brownies

Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

Posted by on Nov 23, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies | 0 comments

These Gingerbread Brownies are the perfect holiday season treat–or make them year-round, because they are just that good.

Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

These are soft, moist, and dense in texture. The chocolate flavor hits the tongue first, followed by the pleasant warmth of ginger. The combination is fantastic.

Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

If you want to aim for an especially nice presentation, cut off the very edge of the brownies all the way around, then slice the interior into nice squares or rectangles.

Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

Unfortunately, someone has to eat those leftover edge pieces. Oh, darn.

Bready or Not Original: Gingerbread Brownies

These gingerbread brownies are soft and delicious, the best parts of two fabulous treats combined into one.
Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American
Keyword: bars, brownies, gingerbread
Author: Beth Cato

Equipment

  • 9×13 pan
  • aluminum foil

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate chopped or in chips
  • 8 Tablespoons unsalted butter 1 stick
  • 1 Tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup brown sugar packed
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • 1/3 cup unsulphured molasses

Instructions

  • Preheat oven at 325-degrees. Line 9×13 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter to grease bottom and sides.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
  • In a microwave-safe bowl in the microwave or on the stovetop in a pot, melt together the chocolate and the butter. Stir in the ginger. Let set to cool for ten minutes, then stir again.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat together brown sugar, eggs, and molasses. Mix in the chocolate. Stir in the dry ingredients until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pan and even out.
  • Bake for 24 to 28 minutes. The middle should pass the toothpick test.
  • Let bars cool for several hours, speeding the process in the fridge if desired. Use the foil to lift the contents onto a cutting board for easy slicing. Store in a sealed container.

OM NOM NOM!

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    Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

    Posted by on Oct 19, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies, nutty | 0 comments

    These Cocoa Pecan Brownies are perfect for when you have a chocolate emergency and need brownies, STAT.

    Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

    (If you don’t know what might constitute a chocolate emergency, my gosh, why are you even here?)

    Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

    In any case, these brownies are great because they mix up quickly in a big pot, and they are a pretty straightforward bake, too. If you don’t like pecans, okay. Omit the nuts entirely, or use walnuts, a mix of nuts, cocoa nibs, whatever. This recipe can flex!

    Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

    The one necessity: you need to enjoy these things. Really savor them. Maybe even stash some in the freezer for when that next chocolate emergency strikes.

    Bready or Not: Cocoa Pecan Brownies

    These classic cocoa-based brownies mix up fast in a big pot, making for easy clean-up!
    Course: Dessert, Snack
    Cuisine: American
    Keyword: bars, brownies, chocolate, pecans
    Author: Beth Cato

    Equipment

    • 13×9 pan

    Ingredients

    • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter 3 sticks
    • 3 cups white sugar
    • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
    • 12 Tablespoons cocoa powder sifted
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup chopped pecans

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 13×9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray or butter.
    • In a large saucepan, heat the butter and sugar together on medium heat, stirring often, just until the butter is melted. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and cocoa powder. Add eggs one at a time, mixing in completely before adding the next. Stir in flour. Fold in the pecans.
    • Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the very middle passes the toothpick test. Cool at room temperature, speeding the process in fridge if desired. Use foil to lift contents onto a cutting board. Slice up. Store in a sealed container.

    OM NOM NOM!

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      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      Posted by on Aug 3, 2022 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, bundt, cake, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      This Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake is a show-stopper: a rich chocolate cake with a hidden frangipane layer inside, crowned with drippy icing and almonds.

      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      This cake would be perfect for the holiday season–or any time of year you want to go all-out on a delicious cake.

      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      There are a lot of directions and ingredients, but the cake is really quite straightforward to make. I tried to simplify some elements from the original in Bake from Scratch Magazine (who would notice browned butter in a cake that’s already rich in several ways?) and made the ingredient division friendlier, too.

      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      I have a deep, abiding love for frangipane, and this recipe balances the sweet almond paste against a nice, dense chocolate cake. It’s a fine combo.

      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      If you want to save some baking day effort, make the frangipane a day ahead and stash it in the fridge. I do that quite often with recipes like this.

      Bready or Not: Chocolate-Frangipane Bundt Cake

      This is a fancy bundt cake that looks and tastes fancy. Perfect for the holiday season or any time of year you want to go all-out on a bundt cake! Modified a lot from Bake from Scratch Magazine Nov/Dec 2018.
      Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
      Keyword: almond, bundt cake, cake, chocolate
      Author: Beth Cato

      Equipment

      • 10-cup bundt pan or larger

      Ingredients

      Frangipane

      • 1 cup almond flour sifted
      • 1/2 cup white sugar
      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted and cooled
      • 1 large egg room temperature
      • 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon almond extract

      Bundt Cake

      • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) plus more for pan
      • 2 cups whole buttermilk or soured milk*
      • 2 large eggs room temperature
      • 1 Tablespoon instant espresso powder
      • 1 teaspoon almond extract
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 2 cups white sugar
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 3/4 cup Dutch process cocoa powder sifted, plus more to dust pan
      • 2 teaspoons baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
      • 1 teaspoon baking powder

      Frosting

      • 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
      • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
      • 3 Tablespoon half & half or heavy cream
      • sliced almonds

      Instructions

      • First of all, make the frangipane. In a medium bowl, stir together all ingredients until a smooth paste forms. This can be made a day or hours ahead of the cake assembly; if it is made ahead, press plastic wrap to directly cover the frangipane and refrigerate until it is used.
      • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Generously grease interior surface of a 10-cup bundt pan with butter, then sift extra cocoa powder to coat it as much as possible. Rotate pan to distribute cocoa powder, tapping out excess if necessary.
      • Melt butter in microwave or on stovetop and let it cool a few minutes. Pour it into the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment. Add the buttermilk, eggs, espresso powder, almond extract, and vanilla, beating until smooth.
      • In a separate large bowl, combine the sugar, flour, cocoa, baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Switch from the whisk to the paddle attachment. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet until just smooth.
      • Pour half the batter into the pan and smooth the top. Dollop the frangipane over the batter and smooth out, if possible. Top with remaining cake batter and smooth it again.
      • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, about 55 to 60 minutes, rotating pan halfway through. Let pan cool for about 20 minutes and then carefully invert it onto a rack to completely cool. Bits might stick to the pan; if so, pry them out and try to patch the cake. Remember that frosting will help mask any damage.
      • Once the cake is room temperature, make the frosting. Beat the confectioners' sugar, almond extract, and half & half together to together to form a thick consistency, then drizzle over the cake. Sprinkle sliced almonds on top.
      • Cake will be moister on the first day but keeps fairly well for a few days. Slices can also be individually wrapped and frozen for later.

      OM NOM NOM!

        Notes

        To make soured milk, pour about 1 Tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar into a 2-cup liquid measuring cup. Add half & half or cream to reach the 2-cups line. Let sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes; it should start to curdle. Use entire contents in recipe.
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        Bready or Not: Brookies

        Posted by on Feb 2, 2022 in Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, brownies, chocolate, cookies | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Brookies

        No need to deliberate whether to make chocolate chip cookies or brownies–this recipe for Brookies combines these goodies together in a delicious way.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        This recipe excels at chocolate distribution. It’s not super-chocolaty, but every bite has some brownie and chocolate chips. If you add in cacao nibs, it’s even better; the nibs enhance the other chocolate flavors and adds a pleasant crunch at the same time.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        On that note, this is a great recipe for people who don’t like nuts. There’s lots of flavor here without them. Could you add nuts? Sure. Is it necessary? Nope.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        These bars are dense and nicely portable. Wrap them up individually, and they are great for a school lunch, road trip, or picnic. Plus, they freeze well, so you can even save some for later!

        Modified from AllRecipes Magazine August/September 2020.

        Bready or Not: Brookies

        These Brookies combine chocolate chip cookies and brownies in one convenient dish!
        Course: Dessert, Snack
        Cuisine: American
        Keyword: bars, brownies, chocolate
        Author: Beth Cato

        Equipment

        • 9×13 pan

        Ingredients

        Cookie layer

        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) room temperature
        • 1/2 cup light brown sugar packed
        • 1/4 cup white sugar
        • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 1 large egg room temperature
        • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
        • 1/2 teaspoon salt
        • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
        • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

        Brownie layer

        • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (1 stick) melted
        • 1 cup white sugar
        • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
        • 2 large eggs
        • 1/3 cup cocoa powder sifted
        • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
        • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
        • 1/8 teaspoon salt
        • 1/4 cup cacao nibs optional

        Instructions

        Make cookie layer

        • Preheat oven at 350-degrees. Line a 9×13 pan with aluminum foil and apply nonstick spray.
        • In a large bowl, beat together butter, sugars, and vanilla until light and creamy. Add egg, scraping bottom of bowl, then beat another two minutes.
        • In another bowl, combine flour, salt, and baking soda. Gradually mix the dry ingredients into the wet. Fold in chocolate chips. Dough will be very thick and sticky. Drop into pan in clumps and press into a level layer, covering the bottom completely.

        Make brownie layer

        • Using the same big bowl (leave it unwashed or wash it, baker’s preference), beat together butter, sugar, and vanilla. Follow with the egg. Stir in the cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, and salt. Fold in the cacao nibs, if using.
        • Pour over the cookie layer, spreading it into an even layer.
        • Bake until the middle passes the toothpick test, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool completely–chilling in fridge, if desired–before slicing into bars.
        • Brookies will keep in a sealed container at room temperature for 3 days, and can also be frozen for layer enjoyment.

        OM NOM NOM!

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          Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

          Posted by on Dec 8, 2021 in Blog, Bready or Not, brownies, cheese galore, chocolate | Comments Off on Bready or Not: Peppermint Cheesecake Swirl Brownies

          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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