Category Archives: Chocolate
Brownies, hands down, without a doubt, is my most favorite chocolate goodie. Just plain, good old-fashioned, brownies. No frosting, no nuts, no fancy salted caramel or cream cheese. A simple brownie, done well, is superb all by itself. Usually, I give mine a light dusting of powdered sugar. That is more for effect. It just looks pretty. In my opinion, the extras take away from the brownie.
Today, I decided to try one of Paula Deen’s recipes. I have always been fearful because the woman uses an insane amount of butter in every recipe. I have heard nothing but good things from those who have tried her recipes, so I thought I would give one a try.
On Sundays I like to cook a nice meal and I thought brownies would be a great way to end tonight’s chicken dinner. I found this particular recipe by “googling” “Paula Deens brownie recipes”. The one that I decided on was “Maggie’s Decadent Brownies”. Included, is a recipe for a frosting, but of course, I chose not to make it. One, because as I stated before, I prefer no frosting and two, I didn’t have all the necessary ingredients.
This recipe was so simple and easy! You use the microwave to prepare the chocolate and butter, toss in the rest of the ingredients, pour into your pan, and then into the oven. Honestly, it didn’t take any longer than using a box mix. I do suggest, because microwave ovens vary, adjusting the melting time. I set my microwave for the 3 minutes, stopping and stirring every 30 seconds, as directed, and I was completely melted with 45 seconds to spare. So, the 3 minutes is as guideline. If you let it go the duration, its liable to burn. I also suggest, because ovens vary, you watch your cook time as well. I actually had to bake it about 3 minutes longer. You know your oven best, so just adjust accordingly.
After about 10 minutes of cooling, they were ready. (You honestly didn’t think I would wait until dinner now would you??) These are THE perfect brownie. The top forms a nice little crust and the inside is so moist, fudgy, and has a cake-like texture as well. It has the perfect combination of sweetness and chocolate. Not too much or too little of either. And not because I don’t prefer it, but I think the frosting would really make it “over the top” sweet and ruin these brownies. If you want a little something more, I think a small scoop of vanilla ice cream would compliment it well.
I highly recommend this recipe. It is simple, uses minimal ingredients, and a cook, at any skill level, can bake these and be proud. I have posted the recipe below and the link to the original at Food Network below the recipe.
Enjoy your week!
Maggie’s Decadent Brownies
Recipe courtesy Paula Deen
- 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
- 4 ounces (4 squares) unsweetened chocolate
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
- 1/2 cup pasteurized egg substitute (recommended: Egg Beaters)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 (1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 4 cups mini marshmallows
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 13 by 9-inch baking pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a 2-quart bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes, stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and mix well with a spatula. Add the flour and stir to combine. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake for 25 minutes.
While the brownies are baking, make the frosting. Melt the chocolate and butter in a medium bowl in the microwave on high for 3 minutes stirring every 20 to 30 seconds until the chocolate is completely melted. Add the egg substitute, vanilla, and sugar and stir with a spoon until smooth. Stir in the marshmallows; they will soften but not melt completely. Spread the frosting over the warm brownies. The frosting will set up when the brownies are completely cooled. When cool, cut into 1 1/2-inch squares and store in the refrigerator in a plastic container with a snap-on lid.
Don’t be impressed with my “bi-lingualness”…that translation was c/o Yahoo! Babel Fish. I know it is pretty darn close. Even some of our native Spanish speakers at work use this as their “go-to in a pinch”. If what I said isn’t quite right, eh, only those who speak Italian won’t be impressed…LOL
Moving on! Today’s post is about a little recipe I received via email from Allrecipes.com somewhere in the 2 weeks leading up to Valentine’s Day. My inbox was chock full of a “ga-jillion” chocolate recipes from just about every food related site I receive recipes from. Last Friday night it was pretty chilly and I was in the mood for hot chocolate, so I decided to try this one. All in all, the recipe was fairly simple. Minimal ingredients were required, but I think they missed it on the “cooking time”. Including prep time, it stated 20 minutes total. I stopped at 35 minutes. It says to “Continue cooking, whisking continually, until the hot chocolate reaches a pudding-like thickness, 2 to 3 minutes.” I think that timing is off. It was almost 15 minutes of whisking before I decided to quit. I could have very well mis-understood the “pudding like thickness”. I thought it was going to thicken up like country gravy does. So, like I said, after 15 minutes, I decided to wave the white flag and call it quits. I poured it into our mugs, topped it with whipped cream and thought to myself, “Well, you gave it the ol’ college try”. I handed one to my husband and we took our first sip. It was really good. And, surprisingly, once it had time to sit off the heat, it actually thickened up. Now, please note, it is not the consistency of pudding, but it is thicker than your average instant powder concoction.
If and when the temperature drops again, I will definitely give it another try. One thing I want to try differently is using a regular cocoa powder instead of the dark. It was almost too rich for me with the dark. Oh, and this hot chocolate, was not too sweet at all. If you like the flavor of the hot chocolate from Starbucks, then you will probably like the flavor of this drink.
Try it if you feel inclined. The recipe is below. The link to the original recipe is beneath that. If you haven’t ever checked out Allrecipes.com, you should and don’t forget to sign-up to receive their emails.
Until next time, ciao!
(Hot Chocolate Italian-Style)
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons white sugar
- 1 1/2 cups milk
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- Mix the cocoa powder and sugar together in a small saucepan. Stir the 1 1/2 cups milk into the saucepan until the sugar has dissolved. Place over low heat; slowly bring the mixture to a low simmer.
- Whisk 2 tablespoons of milk together with the cornstarch in a small cup; slowly whisk the cornstarch slurry into the cocoa mixture. Continue cooking, whisking continually, until the hot chocolate reaches a pudding-like thickness, 2 to 3 minutes.