Brownies


I don’t bake nearly as much as I used to.  It used to be once-a-week.  Now, it’s about…well, it’s once in a while.  And when I do I try to use less sugar.  We aren’t getting any younger and it is harder and harder to ‘work off’ the sweet treats.

But every once in a while we really want something sweet.  Last week we really wanted something so I made Keller’s Cheesecake – using Splenda and Stevia.  This week it is chocolate as in…

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BROWNIES!

Keller says brownies remind him of family, comfort, and childhood.  I feel the same way.  Mom used to make brownies.  They were always a treat.  ALWAYS!

I made these using Splenda and Stevia as well.  Instead of 1 3/4 cup sugar I used an equal amount of Splenda and ADDED about 1/4 tsp of bulk Stevia.  INTENSE chocolate flavor (1 cup cocoa), just sweet enough, and very little guilt. Well, as little as you can have with 3 STICKS BUTTER!!.

The recipe is from Keller’s ad hoc at home. {page 303} Also found it on Pretty Simple Sweet.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

…Brownies will always be in my top three desserts {along with Cheese cake and Bread Pudding}. And thanks to Ellie I don’t have to eat tiny little slices to enjoy them. {Theme this week was slices so brownies seemed to fit the bill}

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These are her Dark Chocolate Brownies and they are only 150 calories/piece. Well, it you cut them into 24 squares from a 9×13 pan. But I knew I didn’t need THAT many brownies so I made only 1/2 the recipe in a 6″ cast iron skillet. I’ve always wanted to do that! They always look so cute.

I only made a couple of changes from the original recipe. I used non-fat vanilla yogurt rather than the plain low fat she called for and unsweetened chocolate instead of the bittersweet. It’s what I had. And while most sites/blogs/people will tell you they are not interchangeable in baking so I added a just a tad of Stevia to make up for the loss of the 10% or sugar. Worked just fine.

I also baked them a little less than she did because I like a little gooey in my brownies.

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Her original recipe is on FOODTVso I’m not going to include it this time.

What else was sliced up this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs – go see!

I think of all the desserts out there, browinies are the ultimate ‘comfort’ dessert. Fudgy! Dense! Chewy! Yep, can’t go wrong with that.

    BUT!!
      Who am I kidding, there is no BUT!!

These hit all the characteristics of a ‘regular’ brownie – except they are gluten-free, butter-free, and dairy-free. I know what you are thinking – why bother? But do, please, bother with these cause they are really, REALLY good.

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Chewy! Dense! Fudgy! YES!!

    But!
      And, unfortunately there is really a BUT!

Too much sugar. The recipe called for two cups of powdered sugar. And while Sweet Tooth Hubby really liked them I cannot eat them (right now) because of all the sugar. I wonder if I could use an equal amount of Stevia in the Raw and some added Stevia for the sweetness? Worth a try cause these are good!!

The recipe is from Scientifally Sweet a blog by Christina Marsigliese. We are baking from her blog for 2015.

Want to join us in our sweet travels this year – just visit The Avid Baker’s Challenge for the list of recipes to come and bake along with us.

And don’t forget to ‘taste’ the other Brownies!

Today is the last day for I heart Cooking Club to cook/bake with Donna Hay. We started using Donna’s recipes the first of October 2013 and enjoyed all of it for 6 great months. I have been using several of Donna’s cookbooks for a few years so it was fun to make more than just one or two a month.

We could pick any recipe we wanted to say Good-Bye. What better than a dessert. The end of the meal. The end of lots of meals. The end of IHCC and cooking with Donna!

I’m not ashamed to admit that BRWONIES are in the top three of my favorite desserts. The others being cheese cake and bread pudding. So here are Donna’s basic and speedy brownies

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    8 oz melted butter
    1 1/3 c sifted AP flour
    2 1/4c sugar {I subbed one cup Splenda for one cup of sugar}
    3/4c sifted cocoa powder
    4 eggs
    1/4 t baking powder

Mix all the ingredients together in a food processor. {I used a blender}
Pour the batter into a lined 8″ square cake tin and bake at 370 for 50 min. {I baked mine a little less because we like fudgy brownies.}

These were good brownies. Cakey on the outside, fudgy in the center. Just right.

The recipe is on page 160 of Donna’s off the shelf:cooking from the pantry.

How are the other IHCC members saying good-bye to Donna? See for yourself by visiting CATCH YA LATER, DONNA HAY.

March 31 thru’ September 28 we will cooking with NIGEL SLATER! Great recipes coming!! Come join us!!

Somehow when the words BROWNIE and CAKE are used in the same sentence it is enough to make one’s heart beat fast and entice one to make a recipe more than just one or the other. After sitting down and calming one’s heart!! And while I really wanted to make the whole cake I knew we didn’t need it, so I made 1/2 in a 5″ springform pan.

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Now, picture a moist, fudgy cake layered and topped with dark chocolate ganache.

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PERFECTION!! I only made one change in the recipe, contributed by Marcel Desaulniers, I used DARK chocolate (63%cacoa) rather than the semisweet chocolate called for. I think I liked it better! AND — it’s healthier!!!! {YEAH, RIGHT!!} Oh, and did I mention it has COFFEE in the filling? It is a subtle flavor enhancing the chocolate. Cannot beat that!!

You can find the recipe in Dorie’s Baking with Julia on page 282.

Check with the other DORISTAS for their chocolate goodness.

I mean really! BEST-ever. Doesn’t every brownie claim that? BEST!

Oh! My!

    Oh! Oh! My!
      Oh! My! My!

Yes, indeed!

    Rick Katz did not lie when he called these Best-Ever!!

Unless you don’t LIKE OOEY GOOEY, crispy-on-the-outside, not your granny’s brownies. But if you do — back away cause these are MY Best-Ever Brownies.

Even after making a major mistake they came out perfectly. Recipe says to mix just 1/2 of the sugar with the melted chocolate and then beat the other cup with the eggs into a mixer and beat until thick and pale. Nope, didn’t read the instructions and poured both cups of sugar into the melted chocolate. I was worried they would fail, but they came out PERFECTLY DELICIOUS!

Monica of A Beautiful Mess is hosting this week so the recipe will be on her lovely blog.

Rick’s Best-Ever Brownies are on page 231 of Dorie’s Baking with Julia.

You are welcome to join in on the fun. Just grab a copy of the book and bake with us twice a month.

The recipes are always listed on the website.

Earlier this summer I subscribed to a new magazine. A cooking magazine of course. Louisiana Cookin’. While it is not a new magazine I just found out about it. When the October 2012 issue arrived I scanned through it and was immediately drawn to a brownie recipe. No ordinary recipe. The brownies were one of the winners of the magazine’s annual Sweet Rewards Recipe Contest. And it wasn’t really the sweet potatoes in the brownies that caught my eye, it was the topping – Pecan Praline. WOWZA!! How could I pass that up?

Sweet Potato Praline Brownies {submitted by Dana Territa}

    1 large sweet potato
    5 large egg whites
    1 cup softened unsalted butter, divided
    1 cup sugar
    l/2 cup (hopped pecans, divided
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    2 teaspoons vanilla extract, divided
    1 cup brown sugar
    1/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 cup evaporated milk
    1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar

Prick sweet potato allover with a fork. Wrap in a wet paper towel, and microwave on high heat for 5 minutes. Continue to microwave in 2-minute intervals until soft. Set aside to cool. Once potato is cool, peel, mash, and reserve pulp.

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking pan.
In a large bowl, beat egg whites at high speed with an electric mixer until stiff peaks form. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1/2 cup butter and
sugar. Using the paddle attachment, beat at medium speed until combined.
Add cocoa powder, baking powder, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Gently fold in egg whites to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup pecans and sweet potato. Transfer to prepared pan, and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until center is firm.

In a heavy saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter over medium heat. And brown sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and slowly whisk in evaporated milk. Return saucepan to stove and bring mixture to a boil again. Boil, stirring constantly, until mixture reaches 230° on a candy thermometer (soft ball stage). Remove from heat, and stir for 2 minutes; let cool to lukewarm. Add remaining 1 teaspoon vanilla and confectioners’ sugar. Stir until combined. Pour mixture over warm brownies, and top with remaining 1 cup pecans.

Let cool to room temperature before cutting.

I made these exactly as the recipe listed except I made up my own evaporated milk. I don’t know if that was a good idea or not. The brownies NEVER got solid enough to slice. I had to chill them before I could slice them and even then they could only be eaten with a fork. I have no idea why this happened.

These were so completely delicious. You could not really taste the sweet potato in the brownies. Or at least I couldn’t. But THAT TOPPING!! O My Word!! I might use the topping on my favorite brownies. And maybe add in the sweet potatoes.

Okay, one more look!!

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