Friday, August 19, 2016

Brownies, A collection of favorites!

I decided to post a collection of my favorite Brownie recipes. My memory of Brownies starts with my Grandmother, Aunt and Mother's Brownies that were served at most family celebrations. They were not necessarily saved for special occasions. We had them often. They were easy to make and everyone loved them. They were pretty simple and basic. I also remember my Junior High School Cafeteria Brownies and I have that recipe in this post. They were basically the same as our family recipes. The next phase of Brownies introduced us to the Brownie Mix sold in a box and had a couple of ingredients added to make them. As an adult, the Brownie has taken on an entirely new look and taste.  They are filled with add ons and they can be quite daunting in size, like the new recipe I'm starting with here. Most bakers have their favorite Brownie recipe but, step out and try a new one! Here are some great options.

I'm starting with the newest one and then I'll post that childhood favorite recipe.

My first choice for Dark Chocolate Chips.

I have a Square Pan with straight sides.
I like them better that slanted sides.

Brownies Plus!

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven according to the instructions on the bow of Brownie Mix.
1 Box of your favorite Brownie Mix, prepared according to the directions on the bow. (I always use Ghirardelli.)
1 - 9" X 9" Baking Pan lined with Foil cut 2" extending of all 4 sides. I cut two separate pieces, the size of the interior of the pan.  It's easier to release.

1/2 C Chopped Roasted Peanuts
12 Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups, chopped.
2 C Dark Chocolate Chips
1 TBS Butter
1 1/4 C Creamy Peanut Butter
2 C Rice Krispies Cereal
1 tsp Vanilla
1 tsp Salt

Prepare the Brownie Mix.
Bake according to the directions on the bow, but remove them 5 minutes before they are finished baking.
Evenly distribute the Reese's Cups over the Batter.
Sprinkle evenly with Peanuts.
Return the pan to continue baking for the last 5 minutes.
Remove the pan to a rack and smooth the top with an offset spatula.
Allow to cool completely on the rack.

In a Large Glass Heatproof Bowl for a Microwave:
Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter
Heat for 30 seconds in a Microwave, stir and return to continue heating until melted and creamy smooth.

Rice Krispies
Gently stir to combine well with a Silicone Spatula.
Spread evenly over the Peanut Butter layer.
Refrigerate for 1 1/2 - 2 hours until completely set.

Lift the Brownies out of the Pan using the Foil.
Transfer to a Cutting Board and cut into squares or bars.

Peace in the Kitchen!

Vintage School Brownie Recipe...... 50 years old.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Baking Pan.

1 C Butter
1/2 C Cocoa
2 C Flour
2 C Sugar
4 Large Eggs
4 tsp Vanilla
1 C Chopped Pecans
Mix all ingredients in a Mixing Bowl until well combined.
Spoon into the Pan and smooth the top with a Spatula.

Bake for 20 - 25 minutes.
Remove the Pan to a Rack to cool completely while making the Frosting.

Make the Frosting.

In a Medium Mixing Bowl:
1/4 C Butter, room temperature
1/4 C Whole Milk
3 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/8 tsp Salt
Mix well until creamy smooth.

Frost the Cooled Brownies.

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Many years ago I discovered the Ultimate Brownies. It was a creation from a company called Moose Munch. We carried the product at Macy's when I was working there. It was a simple recipe. Buy a box of your favorite brownie mix, bake it according to the instructions on the box and as soon as you took it out of the oven, you gently pressed and entire box of Moose Munch into the warm Brownie base. It made an amazing recipe and consequently, the Ultimate Brownies were born. If you're not familiar with Moose Munch it's sort of like Cracker Jack coated in either Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or White Chocolate. The recipe became a favorite at our house.
I have since discovered many other ways to create amazing Brownies and here's my latest!

I added this picture if you decide
to make Moose Munch Brownies.

The Ultimate Brownies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
1 - 9" X 13" Glass Casserole Pan brushed well with Pan Release Mix. (Equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. If you need something to come out of a pan without sticking...... this is foolproof. I highly recommend it for the most detailed designed Bundt Pans.

Brownie batter:

16 TBS Butter, melted
2 C Granulated Sugar
3/4 C Cocoa Powder (I use Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa)
4 Eggs
2 tsp Vanilla
1 C Flour
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Medaglia d'Oro Espresso Coffee Powder
1 C  Chocolate Chips (regular size) I use Hershey's Special Dark or Ghirardelli.
1 1/2 C Chopped Pecans, divided
3/4 C Caramel Sauce, divided (The kind you buy in a jar for Hot Fudge Sundaes)
1/2 C Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips


6 TBS Butter, room temperature
1/4 C + 2 TBS Cocoa Powder (I use Rodelle Gourmet Baking Cocoa)
2 TBS Lyle's Golden Syrup
1 tsp Vanilla
1 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar, sifted.
2 - 3 TBS Whole Milk

Brownie batter instructions:

In a Stand Mixer with a Paddle Attachment:
Cocoa Powder
Mix for 3 minutes.

Mix until incorporated.

In a medium mixing bowl:
Baking Powder
Whisk well.
Gradually add this to the mixer.
Mix just to combine well.

1 C Chocolate Chips
1 C Pecans
Mix just to combine.
Spoon batter into the pan.
Bake 30 - 35 minutes.

Remove the pan to a rack to cool for 5 minutes.

Use the handle of a Wooden Spoon and polk holes evenly throughout the Brownies.
Evenly spread 1/2 C of the Caramel over the entire surface and force some of the Caramel into the holes using a Silicone Spatula.
Cover with Plastic Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Make the Icing.

In a medium mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Cocoa Powder
Golden Syrup
Beat until creamy smooth.

Confectioner's Sugar
2 TBS Milk
Mix until completely incorporated.

Additional Milk (1 TBS) if it needs it to be a spreadable consistency)

Remove the pan from the refrigerator.
Evenly spread on the Icing.
Sprinkle it with remaining Pecans and the Mini Chocolate Chips.
Drizzle evenly with remaining Caramel Sauce.

Peace in the Kitchen!

This is not a new recipe, it's been around for a long time. I just discovered it. I love Buckeyes, the Truffle like candy made from Peanut Butter and Chocolate.

Buckeye Brownies

Here's what you'll need:

Layer #1:
 A Box of your favorite Brownie Mix. (I only use Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix)
Made according to package directions.
Brush the pan well with Pan Release Mix. (equal amounts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs. It's a foolproof method of release.

Bake according to package directions.
Remove to a rack to cool completely.

Layer #2:
8 TBS Butter, room temperature
1 C Creamy Peanut Butter
2 1/2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla (the best you can afford)
2 TBS Heavy Cream, divided
A Pinch of Salt

In a large bowl with an electric hand mixer:
Peanut Butter
Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.

Slowly Add:
Confectioner's Sugar
Beat to incorporate well.

1 TBS Cream
Beat until Creamy Smooth.
If it appears to be too thick, gradually add remaining Cream until desired consistency.
Spread evenly over the Brownie layer.

Top Layer:
1 C Dark Chocolate Chips
1/4 C Creamy Peanut Butter

In a saucepan on medium heat:
Chocolate Chips
Peanut Butter
Heat until completely melted and creamy smooth. (do not over cook)
Stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.
Allow to cool for a few minutes.

Pour over the 2nd. layer.
Spread evenly with an offset spatula.

Refrigerate for 1 hour.

Cut into squares to serve.
Transfer to a serving platter.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I recently saw a recipe from a very well known Bakery in New York City for these Cookie Brownies.  Their recipe was totally made from scratch and I understand that, when it's a well known Bakery. For the average baker, I put together this easier version that is virtually the same. I did some research and discovered that it was probably and adaptation from a Betty Crocker recipe. I usually do a lot of research before posting some recipes, to find out the origin or to adapt several recipes and create my own.
This recipe is an adaptation of two.
This is not an exact recipe so you can use any Brownie Mix, any Chocolate Chips Cookie Dough recipe and any pans you may already have, including muffin tins.

Now that I've made these, here's my recommendation. Use a straight sided tin, even a Muffin Tin would work well. The Bakery recipe uses individual 4" Pie Tins and I like that idea too. As you can imagine, these were difficult to release. But, they are delicious!
And, I highly recommend using the Pan Release Mix to grease the pans.

This is just another Tart Pan option.

Tart Pan Brownies Baked with a Chocolate Chip Cookie on top.

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
4" Pie Tart Pans, sprayed with a vegetable oil cooking spray or brush them well with the Pan Release Mix. (equal parts of Crisco, Vegetable Oil and Flour) I start with 1 C of each mixed well and refrigerated in a jar. I always have it available for all of my baking needs.

1 Box (1lb. 2.4oz.) Betty Crocker Original Supreme Premium Brownie Mix. Make batter according to package directions.

1 Pouch (1lb. 1.5oz.) Betty Crocker Chocolate Cookie Mix. Make dough according to package directions.

Fill each Tart Pan just under 1/2 full. Refrigerate for 3 hours.
Refrigerate the Cookie Dough for 3 hours.

Use a Cookie Scoop to create Cookie Dough Balls. Flatten each one in the palm of your hand into a disk, just smaller that the diameter of the Tart Pan.
Gently press it into the Brownie Batter.

Bake 20 - 25 minutes. (We baked the first pan for 14 minutes) Just check them and you can tell when they're done. Baking time will vary according to the size of your pan.

Remove the pan to a rack to cool completely.

Serve with Vanilla Ice Cream or Whipped Cream.

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It doesn't get much easier than this.

Pumpkin Brownies

Here's what you'll need:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
1 - 9" X 9" baking pan, completely lined with foil and sprayed with a cooking spray.

1- Family Size box (19.5oz.) Brownie Mix I use 1 bag of Ghirardelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix. It's the only brownie mix I ever use for all of my brownie recipes.
1 - (15oz.) can of  100% Pure Pumpkin

1/2 C Butter
2 C Confectioner's Sugar
1/2 tsp Pumpkin Pie Spice

In a medium mixing bowl:
Brownie Mix
Mix by hand just until incorporated, don't over mix.
Spread batter into the pan.
Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until a toothpick in the center comes out clean.
Remove pan to a rack and cool completely.

Make the Frosting:
In a large bowl with an hand mixer:
Beat until smooth.
Gradually add Confectioner's sugar in a few batches, on low speed.
Increase the speed and beat until fluffy.

Remove the brownies from the pan onto a flat surface.
Spread  Frosting evenly over the brownies.
Cut into squares.

Peace in the Kitchen!

I don't think these need any introduction.
They are simply another tasty treat.

Shortbread and Caramel Brownies

Here's what you'll need:
1 - 9"X13" baking dish, sprayed with a vegetable cooking spray.

The First Layer:

1 C Butter, softened
2 C Granulated Sugar
4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 C Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 1/3 C Flour

The Second Layer:

1 (10oz.) box of Lorna Doone Shortbread Cookies
6 oz. Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 C Granulated Sugar

The Third Layer:

1 -(14oz.) bag of Caramel Candies, unwrapped.
2 TBS Heavy Cream

The fourth layer:

1 1/2 C Milk Chocolate Chips
1/2 C Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
1 TBS Crisco Shortening

Let's put these bars together.

The First Layer:
In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer:
Beat until creamy smooth.
Beat until well incorporated.
Cocoa Powder
Stir by hand to incorporate.
Do not over mix.

Pour the batter into the pan and bake for 22 - 25 minutes.
Transfer the pan to a rack and cool completely.

The Second Layer:
In a Food Processor:
Pulse all of the Cookies to a time powder.
Add Cream Cheese and Sugar and pulse just until well combined.
Press evenly over the First Layer.

The Third Layer:
In a Microwave safe bowl:
Caramel Candy
Heavy Cream
Microwave 30 seconds at a time, stirring until melted.
Evenly pour over the Second Layer.
Refrigerate to cool completely.

The Fourth Layer:
In a Microwave safe bowl:
Milk Chocolate Chips
Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips
Microwave 30 seconds at a time stirring until smooth.
Evenly spread the chocolate over the Third Layer.
Refrigerate until cooled.

Cut into squares to serve.

Peace in the Kitchen!

One of my favorite Bakeries in NYC is called Baked. I've always wanted to get their first cookbook and haven't yet. It looks like they have 3 books now, so I need to catch up. I found this recipe for one of their iconic desserts, Spicy Brownies. Brownies started it all for Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito and this is their variation on the basic Brownie.

This sounds and looks amazing. I wish I had the rights to publish some pictures, but you'll have to either get the books or wait until I bake some of these amazing brownies.

Spicy Brownies from Baked in NYC

1 1/4 C all-purpose Flour
2 TBS dark unsweetened Cocoa Powder (such as Valrhona)
1 TBS Ancho Chile Powder
2 tsp freshly grated Cinnamon
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp ground Ginger
9 oz. of good quality Dark Chocolate (60% to 72%) coarsely chopped
2 oz. good quality Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped
8 oz. (2 sticks) unsalted Butter, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 1/2 C granulated Sugar
1/2 C firmly packed Light Brown Sugar
5 large Eggs, room temperature

Heat oven to 350 degrees
Butter the sides and bottom of a 9"X 13" glass or light colored Baking Pan.
Line Pan with Parchment Paper and Butter the paper.

In a medium bowl:
Cocoa Powder
Chile Powder
Whisk Well
Set aside

Place chopped Chocolate and Butter in a bowl over water in a double boiler, over medium heat and stir occasionally until completely melted and combined.

Turn off the heat but keep the bowl over water in the double boiler.
Add both sugars and whisk well.
Do not overbeat or the brownies will be cakey.

Sprinkle Flour mixture over Chocolate.
Using a spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet ingredients until there's just a trace amount of Flour mixture visible.
Pour batter into the pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Rotate the pan half way through baking time.
A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with a few crumbs.

Remove from oven and place on a cooling rack and cool completely.

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These are incredible. They are perfect for Fall.
I'll make them for Halloween.

Chocolate Pumpkin Brownies:

4 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 TBS butter, softened
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1 C pumpkin ( you know!, not Pumpkin Pie Filling)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1 TBS flour
1 1/4 C flour
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
8 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 C butter, cut into pieces
2 1/4 C sugar
4 eggs
1/4 C whole milk
2 tsp vanilla
3/4 C coarsely chopped pecans

Pre heat oven to 325 degrees
Line a 9"X 13" baking dish with foil extending over all 4 sides
Spray the foil with a vegetable cooking spray
Set Aside

In a medium bowl, with a hand mixer:
cream cheese
1 TBS butter
Beat 30 seconds
Add 1/2 C sugar, beat well
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
Mix until well combines
Stir in 1 TBS flour
Set Aside

In a small bowl:
1 1/4 C flour
baking powder
Whisk well, Set Aside

In a saucepan:
melt chocolate and 3/4 C butter just until melted and smooth
Remove from heat
Gradually add 2 1/4 C sugar
4 eggs, one at a time
Beat in:
2 tsp vanilla
Gradually mix in flour mixture and combine well

Spread Chocolate Mixture evenly in the pan

Spoon mounds of Cream Cheese Mixture evenly over Chocolate
Use a narrow offset spatula and gently swirl the Cream Cheese into the Chocolate
Sprinkle with Walnuts

Bake 1 hour
Cool in the pan on a wire rack
Remove by lifting the foil edges and place on a flat surface
Cut into squares

Peace in the Kitchen!

If you haven't seen this recipe, you're in for a treat.
I originally posted this recipe in February 2013. Today is November 29th 2014. I just discovered the name of this dessert and the name of it's creator. The idea came from Amanda Green Bottom from Kevin and Amanda's Recipes. She called them" Ultimate Chocolate Chip Cookie n' Oreo Fudge Brownie Bars." I challenged her in an email because I saw where someone else claims to have created them. I believe that as a food blogger we need to give credit for all original recipes. I post if my recipe is original, which means that I created it. I wanted to make the correction here and give credit to Amanda.

Oreo Cookie Brownies:

350 degree oven
Bake these for 47 minutes, not 46 or 48!
9"X 9" aluminum baking pan, or whatever you have that's 9"X 9"

Some Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, you're choice, we use the stuff in a bucket
A good Fudge Brownie Mix, mixed according to package directions, we use Ghirardelli
16 Oreo Cookies, double stuffed, if you can get them. ( we've used the Red filled for Christmas and Orange filled for Halloween, Mint is great too!

Press the Dough about 1/2" thick in the bottom of the pan
Top the Cookie Dough with the Oreo's  4 X 4  (16 Cookies)
Pour the Brownie batter over the cookies and spread evenly

Bake for 47 minutes at 350 degrees
Remove and cool completely on a rack ( make sure to cool completely, it will make the brownies easier to cut. We cut them in the middle of the cookie so the center is visible. You can also cut them so 1 cookie is a single serving.

You can see a picture of them under the post, Christmas is Sharing, search it!

Peace in the Kitchen!

I'm going to start with Moose Munch Brownies. I discovered this "non recipe" recipe at a Harry and David Store during the Holidays many years ago. Harry and David makes Moose Munch. For those that aren't familiar with Moose Munch, it's a popcorn that's coated with chocolate, either Milk or Dark and it has caramelized nuts and caramel corn mixed in with the chocolate covered popcorn.
They have recipe cards and the brownie recipe  is great.
Buy your favorite box of Brownie Mix and bake it according to the package directions. As soon as you remove the baked brownies from the oven, open a bag of Moose Munch and evenly distribute it over the top of the brownies and gently press it into the brownies. The Moose Munch will begin to melt. Cool completely in the pan. Cut into squares and serve. It's that simple. They're always a hit when we make them. We prefer Ghirardelli Brownie Mix.

I've already posted a story about Biscoff Cookies and Biscoff Spread and posted a couple of recipes.
Here's another great Biscoff recipe.

Chocolate Brownies with Biscoff Balls.

I'm going to give you the shortcut version of the original recipe. The brownies are similar to the Moose Munch Brownies. This time you're going to bake Biscoff Balls in the Brownie Mix. Buy your favorite Brownie Mix and mix the batter according to package directions, do not bake until you make the Biscoff Balls that will be baked into the brownies.
I use Ghirardelli Brownie Mix for this recipe too. Here's the recipe and directions for the Biscoff Balls.

Biscoff Balls:

1/2 C Biscoff Spread
1/2 C minus 1 TBS of Confectioner's Sugar. (Powdered Sugar)

To make the balls:
Sift the sugar into a bowl.
Add the Biscoff Spread an mix well until a soft dough is formed. It should not be sticky.
Form 1" balls and place on a parchment paper lined sheet pan and freeze. Or place them in any container in a single level to freeze.
After the brownie mix is made, pour it into  the appripriate sized pan, according to package directions and evenly distribute the Biscoff Balls in the brownie batter and gently press them in, leaving the top 1/3 of the balls exposed.
Bake as directed.
Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan .
Refrigerate the brownies for at least and hour and up to two hours before serving.
This makes cutting the brownies easier.

Peace in the Kitchen!

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