Friday, November 13, 2009


At work we’re having a fundraising drive for our employee foundation which grants money to various charities that are championed by employees. Within my group, we’ve been having a little competition on which group can get their donation rate the highest and for the past couple of days I’ve been bringing in brownies to the group in the lead – they were the recipients of the Black Bottom Brownies yesterday. Last night I made these brownies to bring in for them today.

Whenever I need to bring in something, I flip through my collection of 202 baking cookbooks (I kid you not, I have that many and I know I do because I made myself count them so I could stop being in denial over how many I actually have) and see what I can make. Most people might stick to a tried and true recipe but I can usually read through a recipe and gauge how well it’ll turn out. Either that or I’m willing to take the risk. Plus I like trying out new recipes because it makes me feel like I can justify having 202 baking books.

Most brownie recipes are pretty basic but can be dressed up accordingly. That’s what I did with these. They’re called Brrrrr-ownies - the “brrrrr” affectation was meant to refer to the York peppermint patties the original recipe calls for and these are supposed to be mint chocolate brownies (“brrrr”, cold, mint, get it?). I like mint and I like chocolate but not together. To me, that’s like brushing my teeth then eating a piece of chocolate. Uh, no. So I took the liberty of substituting Snickers bars for the peppermint patties and I think that worked just fine. I put some pieces of Snickers in the batter itself but also sprinkled Snickers liberally over the top of the brownie batter before putting the pan in the oven. They partially melted and partially sank into the batter but I think that gives the brownies some character. The brownie itself is a nice, fudgy texture which serves as a good backdrop for the Snickers. For the unsweetened chocolate, I just used Baker’s unsweetened which is available at any grocery store (orange box sold in 8-ounce packages) and for the bittersweet chocolate, I used Guittard’s semisweet baking chocolate which I bought at Sur La Table. They come as “buttons” and are sold by the box. These aren’t the same as chocolate chips and are more used or better used as baking chocolate. You can also use bittersweet chocolate like Lindt, Valrhona, or any other good-quality chocolate. You can find good brands at reasonable prices and they’re worth it.

Brrrrr-ownies from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, baked 11.12.09

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 5 pieces
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
2/3 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup (6 ounces) York Peppermint Pattie Bites (or an equal weight of patties), chopped into bits

1. Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 325˚F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil, butter the foil and place the pan on a baking sheet.
2. Set a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of gently simmering water. Put the butter in the bowl, top with the chopped chocolates and stir occasionally until the ingredients are just melted – you don’t want them to get so hot that the butter separates. Remove the bowl from the pan of water.
3. With a whisk, stir in the sugar. Don’t be concerned when your smooth mixture turns grainy. Whisk in the eggs one by one. Add the vanilla and whisk vigorously to bring the batter together and give it a shine before gently stirring in the salt and flour; stir only until incorporated. Switch to a rubber spatula and fold in the peppermint pieces. Scrape the batter into the pan and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.
4. Bake the brownies for 30 to 33 minutes, or until the top is dull and a thin knife inserted into the center comes out almost clean. (The tip of the knife may be a touch streaky.) Transfer the pan to a rack and cool to room temperature.
5. When they are completely cool, turn out onto a rack, peel away the foil and invert onto a cutting board. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares.

1 comment:

  1. These brownies were WICKED delicious.

    Had to tell a small lie to sneak a 2nd (OK 3rd) serving.