Posts Tagged ‘Brownies’

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Tuesdays w/Dorie: Espresso Cheesecake Brownies

September 1, 2009

Last week I was uncharacteristically creative with the lime cream in meringue shells. I hope that creativity strikes again soon, but this week I just wanted to get some chocolate into my body. One night I thought I’d make these brownies after dinner but then looked at the recipe and was distressed by the time it would take to mix, bake, and chill them. I ended up eating a chunk of Trader Joe’s chocolate with some peanut butter on it, followed by a chaser of chocolate chips. It’s not usually this bad, but sometimes it just is.

The next day, with a clear head and some midday free time, I made the brownies.

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I should mention that this is a recipe made for Tuesdays with Dorie and it was selected by Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell. Thanks Melissa! Check her blog to take a peek at the recipe; she’ll have it posted today.

What I did:

  • I cut the recipe in half and baked it in a 6″ round pan. The pan was a little small for half the amount, but it was the closest I had.
  • I used low-fat cream cheese (neufachel).
  • I used Guittard 72% chocolate.
  • I skipped the sour cream topping. This was so pretty and swirly that I didn’t want to cover it with topping!

How it went: Both parts (brownie and cheesecake) went together pretty quickly. I melted the butter and chocolate in the microwave instead of over a double-boiler and it worked out fine. Even the swirling went fine. I’m glad I waited until I had a clear head to make this! Here it is ready to bake.

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How it tasted: I thought it was just OK. I liked the flavor of the cheesecake, but the brownie just didn’t have enough chocolate oomph. The brownie part was dry, which may have been due to overbaking. The cheesecake seemed to be the right consistency, but I may have thrown off the baking time by using a too-small pan. My husband liked it but also thought the chocolate flavor didn’t come through. His nutshell review was “good concept; needs tweaks.” But that’s the over-critical analysis; it was tasty and we were more than happy to eat it! And it looks so cool!

When we made the Brownie Buttons, Nancy asked if I’ve tried the Baked brownies or the Sharffen Berger Essence of Chocolate brownies. I haven’t and now I want to! There are a lot of brownie recipes out there and even though I have a go-to recipe, I’d like to have more in my repertoire. But no, I’m not going to start a separate blog about brownies. That’s been done, and Megan does it better than I could do it.

Would I make this again?: While I liked the brownie and cheesecake combination, I will have to continue my brownie quest. When I have more brownies under my belt (literally and figuratively), I’d like to come back to this and make it with a different brownie.

Fellow TWD members: I’m offline right now, so I won’t get around to look at your brownies this week. I will try to catch up when I’m back at it!

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Taste of Home Brownies

July 12, 2009

I didn’t plan on making brownies so soon after I made these for Tuesdays With Dorie, but I had brownies on my mind and I wanted to bring something to a small gathering over the weekend. These are my “go to” brownies; I’ve been making these for quite a few years. They’re just right for my tastes: dense and moist but not totally solid. Although they’re called cake brownies, I just don’t think of them as a “cakey” brownie. You know the type: you pick up a brownie at a pot luck, bite into it, and it’s like a flat piece of cake. Very disappointing. These are not those brownies! But they are also not ultra-dense fudgey brownies.

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If I’ve learned anything from reading a lot of baking blogs, it’s that people are highly opinionated about brownies and chocolate chip cookies. We have our opinions in my household too: I vote for these and my husband votes for my recent Tuesdays With Dorie brownies. But we’re really splitting hairs here – we both like both brownies a lot. Life’s too short to just have one brownie recipe, right?

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Moist Cake Brownies

from Taste of Home Annual Recipes 1999

My modifications are in red italics

2/3 cup (10 2/3 Tablespoons) butter (I used unsalted)
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips (I used all semisweet chips)
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans (I omitted the nuts)

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 13″x9″ pan or coat it with cooking spray.

Melt butter in a large saucepan. Whisk in cocoa and oil until smooth. Cook and stir over low heat until cocoa is blended. Remove from heat; stir in sugar. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt; add to cocoa mixture. Stir in chocolate chips (and nuts, if using).

Spread batter in pan. Bake 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack. Cut and serve when brownies are completely cooled. Enjoy!

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