Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Can’t Get No Satisfaction?! Try These -Black Cocoa Brownies

Recreating The Bake Feed Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies

 

The Rolling Stones sing about it, companies make billions of dollars off it, and advertisers convince us daily of it.  What is it?  Satisfaction!

Without even realizing it we are constantly being brainwashed to be dissatisfied with ourselves.  Business is booming because we are convinced we cannot possibly reach our potential without more stuff.

The newest running shoe will make us jump higher and despite the fact we have no athletic ability we can become a super star.  The big brush mascara will make our eyes so incredible we will mesmerize everyone we meet and be hired for some incredible job somewhere.  Don’t have the latest colour palate on your walls, in your shoe selection or your clothes, why how lame are you?  Not having the right colour jacket may impact your ability to secure an apartment rental.  Everyday someone, who will make money and benefit from making us feel less than perfect, will convince us we are not enough.  Not enough for ourselves and not enough for others and if we happen to be content and  satisfied we must not be enlightened enough to know we are lacking.  Wow, how sad, I probably don’t even realize how bad off I must be because I’ve been feeling pretty happy lately.  Does this mean I’m really lacking in more areas of my life than the average Joe.  OMG, maybe I should have bought those plaid pants.  Plaid is in this year, right?  If I have new pants I’ll be more interesting, right?

My therapy for problems of the world (first world) such as this, why chocolate or caramel or peanutbutter or butter or, any combination resulting in a dessert!  Whip yourself up some sweet satisfaction in the form of Black Cocoa Brownies and when enjoying one or three make a mental list of all the things you’re content with.  Number 1 should be the fact you made such amazing brownies.

Improving ourselves is never a negative but not enjoying or embracing what we are in the quest for the unattainable seems sad and a waste of precious time.  Time that, perhaps, might be spent in the kitchen baking up today’s recipe from the July/August 2018 Bake from Scratch magazine.

Ingredients
Black Cocoa Brownies – Ingredients
Dark Chocolate
Folding in Dark Chocolate

 

Black Cocoa Brownies
Black Cocoa Brownies with a little Hallowe’en Sprinkle (Photo Credit @wavesdigitalca.com)

 

Black Cocoa Brownies

(Black Cocoa is Ultra-Dutch process black cocoa which means the cocoa beans have been rinsed in an alkaline solution, eliminating its natural acidity, darkening the colour and making the flavour more concentrated.  Black cocoa has been processed to the most extreme.)

Preheat oven to 350F.  Spray a 13×9-inch pan and line with parchment paper.  Have an overhang on the sides to easily lift brownies out of pan.

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups dark chocolate morsels, divided

1 cup unsalted butter, cubed

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup black cocoa powder

2 tsp kosher salt

5 eggs, large

1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method:

In top of a double boiler, melt 1 1/3 cups chocolate with the butter until chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth.  Stir occasionally while melting.  Turn off heat and whisk in sugars.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa, and salt.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs.  Add half of beaten egg to cooled chocolate mixture and whisk until combined.  Whisk in remaining egg and vanilla.

Fold in flour mixture until only a few streaks of flour remain.  Fold in remaining chocolate pieces.

Spread batter into prepared pan.  Bake for approximately 25 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre has only a few crumbs.  Cool competely in pan before removing to cut.

Store well wrapped on counter.  These freeze well.

Chewy Brownies

Chewy Brownies

Brownies are the quintessential sweet treat.  Chocolatey, sweet, chewy, portable and easy to make.

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Chewy Brownie – sweetenuf.ca

 

A chewy brownie with a fudgey consistency is my go to.  Others prefer a cakey brownie but I find they lack a depth of flavour I crave.  Today’s recipe from America’s Test Kitchen is a sure fire winner with 3 types of chocolate plus some espresso powder to enhance the chocolate flavour even further.

With the freezing rain still falling on this Spring Sunday a batch of these baking would surely lift your mood and make you forget about the howling winds and the fact you still need your long johns.  Start your ovens people and beat back your sweet treat craving with a pan of these.

cropped-chopped-chocolate.jpg
Chocolate!  Sweetenuf.ca

 

Chewy Brownies (ATK)

Makes approx. 24.  Grease and parchment or foil line (make sure to grease the foil) 13 x 9-inch baking pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Ingredients:

1/2cup + 2 tbsp boiling water

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

1 1/2 tsp instant espresso powder (optional)

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped fine

1/2 cup + 2 tbsp vegetable oil

4 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

2 large eggs + 2 egg yolks

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 1/2 cups sugar

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 tsp salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

Method:

Whisk hot water, cocoa and espresso powder together in a large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in oil and melted butter.  Add in eggs and yolks and vanilla and continue whisking until mixture is smooth and uniform looking.  Whisk in sugar until fully mixed.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt and add into chocolate mixture combining with a rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in the bittersweet pieces.

Transfer batter to the prepared pan and smooth with an offset spatual to reach the corners and smooth top.

Bake about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.  Remember to rotate pan half way through baking time!

Let cool and remove Brownies from pan.  Let cool further until firm and cut into squares.  Wrap leftovers well.

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Fudgey Brownies


Fudgey Brownies
Fudgey Brownies

Today’s fudgey dense and sweet Brownie recipe is super simple.  So easy you may want to make a batch for dessert tonight to serve with a scoop of ice cream or a little whipped cream.  If you can, pick up some Ontario strawberries. Slice on top of the ice cream or whipped cream and you have an upscale dessert sure to please!

I used 3 types of chocolate in these sweet enuf treats.  Add-in 1/2 – 3/4 cup of chopped walnuts or pecans if you desire.

Fudgey Brownies

Preheat oven to 350F and grease and line an 8-inch square baking pan.

Ingredients:

3 ounces dark or bitter sweet chocolate

3 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounces milk chocolate

1/3 cup butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp salt

Method:

In a microwave safe bowl, combine the chocolate and butter, and microwave on medium power until chocolate is almost melted.  Stir until melted and smooth.

Whisk in the sugar and then whisk in the eggs one at a time until combined. Gently whisk in the vanilla.

Using a wooden spoon mix in the flour and salt.

Spread evenly into prepared pan and bake for about 25-30 minutes.  Edges will be firm and centre will be almost set.

Let cool completely before cutting.

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

chocolate-caramel-shortbread
Chocolate Caramel Shortbread sweetenufblog.ca

‘Tis the season, for shortbread, it seems, in all shapes sizes and variations.  Today the shortbread is combined with a few other yummy things.  On their own chocolate, caramel and shortbread are delicious.  Put them together and the taste combination is superb.

This is an oldie but goodie I go back to every year during holiday time.  I’m not sure how old it is but it is a Borden Foods recipe (probably most of you reading this have no idea who the Borden Food company or Elsie the Cow is). No matter, like most delicious and simple recipes it stands the test of time…and it’s not really THAT old!

Fabulous right out of the fridge these squares will also freeze well so you can bake ahead and have ready for yourself or when company drops by.

Tip:  When making the caramel layer make sure to stir every minute or so.  The butter, condensed milk and corn syrup can get some burnt bits if you leave to long before stirring.  If you happen to get some solidified bits in your caramel because you ‘saved’ it before the burning point (not like that’s ever happened to me!!) pour it through a sieve and no one will be the wiser.  If you burn it…well, unfortunately it will need to be tossed.  Hint – always have a second can of condensed milk on hand!

Chocolate Caramel Shortbread

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease or parchment line a 9-inch square pan.  Makes approx. 20 pieces.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 cups of butter, softened (divided into 1 cup and 1/2 cup measures)

1/2 cup icing sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 can Condensed Milk

3 tbsp corn syrup

3 ounces semi-sweet or dark chocolate, melted

Method:

Beat 1 cup soft butter with the icing sugar and salt until light and fluffy.  Add in flour and mix until combined scrapping down sides and bottom of mixing bowl.

Press mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.shortbread-layer

In a microwave safe bowl melt the remaining 1/2 cup of butter.  Add in the condensed milk and corn syrup and return to microwave.  Cook on high for about 6-8 minutes making sure to stir after every minute until mixture turns a light caramel colour.

Pour caramel mixture on top of warm shortbread layer.  Let set and drizzle with melted chocolate.  Allow to cool completely and cut into squares.

Can you say, Mmmm Mmmm amazingly good and perhaps just a little indulgent!

 

 

 

 

 

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

img_20161110_081122442

These bars are somewhat crumbly when you cut them up but since they are so delicious and full of flavours including chocolate, walnut, coconut and butterscotch overlooking a few extra crumbs is easy.

Put these on your holiday baking list to share with co-workers or take along to an upcoming get together.  Hard to believe it’s holiday baking time…but seems Christmas isn’t too far away.  Time to start making your holiday baking list!

Black Bottom Coconut Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  Line a 9-inch square pan with parchment or foil coated with cooking spray.

Crust:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 packed brown sugar

1/2 cup butter, softened

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

Combine flour and sugar together in a medium bowl.  Add in the butter and chocolate and mix together until blended.  Press into bottom of the 9-inch pan.  Bake for 15 minutes until set.

Filling:

2 eggs

1 cup packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 1/3 cups flake or shredded coconut

1 cup butterscotch chips

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat eggs until thick and light in colour.  Beat in the sugar until light and fluffy.  Add in vanilla.

Mix flour and baking powder together and fold into the egg mixture.  Stir in coconut butterscotch chips and walnuts.

Spread over the baked crust and return to oven to bake for 20-25 minutes until lightly browned.

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Cool, cut and enjoy.

 

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Combine the flavours of coffee, oats, caramel, brown sugar and top them off with a coffee glaze and you have a winner!  Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars to be exact.

You could leave off the glaze but it is so simple to make and adds another layer of flavour without being overwhelmingly sweet so just go for it.  Whip these up this weekend and enjoy with a hot beverage.  No need to go out of the house to visit a bakery or coffee shop with a tray of Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars cooling on your counter.  You won’t even miss the hour of sleep due to the clocks turning back since you’ll be eager to enjoy another square with your Sunday coffee.

cappuccino-carmel-oat-bars-up-close-personal
Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars – Sweetenufblog.com

 

Cappuccino-Caramel Oat Bars

Preheat your oven to 350F.  Lightly grease a 13 x 9-inch pan.

Ingredients:

3 cups regular rolled oats

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped pecans

1 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1 cup butter, room temperature

2 cups packed brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tbsp instant espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)

2 tsp vanilla bean paste

3/4 cup Caramel Sauce (any brand or homemade caramel sauce)

1/2 cup chopped pecans (for adding at end)

Coffee Glaze (optional) – combine 2 tablespoons hot milk and 1 tsp coffee until dissolved.  Stir in 1 cup of icing sugar until smooth.

Method:

In a medium bowl combine the oats, flour, 1 cup pecans, baking soda and salt.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter for about 30 seconds.  Add in the brown sugar and beat until combined and well mixed.  Scrape down beaters and bowl.  Add in eggs, coffee and vanilla and beat until combined.  On low, beat in the oat mixture.

Reserve 2 cups of the mixture and with floured hands press the remaining oat mixture evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

Spread the caramel sauce over top of the mixture and then using your hands, crumble the reserved 2 cups of mixture, randomly over top.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cups of pecans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes and set.  You DO NOT want to overbake.

Cool and drizzle with the coffee glaze.  Cut into bars.

 

 

Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Mating in the Wild & Pecan Pie Bars

Apparently size does matter.  Not only does showing whose is bigger set the ground work, you are then able to start a battle with a few strong shoves to your advisary and with a well placed low blow get him out of the picture. That accomplished you can now turn your attention to the lovely female you have had our eye on since sensing her hormone levels were reaching their peak and you, being the romantic you are, will wait by quietly until she turns her attentions to you!

A play-by-play from a downtown bar?!  A scenario from a dating text-book?! My somewhat crazed imagination?!

None of the above.  Interestingly enough, while baking up today’s recipe, I had on the National Geographic channel and they were discussing the mating habits of wild life in Alaska.  Male Sheep with the biggest horns use them to fight off other males who are lacking in this department often butting their horns in their opponents vulnerable spots and the winner also lets loose a battle cry to capture the attention of his lady.

While watching it I started thinking about recent conversations with several single women friends and their not-so-impressive dating experiences so far in 2016.

Seems today’s man could maybe take cue from the bears, long-horned sheep and a few other animals in Alaska and other parts of the world.

In a nutshell, as wild and untamed as these creatures may be, they make a show of their assets and are willing to go the extra mile and even fight for their lady.  Now I know I don’t want anyone ramming their head into the gut of another potential suitor just to get my or my friends undivided attention but a sincere compliment to the fairer sex on how attractive their eyes or how nice their smile or asking something about their life and really wanting to know the answer would go a long way in securing our attention and interest.

Seems in the light of working so hard to be equal and self-sufficient we forget it is OK to have someone show us we are special and we are worth a little effort.  Sure we can bear children and look after said children, and take the garbage to the curb, grocery shop, make the meals, clean the house, pay bills and pay for our own stuff BUT why do we think we are not worth someone making a little effort for us.  WE ARE MORE THAN WORTH IT!

Maybe it’s not just the guys who need to look to the wild.  I’m going to follow the advice of the female bear…(well, metaphorically or something like that…I’m not really going to eat grass in a field and wait for a hairy guy, but I think you’ll get my drift).   She contentedly eats her way through the field while the males fight for her (just her, not the other 12 they have contacted on Match or POF and might, just might, follow-up with).  Then the winner lays down in the grass nearby and waits the several weeks it takes before she is ready for his attentions.

To me this translates to the guy spending some time and attention on the woman, by taking her out, talking with her, asking about her and her interests, and paying, yes paying, for several coffees or drinks and a few meals…that’s it. Doesn’t seem that difficult and no matter how old we get it does really feel like all the emotions and thoughts haven’t changed since college and high school dating.

Obviously this recipe is super simple or there is absolutely no way I would have been able to whip it up with all of the above going through my brain!!  Hope you give them a try.

Happy Thanksgiving Canada!!

pecan-pie-bars

Pecan Pie Bars

Preheat oven to 350F.  Makes about 24 squares.  You’ll need a 9×9-inch square pan, ungreased.

Ingredients:

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup powdered sugar

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup butter, cold

2 eggs

1 cup chopped pecans

1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

1/2 cup light corn syrup

2 tbsp butter, melted

1 tsp vanilla

Method:

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, powdered sugar and salt.  Cut in the cold butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives, until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Pat into baking dish and bake in preheated oven until light brown.  About 20 minutes.

In same medium bowl whisk eggs and add in the brown sugar, corn syrup, melted butter and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.

Sprinkle pecans over baked crust and pour over egg mixture.  Return to oven and bake approximately 20 more or until filling is set.  Let cool and cut into bars.