Chewy Brownies

I can’t believe I have been blogging this long and have never posted a brownie recipe!  How is that possible?! We are such big fans of brownies!  Thick and cakey or dense and fudgy, it doesn’t matter to us.  We like them all.  These happen to be thin and chewy and very chocolaty!   Tim was such a fan of them because of their strong dark chocolate favor.  I loved the little bits of melted chocolate from the chopped bittersweet chocolate that got stirred in the batter at the end. 🙂

Chewy Brownies

{Source: Cook’s Illustrated, March & April 2010 issue as seen at Brown Eyed Baker)

Yield: 24 brownies

1/3 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder {I used Hershey’s special dark chocolate cocoa}
1½ teaspoons instant espresso (optional, but I strongly recommend it)
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons boiling water
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter, melted
½ cup plus 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2½ cups sugar
1¾ cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, cut into ½-inch pieces

1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving about a one-inch overhang on all sides. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.

2. Whisk cocoa, espresso powder, 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, yolks, 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.

3. 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 1½ hours.

4. 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 can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares

Well, here’s another terrific recipe from the Pioneer Woman! The lemon filling is fabulous!

Creamy Lemon Crumb Squares
Ingredients
  • 1-⅓ cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1 stick (1/2 Cup) Butter, Slightly Softened
  • 1 cup Brown Sugar (lightly Packed)
  • 1 cup Oats
  • 1 can (14 Ounce) Sweetened Condensed Milk
  • ½ cups Lemon Juice (2 or 3 lemons)
  • Zest Of 1 Lemon – I upped it to 2 lemons
Preparation Instructions

PREHEAT OVEN TO 350 DEGREES.

Mix butter and brown sugar until well combined.

Sift together flour, salt, and baking powder.

Add oats and flour to butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine.

Press half of crumb mixture into the bottom of an 8 x 11 inch pan.

Mix together condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Spread onto the bottom layer of the crumb mixture. Top with the other half of the crumb mixture, but don’t press.

Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Allow pan to sit on counter for 30 minutes after baking. Cut into squares and refrigerate for a couple of hours or until cool.

Serve cool.

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

I can’t really think of a better combination of flavors than peanut butter and chocolate.  It is certainly my favorite anyway!  So, not only do these bars have great flavor, the texture is great too.  They are somewhere in between blondies and cake, but leaning more towards blondies.  Yum!

Peanut Butter Cake Bars

{souce: taste of home}

Ingredients

  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2/3 cup peanut butter – I used crunchy, but would have preferred smooth PB
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 package (11-1/2 ounces) milk chocolate chips – I used semi-sweet

Directions

  • In a large bowl, cream the butter, peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.  Stir in chocolate chips.
  • Spread into a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking pan. Bake at 350° for 40-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars.
  • Yield: 2 dozen.

Apple Butter Bars

I received several new cookbooks for Christmas this year and two of them are Amish Friends cookbooks by Wanda Brunstetter.  This recipe comes from Volume 2.

The recipe is very similar to the apricot bars that I blogged about a few weeks ago.  They are a great treat for dessert or breakfast.

Apple Butter Bars

Ingredients

1.5 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

2.5 cups oats

1.5 cups sugar

1 cup (2 sticks) margarine {I used butter}

1.5 cups apple butter

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together the flour, soda, and salt in a large bowl.  Add the oats and sugar.  Stir in the butter and mix well.  Press half of the mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13-inch pan.  Top with apple butter.  Sprinkle with remaining crumbs.

Bake 45-55 minutes or until lightly brown.

Apricot Bars

These little bars are heavenly!  I made them a really long time ago, but I’m thinking I should make them again after I’m done with all of my holiday baking.

Apricot Bars

{source:  Pioneer Woman}

Ingredients
  • 1-½ cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • 1-½ cup Oats
  • 1 cup Packed Brown Sugar
  • 1-¾ stick Butter, Cut Into Pieces
  • 1 jar (10-12 Ounce) Apricot Preserves
Preparation Instructions

Mix together all ingredients except apricot preserves. Press one half of the mixture into a small rectangular baking pan that has been buttered.

Spread with a 10-12 ounce jar of apricot preserves.  Sprinkle second half of mixture over the top and pat lightly.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until light brown. Let cool completely, then cut into squares.

Easy Fudge

It is almost time for some major holiday cookie baking and candy making.  Of course, I am already starting to plan all of the goodies that I want to make.  And as I was thinking about my list, I could not get my mind off of fudge.  It has always been my favorite treat, so I went ahead and made a batch.  I know I jumped the gun, but if it is wrong then I don’t want to be right!

Fudge

{source: Eagle Brand}

Prep time:  10 minutes, chill 2 hours.  Makes about 2 pounds of fudge.

Ingredients

3 cups {18 oz} semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 {14 oz} can Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk {NOT evaporated milk}

dash of salt {1/8 teaspoon}

1/2 – 1 cup chopped nuts

1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Directions

1.  Prepare a 8″ or 9″ square pan by spraying with cooking spray, or line with parchment, or grease with butter. 

2. In a heavy saucepan, melt the chocolate chips, salt, and sweetened condensed milk together over low heat.

3. Once melted, remove from heat and stir in nuts and vanilla.  Spread evenly into 8″ or 9″ square pan.

4. Go to town licking the spatula.  What? You know you want to!

5. Chill for 2 hours or until firm.  Cut into small squares.  Store leftovers covered in fridge.

Variation – Marshmallow Fudge

Add 2 tablespoons of butter as you melt the chocolate with the sweetened condensed milk and salt.

Replace nuts with 2 cups of colored mini marshmallows.

S’mores Bars

I have been craving s’mores recently, so this dessert really hit the spot.  My topping didn’t turn out quite as pretty as the magazine picture, so I’m including this one from the website.

S'more Bars Recipe

{source}

S’mores Bars {recipe from Taste of Home’s Simple and Delicious magazine}

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 milk chocolate Hershey Bars
  • 1 cup marshmallow creme {I used the whole jar}

Directions:

In a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cracker crumbs, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed butter mixture. Once all of the flour mixture is incorporated into the butter mixture, set aside 1/4 – 1/2 cup for topping.

Press remaining mixture into a greased 9-in. square baking pan. {I used an 8″ square.}  Place candy bars over crust; spread with marshmallow creme. Crumble remaining graham cracker mixture over top.

Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

This is my Hershey bar layer.

This is my Hershey bar layer.

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