Cream cheese brownies, or, using my mixer for the first time…

It has been so long since I:

a) baked something at home just for fun, not for a cause, or for the Daring Bakers (and therefore a while since I posted something other than that)

b) used a Kitchen Aid mixer at home

not that I don’t like baking for a cause or for the Daring Bakers, I definitely do, but I really like no pressure, just baking for fun baking. The real stress-free baking that I’ve always loved.

Also, not that I didn’t love using the hand mixer “given” to me by my grandmother, but I also love using a Kitchen Aid mixer. Or, any stand mixer for that matter. They are just so much faster, much easier, more convenient to use. I am happy to say that this particular mixer is also a hand-me-down, this time from my mother. She wasn’t using it, so she sent it (after months of reluctance). It came, of course, with three attachments, a whip, a paddle, and a dough hook. Unfortunately, the whip and the paddle got lost in the mail. Luckily, my mother was able to get a check to cover the cost of the new whip and paddle that I just received, hence being even more thrilled to use them!

This is an easy recipe and one that I got from another (AWESOME) blog, Use Real Butter. I have liked this blog for a while now, and had been looking for a recipe that would help me use my leftovers from the last Daring Bakers challenge (to be posted soon).

Overall, it was a perfect recipe to bake for fun, and to make using not only the paddle, but the whip of the Kitchen Aid mixer that is now mine. (Thanks, Mom!)

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Saucepan Brownies

I think these are my new favorite brownies to make. They’re easy, with minimal tools and ingredients required. In fact, I first found this recipe because I only had two eggs and baker’s chocolate squares and I wanted to make brownies. Trust me, it is not easy finding a brownie recipe that only has two eggs AND does not use cocoa powder. But, nonetheless, I did, and these are delicious.  No pictures, because I am lazy, and because I am sure that you know what brownies look like by now. :) Continue reading

I went coco-nuts!

Is that title cheesy, or what?! This post (or rather, this dessert) is chock-full of coconut. As you know, I am looking for ways to use up my left over ingredients from the past couple of months. I already used the graham crackers in the Chocolate Cream Pie, and now the coconut is gone with these Black-Bottom Coconut Bars.

These bars were found on another blog, called Bake or Break. I had most of a 14-ounce bag of coconut, and the recipe called for 7 ounces, so I used some coconut in the brownie part and I sprinkled a lot on top. I haven’t tasted them yet, I tried them, and but hopefully the coconut is not over powering. The brownie part really comes through. (Sorry to those of you who are not coconut fans, maybe you’ll like my next dessert better!) Also, these were rather easy to make. I know, I say that for EVERYTHING, But this time I really mean it. No special equipment. No electric mixers necessary. It is really just whisk everything together and pour/press into the baking dish. Okay, so you have to melt the butter-in the MICROWAVE. Seriously, I think this is the quickest, easiest dessert I’ve made in a while.
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it’s a hot, sticky mess…

…not the drunk kind, but the gooey, marshmallowy kind. I got a bag of marshmallows sent to me as part of a birthday present from my mom, and they were all stuck together, so I needed something to do with them, and I couldn’t just eat them out of the bag, because, well, they were literally stuck in the bag! So, I looked hard and long (ugh-get your minds out of the gutter!) on the interwebs for ideas and mostly found marshmallows added to brownie or blondies, so I thought a little longer, and I decided that I could probably caramelize the ‘mallows before adding them to the brownies, so that’s what I did. They turned out to be really good, and it was a literal explosion of a brownie.
I suggest melting/caramelizing the ‘mallows right before you add them to the batter, because otherwise, like me, you will end up having to reheat it to get it out of the pot, and that is what made the hot, sticky mess.

(look at the bubble of marshmallow peeking out!)

Anyway, they are really easy to make. Just follow this brownie recipe and caramelize one bag of marshmallows, then layer the brownie batter with the brown goop in your pot, and bake for like 30 minutes. The marshmallows smell so campfire-y and good when they are being melted, it is tempting to just eat that, and of course, you could stop right there, and add it to some ice cream. Or, you could add them to some graham crackers and chocolate for some s’mores. Again, all of these possibilities!

dulce de leche brownies

Last night’s baking adventure kinda took all day because of making the dulce de leche. It’s really simple, just have to simmer a can of sweetened condensed milk for 3 hours, but still, that’s three hours you have to wait to get this awesome, tasty caramel. Of course, you could just pour it on some ice cream, or dip some apples into it. But I made dulce de leche brownies. I used the recipe for brownies that I’ve been using since I got the kid’s cookbook. (when I was around 12). They are really gooey, fudgy brownies to begin with, and the addition of dulce de leche just made that that much gooier and fudgier. Since I just folded in the duce de leche (there wasn’t enough to spread out an even layer) the brownies just look like brownies. Next time, I will make two cans, instead of one, and make  brownie-dulce de leche layers. Also, I could’ve tried baking regular brownies, and then just pouring on the dulce de leche; that would have been the easiest, but messiest way to go, I think. Ah, so many options. I guess I am going to have to make these again some time. Anyway, here is the brownie recipe, and I found out about making dulce de leche from this blog, Not Without Salt. They have links to learn more about dulce de leche, and also links to recipes to use the dulce de leche. I really like the pictures they took, too.

Fudge Brownies
3/4 c cocoa
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 cup oil
3/4 c water
2 c sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 tsp. salt
1 1/3 c flour

put cocoa, baking soda, and 1/3 cup oil into a bowl. mix well. boil water. measure 1/2 cup of boiling water and add to bowl. mix till mixture thickens. add sugar and vanilla to bowl and mix well. add remaining 1/3 cup of oil, eggs, and salt to bowl. mix well. add flour to bowl and mix well. pour cake mixture into 13×11 cake pan. bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.

for the dulce de leche brownies, I baked them for a little longer (perhaps a little too long, the edges were a little over done, and they were really chewy.) for regular, even fudgier brownies, I like to bake them in a smaller pan, either 8×8 or 9×9, whichever I have around.

Brownies or cookies? How about both?!

Two posts in one day? Yes, I wanted to get right on baking things from my recipe binder, since there’s 101 recipes in there. (That’s no exaggeration, I counted and that’s really how many recipes there are.) So, I made the brownie chunk cookies…sorta. See, I was thinking about the Treasure Island Music Festival and I wanted to be able to bring some dessert to snack on while we are there, and well, there will be four of us, among the crowd of other SF/Bay Area locals coming together for this (awesome) concert. What better way to make some new friends than to share some delicious treats? (and make the friends I already have happy.) Therefore, I made the cookies into brownies. The original recipe

is for cookies with brownie chunks in them. (See picture) Since I wanted to make enough dessert for a crowd, I opted to make them brownies (blondies?) because then you get more pieces.  I also have leftover regular brownies. Hopefully, by Saturday, there will still be brownies (both kinds) left, since I know that my roommates like eating my treats really quickly. If not, I suppose I can make something else…

basic chocolate chip cookie recipe, but instead of chocolate chips, it’s brownie chunks. I don’t like nuts in my cookies/brownies, so I didn’t add the walnuts.
  note: I did not refrigerate/cool the brownies before adding them to the cookie batter, which is why there is not that pretty cookie/brownie contrast.
 

this is the brownie-cookies in brownie (blondie) form…YUM!