Brownies in Lunch Lady Land

I’m really digging not tryiing to get Scott’s input on what I make for him.  It’s a really freeing feeling!  And I haven’t gone wrong yet!

So, this week, I couldn’t get a very popular Pinterest pin out of my head.  You may have seen it.  It’s the Lunch Lady Brownie recipe with the enticing picture of the beautiful, chocolatey squares in close up.  I just couldn’t ignore it any longer, and finally caved to trying out the recipe.

You can see the original recipe here: http://www.saltboxhousecreations.com/2008/12/have-brownie.html

What You Need

1 cup of melted butter

1/2 cup of cocoa

2 cups of flour

2 cups of sugar

4 eggs

4 teaspoons of vanilla

And Here’s What You Do

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2) In a stand mixer, mix together the melted butter and the cocoa until smooth, a beautiful glossy brown.

3) Add the sugar and the flour and mix well.  Add the eggs and mix until just combined.  Do not over mix the batter at this point!

4) Pour the mixture into a buttered and floured 9 X 13 pan.  It will be thicker than traditional brownie batter, so you may have to coax it into the corners with a rubber spatula.

ImageBy the way, that’s cocoa dusting the pan, not flour.  I read that somewhere.

5) Bake for 20-25 minutes.  Check them at 20 minutes (they were done in my oven after 20).

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6) While you are waiting for the brownies to cool (frost them after they have been out of the oven for 10 minutes), put together the frosting:

Frosting

1/4 cup softened butter

1/4 cup of milk

1/4 cup cocoa

3 cups of powdered sugar

pinch of salt

Mix everything together until well blended.  Pour this deliciousness over the still-warm brownies.  It will be pretty liquid, so rinse off that rubber spatula and start to spreading…

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Hands down, best brownies I’ve ever had.  Just fantastic in it’s chocolatey simplicity.  It is completely perfect for those of you who have a love for fudgy and cakey brownies.  Yes, they are both.  So incredibly easy, and made with ingredients that I normally have on hand.  I can definitely see making these again!

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White Chocolate Brownies

Sometimes, a recipe comes along that you don’t think will be anything special.  The ingredients look pretty straightforward, and you are just looking to try something easy.  But, then your mind and your imagination take over, and you find yourself with something pretty cool.

I think that this recipe was that for me.

What You Need:

125 g butter (about ½ cup)

250 g white chocolate chips (about 1 cup)

½ cup brown sugar, firmly packed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 ¼ cups flour, sifted

And Here’s What You Do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Melt the butter (you can use the microwave)
  3. Mix the white chocolate chips into the melted butter, and stir.  Heat in the microwave only if needed to melt chips completely.  Stir until smooth.  Cool slightly.
  4. Add brown sugar and eggs to the butter and chocolate mixture and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add flour and stir until mixed
  6. Divide the batter evenly in standard patty pans
  7. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until the brownies turn a golden brown along the edges.
  8. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

What I did:

Now, I’m not claiming to be any sort of baking genius.  Far from it, in fact.  I like to stick with the recipe because I blindly believe that it is a tried and true recipe that really doesn’t have any fallbacks.  Usually I’m right, sometimes I’m horribly wrong (see the ‘chewy chocolate chip cookie’ recipe from a few months back.  What a bitter disappointment that was!).  But every once in a while, pure brilliance strikes this old noodle of mine, and it normally results in fabulousness.

Anyway, Scott was feeling indecisive about what he wanted, so I made up his mind for him and just picked something.  I believe that this recipe originates overseas because they make a reference to making these in patty pans.  Yep, I had to look that one up.  Turns out they are slightly smaller than a cupcake or a muffin tin, and it was a common utensil in the UK.  So, that gave me an idea.  Instead of making them in the normal 9X13 pan, I lined two muffin tins with paper liners, and made cute ruffle-edged brownies!

Like I said, sometimes I’m a genius.

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Scott really like these.  People at his work really like these.  I found myself packing up more than one baggy for him to take to work so he wouldn’t have to give away the brownies meant for him.

I don’t want to call them blondies because the one time I made blondies, they tasted funny to me.  So, we will stick with white chocolate brownies for now, unless someone comes up with a better name.
Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Samoa Brownies

Yes, you read that right.  Samoa (as in ‘Carmel Delight Girl Scout Cookies’ Brownies.  All the wonderfulness of brownies and Samoa cookies in the same delightful package.  I don’t know why they’re called Samoa, but I’m not questioning it.  All I know is, it’s a darn good thing that Scott took these to work and shared them with coworkers…because if he hadn’t, he probably would have found me sitting on the kitchen floor, surrounded by brownie crumbs and covered in coconut.

Original recipe is found here: http://www.sixsistersstuff.com/2011/07/samoa-brownies.html

What You Need:

1 standard brownie mix
3 1/2 cups shredded coconut, toasted
(2) 14 oz. package of caramels, unwrapped
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. milk
3 oz. semi-sweet chocolate

And Here’s What You Do:

1. Prepare the brownie mix according to the box directions, letting the brownies cool in the pan after baking.

2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place shredded coconut on a cookie sheet. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stir, then cook for another 2-3 minutes until toasted.  Watch it very closely.   Not all of the coconut will turn a lovely golden brown color, but it will toast.

3. In a large, microwaveable bowl, add unwrapped caramels, salt, and milk and heat on high for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally (about every 45-60 seconds). Keep stirring until all caramels are are melted and smooth.

4. Add coconut to the heated caramel and stir together. Spread over cooled brownies. Refrigerate 4-5 hours. Remove from fridge and let sit for at least 1 hour before cutting. Cut into bars and drizzle with melted semi-sweet chocolate. Let chocolate set and enjoy. Store in fridge, but remove 20-30 minutes before serving as the caramel will be hard.

What I Did:

I followed the directions pretty much to the letter because, let’s face it, there was absolutely nothing wrong with the way these bad boys are put together!  Chocolate, coconut, and caramel?  A triple C dream!  All of my vices wrapped up in one neat little package?  Yes please!!

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These brownies are everything that you would expect them to be.  Imagine how they would taste, and that is exactly how they taste…like glorious heaven on your tongue!!  I had to split mine with Scott because I needed to keep my sweet tooth in check.

Man, these things were good…still daydreaming about them!  They went so fast I didn’t even get a picture of the finished product…

Until next time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!

Butterscotch Blondies

I love brownies so much that I thought that I would give blondies a try.  Eh, I wasn’t impressed with the results.

What You Need:

¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)

¾ cup packed light brown sugar

½ cup granulated sugar

2 eggs

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

½ teaspoon salt

1 ¾ cups butterscotch chips

1 cup chopped nuts (optional)

 

And Here’s What You Do:

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 13x9x2 inch baking pan

Beat butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar in large bowl until creamy.  Add eggs; beat well.  Stir together flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add in butter mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in butterscotch chips and nuts, if desired.  Spread in prepared pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until top is golden brown and center is set.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into bars.  About 36 bars.

What I Did:

The batter for these looked a lot more like cookie batter than brownie batter.  Hmm…Of course, not ever having made blondies, I don’t have anything else to compare it to besides brownies.  So, to give it a little more moisture, I added two big spoonfuls of marshmallow fluff.

I changed it up a little by decreasing the amount of butterscotch chips and replacing it with chocolate chips.

 

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I didn’t like these much.  I’m not sure if it was the butterscotch chips, or what it was.  Scott claimed that they were good, but it did take him longer to finish the batch than normal, so I don’t know if I completely believe him.  His boss at work loved them, so perhaps this will be a recipe that I pass on to her.  If anyone wishes to try this recipe, please feel free.  I don’t think that I will retain it.

Cheesecake Brownies, or How I Learned Not to Leave the Oven

Chocolate is my crack.  I decided a long time ago that if I was going to eat something sweet, it should either be a cookie, ice cream, or something chocolate.  No hard candy, no skittles, nothing like that.  Chocolate.  I will never turn down a gift of that wonderful stuff!  Is there any greater Mecca than Cadbury Mini Eggs?  I don’t think so.   Yes, I think I could eat an entire bag in one sitting…

That’s probably why I love brownies so much.   Food Network Magazine did a chocolate issue a few months back that has a pull out with 50 different brownie recipes in it.  I guess what I am trying to say is, “Expect a lot of brownie recipes in the future.”  Cause, yeah…I’m kind of an addict.

Anyway, until they make a “Brownie-aholics Anonymous” I guess I’ll just have to bake to deal with my addiction.  Which is why I am kind of upset with how these turned out, even though we’re still eating them.

Here’s What you Need:

Fudgy Brownie Ingredients –

2 cups semisweet chocolate chips

1 stick butter

¾ cups light brown sugar

¾ cups sugar

4 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

½ teaspoon salt

 

Cheesecake batter –

8 ounces cream cheese

½ cup sugar

1 egg

1 teaspoon vanilla

 

And Here’s What you Do:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Prepare a 9×13 pan by spraying with cooking spray or lining with foil, then spraying with cooking spray.

For the fudgy brownie part – Melt the chocolate chips and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring.

Once melted, take the pan off the heat.

Whisk in brown sugar and regular sugar. Cool slightly.

Whisk in one egg at a time, then the vanilla.

Stir in flour and salt.

Spread in the prepared pan

Meanwhile, in another part of the kitchen…

For the cheesecake part – Beat cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla together until creamy (it will have a few lumps in it).

Swirl into the brownie batter in the pan.  Bake for 55 minutes.

And here’s what I did:

I followed the directions to the letter.  I used my hand mixer on the cheesecake portion since hand mixing gets a little tough sometimes, especially in dealing with cream cheese that hasn’t completely softened yet.  Yeah, I am a glutton for punishment at times.

I brought the two batters together and “swirled” them as instructed, but I got a little over-zealous and nearly mixed them together in one section.  I was trying to get a good swirl going all the way through the batter…maybe next time.

So, into the oven it goes.  And here’s where stuff goes weird.

Now, the Fudgy brownie recipe calls for a baking time of 45 minutes, and the cheesecake brownies calls for a baking time of 55 minutes.  So, I set the timer for 45 minutes, because you normally always go for the shorter baking time.  At 25 minutes, the house was filled with this glorious smell of the happily baking brownies.  At 35 minutes, I poked my head into the oven to see how things were going, and was met with nearly too-brown brownies.  Immediately took them out of the oven with 10 minutes left on my timer.  What I thought was supposed to look like beautiful New York style cheese cake in parts had acquired a color that can only be described as chocolate milk.  I didn’t even take a picture of the whole pan.  Not very pretty…

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The flavor of these is incredible!  It’s exactly what you would expect it to be – brownie and cheesecake.  They didn’t burn, just got a little browner than expected.  Scott said that the flavor was good, but he prefers to have a fudgier brownie.  Ok, that is another problem solved with a shorter bake time.  And an add in that Scott told me about that I just may have to try…

These will have to go in the “try again” category, unfortunately.  The flavor was too good for me to give up on the recipe entirely, and I know that the bake time just needs adjusting.  Maybe also a few ingredient adjustments, too.  Overall a win, but could be better.

Until Next Time,

Peace, Love, and Cupcakes!