Showing posts with label Bars. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bars. Show all posts

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Homemade Brownie Bliss

While out grocery shopping, I walked a little to slowly through the baking section, giving me the opportunity to spot some walnut brownies with cream cheese frosting. They miraculously jumped into my cart! They were just too addicting, and a few days later, I found myself craving them again. So instead of buying more, I decided to try a homemade version...and they were even better.

I combined a couple of recipes, and ended up with with a fudgy-textured brownie topped with a smooth cream cheese frosting. I prepared this for a tailgate at a friend's house, at which we enjoyed plenty of delicious food, including Broccoli Slaw. This was a unique & healthy side dish that is a wonderful alternative to the regular old potato or pasta salad. I'll definitely be making this dish around my house, and be sure to browse the rest of Erin's blog for more delicious dishes!

Cocoa Brownies
Food Network/Alton Brown

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 1 hr 0 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 16 brownies


Soft butter, for greasing the pan
Flour, for dusting the buttered pan
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar, sifted
1 cup brown sugar, sifted
8 ounces melted butter
11/4 cups cocoa, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour, sifted
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Butter and flour an 8-inch square pan.

In a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs at medium speed until fluffy and light yellow. Add both sugars. Add remaining ingredients, and mix to combine.

Pour the batter into a greased and floured 8-inch square pan and bake for 45 minutes. Check for doneness with the tried-and-true toothpick method: a toothpick inserted into the center of the pan should come out clean. My brownies were not even close being done at this point - they needed about 55-60 minutes. When it's done, remove to a rack to cool. Resist the temptation to cut into it until it's mostly cool.

Cream Cheese Frosting
Cooking Light

1 3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, chilled
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts, toasted

To prepare the frosting, beat the powdered sugar, chilled cream cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla at medium speed of a mixer just until blended (do not overbeat). Spread frosting over cupcakes, and sprinkle with toasted walnuts.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Deliciously Decadent Dessert

I made blondies and used white chocolate for the first time a few months ago, and loved the flavors together, so I was excited to try this recipe. These blondies include the addition of macadamia nuts - which I love & remind me of my honeymoon to Hawaii, where many sweet and savory dishes include this type of nut. These are so decadent and delicious at any time of the day, I couldn't help but sneak one (or two) for breakfast...they also taste great heated a little topped with vanilla ice cream.

White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Blondies
Seen on Erin's Food Files; Originally from Emeril Legasse

1/2 pound, plus 1 teaspoon butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoons vanilla extract
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 cups white chocolate chips
1 cup macadamia nuts, toasted and rough chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place 1/2 pound of the butter and the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until a smooth batter is formed. While the machine is running, add the eggs and vanilla extract, until incorporated into the batter.

Sift together 3 cups flour and baking powder. Slowly add the flour mixture to the batter and mix on low speed until a dough is formed. Very gently, by turning the mixer on and then off, fold the chips and nuts into the dough.

Once the dough is all blended, grease a 9 x 9-inch baking pan ("I used a 9x13 pan, and still felt they were sufficiently thick" - I used Erin's suggestion since I realized I didn't have a 9 x 9 pan!) with the remaining butter and dust with the 1tablespoon of flour. Pour the batter into the pan and place in the preheated oven. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until set yet still moist.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Choose Between A Cheesecake Or Brownie...

....when you can have both! I've made cheesecake brownies before, and I've never been disappointed. You have the best of both worlds - chocolate goodness combines with a fruity/creamy cheesecake layer - yum! This recipe was rich and delicious, and you can change it up by using different chocolate for the brownie mixture, or different fruit preserves for the cheesecake layer.

Strawberry Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Beantown Baker

makes 25 brownies

1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2-oz dark chocolate, chopped I used 4- oz dark chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2/3 cup flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
8-oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup raspberry preserves/jam I used strawberry preserves

Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and lightly grease.

In a small, heatproof bowl, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir with a fork until very smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisking steadily, pour chocolate mixture into sugar mixture. Stir until smooth. Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt into the bowl and stir until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and prepare cheesecake mixture.

In a medium bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla extract until smooth. Drop in dollops onto prepared brownie batter. Drop dollops of raspberry preserves into the cheesecake batter. Gently swirl batters with a butter knife, giving the brownies a swirly look.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, until brownies and cheesecake are set. A knife inserted into the cheesecake mixture should come out clean and the edges will be lightly browned.

Cool in the pan completely before slicing and serving, either at room temperature or chilled.

Brownies can be refrigerated, covered, for several days.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Maybe Blondes Are More Fun...

One of my favorite easy desserts is brownies topped with vanilla ice cream. I had planned on just picking up some pre-made brownies, but while at the store I changed my mind, and decided to make some instead, since I had just had some baking success with the blondies.

However, offhand, I had no clue what type of chocolate to use, so I just started reading the recipes on the back of the products until I finally found a brownie recipe. I had never used Nestle Pre-Melted Choco Bake before....and I don't think I will again. Although the brownies turned out great taste wise, the chocolate was hard to work with. Well, actually it was a real pain in the butt! There was no way the batter would have filled out a 13 x9 pan, so I used a square 8 x 8 pan square baking pan, and baked it a little longer for approximately 25 minutes.

Fudgy Chocolate Brownies

Estimated Times:Preparation - 15 min
Cooking - 18 min
Cooling Time - 20 min cooling
Yields - 24 brownies (2 dozen)

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
4 packets (1 oz. each) Nestle Tollhouse Choco Bake Pre-Melted Unsweetened Chocolate Flavor

2 large eggs
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional) I used walnuts

PREHEAT oven to 350ยบ F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Stir in sugar, butter, Choco Bake, eggs, water and vanilla extract vigorously in large bowl. Stir in flour mixture . Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

BAKE for 18 to 22 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

You'll Love These Blondes

I've had this recipe for pumpkin blondies in my Google Reader for almost a month, so I have been excited to try it. Despite some technical difficulties from my mixer (it stopped working just as I started creaming the butter, then magically started working again), I managed to bake it with no further problems. This was a great recipe, I've never used white chocolate chips before, and I think the flavors went amazingly well together. I loved this recipe, it's a keeper.

Pumpkin-White Chocolate Blondies
found on Fresh From Cate's Kitchen, adapted from Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
1 tablespoon pumpkin-pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup canned pumpkin puree
1 package (12 ounces) white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving an overhang on all sides.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, pie spice, baking soda, and salt; set aside. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium-high speed until smooth; beat in egg and vanilla until combined. Beat in pumpkin puree (mixture may appear curdled). Reduce speed to low, and mix in dry ingredients until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips.

Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until edges begin to pull away from sides of pan and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 40 minutes. Cool completely in pan. Lift cake from pan (using foil as an aid). Peel off foil, and use a serrated knife to cut into squares.

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Love My (Pumpkin) Kisses Spicy!

New to Halloween and Fall this year, is Hershey's Pumpkin Spice Kisses. (Hint - I've only been able to find them at Target) I wanted to make a dessert for the big tailgate party for the U of Michigan game, and to make something with these little treats, so these Pumpkin Spice Brownies fit the bill.

But I'll confess - this was the second batch - the first one turned out kind of dry. I'm still pretty new to baking, and this was my first attempt at plain brownies (I've made ones with cheesecake before). If you love pumpkin, you'll love these. I'll definitely be making these again - I better head to Target and stock up.

Pumpkin Spice Brownies
from My Yummy Goodness & Dinner & Dessert


1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 1/2 sticks (12 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces, at room temperature
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
45 Hershey’s Pumpkin Pie Spice Kisses, unwrapped

Getting ready:

Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.Whisk the flour, salt, pumpkin pie spice, and cinnamon together.

Put the chocolate in a heatproof bowl and set the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir occasionally until the chocolate melts. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and add the butter, stirring until it melts. It’s important that the chocolate and butter not get very hot. However, if the butter is not melting, you can put the bowl back over the still-hot water for a minute. If you’ve got a couple of little bits of unmelted butter, leave them-it’s better to have a few bits than to overheat the whole.

Working with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar until thick and pale, about 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed and pour in the chocolate-butter mixture, mixing only until it is incorporated-you’ll have a thick, creamy batter. Add the dry ingredients and mix at low speed for about 30 seconds-the dry ingredients won’t be completely incorporated. Then finish folding in the dry ingredients by hand with a rubber spatula. Fold in the raisins, along with any liquid remaining in the pan. Scrape the batter into the pan.

Place the unwrapped kisses in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, and then drop by spoonfuls into the brownie batter. Using a knife, swirl the batter to create a marbled effect.Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the top is dry and crackled and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to warm or room temperature.

Carefully lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil edges as handles, and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 16 squares, each roughly 2 inches on a side, taking care not to cut through the foil.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Fill Me Up (Reese's) Buttercup....

After achieving a rare baking success with the Pumpkin Cheesecake Brownie in October, I decided to go for it and make this recipe from Blonde Ambition in the Kitchen, since the picture looked so amazing, and I've read many raves. And WOW - this is heavenly, there's not much else to say about it - peanut butter cheesecake, chocolate brownie and Reese's Peanut Butter Cups....go ahead, make it and I dare you to have just one piece!

Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirled Brownies

3/4 cup butter, very soft (not melted but softer than room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 TBS vanilla extract
2 large eggs1 oz. unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking powder1/4 tsp salt

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl
4 oz cream cheese, softened1/2 cups creamy PB
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
5-6 Reese's peanut butter cups (regular size) cut into 6-8 pieces each

IMPORTANT: Do NOT omit the Reese's Peanut Butter cups. They take these brownies over the top and add the "Double" Peanut Butter taste the title tempts taste buds with

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8x8" square pan with foil and lightly coat with PAM cooking spray.
In a microwave safe bowl melt the two baking chocolate squares in 30 second intervals stirring after each interval until smooth and melted after stirring. Do not scorch! Remove from microwave and allow to come to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl, Beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time until blended. Add vanilla and melted chocolate. Mix to combine. Combine dry ingredients in medium bowl and whisk together. Gradually stir dry ingredients into butter mixture. Do not over mix.

In separate mixing bowl, beat together cream cheese, peanut butter sugar and vanilla until smooth. Add egg and beat until just combined. Spread about 2/3 of chocolate brownie batter into prepared pan. Evenly drop 1/2 of cheesecake batter in dollops over brownie batter. Run a knife through both mixtures to slightly swirl.

Dollop remaining brownie batter and cheesecake batter over swirled mixture. Run knife through the brownie and cheesecake dollops (not all the way through the already swirled layer) to create a swirled pattern.

Bake for 40-45 minutes**, or until center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. Do not over bake or they will harden, if under baked they will be too gooey. Every oven is different so watch and check these after about 35-40 minutes of baking to ensure proper doneness.

**After about 35-40 minutes of baking (with about 5-7 minutes of baking time left, you just need to eyeball it) gently place cut up Reese's cups over top of almost fully baked brownies. Finish baking until a toothpick inserted in the center has a few crumbs stuck to it. The Reese's PB cups will melt but hold their shape slightly. Cool completely on wire rack before cutting and serving.

NOTE: I have not baked the brownie recipe without the Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake Swirl and Reese's on top so I am not sure how the brownies themselves rate. Let's just say I may not find out as I am in love with the Double Peanut Butter Cheesecake recipe.

NOTE 2/13/08: I changed and added 5-7 minutes the baking time as a few people who have made the recipe indicated a longer bake time was needed than originally posted. The recipe listed above reflects those changes.All ovens are different so be sure to keep an eye on your brownies to prevent over baking. Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs stuck to it.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

It's The Great Pumpkin-Cheesecake-Brownie!

As I've mentioned before, I can't bake. Now although I used to say that about cooking, my various attempts at simple things such as chocolate chip cookies (even the Pillsbury prepared dough-in-a-roll!) and boxed cake mixes (don't laugh) have turned out disastrous.

Trying to get into the Fall/Halloween spirit, I decided to make something with pumpkin for the first time. I found this recipe on a fellow Nestie's blog Cara's Cravings - it is a great/unique combination of a brownie and cheesecake, blending the flavors of chocolate and pumpkin. The thought of making one batter from scratch was daunting enough, and this recipe had two! It probably took me three times as long in prep work as supposed to, and I made a huge mess in the kitchen, but it's a miracle - it turned out looking, smelling and tasting absolutely delicious!

Pumpkin-Spice Cheesecake Brownies

Brownie Batter
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon

Cheesecake Batter
6 oz cream cheese, softened
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground ginger and ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8" square metal baking pan.

Beat together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and then gradually stir into butter mixture with a wooden spoon. In separate bowl, beat together cheesecake batter ingredients.

Spread about 2/3 of chocolate batter into prepared pan, and spoon cheesecake batter over. Dollop remaining brownie batter over cheesecake batter. Swirl the batters together by running a butter knife back and forth through the pan.

Bake for 40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely on wire rack and chill before cutting and serving.