Tag Archives: brownies

Mexican Hot Chocolate Inspired Brownies

Most of the baking I do is for funsies, but right now I am working on recipes to use for an international inspired dessert buffet. I still have a few weeks to figure everything out, but I want to do a trial run of as many recipes as I can before we hit crunch time. While taste is obviously first and foremost, this time around I need to figure out how to make things easy to eat, simple to make, and ideally something that stores well so I am not trying to make everything the day of. The first item I decided to work on was brownie bites inspired by the spice and richness of Mexican Hot Chocolate. I’d found a few recipes online, and while I could certainly cobble together a recipe to suit my needs from scratch, I really wanted something that would tick the “time” and “ease” boxes if at all possible. Enter box brownie mix. I picked one of my favorite brownie mixes (both rich and fudgy like the hot chocolate) and added the spice elements I wanted to highlight, poured it in my mini muffin tin, and checked it every five minutes until the brownies were set. We had a winner! There will need to be a little tweaking to the spice level, but all in all, I consider this a solid option and can check one more thing off my list.

Ingredients:

  • Ghirardelli Supreme Brownie Mix
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup veggie oil
  • 1/4 tsp of orange zest
  • 1 tsp instant espresso powder
  • 1/4 tsp cheyenne pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease mini muffin tin and set aside.
  2. Dissolve espresso granules into the 1/4 cup of water and set aside.
  3. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients and stir until completely incorporated.
  4. Fill muffin wells half way with batter and bake for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before gently removing from tin. Enjoy!

* If you choose substitute in another box mix, be sure to choose one without chocolate chips or pieces added. It’ll throw off the balance of spice, and with the bites being so small, you run the risk of the chips burning against the sides of the tin before the brownie is set. 


Becky’s Brownies

A few months ago, I tackled the Maniac Fire Bread from Sweet & Vicious. It was pretty great, and one of my taste-testers was so in love that she HAD to have the recipe. Unfortunately, after reading the directions, she decided that the whole process was more than she cared to tackle with her limited baking skills. So I had a thought: what if I came up with something that combined the same flavors, but was much less complicated to complete? Say, something utilizing that most amazing of baking cheats, the box mix? Challenge accepted!

Ingredients:

  • 1 box of Betty Crocker Supreme Triple Chunk Brownies
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 cup veggie oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1-1 1/2 tsp minced serrano chile

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and spray brownie pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine mix, cinnamon, milk, oil and eggs in a bowl and mix thoroughly
  3. Mince the serrano and then fold into batter and pour into prepared tin.
  4. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until knife comes out clean.
  5. Enjoy!

Notes:

  • Obviously, this isn’t quite the same thing, you know, being brownies instead of a quick bread, but the flavor is there and you still have the dense texture that is dotted with chocolate chunks. Plus, it’s easier to cut and consume.
  • I know a lot of bakers gasp at the idea of using mixes instead of baking from scratch, but let’s be honest – life is busy, and you don’t always have time to make everything from scratch. Besides if most people were given the choice between box mix brownies or no brownies, I’m pretty confident in asserting that they’ll happily take/settle for the box mix bakes. Sometimes it’s just better to work smart instead of hard.

Biscoff Brownies

For those of you who don’t know, every year I put together a “birthday week” for my husband. 7 days worth of gifts and small surprises that end in the big day itself. I started birthday week the first year Andy and I were dating, and ever since then, Andy has been adamant that he has to have one every year. In keeping with the spirit of birthday week, this week I decided to try out this recipe for Biscoff Brownies. Andy LOVES Biscoff cookies, and I suspect we fly Delta so often because they are the standard snack provided. So buying the cookie butter and baking something non-cookie based with it seemed like the logical next step.

B2

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup salted butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Biscoff Spread, melted

Instructions:

  1. Preheat over to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a square 8×8 or 9×9 baking pan with parchment paper or give it a coating of baking spray.
  3. Melt the butter on the stove top in a sauce pan or in the microwave. Whisk in sugar and cocoa powder, and then stir in vanilla extract.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk the eggs well, and then whisk in the chocolate mixture until well combined. Stir the flour into the chocolate mixture until just combined.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Melt Biscoff Spread in the microwave and drizzle over the top of the brownie batter. Use a clean butter knife to swirl the Biscoff Spread into the batter.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes. Cool on a wire cooling rack for at least 30 minutes before serving.

Notes:

  • These brownies were a definite win. The brownie recipe itself was solid and produced rich dense chocolaty goodness. The Biscoff swirl was just an added bonus.
  • Swirl-wise I think I “marbled” the top of my brownies too much; you still got a hint of Biscoff when you took a bite, but bigger swirls would have allowed for a nice punch of that caramel-y cinnamon flavor that we all love.
  • The only downside to these brownies is trying to take them out of the pan. You have to be really careful or they’ll break apart when you tip them out. Mine broke into four uneven hunks that I squared off and cut into individual serving sizes. Not a big disaster but it bothered me a bit they were all oddly shaped.

Crack Coffee Brownies

Honestly, these brownies are the result of me being clumsy. I was making brownies for Andy to take to the office and I had just seen the episode of Barefoot Contessa where she talked about simple ingredients that can be added to recipes to enhance the overall flavor of a dish. None of her test subjects could figure out what was that made the flavor different, all they knew was that it tasted better. One of the recommendations was adding a little bit of coffee to chocolate baked goods. Inspired, I decided to go all Food Network and sprinkle a bit of instant coffee into my brownie mix, but being clumsy, ended up dumping in about 1/4 cup. I did my best to scoop out the extra granules, but everything that had actually touched the batter stuck.  I finally just mixed it in and baked the brownies. I warned Andy about my culinary mishap, but he took them to work anyway, and boy was I shocked when he called to tell that everyone had flipped over the amazing coffee brownies. So I guess clumsy isn’t always bad.

 

Brownies

 

What you need:

1 Box of Brownie Mix( with box specified ingredients)
1 Heaping Tbsp of Instant Coffee

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to the temperature listed on the box.
  • Combine mix with instant coffee and other required ingredients
  • Bake for the amount of time suggested on box (usually 20-25 minutes)

Box Mixes I’ve Tried:

Tips:

  • For even distribution of coffee flavor, fully dissolve instant coffee in the liquid ingredients before mixing in.
  • For brownies that have concentrated “coffee pockets” gently fold in coffee granules and bake immediately.
  • If you want a strong coffee flavor add additional granules, I’ve made these brownies with up to 3 tbsp of instant coffee.
  • I like to add a handful or two of chocolate chips to the brownie mix. This is especially good if you have opted for the stronger coffee flavor.