Archive for May, 2009

Brownie terminology: how to describe brownies

Are you using the right terminology to describe your favourite brownies? With thanks to The Nibble (an online magazine), here are some descriptors used to paint a picture of these favourite bars:

  • A cake-style brownie has a texture similar to cake.
  • A fudge-style brownie has a very dense and moist texture, more like fudge! It will be more buttery and therefore richer than a cake-style brownie.
  • A moist brownie is like a moist piece of cake. A super moist brownie has enough butter in the recipe that it will feel “wet” with butter (i.e. the butter will rub off on your fingers when you hold the brownie). Usually a super moist brownie is a denser, fudge-style brownie.
  • What is the difference between sweet and rich? Sweet refers to how sugary the brownie is. Richness comes from the fat in the butter, and any cream in the the frosting.
  • Chocolatey refers to the intensity of the chocolate. Brownies made with a higher percentage of cocoa or chocolate ingredients have a more chocolatey flavour. Higher percentage refers to the percent of ingredients that are chocolate (e.g. 100 g or 3 ounces vs. 50 g or 1.5 ounces) in the recipe. It can also refer to the percentage of the cacao used (e.g. an 85% cacao dark chocolate versus a 60% semisweet chocolate). If you use a chocolate with a higher percentage of cacao, the brownies will taste more chocolatey.



Oreo Brownies – definitely on the right “track” to tasteful snacking!

Oreo Brownies and Amtrak magazineJust before boarding the Amtrak train from New York City to Buffalo this past Monday morning (I’d been to visit my sister Loreen on Long Island for the weekend and was heading home), I popped into one of the Zaro’s Bakery locations at Penn Station to pick up a sandwich and snack for the eight hour ride.

Oreo Brownies caught my eye so I shelled out $2.75 for a piece a little larger than I probably needed!

Hours later, as the coutryside rolled by and I relaxed with Maeve Binchy‘s Scarlet Feather* (actually, I think I did more relaxing (napping, that is) than reading), I enjoyed every bite of that brownie washed down with a cup of tea from the train’s snack bar.

Oreo Brownie - one biteNow that I’m home, I’m on the hunt for a good Oreo Brownie recipe.

Zaro’s brownie is topped with a layer of broken Oreo cookies. Over that is drizzled a criss cross pattern of white icing.  Tucked within the brownie is a layer of gooey caramel.

A simplified Oreo Brownie could be made by mixing about a dozen coarsely chopped oreo cookies into your favourite brownie recipe or mix.

If you’re not familiar with Oreo cookies, imagine two chocolate wafers sandwiched together with a white or chocolate icing.

There are lots of variations of this cookie including ones made with vanilla wafers, mint icing, a doubled amount of icing, seasonally-coloured icing, etc…….  There are even Oreo Sippers – straw-like cookies through which you can sip milk. (Many people consider Oreos the perfect cookie partner to milk.)

Then there are are the debates as to how best to eat Oreos. Wafers separated? Icing licked off first? Dipped in milk?

If you’re a real Oreo cookie lover, be sure to read my post about Williams-Sonoma’s sandwich cookie cake pans. With the pans, you can bake an Oreo-cookie shaped cake.

* I haven’t quite finished reading Scarlet Feather yet. Too much napping on the train, I think. The book is a good read about a catering business in Dublin. Do they eat brownies in Ireland, I wonder? Or Oreo cookies, for that matter?

Free Brownie 101 Workshops at Sur la Table stores

You’re invited…….

…….to a free Brownie 101 Workshop this Saturday, May 9 at 11 a.m. The Workshops are being held at Sur la Table stores. You’ll find tips, techniques and (of course!) delicious homemade brownies. And you can learn how to make the best brownies ever.

No reservation is needed. Just walk in and join the fun!

Find a Sur la Table near you. Don’t forget to check out their brownie cookware.

Kraft videos and recipes for brownie desserts

Need some dessert ideas for Mother’s Day? Watch and learn!

See Kraft’s food specialist Michelle McAdoo prepare these brownie desserts:

Each video is about two minutes in length. The recipes are included.

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May 2009
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