These classic brownies are absolutely perfect. We baked every variation! I have made them with and without adding Oreos- both perfect. I have also made them allowing the chocolate chips to melt and allowing the chocolate chips to stay partially intact (adding a little texural contrast). Both delicious. Yes, we’ve “suffered” through many batches. 😉
This recipe was adapted from King Arthur Flour.com. The website describes them as having the perfect balance between a fudgy and cakey brownie- I completely agree. They are incredibly moist, have a good rise, and have a lighter-colored and shiny top crust. Superb.
The recipe makes a large batch (which I recommend) but half the recipe can be made in an 8-inch square pan. In order to keep the chocolate chips intact, the batter must cool slightly before adding them. To melt the chocolate right into the brownie, the chips are stirred into the warm batter. My family didn’t agree on a favorite version but we all enjoyed each and every one of them. 🙂
Yield: 24 brownies
- 4 large eggs
- 106g (1 1/4 cups) Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-Process Cocoa (I used Trader Joe’s Cocoa), sifted
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp espresso powder
- 1 T vanilla extract
- 227g (2 sticks, 1 cup) unsalted butter
- 447g (2 1/4 cups) granulated sugar
- 177g (1 1/2 cups) all-purpose flour
- 340g (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 12 Oreo cookies, quartered, plus 2 crumbled Oreo cookies, for garnish, optional
- Preheat the oven to 350°F, preferably on convection.
- Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan or line with parchment paper and coat with cooking oil spray. (I used a pyrex baking dish.)
- Crack the 4 eggs into a bowl, and beat them at medium speed with the sifted cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla for about 1 minute, or until smooth. (You can do this while you’re melting your butter (next step).)
- In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Or simply combine the butter and sugar, and heat, stirring, until the butter is melted.
- Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will help produce a shiny top crust on your brownies.
- Add the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth.
- Add the flour and chips, stirring until smooth. Again, adding the chips helps produce a shiny top crust. (Note: Decision time: Do you want chocolate chips that show, and add a bit of chunkiness to your brownies? Or do you want the chips to simply melt into a rich smoothness, perfectly amalgamated within the brownie? **For chips that retain their shape and add chunkiness, let the batter cool for about 20 minutes before adding the chips, stirring occasionally to hasten the process. **For brownies where the chips melt right into the brownie, add them to the hot batter immediately, stirring to combine.
- Incorporate the quartered Oreo cookies, if using. (Keeping the Oreos in larger pieces (quarters) made them visible in the finished brownies.)
- Spoon the batter into the parchment paper-lined and lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan. Sprinkle the crumbled Oreo cookies over the top, if using.
- Bake the brownies for 27 to 32 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. (Note: When making half the recipe, bake in an 8″ x 8″ pan for 20 to 25 minutes.)
- Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving.
Posted in Baking, Cookies, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: bar cookie, bar dessert, brownies, cake, chocolate chips, cocoa, dessert, espresso, espresso powder, fudge, King Arthur, oreo, oreos
I first made this crowd-pleasing dessert for our last summer beach day and sunset before the start of school. I’ve already made them again! Insanely delicious.
The bars are not overly sweet and they have an amazing texture. I weighed the dry ingredients to ensure perfection. This recipe was adapted from The New York Times, contributed by Erin Jeanne McDowell. I modified the method. Fabulous!!
- nonstick cooking oil spray
- 9 whole graham crackers (about 135 grams), or store-bought graham cracker crumbs (about 1 cup)
- 1 ¼ cups/160 grams all-purpose flour
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup/225 grams unsalted butter (2 sticks), at room temperature
- 1 packed cup/220 grams dark brown sugar
- ½ cup/100 grams granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces/225 grams bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped into chunks (I used 78% cacao Lindt)
- 2 ½ cups/150 grams mini marshmallows
- Heat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection, and arrange oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven.
- Coat the inside of a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving 2 inches of excess parchment on the long sides of the pan. (The excess will help you pull the blondies out later.)
- If using whole graham crackers, add them to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they form a fine powder. Alternately, you could put the crackers in a large resealable plastic bag and crush them using a rolling pin, then add them to the bowl. If using store-bought crumbs, add them directly to the food processor.
- Add the flour, baking powder and salt to the crumbs, and pulse a few times to combine.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, 4 to 5 minutes.
- Add the eggs one at a time and mix on medium speed until well incorporated, scraping the sides of the bowl after each addition.
- Add the vanilla and mix to combine.
- Turn the mixer to low and add the graham crumb mixture and mix just to combine.
- Add about ¾ of the chocolate to the mixer and mix to incorporate.
- Transfer the dough to the prepared pan. Use damp hands or a small offset spatula to press the dough into an even layer.
- Bake on the lower rack until the bars are golden at the edges and the surface has a crackly appearance, 25 minutes on convection or about 30 minutes in a standard oven.
- Remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the marshmallows evenly over the surface. Sprinkle the reserved chocolate on top of the marshmallows and return the pan to the top rack of the oven.
- Bake until the marshmallows have softened and are lightly toasted and the chocolate is melted and gooey, 10 to 14 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the oven. If any of the marshmallows have puffed up, use a toothpick or skewer to puncture them; they will deflate easily.
- Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool, 45 minutes.
- Using a thin knife, slide the blade between the blondies and the pan on the short sides of the pan, then use the parchment sling to carefully remove the blondies.
- Let cool another 10 minutes, then slice into 24 even pieces and serve.
Posted in Baking, Cookies, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: 4th of July, American, bar cookie, bar dessert, bars, bittersweet chocolate, blondies, chocolate, cookies, dark chocolate, dessert, Fourth of July, graham crackers, July 4th, marshmallows, Memorial Day, s'mores, summer
I have a few bar desserts to share. Great for a crowd, party or pot luck event. I have made all of these desserts on more than one occasion! Quite an endorsement. 🙂
These tart, tangy, and sweet bars were fabulous- the crust was absolute perfection. I made them off-season and used bottled Key lime juice. They are a must try with fresh Key lime juice! Fresh Key lime slices would also be a lovely garnish.
This recipe was adapted from the Key lime pie from Joe’s Stone Crab in Miami Beach, via Martha Stewart Living.
- 1 cup plus 2 1/2 tablespoons finely ground graham cracker crumbs (8 full cracker sheets)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 large egg yolks
- finely grated zest of 1 lime (about 1 1/2 tsp)
- 2/3 cup fresh or bottled Key lime juice (about 23 Key limes total)
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
- 1/4 cup heavy cream, for garnish, optional
- 2 Key limes, thinly sliced into half-moons, for garnish, optional
- confectioner’s sugar, for garnish, optional
- Make crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection. Line a 8-inch square, or equivalent, baking dish with parchment paper, letting it hang over 2 sides.
- Using a food processor, pulse graham crackers into fine crumbs.
- Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a small bowl. Press evenly onto bottom of the prepared baking dish. (I used the bottom of a dry measuring cup.)
- Bake until dry and golden brown, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. (Leave oven on.)
- Make filling: Put egg yolks and lime zest in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Mix on high speed until very thick, about 5 minutes.
- Reduce speed to medium. Add condensed milk in a slow, steady stream, mixing constantly. Raise speed to high; mix until thick, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce speed to low. Add lime juice; mix until just combined.
- Spread filling evenly over crust using a spatula.
- Bake, rotating dish halfway through, until filling is just set, about 10 minutes.
- Let cool completely on a wire rack. Refrigerate at least 4 hours (or overnight).
- Cut into 2-by-2-inch bars.
- Put cream in the clean bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the clean whisk attachment. Mix on medium-high speed until stiff peaks form. Garnish bars with confectioner’s sugar, whipped cream, and/or a slice of lime, as desired.
Note: The bars will keep, wrapped in plastic, in the refrigerator for up to three days.
Posted in Baking, Cookies, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Recipes
Tags: bar cookie, bar dessert, condensed milk, dessert, easy, graham cracker crust, graham crackers, heavy cream, key lime, lime, Miami Beach, pie, pie bars, quick, summer
I have to interrupt my Thanksgiving side dish posts (I know you’re upset! 😉 ) to share this indulgent, crowd-pleasing dessert. (A request by my dear friend who plans to make it for her Christmas Eve feast.)
Recently, my kids and their friends performed in a holiday concert at our house. This was our third annual concert! Everyone brings an appetizer and we eat while the kids rehearse. This year, the concert was upgraded to incorporate a microphone and some stand-up comedy. The parents were asked to perform as well. Special and fun. 🙂
Along with the appetizers, I always feel the need to include a dessert (as I love any excuse to bake). These pie bars had caught my eye and were perfect to serve at a large gathering. The recipe was adapted from Cooking for Jeffrey by Ina Garten, via Barefoot Contessa.com. I baked them in a parchment-lined pyrex dish, used pecans instead of walnuts, (predominantly) Fuji apples instead of golden delicious, and topped it with a brown butter glaze inspired by Joy the Baker. Delicious!
Yield: Makes 18 to 24 bars
For the Crust:
- 1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the Apple Filling:
- 3 pounds mixed apples, peeled, quartered, cored, and sliced 1/8 inch thick (I used predominantly Fuji apples with 1-2 Granny Smith and 1 Red Delicious)
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 4 tablespoons (½ stick) unsalted butter
For the Browned Butter Glaze:
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cups powdered sugar
- milk, as necessary, to achieve desired consistency
- pinch of coarse salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees, preferably on convection. Line a 9×13-inch pyrex baking pan with parchment paper.
- Make the Crust: Place the butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 to 3 minutes, until light and creamy.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the flour and salt together.
- With the mixer on low, slowly add to the butter-sugar mixture, beating until combined.
- Scatter two-thirds of the dough in clumps in the prepared pan and press it lightly with floured hands on the bottom and 1/2 inch up the sides.
- Refrigerate for 20 minutes.
- Par-Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until the crust is golden brown, and set aside to cool. (While the crust is still warm, I use a spoon to gently push the edge of the crust back up the side.)
- Meanwhile, Make the Topping: Put the mixing bowl with the remaining dough back on the mixer, add the nuts and cinnamon, and mix on low-speed to combine. Set aside.
- Reduce the oven to 350 degrees, preferably on convection.
- Make the Filling: Combine the apples and lemon juice in a very large bowl.
- Add the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and mix well.
- Melt the butter in a large (10-inch-diameter) pot, add the apples, and simmer over medium to medium-low heat, stirring often, for 12 to 15 minutes, until the apples are tender and the liquid has mostly evaporated.
- Spread the apples evenly over the crust, leaving a 1/2-inch border.
- Pinch medium pieces of the remaining dough with your fingers and drop them evenly on top of the apples (they will not be covered).
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until the topping is browned. Cool completely.
- Make the Glaze: In a small pot, melt butter. Continue to cook until browned and fragrant.
- In a small bowl, whisk together browned butter, powdered sugar, a splash of milk, and a pinch of salt. Whisk until smooth. Add milk as needed until drizzling consistency is achieved.
- Spoon into a ziplock bag and cut a tiny tip off one corner of the bag.
- Drizzle glaze over cooled bars before slicing.
- Cut into bars of desired size.
- Store, wrapped individually or covered in plastic wrap in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. (Without the glaze, the bars can be kept at room temperature.)
One Year Ago:
Two Years Ago:
Three Years Ago:
Four Years Ago:
Posted in Baking, Coffee Cake, Fruit Desserts, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Holiday, Recipes
Tags: apple pie, apples, autumn, bar cookie, bar dessert, dessert, fall, Fuji, Granny Smith, Ina Garten, party, potluck
I used to think that I wasn’t a fan of pecan pie, so, I have never made it before. This was our absolute favorite dessert this Thansgiving. It pays to branch out! 🙂 This recipe was adapted from Food and Wine, contributed by Sarah Jordan. It has an easy press-in crust and gooey filling. We ate them at room temperature. AMAZING!!
For the Crust:
- 2 1/2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour whisked with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, cream the butter with the sugars at medium speed for 2 minutes. With the mixer at low speed, beat in the flour-and-salt mixture.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on the 2 long sides. Transfer the dough to the pan and press it over the bottom and 1 1/4 inches up the side all around. (You can cover the dough with plastic wrap and press with the bottom of a measuring cup.) Be sure the corners are not too thick. Refrigerate until firm (about 45 minutes to 1 hour).
- Bake the crust for 25 minutes (convection) to 35 minutes, until golden brown; halfway through baking, use the back of a spoon to smooth the sides and corners of the crust. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the crust cool before filling.
For the Filling:
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- 1 cup dark brown sugar
- 5 large eggs
- 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 2 cups pecan halves
- Baked Press-In Crust (recipe above)
- Preheat the oven to 350°. In a medium saucepan, melt the unsalted butter over moderate heat. Remove the saucepan from the heat and whisk in the light corn syrup and dark brown sugar, then whisk in the eggs until thoroughly blended. Whisk in the vanilla extract and salt and stir in the pecans halves until combined.
- Pour the pecan filling into the prebaked pie bar crust and bake for about 35 minutes, until the filling is set. Transfer the pan to a rack and let cool completely. Cut into bars and serve.
Make Ahead: The pecan pie bars can be refrigerated overnight. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Posted in Baking, Good Sweets, Good Eats (Desserts), Holiday, Recipes, Thanksgiving
Tags: bar cookie, bar dessert, dessert, pecan pie, pecans, pie, pie bars