Category Archives: brownies

S’mores Brownies

I hope you had a great Memorial Weekend.  My family and I went to the beach for a long, extended weekend and got back home later Tuesday night.  For those of you who have been to the Oregon beach, you know that the weather is not predictable.  For example, on Monday the weather predicted that it was going to rain all day, but instead, it was sunny and in the low 60s.  I really like Oregon beaches, compared to California, South Carolina, and Mexico, (which are the only three that I can compare because I haven’t been anywhere else), because Oregonians actually do things at the beach besides sunbathe.  We jump the waves in the water,(which has to do with the cold Pacific Ocean temperature more than anything), make sand castles, fly kites, and take beach walks with kiddos and dogs.

I was shocked last summer when I visited Charleston, (which I loved by the way), and could actually sit in the ocean.  Sit, I tell you!  It was like warm bath water and I didn’t want to ever get out.  Yeah, Oregonians don’t do that.  Well, maybe with a wetsuit, but that defeats the purpose of swimming in the ocean.  This was the first time that Matthew has been on the beach.  My mother-in-law bought some sand toys and Matthew went to town, filling his bucket with sand.  (When I packed his clothes, I forgot to pack a thick sweatshirt, so he had to use one of mine.  It was like a long cloak on him!) Continue reading

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Black Bottom Brownies

My good friend Carri-Anne had a baby girl a few weeks back.  (You can read about her baby shower here.)  Today, she and baby girl came over for lunch.  But before they did, Matthew thought he’d make something sweet and kind for them.  He ultimately settled on these brownies, which combines a little bit of brownie and cheesecake.  However, he had a rocky start.  You see, he wanted to add some Cheerios, milk, and white chocolate chips.  Maybe for a new breakfast combo…Eventually, he asked for some help to get it right, so we worked together to make these yummy brownies.  Matthew was so proud of his work.  (Sorry if the picture is a bit blurry.  It’s hard to keep a toddler smiling for more than half a second.)

These are big, fat brownies, and I love them.  The dark chocolate chips just sink into the cheesecake layer and create this level of gooey-ness that can’t be described.

I forgot that I had this recipe until last night, when I tried to make grasshopper brownies and they didn’t turn out.  (I hate directions that are unclear.  When you have a layer dessert, you need to specify if you wait for a layer to cool or not!  And it was from a published cookbook!!)  Anyway, totally not dwelling on the loss of a few hours and ingredients from last night.  This is a layered dessert and will take a little extra time, but I promise you, it is worth your while. Continue reading

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Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies

Happy New Year to you! I hope 2012 has treated you well so far.  One tradition that I love to do January 1st is to make New Year Resolutions.  In years past, I would make 10 or so resolutions, but I’ve become wise in my old age, and decided that 5 was plenty.  (Especially since I could never accomplish them all and felt like a failure.) Since I’ve been married, one resolution that was always on the list was to love my husband more, but since it become a “tradition” to put that on the list, I subsequently dropped it. I am going to share my resolutions with you because they (experts, maybe?) say if you tell people, then you have a good chance of accomplishing them.  So, here are my 5 resolutions for 2012:

1. Not be afraid to try new things, like make a cake and decorate it with fondant.

2. Train for a 10k and be okay if I walk some of it.

3.  Eat more vegetables, but not necessarily less sweets.

4. Get better at decorating sugar cookies.

5. Continue to grow as a writer, baker, and photographer.  I am inspired by you every day!  (Thanks for reading, commenting, and trying my recipes.)

I think they are completely doable.

In regards to resolution #3, I wanted to share with you this amazing fudgy brownie recipe.  It’s one of those I-forgot-I-had-this-recipe recipe.  The only reason I remembered this delicious treat was because I was at the grocery store a few weeks ago and saw a bag of chocolate chips that contained dark chocolate and mint–together.  My world changed in that moment.  Continue reading

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Brownie Cupcakes with Raspberry Buttercream {tutorial}

My grandmother passed away a year and a half ago, and when she died, I acquired some of her old recipes.  You see, my grandmother was a phenomenal cook and any chance I could take to talk with her about food, or help her in the kitchen, I took.  Most of the recipes are handwritten by her, but she also had some from her friends.  And most of these recipes, just by looking at them and the recipes cards they were written on, appear to be from the 1950s-1970s. (After all, wasn’t the jello mold craze around then? And she also had a recipe for a mustard plaster, which I thought was hilarious, because she applied that to my dad when he was a kid and had a bad chest cold.  She swore by it, though.)  When I returned home from the funeral, I filed these recipes in my recipe box and promptly forget about them until late last week.

This recipe is very similar to a one-bowl brownie recipe, except you put them in cupcake liners instead of a square pan.  The first thing you need to have is a double boiler.  You don’t need anything extremely fancy.  My mom gave me her old one and it works like a charm.  (If you don’t have a double boiler, you could use a shallow pan and place a metal bowl on top of the pan, covering it fully.  When you add the water, however, you HAVE to make sure that the bottom of the bowl doesn’t touch the water, otherwise your chocolate won’t melt properly.)

So here is my non-fancy, well-used double boiler:

Add a small amount of water to the pan and get it boiling.  (You can see how little I added.)  Once it’s boiling, turn the heat down to simmer.  In the top part of the boiler, add butter and unsweetened chocolate squares.

Stir the mixture every so often until it is all melted and smooth.  Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool down to room temperature, about 10-15 minutes.

In a separate bowl, combine sugar, eggs, flour, and vanilla. (If you like nuts, you can add 1 1/2 cups of broken nuts.)

Stir it just until it’s combined and there are no traces of flour. Continue reading

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Cappuccino Brownies

I first made these brownies around Christmastime my junior year in college. While they didn’t secure a boyfriend, they certainly helped me make many friends! There are three layers to this brownie–a brownie base, a coffee-with-cream middle, and a chocolate layer on top. When I made these brownies, the recipe didn’t seem to have enough of the coffee-with-cream mixture, so I doubled it. I made it again today and tried the original recipe, thinking the last time I made it, I might have done something wrong. Nope. I had to go back and double it. If you don’t like the coffee taste, you can make it without the granules, or crystals. You can top the brownies with an espresso or coffee bean. Due to the fact that I had to double the coffee-with-cream layer, the measurements for this layer are now changed in the recipe below.
Cappuccino Brownies
Better Homes and Gardens Annual Christmas Edition Cookie Magazine

1/2 cup butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons instant coffee crystals
2 tablespoons whipping cream
2 cups powdered sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease an 8x8x2-inch baking pan.

Melt the 1/2 cup butter and 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler. (You can put the butter and chocolate in a medium saucepan over low heat, but you need to stir constantly or you will burn the mixture.) Remove from heat; cool slightly. Stir in granulated sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just till combined. (Make sure the mixture is cooled, because if it is still hot, you will cook the eggs and you don’t want to do that until it’s in the oven!) Stir in vanilla.

Stir together flour and baking soda in a small bowl. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture and stir just til combined. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for topping, dissolve coffee crystals in whipping cream. Beat together powdered sugar and the 4 tablespoons butter, until the butter is broken up and covered in the sugar. Add whipping cream mixture and beat until creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl a couple of times. If necessary, add a little additional whipping cream until mixture is of spreading consistency. Spread over the warm brownies. Chill about 1 hour or until topping is set.

Chocolate Frosting
Combine 1 cup semisweet chocolate pieces and 1/3 cup whipping cream in a double boiler or small saucepan. Stir over low heat until the chocolate is melted and mixture begins to thicken. Carefully spread chocolate frosting over brownies. Chill until frosting is set.

Cut into bars, topping with coffee bean if desired. Makes 16.

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