Tag Archives: brownie

An Ice Cream Cake For My Long Distance BFF

31 May

Friendships have always been something that is super important to me – and as I get older (and in theory – wiser?), I am reminded just how much a good friend is worth. Sometimes it’s a lot of effort to maintain/cultivate friendships, and it can be even tougher when the friends don’t live near each other. Long distance relationships – whether they be romantic or just platonic friends – are HARD. For those of you who haven’t experienced it – you’re lucky – TRUST me!

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A few snapshots of me and my Long Distance Bestie over the years

My best friend from college lives in Virginia with her husband and two kids, and I miss her every day. We are lucky enough to get to text, email, call, and FaceTime pretty often (thank GOD for Iphones, right?), and we also take turns traveling to see each other several times a year.

In fact, we just returned from a long weekend at their house – full of fun and crazy kids and laughter – and I wouldn’t have it any other way! We celebrated hers and her husbands birthdays while we were there – and when I was thinking about how to celebrate, I KNEW some kind of baking had to be involved – I just wasn’t sure what. Her favorite (and probably my LEAST favorite) birthday dessert is Ice Cream Cake. I hate it because it’s not even really cake – which means no frosting (a BIG no no for me – as what’s the point of cake with no frosting?), and she loves it because ice cream is awesome and it reminds her of her childhood as they always got them growing up. So – I can see where she’s coming from – and decided to make one for her – cuz I love her THAT much

Finding a recipe was not too hard – scrolling through Pinterest and This one caught my eye – using store bought brownie mix and ice cream – easy enough!

Peanut Butter Brownie Ice Cream Cake
(Recipe Courtesy of Suburbia Unwrapped)

Ingredients
1 box brownie mix for 9 x 9 inch pan
1 container Blue Bunny PB N’ Cones ice cream
FOR THE CHOCOLATE SAUCE
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup peanut butter
FOR THE WHIPPED CREAM
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
FOR THE TOPPING
peanut butter chips or chopped peanut butter cups

Instructions
-Make the package of brownies according to package directions EXCEPT bake in a greased 9 x 13 inch pan for 20 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted into center comes out clean. Let brownies cool completely
-When you are ready to assemble: Let the ice cream sit at room temperature for 20 minutes until slightly softened. Spread over cooled brownies and place in freezer.
-MAKE THE SAUCE: In a double boiler, combine the heavy cream, chocolate chips and peanut butter. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is smooth. Let cool slightly. (SAVE 1/4 CUP FOR SERVING!)
-Remove the brownie/ice cream layer from the freezer and pour the chocolate sauce over the top. (don’t forget to save some!) Smooth it out and return to the freezer.
-MAKE THE WHIPPED CREAM: In a mixing bowl, beat the heavy cream, powdered sugar and vanilla until stiff peaks form.
-Remove the brownie/ice cream/ sauce from the freezer and spread the whipped cream over the top.
-Sprinkle the peanut butter chips or chopped peanut butter cups on top and freeze for THREE HOURS before serving.
-Right before you serve, drizzle with remaining chocolate sauce that you have heated slightly.

I was lucky enough to have TWO tiny adorable kitchen helpers this time – my son and my BFF’s daughter helped with all the prep:

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Brownie baking and Ice cream testing (both very important)

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Whipping the cream and assembling the layers

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“Decorating” the cake with Mini Reese’s Cups

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The delicious finished product

I used Moose Tracks Ice Cream for this – which is basically vanilla with PB swirl, fudge and PB cups – but you can really use any kind you want for it – anything with peanut butter would work great! I also substituted the PB chips for the mini PB cups – I figured they would be more delicious

This was really easy to put together, and the kids had a blast helping! My BFF and her husband loved it so much that they didn’t even want to share it with their friends when we had them over for a Memorial Day BBQ the next day! And I can’t blame them – this was REALLY tasty – the chewy brownie, the ganache – YUM. While it in no way constituted a cake in my mind (what with it’s lack of frosting) – it was still a really delicious dessert, and I was glad to make it and get to enjoy it with my BFF (who I won’t get to see until July now – boo – but luckily, there’s FaceTime to get us through!)

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Looks Aren’t Everything – TASTE Is! (Also Known As – The Tale Of How I Botched These Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies But Ate Them Anyway)

24 May

I follow so many food sites/pages on Facebook that my feed is like 90% recipe videos – which is basically amazing, and also a curse – as it always makes me starving, and then cranky when I realize I don’t have a personal chef to whip up said recipes for me on demand (boo!)

But – luckily I DID have all the ingredients for these Buckeye Brownies on hand (Damn you Tasty – your recipe videos are the prettiest and most tempting of all!), so here goes nothing!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies (AKA Buckeye Brownies)

INGREDIENTS

1 box brownie mix, with additional ingredients according to box instructions

2 cups powdered sugar

1 cup peanut butter

½ cup butter, melted

6 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk chocolate chips

PREPARATION

1. Prepare brownie mix according to box instructions.

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2. In a medium mixing bowl, combine together the peanut butter, powdered sugar, and melted butter.

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3. Distribute scoops of the peanut butter mixture on top of the brownie and flatten the mixture to achieve an even layer.

4. In a small bowl, combine the milk chocolate chips and butter. Microwave in 15-second intervals until melted, stirring after each interval.

5. Pour the chocolate mixture on top of the brownies, then evenly spread to achieve a flat, even layer.

6. Chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.

7. Enjoy!

Here’s the Step By Step Video to help you along – and to make you drool a bunch (You’re Welcome!)

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So – ok. A few side notes

I didn’t actually have any boxed brownie mix on hand – so I turned to the Best Brownie recipe I have made several times before – as I did have all that stuff on hand already – yay! However – that recipe makes an 8×8 pan – so – that’s where things got a bit dicey….

The brownies turned out amazing – but since it was a smaller pan, I decided to half the topping, and when I made the peanut butter layer it just seemed so dry and clumpy, that I ended up adding a bit of milk and some vanilla to give it a more frosting like consistency. Delicious? Yes. The best idea? Not really…

Clearly mine did NOT turn out as pictures/depicted on Tasty – and honestly, that’s my own fault entirely – as the “peanut butter frosting” layer (which seemed like the best idea ever at the time) was never going to fully set/harden up, so then the chocolate on top (which DID harden up in the fridge) cracked a bunch when it was cut up.

The End Result – a not so pretty brownie. That being said, it tasted AMAZING – the rich fudge-y brownie, the the smooth, sweet peanut butter, and then the chocolate topping – what a dessert! Next time I will definitely follow the recipe as written, but for now if anyone needs me I will be off sloppily devouring these gems

Putting These “Best Brownies” To The Test

9 Jun

I was going through my recipes the other day and I realized…wow, I have a LOT of brownie recipes, and then I realized why – I am a sucker for a brownie. Not just any kind of brownie though, I like the thick, dense, gooey, fudgey kind, which is why I have so many recipes, I am always trying to find the perfect brownie

So when I stumbled across this recipe titled ”Best Brownies”, I thought I better try them and see if they really are “the best”

My friend Kristen was over and she happens to love baking and chocolate as much as I do, so she agreed to help me conduct (and eat!) this experiment

Kristen helping me mix up the brownie batter

This is the point at which we have to refrain ourselves from sticking our tongues under the stream of delicious chocolatey goodness

Best Brownies

(Recipe courtesy of allrecipes.com)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.
  2. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  4. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners’ sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

A few notes:

-Melt the butter on the stove? Sillyness! I used the microwave, turned out fine

-The frosting needed a little thinning out, I ended up adding about 2 tablespoons of milk to get a more workable consistency

Me as I slather the brownies with frosting

The Finished Product

We ate these while they were warm, and they were AWESOME – everything I could possibly want in a brownie – gooey, dense, fudgey, plus they had frosting too, wow. I topped these with some brownie swirl ice cream and I was in heaven!

The Inside – Fudge To The Max

So are these really the “Best Brownies”? Well, they are pretty amazing, and I will definitely be making them again, and I would have to say they are definitely on par with the Brownie Rubble and the infamous Slutty Brownie.

*sigh* so many brownies, so little time

Brownies From Scratch – Are They Worth The Trouble?

22 Mar

Ok, so we have all watched cooking shows on TV or seen restaurants that claim they do everything ‘from scratch’, and that is all well and good for them but what I want to know is when do they find time to sleep???

I am all for making things from scratch when I can, and a while back I got to thinking about brownies, my thoughts were first about how much I love them (especially in the form of a brownie sundae!), then I got to thinking about how I have only ever made them from a mix, that brownies are something that had never even occured to me to make from scratch (this is probably because there are so many delicious varieties of boxed brownie mix, like pillsbury’s mint version that has mini andes candies pieces in them….yum).

So I decided to change my way of thinking and make some non-boxed mix brownies from scratch. But hmm….what recipe to make? I pondered that for a few days, and then my prayers were answered and This Recipe for something called “Brownie Rubble” appeared in my inbox (I get daily emails from Food Network, and they have definitely inspired me to cook and bake even more!)

I decided that upon looking at the recipe, that these were something I NEEDED to make (anything with 2 sticks of butter and 3 kinds of chocolate was a winner in my book!). The best part was that I had almost all the ingredients on hand already, so after a quick trip to the store for the peanuts, I was ready to whip up some rubble-y goodness.

Here is the recipe, courtesy of Food Network:

Brownie Rubble
Prep Time: 40 min
Cook Time: 40 min
Level: Easy
Serves: 12-18 brownies
Ingredients
2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more for the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
6 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 large eggs, cold
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup unsalted roasted peanuts
Directions
Line an 8-inch-square baking pan with foil, pressing it into the corners and up the sides; leave an overhang on 2 sides. Butter the foil and dust with flour. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven; preheat to 400 degrees F.

Bring 1 inch water to a gentle simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Put the chocolate and 2 sticks plus 2 tablespoons butter in a heatproof bowl; set the bowl over the saucepan (do not let the bowl touch the water). Stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Remove the bowl from the saucepan.

Add the sugar, cocoa and salt to the bowl and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, until the batter is thick and shiny. Add the vanilla, then add 1 cup flour and mix until combined. Spread in the prepared pan.

Bake the brownies until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and scatter the marshmallows, chocolate chips and peanuts on top. Return to the oven; continue baking until the marshmallows are golden, about 5 more minutes.

Let cool in the pan on a rack, 30 minutes. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the foil and transfer to a cutting board to cool completely before slicing.

The results? Well, as you can see for yourself, it came out as an ooey gooey amazing mess (my favorite kind!). The only notes I can add are that I didn’t use a water bath to melt the chocolate (I microwaved it), and I would have baked it for a little longer than 35 minutes, maybe 45 minutes or so before adding the toppings, just because some of the middle pieces were a little extra gooey, which I like but I know not everyone does!

So the answer to the question “Is making brownies from scratch worth it?” – definitely! The chocolate taste is much richer, they aren’t that much harder or labor intensive to make, and best of all – you can brag that you made them ‘from scratch’ when people exclaim how much they love them (which they will, trust me)

Not all about making brownies from scratch? Then check out my equally delicious post on the Slutty Brownie, which uses a boxed brownie mix

Whether you do it from scratch or not, the end result is still chocolate-y brownie goodness, and that is the best result you can ask for, in my opinion!

Slutty Brownies….Dirty Name, Delicious Results

17 Mar

The minute I saw these on a friend’s facebook, I fell in love….so gooey and yummy looking, I am a sucker for brownies, and these were no exception. Making them was easy, and enjoying them was even easier….

Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

-Cookie mix – I think Chocolate chip would work best for this, it’s what I used and what the original recipe used (you can use a boxed mix, or be ambitious and make one from scratch….OR be lazy like me and use a pre made ‘break and bake’ cookie mix, they will all get the job done

-Oreos (about 16) – I just used original, classic oreos

-Brownie Mix – again, you can make a brownie mix from scratch if you want, but I just used a regular boxed mix

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 350 degrees

-Mush the cookie mix into the bottom of an 8×8 or 9×9 pan lined with parchment paper

…And yes, mush is a technical term.

-Then add a layer of oreos, like so…

-Mix up the brownie mix as directed on the box (most of them call for some water, oil, and eggs)

-Pour the mixed brownie mix over the oreos in the pan, and spread it evenly over the oreos

-Bake for 30 minutes (until the top is mostly set and only slightly jiggly)


-Let them cool for a bit (like half an hour, I only lasted about 10 minutes before I dug into them though!), then remove from the pan using the parchment onto a cutting board, hack it up, and enjoy!

First cut into the warm, ooey, gooey mess

The inside – check out the 3 layers (cookie, oreo, and brownie on top!)

Close up (this one makes me drool)

My notes: This actually took a lot longer to cook than 30 minutes – after 30 minutes the brownies were still SUPER gooey and runny, so it ended up taking about 60 minutes in the oven before the brownies were set on the top and only slightly jiggly. I used about 3/4 of the brownie mix (of a mix made for a 9×13 pan), next time I make them I will probably use less of the brownie mix which will make them cook faster.

 

Eat them hot from the oven, with ice cream. It will change your life. Guaranteed.

Check out the inspirational original recipe with amazing pics Here, courtesy of The Londoner