Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Bars

So when I buy buttermilk to bake something I try to find other things to make with what is left. I know, I know, you can freeze leftover buttermilk, but I never seem to do it.

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Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars

 

It is funny I do not remember my mom making anything with buttermilk – really nothing. Not even biscuits and that is strange for a Southern woman. I do not have it on hand all the time, but most of the time.

Most recently, I have used buttermilk in Savory Herb Muffins and in Basil Sun-Dried Tomato Mozzarella Bread, and of course, Lemon Buttermilk Cake with Lemon Glaze which was the original intent of the buttermilk purchase. And now another recipe with just a bit of buttermilk in it.

In the grand scheme of things, it is kind of a test. What can you do with it, and make it different. Not just cake or biscuits or whatever – try to make a variety of things. I am sure the next time I have buttermilk (like now) homemade ranch dressing will be in my future as is often the case in the spring. And that always means spinach and mushroom quiche. One of my favorite things ever and a recipe I have had since before the boy was born – way before.

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
8 Tbs unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbs canola oil
1 large egg, room temperature
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup roughly chopped pecans (Renfroe’s, of course)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 9 x 13 inch baking pan*, spray with baking spray and line with parchment and spray again.

Over a piece of waxed paper, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt. In a bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and both sugars. In a small bowl, crack egg, add canola oil, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add flour a little at a time. Stir in chocolate and pecans.

Spread dough, it will be thick, into pan making sure to get dough all the way into the corners. Bake 30 – 35 minutes until center is set and the edges are golden. Cool bars in pan and the cut into bite-sized pieces with a plastic knife because you do not want to jack up the pan with a metal knife.

Source: Baking Bites – one of my favorite baking sites. Must, at some point, figure out how many recipes that I have used from this site. I think there will be several.

* Love William-Sonoma Gold Touch Pans – they really are the best. Thank you America’s Test Kitchen for showing me how amazing these pans are. They really live up to all the hype.

Savory Herb Muffins

So another thing that happens when I have buttermilk – I like to have herbs – Italian parsley, chives, basil, dill, etc.  Usually to make homemade ranch**, but in this case, I was really looking for something different. This totally fit the spring-herb bill and with a little home-made pesto and Parmesan to add in the mix. How could I not try this? I am happy to say the MotH really liked these, but the Irish butter sealed the deal. Did for me too. Maybe butter is like bacon. Probably.

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Savory Herb Muffin

1/2 cup Italian flat-leaf parsley, minced,  the only parsley I use
1/2 cup chives, minced
3 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/3 cup home-made pesto*
1/4 finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbs baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin with liners. Rinse parsley, basil*, and chives and wrap in paper towels to dry completely. Mince parsley and chives. Set aside for now.

In a bowl, mix together eggs, salt, and pepper. Add in buttermilk, pesto*, and Parmesan. Over waxed paper, sift together flour and baking powder.

Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just incorporated. Do not over mix. It’s a muffin after all. Stir in the parsley and chives.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake for 25 minutes, rotating half way through until golden and toothpick comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Source: slightly modified from: chocolateandzucchini.com/recipes/appetizers/fresh-herb-muffins-recipe/  One of my favorite blogs – http://chocolateandzucchini.com/  Clotilde is just amazing. The first time I heard this name was when the Boy went to Episcopal Day School and Clotilde was a girl in his class that I envied because her mom had a great way with style. One that I do not have. Sigh.

* Pesto – my homemade recipe – a bunch of  basil, freshly washed, 2 decent sized cloves of garlic, a good half cup of walnuts (no  pine nuts for me), a good pinch of kosher salt, and enough olive oil to make it loose, but not too loose. – in your food processor. You have to judge how much olive oil by what recipe the pesto will be involved in.  In this case, I was looking for pesto to go in muffins, not as a pasta sauce. So not too much olive oil. A little bit of fresh lemon juice is always appreciated.

** Homemade ranch – just wing it. It is mayo, and some sour cream if you like it (I do), and any fresh herbs you like – Italian parsley, chives, dill or cilantro if those are things for you. You can do minced garlic, but honestly, garlic or onion powder works because no matter what this mess has to sit in the fridge for a few hours to make it work. There also needs to be fresh lemon juice – or lime (haven’t done it but expect it will be good). And then just enough buttermilk to make it consistency that you want. But, again, it needs to sit in the fridge to make the flavours come together.

Notes: Okay, I made this because it was spring and I liked the ideas of fresh herbs. And making pesto again. And had buttermilk (always full fat – yep). It also reminded me of how much I need to sort out growing my own herbs again instead of buying them. For lord’s sake I grow my own Meyer Lemons – I should totally grow my own herbs like I did in years past.

I do have to say that I’m not a huge fan of the green look of the muffins (did say – mold muffins – just could not help it). That said, they taste great, especially with some my favorite salted Irish butter (Kerrygold) on them. For butter that you are going to put on something (muffins, toast, etc.) Irish butter is always best. I guess they just have amazing cows or something.