On-The-Fence Brownies

I am in serious need of some baking. The state’s yearly standardized tests started a few days ago, and luckily for me, they are only given to sophmores. That means that every morning for the next 2 weeks, my older brother gets to sleep in every day while I go in early to take standardized testing. You could say I’m less than pleased about that.

Gymnastics is also in full gear right at this time of year. Our last meet of the season before States is this coming weekend, so you could say that the pressure is building. This is the first year that I am able to make it to Regionals, making the 12 hours a week that I’m in the gym so much more important.

Brownies are one of those desserts that I just can’t turn down. Some are light and cakey, some are fudgy and dense, and others are loaded with fillings that just can’t be left uneaten. Enter these On The Fence brownies. These decadent delights from King Arthur Flour’s Cookie Companion are the perfect balance between a dense, fudgy brownie and a light and cakey one, which is exactly what I love in a brownie. So after all of this craziness is done, you can be sure to find me in my living room couch watching the Big Bang Theory, and eating these brownies. 🙂

On-The-Fence Brownies

Makes 1 9 by 13 inch pan, or 2 dozen 2 inch brownies.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup (2 sticks, 8 ounces) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups (3 3/4 ounces) cocoa powder (Dutch-processed if possible)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups (6 1/4 ounces) all purpose flour
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) walnuts/pecans (optional)
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips (optional)

Directions

  1. Heat the oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×13 inch baking pan.
  2. In the microwave or over a double boiler, heat the butter, then add in the sugar and stir to combine. Heat the mixture again until the sugar dissolves more.
  3. Add in the cocoa, baking powder, and vanilla. Whisk in the eggs, and stir until smooth. Add the flour, then the nuts and chips, and stir until smooth.
  4. Bake for 28-30 minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before taking them out of the pan.

Everyone needs a good brownie recipe, and I think I’ve found mine 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

The brownies are pictured with the Pumpkin Whoopie Pies with Maple Cream Cheese Filling.

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies

I’m always looking for excuses to bake overly excessive amounts food. Because why not? So when my mom had a dessert party at our place for all of the incoming freshman going to Vassar, (where she went to college) my baking brain was in heaven! I’ll spread out the recipes over a couple of posts so you don’t have to read too much while getting ready for school (something all of us are dreading). Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies: Makes 9 large or 16 small brownies

From Martha Stewart

Ingredients

For the Batter

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped**
  • 2/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Filling

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • 3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and spray an 8×8 baking pan.
  2. Batter: Microwave the semisweet chocolate and the unsalted butter in a large microwave-proof bowl for about 1 1/2 minutes or until smooth, stirring after every thirty seconds. In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and the baking powder.
  3. Whisk the granulated sugar into the chocolate mixture. Add the eggs, and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, and stir until combined.
  4. Filling: Stir together the butter, confectioners sugar, peanut butter, and vanilla extract until smooth.
  5. Pour 1/3 of the batter into the pan and smooth out with a rubber spatula. Drop dollops of peanut butter filling on top of the batter, about 1 inch apart. Drizzle the remaining batter on top, and spread to fill the pan. Drop remaining peanut butter filling on top. Gently swirl with a butter knife, running lengthwise and crosswise through layers.
  6. Bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs, but not wet, about 45 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes then dig in!

** If you would like a less sweet brownie, use 4 ounces semisweet chocolate and 2 ounces bittersweet

It’s peanut butter. It’s chocolate. It’s a brownie. It’s amazing. 🙂

-Rayna 🙂

Baci Brownies with Nutella Buttercream

Hello there again fellow bakers!

I modified this amazing recipe from Gingerbread Bagels

I switched it up a bit though.

See, I made this because my sister is going away to camp for 6 weeks. And she doesn’t like blondies. Because she’s picky, and because she’s my little sister.

I forgot to take pictures of the steps and all because I was too annoyed at the lack of BUTTER in my household. We have dried chrysanthemum flowers but no BUTTER? There is something wrong with this equation.

That’s what aunts are for though, right? She was so kind to bring me to the grocery store and buy butter with me 🙂 (along with my multigrain low fat waffles :p)

Here’s my modified version, but I’m sure if I had stuck with the original way, they would have turned out better.

Baci Brownies

  • 1 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Baci bar (I used Lindt with Hazelnuts) chopped/broken into pieces

Directions

1. Set the oven to 375 degrees and grease an 8×8 baking pan

2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and cocoa powder. Set aside.

3. In a large bowl, mix together the light brown sugar, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Once combined, add the eggs in.

4. Slowly add in the dry ingredients (half and half is what I generally do) and fold in. Be careful not to overmix!

5. Add the chopped up Baci bar to the batter and fold to combine

6. Put in the oven for 25 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center. (You can add some chocolate chips/ baci bar pieces to the top so they get all melty and yummy :D)

7. Set aside to cool and then glob on the delectable Nutella Buttercream!

Nutella Buttercream

  • 7 tablespoons softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup Nutella
  • 1-1.5 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

1. In a bowl, mix together the butter, Nutella, and vanilla extract

2. Once well mixed, add in 1/2 cup of the powdered sugar, followed by 1/4 cup of heavy cream.

3. Repeat step 2 with the remaining powdered sugar and heavy cream.

4. Use all the willpower to have NOT to eat the entire bowl while mixing (electric mixer works best, I used hand) on high for 5 minutes until smooth and creamy.

Spread the ooey gooey buttercream on the brownies and enjoy!