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.

Caramel Frosting


 

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Caramel Frosting topped with Caramel Drizzle – Sweetenufblog.com

First comes Caramel sauce, next comes Caramel Frosting (or icing as we call it here in Canada). Well, actually, first comes the sugar and water boiled to a beautiful amber colour and then comes the cream, etc. but believe me you will not be disappointed in this sweet smooth icing and the extra effort to make the caramel from scratch is well worth the time.

Satiny, sweet and full of mellow flavour this sauce is Nirvana!!  Set a little aside  to drizzle over top whatever you currently have in the works or tuck it away for your next ice cream attack.  A big spoonful when your craving something sweet or maybe a little drizzle into your coffee or on top of some fruit.  I figure whatever you choose to snack on with Caramel Sauce or even Caramel Icing in the privacy of your own kitchen is your business.  Who am I to judge!! You might just make the Caramel sauce again and again even if you don’t need any more icing.

Caramel Frosting (Bake From Scratch Cake Issue 2016)

Makes about 5 cups.

Ingredients:

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

1 cup whipping cream (35% cream), warmed slightly

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

6 cups icing sugar

Method:

In a large saucepan, combine the sugar and 1/2 cup water.  Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves.  Stop stirring and leave the mixture to cook until it is amber in colour.  (Very important to make sure your sugar mixture turns a nice deep amber colour.)  If any sugar crystals form on the side of the saucepan use a pastry brush dipped in water to brush down the sides.  Remove from heat.

Add in the cold cubed butter and stir with a wooden spoon.  The mixture will foam up.  Gradually add the cream, vanilla and salt.  Stir until mixture is smooth.

Transfer mixture into a medium bowl and place the bowl in a larger bowl of ice water to cool for about 20 minutes.  Stir occasionally.

Once cool set aside 1/3 cup of the caramel to drizzle on top of your iced cake or cupcakes.

Caramel Icing Sweetenufblog

Place cooled caramel in a mixing bowl and add softened butter.  Beat on medium speed until combined.  Add in icing sugar gradually, beating well after each addition.

Use immediately as icing will harden.

 

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Cookie Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies – sweetenuf.ca

The other day as I was standing over the counter licking my spoon clean from yet another dip into the Cookie Butter, or as some of you may know it, Speculoos Butter jar, I thought, hmmm, there must be a way to bake this cinnamony sweet goodness into a cookie!  Just like peanut butter or Nutella or Reese’s peanut butter chocolate spread why wouldn’t this creamy concoction blend nicely into a cookie, muffin or even the filling for a macaron (ohhh, be still my beating heart, doesn’t that sound scrumptious).

Within minutes I came across a recipe for Cookie Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookies from the blog My Frosted Life and here I am sharing her delicious recipe with you.

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Cookie Butter Cookies 

The only switch ups I made were to use 1/2 white chocolate chips and 1/2 chocolate chips and to roll the cookies in coarse sugar, usually found at Bulk Barn or Michaels or a cake supply store.  I find regular granulated sugar disappears as your cookies bake.  Space your cookies out as they will spread while baking.  Don’t overbake.  7 minutes doesn’t seem long but you want a nice soft centre with these cookies.  Look closely at the edges to see if they have browned as it may be a little tough to tell since the cookie dough is brown!

 

Cookie Butter White Chocolate Chip Cookies

(From http://www.myfrostedlife.com)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup dark brown sugar

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 large egg

1/2 cup cookie butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup mini white chocolate chips

1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar, for rolling cookies

Method:

Preheat oven to 375F.  Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a large bowl with electric mixer beat the butter and sugars on medium-high until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.

Add the egg, vanilla and cookie butter and beat on medium speed until incorporated.

In a small bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

With mixer on low, add the flour mixture into the batter and mix until all the flour is incorporated.  Fold in mini white chocolate chips until evenly distributed.

Refrigerate the cookie dough for at least one hour.

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Cookie Dough Cookies – sweetenuf.ca

Once dough is chilled form into balls using approximately 1 tablespoon of dough.  Roll dough in sugar and place on cookie sheet.  Space cookies 2 inches apart to allow for spreading.

Bake for 7-9 minutes or until just brown around the edges.

Cool completely and enjoy!

 

 

 

 

Sweet and Salty Cookies

Sweet and Salty Cookies

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Sweet and Salty Cookies

Besides being deliciously sweet and a little salty these cookies are a great way to use up some of those ‘little bits’ of the sweet and salty items hanging around your kitchen.

My quick to be devoured cookies contained a Wunderbar, some sea salt Caramel baking bits, salted peanuts and a few dark chocolate chips.  These are great with pretzels or crushed potato chips for the salty portion or even Bugles…you remember those incredibly addictive delicious snack items.  For the the sweet….well, the options are endless…smarties, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, chopped chocolate or a combination of all of these.

20170807_160653
Add-ins for Sweet and Salty Cookies

Each time you make these you can create your own unique combination of sweetenuf yumminess.  Don’t hesitate, start looking for all those bits taking up valuable space in your cupboards.

Sweet and Salty Cookies

Preheat oven to 350F and parchment line 2 cookie sheets.

Ingredients:

1 cup unsalted butter

3/4 cup granulated sugar

3/4 cup brown sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

2 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp salt

1 cup sweet (chopped chocolate, butterscotch pieces, M&M’s, etc.)

1 cup salty (crushed potato chips, pretzels, Bugles, peanuts, etc.)

Method:

In a large bowl, beat together butter with the sugars until light and fluffy.  (As always, remember to scrape down sides and bottom of bowl throughout.)  Beat in 1 egg at a time and beat in vanilla.

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

Stir dry ingredients into creamed mixture until combined.  Fold in your sweet and salty pieces.

Use a scoop, approximately 2 tablespoon size, and leave a couple of inches between each cookies.  Bake for about 12 minutes, rotating pans half way through baking time to ensure even baking.

Let cool and enjoy.

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Sweetenuf – Sweet and Salty Cookies

Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream

Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream

vanilla-cupcake-topped-with-brown-sugar-maple-buttercream

Simply delicious with subtle molasses flavour from the dark brown sugar and a little hint of maple from 3 tablespoons of pure Canadian maple syrup this buttercream is terrific atop a cake or cupcakes and will definitely be the filling in my next macaron foray.

This recipe is from Layered baking book by Tessa Huff.  It is full of great recipes for cakes with chapters like ‘Classic Cakes’, ‘Chocolate Cakes’ and ‘Whimsical Cakes’ plus a variety of frostings! layerd-by-tessa-huff

Maple Brown Sugar Buttercream

1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons egg whites

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature

3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup

In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together the egg whites and brown sugar.  Place over a double boiler and bring the egg/sugar mixture to 160F, whisking occasionally.

Remove bowl from double boiler and put on stand mixer.  Using whisk attachment and on medium-high speed beat the mixture until cool and medium-stiff peaks form.  This will take about 10 minutes.  (You need to make sure this mixture is cool before adding butter.  I waited about 10 minutes before I started whisking my egg mixture to cool it off slightly!)

On a low speed add in the butter in tablespoon increments and the vanilla, mixing well after each addition of butter.  This will take about 8-10 minutes.  Add in the maple syrup. Increase mixer to high and whip for a minute or two.  If mixture looks curdled just keep mixing as it will come together nicely when cool enough.

Note: In Layered they say to switch from whisk to the beater once you begin adding the butter.  I find using the whisk attachment works as well through the whole process.

brown-sugar-maple-buttercream

 

 

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!