Tuesday, October 1

Chicago Food Bloggers Cooking Class at The Chopping Block


Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo
Last Sunday, my friend Lauren and I stopped by The Chopping Block, a Chicago culinary school, for a hands-on cooking class with other local food bloggers. The event, organized by Chicago Food Bloggers, was a fantastic way to meet other local food bloggers, enjoy food and drinks, all while learning how to cook some tasty bites from professional chefs.

Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo
Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo
Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo
The event was held at The Chopping Block's location in the Merchandise Mart and kicked off with some white bean hummus and Italian black truffle popcorn, while bloggers got to chat with one another. Our class was divided into three cooking stations, each for a separate dish. Collectively, we made the following:
  • Roasted poblano and black bean quesadillas
  • Thai meatballs with sweet chili dipping sauce
  • Brownies with peanut butter frosting
We each chose a station to cook at, and, if you know me, I of course went straight for the brownie station. It was super fun learning from the pros and baking up some decadent brownies with my new-found foodie friends. Take a look at some more photos from the event and check out the recipe for the peanut butter frosting brownies below!

Chopping peanuts for the brownies
Mixing all of the dry ingredients
Chopping away
Prepping to mix together the dry and wet ingredients
Pouring the eggs and vanilla into the chocolate mixture

Lauren and me hard at work! Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo

Adding the wet ingredients to the dry. Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo


Chopped peanuts for the batter and frosting

Folding in the chopped peanuts
Spreading the batter out into parchment-lined baking dishes
Ingredients for the peanut butter cream cheese frosting
Whipping up the butter and cream cheese

Using a KitchenAid mixer is not as easy as it looks! Photo courtesy of Mike Kostyo
Rolling the Thai meatballs
The quesadilla station
Fresh pico de gallo for the quesadillas
Quesadilla filling
Bloggers hard at work!
Eating the fruits of our labor

Roasted poblano and black bean quesadillas
Brownies with peanut butter frosting. They were as delicious as they look!
Peanut Butter Frosting Brownies
Recipe via The Chopping Block
Yield: 10-12 servings

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
3 oz semi sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup toasted peanuts, rough chopped
Peanut butter frosting (recipe below)

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Butter a 9'X13' baking pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and brush with additional butter.
2. Place the butter, chocolate chips, and sugars in a saucepan. Place over low heat and stir until the mixture is melted.
3. Remove from the heat and stir in the eggs and vanilla extract.
4. Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. Gently whisk into the chocolate mixture until just combined. Fold in the peanuts.
5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a tester, when inserted into the center, comes out clean, about 20-25 minutes.
6. Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then cut into desired shapes.
7. Ice with the peanut butter frosting and serve.

Peanut Butter Frosting
Recipe via The Chopping Block
Yield: 3 cups

Ingredients:
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 stick butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2- 3 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, room temperature
2/3 cup roasted salted peanuts, rough chopped

Directions: 
1. Beat the cream cheese and butter at medium speed until blended and smooth. Beat in the vanilla extract.
2. At low speed, beat in the powdered sugar until blended and smooth, adding additional powdered sugar, if necessary, to achieve desired spreading consistency. Stir in the peanut butter.
3. Spread the frosting over cooled brownies and sprinkle with the roasted peanuts.

The Chopping Block
www.thechoppingblock.net
Merchandise Mart Plaza, Suite 107
Chicago, IL 60654
312.644.6360
Chopping Block on Urbanspoon

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