Archive for the 'Squares/Bars' Category

Chocolate Fudge Brownies video and recipe

Startcooking.com, created by former Home Economics teacher Kathy Maister, contains some excellent cooking videos and recipes for cooks, both experienced and novice. The videos aren’t the typical format. Instead, viewers are shown recipes or techniques in a fast-paced, stop motion style complete with sound effects.

The videos are informative, efficient, to the point and definitely have a more polished look than some of the down home cooking videos found on YouTube.

Here’s Kathy’s video for Chocolate Fudge Brownies.

And here’s the recipe for the brownies.

Chocolate Fudge Brownies
(Makes an 8-inch square pan)

14 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1- 1/4 cups sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
1/2 cup flour
Pinch of salt
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Place the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 F.

Line an 8″ x 8″ x 2″ baking pan with tin foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.

Cut butter into pieces. Place butter in a large microwave-safe bowl and melt it in microwave, about 1 minute.

With a whisk, blend in unsweetened cocoa. Add sugar and mix well.

In another bowl, lightly whisk together eggs and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture to the cocoa mixture and blend together. Whisk in flour and salt. Fold in walnuts.

Pour into prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes. To test for doneness, insert a wooden toothpick into the center of the brownies; when removed, it should have some moist crumbs attached to it. Do not over bake.

Let brownies cool completely on a wire rack. Then, flip brownies onto a wire rack and peel away the foil. Flip brownies onto cutting board to cut.

Wrap leftovers in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Brownies can be frozen.

Finally, here are Kathy’s directions for turning this recipe into Chocolate Brownie Cupcakes.

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A brownie recipe from The Office’s Jenna Fischer

The Office is my favourite sit com. Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam Beesly, receptionist-turned-sales-rep, was the cover girl for Self magazine’s February ’09 issue. Read all about Jenna and the magazine’s get-healthier-and-happier challenge she participated in.

There’s also behind the scenes video of her photo shoot and of the brownies she baked in mini muffin cups, plated with rose petals and brought to the shoot.

Here’s her brownie recipe prepared in an 8-inch square pan.

Double Chocolate Brownies

(Makes 12 brownies)

Butter-flavored cooking spray
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup unbleached, all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray an 8 x 8 inch non-stick baking pan with spray.

In a medium mixing bowl, using a sturdy whisk or spatula, mix applesauce, vanilla, egg whites and sugar until well combined.

Add flour, cocoa powder, espresso powder, baking powder and salt. Stir mixture until it is just combined and no lumps remain. Pour it into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chips evenly over the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry (a few crumbs are okay), about 20 to 22 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Cut into pieces.

Nutrition Information: 88 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, less than 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 133 mg sodium

Tip:
* Adding espresso powder makes these brownies richer and more chocolatey tasting without adding calories.

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.

Baking brownies – oh what fun!

brownie-fun1
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

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies

If you need to avoid gluten, the protein found in certain grains (wheat, barley, rye, triticale and most oats), because you have a gluten-sensitivity or celiac disease, the following brownie recipe is perfect for a gluten-free diet.

Gluten-Free Chocolate Brownies

(Make an 8-inch (2 L) pan of brownies)

4 oz (125 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup (125 mL) butter
1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 egg yolk
1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla
1/3 cup (75 mL) ground almonds
1/3 cup (75 mL) gluten-free baking flour (e.g. Bob’s Red Mill)
1 tsp (5 mL) baking powder
1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt
1 cup (250 mL) semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup (175 mL) chopped toasted almonds

In a heatproof bowl over saucepan of hot (not boiling) water, melt chocolate with butter; let cool. Stir in sugar, eggs, egg yolk and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, whisk together ground almonds, gluten-free baking flour, baking powder and salt; stir into chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and almonds. Spread in a parchment paper-lined 8-inch (2 L) square cake pan.

Bake in a preheated 350F (180C) oven until cake tester or toothpick inserted in centre comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into squares to serve.

Recipe Source: Canadian Living magazine, February 2009

Turtle Brownies

Turtle Brownies

Turtle Brownies

This recipe is adapted from the Sensational Turtle Brownies recipe in Rose Murray’s Comfortable Kitchen Cookbook (McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1991). Rose is a food writer and the author of many wonderful cookbooks; I think I have most of them in my personal library. Her latest, A Taste of Canada: A Culinary Journey (Whitecap Books, 2008), was published last fall and is a great read abut food in Canada as well as a source of culinary inspiration.

This recipe for Turtle Brownies is not a cloyingly sweet brownie recipe, as some tend to be. (That might be hard to believe given the 1-3/4 cups sugar in the base of the brownies and 1/2 cup brown sugar in the caramel sauce!) Its flavour is more ‘chocolate’ than ‘sweet’. This suits my taste preferences!

Speaking of preferences, I like to use the larger amount of pecan halves (2 cups or 500 mL or about 200 g), which I chop medium fine for a nice even topping of nuts. I like the taste and crunch of pecans in every brownie bite! And if the pieces of pecan aren’t too large, the brownies are easier to cut neatly.

When the melted chocolate chips are spread over the top of the brownies, they can be thoroughly blended with the caramel sauce and pecans (as above), or lightly spread so some of the caramel sauce and pecans poke through. As you wish.

Enjoy!

Turtle Brownies

(Makes a 13 x 9-inch/3.5 L pan of brownies)

1 cup (250 mL) butter, cut in pieces
4 oz (125 g) unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
1-3/4 cups (425 mL) granulated sugar
4 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla
1-1/4 cups (300 mL) all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt

Topping:

1/2 cup (125 mL) packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (125 mL) whipping cream
1/4 cup (60 mL) butter
1-1/2 to 2 cups (375 to 500 mL) pecan halves, coarsely chopped
1 cup (250 mL) chocolate chips

In a double boiler or a medium saucepan over medium heat, gently melt butter and chocolate, stirring frequently to combine. Remove from heat. Stir in sugar until well combined. Stir in eggs and vanilla. Gradually add flour and salt, stirring well after each addition.

Pour batter into a greased or baking paper or foil-lined 13 x 9-inch (3.5 L) baking pan.

Bake in a preheated 400F (200C) oven for 10 minutes. (Batter will not be completely cooked but will be set enough to add topping.)

Meanwhile, prepare topping. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, heat brown sugar, cream and butter, stirring occasionally to combine; bring to boil and boil for 2 minutes.

When brownie base is removed from the oven, sprinkle pecans over top; drizzle caramel syrup evenly over the top. Return to the oven and bake until golden but not browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Remove from the oven; sprinkle chocolate chips over top. Let melt slightly for 1 or 2 minutes, then swirl with a knife or back of a spoon so some caramel and nuts show through. Let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares or bars to serve.

Recipe Source: Adapted from Rose Murray’s Comfortable Kitchen by Rose Murray (McGraw-Hill Ryerson Limited, 1991).

Chocolate Bar Brownies

On a recent trip to the U.S., I finally found the chocolate bar brownie pan I’ve been pining after. The Williams-Sonoma in Pittsburgh (Shadyside) had them in stock so I picked up a couple: one for me and one for a gift for my niece who is studying clarinet at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. (We’d gone down to hear her grad recital.)

Williams Sonoma's Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan

Williams-Sonoma's Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan ($29.95 U.S.)

The chocolate bar brownie pan bakes brownies in the shape of a chocolate bar and imprints the word “chocolate” onto each of the 12 rectangular pieces that form the bar.

bottom-of-chocolate-brownie-pan

Bottom of pan

inside-of-chocolate-brownie-pan

Inside of pan

There was a brownie recipe on the pan’s packaging so I figured it would be a good one to test how well the pan worked. Before using the pan for the first time, I washed it thoroughly with hot, soapy water. Then I sprayed it well with cooking spray, using a pastry brush to be sure the oil reached all the crannies and crevices in the pan, and up the insides of the pan.

Here’s the recipe on the packaging. I didn’t have enough bittersweet chocolate so I used a combination of bittersweet and semisweet. I found it didn’t take 1-1/2 minutes to melt the chocolate and butter on High power in my 1000 watt microwave. I stirred the mixture after about 45 seconds and then again at 1 minute and 25 seconds at which point the last pieces of chocolate melted into the warm mixture.

Chocolate Bar Brownies
(Serves 12)

5 oz (155 g) bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
10 tablespoons (1-1/4 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2/3 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
1/3 cup (30 g) cocoa powder
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/4 cups (315 g) sugar
3 eggs
1-1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Grease the Chocolate Bar Brownie Pan.

Put chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl and microwave until melted, about 1-1/2 minutes, stirring once. (Alternately, put chocolate in a heatproof bowl and stir over but not touching barely simmering water in a saucepan. Melt chocolate, stirring occasionally. Remove the bowl from the heat and stir in butter, a few pieces at a time, until blended. Let chocolate mixture cool slightly.

In a bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt until combined. Set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs and vanilla until well combined. Add chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated. Whisk in flour mixture until combined.

Pour batter into the prepared pan and spread evenly. Gently tap the pan on the counter to release any air bubbles.

Bake until the top is shiny and a toothpick inserted in the centre of the brownies comes out with a few crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Invert the brownies onto a cutting board and cut or break in 12 pieces.

Recipe Source: Williams-Sonoma

baked-brownies-in-chocolate-brownie-pan

I was worried the batter might spill over the sides of the pan when I checked the brownies part way through baking, but it didn't. The shiny surface and few crumbs clinging to a toothpick poked into these brownies indicated they were done. The baked brownies cooled on a wire rack before being inverted onto a cutting board.

baked-brownies-from-bottom

The baked brownies are easily removed from the well-greased baking pan onto a cutting board.

baked-brownie-closeup

corner-of-baked-brownies

The edges of the brownies can be neatly trimmed.

empty-chocolate-bar-brownie-pan

Clean up shouldn't be hard!


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