Wednesday, October 29, 2008

boootiful brownies

I am a sick ticket. Sick for Halloween, candy corn, marshmallow Peeps, and baking. You know when you get that wicked (no pun intended with the upcoming holiday and everything ;) urge to bake brownies? The Baker One-Bowl ones? Yeah, that was last night. And what better way to jazz up a tray of chocolate deliciousness than with candy corn and Peeps? There's no better way.

I have a soft spot for those Baker One-Bowl Brownies, and I am sure that many of you feel the same way. To me, they are the Gold Standard brownie recipe, and not many brownies can compare to them. In my 21 years of living, the only brownies that have even come close to Baker One-Bowlers are the ones baked up from the packaged (yes, packaged) Ghiradelli brownie mix. The one that you can get at your neighborhood Costco. The one that makes a 13 foot x 5 foot batch of brownies. Nahhh, you get your usual 13 inch x 9 inch tray of deliciousness from the Ghiradelli package...but everything is so ginormus from Costco, you would think that you'd make brownies that big, would you not? ;)

So my Aunt Vicki promised me two things when I was born: to always supply me with packs of gum, and to buy me Peeps for no reason at all. Don't ask, this has been a long-running joke between her and me for the longest time. Anyway, I discovered a packaged of Halloween-inspired Peeps that she had given to me a few weeks ago in my kitchen cupboard, and I thought...how amazing would it be to put Peeps on brownies? On brownies with candy corn in them! Basically, Halloween at its finest.

So these Peeps totally had faces on them...that is, before they were melted away by their Oven Death. So sad, so sad. However, they still tasted delicious despite their funny-looking faces. And my housemates didn't seem to mind their slight deformity, either.

Bootiful Brownies aka Baker's One Bowlers

4 squares unsweeted chocolate
1 1/2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup candy corn

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 13x9-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Microwave unsweetened chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on high for 2 minutes, or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is all the way melted. Stir in sugar. Add all remaining ingredients and mix that puppy well. Stir in candy corn. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of baking, smoosh on marshmallow ghost Peeps. Don't overbake!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

peanut butter crumbles

So a lull in classes calls for baking. And baking creations. I started off with the intention of baking these Peanut Butter Blondies with Chocolate Ganache. But mid-baking, I realized that I was low on a lot of crucial ingredients...like chocolate chips. Kind of an important thing here. My mind racing and wheels turning, I quickly went through the cupboards to formulate a delicious concoction: Peanut Butter Crumbles.

Crumble topping is a weakness of mine, and for some reason, I've been craving it a lot a lot lately. I blame it on midterms...which is why I decided that these Peanut Butter Bars of Deliciousness definitely needed some crumble in their lives. I wanted to use the infamous crumble recipe originally created by Leah, but she was not here to dictate the recipe to me, nor was Anita, a frequent crumble-maker herself. My lack of ingredients wasn't making things easier, either, but I am always up for a challenge, so off I went to whip up some crumble.

And....it came out decently okay. Definitely needed some more butter, but that's alright. The crumble was just...extra crumbly.

Soooo, I'm going to be super lazy and not post the recipe for this one. Because: #1. I'm pretty sure that following the Peanut Butter Blondie with Chocolate Ganache recipe will yield more desirable results #2. I'm feeling incredibly lazy #3. I seriously can't remember the exact ingredients I used for these things. That being said, just dream of what these bars would taste like. :)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

solution? bake.

Oh, the things I do when I should be studying...like baking these delicious fudge crumble bars, originally taken from Eggs on Sunday. I've been meaning to make these for a while now, and I finally got the chance...errrr, made time to whip up a batch. In the middle of a hardcore midterm study session, of course.

So my dessert consumption is always ridiculously high, but during midterm and final exam seasons...whoa. Watch out. For example, these cookies ended up being my lunch the day I made them. No joke. I'm serious, folks...serious about my dessert around times of stress, that
is. And these Fudge Nut Bars do just the trick for any exam stress that you may have. Yessir, it will take those heart palpitations right away.

Now, I have always been a fan of crumble. I just don't know what it is...is it the cookie like texture? Maybe. Could it be the brown sugary goodness surrounding each crumbly morsel? Perhaps. Or is it the oatmeal that makes me feel healthy inside, yet oh so naughty, thanks to the massive amounts of butter mixed in? Mayhaps. Whatever it is, whatever the reason, I was craving crumble this week, and oh, did crumble I receive. Not only are these cookies fudgy, but they are fudge cookies with oatmeal cookie crumble. And then to top it all off, these are bar cookies...only the greatest form of cookie known to man-kind. :)


So the exams are tomorrow, and I really should be sleeping right now, but I just couldn't sleep. And when one cannot sleep, one must blog. So off to the kitchen I went to photograph my beauties. And to "clean up" the 13x9 pan a bit with Anita. :)

I will definately be making these bars again, and I probably will play around with the recipe a bit. For next time, I'm thinking of peanut butter cookie dough for the crust and crumble, and Resee's Pieces mixed into the fudge instead of walnuts. The question is if that will be too much peanut butter. Nahhh, not at all. :) And I'm thinking for Christmas, a white chocolate crust and crumble might be delicious with peppermint extract whipped into the fudge layer.

Yes, this recipe is definitely a keeper.


Fudge Nut Bars
Taken from Eggs on Sunday

1 cup unsalted butter
2 cups brown sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 cup quick-cooking rolled oats
12 oz. pkg. semisweet or bittersweet chocolate morsels (I like the Ghirardelli 60% cacao chips)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup chopped walnuts
2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream together the butter and sugar. Mix in eggs and 2 teaspoons vanilla. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and 1 teaspoon salt. Add these dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and mix to combine (just until the flour disappears into the batter.) Stir in the rolled oats; set aside while you make filling.

Combine in a heatproof bowl the chocolate pieces, sweetened condensed milk, 2 tablespoons butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Melt these ingredients together, using either the double boiler method (set the heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water) or in the microwave (cook in 30-second increments, stirring after each until the chocolate is melted.) Whichever method you use, stir the mixture occasionally until the chocolate pieces are melted and mixture is smooth; remove from heat and stir in nuts and 2 teaspoons vanilla. Spread about 2/3 of the cookie dough (that you had previously set aside) over the bottom of greased 13 x 9 inch pan. Cover with the fudge filling. Drop chunks of the remaining cookie dough in pieces over the filling. Bake in a 350 degree oven 25 to 30 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool in pan, cut into small bars.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

the brownies at night are big and bright

It's been super cold in our house lately due to the incoming fall weather. And being the cheap college students that we are, we just put on our heat today...after living in a multitude of layers for two days straight. And downing steaming hot tea. All I can say is thank God for heating...

Anyway, I've been having a lull in my classes lately, which is totally amazing.
So I've been taking full advantage of the lull by getting ahead with studying, of course, and.......by baking! :) I dug up some leftover cream cheese in my fridge, and thought it would taste delicious swirled up into a chocolate brownie. Oh, and swirl in some raspberry preserves in there, too, while you're at it.
So props to Anita for giving me this adorable baking pan!!! She spent the summer in Texas as an intern. Basically, she brought a lot of Texas back with her, in both gift and cooking-form. Anita's always making Texas-inspired foods...like breakfast tacos and fish tacos for dinner. And they always smell crazy-delicious, and she makes me want to eat some. But anyway, I thought these impromptu brownies would look adorable baked into star-form. Oh, and P.S. This picture above...it's for you, Leah. ;)

Ohhh...look at that swirlage going on there.


And there... So these ended up coming out decently good, but next time, I'd add more flour to the brownie part, since I had to recook them since they weren't done even after 50 minutes. Eeep. However, these were delicious, just the same.

Raspberry Cream Cheese Brownies

2 squares unsweetened chocolate
6 tbsp. butter
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/2 cup flour
4 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup white sugar
1/8 cup milk
1/4 cup raspberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8x8-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray.

Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 2 min. or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Stir in sugar. Blend in egg and vanilla. Add flour; mix well. Spread into prepared pan.

Prepare cream cheese mixture: cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Stir in milk. Place dollops of cream cheese mixture and raspberry preserves over batter and swirl into pretty pattern with butter knife.

Bake about 50-60 min. or until wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs...do not overbake! Cool in pan on wire rack. Remove brownies from pan, using foil handles. Cut into squares and chow down.