Saturday, May 22, 2010

Coffee Toffee Brownies

3/4 c (1 1/2 sticks) butter
1 gently heaped cup (6 ounces) semisweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
3/4 c cocoa
1 tbls. espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)
1 tbls. vanilla
2 c sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c all-purpose flour

Lightly grease a 9 x 13 inch pan. Over medium-low heat, or in the microwave, melt together the butter and chocolate, stirring till smooth. Stir in the cocoa, espresso powder, vanilla, sugar, and salt. Whisk in the eggs one at a time.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the baking powder and flour, then stir these dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture until just blended. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 34-38 minutes, until their top is shiny but the middle is still soft. Remove them from the oven and cool for 30 minutes before icing.

Icing & Topping:
1 tbls. espresso powder (or instant coffee crystals)
1 tbls. hot water
1 1/2 c confectioners' sugar
2-3 tbls. heavy cream or milk
1/2 c toffee-flavored bits

In a medium-sized bowl, mix the espresso powder and hot water, then stir in the sugar and heavy cream or milk. Spread the icing over the brownies, then sprinkle with the toffee bits (crushed, if you like). Cool the brownies for several hours before cutting into squares. Yield: 24 brownies.

Source: King Arthur Flour Catalog

Friday, May 7, 2010

A Little Dessert, Anyone?

This was about as close to perfect as dessert can get in my opinion (and that's pretty high praise from someone who typically passes on cake). I started with Grandma's Picnic Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe (a long-time favorite, as you can see)
and I topped it with Pioneer Woman's That's The Best Frosting I've Ever Had!
It's fantastic! The texture is like that frosting you can get on Sam's Club cakes (not the buttercream option), but instead of tasting like some cousin to the non-nutritive cereal varnish invented by Clark Griswold, it's a perfect combination of butter and not too much sweetness. Really, try it - you'll never want buttercream again.

I divided the batter into a 6" and 8" Wilton round pan. We ate the smaller one and I froze the other one until you all get here later this month. I think you'll be pleased.