S’mores Brownie Pie

S'mores Brownie Pie- Baker Bettie

I can’t hear the mention of s’mores without immediately thinking of The Sandlot and this scene. So nostalgic. I can’t tell you how many times I watched that movie as a kid. Sometimes more than once in a day. And even though we didn’t have s’mores often as children, for some reason they just feel nostalgic too. Toasted marshmallow tastes like childhood to me.

S'mores Brownie Pie- Baker Bettie

I was asked recently what my favorite kitchen tool is. That is a difficult question. My initial reaction is to say my chef knife because it is what I use most and probably what I am most attached to. And of course, there is always my Kitchenaid stand mixer. That baby and I worked through over 6000 cookies one Christmas and she still shows no sign of wearing out. But probably my most fun kitchen tool is my culinary torch.

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Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Sea Salt- Baker BettieI feel like I need to have a disclaimer on this recipe. A disclaimer saying: I understand it sounds insane to put an entire pound of butter, 2 pounds of dark chocolate, 2 1/2 cups of sugar, and a pound of pecans into one bowl and then into your oven. I know. But this makes a lot of brownies. Like, a whole lot. And if you think your head might explode by putting that much awesome into your oven, then cut the recipe back. But you just shouldn’t do that because you are going to want to eat a lot of these, and share a lot of these, and brag about these, and then freeze some so you can have more sometime later and reminisce about how awesome they were. Just trust me.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Sea Salt- Baker Bettie

One of the sous chef’s at work has been requesting that I make him something really chocolatey for a while now. Specifically, a Sacher Torte. I agreed to it but told him it would be a while before I could. A Sacher Torte takes some time commitment. And time is very limited for me right now. He said he was patient. But THEN I found out he really wasn’t  patient and found someone else to make it for him. I should have just let it go and bowed out of my promise right then and there, but I’m stubborn. So I decided I was going to make him the chocolatiest most over the top brownies ever.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Sea Salt- Baker BettieSo what makes these so ultimate? Well, I’ll tell you what. They are filled with a ridiculous amount of butter that has been browned, and tons of melted dark chocolate, and a hint of coffee to intensify the chocolate flavor, and more dark chocolate and toasted pecans folded in at the end, and sea salt sprinkled over top. Does that paint an ultimate enough picture for you? If not, check your pulse.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Sea Salt- Baker Bettie

Oh, hello Monday. Hello dark chocolate brownies with sea salt and pecans! It’s going to be a good week. Make the choice that it is.

Dark Chocolate Brownies with Toasted Pecans and Sea Salt- Baker Bettie

Recipe adapted from Ina Garten’s Outrageous Brownies

Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans

Ultimate Fudge Brownies with Toasted Pecans

Ingredients

  • 1 pound (2 cups) unsalted butter
  • 22 oz dark chocolate or chips (at least 60%) plus 10 oz dark chocolate chips
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup brewed strong coffee
  • 2 TBSP pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1 tsp sea salt (or kosher salt), plus more for sprinkling
  • 1 lb chopped pecans, toasted

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
  2. Line with parchment paper or butter and flour a half sheet pan (12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet).
  3. Cut the butter into chunks and place in a medium saucepan. Brown the butter over medium heat and set aside.
  4. Melt the 22 oz of chocolate in a medium bowl over a double boiler. Once the chocolate it almost completely melted, stir in the brown butter. Continue to stir the chocolate butter mixture over the double boiler until completely smooth. Set aside and allow to cool slightly.
  5. In a large bowl, stir together the eggs, coffee, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture.
  7. Fold in the pecans and 10 ounces of chocolate chips.
  8. Pour the mixture into the baking sheet and use a rubber spatula to smooth out. Sprinkle sea salt over top.
  9. Bake for 35-40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean.
  10. Allow to cool thoroughly and cut into 30 squares.
http://bakerbettie.com/ultimate-fudge-brownies-toasted-pecans/

Back to Bake-sics: Classic Fudgy Brownies (vegan option)

5 Ingredient Fudgy Brownies

I am in a sort of difficult transition at the moment. I have moved enough times to know this would probably happen. The feeling that your new home doesn’t quite feel like home yet and knowing that your old home doesn’t exist anymore. The feeling will absolutely subside. I have no doubt about that. It just takes getting to know a few people and the area more. But for now, I have to use my husband as my anchor. And he is a good one.

Being back in the kitchen is definitely helping too. This Back To Bake-sics Series is perfect for me right now. I get to create in the kitchen, but I’m creating things I know inside and out. No room for error and inevitable over-reaction to error due to my emotional state. Just pure and simple creation and perfection. It’s helping me to feel confident in this new unfamiliar place.

5 Ingredient Fudgy Brownies

I had a facebook reader request brownies for one of the installments of this series, and specifically, vegan brownies. Brownies are one of those baked goods that are pretty fool proof and not too fussy. You can easily make them vegan without a lot of worry about how they will turn out.  The ones I made here, are dairy free but do have eggs in them because I didn’t have my egg replacer on hand. But I know from lots of experience, that egg replacer will absolutely work in these.

Here are the 5 basic ingredients you need to make brownies…

Sugar: Most brownie recipes call for granulated sugar. Part of the reason for this is that you are not going to beat this batter with a mixer and brown sugar is going to be more difficult to break up and evenly distribute with a spoon. BUT if your brown sugar is very moist and not clumpy you can absolutely use brown sugar or a combination of white and brown sugar. The brown sugar will give the brownies more chew and more depth of flavor which is never a bad thing with brownies!

Liquid Fat: If you’ve made brownies from a box mix, you will notice that it almost always calls for oil. But really you can use any fat in liquid form. Melted butter, melted shortening, vegetable oil, canola oil. When I am making non-vegan brownies I often use browned butter for a nuttier flavor. Use what you have available! Brownies are different than cookies in that you don’t cream the fat and sugar to aerate them. You want liquid fat so that the two easily mix together to give you a dense result.

Eggs or Another Binder: The eggs add some moisture and richness, do some leavening and also help to bind the batter together when baked. Ener-G egg replacer works well for a vegan substitute and it already has a leavener in it.  If you use applesauce or another vegan replacement such as flax or chia egg, it would probably be good to add a bit of baking soda to the batter. About 1 tsp should do the trick. The recipe won’t fail without it, but it will help tenderize the final product.

Flour: Flour along with the cocoa powder, is the structure for the brownies. All-purpose flour is the preferred flour here. Bread flour will likely produce more of a tough chewy brownie and cake flour will give the brownie a very light texture, more like cake. Whole wheat flour could be used but will give the brownie a more coarse crumb. A gluten free all-purpose mix would also work well as a substitute. Check out this post for more information about flours and how to substitute them.

Cocoa Powder: Cocoa powder is also part of the structure of the brownie, but obviously is what gives it a chocolate flavor. In most recipes you need to use either Dutch-processed or Natural cocoa powder based on what chemical leavener you are using. Natural cocoa powder is acidic and is used in recipes calling for baking soda while dutch-processed needs baking powder since it’s acidity has been neutralized. Since eggs are used as the leavener of this brownie recipe it does not matter which kind of cocoa powder is used. It also doesn’t matter which is used if you are using the vegan substitutes because Natural Cocoa powder can be used with either baking soda or baking powder, just not vice versa, and baking soda is not used with any of the substitutes mentioned. Check out this post for more information on cocoa powders.

It almost seems silly to ever use a box mix when you see how easy it is to make for yourself!

A few other things you might consider adding for flavor: salt, vanilla extract, almond extract, mint extract, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, chocolate chips or chopped nuts, a swirl of peanut butter or nutella or speculoos…

5 Ingredient Fudgy BrowniesOther Posts from the Back to Bake-sics Series: 

4 Ingredient No-Knead Bread

5 Ingredient Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies

5 Ingredient Classic Pancakes

Classic Fudgy Brownies (vegan option)

Classic Fudgy Brownies (vegan option)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar (white, brown or a combo of the two)
  • 1/3 cup oil or melted butter
  • 2 eggs or vegan equivalent (Ener-G egg replacer, flax or chia eggs)
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF and lightly grease a 9X9 or 8X8 pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the sugar, oil, and eggs until completely combined.
  3. Stir in the flour and cocoa powder and stir just until combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly lumpy.
  4. Pour into the prepared pan and use a rubber spatula to smooth out.
  5. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes until set.
  6. Let cool before slicing.
http://bakerbettie.com/back-to-bake-sics-classic-fudgy-brownies-vegan-option/


 

Granola Blondies

Granola Bar Blondies

I was standing in my kitchen with a spoon full of cookie dough and a mouth full of cookie dough. I was having a battle with myself. To bake or not to bake? That is the question. I had been dreaming up these vegan blondies filled with granola all day long and now it was coming to fruition. But before I could put the dough in the pan and bake it I had to do what any normal person would do. Eat a big hunk of it first. And oh my god. I don’t even know how to express to you how good this dough is. I took a bite. I took another bite. I tried to force myself to put it all in the pan. I took another bite. “I can’t bake these! There is no way they will be as good as this dough is!” I needed someone to force me to bake them. I looked down at my cat, who was sitting at my feet staring up at me, trying to get some kind of confirmation from him that I should put these in the oven. He was no help.

Granola Bar Blondies

Let’s not even talk about how much of this dough (I ate half of it) I ate. Let’s also not talk about how right I was. Because as good as these blondies are, and they are sooo good!, the dough was so much better. So let’s just not even talk about it. But let’s do talk about how you should double the dough part of this recipe so you can eat as much of it as you want without being tortured by putting it in the oven. Do that. Really. And if you are one of those people that is weird about eating raw cookie dough because of the eggs, well then here you go. No eggs in this baby! You. Are. Welcome.

I ate this as my breakfast with some more coconut milk yogurt on top. It was delicious. I recommend you do the same. And heat it up a little bit too. Or poor a little milk on top. It’s like a blondie and granola breakfast cereal. Nothing wrong with that. Totally comforting.

Granola Bar Cookies

Granola Blondies (vegan)

Granola Blondies (vegan)

Ingredients

    for the blondies
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened (I used Earth Balance)
  • ½ cup vanilla yogurt (I used SO Delicious Vanilla Coconut Milk)
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • for the granola
  • 1 cup unsweetened flaked coconut
  • 1 cup smoked almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Lightly oil a 9X9 baking dish.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together the butter, yogurt, and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and baking powder to the bowl and mix until well incorporated.
  5. Add the flour slowly, continuing to mix until completely incorporated.
  6. In another bowl, combine coconut, almonds, chocolate chips, and cherries.
  7. Fold in 1 cup of the granola into the batter.
  8. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish.
  9. Top with the remaining granola.
  10. Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until set. (check it after 20 minutes and cover with foil if the coconut is browning too much.)
http://bakerbettie.com/granola-blondies/


 

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (gluten free, vegan)

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (vegan, gluten free)

Ok Vegan MoFo’ers I’m back! I totally intended to do today’s post and tomorrow’s post during the week but things got a little too hectic around here and it just didn’t happen. I will do better next week!

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (vegan, gluten free)

On Wednesday I promised you these Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies after I posted my Cinnamon Salted Caramel Sauce recipe. I have to admit I got the idea for this concept some time ago when Cara from Fork and Beans asked me to do a guest post on her amazing blog.

That girl is so freaking talented and creative that I knew what I came up with needed to live up to her awesomeness  After A LOT of brainstorming I came up with a Salted Caramel Skillet Cookie made from  a Raw Salted Caramel I had made before. Today’s recipe is really just a variation on a theme. The concept is the same. Just a few different ingredients for a totally new flavor!

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (vegan, gluten free)

This recipe is a synch to throw together. Just prepare the Salted Caramel Sauce in your blender then mix it with a few dry ingredients and in 20 minutes, viola! Warm, gooey, Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies. You will even have lots of left over sauce to drizzle over top and save for ice cream. Speaking of ice cream, stay tuned for tomorrow’s Fall ice cream recipe!

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (vegan, gluten free)

Cinnamon Salted Caramel Brownies (gluten free, vegan)

Prep Time: 6 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Yield: 9 Servings

Ingredients

    for the salted caramel
  • 1 cup almond butter
  • 1¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¾ cup solid coconut oil (use non-virgin if you do not want the taste of coconut)
  • 2 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • for the brownies
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (unsweetened)
  • 2 cups sifted almond flour
  • 1 1/2 cups salted caramel sauce

Instructions

  1. Put all ingredients for the salted caramel into a food processor or a high speed blender.
  2. Blend on high for approximately 2 minutes, scraping the sides down periodically. (blending this long will create a very sticky caramel like sauce) THIS STEP IS IMPORTANT! DON't SKIP DOING IT FOR THIS LONG!
  3. In a large bowl, combine cocoa powder, almond flour.
  4. Pour 1 1/2 cups of the salted caramel sauce into the mixture and stir until well combined.
  5. Spread the mixture evenly into a lightly oiled 8x8 pan.
  6. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  7. Drizzle warm salted caramel over the top.
  8. Allow to cool in the pan before slicing.
http://bakerbettie.com/cinnamon-salted-caramel-brownies-gluten-free-vegan/

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

I once heard someone say that with any change that occurs in our lives, there comes a sort of mourning process.  The reason for this being is that with any change, be it a good change, a bad change, a big change, or a small change, something is always lost.  Even if this something is negative, it is still taken from our lives.

On Wednesday I experienced this in a rather unexpected setting and situation.  I was in the dentists chair, already anxious for a root canal I was needing badly.  As the Endodontist started inspecting this tooth I could hear in his voice that things did not look good.  He informed me that the tooth was too cracked to be saved and that it needed to be pulled.  I. Lost. It. Right there in the dentist chair.  I was a big blubbering mess of tears and I was horribly embarrassed.  I was so not prepared for this news, nor my uncontrollable reaction to this news.

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

After all was said and done I started thinking about why I freaked out so much about this.  It is just a tooth.  It isn’t like they told me I had cancer or something.  But I think it was just the whole situation and really the loss of control I had in the situation.  I had no choice, it HAD to come out.  And hey, I’ve had that tooth for a long time.  I guess I’m kind of attached to having a mouth full of teeth.  I had to remind myself of this mourning process with change to make myself feel much better about the embarrassing reaction I had.

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

When I got home I was exhausted.  Thankfully, I still had one of these brownies left over from earlier in the week.  It was just what I needed.  Something comforting, yet still not completely indulgent.  I know it can be dangerous to always use food as our comfort, but sometimes I feel like you just need to.  This day was one of those days…

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

Flourless Bittersweet Chocolate Brownies

Yield: 12-16 brownies

Ingredients

  • ⅓ cup arrowroot powder, (you can sub cornstarch)
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ tablespoon natural salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ⅓ cup butter, or vegan butter (I recommend Earth Balance)
  • 12 ounces dairy free bittersweet chocolate, at least 60%
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 eggs or equivalent Energ-G egg replacer
  • ¼-1/2 cup honey (not technically vegan), or sweetener of choice (agave, maple syrup, sugar)
  • 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Grease a 9X9 baking dish and set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the arrowroot powder, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder.
  4. Set up a double boiler (a large heat proof bowl over a pan with simmering water that does not touch the bowl) and put chocolate and butter in the bowl.
  5. Stir constantly until the chocolate is just melted.
  6. Stir in the vanilla and eggs until well combined.
  7. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Add sweetener to taste. (I found that ¼ cup of honey was plenty but I enjoy bittersweet chocolate)
  8. Stir in chopped pecans if using.
  9. Pour batter and spread evenly into baking dish
  10. Bake at 350 until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 25-35 minutes.
  11. Allow to cool before slicing.

Notes

grain free, paleo friendly, vegan option

http://bakerbettie.com/flourless-bittersweet-chocolate-brownies/

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