Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Chocolate-Chocolate Brownies

My oldest daughter, age 8,  received a William Sonoma cookbook for her birthday and today we decided to try one of the recipies.  Amazingly enough I had all the ingredients on hand.  That does not happen often!!

If you like fudgy brownies these are for you.  They are very yummy, very chocolatey and very quick and easy to make.

4oz unsweetened chocolate
1c (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2c sugar
2tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs at room temperature (always bake with room temperature eggs.....who knew!!!)
1c all-purpous flour
1/4tsp salt
1/2c chopped walnuts (optional)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1c semisweet chocolate chips

Directions for Brownies:
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees
2. spray the sides of a 9 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray
3. line the bottom of pan with parchment paper letting it over lap on two sides.
4. Break or cut chocolate into small pieces.
5. cut up the 1 cup of butter
6.In a double boiler, or a metal mixing bowl over a pot of simmering water, stir the butter and choclate until completely melted and combined. Chocolate burns easily so stir frequently!!
7. Add the sugar and vanilla to the chocolate mixture.  Mix well.
8. Add eggs one at a time, stirring mixture until well mixed after each egg is added.
9. Add the flour and salt and mix well.
gently fold in walnuts now if you choose to add them.
10. Spread evenly in baking pan
11. bake for 40-45 minutes (ours cooked completly in 30 minutes so keep an eye on it)
12. Remove from oven and let cool completely.

Directions for the Icing:
1. Melt butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler, or a metal mixing bowl over a pot of simmering hot water.
2. Pour the icing over the cooled brownies

Let the brownies stand for 30 minutes to set the icing.  Chill until serving.  To serve run a knife along the edges of the pan to release the brownies and gently pull up on parchment.  Cut into squares and serve.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Chocolate Peppermint Bark

I first read about Peppermint Bark here.  I decided to give it a go but to add dark chocolate.  It turned out VERY yummy indeed!!!  We handed it out to our neighbors and brought it to our family Christmas gathering and it was received with rave reviews. 

The best thing was it was SUPER easy to make.

1 bag white chocolate melt candies
1 bag dark chocolate melt candies
1/4 tsp peppermint extract
4 candy canes, crushed

First lay out wax paper on a cookie sheet.
In a double boiler, microwave, or as I did in a metal mixing bowl over simmering hot water, melt the dark chocolate to a soupy consistancy.  Stir frequently as chocolate burns easily.
Once the dark chocolate is melted, pour onto wax paper and spread out in a thin layer.  Let this layer cool and harden  about 1 hour.
Now melt the white chocolate candies to a soupy consistacy.  Add the peppermint extract once the candies have completely melted.
Pour over the dark chocolate and spread out with a spatula.  Move quickly since the hot white chocolate will start to melt the dark chocolate.
Immediatly sprinkle the crushed candy canes on the white chocolate.
Let it cool completly till hard.
Break into pieces and eat!
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