What is the cookbook equivalent of clickbait? Cookbait, maybe? If you’ve ever been tempted by enticing cookbook names and mouthwatering photos, you know what I’m talking about. And you probably know the disappointment that happens when you buy the book, make a recipe and it’s only meh, if not a downright failure.
Well, there’s good news — almost too good (stick with me here) — about this recipe from Chrissy Teigen’s “Cravings: Hungry for More.” It delivers, and then some.
Flipping through the book (one of my colleague Bonnie Benwick’s top cookbooks of 2018), it was love at first sight when I came across these Skillet Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Blondies. I knew this was something I had to make. You might even say I craved it. Then, when I baked it and served it to my colleagues, we devoured it. We went back for seconds, plus little furtive bites and crumbs. You might say we were hungry for more.
We were so hungry for more — almost to the detriment of sensible eating. My advice would be to make sure you have enough people on hand so that it goes fast enough that you won’t be able to go back for more helpings. (The books suggests 10 to 12 servings, but the calorie count might persuade you to cut even smaller pieces.) The photo accompanying the recipe in the book encourages that kind of free-for-all, depicting a skillet that has just been dug into with a couple of spoons, amid a melting scoop of vanilla ice cream.
What exactly makes this dessert so magical? If you ask Teigen’s husband, John Legend, who chimes in on the headnote, it’s the two starring ingredients. “Peanut butter and chocolate belong together and their love makes the world a tastier place,” he says. Of course, the fact that the dessert is ideally served still warm and gooey on the inside doesn’t hurt either.
The blondie descriptor doesn’t quite do it justice, because it’s also part pie (crispy crust) and part peanut butter/chocolate chip cookie mashup (crunchy peanut butter in the dough, plus peanut butter chips and chocolate chips). Even after all that, we didn’t find the finished product overly sweet, in a good way, which means ice cream should definitely be in play when you serve it. Vanilla is a classic, but we rolled with coffee, which was a very nice twist.
There’s nothing else to say. Take the bait, and bake with it.