Category Archives: Bars and Brownies

Chocolate Brownie + Apple Crisp = ?

Math does not come naturally to me.

How did I get through calculus?

I memorized my way out of it…the different question types…and predicted which ones would be on the exams.

Not natural at all.

Unlike the equation above, the answer of which is…brownie crisp!

If you make peach crisp in August, apple crisp in November, then naturally you would make brownie crisp in February.

It makes a lot of sense, doesn’t  it?

The honey in the oatmeal topping cuts through the chocolatey-ness like a ray of warmth and I think you would enjoy the textural contrast between the tender/gooey brownie and the crisp/crunchy topping also.

My only regret?

I didn’t have vanilla ice cream. 😦

Brownie Crisp
makes a 9×9 square pan

for the topping:
1 c. oats
1/3 c. flour
1/4 c. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. honey
pinch salt
1/4 tsp. cinnamon

for the brownie:
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. chocolate chips or 4 oz. semisweet chocolate
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. dried instant coffee powder
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
2/3 c. flour

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. To prepare the topping, combine everything and mix until beginning to clump together. Set aside.(sidenote: I think this mixture would be great baked on its own and eaten as granola)
3. To prepare the brownie, melt butter and chocolate together in a double broiler or a bowl over a pot of simmering water.
4. Add the sugar, egg, and vanilla. Beat until smooth.
5. Add the cocoa powder, flour, and salt. Stir until blended.
6. Pour the brownie mixture into a greased 9 inch square pan. Sprinkle the oatmeal mixture on top.
7. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the topping is golden brown.

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Baking with Carolyn

I had my chocolate fix today. It should last at least a week. My sister, Carolyn, made a large batch of large brownie cookies with me. Usually I don’t break out the box mixes, but it’s much easier for Carolyn to begin to learn about baking if we work with a mix.

And it was good.

When you prepare a brownie mix the normal and place humongous scoops of it on a cookie sheet and bake it at 350 degrees you end up with ginormous black forest dark cookies. These disks have wonderfully chewy edges that remind one of candy and meltingly tender centres. Oh yeah, they also pack an impossible chocolate punch. Even the most die-hard chocoholics will need milk with these cookies.

I am no die-hard anything, except maybe for kouign aman, so by the time I had my third bite I was quite deliriously reaching for milk. Then I had a tenth bite, a fifteenth bite, and so on.

If you love chewy brownies, these kick the chewiness up ten notches. Next time you make brownies, make them into cookies instead. You will not regret it.

P.S. Carolyn makes a great little helper!

P.P.S. She helped me whip up a batch of cinnamon buns too, so guess what we are having for breakfast tomorrow? 😉

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Lime Bars

I taught my sister how to throw a frisbee properly today. She caught on very fast after a few instructions. I’m very proud of her. Go Carolyn!

I didn’t have lemons, so I made lime bars instead. The original recipe called for both lemon and lime, it was taken from The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook by Barbara Grunes. To see a review of this book, click here.

These bars are very tart and lime-y. If you don’t like tart citrus bars then this is not for you. I love sour things and thus love all lemon bars and lime bars alike. However, these bars are a bit overly egg-y for my taste. Just a little bit.

The crust is buttery and does melt in your mouth. There is grated lime zest in it to kick up the lime flavour. Dust with a bit of confectioner’s sugar before serving.

Lime Bars
adapted from The Best Bake Sale Ever Cookbook
makes one 8×8 square pan

Crust:
1 c. all purpose flour
1/2 confectioner’s sugar
grated zest from 2 limes
6 Tbsp. butter, cold

Filling:
1/3 c. squeezed lime juice, appr. 2 limes
1 c. sugar
4 eggs
3 Tbsp. flour

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. For the crust, whisk together the sugar, flour, and lime zest. Rub in the butter with your fingertips until the mixture resembles rolled oats. Press into an ungreased 8×8 square baking pan. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until slightly brown around the edges.

Meanwhile, make the filling. Whisk together the eggs, juice, and sugar until well blended. Stir in the flour until smooth. Pour over hot, just-baked crust. Bake for an additional 20-25 minutes until the filling is set.

Chill a bit before cutting, they will turn out prettier than mine. Dust with confectioner’s sugar to prevent the top from becoming too sticky.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies

First and foremost, let it be known that I am mourning. There has been a death in the family, and it is a sad day indeed. Rest in peace, HP Pavillion dv6000. You have served me, er, reasonably well over the last two years. You could’ve told me that you were going though, instead of just up and leaving like that. I know you had been temperamental, but your temperament was probably learned from me. I’m sorry if I’ve hurt you or your feelings over the past couple of years. Particularly sorry for all the coffee spilled and all the times you were dropped or sat on. Please don’t take your secrets with you to the grave, I need them for my blogs. So I can keep posting delicious recipes like brownies.

Enough said about death. Let’s live some by eating. Cheesecake and brownies. Two of the most sinful desserts there are. Combined. With some strawberry preserves thrown in for good measure.

These are dense, chewy, creamy, and sweet with a hint of tartness from the preserves and the cheesecake batter. Need I say more? No better way to mourn. Live and love with these brownies.

Strawberry Cheesecake Brownies
makes an 8 by 8 square pan, cut into as many bars as you’d like

Brownie batter:
2 oz. semisweet chocolate, chopped, or use 1/3 cup chocolate chips
2 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
2 eggs, beaten and divided
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. butter
2/3 c. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Cheesecake batter:
4 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1/3 c. strawberry preserves, stirred

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 by 8 square pan with cooking spray, or grease and flour.

In a large bowl set over a pot of simmering water, melt the butter with the chocolate. Stir until smooth. Let cool slightly. Place the cheesecake batter ingredients in a separate small bowl, pour in about 1/2 an egg from your beaten eggs for the brownie batter. Blend well.

When the chocolate mixture has cooled sufficiently, add sugar, vanilla, and remaining beaten egg. Mix well. Add flour, cocoa powder, and salt. Mix until uniform.

Pour the brownie batter into the prepared pan. Spoon the cheesecake batter in dollops on top. Drop the strawberry preserves on top of the cheesecake batter. Don’t drop on top of the brownie batter because the color of the preserves will blend in with the chocolate and the result will not be as attractive. Use a knife and swirl together slightly.

Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the side of the pan comes out clean. My rule with brownies is that it is always better to underbake than overbake.

Cool completely before slicing, if you can wait that long. Keep in the fridge.

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