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Brownies/Bars

S’mores Bars

 

These little goodies are just dreamy. I admit,  wasn’t sure when I read the recipe. I love s’mores, in moderation. I’m not at all a super fan of them, and I enjoy the experience of making them – over a nice fire – more than I do eating them. But, I wanted to try something different. I had intended to bring these along for a work picnic, that was postponed. On the bright side, I had a bunch of these delicious treats to consume throughout the week. I loved the idea of a s’mores themed dessert but it had to be tasty, easy to transport, and easy to make. Check, check and check! This little treat took barely any time to make. Also, I should mention, NO BAKING! you literally do not need to pop anything in that oven. Perfect summer treat indeed. Tasty…..um, yea. Freaking tasty to be exact. These are so yummy I often eat more than one and then wonder why I’ve broken out into a sweat (hello sugar overload!). I also love how they aren’t quite a brownie and not quite a cookie. It’s unique! Also super easy to transport. Just keep ’em cold and they’ll last. Because you need to chill them, I would recommend leaving them in the fridge until you intend to serve them. Now, I’ve had s’mores themed desserts in the past. The graham cracker gets just a touch too crunchy and they just are not very good. I loved these, because you don’t bake anything. You just let it all set and enjoy! It’s soft, satisfying and did I mention delicious? Well…they are!

Instructions

  1. Line an 8x8 baking dish with foil. Spray the foil lightly with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a microwave safe dish, melt butter. Add in graham cracker crumbs and mix until combined. Press the graham cracker mixture into the prepared baking dish. I used the bottom of a glass to help flatten the crust.
  3. In a saucepan, over low heat, heat the condensed milk and chocolate chips. Stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove from the heat and add in the salt and vanilla. Stir until blended. Pour the chocolate mixture over the graham cracker crust.
  4. Sprinkle the marshmallows over the chocolate and press down slightly. Then insert the graham cracker pieces randomly between the marshmallows. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to set if your refrigerator for about 4 hours. Remove from the fridge and cut into squares.

Notes

Williams Sonoma

 

Chewy, Fudgy, Triple Chocolate Brownies

It’s the Monday after my vacation, so I feel like these brownies are an absolute necessity. Also, Mondays. Homemade brownies are so good. I know, opening a box and tossing in a few ingredients seems so much easier, but it’s basically the same amount of effort and tastes way better to make them homemade. This version has been a go to for a while. I even found variations when I had to eliminate dairy from my diet for a bit. Still amazing! Everything about this brownie is perfect. I used milk chocolate since I love milk chocolate, but you can use dark or semi sweet if you prefer. Also, if you want to get super adventurous, you can add in some peanut butter cups or chocolate sandwich cookies. I almost did…….almost. But sometimes the standard brownie is a necessity. And sometimes that brownie needs to meet some ice cream and live happily ever after. These are the things I dream about as I eat my panzanella and a handful of almonds. The flavor is so rich and something I believe happiness is made from. Honestly, I think it could be. the texture is chewy and not at all dry. They are fudgy and just wonderful. I cannot compliment these enough. But really, I would encourage you to try to make a homemade version, even if it is just once. It’s so rewarding to make your own, and this is a simple way to start out. It may (or may not) seem complex or daunting, but I promise once you get into it, you will see it’s not bad. One note from the original recipe that I copied, that I will also share here, is that it may seem to take a while to incorporate the flour into the wet mixture. Trust me, it will mix in. I promise. They will still turn out fantastically and you will still want to eat the entire baking dish worth.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8 inch baking dish with foil, and spray lightly with cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Set a heatproof bowl (like pyrex) over a saucepan with barely simmering water. Add in the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally until smooth. Add in the cocoa powder and blend until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine the eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt. Whisk until combined. Whisk in the warm chocolate mixture until incorporated. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  4. Let cool for 2 hours , or until room temp. Remove the brownies from the pan and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into squares and store in an air-tight container.

Notes

Original recipe from Annie’s Eats.

Blondie Ice Cream Sandwich

 

What do you get when you combine these amazing blondies with this amazing ice cream? The best ice cream sandwich ever! I was going to post about rice pilaf this week, but I just wasn’t feeling it. This week was just awful, so I felt like a sweet treat was absolutely essential to end the week. I had made these blondies and this ice cream for Easter, and got creative with the ice cream sandwich. Immediately, I was pleased with my decision so I made another and popped it in the freezer for a day when I needed it. I am now regretting not making a million of these for days when I needed them. Check back tomorrow for my coffee talk post. I have a lot of festive recipes planned for Cinco de Mayo. I’ll be posting daily this week with festive foods so be sure to come visit! Spoiler alert, hot chocolate and churros will be involved.

Out Of This World Blondies

Today is one of those days where I find myself craving something delicious to eat my way through the stressful work day. I made these blondies for the Easter holiday and they were a hit. They paired well with the cinnamon ice cream that I made (another recipe coming this week!), but back to the blondies.  Brownies are one of my go to indulgent treats. Classic, peanut butter, you name it I’m sure I’ll love it. But sometimes I crave a change. With all the chocolate Easter candy, I wanted something sweet but didn’t want to overdo it with the chocolate, so I opted for this recipe. Of course, when you see a Pioneer Woman recipe you know that it’s going to be delicious and this certainly was the case. I will admit I sampled more than my fair share to make sure they were good enough to bring along for dessert, but I’d say it was worth it. If you are looking for something simple to make, that is going to taste uh-mazing, then you need to try this recipe out. These are also fairly forgiving. I used chocolate chips and pecans, but toss in some butterscotch or cinnamon chips if you are feeling sassy. You could also use up some of that Easter candy and use some M&M’s. Whatever you choose, I know you are going to enjoy these.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a sauce pan, melt the butter and set aside to cool.
  2. Preheat the over to 350 degrees. Butter a 9x13 baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt. Whisk together and set aside. In the sauce pan, add the brown sugar to the melted butter and whisk together until smooth. Add in the eggs and vanilla and whisk together until thoroughly combined.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Fold in the nuts and 1 cup of chocolate chips and mix until incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet, top with the remaining 2 tbsp of chocolate chips and bake for about 25 minutes, being mindful not to over bake, I did need to bake an additional 15 minutes or so. I would bake for about 5 minutes additional each time.
  5. When done, remove from the oven and let them sit until cooled. Sprinkle the top with flaky salt and cut into about 16 squares.

Notes

This recipe is slightly adapted from the Pioneer Woman.

Brownie Pie

It’s Pi(e) Day, it’s a snow day… it’s like Mother Nature got on board and gave us a celebratory day at home to stuff our faces with pie. Thanks, Mother Nature! Now onto the pie. I was looking through my Milk Bar cookbook and my gosh it’s hard to make a decision on which recipe to try first. They are sound amazing. I cannot recommend this book enough if you are looking for something creative and delicious. So, Brownie Pie. What I loved about this was how absolutely easy it was to put together. The filling, while has all of the resemblance of a brownie was not as dense. It was absolutely pleasant and had wonderful flavor. My son, who is rather picky with what he eats requested more “brownie” yesterday. I highly recommend adding this to your list of pies to make.
 For some local love, I absolutely had to share some local love. Florence Pie Bar is a little gem I found and visited during the winter. This place….. it’s like a little slice of heaven. The inside is fun, everyone who works there is so nice and super helpful. The sell slices, full pies, and a bunch of other treats. If I could have stayed there all day, I would have. I highly recommend to any Western Mass locals (or anyone visiting Western Mass) that you check it out.
Note, this post is not sponsored by Florence Pie Bar and the opinions are my own. I simply love this place and had to share!

Ingredients

For the crust

For the pie

Instructions

  1. For the crust, toss the graham cracker crumbs, milk powder, sugar and salt, with your hands, in a medium bowl.
  2. Whisk together the melted butter and heavy cream. Add to the dry ingredients and toss again to evenly distribute. The butter will act as a glue, adhering to the dry ingredients and turning the mixture into a bunch of small clusters. The mixture should hold shape if squeezed together lightly in the palm of your hand. If it's not coming together, add 1 - 1 1/2 Tbsp more of melted butter.
  3. For the pie, heat the over to 350 degrees. Dump 1 1/4 cup graham cracker crust into a 10 inch pie dish and work into the pie tin. The crumbs should cover the bottom and reach at least half way up the dish. Reserve the remaining 1/4 c. of graham cracker crumbs for the pie mixture.
  4. Place the butter and chocolate into a microwave safe dish heat on low for about 30-50 seconds. I melted them together on the stove top. If you do this, watch the mixture closely so it does not over cook. The mixture should be glossy and smooth.
  5. Combine the eggs and sugar to the bowl of an electric mixture, fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat together for about 4 minutes. The mixture should be fluffy and a pale yellow and should reach the ribbon state. To check this, remove the whisk attachment dunk into the mixture and move back and forth. The mixture should have thickened and silky ribbons should appear and disappear into the batter. If you do not see this, mix for another minute until this happens.
  6. Replace the whisk with the paddle attachment and add the chocolate mixture to the bowl. Stir together on low, increasing the speed to medium for about one minute. The mixture should be one homogeneous brown batter. If there are any streaks, continue to mix until they disappear.
  7. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt to the batter. Mix on low for about 60 seconds. There should be no clumps of dry ingredients. If you see any clumps in the mixture, continue to mix until they disappear.
  8. Stream in the heavy cream on low. Mix until the batter loosened up and the white streaks have fully mixed in.
  9. Remove the bowl from the mixture and mix in the graham cracker crumbs. With a spatula pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  10. Place the pie on a baking sheet and bake until the center is set, abut 25 minutes. If the center is still gooey, cook for an additional 5 minutes. Here, my crust started to darken quickly, so I placed foil over the top and continued to bake.
  11. Place pie on a cooling rack. The pie will keep fresh in the fridge for up to 1 week or in the freezer for up to 2 weeks.

Notes

This recipe is from Momofuku Milk Bar