Tag Archives: Brownies

Whole-Wheat Brownies

I didn’t think I’d get away with these Whole-Wheat Brownies but I totally did. Both my dad and my brother are huge chocolate fans, and they love simple desserts. Every time I bake cupcakes or a cake that have something else other than your usual ingredients, they raise a brow. These brownies not only have Whole Wheat Flour in them, but also have Apple Sauce. I honestly thought it was going to be a big flop with those two.

Thankfully, they passed the test. These brownies came out a bit cakey on day one for my taste, but the next day they took a turn for the best. They are chewy and delicious… but they do not have the crunchy top that you would usually see on brownies. That’s what my dad missed from the old brownie recipe. But, all around, they didn’t even notice the whole wheat flour, and much less the apple sauce. That, in my book, is a win!

Kitty

Whole Wheat Brownies

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Cocoa Brownies

Father’s day is coming up, and for this year’s celebration at Kristen’s pre-school we’re collaborating with Cocoa Brownies, which is perfect because she’s really into baking now… if it were up to her she would have us baking goodies every day.  It’s also a great opportunity for me to try these brownies made from cocoa.  I already shared a recipe of Classic Brownies with you, but they are made with melted chocolate.   According to Alton Brown, cocoa is the secret ingredient to make a really good batch of good old fashioned brownies.  Quality is important, so get the best one you can, and make sure it’s baking cocoa (unsweetened), and not the drinking kind!

You probably already know that there is natural cocoa, and dutch processed cocoa.  The difference between the two is the alkali process that the dutch cocoa goes through to neutralize its acids, making it darker.  When you’re baking, natural cocoa is best, even though its flavor is bitter, it imparts a more “chocolatey” flavor which makes it ideal for brownies, cookies and cakes.

There are a few things that I learned about brownies with this recipe, which are really good ones:  Use natural cocoa powder for baked goods, instead of dutch processed cocoa powder, which is more suitable for beverages.   Rim your baking pan with parchment paper, which makes lifting brownies out of the pan a breeze.  There’s also a tip I read from Gordon Ramsay that says you should let brownies cool in the pan for at least 2-3 hours, and then refrigerate them for about 1 hour before trying to cut them.

There is an important note about the baking time on this recipe.  I did go for the 300 degrees F, and started checking it after 45 minutes, like it said.  The toothpick still came out covered in batter.  I added 10 more minutes of baking time… it still came out with some batter.   5 more minutes…. the toothpick was almost clean, so I thought that was good enough.  Maybe they could’ve used an extra 5 minutes, but I don’t know if that would have made the edges too dry.   Next time, I will try turning the oven to 325F and will start testing after 45 minutes.

I hope you can also use this recipe to make some brownies for Dad.

Happy Father’s Day!

Helga

Cocoa Brownies

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Chocolate Chip Blondies

Ever since I did the first batch of Butterscotch Blondies last year, I knew I had to try some other variations and Chocolate Chip Blondies were  the obvious choice! Browsing through the many (many) recipes I have bookmarked that haven’t yet made it to my Pinterest board or to my MacGourmet library, I found this one from Deb at the Smitten Kitchen. Her recipes are always on the dot and never disappoint.

What I absolutely love about it: an easy one bowl recipe and it’s easy to double. Try your own version! You can replace the Chocolate Chips for Butterscotch or Peanut Butter Chips, or dried Cranberries (or maybe a cranberries and raisins medley)? Or nuts? See, I’m already planing the next batch! Here are some suggestions from Deb (found on her site):

Further additions, use one or a combination of:

  • ½ to 1 cup chopped nuts, toasting them first for even better flavor
  • ½ to 1 cup chocolate chips
  • ½ teaspoon mint extract in addition to or in place of the vanilla
  • ½ cup mashed bananas
  • ½ cup bourbon, scotch or other whiskey; increase the flour by one tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons of espresso powder with the vanilla
  • Stir ½ cup dried fruit, especially dried cherries, into the prepared batter
  • Top with a vanilla butter cream or chocolate peanut butter cream frosting
The options are endless!

Kitty

Chocolate Chip Blondies

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Classic Brownies

Well, it seems to be working… all those afternoons in the kitchen with Kristen baking cookies, cupcakes, cakes, pancakes, etc. apparently have made an impact on her.  She is starting to ask for cooking sessions out of her own motivation.  A few weeks ago, she organized her first family gathering inviting her aunt, uncles and grandparents over for coffee and cupcakes.  I let her prepare the (cake mix) cupcakes all by herself (under my supervision for chaos control).  She was so proud of herself!… and so were we.

On one of her requested baking sessions, we wanted to make brownies.  I reached for the brownie mix in my pantry, only to find that it had expired.  Brownies from scratch it is, then.  I searched for a few recipes and decided to go with the one from Smitten Kitchen, I didn’t want any surprises and Deb’s recipes haven’t let me down.  What I liked the most about this recipe, aside from being a good classic brownie recipe,  is the tip for using aluminum foil to cover the pan before you add the batter!  I will do this every time from now on, it made getting neat squares easy.

Be sure to test for doneness before removing the brownies from the oven. If underbaked (the toothpick has batter clinging to it) the texture of the brownies will be dense and gummy. If overbaked (the toothpick comes out completely clean), the brownies will be dry and cakey.

Helga

Chocolate Brownies

Classic Brownies

Recipe from  Smitten Kitchen

 Ingredients:

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Procedure:

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar.
  5. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  6. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies