The varieties are endless. Chewy, fudgy, cakey, with marshmallows, without nuts, with chocolate pieces, with our without cocoa, recipes abound. Today I’m sharing brownies with peanut butter and praline peanuts. Topped with a peanut butter swirl and sprinkle of peanuts plus chocolate chips these brownies are divine!
Serve with some vanilla ice cream or a scoop of vanilla gelato and your taste buds will dance and be salivating for seconds.
Peanut Butter Brownies
(Canadian Living 2017) Makes approximately 16.
Preheat oven to 325F. Grease 9-inch square baking plan.
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup crunchy or smooth peanut butter
6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup praline peanuts (or roasted peanuts)
2 tbsp. peanut butter
2 tbsp. praline peanuts (or roasted peanuts)
2 tbsp. chocolate chips
In a small saucepan, stir together butter, peanut butter and chocolate over low heat until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
In large bowl, whisk together sugar with eggs. Whisk in chocolate mixture.
In small bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder and baking powder; fold into chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in peanuts. Scrape into prepared pan and spread evenly.
For topping, dollop peanut butter by teaspoonful over top of batter and with a knife tip or skewer, gently swirl to create a marble effect. Sprinkle with peanuts and chocolate chips.
Bake until tooth pick inserted in centre comes out with a few crumbs attached, approximately 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into squares.
Preheat oven to 350F. Paper line a 12-cup muffin tin.
Chocolate Cupcakes with chocolate icing need no explanation or description. They are a favourite with adults and kids alike and this recipe gives you a dozen perfect treats for anytime!
This recipe bakes up a tender, chocolatey cupcake with a fine crumb. I topped mine with a basic chocolate icing but vanilla, peanut butter or a burnt sugar frosting would all compliment these little cakes.
I used a Wilton 1M tip and piped the icing starting in the centre. A few Wilton blue ‘jimmies’ I picked up at my local Michael’s store finishes them off. The ‘jimmies’ are available in small packs at a reasonable cost giving you access to a variety of colours to bedazzle all your baked goods without a big price tag!
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 cup warm (not hot) brewed coffee
10 tbsp. butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
Place cocoa and baking soda in a small bowl and slowly whisk in coffee until smooth.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder.
In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Whisk in the egg, vanilla and salt until the batter is smooth. Stir half the flour mixture into the batter until combined. Stir in the chocolate liquid, then add in remaining half of the flour mixture until smooth. Do not overbeat.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cups. Bake approximately 15-18 minutes until tops spring back when lightly touched or toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool completely and ice.
Beat 1/2 cup room temperature butter with electric mixer for a couple of minutes until light in colour.
Add in 4 cups of icing sugar, 1/2 cup of unsweetened cocoa and 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Mix on low until combined. Add in enough cream or milk until spreadable consistency (approximately 1/4 cup, add a little at a time). Beat on high for about 5 minutes until fluffy. Spread or pipe onto cupcakes. Leftovers may be frozen.
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.
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.
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
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.
Today’s recipe share is from Shauna Sever’s wonderful book ‘Real Sweet’. This simple recipe uses turbinado sugar to give the brittle some brown sugar flavour but keeps the cookie nice and crisp. If you swapped in granulated sugar you defeat the purpose of the ‘brittle’ as the cookie wouldn’t have the same texture.
The recipe calls for bittersweet chocolate chips but I used a combo of bittersweet and semi-sweet in my batch and I liked the extra hit of sweet…but I’m sure no one is surprised by my sweeter preference.
I definitely should have taken a few more minutes and pressed by dough a little thinner per Shauna’s instructions but patience is sometimes not my virtue! Flattening the dough to cover the pan is probably the most difficult part of this simple but addictive recipe.
I will be baking up more recipes from this book which features all types of sweeteners, such as honey, maple syrup, frozen unsweetened apple juice, etc. so don’t forget to subscribe to sweetenuf.ca or follow on Instagram (sweet_enuf) to see what’s baking up!
Chocolate Chip Cookie Brittle
Preheat oven to 350F. Parchment line a 12 x 17-inch baking sheet.
14 tablespoons (7 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons
1 cup turbinado sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fine salt
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans or walnuts
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate
In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and sugar together until melted BUT NOT boiling. Remove from stove and whisk together until the butter is completely melted. Cool for 5 minutes. Whisk again continuously for 1 minute, or until mixture is thickened and smooth and no longer appears separated. Whisk in the vanilla and salt. Stir in the flour until well incorporated (no white streaks of flour remain and no flour on bottom or sides of saucepan). Stir in 1/2 of the nuts.
Turn dough out onto prepared pan and pat it very thin. (It helps to break the dough up into mounds and place all over sheet pan and then work to pat it all together.) Just keep working to spread dough over all of cookie sheet. When complete lightly smooth with an offset spatula to even it all out.
Sprinkle with the chocolate chips and the remaining nuts and press then lightly into the dough with your hands.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until lightly golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Rotate pans every 7-8 minutes for even baking. Remove from oven and let cool for about 5 minutes then using another parcment lined sheet FLIP the brittle onto it and remove the parchment. Carefully invert again onto a cooling rack to firm up.
Cool completely and break into pieces. Store in an airtight container. This will keep for about 5 days but I don’t think it will hang around for that long!
12 tablespoons (3/4 cup) cold butter, cut into small pieces
4 ounces white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
Preheat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a 2nd baking sheet under lined sheet. (This helps to prevent the bottom from over baking.)
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar, orange zest and salt.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the sour cream, orange juice, vanilla and egg.
Add the butter to the dry ingredients and use a pastry blender or 2 knives to cut the cold butter in. Pieces should be the size of peas OR use a box grater and grate the butter into the flour mixture and toss lightly until butter pieces are coated with the flour mixture.
Add the wet ingredients and fold in until just combined. Fold in the chocolate.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead (adding flour as necessary) until it comes together. Pat dough into a square and then roll it out to a 12-inch square. Now fold it together in thirds (it will resemble a letter) and then fold into thirds again, (now it will look like a nice little square pacakge) adding flour as necessary to prevent sticking. Put on alightly floured plate and freeze for about 10 minutes.
Put dough on lightly floured surface and roll out to a large circle about 1/2 thick and score into 8 portions.
If desired, brush to tops with a little cream and sprinkle with sugar.
Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake for approximately 18-25 minutes until golden brown on top and bottom.
Best eaten day of baking but wrap well and microwave for 5-10 seconds on the second day IF there are any leftovers.
Brownies are the quintessential sweet treat. Chocolatey, sweet, chewy, portable and easy to make.
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.
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.
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)
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.
I was looking for inspiration to fuel a stint of pie making. I figured a quick search on Instagram, maybe viewing a lemon meringue pie or an apple pie would get my creative baking juices flowing. Pie is just pie, right? After all the definition of pie is a baked dish of fruit, or meat and vegetables, typically with a top and base of pastry.
#pie…so simple. But once again I seem to have missed the memo related to searching in today’s tech world. I was expecting images of colourful scrumptious looking fruit pies with perfectly browned lattice tops or maybe, some fancy pastry cutouts adorning said pies. Unfortunately, this was not the case as I quickly learned!
Seems #pie isn’t for pies made with pastry and fruit. It’s for FEET! Oh yes, lots and lots of bare feet. Big feet and little feet. Some with wrinkly soles, long toes and polished nails. But sill feet and interestingly enough it seems to be just women’s feet. I’m pretty sure I’d recognize man feet if I saw them. Who knew there could be so many interesting ways to photograph feet…wet feet, bottoms of feet, jewelled feet and feet encased in strappy footwear and, well, it goes on and on.
After my inital ‘ick’ it was like a train wreck I couldn’t turn away from. It appears the ‘foot fetish’ people like their feet attached to scantily clad bosoms and behinds. Maybe the attractiveness of the bare feet increase with the barer the body attached to those feet. Since I had to stop looking before I saw something I wouldn’t be able to recover from my research into the #pie has come to an end.
This is why today’s recipe is for Chocolate Chip Cookies. I needed a chocolate fix to settle myself down and baking a pie will need to sit on the back burner for a while longer.
These chewy in the centre and crisp on the edges cookies are full of chocolate. This recipe from ‘Bake from Scratch’ has been made twice this week in my kitchen and I’m down to my last cookie. I modified the recipe slightly by using both whole wheat and all-purpose flours, both chocolate chips and chopped chocolate and a little less vanilla.
Using both chips and chopped chocolate makes for the perfect chocolate ratio in every bite. The chopped chocolate melts and spreads while the chips keep their shape.
Just make sure you have a few at the ready if and when you decide to starting look up hashtags on Instagam!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Preheat oven to 350F. Parchment line 2-3 cookie sheets.
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup chopped dark or semi-sweet chocolate
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, soda and salt.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together for about 4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Scrap the bowl halfway through. Add in eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in vanilla.
With mixer on low, gradually add in flour mixture and mix only until combined.
Fold in chocolate. Use large scoop and place cookies on prepared sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart to allow for spreading.
Bake cookies about 12-14 minutes. Cookies will brown around edges but remain soft in the centre.
If using a medium scoop check cookies after about 9-10 minutes.