• Categories

  • Archives

  • Meta

Almond Joy Brownies

I recently made Almond Joy Ice Cream, and Katrina left a comment on my blog saying that she just posted these brownies earlier that week.  I’m not sure how I missed her post, but I’m sure glad she pointed it out to me!  I said in my previous post that I love Almond Joy candy bars, but the flavor is even better in these brownies.  The best part about these brownies for me was that they are gluten free, thanks to the use of coconut flour.  It’s fine to use regular flour if you don’t care about them being gluten free, but I would recommend using coconut flour if you can because it gives the brownies a stronger flavor.

These brownies were only slightly more complicated than regular brownies to make because you have the coconut layer in between.  My only issue was that there wasn’t really enough brownie batter for both a bottom and top layer, so next time (and you better believe I’m making these again!) I will increase the brownie batter.  I reflected those changes below.  These are the perfect brownies to enjoy with some ice cream, so when you make them, be sure to make some Almond Joy Ice Cream to pair them together!

Almond Joy Brownies
Source: adapted from Baking and Boys

¾ cup cocoa powder (recommended: Hershey’s Special Dark)

¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter

3 large eggs, room temperature

1 ½ cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon almond extract

½ teaspoon salt

3/8 cup coconut flour (could also use the same amount of all purpose flour)

2 cups shredded, sweetened coconut

2/3 cup sweetened condensed milk

Pinch salt

2/3 cup toasted, chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil, and spray foil lightly with baking spray.

Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat.  Remove from heat, and whisk together well.  Let stand 3 minutes.  Whisk in eggs one at a time, then add sugar and vanilla and almond extracts. Fold in salt and flour and stir until ingredients disappear into batter.  Spread half the batter evenly in pan.

Combine coconut, salt, and sweetened condensed milk in a bowl. Spread dollops of coconut mixture over the brownie batter.  Sprinkle chopped almonds over coconut mixture.  Spread remaining brownie batter over coconut mixture.  Smooth carefully with a knife.  Bake 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Let cool on a cooling rack, then chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.  Cut into squares.

Dulce de Leche Brownies

I’ve really been loving dulce de leche lately.  I just love the flavor.  It’s perfectly sweet and has a deep caramel flavor that adds a lot of depth to baked goods.  I’ve had these brownies on my must-try list for a while now, and I recently made a huge batch of homemade dulce de leche, I thought now was a good time to try them.  With 6 ounces of chocolate and some additional cocoa powder, these brownies were very rich and chocolaty, but you will get no complaints from me!  The dulce de leche added so much depth to the flavor.  It didn’t stand out, but rather added to the brownies and deepened their flavor.  I swirled in my dulce de leche a little more than necessary.  I need to be quicker on the marbling, but it didn’t affect the taste one bit.  These are some wonderful, ooey gooey brownies, and definitely one of my new favorites!  I would say that they’re more on the fudgy side, which is just how I like it.

Dulce de Leche Brownies
Source: David Lebovitz

8 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces

6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

¼ cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

1 cup toasted pecans or walnuts, coarsely chopped, optional

1 cup dulce de leche

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch pan.  Melt the butter in a medium saucepan.  Add the chocolate on low heat until melted.  Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder until smooth.  Add eggs one at a time, followed by the sugar, vanilla, and flour.  Add nuts if using.

Pour half the batter into prepared pan.  Dollop one third evenly over the batter.  Swirl with a knife to marble.  Add remaining brownie batter on top, then drop the remaining dulce de leche in spoonfuls over batter.  Swirl slightly.

Bake for 35 to 45 minutes, or until knife comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.  Cool completely, then cut into squares.


German Chocolate Cake Brownies

I’m  a big fan of anything German chocolate, just like the rest of my family.  So when I saw this recipe for German Chocolate Brownies, I knew that I’d have to try it eventually.  I had a sweet tooth craving the other night, and decided to make a small batch of these.  I also wanted to see how they lived up to their German chocolate name.  To my delight, they definitely did!  These start off as basic brownies, and then you add the traditional coconut-pecan topping, and place it under the broiler until it browns slightly.  The brownies themselves were good.  They were sweet, but not overly so, which was  a good thing because the topping is very sweet.  I loved this recipe because sometimes I want to have the flavor of a cake, but don’t want to make an entire layer cake.  It’s also a good dessert to take to a place where an entire layer cake isn’t practical.  Who wouldn’t want a German chocolate dessert to just pick up in your hand?

If you like German Chocolate, check out these other desserts:

German Chocolate Cake
German Chocolate Pie
German Chocolate Ice Cream

German Chocolate Cake Brownies
Source: Baking Bites

Note: I cut the recipe in half and baked them in two 4.5-inch springform pans.

1/2 cup butter
3 ounces semisweet chocolate or German sweet chocolate
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt

Topping
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
1/2 cup chopped, toasted and salted pecans
2 tablespoons corn syrup
2 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9×9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil.
In a microwave-safe bowl, melt together the butter and the chocolate. Stir until smooth and then allow to cool for several minutes. Pour into a large mixing bowl with sugar. Beat in vanilla extract and then add the eggs one at a time.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to chocolate mixture and stir until everything is just combined and no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick comes out with very moist crumbs, not just batter, attached.

While the brownies bake, prepare the topping. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and stir to combine. When brownies are done, gently spread the topping over the brownies, adding it in dollops to cover the whole surface evenly.
Place pan under the broiler for 2-4 minutes, until topping has lightly browned. Watch closely so that it does not burn.

Cool completely before slicing. Store in an airtight container.

Makes 20 brownies.

Chewy Brownies

I’ve made a lot of brownies in the past few years, and have several that rank as my favorites.  David enjoys eating the brownies I’ve made, but doesn’t get particularly excited about them.  I am lucky in that he appreciates made-from-scratch food and doesn’t like things from a box.  Most of the time.  He really likes brownies from a box.  For a while, I wasn’t sure what was so appealing about them, but then I found out that he really likes the chewiness.  When I got the most recent issue of Cook’s Illustrated, I saw that they had a recipe that rivaled the chewiness of boxed brownies.  I decided to make them and see if they met David’s approval.

Turns out…they did!  These brownies were perfectly chewy, and had the texture of boxed brownies without the fake taste.  They were sweet, they had a full chocolate flavor, were a little fudgy, and overall were great brownies.  It turns out that the chewiness comes from getting the right balance of saturated and unsaturated fat.  David says that these are his favorite, and now he has seen that a homemade brownie really is the best 🙂

Chewy Brownies
Source: Cook’s Illustrated Marc/April 2010

NOTE: I halved the recipe and baked them for 30 minutes.

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa

1 ½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional)

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water

2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped

4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted

½ cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil

2 large eggs

2 large egg yolks

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 ½ cups sugar (17 ½ ounces)

1 3/4 cups (8 ¾ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ teaspoon salt

6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees.  Fit foil into length of 13×9-inch baking pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhang pan edges.  Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

Whisk cocoa, espresso powder (if using), and boiling water together in large bowl until smooth.  Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted.  Whisk in melted butter and oil.  (Mixture may look curdled).  Add eggs, yolk, and vanilla and continue to whisk until smooth and homogeneous.  Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.  Add flour and salt and mix with rubber spatula until combined.  Fold in bittersweet chocolate pieces.

Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted halfway between edge and center comes out with just a few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes.  Transfer pan to wire rack and cool 1 ½ hours.

Using foil overhang, lift brownies from pan.  Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.  Cut into 2-inch squares and serve.

Brownies for Julia (TWD)

I’ve been a fan of every one of Dorie’s brownie recipes, and this one was no exception.   At first, it looked like a regular brownie recipe, but when I read the directions, I saw that the mixing method was somewhat unusual.  I was excited to see how that would affect the outcome.  Usually, after melting the chocolate and butter, I would expect to then add the sugar, eggs, and remaining ingredients.  With this recipe, you melt the chocolate and butter as usual, but the sugar and eggs are beaten on high speed before adding them in.  This created a brownie that was neither cakey or fudgy, but light, fluffy, and moist.  The chocolate factor was right on.  Although I’m usually in the fudgy brownie camp, these were very delicious and are a brownie recipe sure to please everyone!

You can view the recipe on Tanya’s blog, and visit the TWD blog to see what everyone else thought.

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte

I celebrated my 25th birthday on Saturday, and of course I had to make a rich dessert to mark the occasion 🙂  I enjoy making my own cake because I get exactly what I want and it gives me the opportunity to work on a fun baking project.  I got the original Pastry Queen cookbook last year for my birthday, and almost immediately picked out this recipe to make this year.  I love toffee and brownies, so I knew I could not go wrong with a combination like this.

This recipe was pretty easy and straightforward.  I finished it in one evening and had a lot of fun in the process!  The brownies are a pretty standard recipe.  I halved the recipe and baked it in three 6-inch pans.  The filling was amazing.  It had a rich coffee flavor.  I halved the recipe for both the filling and frosting, but felt like I had way more filling than I needed.  I had no problems with the leftovers though 🙂  I decorated the outside with toffee bits.  The brownie part was rich and fudgy and the filling added a lot of flavor.  The only thing I would change is to use a coffee buttercream of some sort.  I would like that much better than a whipped cream frosting.  It turned out to be a great birthday cake and I was not disappointed- it was the perfect end to a great birthday!

Toffee Bar Brownie Torte
Source: The Pastry Queen by Rebecca Rather

BROWNIES:

2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter

16 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

3 cups sugar

8 large eggs

2 ½ cups all purpose flour

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

FROSTING:

3 cups chilled heavy whipping cream

1/3 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons boiling water, chilled

FILLING:

2 (8-ounce) tubs mascarpone cheese

2 tablespoons instant espresso powder dissolved in 2 teaspoons boiling water

½ cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup frosting

2 cups chopped toffee bars

To make the brownies: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease three 9-inch cake pans with butter and dust lightly with flour.  Melt the butter and chocolate in a medium bowl set over a saucepan filled with 2 inches of simmering water.  Stir until the chocolate has melted.  Remove the bowl from over the saucepan.  Add the sugar and eggs to the chocolate; whisk about 1 minute, until the mixture is glossy and smooth.  Stir in the flour, salt, and vanilla.  Do not overmix the batter.

Pour one-third of the batter into each pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the brownies are just firm to the touch.  Cool the brownies in their pans for 30 minutes, then invert them onto racks to cool completely, about 30 minutes longer.

To make the frosting: Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the cream on high speed until medium-soft peaks form.  Whip in the sugar, vanilla, and espresso, whipping until combined.  Cover and refrigerate 1 cup of the frosting to use in the filling.  Set aside the rest of the frosting.

To make the filling: Using a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the mascarpone, espresso liquid, sugar, vanilla, and salt on medium speed just until combined.  Using a large spatula, fold in the 1 cup of reserved frosting.

To assemble the torte, transfer 1 brownie layer to a round, flat serving plate and spread half of the filling and spread the remaining filling evenly over the top.  Add the third layer and cover the top and sides with frosting.  Press the toffee pieces into the frosting to thinly cover the sides of the torte and to create an even band of toffee around the edge of the top of the torte.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.  Cut the torte into thin slices- it is very rich- with a long serrated knife, dipping it an a tall glass of hot water between each cut.  The cake is best served the day it is made, but leftovers will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for 2 days.

Mississippi Mud Cake

DSC_2319

I used to make Mississippi Mud Cake quite a bit when I was in college, before I really got into baking.  I had a recipe from Southern Living that I tried for Thanksgiving dessert one year and made it a few times afterward, but not again until now.  I was in the mood for baking something rich, and one of my friends recently mentioned wanting Mississippi Mud Cake, so I decided this would be it.  It’s pretty simple to make.  The base is basically a brownie, and these are really more like marshmallow brownies rather than cake.  The recipe says to melt the marshmallows on top of the cake after taking it out of the oven and then top it with the frosting.  I could just imagine that spreading the frosting over the marshmallows would be a huge mess, so I decided to frost it, and then place it in the oven to brown the marshmallows.  That seemed to work well.  It’s not a pretty dessert, but it’s supposed to be messy and fun!  These were a huge hit and definitely satisfied the craving for something rich and chocoalty.  The recipe was written in weighted measurements, which I would recommend using!  Those measurements are much more accurate, and it’s much easier in the process.

Mississippi Mud Cake
Source: adapted from Tea and Wheaten Bread

Cake

1 cup (2 sticks) butter cut into big chunks
2 1/2 ounces cocoa powder
4 eggs, well beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
14 oz sugar
9oz plain flour
pinch salt
1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts ( I didn’t use these)

Frosting

1lb icing sugar
2 1/2 oz cocoa powder
½ cup (1 stick)  butter
125mls milk or evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 (10.5-ounce) bag mini marshmallows

To Make The Cake

Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Grease and flour 13 x 9 pan (I lined it with foil).

In a medium saucepan melt the butter and the cocoa over a medium heat stirring now an dagain until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined about 3-4 minutes.

Stir in the beaten egg, vanilla sugar, flour, salt, and nuts.

Beat with a wooden spoon until the batter is well combined and smooth

Quickly pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 20 – 25 minutes until the top is springy to touch and is beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan

Frosting

Prepare this while the cake is baking so you will be ready to pour it over the hot cake.

In a medium bowl sieve the icing sugar and cocoa powder and combine well.

Add the melted butter milk and vanilla.

Mix well

Set aside until the cake is done.

Pour frosting over warm cake.  Top with marshmallows, and then return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until marshmallows are browned.
Cut into small squares.