Simply Brownies

Sometimes you want a brownie that isn’t gooey – this is that brownie. It has a deep, rich chocolate flavor but is not overly sweet; more of a grown-ups brownie but the kids want seconds, too.

8 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 Tbsp. ( 1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
4 large or extra large eggs
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup chocolate chips
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
9 x 13 throw away aluminum pan from the grocery store (optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x 13 pan (aluminum throw away kind does not allow the bottom of your brownies to burn). In a medium pan melt the butter and chocolate, set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

Into a large bowl place the sugar, eggs & vanilla, and with an electric mixer beat on medium-high for 3 minutes, add the melted chocolate & butter and beat that in well, too. With a wooden spoon, mix in the flour, baking powder and chips. Spread in the pan and sprinkle the chopped nuts on top, gently pressing down to kinda have them stick into the chocolate. Or, you can can add them into the mix when you add the chips, I just prefer them on top of the brownies.

Bake for about 35 minutes or until a toothpick or knife inserted near the center comes out with some moist crumbs. Place on a rack to cool completely then slice and serve.

Chocolate Chunk Peanut Butter Blondies (with Icing!)

img_0020.jpgPeanut butter lovers will adore these. I made them for a party my daughter hosted and they disappeared in a snap!

Bars:
6 oz. bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup butter – room temperature
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1-1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs – room temperature
2-1/4 cups flour
2-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

Preheat your oven to 350 degree; Lightly grease the bottom only of a 9 x 13 baking pan, or line it with parchment paper. While oven is preheating, set the butter & eggs on the counter for at least 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine butter & peanut butter; add both sugars and vanilla – cream this until light and fluffy -about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down bowl after each egg.

In separate bowl, whisk/sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Blend this into the peanut butter mixture. Stir in the chips. Spread batter into pan. Meanwhile, make the glaze.

Bake for about 35-45 minutes and set on cooling rack. Spread with the warm glaze. Cool completely before cutting. They’re worth the wait.

Glaze:
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1/3 cup creamy peanut butter

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan; cook over very low heat stirring constantly until the chocolate is melted and its smooth and creamy. Immediately spread it onto the baked bars.

Marble Loaf

This is a simple, tasty snack which can be jazzed up by adding some ice cream on the side.  I like it with a cup of hot tea or strong coffee. My sister sifts confectioners sugar and cocoa powder over her slice.

Make the chocolate syrup first:
2 Tbsp. cocoa powder
3 Tbsp. vegetable oil (NOT olive oil)

Now make the batter:
1-1/3 cups sugar
3/4 cup (12 Tbsp.) softened, unsalted butter
2 large eggs
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder
2 cups flour
1/2 cup milk

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a loaf pan. Take out all the ingredients and set on the counter to come to room temperature for about 20-30 minutes while your oven preheats.

Into a medium sized bowl, whisk together the syrup ingredients and set aside.

Into a large bowl, using a blender or you can even use a food processor, cream the sugar and butter for about 1 minute, add the eggs and vanilla, then add the dry ingredients and blend for about 1 minutes. Add the milk and blend well. Scoop out 1 cup of this batter and whisk into the chocolate batter, then spread the rest of this yellow batter into the loaf pan. Now plop the chocolate batter on top. Using a butter knife inserted into the batter, swirl the knife around.

Place in the oven for 30 minutes; reduce temp to 325 and bake 30-40 minutes more, or until a knife inserted near the middle comes out with a few crumbs – keep an eye on it. Cool for 10 minutes, then loosen the edges and unmold it onto a plate.

Taste of Heaven

If Heaven were made of chocolate, then you could eat this whenever you wanted. It’s so versatile that it will become your own Taste of Heaven. It’s easy and pleasing for company or outdoor eating.

1 box fudge brownie mix – baked & cooled (or make my brownies)
1 box any flavor prepared and cooled instant pudding mix (or make my microwave pudding)
1 container tub of Cool-Whip (or whip up a batch of fresh from heavy cream)
Heath bar bits, or any choice of toppings, sprinkles, mini-chips, peanuts, etc. you wish

Into a trifle dish or large decorative bowl (preferably clear glass for the visual) break up 1/3 of the brownies, plop on 1/3 of the pudding, plop on 1/3 of the Cool-Whip, then layer these 2 more times, ending with Cool-Whip. Sprinkle on topping choice, refrigerate for just about 10 minutes before you place in decorative serving dishes. Kick off your shoes and enjoy!

Brownie Ice Cream Cake

Why buy when you can make your own? This is very rich and tastes like a brownie, candy bar, ice cream cake. Use any flavor ice cream you wish – for the picture I used vanilla.

2 measuring cups of semi-sweet morsels
12 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. prepared, black coffee (optional – this will give it a mocha flavor)
2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 extra large eggs
1cup flour
1/4 tsp. kosher salt
1 pint of ice cream – your choice
1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsp. butter

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and grease a springform pan. Take eggs out and set on counter while oven preheats. Meanwhile in a small saucepan melt the butter and 1 cup of morsels over low heat until melted; remove from heat and empty melted chocolate into a medium bowl and cool off for 5 minutes.

With a wooden spoon, mix in coffee and vanilla just till the count of 10; add eggs one at a time and mix with wooden spoon for the count of 10 after each – you want to mix only till combined. Add the flour and salt only till combined. Empty into the springform pan and bake for 30 minutes, or until just set – top will have the browinie crackling-look. Set aside to cool completely.

Soften the ice cream and spread it carefully over the brownie layer then freeze for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile melt the other 1 cup of morsels, whipping cream, 2 Tbsp. butter and the other 2 Tbsp. coffee until smooth. Set it aside to cool, then gently pour over the ice cream and carefully swirl it around. Freeze for 2-3 hours before slicing. When ready to eat let it set on the counter for about 10 minutes then unmold and enjoy.

Chicken Chili

**8-11-09:  Updated recipe adjustment to ingredient list:  This recipe evolved from one I recently found in a cookbook that just didn’t work because it was too much work and used all the pots in the kitchen!  So I personalized it for me you.  Just make sure to have egg noodles, dinner rolls and coleslaw on the side. And for those who think it’s a bit too spicy, just plop a blob of sour cream on your bowlful.

1 whole roasted (rotisserie) chicken from your grocer
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large yellow onion peeled & diced or sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
1/8 cup cumin
1/3 cup chili powder
1 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
1 can kidney beans (14 oz. can)
1 can pinto beans (14 oz. can)
1 box (32 oz.) chicken broth
1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup cornmeal
1/2 – 1 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional because it’ll be really a kick)

Separate the meat from the bones & skin of the chicken, placing the meat in a bowl to set aside and everything else in a large pot; pour in 2 cups water, bring to a boil & simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain broth and set aside – toss everything else out.

Now get out a large pot and add the oil; when hot add everything up to & including the chili powder and cook over low-med heat for about 7 minutes. Add everything else – don’t drain the beans! – the chicken and strained broth. Bring to a boil and simmer for 1 hour. Add more chicken broth, just a bit at a time if too thick.

Meanwhile make your other sides and then dig in!