Quick Brownies

Earlier this month, we had a day where as soon as we arrived at work, notices started to arrive sharing that the local schools were closing after lunch.  We were about to get snowed in.  I walked to work and the walk home was full of snow falling and greeting my neighbors out clearing their driveways, as interstates and accidents were announced throughout Iowa.  And the only thing I could think about was making brownies.  I’m not sure what about brownies was appealing (it could be that I had all of the ingredients on-hand at home), but I was ready to throw some together.  So, after taking Meg for a quick walk, I threw together the brownies, and while they were baking, went out and cleaned off my driveway as well.  This recipe from Sara Mouton’s Everyday Family Dinners was one I had not previously made, but it was perfection.  I substituted some sea salt caramel chips for the walnuts the recipe calls for and added a layer of depth to the recipe that I could not have otherwise anticipated.

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Quick Brownies

8 Tbsp (1 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 c sugar
2/3 c natural (not Dutch process) unsweetened cocoa powder
1/3 c flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 c chocolate chips
1/2 c walnuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease a 9-inch square baking pan.  Melt the butter in the microwave or in a small saucepan over low heat; let cool slightly.  Combine the sugar, cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl.  Add the eggs, melted butter, and vanilla and stir with a fork until a lumpy batter forms.  Stir in the chocolate chips and the walnuts, if using.  Transfer to the baking pan and bake until the center appears set, about 25 minutes.  Transfer to a rack to cool; let cool for 15 minutes.  Cut into 16 squares and serve warm.

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Secret Center Brownies

I was looking for something to bring into work for a group of staff who had gone above and beyond expectations and remembered I had this recipe for brownies hanging out in my queue of snacks to make.  The recipe is from a town cookbook near my hometown, titled, Our Favorite Recipes, ALCW of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, Kiester, Minnesota, 1970.  You’ll see in the instructions I think there is supposed to be a full layer of chocolate over the marshmallow layer, but this didn’t come together quite the way that I hoped that it would.  That being said, the brownies tasted fine.  They just did not look quite as appealing as they could have appeared.

Secret Center Brownies

Secret Center Brownies

10 large or 1 c miniature marshmallows
2 Tbsp powdered sugar
2 Tbsp peanut butter
2 Tbsp light cream

Melt over boiling water; remove from heat; set aside.

1 c sugar
1/2 c shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
2 squares unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 c flour
1/2 c oats

Cream sugar and shortening.  Blend in egg, vanilla, salt.  Blend in flour and oats.  Spread half the batter in bottom of greased 9×9 or 11×7 inch pan.  Top with marshmallow mixture.  Carefully spread with remaining chocolate mixture.  Bake at 350 degrees, 20 to 25 minutes.  Cool.  Serve plain, frost, or sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

In my cupboards, I found multiple cans of chipotle peppers…were they on sale or did I grab them and then find myself using them with some frequency at some point earlier this year, I’m unsure, but I remembered this recipe hanging out in my to-make pile.  The only problem is that they use powdered chipotle instead of cans, so I ended up setting the cans aside for a bit of time and instead I made these brownies.  Besides overcooking them a little bit, the brownies tasted great.  It seems to be part of my missing-the-boat with baking lately, like I did with the Daim bars and some other cookie options earlier this year.  Mostly, this meant that I was not doing much baking in preparation for the holidays this year.  This recipe is from Emeril Lagasse’s cooking show.

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

Chocolate Chipotle Brownies

1 teaspoon plus 1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 tablespoon plus 1 cup all-purpose flour
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
4 eggs
1 cup chopped Mexican chocolate or semisweet chocolate morsels

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

Grease and flour an 11 by 7-inch baking pan or dish with 1 teaspoon of the butter and 1 tablespoon of the flour. Heat the remaining butter and the unsweetened chocolate in a saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly, until melted. In a medium bowl, stir together remaining flour, sugar, cinnamon, and ground chipotle. Add sugar mixture to melted chocolate mixture, stirring to combine. Add eggs, mixing until smooth. Stir in chopped chocolate or chocolate morsels.

Pour mixture into the prepared baking pan or dish. Bake until the center is set, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely and then cut into small squares.

 

Fudge Brownies

One of the restaurants I used to frequent in college was a restaurant called Cafe Latte, and it’s counterpart, Bread & Chocolate.  At one point, I lived about a mile away from them and could justify eating some soup or a piece of cake by walking there and back.  When Linda Quinn, the owner, shared her fudge brownie recipe with a local publication, I clipped it and forgot I had it.  But, after a neighbor lost a relative, I knew I wanted to drop off a sweet treat, and these brownies looked to fit the bill.

Fudge Brownies

Fudge Brownies

1 c butter
2 c sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1-1/3 c flour
1 c Dutch cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Frosting
1/2 c sugar
1/4 c milk
2 Tbsp butter
1 c chocolate chips

Cream together butter and sugar. Add one egg at a time. Blend in vanilla. Add flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and mix well. Scrape bowl and pour mixture into greased 10×14-inch pan and bake at 375 degrees for 20–23 minutes. For frosting, bring sugar, milk, and butter to a boil. Add chocolate chips and stir until melted and mixed. Drizzle on cool brownies. Makes approximately 20 1-1/2 inch-square brownies.

Double-Frosted Bourbon Brownies

My dog Meg has a best dog friend.  She gets along with all the dogs in the neighborhood (or at least those who tolerate her), but has a special adoration for her friend Daisy who lives down the street.

Due to a number of different circumstances (mostly working on my doctoral degree), I have not branched out much to get to know the people in the neighborhood until Meg arrived in my life.  I have become 1,000 times more social with the folks around here since that occurred.  As a result, I’ve come to adore Daisy’s owners/parents/insert-preferred-dog-language-here.  As they are getting ready to move away from the neighborhood, each step of the journey has occurred, from selling the house, to one of them finishing up her work last week as the school year ended.  Meg and I wanted to acknowledge the day, but Meg ended up getting sick on the last day of school and so we were delayed by a day in helping her start her celebration of being done with work.  But I think these turned out pretty well.  The bourbon flavor is light, and not overly noticeable.  The recipe came from the Iowa State Fair cookbook.

Double Frosted Bourbon Brownies

Double-Frosted Bourbon Brownies

Brownies:

3/4 c flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c sugar
1/3 c vegetable shortening
2 Tbsp water
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 c chopped walnuts (I omitted — because I forgot about them entirely)
4 Tbsp bourbon whiskey

White Icing

1/2 c butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 c powdered sugar

Chocolate Glaze

1 Tbsp vegetable shortening
6 oz semisweet chocolate chips

Sift together flour, soda, and salt; set aside.  In a saucepan, combine sugar, shortening, and water.  Bring to a boil.  Stir constantly until sugar is dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in chocolate chips and vanilla.  Beat until smooth.  Beat in eggs, one at a time.  Add flour and walnuts; mix well.  Spread in a greased 9-inch square pan.  Bake for 30 minutes in a 325-degree oven.  Remove from oven.  Sprinkle with bourbon; cool.

Icing: Combine butter and vanilla; beat until creamy.  Add powdered sugar; beat until smooth.  Spread over cooled brownies

Glaze: In a saucepan, melt shortening and chips.  Spread over iced brownies.  When glaze has set, cut into squares.

Marshmallow Brownies

In addition to the midnight muncher bars I posted about a few days ago, I made these marshmallow brownies, so that anyone with a nut allergy would have an option as well.  This came from my mom’s binder of recipes, and from the notes on the page, it looks to be the recipe from the Six Sisters Blog.  I love their blog recipes.  A few of my favorites have come from them.  Again, I’m taking no news as good news from the students.  I should have let the marshmallows cool a little more before I frosted these…next time!

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Marshmallow Brownies

1 c margarine
2 c sugar
1/3 c cocoa
4 eggs
1 1/2 c flour
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla
1 package miniature marshmallows

Frosting
1 stick margarine, softened
1/4 c milk
1-2 tsp vanilla
3 Tbsp cocoa
2-3 c powdered sugar

Soften margarine and blend in sugar and cocoa.  Beat together and add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each one.  Add flour, salt, and vanilla and mix well.

Spread on a large (10x15x1) greased cookie sheet.  Bake 22-25 minutes at 350 degrees.  Remove from oven and cover entire top with 1 package of marshmallows.  Return to oven for 3 minutes, until marshallows are soft and puffy.  Cool and frost with chocolate frosting.

For the frosting: Mix all ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth.  Add more powdered sugar or milk until you reach the desired consistency and spread on top of bars.

Penzey’s Mint Brownies

For a potluck at work before we left for winter break, I decided to bring this recipe I’d seen on the back of my Mint Hot Chocolate mix from Penzey’s.  Have you ever purchased a Penzey’s product?  I’m a big fan of their business, their business philosophy, their products.  So, why wouldn’t I try this Hint of Mint Brownie recipe that seemed relatively easy and a little bit decadent?penzeys-mint-brownies

Penzey’s Hinty Minty Brownies

1 1/2 sticks butter
1 c hot chocolate mix with a hint of mint
`1/2 c sugar
2 eggs
1 c flour
2 tsp vanilla

Melt butter, stir in hot chocolate and sugar until dissolved.  Pour into a large bowl, add eggs, flour, and vanilla.  Stir until combined.  Pour into a greased 8×8 pan, bake at 325 degrees for 40-50 minutes.