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Brownies best for chocolate fix

June 26, 2013
Weirton Daily Times

For those who delight in something chocolate, brownies are at the top of the cookie list, although, some brownies can classify as a cake due to their texture.

Brownies have a rich and decadent texture and those with a fudge or caramel-coconut frosting on top are even more scrumptious.

Some recipes call for cocoa powder and can be more cake-like in texture, and those with unsweetened chocolate squares are more fudgy. There are even those with no chocolate, to give a butterscotch flavor. They are called Blondies.

Article Photos

FUDGY — These brownies were made in the 2012 4-H Iron Chef Contest and look to be loaded with fudginess.
-- Esther McCoy

The Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook notes that lining the pan with foil is the miracle method of removing bars from pans, as it can be difficult to cut and remove them, even if the pan is greased or sprayed with non-stick spray.

Flip the pan to be used over and shape foil around the outside, extending it about 1 inch past the edges, for easy lifting. Place foil lining in the pan; grease foil if the recipe specifies. Spread batter in lined pan. Bake and cool as directed. To remove, grasp the foil overhang and lift out in a block. Place on a cutting board and cut into bars.

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This is a recipe for the fudgy brownies that can draw the attention of a crowd at a buffet. They can be laced with walnuts, almonds or pecans and/or spread with a fudge or chocolate-cream cheese frosting.

This recipe is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook.

Fudgy Brownies

1/2 cup butter

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

2/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium saucepan melt butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; cool. Grease an 8-by-8-inch or 9-by-9-inch baking pan; set aside. Stir sugar into cooled chocolate mixture in saucepan. Add eggs, one at a time, beating with a wooden spoon just until combined. If desired, stir in nuts. Spread into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes for 8-inch pan or 25 minutes for 9-inch pan. Cool in pan on a wire rack. If desired, frost with chocolate-cream cheese frosting.

Chocolate-Cream Cheese Frosting

In a saucepan, melt 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate pieces over low heat, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and cool slightly. In a small bowl, stir together two 3-ounce packages softened cream cheese and 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Stir in melted chocolate until smooth.

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Here is a brownie batter made in a round cake pan with meringue on top. And, if you like, you can add peppermint extract to the egg white mixture.

Peppermint Meringue Brownie Cake

Cake:

1 stick unsalted butter

8 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 large eggs

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Meringue:

4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped

1 tablespoon cornstarch

4 large egg whites

Pinch of cream of tartar

1 cup superfine sugar

1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract

To make brownie cake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Place butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir frequently until almost melted. Remove bowl from heat and stir until melted. Whisk in granulated sugar and salt. Gently whisk in eggs and then the flour until smooth. Do not overmix. Spread batter in pan and bake 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make meringue by combining chocolate and cornstarch. In a large bowl, using a mixer, whisk egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar on high until frothy. With mixer running, slowly add superfine sugar and continue whisking on high until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 6 minutes. Fold in chocolate mixture and peppermint extract. Spread on top of cake with a spatula. Bake until meringue is lightly browned and cracked on top, 25 to 27 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack, for 10 minutes. Run a knife around edge and remove ring. Let cool completely before cutting. Makes 10 to 12 servings.

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For those who like brownies with a cake texture, these will do the trick. It is faster because the same bowl or saucepan is used for melting the butter and mixing the batter. Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook notes that the recipe is a snap to make and simple to clean up after.

Cake Brownies

3/4 cup butter

1 1/4 cups sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup milk

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 15-by- 10-by-1-inch baking pan; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, microwave butter for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes or until melted. Or melt butter over medium heat in a medium saucepan; remove saucepan from heat before continuing. Stir in sugar and cocoa powder until combined. Add eggs and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, beat mixture lightly just until combined. In a small bowl, combine flour, baking powder and baking soda. Alternately add flour mixture and milk to chocolate mixture, beating after each addition. Stir in nuts, if desired. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 15 to 18 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack two hours. You can add a frosting or leave the brownies plain. Suggested is the no-cook fudge frosting at the end of this recipe. Cut into 48 brownies. This makes enough for a crowd.

No Cook Fudge

Frosting

1 pound powdered sugar, about 4 cups

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup butter, softened

1/3 cup boiling water

1 teaspoon vanilla

Boiling water

In a large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, boiling water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat 1 minute on medium speed. If necessary, cool 20 minutes or until mixture reaches spreading consistency. Or if frosting is too thick, add boiling water, 1 tablespoon at a time until frosting reaches spread consistency.

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These bars have a buttery crust heaped with pecans, coconut, caramels and milk chocolate. Better Homes and Gardens calls them an exercise in sinful delight.

Chocolate Caramel Brownies

1 cup flour

1/2 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter

2 cups coarsely chopped pecans

1 cup flaked coconut

14-ounce can (1 1/4 cups) sweetened condensed milk

2 teaspoons vanilla

20 vanilla caramels, unwrapped

2 tablespoons milk

1 cup milk chocolate pieces or semisweet chocolate pieces

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. For the crust, in a medium bowl, stir together flour and brown sugar. Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of an ungreased 13-by-9-inch baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes. Sprinkle pecans and coconut over hot crust. For filling, combine sweetened condensed milk and vanilla; pour over pecans and coconut. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine caramels and milk. Cook and stir over medium low heat just until caramels melt. Drizzle caramel mixture over filling. Sprinkle with chocolate pieces. Cool completely. Cut into 48 bars.

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If you want a drop cookie that tastes like a dark chocolate brownie, with a hint of coffee, you might try these cookies from Taste of Home magazine. They make 18 gigantic cookies or can be made smaller to make more.

Jumbo Brownie

Cookies

2 2/3 cups, 16-ounces, bittersweet chocolate baking chips

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cubed

4 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

4 teaspoons vanilla

2 teaspoons instant espresso powder, optional

2/3 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

11 1/2-ounce package semi sweet chocolate chunks

In a large saucepan, melt chips and butter over low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat; cool slightly. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, sugar, vanilla and, if desired, espresso powder until blended. Whisk into chocolate mixture. In another bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to chocolate mixture, mixing well. Fold in chocolate chunks. Drop by 1/4 cupful 3 inches apart on parchment paper-lined baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until set. Cool on pan for 1-2 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Note: Sorry to say that each big cookie has 350 calories and 19 grams fat.

(McCoy can be contacted at emccoy@heraldstaronlilne.com.)

 
 

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