Archive for April, 2009

More great bakeware from Williams-Sonoma: sandwich-cookie cake pans

If you loved the chocolate bar brownie pan I blogged about a little while ago, there’s more new bakeware from Williams-Sonoma you’re going to want to have, especially if you’re a chocolate, brownie, cake or cookie lover! (Doesn’t that pretty well cover off everyone?)

How much fun is this sandwich cookie cake?? It would be perfect as a dessert for any occasion from a spring or Mother’s Day tea to a birthday party or backyard barbecue.

Sandwich cookie cake (image from Williams-Sonoma web site)

Sandwich cookie cake (image from Williams-Sonoma's web site)

These are the pans you’ll need to make this cake.

Sandwich cake pans (image from Williams-Sonoma web site)

Sandwich cookie cake pans (image from Williams-Sonoma's web site)

The 9″ cast aluminum cake pans are exclusive to Williams-Sonoma and sell for $29.95 (US) for the pair. Bake your favourite brownie or chocolate cake recipe or mix in them, then sandwich the layers together with flavoured whipped cream, ice cream or buttercream icing.

Visit Williams-Sonoma’s website for more information and to read reviews about the pans.


Caramel-Filled Brownies

Caramel-filled Brownies

Caramel-filled Brownies

Cake mixes are the start of many good things. This recipe is one of them. From recipe developer Jill Snider’s cookbook, Complete Cake Mix Magic, comes this recipe for Caramel-Filled Brownies made with a devil’s food cake mix.

They’re easy + yummy + chocolatey + caramelly + sticky. It all adds up to finger-licking good! For the sake of your waist line they’re not the kind of treat you should eat all the time, although you will be tempted!

Caramel-Filled Brownies

Makes about 4 dozen squares

Base and Topping:
1 pkg (18.25 oz/515 g) devil’s food cake mix
1 cup (250 mL) chopped pecans
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter, softened
1/2 cup (125 mL) evaporated milk
1 cup (250 mL) semi-sweet chocolate chips

14 oz (425 g) caramels (about 50)
1/2 cup (125 mL) evaporated milk

To make Base and Topping: In a large bowl, stir together cake mix and pecans. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or a fork until crumbly. Add evaporated milk. Mix well. Batter will be thick. Spread half of batter in a thin layer in a greased 13 x 9-inch (3 L) baking pan. Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven for 12 to 15 minutes or until set.

Meanwhile, prepare Filling: In a saucepan, combine caramels and evaporated milk. Cook over low heat, stirring often, until smoothly melted. Keep warm until needed.

When Base has set, remove pan from oven. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top of Base. Drizzle caramel Filling over chocolate chips. If necessary, spread carefully to cover base. Drop remaining batter by spoonfuls over caramel. Carefully pull a knife through the batter to spread it out a little but leave some of the caramel poking through Topping. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or just until Topping is set. Brownies will firm up on cooling.

Cool completely on a wire rack. Cut into squares.

* Try chilling caramels for easier unwrapping.
* Chocolate caramels can be used. The brownies may not look as attractive as there won’t be very much contrast in colour between the Topping and the Filling but they will still be delicious.
* If brownies are too sticky, store them in the refrigerator.

Recipe Source: Complete Cake Mix Magic by Jill Snider, Robert Rose Inc., 2005

Brownie Cookies – when there’s no time to bake brownies

P C Chocolate Chunk Brownie Cookies
Found this at my local grocery store recently – President’s Choice Chocolate Chunk Brownie Soft-Baked Cookies.

They’re not bad for a commercial cookie. They’ve got a decent chocolate flavour and soft texture with plenty of semi-sweet chocolate chunks. Nice with a glass of milk or a cup of tea.

They’re likely available at all the grocery stores within the Loblaws chain (e.g. Loblaws, Zehrs, Real Canadian Superstore).

How much? $2.99 for a 325 g package.

Baking brownies – oh what fun!

Brownie lovers will find great inspiration for all things brownies in the book, Brownie Fun! by Wilton. It’s full of design and decorating ideas, recipes, tips and techniques, and Wilton production information including tools and bakeware. Whether you’re a novice or experienced baker, or somewhere in between, this resource will help you create the best looking and tasting brownies ever! Look for Brownie Fun! wherever Wilton products are sold.

Here’s a sample recipe from Brownie Fun!

Rocky Road Brownies
(Makes about 16 brownies)

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter or margarine
1-1/2 cups (9 oz) semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1-1/2 teaspoons Wilton Clear Vanilla Extract
1/2 cup coarsely chopped peanuts, divided
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray an 8″ x 2″ or 9″ x 2″ square pan with vegetable spray or Bake Easy! Non-Stick Spray.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda and salt. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter with 1 cup chocolate chips. Stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Add flour mixture; stir until just combined. Stir in remaining 1/2 cup chocolate chips and 1/4 cup peanuts. Spread batter into prepared pan.

Bake until toothpick inserted in centre comes out almost clean, about 20 to 25 minutes.

Sprinkle marshmallows over top. Broil until marshmallows are golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Sprinkle remaining 1/4 cup peanuts over top; drizzle with melted chocolate.

Recipe Source: Bownie Fun! by Wilton Industries, Inc., 2008

Brownies and wine – how to find perfect pairings for the perfect pair

If you’re like me and more often than not you wonder which wine to serve with a particular food, have I found a helpful tool for all of us! Of course if you’re reading this blog, you’re probably especially interested in the wines that pair well with brownies.

Wine sommelier and writer Natalie MacLean has created a Wine and Food Matcher that will help us choose the most complementary wine and food (i.e. chocolate brownies!) pairings. The Matcher is on her website, Nat Decants. It’s fun to use and there is quite an extensive range of wines and other foods included. Be sure to also check out the pairings for chocolate.

Natalie’s website has lots of other interesting information about wine as well as recipes.

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies

The Spring issue of What’s Cooking recipe magazine from Kraft arrived in my mailbox a few weeks ago. If you’re a peanut butter, chocolate and cheesecake fan, you’ll love the easy recipe for these individual “brownie cupcakes”.


Image from What's Cooking magazine

Peanut Butter Cheesecake Brownie Babies

(Makes 12)

1 pkg (450 g) brownie mix
175 g (3/4 of a 250 g pkg) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons sugar
1 cup thawed Cool Whip topping
12 maraschino cherries

Heat oven to 350F. Prepare brownie batter as directed on the package. Spoon into 12 paper-lined muffin cups.

Beat cream cheese, peanut butter and sugar with mixer until lended. Spoon 1 rounded tablespoon into centre of batter in each cup, pressing lightly into batter.

Bake until centres are set, about 25 minutes. Cool.

Serve topped with whipped topping and cherries.

Recipe Source: What’s Cooking (Kraft)

If you click on the above link for What’s Cooking, you will find recipes from past issues of this food and recipe magazine.

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April 2009
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