Showing posts with label brownies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brownies. Show all posts


Nathalie Dupree's Fudgy Brownies and Cooking Classes at Harmons!

THE Guide to Southern cooking. 

If you were able to sit down with one of the most popular cookbook authors in the US, what would you want to know (insert emoji with wide eyes and hand over mouth)?  Nathalie Dupree is coming to SLC to teach cooking classes at Harmons, and they asked me to do an interview with Nathalie to promote her upcoming visit and classes. We had a lovely conversation about everything from Julia Child and the influence she had on Nathalie's career path to her preferred fat in biscuits and pie crust. Some people want to know how to achieve world peace, I just want to talk crust, dough and chocolate. Nathalie is a gracious Southern Lady, so of course, she obliged and gave me all kinds of insider tips about one of her areas of expertise, biscuit making. Nathalie is the Queen of Biscuit Making. She's written a whole book about the subject.

One of Nathalie's 14 cookbooks...

Here's a bit of our conversation:
First, we discussed how her name is properly pronounced.  Since we have that in common ( you have no idea how many variations I have heard of my name- Sayuri (Si).  Her name is pronounced Natalie, not Na-THalie. Apparently her mother wanted Natalie, and her father wanted NaTHalie, and dad got his way in spelling. She was raised in Virginia and in her early years and had an opportunity to cook for her college dormitory one summer. Her mom didn't want her to be a cook, it wasn't "suitable work for a lady" back in the day. Her mother knew it would require working at night with men (yikes!) and lifting heavy equipment. It was not typical work for a woman in 1959.
But Nathalie loved cooking.
After she was married, she moved to London and while looking for a job, she "stumbled into" the Le Cordon Bleu Cooking School. She took a class, then went home and tried to duplicate what she had learned.  Everything she made flopped!  Nathalie said she considered herself a good cook and decided at that point she didn't want to be a "lady" and instead wanted to go to cooking school. A year later, she earned her advanced certificate.  At graduation, Nathalie talked to Julia Child about her future.  "Julia was very generous and available to people, I asked her - what I should do now and Julia told me I should teach cooking."

Nathalie instructing at Rich's Cooking School in Atlanta

The rest is history.  Nathalie has owned multiple restaurants, opened and enrolled more than 10,000 students at Rich's cooking school in Atlanta during her almost 10 years there. She has hosted more than 300 television shows on PBS, TLC, The Food Network and countless other appearances on national television shows. Nathalie has been the recipient of the prestigious James Beard award three times and was recently inducted to the Who's Who of Food & Beverage in America. Whew. And she's still going strong in her 75th year. With a reputation like that, I knew I had to honor Nathalie by making one of her recipes. We were in the mood for chocolate, so I made some of her Fudgy Brownies.
Oh my. They did not disappoint!

Ani could not wait to get her hands on a homemade brownie...

kid approved!

They lived up to Nathalie's amazing reputation.
If you want to learn from Nathalie, and live in the SLC area, she will be teaching  Southern Desserts, Cool Summer Eats, Southern Breakfast, and Southern Menus for Two at Harmons Cooking School, City Creek on May 22 & 23. I highly recommend taking a class. This would make such a fun girls night out or mother-daughter date.  Hurry and sign up the slots are filling fast...Hope to see you there!
Oh and the biscuit making tips? We'll have to talk about that on another post.


Nathalie Dupree's Fudgy Brownies


Award Winning Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownies

This recipe comes from Amy's Bread in NYC. They started making brownies in the early days of the bakery opening, and were given the "Best Brownie" award in NYC. Really, THE best brownie? I've been to New York, and can testify that there are bakeries (lots of them great bakeries) on almost every block. Reading about this "award winning" brownie caught my attention. The method of melting half of the choc chips into the batter intrigued me. Reminded me of  my fave chocolate cake recipe
Oh my. These are killer brownies. At $3.50 a brownie (at Amy's), they'll leave a small dent in your wallet if you are buying for a crowd, but you can bake them up at home for a lot less, in not too much time.
The recipe is easily adapted to a no-nut version, if you aren't partial to nuts. I made them both ways and can testify both are amazing. My favorite was the original walnut-packed bit of brownie heaven. Last word on this brownie:  If you don't want to make these at home, you have to make a trip to NYC to buy one. 
You choose, a trip or bake. 

Award Winning Chocolate Chip Walnut Brownies
Adapted from Amy's Bread, NYC
print recipe

3 1/3 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup  all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
11/2 cup chopped nuts, toasted (optional)* recipe without nuts- see tips below

Preheat oven to 350°. Place rack in bottom third of oven. Line a  9″x 13″ baking pan with foil* or parchment paper. Grease lightly.
Melt butter, half of the chocolate chips, and unsweetened chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave). Let mixture cool to warm.
Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla just until mixed. Over-mixing will cause crumbly brownies. Fold in warm chocolate mixture.
Place flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and remaining chocolate chips into chocolate mixture all at once. Fold dry ingredients into chocolate mixture, then fold in chopped nuts just until combined.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread to an even thickness.  Place the pan into the oven. 
Bake for 10 minutes at 350, then lower the oven temperature to 325 (do not open oven). Bake an additional 15-20 minutes. The edges will be slightly firm and the center will be soft when they are fully baked. A toothpick inserted will come out with a few moist crumbs attached. Do not over bake. Cool completely in pan.
Brownies are easiest to cut after refrigerated. These will keep well in refrigerator for about a week, covered tightly. 
Yield 24 small or 12 large brownies. 

-To toast nuts, place on baking sheet in 325 degree oven for about 7-10 minutes, or until fragrant. 
-I like to line the inside of the pan with foil for simple removal from the baking pan. It also makes cutting the brownies much easier. 
-This recipe is easily adapted to omit the nuts. If you are leaving out the nuts, use 1 cup flour instead of 3/4 cups flour as stated in the recipe. If you do not increase the amount of flour used, the brownies will take a long time to set up and be very wet in the middle and overcooked along the edges. I always compensate if I omit nuts in a recipe such as this one, which calls for a large amount of nuts, by increasing the flour just a bit. 
-Melting the butter and chocolate. I always do this on my gas stove.  If you have a stove that you are able to turn down to a very low temperature, you will not need a double boiler. Simply put the pan on the stove and turn to low. 
-Whenever I mix chocolate chips into a recipe, I throw the flour and other dry ingredients in at one time along with the chocolate chips to coat the chips with a bit of flour, this prevents the chocolate chips from sinking to the bottom of the brownie. 
-If you want a tender brownie, without having it fall apart, the key is to not over mix. This includes the beating of eggs and sugar together. Mix just until incorporated. 
-I love this cookbook from Amy's Bread, it is a collection of the sweet items they sell in the Bakery, along with fun stories about their customers, the history of how they came to sell certain items through trial and error, etc. Everything I've made out of this book I has been a ten on the yum scale.


Southern Lady Brownies

Last week, my nephew Brandon, and his bride Ashley celebrated their new life together. We hosted a wedding shower and served:  Yogurt with fresh fruit and Peanut Butter and Cashew Granola; Veggie Tea Sandwiches;  Turkey, Irish Cheese and Apples on Pita Triangles with Cranberry Mayo;  Quinoa Salad;  Limeade Slush and for dessert- Southern Lady Brownies.
Sheri gave me this recipe years ago, when she married Scott.  Someone brought them to a dinner before their wedding. I loved the way they looked, kind of like a brownie Petit Four. I'm not sure what the original name was? But after enjoying them in the South, I named them Southern Lady Brownies. They are perfect for a ladies luncheon,when you want to serve something special and a little on the dainty side.
Congratulations Brandon and Ashley! Love you.

This is the "trim around edges to make even" step. I bagged all of the trimmings and placed into the bag above, they lasted till about 9 the same evening. Grant and Jake used them to make hot fudge brownie sundaes.

After trimming, set the brownies on a cooling rack or a tray. 
Frost and top with a pecan.  

Southern Lady Brownies
A Bountiful Kitchen
print recipe

1 1/2 cups butter ( I prefer unsalted)
4 oz unsweetened chocolate
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center of oven.
Using a double boiler or very low heat on stovetop, melt the butter and chocolate together in a saucepan. Mix with whisk. Remove from heat and let cool.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a medium bowl. Add sugar and vanilla and mix until all ingredients are combined. Pour the cooled chocolate mixture into the egg mixture. Mix again until all ingredients are combined.
Pour the flour, soda and salt into the bowl with the other ingredients and mix just until wet and dry ingredients are combined.
Line a 9x13 pan with foil, and spray the foil with non stick cooking spray. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cook just until brownies are done, and a toothpick inserted in center of pan comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Remove from oven.  Use a spatula and press the edges of the brownies down while still warm.
Lifting foil, remove brownies out of pan when cooled. Use a knife or spatula and trim around edges of brownies to make even.
Cut into about 30 small pieces.
Prepare Frosting.

1/2 cup butter
2 squares or 2 oz unsweetened chocolate, melted
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
3-4 tablespoons milk or half and half
dash of salt
pecan halves for top of brownie

Soften the butter for 30 seconds in the microwave.  Add the melted chocolate and mix. Add the powdered sugar a little at a time and beat until smooth. Add milk or cream and salt until the frosting is desired consistency. If you want the icing to cover the brownie and drip down the sides of the brownie, thin the icing with additional milk (about 2 additional tablespoons).
Spoons the icing onto each brownie. Top immediately with pecan half.

- I altered the original recipe so the brownies would be a bit thicker and slightly more cake like. The original recipe also called for a beaten egg in the icing, which I omitted and added a bit of milk instead achieve a spreading consistency.
-Use an electric beater to make the icing, it will help eliminate any lumps in the icing, and give a smooth, silky consistency. 


Cutler's Brownie Marshmallow Cookies

It's no secret that brownies are my favorite (and cookies, cake and pie). When I need a chocolate fix, and want to avoid baking, my car steers itself to Cutler's. These cookies are a little bit of choco-marshmallow heaven on earth.
Curt Cutler, the B-town Cookie King, taught a class at a South Fork recently. He's always willing to share tips and tricks to making perfect cookies. Curt's #1 tip? Using cake flour in all of his cookie recipes. When you are baking at a high altitude (we are at about 4,400 ft in Btown), adding additional flour or using cake flour is essential to produce cookies that look like cookies, and not pancakes. Another tip- Curt used to buy marshmallow creme until a little while back, when the supplier wasn't able to deliver- he checked out a few recipes and started making his own. Oh my. So good. Simple too. Forget about that stuff in the tall glass jar at the grocery. Once you whip up Curt's marshmallow creme,  you'll never look back. Trust me, you'll love these cookies.

Cutler's Brownie  Marshmallow Cookies
Cutler's Cookies, Bountiful, Utah
print recipe

1 cup butter
1 2/3 cups white sugar
2 eggs
1 ¼ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa
¼ teaspoon salt
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
2 1/3 cups cake flour*

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until blended well. Add dry ingredients and mix.  Cookies can be rolled, formed into drop cookies, or pressed into a 9 x 13 pan (double recipe and bake time).  Roll and form cookies and bake at 350 for 10-12 minutes.  Cookies are done when top is slightly cracked and no longer looks wet.

Marshmallow Creme
3 egg whites
2 cups light corn syrup
½ teaspoon salt
2 ½ cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
Combine egg whites, corn syrup, and salt.  Beat on high speed for 10 minutes or until thick.  Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until blended.  Add vanilla and blend.  May be frozen for later use.

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup butter
4-5 cups powdered sugar
½ cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat soft butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar together until smooth. Add a splash of milk and vanilla, blend well.

Spread cooled cookies with about 1 tablespoon of marshmallow creme. Top the creme with frosting. 
Try not to eat the whole batch before your kids get home from school. 


River Road Brownies

This recipe comes from the Baton Rouge Jr. League Cookbook, "Second Helping".
I cut these into 1 1/2 inch squares, and they were some of the best little brownie bites I've eaten.

River Road Brownies
Baton Rouge Jr. League, Baton Rouge, LA
print recipe

1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

3/4 cup sifted flour
1/3 cup cocoa powder, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar in large bowl. Add eggs and vanilla, beat until mixed well with butter and sugar mixture. Add all dry ingredients, just until incorporated. Fold in nuts.
Pour into foil lined, greased 8 inch square pan.
Bake in 350 degree oven for about 25 minutes until knife inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

Chocolate Butter Frosting

1 1/2 squares unsweetened chocolate (1 1/2 oz)
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons milk or cream

Melt chocolate and butter over low heat. Combine chocolate mixture with remaining ingredients, beat until thoroughly blended.

Frost cooled brownies, cut when cooled completely. Yields about 2-3 dozen bite sized pieces.


Chocolate Walnut Brownies

The holiday cookie extravaganza week continues. I know this isn't a cookie, but I love a little bit of chocolate on my holiday cookie tray. I under baked the brownie a bit and sprinkle with powdered sugar to give it a festive look. This treat comes from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book. It's based off a Julia Child recipe. I guess that says it all. If it's good enough for Julia, it's good enough for me :)

Chocolate Walnut Brownies
adapted slightly from The Sweet Melissa Baking Book
print recipe

1 cup unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I like Ghiradelli)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2/3 cups walnuts, toasted and coarsely chopped

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place rack in center of oven.
Line a 9x9 pan with foil and grease the foil.
In a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate, mix until smooth.
Set aside to cool.
In another bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar and vanilla until pale yellow in color. Stir in the chocolate and butter until all ingredients are incorporated. Fold in the flour, kosher salt and walnuts. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 30-35 minutes. When a toothpick is inserted in the middle, it should come out with a few moist crumbs attached. Let brownies cool completely.
After cooled completely, sprinkle with powdered sugar.

-If you are not a fan of walnuts, you may substitute chocolate chips. If you aren't a fan of chocolate chips, I think you dialed the wrong number.


Black and White Brownies

I've had this recipe marked in a cookbook for years. Last week I finally got around to trying it.
Oh my.
I love chocolate cake with vanilla frosting. This is the same idea, subbing a brownie for cake, add vanilla buttercream and then a takeitoverthetop thin chocolate glaze.
You have to try these.

Black and White Brownie
adapted from Centennial Jr. League Cookbook, 1996
print recipe

Brownie Layer
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 sticks (1 cup) butter
4 eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

Vanilla Buttercream Layer
8 tablespoons butter, softened
3 1/2 cups (1 pound) powdered sugar
1/4 cup cream
1 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Glaze
4 ounces semisweet chocolate
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter

For brownie layer:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour a 15 1/2 x 10 1/2- inch pan (next size up from 9x13 pan). Melt the chocolate and butter over hot water in the top of a double broiler.  Cool slightly.  In a separate bowl, beat the eggs until light and lemon-colored.  Gradually add sugar to the egg mixture.  Add the butter and chocolate; fold in the flour and salt. Do not over mix. Mix just until flour is incorporated into wet ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan.  Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.  Cool and chill in the refrigerator.

For vanilla buttercream layer:
Cream the butter thoroughly with an electric mixer.  Gradually add the powdered sugar alternately with the cream.  Add the vanilla and beat until very light and fluffy.  Spread evenly over the cooled brownie layer.  Chill in the refrigerator at least 10 minutes.

For chocolate glaze: Melt the chocolate and butter together in top of double broiler over hot water.  Beat well.  Drizzle over the chilled buttercream and smooth out with spatula. Chill 1 hour or longer.  Cut into squares and serve.


  • I used semi-sweet chocolate chips for the glaze layer. 
  • This recipe keeps well in the fridge for about one week if covered with plastic wrap. 

linked to:


Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Brownie Bars

Remember last month when I joined the Secret Recipe Club??  So much fun. This month my assignment was to cook something from Katie's blog: Betcha Can't Eat Just One.
Katie lives on the West Coast of Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada.  She is a mom of three who teaches preschool and also runs a daycare a few days a week. Lucky for us, she also finds time to BAKE.  
So, as I perused the recipes on her blog, I thought- this looks good, this too, oh this one. Then I clicked on this recipe. Oh my. Is summer over?  Is it necessary to put on a swimsuit again? You may want to just bookmark this and try it in October, when it's sweat pant season.  
Absolutely incredible. I mean, how does it get better than this? CC cookie dough, a layer of OREO'S (my favorite store bought cookie), caramel, and a layer of brownie dough? Serious sugar. 
Loved it. Thanks Katie. 

Chocolate Chip Cookie 'n Oreo Brownie Bars
Katie at Betcha Can't Eat Just One

1 cup unsalted butter, room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chips, semi sweet
1 package of Oreo cookies
1 package of brownie mix (to be prepared as directed on the box)  Ghiradelli works well or, home made is always best try this recipe
dulce de leche or caramel topping
Preheat the oven to 350 and line a 9X13 pan with parchment paper
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla and mix well.
Add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix just until combined. Fold in chocolate chips.
Press the cookie dough evenly into the pan.
Now place the Oreo's on top of the cookie dough.
Spread or drizzle the dulce de leche or caramel topping on top of the oreos.
Prepare brownie batter as directed. Pour/spread brownie batter on top and smooth it around with a spatula.
Bake for  about 50 minutes. Bars are done when toothpick inserted in center comes out with a bit of a moist crumb attached. Remove from oven and let cool completely, about 2 hours.  
Cut into squares and serve. 

-I like using a home made brownie instead of the box mix. If using a box mix, I think Ghiradelli is the best mix. Katie prefers it as well. 
-You may use Double Stuff Oreo's for the "full strength" version. 
-As for the caramel layer, it's optional. You may use a good quality caramel topping such as Mrs. Richardson's or I love Tom's brand available online, or if you live in Btown, sold at Dick's Market and other local grocers.  OR, you can slowly heat a can of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)  at a very low temperature, until the milk turns thick and caramel color. See directions and a few different methods for this here.  I used the sweetened condensed milk route, and think in the future, if I'm adding the caramel layer, I'll just use Tom's. 


Super Simple Cream Cheese Brownies

When time is short, and I need to make a treat, I throw together these super simple, seriously rich cream cheese brownies. The base is from a cake mix, the rest is up to you. My favorite basic chocolate frosting gives this dessert an extra special home made touch.

Super Simple Cream Cheese Brownies
print recipe

1 Butter Recipe Chocolate Cake Mix*
1/2 cup melted butter
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix and spread into a 9x13 greased and floured pan.

8 oz. cream cheese (not low fat) softened
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons flour

Beat soft cream cheese until smooth. Add eggs. Beat in powdered sugar and flour, until all ingredients are incorporated.  Pour over brownie mixture in pan.
Bake at 350 degrees  for about 30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
After cooled, frost.

Creamy Chocolate Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened (room temperature)
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
3 cups powdered sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup half and half or milk

Beat butter until smooth, and add dry ingredients. Add vanilla.  Mix in half and half a little at a time, until frosting is desired consistency.

See note below about the cake mix...

-* I have used various types of chocolate cake mixes, all work well in this recipe.
-Don't be worried about the appearance of the brownies after they are finished baking.  Once you frost the brownies, the top is covered in frosting.
-If you are in a hurry, place the brownies in the freezer (after they have cooled enough to handle the pan). They will cool in about 20 minutes.
-Don't be tempted to use canned frosting. One word. Sick.


Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownies with Ganache Frosting

Made these last week.
Outrageous Brownies? 
Over 2 pounds of chocolate (actually, almost 3 lbs) in one recipe.  That's why.
If these don't satisfy your chocolate craving, I don't know what will.

Barefoot Contessa Outrageous Brownies with Ganache Frosting
adapted slightly from Ina Garten
print recipe

  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 1 1/2  tablespoons instant coffee granules (I used decaf)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.
Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 2 cups of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup flour and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl, then add to the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not over bake! 

Ganache Frosting
9 oz. Semisweet chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
2 tablespoons butter
Place all ingredients in saucepan over medium heat.  Whisk until melted and combined.  Pour over brownies after brownies are cooled slightly.  Let sit for about 1 hour, or in refrigerator until set, then cut and serve.  

-The original recipe calls for 3 cups chopped walnuts or pecans and 1 1/4 cups flour.
-These freeze well.  Cut and wrap in Ziploc bags on paper plates.  They will keep for up to two months in the freezer.  


Cook's Illustrated Chewy Brownies

Yesterday was the one month mark for Stephen's mission. Hooray! He is doing well. Loves it so far. Want to see a pic?

Elders: Lamb, Foster, Nieman, and Blair on a snowy day in Provo, 
headed to Puebla in April...

I made these brownies the other day and mailed them off to Stephen. They are super moist and chewy. Not quite as dense as Williams Sonoma Triple Chocolate Brownies (my favorite so far for mailing)  Click on the link above for recipe and packaging instructions. Cook's Illustrated Chewy Brownies are a little more on the tender side. Really great chocolate flavor and amazingly moist and chewy.
Since we live an hour away from the MTC, I can use same day package service from Btown to Provo for a few dollars.  I've sent cookies, cinnamon rolls, brownies. No worries so far about cookies crumbling , cinnamon rolls being smashed or brownies drying out.   In a month, I know this will change.  Btown to Puebla, Mexico is a bit more of a jaunt.
So I'll keep baking and sharing.
Finding the treat that travels best.
This is my mission in  life.
Yes, I'm serious.

Cooks description/science behind this recipe:
To devise a properly chewy brownie recipe, we first had to discover the perfect ratio of oil to butter. We then combated greasiness by replacing some of the oil with egg yolks, whose emulsifiers prevent fat from separating and leaking out during baking. We found that unsweetened chocolate provides the strongest chocolate flavor. Finally, folding in bittersweet chocolate chunks just before baking gave our chewy brownies gooey pockets of melted chocolate and rounded out their complex flavor.

Cook's Illustrated Chewy Brownies
Adapted from Cook's Illustrated March 2010
print recipe

1/3 cup Dutch processed cocoa
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoon boiling water
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking soda (optional)*
4-6 oz. bittersweet or semi sweet chocolate, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

Place rack on second lowest position in oven. Preheat oven to 350.

Make a foil liner for a 9x 13 pan by turning the baking pan pan upside down. Tear a piece of foil the length of the pan, leaving extra (about 2 inches)  hanging down on both ends.  Form the foil over the outside of the pan, Then flip the pan over, and place the molded foil to the inside of the pan. Spray the foil with cooking spray.

Whisk cocoa and boiling water together in a large bowl until smooth. Add unsweetened chocolate and whisk until chocolate is melted. Whisk in melted butter and oil. Mixture may look curdled at this point. Add eggs,  egg yolks and vanilla. Continue to whisk until smooth. Whisk in sugar until fully incorporated.  Using rubber spatula, fold in flour, salt, baking soda and bittersweet chocolate all at once, taking care to not over mix.
Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30-40 minutes. Do not over cook. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove from pan using foil liner to lift brownies out of pan.  Cut when cooled.

-*I added soda, because there was not any other leavening in the recipe, and I wanted to make sure the brownies were not too flat. This addition may not be needed especially at lower elevations.
-For best results, use this method for packaging and shipping.
-I raised the brownies to the center of the oven (from the bottom rack) at the 30 minute mark. Total baking time for me, about 37 minutes.


Oh My Bouchon

Remember the post about Tulie Bakery?  Last year, they earned the award for Best Bakery in SLC, Utah.  It's a wonderful little place, tucked around the corner from Trio on 9th East and 700 South.
Last Friday, Melinda and I went there for lunch. She fell in love with the Bouchon. She started looking for homes in the neighborhood. She talked about how great it would be to walk to Tulie every day. She blogged about wanting a Bouchon in her mouth when she dies. So dramatic. Later in the day, I receive an email from Wayne. Wayne is Melinda's husband. Want to see a picture of Wayne and a BIG FISH? Wayne sends me a recipe for Bouchons. Hint, hint. The recipe looks uncomplicated, but requires a special pan for baking. The next day, I make some calls and find the pan(s). Assemble the ingredients.  Start a little research of my own. Here's what I found:
1. Bouchon is French for "cork". Didn't know that.
2. Bouchon's are not low in fat. Really?
3. Bouchon's are for chocolate lovers. Obvious.
4. Bouchon's are best eaten the day they are made.
5. Not all Bouchon recipes are created equal. Found this out three recipes, and four batches later.
6. If you mess up, everyone wants to eat the "flop". See comment 5.
7. Bouchon's are not complicated, but require a little patience in the cooling process, so they can be successfully removed from their molds, and hold their cute shape. Patience is not my middle name.
8. Reality: a Bouchon is simply a super rich brownie, baked in a cute cork shaped mold.

There you have it.  Simple, yes. Rich, yes. A Chocolate Lover's dream, absolutely.

adapted from Thomas Keller, Bouchon Bakery
print recipe
yields approximately 18-24 small or 8-10 large Bouchons

3 1/2 oz or 3/4 cup plus one tablespoon all purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 1/2  cups plus three tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
24 tablespoons (not a typo) unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
4 oz. chopped bittersweet chocolate
Confectioner's sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Grease 12 Bouchon molds, or 8-10 metal 2 inch Timbale molds
Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt into a small bowl. Set aside.
In the bowl of a mixer, beat eggs and sugar for about 3-5 minutes, until pale yellow color. Mix in vanilla. Using a spatula, fold in flour and butter alternately, until all ingredients are incorporated, folding only until all of the dry ingredients are mixed into the batter. Fold the chopped chocolate into the batter. Refrigerate batter for about 30 minutes.
Place the greased timbale or bouchon molds onto a cookie sheet. Using a small cookie scoop,  Fill the molds to the top. Place in oven and bake for 25 minutes.  Test with wooden pick, the toothpick should come out with a few moist crumbs attached.
Carefully transfer the molds to a cooking rack. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Invert the molds onto a wire rack. Remove the molds and gently turn the Bouchon again, so the top is facing up.  Let cool for about 15 minutes.   Dust lightly with Confectioner's sugar.

- Molds may be found at Williams Sonoma, or other kitchen speciality stores. The Silicone mold I used runs $29 , and the package of (4) Timbale metal molds run about $23. The metal molds are larger . The small silicone molds are perfect size for one person, or say, a luncheon treat. If you are looking for a less expensive option, use muffin tins, custard cups, or I wonder if using non-wax disposable Dixie size cups would work? Grease as directed, fill and place on a baking sheet,  peel the cup off after baked and cooled.  Let me know if you try this, and if it works.
-Tried a recipe (Williams Sonoma) using baking powder, but it was harder to predict the rise in the batter. The first time I baked, the batter overflowed. The second time, I only filled 2/3 of the way, but the Bouchons were not tall enough.  Looked more like brownie bites. Didn't love the W.S. recipe.
-The texture should be  a little crusty on top, with a dense, moist middle.
- This recipe is adapted from Thomas Keller, famous restaurateur and cookbook author. I questioned the use of three cubes, or 24 tablespoons of butter in the recipe. I decided to cut the butter a bit and adjust the cocoa and flour accordingly. Cooking at 350 and adjusting the recipe left me with a good, but not great Bouchon. FINE. I went back to the drawing board. Adjusted the heat to 325. The higher temp at our altitude left the Bouchons a bit overcooked.  Added a tablespoon of flour. Used the full 24 tablespoons butter. I know, insane, but absolutely delicious.

Williams Sononoma Bouchon Pan


Happy Valentines Fudge Brownies

Are you looking for a decadent, rich, ridiculously delicious treat to bake for your Valentine? Best fudge brownies. Ever.
Sheri made these for a little gathering we had at our house yesterday. Quick. Easy. Delicious. One pan makes enough for all of your Valentines. 

    To my Valentine: love you.

Sheri's Fudge Brownies
print recipe

1 1/2 cups butter
6 oz unsweetened chocolate squares
3 cups sugar
3 teaspoons vanilla
6 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups flour

Fudge Frosting:
1/2 cup butter
4 oz semi sweet chocolate baking squares
1 tablespoon vanilla
3-4 cups powdered sugar
dash of salt
3 tablespoons milk, cream or half and half
chopped nuts, if desired

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt the butter and unsweetened chocolate over low heat in heavy saucepan on stove. Remove from heat.  Beat in the sugar and vanilla.  Add the eggs. Mix all with wire whisk or large spoon until blended well.  Add the salt and flour and mix just until flour is incorporated into batter. Do not over mix.
Pour into a greased 11x17 jelly roll pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Insert toothpick. Toothpick should come out with crumbs attached. Do not overcook if you want a fudge like texture.

Fudge Frosting:
Melt the butter and semi sweet chocolate together. Add 1 tablespoon vanilla.  Beat in the powdered sugar and dash of salt.  Thin with milk or cream.
Mixture should be the consistency between a  frosting and a glaze.
Frost the brownies while still warm, but not hot.
If you want to add nuts, sprinkle chopped nuts on top of brownies right after frosting.

-These brownies freeze well, and are best when cut into SMALL squares. They are the consistency of fudge and are very rich.