brownies

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Posted by on Dec 8, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cheese galore, chocolate | 0 comments

These Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies will dirty a lot of bowls and tools, but to gorgeous, delicious results.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

These are an incredibly holiday-appropriate brownie. I colored the cheesecake layer in red, but really, you could do green, or even mix two small, separate bowls with green and red!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Then there’s the peppermint. It’s not overwhelming in this recipe; to me, it was mild and refreshing against the deep chocolate flavor.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

I’m not a fan of cheesecake alone, but I do love that cheesecake flavor and texture when mixed with brownies or other great mix-ins. Be sure to check out some past Bready or Not recipes in the same family!

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies modified from the original recipe in Bake from Scratch Holiday Cookies 2019.

Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

The Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies are festive for the holidays with their flavor and bright color, but are a delicious treat to make year-round!
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, brownies, cheese, cream cheese, mint
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

Cream cheese swirl

  • 8 ounces cream cheese (one block) softened
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 large egg room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • red gel food coloring

Brownie layer

  • 4 ounces dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate bar
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar light or dark, packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted

Instructions

  • Beat cream cheese until it is smooth and creamy. Add white sugar to fully incorporate. Mix in egg and peppermint extract. Stir in droplets of food color to reach desired tint. Set bowl aside.
  • Prepare a 9×9 pan by lining it with foil and applying nonstick spray or butter to grease it. Preheat oven at 350-degrees.
  • Using a microwave-safe bowl, in brief bursts heat the butter and dark chocolate, stirring well between each pass, until both are melted and smooth. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
  • In the large bowl of a stand mixer, use the whisk attachment to beat together both sugars, the vanilla, and salt. Add the eggs one at a time, and continue to beat at a high speed for 10 minutes. With the mixer on low, pour in the butter-chocolate. Use a spatula to fold in the flour and cocoa until just combined. Batter will be thick.
  • Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan; use an offset spatula to even it out. Add about half the cheesecake mix in dollops. Repeat twice more, adding brownie and cheesecake in alternate dolloped layers. Use a butter knife to swirl everything together to create a marbled effect.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes, until the middle passes the toothpick test. Cool to room temperature then cut into pieces.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    Posted by on Sep 22, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cake, chocolate, mint | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    Oh hey, it’s time for cake. A Thin Mint Cake that is neither too big or too small, something that keeps well stashed in the fridge, and looks as amazing as it tastes.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    If you love chocolate and mint, this is the cake for you. The cake is loaded with chocolate flavor, and a ganache adds a shiny finishing touch.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    The middle layer of the cake is essentially a peppermint or mint-flavored buttercream. Sweet but not too sweet, it gives good contrast to balance the prevalent chocolate flavor.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    I used this cake to try out a technique I’ve only read about and seen on TV before–I used four toothpicks to measure the halfway point on the sides of the cake, then tugged a piece of floss to cut the cake evenly in half! It worked out well.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    Of course, you can still use a knife to cut through. The toothpicks will still be a helpful guide.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    This is an ideal birthday or special occasion cake for a small group!

    Greatly modified from Eating Well Magazine May 2020.

    Bready or Not Original: Thin Mint Cake

    This Thin Mint Cake is a glorious, not-too-big-or-small layer cake loaded with chocolate and mint goodness. It’s not hard to make, either. Cutting the cake in half is the trickiest bit, and a piece of floss makes that easy!
    Course: Dessert
    Keyword: cake, chocolate, layer cake, mint
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 9-inch cake pan
    • ruler
    • toothpicks
    • unwaxed floss
    • parchment paper

    Ingredients

    Cake

    • 1 cup all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup white whole-wheat flour
    • 3/4 cup white sugar
    • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder sifted
    • 1 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 cup water
    • 1/3 cup canola oil
    • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar or other cider vinegar
    • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

    Mint Filling

    • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick), room temperature
    • 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar sifted, more as needed for consistency
    • 1/4 teaspoon peppermint extract or mint extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 1-2 drops green food coloring
    • 2 Tablespoons half and half or milk

    Glaze

    • 1/2 cup half and half
    • 1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips
    • pinch salt

    Instructions

    To prepare the cake

    • Preheat an oven at 350-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside a 9-inch cake pan. Apply nonstick spray inside pan, place parchment inside, and spray it again.
    • Stir together all-purpose flour, white whole wheat flour, sugar, cocoa, baking soda, and salt.
    • In another bowl, whisk together water, oil, vinegar, and both extracts. Gradually mix the wet ingredients into the dry until the batter is smooth. Pour into the prepared pan. Tap and thump it gently on the counter to knock out as many bubbles as possible.
    • Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick in the middle emerges with few crumbs attached. Let the pan cool on a rack for 10 minutes, then invert cake onto the rack to cool completely.

    Make the filling

    • Beat the butter until it is creamy and light. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, to fully incorporate; if the mixture is still too soft and loose, add more sugar. Add mint and vanilla extract, followed by the salt. Add a few drops of food coloring to achieve the desired tint. Add the half and half and beat to make the filling fluffy and light.

    Slice the cake and fill

    • Stick a toothpick into the halfway point at each side of the cake; four toothpick markers work well. Use a knife to barely slice into the cake above each toothpick. Continue to use a long-bladed knife to slice all the way through, or use a long piece of unwaxed floss with the toothpicks as a guide to divide the cake evenly in half.
    • Place the base of the cake on a serving plate. Spread the filling over the cake. Place the top of the cake over it, cut side down.

    Make the glaze

    • Microwave the half & half in a microwave-safe bowl for about a minute, until hot. Stir in the chocolate chips and salt. Stir, stir, stir until the chocolate is smooth and glossy. Let cool about 5 minutes to thicken, then slowly pour and spread glaze over the cake. Let sit at room temperature or in fridge to set, then slice in and enjoy!
    • Store cake in fridge. Exposed sides of the cake will dry out more, but it will still be tasty. Keeps for at least 4 days.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      Posted by on Aug 4, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, breakfast, brownies, cake, chocolate, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      Don’t struggle to choose between Snickerdoodles and Brownies. Have them both at the same time in this extraordinary Snickerdoodle Brookie!

      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      This is essentially like a massive cookie-cake hybrid. It looks impressive, and the flavor is impressive, too. If the layers work out right, you get a bit of everything in every bite.

      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      If you eat the brookie warm, the chocolate flavor is quite strong. I actually liked this best at room temperature. The flavors play together better then.

      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      I mean, it’d be a shame to not get to enjoy the Snickerdoodle side of things. A travesty.

      I modified this from the original in my favorite food magazine, Bake from Scratch. I tried to make it easier by using the microwave, prepping the pan with parchment, and clarifying the steps throughout.

      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      I can also testify that this is a great recipe to portion out and freeze. Pieces don’t take long to thaw and the brookie is dense enough to be pretty portable, too, though the dusting of cinnamon and sugar on top can sometimes be messy.

      Modified from the March/April 2020 issue of Bake from Scratch Magazine.

      Bready or Not: Snickerdoodle Brookie

      This Snickerdoodle Brookie is like a massive, indulgent cookie! Enjoy this fresh from the oven or warmed up later, or room temperature. It’s also great to freeze for later! Modified from the March/April 2020 issue of Bake from Scratch Magazine.
      Course: Dessert, Snack
      Cuisine: American
      Keyword: brownies, cake, cookies, snickerdoodle
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 9-inch round cake pan
      • parchment paper

      Ingredients

      Brownie batter:

      • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips or bittersweet (170 grams)
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 cube
      • 1 cup white sugar
      • 2 large eggs
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder sifted
      • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

      Snickerdoodle dough:

      • 1/3 cup unsalted butter softened
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 1 large egg
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 cup all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
      • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

      Topping:

      • 1 tablespoon white sugar
      • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

      Instructions

      • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Cut a piece of parchment to fit inside a 9-inch round cake pan. Apply nonstick spray in pan, place parchment, then spray parchment as well. Set aside.

      Make brownie batter

      • Melt together the chocolate and butter either in a double boiler on the stove or in the microwave in a microwave-safe bowl. Stir until everything is mixed and smooth. Stir in sugar. Set aside to cool for a few minutes before mixing in the eggs and vanilla.
      • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into chocolate mixture just until combined. Set aside.

      Make snickerdoodle dough

      • Beat together the butter and sugar until they are fluffy; in a stand mixer, this will be at about 3 to 4 minutes. Scrape the sides of the bowl a few times. Add the egg and vanilla.
      • In a separate bowl, stir together flour, cream of tartar, salt, cinnamon, and baking powder. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into butter mixture. Dough will be quite thick.

      Assemble the cake

      • Spoon large dollops (about 3 tablespoons each) of brownie batter into bottom of the prepared pan, leaving space between each lump. Crumble dollops of snickerdoodle dough in between brownie batter. Top with any more scoops of brownie batter and snickerdoodle dough. Gently use fingers to even out top.
      • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, 33 to 40 minutes.

      Make topping

      • Stir together cinnamon and sugar. As soon as the cake is removed from the oven, sprinkle the mixture across the top.
      • Let cool at least 15 minutes before cutting in. Cake can be served warm or at room temperature. It can also be frozen in slices and thawed for later enjoyment.

      OM NOM NOM!

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        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        Posted by on May 5, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cake, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        Sometimes you just need a few brownies. That’s the perfect time for this Small Batch Cakey Brownies recipe.

        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        These are not monstrously thick brownies. They are thin with a crackled top, with a nice, cakey moist crumb.

        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        I created this recipe by combining about four other recipes, trying to find a middle ground recipe that my son would like. This is the one that turned out to be the winner.

        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        Even better, I found out these brownies kept well for an entire week in a sealed container at room temperature–and who knows, maybe they could last a lot longer? In any case, there’s no urgent need to gorge on them lest they go bad.

        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        These brownies are all about goodness.

         

        Bready or Not Original: Small Batch Cakey Brownies

        This recipe makes a small, thin batch of delicious cakey brownies. These have a crackled top with loads of chocolate flavor below.
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: brownies, chocolate
        Author: Beth Cato

        Ingredients

        • 2 ounces semi-sweet chocolate
        • 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
        • 1 cup white sugar
        • 2 large eggs
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
        • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/4 cup cake flour
        • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips

        Instructions

        • Preheat the oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9x9 or 8×8-inch pan with foil, letting foil overhang each side. Apply nonstick cooking spray.
        • In a microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter on high in 30 second increments, stirring between each burst, until everything is melted. Let cool slightly.
        • Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, in a large bowl beat together the sugar and eggs for 3 to 5 minutes, until they are pale, light, and fluffy. Pour in the cooled chocolate and butter mixture, followed by the vanilla.
        • Combine the salt and both flours in a bowl. Stir in the chocolate chips. Fold flour mix into the wet ingredients. Pour into the prepared pan and even out.
        • Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs attached. Cool completely. Use foil onto a cutting board to slice into bars.
        • Brownies will keep for upwards of a week in a sealed container at room temperature.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          Posted by on Mar 31, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          These Triple-Chocolate Brownies are loaded with three kinds of chocolate, cocoa, and a unique blend of flours: all-purpose along with chickpea flour.

          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          What does the chickpea flour do for the recipe? Well, it handles moisture differently. That makes these dense, moist, in a texturally more complex way than the usual all-wheat-flour brownies.

          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          The flavor is also more complex. Soon after baking, these brownies taste almost like they have breakfast cereal mixed in. You can tell something is different.

          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          Like a lot of chocolate baked goods, though, these taste better after a day. In these brownies, that means the complicated flavors deepen. They taste more chocolaty, more delicious.

          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          If you don’t want to fuss with a big bag of chickpea flour, check out your local grocery or natural goods stores that have flours in bins. In the Phoenix area, that includes Sprouts and WinCo.

          Once you make these brownies, though, you may want to make them again soon, so maybe a larger amount of chickpea flour isn’t a bad thing.

          Modified from February 2020 Bake from Scratch/Bob’s Red Mill lesson.

          Bready or Not: Triple-Chocolate Brownies

          These luscious brownies are loaded with three kinds of chocolate, cocoa, and a unique blend of flours: all-purpose along with chickpea flour. These brownies will taste better after a day to chill in the fridge. Modified from February 2020 Bake from Scratch/Bob’s Red Mill lesson.
          Course: Dessert, Snack
          Cuisine: American
          Keyword: brownies, chickpeas, chocolate
          Author: Beth Cato

          Equipment

          • 9×13 baking pan

          Ingredients

          • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate divided
          • 1 1/4 cups milk chocolate chips divided
          • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks, cubed
          • 1 cup white sugar
          • 1 cup brown sugar packed
          • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
          • 1/2 cup chickpea flour
          • 1/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder sifted
          • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
          • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
          • 4 large eggs room temperature, lightly beaten
          • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

          Instructions

          • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
          • Using a double boiler on the stove top or a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave, melt together 1 cup of dark chocolate/semi-sweet chocolate chips, 3/4 cup milk chocolate chips, and butter. Heat until it can be stirred smooth. Remove from heat and stir in all of the sugar. Set aside.
          • In a medium bowl, mix together both flours, cocoa powder, salt, and espresso powder. Set aside.
          • Return to the chocolate bowl. Mix in the eggs and vanilla. Gradually fold in the dry ingredients, and follow up with the rest of the three kinds of chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared pan.
          • Bake until the center passes the toothpick test, about 35 to 40 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature or speed the process in the fridge. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board. Slice into bars.
          • Store in an airtight container in the fridge up to a week. Like many chocolate baked goods, these brownies will actually taste better after the first day as the flavor intensifies.

          OM NOM NOM!

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            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            Posted by on Feb 10, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            Each year around Valentine’s Day, I like to share a chocolatey recipe. For this year, we’re going for Classic Brownies.

            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            This straightforward recipe makes a 13×9 pan of luscious, moist brownies. They have a rich middle and a crackly top.

            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            Yes, they might crumble a little, but they are by no means dry. Not unless they are overbaked.

            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            These brownies are great on their own but would be out-of-this-world paired with some ice cream or fruit, or both of those at once.

            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            Store these at room temperature for a few days at most, or freeze them for several months.

            Bready or Not Original: Classic Brownies

            You can’t go wrong with these classic brownies! This recipe makes a big casserole dish of chocolaty goodness. Make this recipe to share, or freeze some brownies for later!
            Course: Dessert, Snack
            Cuisine: American
            Keyword: brownies, chocolate, coffee
            Author: Beth Cato

            Equipment

            • 13×9 pan

            Ingredients

            • 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
            • 1 cup unsalted butter 2 sticks
            • 2 cups all-purpose flour
            • 1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder sifted
            • 2 1/2 cups white sugar
            • 1 Tablespoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules
            • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
            • 6 eggs room temperature
            • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

            Instructions

            • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
            • In a medium microwave-safe bowl, microwave the chocolate and butter in very short bursts, stirring well between each pass, until it is melted and smooth. Set aside to cool.
            • In a small bowl, combine the flour and cocoa.
            • In a large bowl, combine the sugar, espresso powder, and cinnamon. Pour in the chocolate mixture. Beat until just combined. Add eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Gradually stir in the flour-cocoa mix. Spread the batter in the prepared pan.
            • Bake for 35 to 42 minutes, until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and the very middle passes the toothpick test. Set on rack to completely cool.
            • Use the foil to lift the brownies onto a cutting board. Cut into bars. Store in a sealed container at room temperature. Brownies can also be layered in wax paper and frozen for later enjoyment.

            OM NOM NOM!

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