Tag Archives: brownie

TWD: still breathing….

Yup.  I am still around.  I have been lurking a bit but not baking much.  If I start relaying how crazy this summer was and how I never meant to take an extended break, I probably won’t stop for 37 pages and we still won’t have discussed TWD.  While lurking, it came to my attention that TWD will be finished by the end of the year.  I started baking along in April 2008.  That is a lifetime ago in some respects (and about two weeks ago in others).   The point is…it’s a long time to bake along and not finish.

so?

So, I am finishing.  I wish I could say that I had today’s flip over plum cake to report on but we ate all the plums in 2.6 seconds.   I will make it though, along with a few others I missed, and, if all goes according to plan (hollow laugh), I will even post about it.

For today, I can report that Colin (above – shiner courtesy of playground roughhousing) and Will enjoyed the classic brownies.  I tried a small bite but not enough to make a definitive conclusion about them.   They seemed dandy but Dorie has enough good brownie recipes that I probably won’t go back to these soon.

I also made the salt+pepper cocoa shortbreads.  Salt+pepper+sweet is exactly the kind of weird food I love.  I, therefore, could only make half a batch and immediately took all but one to work.  If they hadn’t been shortbread (eh), I probably would have devoured them in the car on the way.  What I tasted I did like and will probably crave until I breakdown and make a bowl of dough and eat it standing at the kitchen counter.

All pictures will be iphone photos now officially.  The incredible “hassle” of downloading photos has thwarted more than blog post in my past.  So, I officially give in to my laziness. 

I am really going to make an effort to be back next week and the week after that.  Get used to me folks.  I am sticking around for awhile.

TWD: Chipster Topped Brownies (a long overdue idea)

P5170030

From the what-took-them-so-long-to-come-up-with-this file:

  1. Flavored toothpaste for kids
  2. Resealable raisin bags
  3. Velcro sneakers
  4. Clorox/Tide pens
  5. Flip top soup cans
  6. Chipster-topped brownies

 Let’s face it.  There are things in life that you appreciate but you can see how it took a lifetime to discover them.  We couldn’t go straight from three channels with no remote (not including youngest child in the room, of course) to DVR complete with caller ID on the TV (praise be!).  Other things, however, seem so obvious it is shocking that they weren’t around sooner.  We didn’t have DVRs in the 70s but we had flavors for crying out loud.  Why we were all stuck with mint toothpaste is a wonder.  We had Velcro long before parents were freed from the daily hourly burden of re-tieing a four old’s sneaker.   My purple Trapper Keeper was really the best use for the stuff?

P5170021

P5170024

Following this train of thought, it came as a complete and utter shock for me to realize that I entered middle age** before I had ever had brownie and cookie together.  Really?  These aren’t at my local bakery much less produced and waiting for my children at the local convenience store?  Shocking.   Dorie missed her chance for millions I think.

P5170032

Cookie + brownie + ice cream = all swimsuits happily in the trash

Clearly, we enjoyed these.  Some members of my family really enjoyed them and they were gone by nightfall.  No joke.  Patty put them on her Dorie top 5 list (which seems a wee bit bigger than five these days, but I am not going to nitpick when it comes to positive feedback).  The differences between the layers weren’t as pronounced as I thought they would be but I don’t think it mattered in the end.  We will definitely make these again.  I should probably go for the gusto and make a whole batch next time but I am not sure they would last any longer.

Thanks to Beth at Supplicious for an awesome recipe!  The full recipe is at her site.  Check out the other brownies here.

** Splicht.  Plooey.  Splatt.  It is difficult for me to write middle-aged but, since 74 seems firmly in the senior citizen camp, I suppose I am obliged.  Reluctantly.

What happens when you turn your attention to the cookie layer…

P5170026

TWD: Caramel and Peanuts and Brownies…Oh My

Making these brownies reminded me of being a kid.  I grew up in a very close knit extended family.  I saw my cousins on both sides very frequently and went to school with some.  There were 7 of us in 7 years on my dad’s side.  Two of us cousins who did not like nuts.  My grandma would always make this sheet cake with a nut topping but she would always leave a swath at the end with just the chocolate frosting for Eric and me.  Back in the day “Grandma Sophie” (as my kids call her) could rattle off the likes and dislikes of all of her grandchildren.

Following Sophie’s lead, I left a little swath of this cake peanutless for Colin and myself.  Colin is my new nut free comrade.  Without turning this blog into something it’s not, I feel compelled to mention that Eric is no longer with us.  It will be 16 years this month and I have been thinking about him ever since this cake was announced.  It is amazing how the simple act of making a cake can call forth so many memories (and emotions). 

Colin - in a departure from Eric and I’s tradition of actually eating our special section - declared the caramel sauce ick and left the table. 

I made a six inch cake, cooked it for 30 minutes and ended up with a giant ol’ crater in the middle.  It does not look like the picture in the book.  It was good but not awe inspiring.  The brownie/cake part could have been moister (word?) and I accidentally got a peanut in mine.    I have made the caramel sauce once before and I would make it again.  But, I don’t think I would make this whole thing again. 

 Ooey Gooey Crater (yes, pictures at night again.   Damn you autumn…)

For the full recipe visit Tammy at Wee Treats by Tammy.  Check out the other blogs here.  Next week:  Biscotti.  Looks like someone will be getting a little homemade gift from yours truly.

TWD: MMMM…(Quintuple!) Chocolate

Our neighborhood garage sale was this weekend.  I made a deal with myself.  If I found a madeleine pan, I would embark on this week’s recipe for Traditional Madeleines chosen by Tara of Smells Like Home.  Well, no pan.  Had we needed boxes of unused Christmas cards, a belgian waffle maker circa 1978 or tables full of abandoned beanie babies, I would have been in luck.  I thought about trying the “spoon” method discussed in the comments but opted to go with a past recipe, an alternative approved by our fearless leader Laurie.

My schedule didn’t ease up this weekend so, once again, I was looking for something uncomplicated.   I also wanted to do something nice for mom who got somewhat neglected on mother’s day.  The perfect solution?  Brownies, specifically the Quintuple Chocolate Brownies.

My dear mother has what may be the ultimate sweet tooth.  Others may think they know from sweet but I know better.  Seriously…when Dorie created the serving size for the peanut butter torte a few weeks back (that was universally agreed to be for giants) she was speaking directly to mom.  This is the woman who will always take the corner piece of cake coated in sugary frosting, preferably with ice cream and hot fudge (whipped cream, too?  why, of course). 

With sous chef Colin at the ready, we chopped, melted and stirred our way to chocolate bliss.  Knowing mom has little to no use for white chocolate (amateurs, please), we used bittersweet in the batter and made a thick semi-sweet glaze (still quintuple!).  I don’t care for nuts really and especially not big hunks in baked goods.  So, I don’t have a personal review of the finished product.  The batter, however, (which Colin and I licked CLEAN) was very promising.  I will have to make these sans nuts at a later date.  AND mom did call to report that she ate an obscene number of brownies in one day…a true thumbs up!

To see the Madeleines in all their glory and the other past recipe substitutions check out the other blogs here.

Next week, Pecan Honey Sticky Buns but, alas, not for me.  We are going out of town AND I don’t have a stand mixer.  Dorie’s story of practically stirring her arm off for brioche dough just isn’t tempting me, especially for something with Pecan in the title.  I am sure, however, the others will NOT disappoint.

Quintuple Chocolate Brownies

Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

For the Brownies

1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

3 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (I used bittersweet)

2 tablespoons strong coffee

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

6 ounces premium-quality milk chocolate, chopped into chips, or 1 cup store-bought milk chocolate chips

1 cup chopped nuts

For the Glaze

6 ounces premium-quality white chocolate, finely chopped, or 1 cup store-bought white chocolate chips (I used semi-sweet chocolate)

1/3 heavy cream (just a splash of milk)

Getting Ready: Center a rack in the oven and preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, cocoa and salt.

To Make the Brownies: Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and add, in the following order, the butter, the two chocolates and the coffee. Keeping the pan over low heat, warm just until the butter and the chocolates are melted– you don’t want the ingredients to separate, so keep an eye on the bowl. Stir gently, and when the mixture is smooth, set it aside for 5 minutes.

Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, beat the sugar into the chocolate mixture. Don’t beat too vigorously– you don’t want to add air to the batter– and don’t be concerned about any graininess. Next, stir the eggs one at a time, followed by the vanilla. You should have a smooth, glossy batter. If your not already using a rubber spatula, switch to one now and gently stir in the dry ingredients, mixing only until they are incorporated. Finally, stir in the milk chocolate chips and nuts. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a think knife inserted into the center comes out streaked but not thickly coated. Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and let the brownies rest undisturbed for at least 30 minutes. (You can wait longer if you’d like.)

Turn the brownies out onto a rack, peel away the foil and place it under another rack–it will be the drip catcher for the glaze. Invert the brownies onto the rack and let cool completely.

To Make the Glaze: Put the white chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Bring the heavy cream to a boil and pour it over the chocolate. Wait 30 seconds, then, using a rubber spatula, gently stir until the chocolate is melted.and the glaze is smooth.

Hold a long metal icing spatula in one hand the bowl of glaze in the other. Pour the glaze onto the center of the brownies and use the spatula to nudge it evenly over the surface. Don’t worry if it dribbles over the edges, you can trim the sides later (or not). Refrigerate the brownies for about 20 minutes to dry the glaze.

Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 1/4 inches on a side.