Category: brownies

Bacon fat brownies up in ya grill.

You know, last week’s recipe was light, tangy, crisp & springy. This one is definitely not. You probably read this title & thought “Seriously?” Well, yes, actually. It’s 100% serious. Quite serious.

When is bacon fat something to be taken lightly? Never.

Brownies made with bacon fat!

If you’re like me, you save your bacon fat. Every time I make bacon, I save the fat in a jar & when it’s cool… I pop that baby in the fridge & save it for later. It has so many possibilities! Add it to a skillet or pan before making cornbread, make pancakes in it, make candles with it, pop some popcorn in it, make grilled cheese in it, etc. It’s a magical substance that imparts a bacon-y flavor & scent into whatever you use it for. Of course, if you bake your bacon in the oven (or microwave it *cringe*) you won’t get as much of this magic, so if you’re looking for a lot of fat then just do it the old school way: in a skillet on your stovetop!

And NO TURKEY BACON. None of that fake stuff. You need real bacon. I know that seems self-explanatory but you never know.

Bacon fat brownies!

I know I said they weren’t light, but they’re not obscenely heavy either.

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Debbie Harry cookie bars.

Well happy birthday to me! Yesterday was my 28th birthday. And I know I said I wouldn’t be back until August, but Tania mentioned the other day on Twitter that she was making blondies, and well.. they sounded so damn good, I had to make some myself. So here we are with some Debbie Harry cookie bars!

Also known as: Peanut chocolate chip blondies. Get it, blondies?

In case you live in a cave:

A blondie is a rich, sweet bar cookie. They are made from flour, brown sugar, butter, eggs, baking powder, and vanilla. Blondies may contain white or dark chocolate chips, but the dominant flavor of a blondie is butterscotch, not chocolate. They may also contain walnuts or pecans.

Blondies are a non-chocolate variation of the traditional chocolate brownie. They are baked in a pan in the oven similar to how traditional brownies are baked, then cut into rectangular shapes for serving.

Also:

Blondie is an American pop/rock band. Founded by singer Deborah Harry and guitarist Chris Stein [1], the band was a pioneer in the early American new wave and punk rock scenes of the mid 1970s. Their first two albums contained strong elements of these genres, and although successful in the United Kingdom and Australia, Blondie was regarded as an underground band in the United States until the release of Parallel Lines in 1978. Over the next three years, the band achieved several hit singles and was noted for its eclectic mix of musical styles incorporating elements of disco, pop and reggae, while retaining a basic style as a new wave band.

The band broke up after the release of their 1982 album “The Hunter”. Debbie Harry continued to persue a solo career with varied results (though she took a few years off to care for partner Chris Stein, who had developed a life-threatening illness). Keyboardist Jimmy Destri also embarked on a solo career of his own with somewhat less success than Harry. [2]

The group reformed in 1997, achieving renewed success and a number one single in the United Kingdom with “Maria” in 1999. The group toured and performed throughout the world over the following years, and was inducted into both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the RockWalk of Fame in 2006.[3]

So there you have it. These blondies are named after the lead singer of the band Blondie, Debbie Harry, in my long standing tradition of naming baked goods for musical acts. In the past I’ve made ‘Man in Black’ cupcakes (Johnny Cash, for those of you uninitiated in the greatness that is Mr. Cash) and ‘For Boston! Cream cupcakes’ as well (Dropkick Murphy’s reference, anyone?). I love Ms. Debbie Harry, and it seemed only fitting I name these for her.

It’s very hard for me to be cooped up inside in the summer making complex cupcake or cake recipes, so I apologize for the lack of cupcakes here at Cupcake Rehab. But cookie bars are fun and delicious and easy to make in the heat (and convenient to take on picnics or to barbecues too!).

I used honey roasted peanuts in mine, and added some Starbucks Coffee flavored ice cream on top, yum yum.

DEBBIE HARRY COOKIE BARS (AKA PEANUT CHOCOLATE CHIP BLONDIES)

Get together this stuff:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups (packed) light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup salted roasted peanuts, divided
  • ½ cup bittersweet chocolate chips, divided

And do the following with ‘em:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F. Butter and flour an 8″x8″x2″ metal baking pan.
  2. Whisk 1 cup flour, salt and baking soda in a medium bowl to blend. Melt ½ cup butter in a heavy large saucepan over low heat. Remove from heat; add sugar and whisk until smooth.
  3. Cool mixture 2 minutes; whisk in eggs and vanilla. Using a flexible spatula, stir in flour mixture, then half of peanuts and half of chocolate chips.
  4. Spread batter in prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and peanuts. Bake blondies until golden, tester inserted into the center comes out clean, and edges just begin to pull away from sides of pan.; about 30 minutes.
  5. Cool completely in pan on rack; then cut into 16 squares and serve.

These can be made 2 days ahead. Just cover lightly and store at room temperature. I made mine in a slightly longer pan (9×12″) and it was fine.

They were ab-fab and I totally recommend them. Thanks to Bon Appétit magazine for the original recipe!

Bomb-diggity brownies.

I have a confession to make.

I love brownies. Lots. And… and here’s the confession part… I love them more than cupcakes. *hangs head in shame* I know, I know. But they’re so amazing. I could eat an entire pan myself. A good brownie is like the closest thing to a heaven that there is, I believe. And by good brownie I mean: fudgy center, and the elusive crusty, flaky “candy-like” top. Not too mushy, yet not too cake-like. And NO nuts! Thats a personal choice of course, you may enjoy nuts. Haha. I said “enjoy nuts.” Anyway, the perfect brownie is cause to swoon… *sigh* They’re hard to come by though. They’re rarely perfect. However these are the closest thing to perfect I could find, so therefore they’re the closest thing to the closest thing to heaven I know of. Did you follow that? I didn’t.

According to the wonderful epicurious.com:

Cocoa brownies have the softest center and chewiest candylike top “crust” of all because all of the fat in the recipe (except for a small amount of cocoa butter in the cocoa) is butter, and all of the sugar is granulated sugar rather than the finely milled sugar used in chocolate. Use the best cocoa you know for these fabulous brownies.

Yep. These really are fabulous. Cocoa brownies FTW!

THE BEST COCOA BROWNIES

First ya gotta get:

  • 10 tablespoons (1 ¼ sticks) unsalted butter
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • ¾ cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (natural or Dutch-process)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cold large eggs
  • ½ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional)

Then yer gonna:

  1. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of the baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
  2. Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide skillet of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot enough that you want to remove your finger fairly quickly after dipping it in to test. Remove the bowl from the skillet and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot.
  3. Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
  4. Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool completely on a rack.
  5. Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. Cut into 16 or 25 squares.

When it comes to making brownies, its a good idea to remove them from the oven when the toothpick comes out covered in some moist crumbs, not when it comes out clean. This is because they continue cooking for a few minutes after you take them out because of heat still left in them. Apparently also the main components of chocolate that give it its flavor are easily lost during baking and with heat, so its a good idea to remember that.

Yeah. I know.

Now as far as cocoa powder goes, there are people out there that will tell you to use the absolute BEST quality stuff you can find. I, on the other hand, am not going to do that. I guarantee you that the average person you serve these to is not going to tell whether you used Valrhona or Hershey’s. Especially not kids. Also, I used mini-chocolate chips instead of nuts and I have to say the brownies came out freakin’ awesome.

And to all you Brownie Mary‘s out there, just remember this: please notify the people eating the tainted brownie that they may not pass a drug test afterwards. And have plenty of straight jackets at the ready.