I've started on my Christmas baking for the second time this month. I made cookies and brownies at the beginning of the month, but they only lasted a matter of days. Being with a chocoholic/cookie monster does not allow for goodies to stay in my cupboards for very long. So baking a second time was very much in order!
This recipe was modified by myself from several different recipes all over the internet. I've struggled with it in the past, and have now made it to pure perfection! I hope your household enjoys them as much as mine does :)
1 Cup butter
2 1/4 Cups sugar
4 Large eggs
1 1/4 Cups baking cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 Cups flour
2 Cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 Cup chopped walnuts (optional)
What to do:
- Preheat your oven to 350F (I have to put mine to 300 because I have a ghetto oven that does not know it's own temperature) and lightly grease a 9" x 13" pan (I put parchment paper on after I have greased the pan, and then grease the top of the parchment paper. This allows for an easy-peasy clean up)
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine sugar and butter and heat until butter is melted (approx. 2 minutes). Mix, and then continue to heat for another 90 seconds - 2 minutes until you have a nice frothy/bubbly coating. Make sure that it does not come to a boil, so keep an eye on it! Why this step you ask? This makes for a nice shiny top on the brownies in case you are not into icing them.
- In a separate, large bowl, mix eggs, cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla until smooth. I use a hand mixer for this.. a Kitchenaid would be fabulous (it's on my Christmas wish list ;))
- Add the hot butter/sugar mixture and stir until smooth
- Add flour, and again, beat until smooth. Now add the nuts and chocolate chips. (If you want your chips to be evident in the brownies versus completely melted in, allow your batter to cool for 20 minutes before you add them in)
- Spoon your batter into the greased pan. Shake the pan like a Polaroid so your batter gets distributed evenly into every nook and cranny.
- Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until a toothpick is inserted and it comes out clean. Keep an eye on them, as you do not want the edges to burn.
- Allow the brownies to fully cool
Now comes the fun (and tedious) task of making the icing!
Ingredients for mint icing:
5 Tablespoons softened butter
Pinch of salt
1 Tablespoon corn syrup
2 1/3 Cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon mint extract
Green food coloring
3 Tablespoons milk
What to do:
- Combine softened butter, salt, corn syrup and icing sugar in a bowl. Beat until smooth and fluffy. Do not panic if it doesn't get smooth and fluffy. Sometimes my ingredients at this step resembles dough pieces the size of rice.
- Add mint extract and food coloring. 1-2 drops is good. I like mine a little more green, so I tend to add about 6.
- Gradually stir in milk one tablespoon at a time, then beat until fluffy and beautiful. This may or may not resemble toothpaste.
Now to ice those brownies! Take a rubber spatula and evenly distribute all the icing to every inch of brownie goodness. Once iced, place the brownies in the freezer to allow icing to harden before you put on the second layer of icing. This step is very necessary, otherwise your icings will mix together, and you will be swearing and throwing a fit, wishing that you would have.
While your brownies are in the freezer, start making your next batch of icing.
Ingredients for chocolate icing:
4 Tablespoons butter
1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
2 Tablespoons milk
1 1/2 Cups icing sugar
2 Tablespoons baking cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla
What to do:
- In a saucepan, over medium heat, melt butter and brown sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved, then add the milk. Bring mixture to a boil and remove from heat.
- Sift together cocoa and icing sugar. Blend into sugar mixture, and add vanilla.
This icing sets up f.a.s.t!
Remove your brownies from the freezer and start icing them from a corner and quickly making your way around the pan. If your icing starts to harden in your saucepan, simply place it back on the stove, and voila! it's smooth and spreadable again.
Once your brownies are all iced, cut them into squares and remove from pan. Remember, since you used parchment paper, your brownies will just slide on out! Store in an air tight container and enjoy :)
Until next time..