk and vanilla extract, mixing until well blended.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • If you are using fresh blueberries add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix just until combined.
  • Then FOLD in blueberries.
  • If you are using frozen blueberries, add 3/4 of the flour mixture to the banana mixture and mix. Then add your frozen blueberries to the remaining flour mixture and toss. This will keep the frozen blueberries from sinking to the bottom of the muffins.
  • Scoop batter into muffin tins until they’re about ¾ of the way full.
  • Whisk together the brown sugar and walnuts.
  • Top with a generous sprinkle of the brown sugar nut mix.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffin comes out clean.
  • Cool COMPLETELY on wire rack.

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS

CHEESE & POTATO STUFFED PORK CHOPS serves 4
adapted from Bake At Midnite

4 center cut bone-in pork chops (about ¾-inch thick)
2 medium potatoes, sliced VERY thinly (See note)
4 green onions, sliced thin
½ cup shredded Fontina cheese
4 slices Gruyere cheese
FRESH ground sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons melted butter, divided
4-6 sprigs FRESH thyme

  • Preheat oven to 400°.
  • Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan.
  • Make a “pocket” in the chops to hold the filling.
  • Peel the potatoes if you wish.
  • Slice the potatoes ULTRA thin…so you can read through them.
  • Place potatoes in a medium bowl.
  • Add green onion pieces, the cheeses, salt, pepper and 1 tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Stuff each chop with a quarter of the potato-cheese mixture.
  • Heat butter over medium-high heat.
  • Quickly sear each side of chops and then place them in prepared pan.
  • Brush with remaining melted butter.
  • Top with thyme sprigs.
  • Sprinkle lightly with additional salt and pepper.
  • Bake for 40-50 minutes.

NOTES: You may also substitute 2 cups frozen shredded potatoes that are thawed and dried of ALL moisture if you don’t want to bother with the thin slicing.

SLOW COOKER METHOD:

  • Proceed as above except place chops in a 5-7 Quart slow cooker. Try to angle the chops with the stuffed pocket angled upward.
  • Cover and cook on high for 4-5 hrs.

PORTUGUESE PIRI PIRI CHICKEN – marinades for 24 hours – plan ahead

I’d been making a version of this chicken for years – I never knew it had a name 😀 After trying this version I adapted it to a mix of Karina’s and my recipes that is now my preferred method!

PORTUGUESE PIRI PIRI CHICKEN adapted from Karina at CafeDelites

MARINADE
1/2 cup avocado oil
1/3 cup BBQ sauce** (see below)
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon onion powder
Juice of FRESH LARGE lemon
2-4 teaspoons PIRI PIRI sauce or sriracha
1 teaspoon creamy horseradish
2 teaspoons FRESH ground salt
FRESH Cracked black pepper , to taste

  • Mix all of the marinade ingredients (except for the Piri Piri or Sriracha) together until well combined.
  • Mix in 2 teaspoons of Piri-Piri or Sriracha. Taste test, and work up from there until reaching your desired level of heat.
  • Using 3/4 of the marinade, coat the chicken evenly on the outside, as well as under the skin where possible (the breast especially), until fully coated in sauce.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate over night if time allows, but no less than 2 hours. The longer you leave it, the better the flavor.

CHICKEN
3 chicken thighs (bone-in, skin-on)
FRESH ground salt and pepper, to taste

  • When ready to cook, arrange oven shelf to the middle of the oven, and preheat to 400°.
Remove the chicken from the refrigerator and let it sit on the counter top for 20 minutes to take the chill out of the chicken.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in an oven proof pan or well seasoned skillet over medium heat. When pan is hot, place the chicken, skin side down into the pan, and sear for a good 5-6 minutes, until the skin becomes golden browned. Flip and sear on the other side for 5 minutes more.
  • Add 1 more tablespoon of avocado oil to the remaining marinade, and pour half of it over the chicken. Use a basting brush to coat evenly.
  • Place the chicken in the preheated oven, and cook for 30 minutes, or until cooked through and juices run clear.
  • Once the chicken is done, baste with the pan drippings and serve with any remaining marinade to use as a dipping sauce.

NOTES**:

  • The BBQ sauce you use will make a HUGE difference in the flavor. I wouldn’t use an overly sweet one and prefer to make my own.
  • You can leave the sriracha out all together if you don’t want any heat at all.

BBQ SAUCE
2 cups ketchup
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
5 packed tablespoons light brown sugar
2 cloves garlic, smashed
2 teaspoons fresh ground pepper
2 teaspoons onion powder
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

  • In a large saucepan combine all the ingredients, stirring to blend.
  • Bring the mixture to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for an hour, stirring frequently.

ROASTED ASPARAGUS in CAJUN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE

ROASTED ASPARAGUS in CAJUN HOLLANDAISE SAUCE – serves 4
1 1/2 pounds asparagus
2 1/2 tablespoons Avocado oil
1/4 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama Creole Seasoning
Pinch paprika, for garnish

  • Preheat oven to 450°.
  • Cover baking sheet in foil.
  • Snap off woody asparagus ends.
  • Arrange asparagus in a single layer on baking sheet.
  • Drizzle with avocado oil and seasoning, turning to coat.
  • Roast until asparagus is is tender and beginning to darken in color.
  • Top with sauce and serve immediately.

SAUCE
8 tablespoons salted butter
2 LARGE egg yolks
Juice of 1 small lemon
1/2 teaspoon Tony Chachere’s or Slap Ya Mama Creole Seasoning
1/4 teaspoon FRESH ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon Frank’s original hot sauce

  • Melt butter in a small saucepan until sizzling.
  • Pulse egg yolks in a small food processor.
  • Add lemon juice.
  • VERY SLOWLY drizzle in the hot butter. Sauce will immediately begin to thicken.
  • Add the Cajun seasoning, pepper and hot sauce, blending JUST until combined.
  • Drizzle sauce over asparagus and serve immediately.

NOTE:  If sauce thickens too much, add 1 tablespoon hot water at a time until you reach desired consistency.

BAKED HONEY LIME CHICKEN

BAKED HONEY LIME CHICKEN adapted from Dinner Then Dessert

With just 4 total ingredients these chicken thighs are first browned and then baked in the same skillet which results in PERFECT crispy, sweet and a little sour tender chicken that looks like you slaved over a hot grill.

1/4 cup honey
3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
2 limes, 1- zested and juiced, 1-halved
5 chicken thighs, bone in and skin on
1 tablespoon avocado oil

  • Pre-heat the oven to 375°.
  • Whisk together the Bragg’s liquid aminos, honey, lime juice and lime zest.
  • Add chicken thighs to a ziploc bag.
  • Pour marinade over chicken, seal bag and rub marinade into chicken.
  • Heat the avocado oil in a large cast iron or oven ready skillet over medium high heat.
  • Using tongs add the chicken to the skillet and brown with the skin side down for 3-5 minutes. Reserve marinade.
  • Flip the chicken over so the skin side is up.
  • Add on the remaining marinade and halved lime.
  • Roast in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

NOTE: This recipe also works with any other type of citrus – lemon, tangerine, blood orange, grapefruit…

Linking up to FULL Plate Thursday.

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS

SALTED CARAMEL CHOCOLATE NUT BARS – the ultimate cookie bar for those that LOVE both sweet and salty mixed together! adapted (but not by much!) from Brown Eyed Baker

Yield: 16 cookie bars                Prep:15 minutes
Cook:30 minutes                      Total:45 minutes

2 1/8 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips**
1/2 cup Heath Bar Toffee Bits
10 ounces caramel candy squares, unwrapped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3 tablespoons heavy cream or buttermilk
Fleur de sel (Sea salt), for sprinkling over caramel and bars

  • Preheat oven to 325°.
  • Grease a 12×5 inch baking pan and line with parchment paper; set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix together the melted butter and sugars on medium speed until combined.
  • Add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix on low, just until combined.
  • Stir in the chocolate chips, toffee bits and walnuts.
  • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine the caramels and heavy cream.
  • Microwave on high until the caramels are melted, stirring every 20 seconds. This will take about 2 minutes.
  • Press half of the cookie dough into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with a spatula.
  • Pour the hot caramel over the dough cookie dough and spread into an even layer, leaving about ½ inch around the border.
  • Sprinkle the caramel with sea salt.
  • Drop the remaining cookie dough in spoonfuls over the caramel and gently spread the dough with a spatula until the caramel is covered.
  • Sprinkle the bars with additional sea salt.
  • Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top of the bars are light golden brown and the edges start to pull away from the pan.
  • Place the pan on a wire rack and cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for about 30 minutes to allow the caramel layer to set.
  • Cut into squares and serve.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

NOTE: ** I like to use  mixture of peanut butter and milk chocolate chips.

SINFUL ULTIMATE MAC & CHEESE

SINFUL MAC & CHEESE adapted from Incredible Recipes from Heaven
MAC & CHEESE
1 pound macaroni
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
12 ounce can evaporated milk
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon parsley
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 cups freshly grated cheddar cheese
8 slices provolone cheese
1 cup sour cream
2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  • Prepare pasta al dente per package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
  • In a large skillet melt the butter over medium high heat, and whisk in flour stirring occasionally until golden.
  • Reduce heat and whisk in the milk, mustard, cornstarch, evaporated milk and all seasonings, one at a time, stirring constantly until it reaches a boil, allow to simmer while still whisking occasionally until SLIGHTLY thick
  • Remove from heat and whisk in cheddar cheese until melted.
  • Add macaroni and lightly toss until evenly coated
  • Pour half of the macaroni and cheese into greased baking dish.
  • Layering evenly with provolone cheese followed by an even layer of sour cream.
  • Pour remaining macaroni over sour cream then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

PANKO TOPPING
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
4 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1/4 cup pwdered Parmesan cheese

  • In the skillet melt butter in avocado oil over medium high heat.
  • Add breadcrumbs and stir in the Parmesan cheese.
  • Cook until crumbs become a golden brown.
  • Sprinkle over top the mac & cheese
  • Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and cheese is melted.
  • ENJOY!

Submitted to FULL PLATE THURSDAY @Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

MAGIC DUST SLAM DUNK HOT WINGS

MAGIC DUST SLAM DUNK HOT WINGS from Chris at NibbleMeThis He originally ran this recipe over at OUR Krazy Kitchen when I hosted that food blog.

36 chicken wing pieces (wingettes and drummettes)
CHRIS’ DRY RUB (I use my MAGIC DUST instead of Chris’ rub though – recipe below)
1 1/2 teaspoon Lawry’s Season Salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon oregano

TOSS SAUCE
1/2 cup hot sauce (I use Frank’s Original)
1/3 cup butter
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

DUNK SAUCE
3/4 cup ranch dressing
2 tablespoon diced roasted red pepper
2 tablespoon cilantro, finely minced

  • Preheat oven to 350°.
  • Mix the “dunk sauce” together and refrigerate.
  • Wash and dry the wing pieces REALLY well* and season with the dry rub.
  • Cook the wings for 25 minutes and then flip the wings.  Cook another 25 minutes or until crisp and cooked through.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the “toss sauce” over medium heat.
  • Toss the wings in the toss sauce and put back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
  • Serve with the Dunk Sauce and enjoy

NOTE* This helps get a crisp skin.

TAMY’S MAGIC DUST (my go to dry rub that I keep on hand)

1/2 cup sweet paprika
1/4 cup finely ground sea salt
1/3 cup superfine sugar
1/4 cup chipotle chili powder
2 tablespoons ground black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder

  • Mix all ingredients together until well blended.
  • Store in an airtight container.
  • Shake before each use.

MAGIC DUST NOTE: I can’t use it because of allergies, but a great addition to this recipe is 2 tablespoons of Colemna’s dry mustard.

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CARAMEL STUFFED AUTUMN SNICKERDOODLES

Another fun find on facebook that I altered to out taste. I mean who doesn’t like a snickerdoodle? and caramel? and cinnamon sugar? Put them all together and you have something really special for the fall season.

CARAMEL STUFFED AUTUMN SNICKERDOODLES yields 12 cookies adapted from DELISH
3/4 cup spiced apple cider
1 1/2 cup flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon molasses
1 egg
1 teaspoon PURE vanilla
Cinnamon sugar, for rolling
12 unwrapped caramel candies, cut into 4 pieces each

  • Preheat oven to 350° and line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.
  • In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the apple cider to a simmer, cooking until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Let cool.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl using a hand mixer, beat together butter and brown sugar.
  • Add egg, vanilla, molasses and apple cider mixing until well blended.
  • Add flour and mix JUST until combined.
  • Scoop about 2 tablespoons of cookie dough into a ball then flatten it slightly with your hand.
  • Press 4 caramel pieces into the center of the dough, covering and sealing the caramel entirely with dough.
  • Reshape it into a ball and roll in cinnamon-sugar.
  • Place on cookie sheet and repeat with remaining dough and caramels.
  • Freeze for 20 minutes.
  • Bake until the cookies are golden around the edges and set in the middle, 10-14 minutes.
  • Let cool for on pan for 5 to 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

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OPEN FACED GRILLED CHICKEN with MANCHAPENO SAUCE

Chris is right, these sandwiches are deceptively BIG so I ALWAYS cut them in half.  I’d never heard of Manchapeno sauce before. That is until Chris made it up inspired by the Kentucky Hot Brown. Manchapeno sauce is a white sauce powered by a fire roasted jalapeno pepper and the salty nutty taste of manchego cheese. Chris was also right that this sauce is DECADENT!

OPEN FACED GRILLED CHICKEN with MANCHAPENO SAUCE ala NIBBLE ME THIS
3 large chicken thighs, boneless, skinless
Chicken Rub (see below)
3 slices Italian bread (I usually omit)
2 roma tomatoes, sliced in 1/4” pieces
6 slices bacon, cooked crisp
Manchapeno Sauce (see below)

CHICKEN RUB
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon turbinado sugar

MANCHAPENO SAUCE
1 tablespoon butter, unsalted
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Wondra flour
1 cup milk
1 cup Manchego cheese
¼ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
1 red jalapeno (green if that’s all your can find), fire roasted, peeled and seeded
2 tablespoons parsley, finely diced

  • Make the “manchapeno sauce”. Melt the butter and saute garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes. Add the flour and stir until well blended in (2-3 minutes), starting to form a roux.
  • Add in the milk and lightly simmer for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the cheese in small batches until all blended.
  • Stir in the salt, pepper, jalapeno, and parsley.
  • Keep warm on low, stirring occasionally.
  • Season chicken with the chicken rub.
  • Grill chicken over direct heat at 400f for 4 minutes.
  • Flip can cook another 4 minutes. Boneless thighs are thin and cook quick, keep an eye on them.
  • Flip again and cook 1-2 minutes. Flip last time and cook 1-2 minutes until chicken is an internal temp of 160f.
  • Toast both sides of the bread over the flames.
  • Top each piece of bread with a piece of chicken, slices of tomato, and 2 slices of bacon.
  • Ladle the sauce over the sandwich and serve immediately.

NOTE: Fire roasting the pepper gives it a smokiness like a “quickie chipotle”.  If you don’t like heat, you could use a roasted red bell pepper instead.