Saturday, May 22, 2010

S'more Brownies



Cupcakes are coming soon, but not quite yet.

I did this recipe for my husband when he wanted some brownies. Now, I didn't want to go the traditional way, and decided to look for a recipe that spiced it up. What I found was a recipe by Food Network's Kitchens. The picture on their website it much prettier than mine, but I could not get around the stickiness of those marshmallows, which ruined a lot of the shots!


Ingredients:
Crust:
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • pinch of fine salt
Brownie:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter (+2 tablespoons if needed extra for crumb bottom, see recipe)
  • 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped (or 4 oz unsweetened chocolate morsels)
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
Topping:
  • 4 cups large marshmallows

Put an oven rack in the lower third of the oven and heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8 by-8-inch square baking pan with foil so that it can hang over the edges by 1 inch. This will help you lift the brownie goodness out of the baking pan.
Next, make the crust. Butter the foil with some of the melted butter lightly. Stir the rest of the butter together with the crumbs, sugar, and salt in a bowl and combine well. Make sure that the crumbs stick together lightly so that they may be able to be pressed into the pan bottom. If you think you need more butter, add 2 more tablespoons of melted butter, and mix. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 20 minutes.
While the crumb is baking, place the butter and chocolate in a medium microwave safe bowl. Melt in the microwave for 1.45 minutes. Stir to melt. If the chocolate is not completely melted, place in microwave for 30 seconds. Stir gently to incorporate the melted butter and chocolate into a homogenous mixture. Stir the light brown and white sugars, vanilla and salt into the melted chocolate. Add the eggs and beat to make a batter. Add the flour and stir until just incorporated. Do not over-beat.
When your crumb bottom is done, pour the batter into the pan. Bake until the top is crispy and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean, about 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove from the oven and carefully position a rack about 6 inches from the broiler and preheat on low. Layer marshmallows across the top and toast under the broiler until golden, (keep an eye on it, it can go quick), about 2 minutes. Cool on a rack, gently removing the brownies from the pan using the aluminum flaps. Carefully separate any marshmallow from the foil and fold away. Cut into 12 (2-inch) squares.
(Copyright 2007 Television Food Network, G.P. All rights reserved)
I modified the recipe from the original just a bit, but not by much. Those Food Network Kitchen know how to put a twist on brownies.
Review: The brownies came out great! They were a bit on the sweet side, but I think that was because I used semi-sweet morsels rather than unsweetened. The marshmallows came out very sticky, so it was hard to cut through for nice pieces, because it would pull and stick to the other marshmallows, ruining the "prettiness" of it all, but hey, it's brownies. My batter did not rise as much as I would have liked to be have risen. But, overall. I loved this recipe. I would probably change a few of the ingredients next time. Maybe change the marshmallows to either smaller marshmallows or that marshmallows whipped topping, but don't put it under the broiler. I would also like to try it with whole wheat flour. Enjoy!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Blackberry Coffee Cake

So, I decided to cheat and bake before finals as a way to relax. I know I was supposed to make cupcakes but those take too long and I didn't have much time today. Cupcakes on monday or tuesday.

Not the prettiest thing in the world, but still looks good!

For the coffee cake, I decided to tweak the recipe because I didn't have blueberry filling, but it worked out just the same. I've made this recipe before for a Pot-Luck before but with fresh blueberries and raspberry topping. This recipe was from my KitchenAid cookbook: Great Baking and More.

Recipe:

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour (sifted)
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
3/4 cups (1&1/2 sticks) butter, chilled, and cup into small pieces
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk
1 egg
18 oz (2 1/4 cups) blackberries

Optional:
  • instead of milk, you can use buttermilk
  • add macadamia nuts to the crumbly topping
  • use margarine instead of butter
  • use 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 3/4 cups all purpose. I didn't have whole wheat today so I used all all-purpose.
  • any fruit topping you want, you can add any fruit you want and/or pie filling
  • for the crumb topping, use 3/4 cup of the reserve flour, not 1/2 cup like the recipe says. I felt that it wasn't enough. Or just make a little more.
Instructions:

Put in the all-purpose flour, brown sugar, and butter in a bowl of an electric mixer. Using the flat beater attachment, turn the speed to stir (low) and mix until the butter is about the size of peas, which is about 3 minutes. Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl. Remove 1/2 cup (see optional above) of the flour mixture and set aside to be used as a crumb topping. Next, add the baking powder, baking soda, and salt to the flour mixture. Turn the speed to stir (low), and mix for 30 seconds. Add the milk and the egg. Continue to mix on stir (low) just until moistened, about 30 seconds. Don't over-beat! (If you over-beat, there will be too much gluten formation and the cake will come out tougher.)
Spoon the batter into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking dish. (Remember, it you're using a glass container, lower the oven temperature down by 4 degrees. Glass bakes things faster than aluminum pans.) Drop filling by tablespoons in top of batter. Swirl the filling into the batter. Sprinkle the top with the crumb topping of the reserved flour mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown and delicious (sorry, Alton).

Nutritional Facts:

Now for the nutritional assessment! Those of you who rather not know how much fat and calories is in the piece of blackberry coffee cake, I do not suggest you read the next portion!

Serving Size: 1/16 of a cake *see note below
Calories: 242 calories
Protein: 3 grams
Carbohydrate: 29 grams
Fat: 13 grams
Cholesterol: 37 milligrams
Sodium: 198 milligrams

Overall, I really liked this coffee cake. It was the right balance of sweetness and tart from the berries. It was slightly moist, crumbly, but not too dry. What I probably would change for next time, though, is the height of the cake. It was smaller than I anticipated, so maybe tweaking the recipe so that the chemical balance of the ingredients create a higher rising cake. I would definitely make this coffee cake again, and perhaps even use a crumb cake topping instead of just the flour mixture to give it more crunch to the top. The blackberries made the top squishy, which, I thought, was good anyway. A little crunch would have been nice.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this recipe and will try to make it. Feel free to comment with questions or advice. It's a basic coffee cake recipe. I've made ones before with sour cream or cream cheese added too. Gotta love food science. Thanks for reading!

-Joanna

*Note about serving size. A serving size means that all of the nutritional information listed corresponds to the 1/16 piece of cake that you made. It doesn't apply to the entire cake. Multiply the grams and calories by 16, and then see how many calories and grams there are in the entire cake. Whenever you see serving size, be cautious of the things that are in the product. This applies to all food nutritional labels that are used in the USA. They all have serving sizes.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sneak Peak!

College has me busy with finals, but don't worry, new recipes are on the way after May 17th. My next recipe will be a white cupcakes per request of Amelia. I hope this will be the "great" recipe she's looking for. 'Til then, happy experimental baking!

-Joanna