Milky Swirl Brownies

If you’re going to break your New Year’s diet resolution, it might as well be with these Milky Swirl Brownies because you won’t regret it…not one bit.   The combined super powers of chopped chocolate, cocoa powder, and espresso powder  result in an intensely chocolatey and rich brownie, and swirls of sweetened condensed milk amplify the already moist and fudgey center.  Fire up that oven because making these brownies has turned into your new New Year’s resolution.

P.S. Using a high quality cocoa powder makes a big difference in taste and texture.  My baking fairies (MG and SB) gifted me with  Rodelle baking cocoa, and my world has been extra chocolately ever since.

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Milky Swirl Brownies

Makes one 9×13 inch pan of brownies (that’s a lot!)
(from Fine Cooking)

Ingredients

12 ounces (24 tablespoons) unsalted butter; more for the pan, softened (Yep, that’s A LOT of butter, but that’s why these brownies are so good)
4 1/2 ounces (1 cup) all-purpose flour
4 ounces (1-1/3 cups) Dutch-process cocoa (use the best quality possible.  I used Rodelle baking cocoa)
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, roughly chopped
16 ounces (2-1/4 cups) granulated sugar
2 ounces (1/4 packed cup) light brown sugar
1 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
6 large eggs, cold
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon instant espresso powder (optional, but not really since it’s part of the chocolate trifecta)
1 can sweetened condensed milk

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with parchment (make sure it goes up the sides of the pan and overhangs on the longer sides) or aluminum foil (butter lightly to ensure the brownies don’t stick too much.  Buttering the parchment is not needed).
  3. In a small bowl, mix the flour and cocoa powder until well combined, and set aside.
  4. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat.
  5. Increase the heat to medium and simmer, stirring while the butter hisses and pops. Continue cooking, scraping up any brown bits that form at the bottom of the pan, until the butter is golden yellow.  Remove from the heat, and stir in the chocolate until it has melted, and the butter and chocolate are well combined.  Set aside.
  6. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, vanilla, and espresso powder (if using.)  Whisk on medium-high speed until thick and fluffy (about 7 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed.
  7. Reduce the mixer speed to low, and pour in the warm chocolate mixture in a slow steady stream.  Mix until well incorporated.
  8. Turn off the mixer, and fold in the flour mixture in thirds with a spatula, and fold until well combined.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth with an offset spatula.
  10. Using a small cookie scoop or a spoon, drop one-tablespoon scoops of condensed milk on top of the brownie batter in a configuration of five rows (vertically) of four (horizontally).  Drag a butter knife through the milk and batter, and very lightly swirl.  Do not mix too much or the swirls will disappear.
  11. Bake until the brownies are glossy and just barely firm, 25 to 30 minutes.  If you insert a cake tester or toothpick into the center, a few crumbs will cling to it.
  12. Cool to room temperature. Use the parchment or foil overhang to lift the brownies from the pan, then cut into 24 pieces. Do not cut the brownies while they are warm as they won’t hold their shape well.  Also, you may need to clean off your knife between cuts, as things can get a bit gooey.
  13. Store in an airtight container for up to one week at room temperature.

Almond Flour Brownies (Gluten-Free)

I’ve been having some unusually good brownie karma lately.  After making an especially delicious batch of candied bacon brownies, I was emboldened to bake a batch of gluten-free brownies using almond flour.  In a word, these brownies are perfect.  They have a crispy, shiny top crust and an uber fudgey center.  The almond flour adds a “je ne sais quoi” overall richness to the chocolately flavor while keeping everything moist and tender.  If you don’t have almond flour in your pantry, it’s worth buying just to make this recipe.

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Almond Flour Brownies

Makes 16 brownies
(from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

5 tablespoons (2 1/2 ounces) butter, melted
1 3/4 cups (12 1/4 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups (2 1/4 ounces) cocoa powder, Dutch-process or natural
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups (5 1/8 ounces) almond flour
1 teaspoon baking powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Grease or line with parchment an 8″ square pan that’s at least 2″ deep.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together the melted butter, sugar, salt, vanilla, and eggs.
  4. In a medium size bowl, stir together the almond flour, cocoa, and baking powder.
  5. Stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well mixed.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it to the edges.
  7. Bake the brownies for 30 to 35 minutes, until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few damp crumbs.  Do not overbake, or the brownies will be dry.
  8. Remove the brownies from the oven, and cool for about 15 minutes before cutting.

Note: Store the brownies in an airtight container at room temperature for several days or freeze for longer storage.

Candied Bacon Brownies

THIS is how you make brownies epic-ly delicious – swirl candied bacon throughout the brownie batter and sprinkle even more candied bacon on top.  The result is a fudgey, chewy, rich brownie with a smoky, salty kick.  Never have pork and chocolate tasted so good together.

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Candied Bacon Brownies

Makes one 9×13″ pan of brownies
(from King Arthur Flour)

Ingredients

Candied Bacon

12 ounces thick cut, uncooked bacon
light brown sugar, to coat

Brownies

1 cup Dutch-process cocoa
2 1/4 cups granulated sugar
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 tablespoon espresso powder, optional; for enhanced chocolate flavor
4 large eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tablespoons water

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. Line a 9×13″ pan with aluminum foil and grease lightly, or line with parchment paper (I prefer to line with parchment paper because it’s less mess to clean up, and it’s easy to lift the brownies out of the pan).

Candied Bacon

  1. Spread the bacon in a single layer on a wire racked placed over a large, rimmed baking sheet.
  2. Coat the strips of bacon with a heavy sprinkling of brown sugar.
  3. Bake the bacon until it’s crisp but not totally browned (about 20 to 25 minutes).
  4. Remove the candied bacon from the oven, and place it on a plate or parchment to cool. Do not cool the bacon on paper towels as it will stick. When the bacon is cool, crumble or chop it coarsely.

Brownies

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the cocoa, sugars, salt, flour, and espresso powder.
  2. Add the eggs, oil, and water, mixing just until smooth.
  3. Stir half of the chopped candied bacon into the brownie batter.
  4. Spoon the brownie batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top.
  5. Sprinkle the remaining candied bacon on top of the brownie batter.
  6. Bake the brownies for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean, with a few wet crumbs clinging to it.

Note: Brownies should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no more than 4-5 days.

Brownie Cookies

Craving a brownie but also want a cookie?  Don’t despair!  Brownie cookies are the latest trend uniting the cookie and brownie communities.  In less than an hour, you too can solve your brownie-cookie dilemma with this easy recipe for Brownie Cookies.  Crispy edges, a soft and chewy center, slightly gooey right out of the oven, and ultra chocolately, these cookies are irrefutable evidence that you CAN have your cake (or in this case, brownie and cookie) and eat it too.    

In case you needed a closeup…

Brownie Cookies

Makes about 5 dozen cookies
(from All the Good Cookies)

Ingredients

1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup (6 ounces) bittersweet chocolate chips (using bittersweet chocolate chips instead of semi sweet chocolate chips keeps these cookies ultra rich and not too sweet)

Directions

  1. In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on high for about 60 seconds, stirring once or twice halfway though.
  2. Stir until smooth and the butter is completely melted.
  3. Cook the butter-sugar mixture for an additional 20 seconds, until just hot (110°F to 120°F).  Stir the mixture until it’s slightly shiny looking (This heating dissolves more of the sugar which creates a shiny top crush on your cookies).  Cool for 5 minutes (you don’t want your butter-sugar mixture to be too warm because when you add it to the eggs, it might scramble the eggs a little).
  4. Place the eggs in a large mixer bowl, and beat until light yellow and creamy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add the butter-sugar mixture and vanilla to the eggs, beating well to combine.
  6. In a separate medium size bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, salt, and baking powder until well combined.
  7. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and beat until just combined.
  8. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, and stir in the chocolate chips.
  9. Cover and chill the dough in the refrigerator for 1 hour or up to 2 days.  This will make it easier to scoop the dough.
  10. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  11. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  12. Using a level, small (2-teaspoon size) cookie scoop, drop the dough about 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets.
  13. Bake until the cookies begin to firm around the edges, about 10-13 minutes.  Rotate the cookie sheets on the oven racks halfway through the baking time.
  14. Cool on cookies sheets for 3 minutes, and then transfer the cookies to wire racks and cool completely.

Note: Cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies

You should avert your eyes right now if you’re weak of heart, because these Heath Chocolate Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies may just make you swoon.  These thick, fudgy dark chocolate brownies are swirled with a tangy, smooth cream cheese sprinkled with toffee bits.  While the amount of butter and sugar needed for this recipe may make you gasp, rest (a little bit) assured that the recipe makes a lot of brownies (and you should share them because you don’t need to be eating 3 sticks of butter).

This recipe will take a little bit of extra time to make because you have to make two different batters, but don’t be intimidated by the swirling/mixing of the batters.  Make sure not to overbake the brownies so they stay moist and fudgy.

Dolloping the toffee cream cheese batter on top of the brownie batter.
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The toffee cream cheese has been successfully swirled into the brownie batter.  IMG_6272[1]

Perfectly baked!
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These brownies taste as good as they look. IMG_6277[1]

Double Chocolate Cream Cheese Fudge Brownies

Makes 2 dozen square brownies
(from Abigail Johnson Dodge’s The Everyday Baker: Recipes & Techniques for Foolproof Baking)
My notes are in [  ] below.

Ingredients

Cream Cheese Swirl

8 ounces (277 g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (1 3/4 ounces/50g) granulated sugar
2 teaspoons unbleached all purpose flour
1 yolk from a large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup (2 ounces/57g) finely chopped bittersweet chocolate or mini chips [I used Heath toffee chips]

Brownies

Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, for preparing the pan
24 tablespoons (12 ounces/340g) unsalted butter, cut into 10 pieces
1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 oz/106g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
2 cups (14 ounces/397g) granulated sugar
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz/149g) firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 2/3 cups (7 1/2 ounces/213g) unbleached all purpose flour

Directions

Cream Cheese Swirl

  1. Put the cream cheese, sugar, and flour in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using and electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters), and beat on medium speed until creamy and no lumps remain, about 2 minutes
  2. Add the yolk and vanilla, and beat on medium until blended, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the mini chips [I used Heath toffee chips], and beat on low speed just until blended.

Brownies

  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven, and heat the oven to 325F.
  2. Line the bottom and sides of a 9 x 13 x 2-inch baking pan (straight-sided kind) with foil [I like to use heavy duty foil] leaving about a 2-inch overhang on the short sides.  Lightly grease the foil [or spray with baking spray].
  3. Put the butter in a large saucepan, and set over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it is melted, about 2 minutes.
  4. Slide the pan off the heat.  Add cocoa powder and whisk until the mixture is smooth.
  5. Add the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and salt, and whisk until blended and no lumps of brown sugar remain.  Using your fingertip, check the temperature of the batter- it should be warm but not hot.  If it’s hot, set the pan aside for a minute or two before continuing with the recipe.
  6. Add the eggs, two at a time, whisking until just blended.
  7. Add the vanilla with the final egg addition.
  8. Add the flour, and stir with a silicone spatula until just blended.
  9. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and, using a small offset spatula, spread evenly.
  10. Drop the cream cheese mixture in medium-sized dollops evenly spaced over the batter.  [I like to use a tablespoon scooper].  You should have a total of 12.
  11. Use the tip of the offset spatula, swirl the batters together, leaving large streaks of cream cheese.
  12. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the brownie batter comes out with only small bits of brownie sticking to it, 40-46 minutes.  [Make sure not to overbake so that the brownies say moist and fudgy.]
  13. Move the pan to a rack and let cool completely, about 3 hours.
  14. When the brownie is completely cool, use the foil edges on the short sides of the pan to lift it from the pan and place it on a large cutting board.  Run a long think knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut into 24 squares, heating and wiping the knife after every cut.  [Since these brownies are so dense and rich, I like to cut slightly smaller squares to make 32 total squares.  I serve them in cupcake liners.]

Note: The baked, cooled, and cut brownies can be layered between sheets of parchment or waxed paper in an airtight container and stowed at room temperature for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 1 month.

Baked Chocolate Pudding

In addition to that trip to the Galapagos Islands and learning to juggle, please add this Baked Chocolate Pudding to your Bucket List.  I know it doesn’t look like much, and I had such low expectations for it that I didn’t even bother photographing it until I only had 7/8 of it left.  But despite its humble appearance, this Baked Chocolate Pudding is one of those desserts that if left sitting on the kitchen counter, you won’t be able to resist eating spoonfuls of it each time you pass by.  This dual personality dessert has a top that is crispy and crackly, like the edges of a nearly overbaked brownie while the center is a smooth, creamy, molten chocolate cake.  Serving it with fresh raspberries and a scoop of Haagen Dazs vanilla bean ice cream completes the trinity of dessert perfection.Baked Chocolate Pudding- Back to Basics I Garten- 1

Baked Chocolate Pudding

(from Ina Garten’s Back to Basics)
Make 6 servings

My notes are in [  ].

Ingredients

1/2 pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter plus extra for buttering the dish
4 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup good cocoa powder [The quality of cocoa powder is very important for this recipe and will determine how rich and chocolatey your dessert will be. I used Penzey’s Natural Cocoa Powder]
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Seeds scraped from 1 vanilla bean [I used 1 tablespoon of Nielsen Massey’s Vanilla Bean Paste]
1 tablespoon framboise liqueur (optional) [I don’t know of anyone who has framboise liqueur in their pantry.  I served fresh raspberries with with this dessert instead.]
Vanilla ice cream, for serving [Haagen Dazs Vanilla Bean is the perfect ice cream accompaniment.]

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
  2. Lightly butter a 2-quart (9 x 12 x 2 inch) oval baking dish.
  3. Melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed for 5 to 10 minutes, until very thick and light yellow. [Make sure to beat the eggs and sugar long enough to incorporate some air into the batter as it will not rise much during baking.]
  5. Meanwhile, sift the cocoa powder and flour together in a small bowl, and set aside.
  6. When the egg and sugar mixture is ready, lower the speed to low and add the vanilla seeds [I used vanilla bean paste], framboise (if using) [I didn’t have any framboise so I served fresh raspberries on the side], and the cocoa powder and flour mixture. Mix only until combined.
  7. With mixer still on low, slowly pour in the cooled butter and mix again just until combined.
  8. Pour the brownie mixture into the prepared dish [Don’t worry if the batter fills most of the pan as it doesn’t rise much during baking], and place it in a larger baking pan. Add enough of the hottest tap water to the pan to come halfway up the side of the dish. [Do not skip this step of baking in the water bath.  It’s what gives this dessert its contrasting textures of crispy top and gooey, smooth center.].
  9. Bake for exactly 1 hour [I was nervous about it being underdone, so I baked it for an hour and 5 minutes.  It came out the perfect texture for me].  A cake tester inserted 2 inches from the side will come out three-quarters clean. The center will appear very under-baked; this dessert is between a brownie and a pudding.
  10. Allow to cool and serve with vanilla ice cream [and fresh raspberries].

Box Brownies with Flair

Trader Joe’s truffle brownie mix makes up one of my favorite batches of brownies hands down.  So, I never thought to improve on them until I came across a brownie recipe that included Andes chocolate mints.  I didn’t have time to whip up a batch of brownies from scratch, so I used the Trader Joe’s brownie mix, added half a teaspoon of espresso powder, and mixed in a package of chopped Andes mints.  And 25 minutes later, voila, brownies with flair.

Here are the ingredients to get yourself some brownie flair.

TJ brownies w andes1

If you look closely, you can see part of an Andes mint peeking out from one side of the brownie.

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Fudge Brownie Shortbread Bars

I love it when good food reminds other people of me.  This recipe for fudge brownie shortbread bars was passed along to me from a friend who said that she thought of me when she came across the recipe.  A thick, fudgy brownie sits on top of a buttery, crumbly shortbread bar, and the whole thing is topped off by a smooth, rich chocolate ganache.  The recipe takes a bit of time to make because of the three step process, but the outcome is worth the extra effort.

Shortbread Brownies- 12 tomatoes 2

Fudge Brownie Shortbread Bars

(Adapted from 12 Tomatoes)
Makes approximately 20 bars

Ingredients

Shortbread
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cubed
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt

Brownies
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
8 tablespoons unsalted butter cut up into 8 pieces
2 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup cake flour (or 1 cup all-purpose as well)

Topping
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 tablespoon heavy cream

Directions

Shortbread

  1. Preheat oven to 350º F, and line a 9×9-inch baking dish with parchment paper or aluminum foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on both sides.
  2. In the bowl of food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt and pulse together.
  3. Gradually add cold, cubed butter and vanilla extract and pulse until dough begins to come together.
  4. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form a dough ball with your hands.
  5. Transfer dough to greased baking dish and press firmly into the bottom, corners and edges of dish in an even layer.
  6. Place dish in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until crust is a light golden color.
  7. Remove from oven and let cool.  Leave the oven at 350º F.

Brownies

  1. Prepare the brownie batter while the shortbread is baking.
  2. Line an 8″x8″ metal baking pan with aluminum foil.
  3. Combine chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth.
  4. Remove from heat and let cool about 5 minutes.
  5. Combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Mix until evenly incorporated.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture to the eggs mixture and stir until combined
  7. Add the flour and walnuts and fold in until the flour is just incorporated (no white streaks, but be careful to not over-mix)
  8. Pour batter over cooled shortbread crust.  Pour the batter into the baking pan and push it to the edges in an even layer. Use a rubber spatula to smooth out the top. and place in oven.
  9. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until edges begin to pull away from baking dish and center is set. (It’s ok if center has cracked.)

Topping and Finishing

  1. Place chocolate chips and heavy cream in microwave safe bowl. and stir until mixture is completely smooth and melted.
  2. Remove brownies from oven and let cool 15 minutes.
  3. Drizzle chocolate over brownies and let cool completely.
  4. Remove bars from baking dish by extracting parchment paper and cut into squares

Chocolate Mint Brownies

“With great power comes great responsibility.”  And the person who makes these outrageously decadent Chocolate Mint Brownies will have great power bestowed upon them as the keeper of rich, fudgy brownies, layered with a cool, creamy peppermint frosting, and topped with a smooth chocolate ganache.  So, distribute these brownies with great care and responsibility for they are so delicious that people will go to great lengths devour them.  You’ve been warned.

Like most superheros, on the outside these Chocolate Mint Brownies look quiet and unassuming.
Chocolate Mint Brownies- Sally's 3

Yet, when you delve deeper, you’ll find that the brownies are composed of rich, complex layers, resembling an Andes mint.
Chocolate Mint Brownies- Sally's 4

Chocolate Mint Brownies

(From Sally’s Baking Addiction)
Makes 1 9×13 pan of brownies

Ingredients

BROWNIES
1 cup (230g) unsalted butter
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups (300g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (100g) packed light brown sugar
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons (85g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (21g) unsweetened cocoa powder

MINT FROSTING LAYER
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
2 cups (240g) confectioners’ sugar
2 tablespoons (30ml) milk
1 1/4 teaspoons peppermint extract
liquid or gel green food coloring (optional)

CHOCOLATE LAYER
1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter
1 heaping cup (around 200g) semi-sweet chocolate chips

Directions

BROWNIES

  1. Melt the butter and chopped chocolate together.  You can do this in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly for about 5 minutes, or you can do this in a microwave by heating in 20 second intervals and stirring after each interval of heating. Remove the melted chocolate and butter mixture from the heat, pour into a large mixing bowl, and allow to slightly cool for 10 minutes.
  2. Position the oven rack to the lower third of the oven, and preheat oven to 350°F.
  3. Line the bottom and sides of a 9×13 baking pan with parchment paper (or aluminum foil), leaving an overhang on all sides. Set aside.
  4. Whisk the granulated and brown sugars into the cooled chocolate/butter mixture.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, whisking until smooth after each addition.
  6. Whisk in the vanilla.
  7. Mix the salt, flour, and cocoa powder in a separate medium size bowl.  Gently fold the dry ingredients into the egg and butter mixture (do not overmix the flour mixture into the wet ingredients).
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 35-36 minutes or until the brownies begin to pull away from the edges of the pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out with only a few moist crumbs when the brownies are done. Allow the brownies to cool completely in the pan set on a wire rack. Once completely cooled, lift the parchment (or foil) out of the pan using the overhang on the sides, and place on a baking sheet as you make the frosting. Do not cut into squares yet.

MINT FROSTING

  1. In a medium bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add the confectioners’ sugar and milk. Beat for 2 minutes on low speed, then increase to high speed and beat for an additional minute.
  3. Add the peppermint extract and food coloring (if using), and beat on high for one minute. Taste and add additional peppermint extract if desired.
  4. Frost cooled brownies, that you placed on the baking sheet, and place the baking sheet in the refrigerator. This allows the frosting to “set” on top of the brownies which makes spreading the chocolate layer easy. Keep in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.

CHOCOLATE GANACHE

  1. Melt the butter and chocolate chips in a medium saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly, about 5 minutes. Or melt in a medium microwave safe bowl in 20 second increments, stirring after each, in the microwave.
  2. Once melted and smooth, pour over the mint layer. Gently spread with a knife or offset spatula.
  3. Place the brownies, that are still on the baking sheet, in the refrigerator and chill for 1 hour (and up to 4 hours or overnight) to set the chocolate.

FINISHING THE BROWNIES

  1. Once chilled, remove from the refrigerator and cut into squares. For neat cutting, wipe the knife off with a paper towel between each cut. Brownies can remain at room temperature for a few hours. Cover tightly and keep leftovers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Supernatural Brownies

It’s a Brownie Recipe Match Up.  In this corner, the reigning champion, hailing from Trader Joe’s weighing in at 16 ounces and representing box mixes…Brownie Truffle Baking Mix!  And in this corner, the challenger, coming all the way from Saveur Magazine and touted by some as out of this world…Supernatural Brownies!

While I usually prefer to bake from scratch rather than a mix, I’ve found that the phenomenal brownies made from Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownie mix are the brownie standard I tend to judge any brownie recipe against.  So, I had extremely high expectations for this Supernatural Brownies recipe given its name.   The “Supernatural” brownies are really good looking with a shiny, crackly top, and they rose well with a fudgey interior, but in terms of taste, I didn’t find anything extraordinarily great about them.  That said, brownies are inherently delicious, and these are too… just not supernaturally so.  Trader Joe’s Truffle Brownie mix continues to hold tight onto the best brownies title.

Supernatural Brownies- Saveur 2

Supernatural Brownies- Saveur 5

Supernatural Brownies

(From Saveur)
Makes 2 dozen brownies

Ingredients 

16 tbsp. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate, cut into ¼” pieces
4 large eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. fine salt
1 cup flour

Directions

  1. Heat oven to 350°.
  2. Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking pan with butter and line with parchment paper.  Set pan aside.
  3. Pour enough water into a 4-quart saucepan that it reaches a depth of 1″. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Combine butter and chocolate in a medium bowl, and set the bowl over the saucepan. Cook, stirring, until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together eggs in a large bowl.
  5. Add sugar, brown sugar, vanilla, and salt; whisk to combine.
  6. Stir in the chocolate mixture (make sure the chocolate mixture is not too hot, and if it’s a bit warm, trickle it in slowly and mix quickly).
  7. Fold in flour.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan; spread evenly.
  9. Bake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, 30–35 minutes. Let cool on a rack. Cut and serve.