Sunday, March 27, 2005

What do you get...

when you stack Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough on top of Dark Chocolate Brownie Batter? Why, Chocolate Chip Brownie Double Deckers, of course!

Tips and Comments from the peanut gallery (that would be me, of course):

  1. Line the baking pan with either parchment paper or foil - then butter and flour the lining - this makes for quick clean up and none of that mangled-first-bar-out syndrome.
  2. The baking time may be a bit off; while I'm sure they were done, the Brownie part was rather gooey and fudgy when I first took the pan out - because these were being packed for a road trip where gooey is not necessarily good, I threw em back in for some finishing - something like 10 more minutes if I remember correctly
  3. Next time, I'm adding coffee crystals (dissolved) into the brownie batter....because brownies are always better when they taste of mocha.

And for those that may be too lazy to click over for the recipe (and also just in case it decides to disappear from the Oregonian site) here it is for easy reference:

Chocolate Chip Brownie Double-Deckers
Makes 2 dozen 2-inch double-deckers

Do-aheads: The double-deckers can be baked, cut, tightly wrapped, and frozen up to 1 month. There's almost no thawing necessary, about 20 minutes, because these brownies are delicious even when partially frozen. (peanut gallery here again - *why* on earth would you need to freeze these for up to a month?! I say spread the joy and bribe people with em or horde them all to yourself - I know *I* certainly wouldn't be able to keep em around for a whole month - they'd disappear well before the month was up!)

Chocolate Chip Layer:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (6 ounces)

Brownie Layer:
3/4 cup unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa, sifted if lumpy
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup all-purpose flour

Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.

To make chocolate chip layer: Put the butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Slide the pan from the heat and add the brown sugar. Whisk until no lumps remain. Set aside to cool while you make the brownie layer.

To make brownie layer: Put the butter in a medium saucepan and set over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Slide the pan from the heat and add the cocoa. Whisk until the mixture is smooth. Add the sugar and salt and whisk until blended. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking after both additions just until blended. Whisk in the vanilla with the second egg. Sprinkle the flour over the chocolate mixture and stir with a rubber spatula just until blended. Scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly with an offset or rubber spatula. Set aside while you finish the chocolate-chip layer.

To finish chocolate chip layer: In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt. Whisk until well-blended. Once the butter mixture has cooled, add the egg and vanilla to it and whisk until blended. Pour in the flour mixture and stir with a rubber spatula until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips.

Drop the dough in large scoopfuls over the brownie batter and spread evenly with the offset or rubber spatula. Bake until a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the center comes out with small, gooey clumps of brownie sticking to it, about 40 minutes. Don't overbake or they won't be fudgy.

Transfer the baking pan to a rack to cool completely. Using a bench scraper or a knife, cut into 24 small (about 2-inch) squares. The cooler the double-deckers are, the cleaner the cutting will be, but these fudgy treats will always leave some sticky crumbs on the knife.
-- Adapted from "The Weekend Baker" by Abigail Dodge

Friday, March 18, 2005

Peeps S'mores

Sadly, there are no photos to show - as the finished goods looked rather bloated upon coming out of the oven, and then just plain pitiful after they cooled.

Possessed by Peeps Fascination, I had to try out this recipe* for Peeps S'mores:
*recipe follows at the end of the post

Comments: Not recommended unless you go for the ridiculously sweet...I choked down one serving with a huge glass of milk. And it should go without saying that if you do give this a whirl, eat when fresh out of the oven. Baked and cooled Peeps do not an appetizing treat make. While the lovely pastel Easter m&ms made for good presentation, the melty chocolate effect that is synonymous with S'mores was missing. Perhaps a go with chocolate chips might be in order.

And now, the Recipe:

Easter S'Mores in a Jar

Method and Ingredients:
  1. Reduce 1 sleeve graham crackers to crumbs.
  2. Layer 2/3 of the crumbs in a 1 qt jar.
  3. Place 8 marshmallow bunny** peeps standing up, facing out around the inside of the jar.
  4. Press them up against the glass, but don't squash them.
  5. Carefully spoon remaining crumbs in the center of the jar to support the bunnies, pressing down to keep it snug.
  6. On top of this pour 1-1/4 cup Easter M&M's***.
  7. Spoon 1/3 cup brown sugar into center of M&M's, gently pressing with a spoon. Attach A gift tag to say:
  • Empty the jar contents into a bowl.
  • Snip the bunnies into bits with kitchen shears or cut up with a knife.****
  • Return the bunny bits to the mixture and mix well.
  • Melt 1/2 cup butter; add 1 teaspoon vanilla. Pour this over the dry ingredients, mixing well.
  • Pat into a greased 9" square pan.
  • Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.
  • Cool and cut into bars.(Makes 9 to 12 bars.)
  • Option - leave bunnies whole; combine remaining ingredients and place the bunnies on top; then bake as directed.

Note:This gift jar may be created to suit any holiday for which marshmallow candies are available.

** I used regular Peeps chicks
***I used plain Easter colored m&ms
****Being soft hearted, I opted for leaving the peeps whole. Somehow this softheartedness does not apply to gummy bears or chocolate rabbits - both of which are methodologically dismembered and eaten in a predetermined order...

Quick Cassoulet

An interest in the World Wide Food Blogging Event, Is My Blog Burning (IMBB) and January's theme of Beans resulted in my foraging for a tasty and hearty new recipe. Because I haven't the patience for a multi-day bean extravaganza (for a proper cassoulet that includes such tastiness as Duck Confit) I went with a Quick version found in a book called: the Kitchen Detective.

Full post, with recipe, can be found here.

Roundup of IMBB11 (yow! 74 beany recipes!)