I got the recipe for the brownie base from The Baking Bookworm and what an appropos name because that's what I've been feeling like lately: a baking bookworm. Or a bookworm baker. One of the reasons I'm so behind in putting up last week's baking experiments is because when I haven't been working or exercising, I've been reading. Back in January, I discovered the joys of checking out e-books from our digital library (aka, the feature had always been available but I finally figured out how to use it) and I used my newfound knowledge by checking out the Game of Thrones series by George R.R. Martin. I checked out the first book in early January and was wait-listed for the second book which finally became available last week. I thought I had set my lending period to 14 days but it only gave me seven days (for some reason, my changing my lending period settings didn't take the first time) so I had 7 days to read 745 pages. Which is totally doable....as long as I do little else but breathe, sleep, eat, work my day job and read. I even incorporated reading into my workouts by managing a brisk walk on my treadmill while I read the book on my ipad via kindle reader.
I finally finished Clash of Kings last night and returned it this morning. It's now time for me to surface from the Starks of Winterfell, House Lannister, the Tullys, the Baratheons and Danaerys Targaryen and get back into the real world. At least until the third book becomes available at the e-library and I'm back at it. I'm #6 on the waiting list and this time, I doublechecked my settings to make sure I have a 14-day lending period so I don't kill myself finishing a long book and putting everything else on hold.
Anyway, setting the bookworm aside, the baker is back. I needed brownies to bring for my friend Cindy as we were meeting for her birthday dinner last week. The Baking Bookworm had these brownies covered with a chocolate frosting but I used my nutella crunch topping as my usual standby since I'd never given those to Cindy before and, let's face it, it's my favorite brownie topping. However, I did include the original frosting recipe below that's supposed to go with these brownies in case anyone wants to try that instead. This was another good, fudgy brownie and perfect for giveaways. Cindy's husband gave it a thumbs up when she brought them home.
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
1 cup flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a 9x13-inch baking pan and set aside.
- In a microwave safe glass bowl, melt butter. Add both sugars and cocoa; mix well.
- Break eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork. Add eggs and vanilla to the sugar mixture and mix well.
- Sift flour and baking powder together over mixture and stir in. Pour into prepared baking pan.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. Let cool and frost with cocoa buttercream icing below. Store in an airtight container.
3 cups icing sugar
1/3 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup cocoa
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 tablespoons milk
- Mix icing sugar and butter together by hand. Add cocoa and vanilla. Gradually add milk until icing is smooth and spreadable.
- Generously frosts one 9x13-inch cake or an 8 or 9-inch two-layer cake.