Category Archives: Brownies & Chocolates

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars (Gluten-Free, V)

It’s gif season!

(Pssst–if you like this gif, maybe you should consider following my shiny new Twitter account for the latest WG updates. Also, have you entered my personalized care package giveaway yet?)

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars Gif 1

I know what you’re thinking. 

Actually, I’m just saying that. If I really knew what you were thinking, I wouldn’t be hanging around my toybox apartment scrounging up pennies to pay the rent. I’d be out there investing in a get-rich scheme that would involve a crystal ball, inch-thick spectacles, and tons of foggy incense.

But. I still know what you’re thinking.

“YUM.”

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars 11--041914

Pretty close, right? It’s hard to believe these bars are vegan, raw, gluten-free, and fudgy to the max.

I’m pinning them to the Eat Clean Challenge Pinterest board this week, so go check it out! And while you’re there, why not check out Wallflour Girl on Pinterest, too? (;

So what’s the Eat Clean Challenge? Let me tell you while we both drool over some more in-your-face fudginess…… Continue reading

14 Comments

Filed under Brownies & Chocolates, Healthy/Clean Eating Challenge

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 2--112913

It’s that time of the year again. You know, December: the month of Christmas lights, good cheer, the smell of warm apple pie wafting around every street corner, the murmur of family chatter over holiday feasts, and the universally-acknowledged wish that we all had the metabolic capacities of high school swimmers again.

Yeah, that time.

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 5--112913

These fudgy, rich, and not-a-dry-crumb-in-sight brownies made me wish really, really hard for that metabolism. Ditch the woolen socks (although after these I could use a roomier pair of jeans) and come onnnn, Santa!

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 11--112913

In our extended household, holiday dinners are always something of a battlefield. Imagine the Spartans meeting the Huns meeting Napoleon Bonaparte, then imagine them getting squished into an itty-bitty little corner by Brobdingnagian knocking elbows and clattering plates. Stretchy pants are the phrase of the day, and chopsticks are our surprise weapon of choice here.

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 8--112913

I like to think we burn off all of our food just by fighting for it–but I may or may not have majored in Wishful Thinking in college.

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 14--112913

So as you sit there at your computer regretting all the extra stuffing, strudel, and sausage you shoveled onto your plate this lovely weekend-after-Thanksgiving (for all you Americans out there, at least!), I am going to sit here at MY computer–completely blameless, thumbs twiddling–and introduce you to these Epic Dulce de Leche Brownies. Please enjoy the photo-music I have prepared for you while you wait…

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 17--112913 Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 20--112913 Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 23--112913 Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 26--112913 Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 29--112913

La la la la lots, and to all a good–no, amazing, awesome, EPIC brownie! And you can feed them to the people around you so you feel better about yourself, ha ha. <– But seriously, this actually works…have you tried it? Then don’t talk until you have.

These are, hands down, unlike any brownie I have ever made–and I say that having made all of these uh-mayzing variations. You saw the “Dulce de Leche” in the title and thought these were just normal dulce de leche brownies, didn’t you? Oho, not so, my fast friends. Here’s the secret to these incredibly fudgy, and possibly most flavor-packed brownies ever: the dulce de leche goes straight into the batter. Not swirled, not drizzled. IN.

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 32--112913

Although I have recently taken to creating my own recipes (including my all-time favorite Best Chewy Biscoff Blondies recipe–have you checked it out yet?), I have Sommer from A Spicy Perspective to thank for this recipe. She even goes to the trouble of diagramming the epic proportions that make up this extra-thick, ultra-fudgy brownie! Talk about dedication. I was sold faster than a Black Friday Playstation 4 combo set (which, sadly, I have not yet been gifted).

Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies 35--112913

But really, you need to make these to believe these–they will have your family and friends caroling your praises all season long! And with New Year’s resolutions galore right around the corner, you’ll want to make these NOW. There’s no time like the present–and what better present than gifting yourself a batch of the best brownies ever?

Happy holidays!

Ala

Epic Dulce de Leche Brownies

Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan; 16 large squares

Adapted from A Spicy Perspective, who is basically a genius

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz. (or approximately 1.5 cups) dark chocolate chips–semi-sweet will work in a pinch
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter or margarine
  • 7 ounces dulce de leche OR homemade dulce de leche (Recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 5/6 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, crushed
  • 1.5 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (other add-ins, such as nuts or chopped candy, may also be added)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with lightly greased foil and set aside.
  2. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter, chocolate, and dulce de leche together in 30-second intervals, stirring vigorously between each interval.
  3. Beat white sugar into melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Add vanilla and egg, then mix until combined.
  5. Add flour, cocoa powder, salt, and coffee granules. Stir in until just incorporated.
  6. Gently fold in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and other desired add-ins.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, until toothpick comes out MOSTLY clean–trust me, your brownies will be ready to party at this point! Remove the pan from the oven and immediately sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips. Wait 5 minutes, then spread the melted chocolate over the tops of the brownies.
  8. Allow to cool completely on stovetop before cutting brownies into fudgy, delicious squares of epic proportions.

Dulce de Leche Recipe

There are many ways to make dulce de leche at home. I used the oven method, which is simple and requires 1 (16 oz.) can of sweetened condensed milk–for the recipe above, you will only require half of this amount, or 8 oz.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Pour the condensed milk into a baking dish and loosely cover it with foil.
  3. Place this baking dish in a roasting pan or a larger baking pan; fill the large pan with hot water until it reaches halfway up the sides of the smaller pan. Then slide both pans into the preheated oven.
  4. Bake for approximately 80-90 minutes, stirring at 15-minute intervals. Your dulce de leche will achieve a rich golden caramel color and should be fairly thick. For more visual and detailed instructions, see the Wiki page for How to Make Dulce de Leche.

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!christmas cast party buttonShowStopperSaturday2

11 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates

Killer Cookies ‘N Cream Brookies and Oreo Butter: An Online Bake Sale for the Philippines

How does one not lose all control when digging a fork into this warm, melting gooey Oreo lovers’ mess?
Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies gif 3
Oh, that’s right. One doesn’t. If you couldn’t tell by the gif.
But before I get started on these outrageous Oreo cookies ‘n cream brookies (yes, that’s a brownie + cookie smashed into one sugar-coma-inducing concoction), I want to tell you about a really important event, and the story behind why I decided to tackle these in the first place.
Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 2--112113
As anyone who even remotely follows world news knows, a terrible storm hit the Philippines a few weeks ago. While the story has sadly faded off the radar of our fast-paced, sensation-seeking U.S. media, the relief and rebuilding efforts–as is true with any disaster, big or small–are still happening around the clock, around the world, to help the affected people and areas. I have spent ample time researching and making my own donations to the Philippines Red Cross (which, by the way, I definitely recommend if you’re considering making donations but worry about where your donations actually go–they’re one of the established agencies that you can count on to get your money to the relief spots), but wasn’t sure what I could do beyond that to spread the word. Then, by some unlooked-for chance, I stumbled across Tina’s blog, and get this: she is hosting an online bake sale to raise funds to support the relief effort! Very important? YES. I almost never do plugs for other blogs, but please consider learning more about how you can help through a small gesture that will go a long way, no matter what source you choose (as long as it’s a reliable one).
Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 5--112113
How it works: 1. Tina is accepting ‘virtual baked good donations’ until FRIDAY, 11/22/13. All you have to do is fill out a pledge form and send her a photo of the goods you will be ‘selling’ for donations.
2. Starting on MONDAY, 11/25/13, bidders can view all of the goods-for-sale at Tina’s site. Bids start at $20. The highest bidder at the end of the day ‘wins’ the baked goods he/she bid on and will donate that money directly to Sagip Kapamilya, a relief foundation for the Philippines.
3. The baker will ship the goods directly to the bid winner. That’s it. Simple, and good.
Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 8--112113

(Sorry, this up-close shot of gooey melting fudge and gooey cookies is necessary.)

If it’s within your resources to do so, please consider bidding! Again, this is a really worthwhile cause that I love because it emphasizes what we have: an amazingly strong community of bakers and readers who champion all sorts of causes, not just ones that deal with food. In case you’re curious about my particular entry, I’ve decided to go all out by theming my package with one of my all-time favorites: the Oreo cookie. Below is the description I included for my package:

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 25--112113

Oreos are the yin-and-yang of the cookie world: A creamy filling sandwiched between two decadent chocolate cookies. Like Oreos, life is a mix of yin and yang…and when it hits, it can hit us hard. Fortunately, now’s your chance to do some good while getting outrageous Oreo good out of it. Your Outrageous Oreo package contains a variation on my most popular brookie recipe: a fudge-packed chocolatey brownie layer topped with a gorgeous cookies ‘n cream chocolate chip blondie and whole Oreos jammed into the gooey center. You’ll also want to prepare to sink your teeth into two GIANT Oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookies. And if you aren’t Oreo’d out by the time you reach it, a jar of homemade Oreo white chocolate peanut butter spread will be sure to tempt your spoon (and your willpower) for as long as it lasts. The perfect package for any Oreo lover. So what do you say: Are you out, or Oreo in?
Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 11--112113

I know this isn’t “my” bake sale…but thank you, thank you, thank you!

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 14--112113

But before I wrap things up here, I seriously want to give you an idea of how awesome this explosion of outrageous Oreo baked goods really is. I kid you not: one entire 15.3 oz. package of Oreo cookies went into the making of this package. So whoever gets this is advised not to look at the nutrition label on a package of Oreos for the next month or so. Holy mackerel, that’s a lot of Oreos!

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 20--112113

The Killer Cookies ‘N Cream Brookie: Maybe you’ve heard of a brookie before. For those of you who haven’t, it’s made of crack a cookie layer smooshed on top of (or under) a brownie layer. Sound simple? Hang on while I say ‘ha ha ha’ and dispel that funny little notion from your head. Of course, a brookie CAN be simple. But what I love about this ramped-up killer cookies ‘n cream version is that it takes the fudgiest, gooiest brownie base, crams a whole layer of WHOLE OREO COOKIES all up in the there, and then tops that off with a crazy chunky, chewy, cookie-n-creamy chocolate chip blondie bar layer.

YEAH. BET YOU DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING. WHAT NOW BROOKIE.

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 30--112113

Oreo Butter 2--112113

Oreo Butter: What happens when you throw half a package of Oreos into a food processor with white chocolate and peanut butter? AWESOME. That’s what happens. A perfect way to spread the love to all your favorite things, including cookies, waffles, sandwiches, and–yes, you guessed it–even Oreos.

Oreo-Stuffed Chocolate Chip CookiesWe’ve all heard about them. You’ll just have to try them to believe it. ‘Nuff ‘stuff said.

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 23--112113

Oreo Butter 5--112113

Don’t forget to check out the online bake sale on Monday, 11/25/13! Thank you!

Killer Cookies 'N Cream Brookies 27--112113

Love,

Ala

Killer Cookies ‘N Cream Brookies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan; 16 large squares
For Insanely Fudgy Gooey Brownie Layer: (this recipe is my own creation but was inspired by a mix of Allrecipes, Smitten Kitchen, and Something Swanky brownie recipes–thanks!_
Ingredients:
  • 8 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips or chunks
  • 16 whole Oreos

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together melted butter and sugar until sugar is completely dissolved.
  2. Beat in eggs and vanilla.
  3. Gently mix in flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated.
  4. Fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Reserve whole Oreos for assembly (see instructions below)
For Cookies ‘N Cream Cookie Bars:
Slightly adapted from Picky Palate‘s wonderful recipe
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar (I used dark)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet or milk chocolate chips
  • Approximately 14 Oreos, roughly chopped

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy, approximately 2 minutes of strong creaming.
  2. Beat in egg and vanilla.
  3. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Mix in until just incorporated.
  4. Gently fold in both chocolate chips and chopped Oreos.

To Assemble Your Killer Brookies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with lightly greased foil.
  2. Pour brownie batter into baking pan. Spread evenly.
  3. Top with 16 evenly-spaced whole Oreos.
  4. Drop cookie dough evenly over the layer of Oreos. Spread dough gently so that it covers the entire top of the pan.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 27-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean and your cookie layer looks slightly crispy (it should be a golden brown color) but is not yet overbaked.
  6. Allow to cool at least 30 minutes in pan before cutting and serving.

Oreo “Butter”

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 20 Oreo cookies, coarsely chopped/crushed
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/3 cup white chocolate

Directions:

  1. Place Oreos in a food processor and grind them until they achieve a crumb consistency.
  2. Add peanut butter and white chocolate. Continue processing for another 5-7 minutes; the time will depend on the power of your food processor. Your Oreo spread will clump up at first, but as you continue processing it will begin to turn into a gritty paste, and then slowly turn into a much smoother, almost liquid-like spread.
  3. Store your Oreo butter in a jar at room temperature. Spread it on anything and everything (waffles, crackers, sandwiches, more cookies–the possibilities are endless)!
Will Cook For SmilesTuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

1

6 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Dips/Spreads

Peanut Butter & Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 12--091213

Think this recipe name is a mouthful?

Wait until you actually EAT one of these. Talk about one mouthful after another…and another…

So here’s a gif, since gifs need no words. (Note: I’ve noticed that the gif takes some time to load, so it may appear slow the first time you watch it–but just wait for the second loop, it should play just fine after that!)

PB_Cookie_Butter_Fudge_Truffle_Brownies_gif_3

Please. Don’t speak. Just print and share this recipe, pronto, kay?

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 4--091213

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 5--091213

These are insanely fudgy brownies. So. Fudgin’. Good.

Dump in peanut butter buckeye-style truffles, melted cookie butter swirls, a whole load of chocolate chips, annnnd…

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 7--091213

Seriously, do I need to come over to your kitchen with a spatula and tell you to pin these, print these, share these with all of your friends and enemies?

Because I will.

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 8--091213

You have been warned.

PB Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies 10--091213

So FUDGIN’ good. Gifs do not lie, and neither do my taste buds. Go shove one (or two, or an entire pan of these) into your mouth right now.

Don’t forget to print, pin, and share away!

Ala

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Peanut Butter & Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Cookies
Adapted from Bakergirl
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (you may substitute cookie butter)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
  •  2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water (or you may substitute an equal amount of coffee or Kahlua)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter

Directions:

  1. Start by making your delicious peanut butter (OR cookie butter) truffles: Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter or cookie butter and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1/2-inch-sized balls and place them separately on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet. Place in freezer for at least half an hour before baking, or until firm.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13-inch baking pan and set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a microwave-safe bowl. (Alternatively, you may brown the butter by placing it in a saucepan over medium-low heat and allowing it to cook until it turns an amber brown, goldenish color. Just be careful to remove it from the heat when it reaches this stage–otherwise it will burn! Browning butter adds a wonderful nutty aromatic flavor to baked goods, and I highly recommend it.
  4. Pour cooled butter into a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and cocoa powder; beat well until completely smooth. (The mixture should not be gritty at all.) Add salt, water (or coffee, or Kahlua–YUM), and vanilla, and mix until combined. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add flour and mix in until just combined. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan. Press in frozen peanut butter (or cookie butter) truffle balls.
  6. Place 1/2 cup cookie butter into a microwave-safe bowl and heat for about 15 seconds, or until melted. Drop by dollops into brownie batter and swirl a knife through to create a marble pattern.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out pretty much clean. Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan before cutting brownies into squares.
  8. Serve, and fudgin’ enjoy!

8 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates

Extra-Fudgy Kahlua Brownies with Kahlua Icing

Ever have one of those years, or let’s be honest, decades days where you sit down at your computer, grab your mouse…then stare at your screen and realize you don’t have the slightest idea what you’re supposed to be doing?

Extra Fudgy Kahlua Brownies 1--071813

Yes. Hi. We should have cookies and milk together sometime, because I’m really not sure what I’m doing here at the moment. Aside from eating these really killer Kahlua brownies, that is (because really, what better way to get in your booze fix and still look like a respectable human being than through a forkful of chocolate?).

Sorry if this sounds completely scatterbrained. It is. I haven’t had full use of my brain cells since maybe the summer solstice, though I’m sure the two events are unrelated.

Or at least, I’m pretty sure. 85% sure.

Extra Fudgy Kahlua Brownies 4--071813

Anyway, the point today was that I came up to my computer (I work at a standing desk) and it took me a full 37 seconds to realize two things:

1. I’d left my SD card at work, where I was taking funny photos of our department members for our website, and

2. Not having my pictures on hand, I completely forgot what recipe I was supposed to post. Think black hole status. Szchooop. (That’s the sound of a black hole doing black holey…stuff.) Nada.

Oy.

Extra Fudgy Kahlua Brownies 9--071813

On my kitchen table: The Italian (1797), by Ann Radcliffe. Hailed as a forerunner of the gothic novel genre! (And you can even see my awesome tropical hammock study spot, hehe.)

That being said, it took me one trip to the kitchen and lots of decadent bites into probably the best fudgy boozed-up brownie I’ve ever made to remember. And then some extra bites for good measure. Just in case I, you know, almost forget again. I’m all about preventative measures, people. (Studying for grad school is tough work–notice a trend with the Kahlua from last week’s amazing mocha cheesecake bars?)

 In other news, I’m making progress in my Productibaking for Part I’s (i.e. qualifying exams)  and admittedly unable to keep my oven on at the same pace as my reading, which I suppose is a good thing. However, if anyone would like to volunteer to edit my photos, write my blog posts for me, and spread them to all your BFFL’s and Tastespotting and Foodgawker and linky parties, I would be a very productive baker, I’m sure.

Again, 85%. And I’m also accepting Time-turners in lieu of labor hours.

Extra Fudgy Kahlua Brownies 6--071813

On that note, for those of you with food blogs, I’m truly sorry that I haven’t been able to keep up with most of them lately. My reading load really can’t justify more than about 5 seconds of actual procrastination every day (which usually involves blinking really long five times before getting back to work), so I’ll be kind of AWOL from blog-reading until I finish studying (hopefully) in November.

That being said…I also wanted to let you know that I also truly appreciate all of you who continue to drop by and take the time to leave your kind wishes! Studying is tough, and attempting to study while working one full-time and another part-time is taking some adjustment. But seriously, if I didn’t love every moment of what I did, I wouldn’t be enjoying this summer as much as I already am!

So leave a note if you have time, and in the meantime, take care! You might even go and give these extra fudgy, boozed-up coffee-flavored brownies a try while you have the time. I trust we’ll see each other soon enough.

Extra Fudgy Kahlua Brownies 7--071813

Back to the books–and hopefully, back to the oven soon. I’ll be posting a recipe for these amaayyyzing cookie butter snickerdoodles soon, so look forward to it. Cheerios!

Ala

Extra-Fudgy Kahlua Brownies
Slightly adapted from Recipegirl
Yield: 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup butter or margarine
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup Kahlua (or other coffee-flavored liqueur), divided
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9×9-inch baking pan with lightly greased foil and set aside.
  2. Place butter and chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Heat on high at 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval until chocolate and butter are completely melted, and smooth. Set aside and allow to cool while proceeding to next step.
  3. Beat together brown sugar and eggs. Stir in 1/2 cup Kahlua. Mix in chocolate mixture until completely smooth.
  4. Mix in flour, baking powder, and salt, until just incorporated.
  5. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 40-45 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with only a few crumbs clinging to it. Remove brownies from oven and prick all over with toothpick. Immediately brush with (up to) 1/4 cup Kahlua–because really, who doesn’t want more Kahlua?
  6. Frost with Kahlua frosting (below) if desired. And really, you shouldn’t deny that desire (when should you ever?), because it’s really, really good.

Kahlua Icing

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened to the point of almost melting (a bit warmer than room temperature)
  • 3 tablespoons Kahlua
  • 2 1/2 cups (approximately) powdered sugar

Directions

  1. In a medium bowl, mix together butter and Kahlua. Beat in powdered sugar, adding more or less as necessary for a frosting that is thick enough to spread and hold its shape. Frost on Kahlua brownies–or anything that needs boozing up.
 

14 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates

Fudgy Chocolate Tunnel Cake

This is not a cake for the weak.

This is a cake for the fudgiest, moistest, chocolate-iest, veganest (if you want it to be!), cake that you will ever make, or ever be requested to make again, ever.

That huge GLOB of fudge you see running throughout the base of cake there? Ah-MAY-zing.

Fudgy Chocolate Tunnel Cake 1--060813

As I mentioned in my last post about possibly the best Oreo bar cookies in the world, I’m currently following a regimen of intense “productibaking.” I searched this term on the internet  expecting to see some slang dictionary entry for it and I’m the first person to coin it!  Apparently, I’m the first person to think about baking as a positive rewarding force (as opposed to the popular procrastibaking) and actually give a name to it.

So here I am. Productibaking.

Actually, not. The photos from this absolutely fudgy and delicious cake that you must make (are we LOOKING at the same pictures here??) are from last month for a potluck I hosted. Which I guess means that I haven’t been productive enough yet.

Fudgy Chocolate Tunnel Cake 3--060813

Oops.

Well, in the meantime, enjoy the recipe! I’m keeping this post short so I can go off and procrast–I mean, be productive now.

:)

Fudgy Chocolate Tunnel Cake 6--060813

This may be my FAVORITE CHOCOLATE CAKE RECIPE TO DATE–Make this!!

Ala

Fudgy Chocolate Tunnel Cake
Slightly adapted from Erica’s Sweet Tooth
Yield: 1 12-cup bundt cake pan
for the pan: 1 tbsp Dutch processed cocoa powder 1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted for the cake: 1/2 cup boiling water 1/4 cup semisweet or dark chocolate chips 2 cups all purpose flour 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 2 cups confectioners’ sugar 1 tsp salt 5 large eggs, at room temperature 1 tbsp vanilla extract 1 cup granulated sugar 3/4 cup light brown sugar 20 tbsp (2-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (use lactose-free margarine to make this vegan!) for the ganache: 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1/4 cup milk (substitute soy milk for vegan option!) 1/4 cup butter (use lactose-free margarine to make this vegan!) 1vanilla extract

directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the cocoa powder and melted butter, and use a brush to evenly coat the inside of a 12-cup bundt pan.
  2. Place chocolate chips in a medium bowl and pour boiling water over them; whisk together until smooth. In another medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, confectioners’ sugar, and salt. In a third small bowl, lightly beat together the eggs and vanilla.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and butter until very light and fluffy (this will take several minutes). Add the egg mixture and beat well. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until incorporated. Slowly add the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 45 minutes, or until the edges of the cake begin to pull away from the pan.
  4. Allow the cake to cool in the pan on a wire rack for at least an hour before inverting it onto a cake platter. Serve warm or cooled, as desired.
  5. For the glaze, combine all ingredients in a medium pot over medium heat. Stir constantly and bring to a boil for one full minute. Turn off heat and remove pot; beat icing for an additional 3 minutes, until it begins to cool and thicken. Allow icing to continue thickening until it reaches desired consistency, then pour over your fudge tunnel cake and enjoy!
 

8 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates, Cakes & Cupcakes

o.m.f.g. (Oreos made for gods) bars & producti-baking

o.m.f.g.–stick around, I’ll explain. Trust me, you won’t want to miss this post OR recipe.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 21--060113

We’ll get to the o.m.f.g. factor in these bars in just a second.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 4--060113

For those of you who are just joining in here (welcome!) and for those of you returning folks (welcome back!), you should know that I am an avid literary gal. My appetite for books and brownies is voracious. If it ever boiled down to choosing between (Lewis) Carroll and chocolate chip cookies, we would have a dilemma on our hands, and we’re not talking the insignificant moment of panic you experienced in high school when you saw that huge zit pop up on your nose five hours before senior ball.

No, we’re talking tearing-my-heartstrings-and-running-them-through-the-paper-shredder dilemma.

 omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 16--060113

I love books.

I also love to bake and cook.

In fact, Bake + cOOK = book. True story.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 24--060113

The problem is that sometimes, reading for my program (I’m a second-year grad student, en longgg route to an English Literature Ph.D) can sometimes be a drag. Trying to sludge through hundreds or even thousands of pages a week, in addition to grading Mt. Everest stacks of student papers, evokes horrors unrivaled by even the most chilling Gothic novels.

The solution is, of course, procrastibaking. It’s just what it sounds like–procrastinating through baking.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 5--060113

This coming Fall quarter, I will be taking my qualifying exam to receive my Master’s and (hopefully) move onto writing a dissertation prospectus. Big, big stuff. As incentive to get me through reading lists of over 140 literary and scholarly works before November, I’ve come up with what will hopefully be an effective counter to the problem of procrastibaking.

I call it PRODUCTIBAKING.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 23--060113

(On my kitchen table: Mansfield Park, by Jane Austen. British Romanticism List Book #1)

So here’s the idea:

I have approximately 140 works of literature to wade through between now and November. Rather than using my baking as a way to procrastinate from working, I’m reappropriating it as an incentive for productivity.

For every book, volume of stories, or other text I finish this year for my qualifying exams, I will bake something and do a photoshoot that includes the book in some way.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 18--060113

The idea behind this is threefold:

1) I’ll be more effective with my work if I operate on a reward rather than guilt-based system.

2) I’ll have you guys to keep me accountable as I work towards this monumental goal!

3) I hope I’m bringing my love of books and baking together in a way that is as fun for you as it is for me.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 19--060113

As I plow through my reading lists, I’ll update a visual photobook of items I’ve checked off and the ones still to come, so you can keep up with me and my progress. Check out the “Producti-baking” page on my blog (coming soon!). I’d love to hear what you guys think about this, so be sure to leave any feedback or other brilliant suggestions for improving this system.

Okay, but enough of that. Let’s get on to some real o.m.f.g.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 1--060113

o.m.f.g. bars, otherwise known as Oreos made for gods bars. 

Did you see the Slutty Cheesecake Bars that I posted and were a smash success two weeks ago?

 omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 8--060113

  These chewy, flavor-packed bars operate on the same principle of souping up an Oreo, but this time we’ve got a chewy mocha chocolate chip blondie base topped with a perfectly spiced cinnamony snickerdoodle, both of which sandwich whole, unadulterated creamy Oreos.

And yeah, I’m taking full credit for this one.

omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 10--060113

So what are you waiting for? Grab a book, snatch up an o.m.f.g. bar, bask in the summer sun, and get ready to turn over the leaf to a new chapter in our lives.

Summer productibaking, here we come!

  omfg (Oreos meant for gods) Bars 13--060113

Your Creative Timeout Linky Party Button

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Ala

o.m.f.g. (Oreos made for gods) bars 
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
For mocha chocolate chip blondie base (adapted from Smitten Kitchen)
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 16 whole Oreos

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in egg. Dissolve coffee granules in vanilla and stir into wet mixture. Add flour and salt; mix in until just incorporated.. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Place 16 whole Oreos on top of blondie crust and press them gently in until they stick to the dough.
  3. Spread dough evenly in prepared pan. Bake for about 7 minutes in oven–it should not be fully cooked through. Remove pan from oven and allow to cool briefly while you prepare snickerdoodle layer.

For snickerdoodle layer:

Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction: (I’ve used this recipe before for standalone snickerdoodle blondies, to great

Ingredients:

  • 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup white sugar + 1 tablespoon white sugar, divided
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar + 1 tablespoon brown sugar, divided
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 egg yolk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup and 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 5/8 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Cream together butter, 1/2 cup white sugar, and 6 tablespoons brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and 1/2 egg yolk (reserve the over half for part of a breakfast omelette!). Add vanilla, then mix in flour, baking powder, and salt until just incorporated. Fold in white chocolate chips.
  2. Pour batter over prepared mocha blondies + Oreos (recipe above).
  3. In a separate bowl, mix together 1 tbsp white sugar, 1 tbsp brown sugar, and 1 tbsp cinnamon. Sprinkle evenly over snickerdoodle batter, then gently swirl through batter with the tip of a knife. Place entire pan into preheated oven (still 350 degrees F) and bake for 25-35 minutes, until snickerdoodle layer has set and a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  4. Remove from oven and cool completely before cutting into 16 squares. Then…omfg, enjoy.

7 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates

Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)

Everybody loves watching a good action movie on the big screen. Everybody, except the two people sitting directly on either side of me, the unfortunate person in front of me whose chair gets pummeled every time a loud explosion occurs, and maybe anyone within shriek-audible range of me–which is basically everyone in the theater. I am not a dainty shrieker. I spent all of Star Trek: Into Darkness and Iron Man 3 doing weird spastic knee tucks in my seat and giving the front seat an extra-hard kick when its occupant turned around to glare at me.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 16--051913

(Doesn’t this photo look like an adorable mini smiling wolf? Hehe, it makes me happy to look at it.)

That being said, I love watching action films in theater. If I have one weakness, though (aside from these “slutty cheesecake bars”–yes, we’ll get to these smexy bad boys and their seductive name in just a second), it’s an action film with plenty of eye candy. Speaking of which, have you seen Chris Pine in the new Star Trek movie? Never mind the fact that my Trekkie knowledge was limited to Spock’s horrendous haircut up until the first new movie in 2009. The hysterical prepubescent middle-school fan girl in me rares up every time young Captain Kirk flashes those sultry baby blues my way.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 1--051913

As an added perk, he’s sweet-looking and smart. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor’s in English in 2002.

Oh heyyy. Guess who else has an English degree from the big Blue and Gold? Shall we discuss our shared literary interests over a cup of Free Trade tea and vegan pulled pork, Chris? Yes? Yes?

Slutty Cheesecake Bars gif

Or maybe over a panful of these?

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 8--051913

I was so excited when I first stumbled across these at Baker’s Royale. She is known for inventing some insane bar cookies, with zany names to boot (like Man Whore bars, which I still need to try–um, yes, please?) These are no exception. No, sireeee.

Slutty Cheesecake Bars 3--051913

Bake up a soft, chewy layer of perfect chocolate chip cookies (even from a package if you’re in a hurry–I used one of my favorite chewy CCC recipes). Layer up your Oreos–16 whole, creamy chocolatey onesthen smother them in a smooth and rich cheesecake filling. Chop up some more Oreos and Whoppers and sprinkle them over the whole shebang.

Bam. Slutty bar cookies for slutty perfectly innocuous, intelligent motives to meet Chris Pine.

 Slutty Cheesecake Bars 5--051913

My coworkers and students thought I was insane when I brought a plate of these into the office last week. These reports can be neither confirmed nor denied. However, when I stepped back in half an hour later, these were completely gone. Completely.

These crazy-loaded treats (the only kinds I accept) make great conversation starters, apology/appeasement gifts, after-school sweet tooth snacks, and enticers of potential love interests. Slutty Cheesecake Bars 7--051913

I doubt even Chris Pine could resist them–but I’ll let you know after I test this theory out.

  Slutty Cheesecake Bars 11--051913

Print this recipe and beam them up, Scotty!

Ala

Sweet 2 Eat Bakingwillcookforsmiles party button

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Slutty Cheesecake Bars (from Bakers Royale)
Yield: 1 8×8-inch baking pan
Ingredients:
For chocolate chip cookie base (original recipe from My Baking Addiction)–one of the chewiest, most satisfying CCC’s you’ll ever make!
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, room temperature
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks

Directions:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and both sugars until fluffy. Beat in vanilla and egg. Mix in flour, baking soda, and salt until just incorporated. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
  2. Set bowl aside and make cheesecake layer.
  3. If you’d like to make these as individual cookies: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Drop prepared cookie dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Bake for 11-13 minutes, until lightly golden. Remove from oven and allow to cool on hot cookie sheet for at least 3-5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

For cheesecake layer:

Ingredients:

  • 12 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Cream together softened cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla; beat in until completely smooth, but be sure not to overbeat.
  2. Set aside cheesecake layer as you assemble the slutty cheesecake bars.

To assemble slutty cheesecake bars:

Ingredients:

  • 21 Oreos (16 whole Oreos and 5 chopped Oreos, divided)
  • 5 oz. Whoppers, chopped

Directions for assembly:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8×8-inch baking pan.
  2. Spread cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the prepared baking pan (or drop them by rounded tablespoonfuls on a cookie sheet if making cookies). Your cookie dough layer should be about half an inch thick–if you have leftover dough, you can bake it immediately as individual cookies or simply toss it into the fridge for baking at a later time. Bake for approximately 10-12 minutes, until the dough is just cooked through and firm. Remove from oven.
  3. Layer 16 whole Oreos on baked cookie crust. Pour cheesecake filling evenly over Oreos. Sprinkle 5 chopped Oreos and 5 oz. chopped Whoppers over the cheesecake.
  4. Bake in preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until cheesecake is pretty well set. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely in pan before cutting. Best served chilled from refrigerator (but make sure you store it in the fridge either way).
  5. Note: If you eat these warm straight out of the pan–as I did–you might be alarmed to find that the Whoppers are almost impossibly chewy! Don’t worry; if you wait like you’re (ahem) supposed to, they will regain their crunchy texture after chilling in the fridge. 

16 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Cheesecakes, Cookies

Choco-Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies

NOTE: I was writing the following blog post when I learned the news about the Boston Marathon explosion. To those of you in Boston or with loved ones in Boston, you’re all in our hearts, thoughts, and sympathies. If you’d like to share your thoughts and condolences, please feel free to do so here. Boston, take care.

Instead of writing an alternate entry to commemorate the victims and their families, I have decided to go ahead and post my original entry. On a day of tragedy, there is that small hope of reminder that tells us to cling tightly to those we love–to live and laugh with them. My hope is that this post will bring a smile to your faces in the midst of all the conflicting, image-laden media accounts and that you can cherish Boston by sharing your smiles with those you love during these difficult times.

In a way, it’s appropriate that this post features ying yang, or two-sided cookies. Everything in life has two sides to it–you just have to figure out how to make the best of both. With terrible tragedy, also comes the stunning realization that there are heroes out there from every stripe of life waiting to help, and that the heroes we can appreciate most are often standing right beside us. Appreciate the heroes in your life today–tell them how much they mean to you.

****

There are some people in this world who are good at lots of things. We all have that friend who was high school ASB president, child actor/actress, swim team captain, math-lete extraordinaire, five-time winner of the MTV Best Smile Award, and a kick-ass poker tournament champion to boot. I often roar in their general direction from my underachieving, lazy day couch.

Some days I function just enough that I can overboil myself a bowl of instant ramen (yes, this is actually possible) before flopping with all the grace of an elephant seal into bed. This week, for instance, I’ve been a slobby mess scrambling to figure out my summer plans and still trying to stay on top of my own work, along with all of my students’ work. I sit here in my tattered Pooh pajamas thinking to myself, “Geez, you’re hopeless!”

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies Banner--041513

It’s on the mopiest, Eeyore-iest of afternoons that I force myself to think of some things I’m actually pretty good at.

One thing I love is storytelling. I wrote some–okay, a lot of–erm, fanfiction in my day, and had a modest following that I’ve always been pretty proud of. Cue embarrassing romantic escapades in which Usagi (that’s Serena from the dubbed version of the anime, Sailor Moon) stares deeply into Mamoru’s (that’s Darien’s) piercing blue eyes and runs a trembling hand through his soft ebony hair before he sweeps her up into her arms and leans down to kiss her.

Yeah. Hai there, fanfic alter-ego. Let me wipe my hard drive and go skulk in a dank cobwebbed corner now before anybody recognizes me.

I’m never telling any of you my pen name. Ever. So don’t ask.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies 3--041513

I’ve always considered myself more of a storyteller than a baker or a cook or a foodie. Do any of you writers out there feel the same way? I do, 25 hours, every single day.

Writing always came pretty naturally to me. I never really had problems drumming up an audience for my stories, online or otherwise. I once wrote a 250,000 word story for a fanfic/original story Valentine’s Day contest in 2 weeks and ended up winning a nice shiny virtual badge. To this day, it’s the highlight of my online writing career–and imagine how proud my parents and friends were that I had eked out all of one other contestant for the shiny virtual gold.

Oh, yeah. Did I not mention that only one other person entered? Derp.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies 5--041513

To be completely fair, she’s about the biggest name in the fandom. Like, a really, really big name. And now she’s a published author and I’m an underpaid graduate student with a shiny virtual badge. I should probably put this on my CV…along with all of my other great voluntary and unpaid escapades.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies 6--041513

One thing I am not–naturally, at least–is a good chef. Cheese curdles at the mere mention of my name, and the milk in my fridge trembles so badly it turns into one big milkshake.

Milkshakes. Yum.

Ask my friends. Anyone who knew me before or even during college can attest to the fact that I was not born with a spatula for a hand. When asked whether I had cumin in my pantry, I once answered, “Bless you. Did you sneeze? Here’s a tissue.”

It wasn’t until junior year of college that I even learned how to boil vegetables. For some reason, I always thought you dumped the chopped vegetables into the water first and then turned the heat off right before it started boiling. My dad was a total saint on this score. Case in point: after I strutted around like a rooster and served him the totally raw vegetables over a plate of oversteamed rice, he simply said, “Well, more nutrients.”

Raw vegetables = nutrients. Bless him.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies 8--041513

As you can see, I’ve come quite a ways since then. These days, I’m baking at the speed of light and having a fantastic time sharing all of my oven adventures, but I still have WAY more baking failures than anyone ever believes. One of these days, I’m going to compile a collage of all the epic failures I’ve had in the kitchen (not just cracked cheesecakes, but charcoal-burnt pans over unattended stovetops and an oil fire that I nearly tried putting out with water which you should never do!!).

These ying-yang, perfectly chewy chocolaty and peanut butter-packed cookies from Sally’s Baking Addiction are a godsend that you will not mess up. Trust me on this one. My oven has the temper of a hormonal teenager and this is one of the few batches of cookies that came out chewy, fluffy, and packed with chocolate-and-PB goodness.

I HIGHLY recommend these for those of you who love chocolate and PB, and want a fancy-looking addition to your cookie tray that won’t throw you into fits of agony about whether they will “turn out.” All you need is to give yourself some extra time for dough chilling while you chill as well and make these scrumptious, simple, sassy cookies!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies 10--041513

And now, excuse me while I go off to determine whether Draco and Hermione are canon.

Er. I mean, while I go nab another one of these scrumptious cookies. (Because no lie, I will do it.)

Ala

Don’t wait–print this!

Choco-Peanut Butter Ying Yang Cookies
Yield: 2 dozen cookies
Original recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction
 
For the chocolate cookies
Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 large egg (carefully separate it in half and reserve other half for the PB cookie recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet (or dark or milk)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in egg and vanilla until smooth. In a separate bowl, mix together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Add to wet ingredients and stir in until just combined. Carefully mix in the milk, then fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (See baking instructions below.)

For the peanut butter chocolate chip cookies:

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 6 tablespoons creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 large egg (reserved from chocolate cookie recipe)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips, semi-sweet (or dark or milk)

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, cream together butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Mix in peanut butter, then add egg and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add flour, baking soda, and salt to wet ingredients and stir in until just combined. Fold in chocolate chips. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or overnight. (See baking instructions below.)

Baking instructions for choco-peanut butter ying yang cookies:

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Removing chilled dough from fridge, roll a medium-sized ball (about 3/4th the size of a golf ball) of chocolate dough, then roll a ball of the same size of peanut butter dough. Carefully smoosh the two together side by side, then roll that into a perfect round ball. Set on baking sheet and continue rolling ying-yang dough balls until you’ve finished with all the dough. (If you used too much of one and not enough of the other, you can always bake the cookies in just one flavor!)
  3. Bake in preheated oven for approximately 10-12 minutes, and no more than 12-13 minutes. The cookies will seem slightly underdone when you remove them from the oven, but they’ll firm up if you leave them on the sheet on top of the oven for about another 10-15 minutes. Don’t overbake–otherwise your cookies won’t be chewy and fluffy!

14 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Brownies & Chocolates, Cookies

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies

I’d like to file a complaint.

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies 8--033113

Somebody has stolen all of the sunshine.

If you’re from a place where spring actually feels like spring, and summer looks like–well, like it’s supposed to, this is saying a lot.

I like my sunshine.

Mine. No touchie.

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies 1--033113

Having just flown back from a truly EPIC 4-day trip to St. Louis and Chicago, I’ve learned two things:

Thing #1: It’s not spring-like everywhere in the spring.

Cue multiple photos of me wearing 2 thick sweaters, 2 heavy coats, 2 pairs of gloves, knee-high socks, and boots the size of an overgrown sea elephant while waddling (much like a sea elephant) around the entire city trying to peek out at touristy attractions like the Bean without disturbing my puffy scarf and beanie.

Yes, the Chicagoans were visibly laughing as they passed by in their t-shirts. I would’ve done something about it, too…if waddling over to punch them in all my ridiculous layers didn’t make it look like I was just getting ready to give them a big bear hug or something.

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies 3--033113

Thing #2: As much as I told myself I wouldn’t be a pansy and say it’s “freezing cold” anymore when it’s, y’know, notThe lack of sunshine around here is killing me.

On my last day in St. Louis, it had warmed up to the point that I was eating renowned frozen custard from Ted Drewes wearing a tank top and a light jacket.

Today, I had to wear a thick jacket. Nuh-uh. Uncalled for, Cali!

 Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies 5--033113

So that’s what these brownies are for. Some people like to do rain dances. Since it’s been a dark, cloudy, overcast, likely-to-pour day over here, though, I huddled up inside with my books and made these gorgeously dark black sesame brownies and decided to throw in a bit of sunshine.

Then do a little dance. The sunshine brownie dance.  Because they’re really, really yummy and super bright! You’ll love the smoky (and healthy!) taste of black sesame topped with the tangy bright taste of lemon curd sunshine.

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies 9--033113

What’s your favorite kind of weather or date? :) 

I’d have to say April 25th. Because it’s not too hot, not too cold, all you need is a light jacket.

I’d love to hear what you’re thinking! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read/comment/follow. I hope you’re enjoying the weather and/or the indoors, wherever you’re at!

Ala

I was Featured on Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Black Sesame Sunshine Brownies
Yield: 1 9×9-inch baking pan
Adapted from Pig Pig’s Corner
Ingredients:
  • 2/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
  • 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 5/8 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 2 eggs
  • 7/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon white sesame seeds (optional, for garnish)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×9-inch baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a food processor, combine melted butter and black sesame seeds. Grind until it turns into a fine or slightly gritty paste.
  3. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine sesame paste, sugar, and soy sauce. Fry it for 2-3 minutes, or until the black sesame becomes smoky and fragrant. (The oils will start to separate when it’s ready–be sure not to overfry, otherwise you’ll burn your sesame!) Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  4. Add cooled sesame mixture to a large mixing bowl. Mix in eggs one by one.
  5. Gently fold in flour until just incorporated.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle black sesame seeds on top. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Top with white sesame seeds and serve with a dollop of lemon curd sunshine! (Recipe follows.)

Lemon Curd Sunshine

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 3 lemons, zested
  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine, melted

Directions:

  1. In a large microwave-safe bowl, whisk together sugar and eggs until smooth. Stir in remaining ingredients, then heat in microwave at 1-minute intervals for approximately 4-5 minutes total, stirring between each interval. Your curd will be ready when it’s thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon. Remove from microwave (straining out any excess egg whites as necessary through a mesh strainer) and allow to cool slightly before serving. Sunshine, order’s up! 

10 Comments

Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates