Saturday, June 03, 2006

Making brownies while the sun doesn't shine. I took advantage of today's cooler temps to do some baking, as my freezer was getting perilously close to empty. Clockwise, I made butterscotch-oatmeal bars, super rich chocolate brownies, and crunchy peanut butter cup brownies. The lime just came along for the ride. Posted by Picasa Oatmeal Butterscotch Squares (from the Queen Victoria® Bed & Breakfast Inn via 1 c flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cinnamon 1 c butter, softened 3/4 c sugar 2 eggs 1 tsp vanilla 3 c regular oatmeal, uncooked 12 oz butterscotch chips Preheat oven to 375° degrees. Spray a 10x15-inch rimmed cookie sheet with non-stick spray (or use butter). Combine flour, soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside. Cream butter, then add sugar and mix until fluffy. Add eggs, then vanilla and beat well. Gradually add flour mixture. Stir in oatmeal and butterscotch chips. Spread in prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Makes 3 dozen bars. Note: Chopped walnuts or pecans would be good in these too. Rich, fudge brownies (Fine Cooking, July 2006) 1 c unsalted butter 3 oz (2/3 c) unbleached, all-purpose flour 2 c granulated sugar 4 eggs, at room temp. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 2.5 oz (3/4 c) unsw. cocoa powder 1/2 tsp baking powder 1/2 tsp salt (the second version of these included port-soaked dried cherries and a port ganache topping, but I skipped that this time ... these are already fairly over-the-top.) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 9-inch-square metal baking pan. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Remove the pan from the heat. Whisk or stir in the sugar, followed by all four of the eggs and the vanilla. Stir in the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir until the batter is smooth and uniform, about 1 minute. Spread the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing it out evenly. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out with just a few moist clumps clinging to it, about 40 min. Let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a rack. Note: I lined the pan with foil and then buttered, as this makes for easier removal. These brownies are very, very moist, even when fully cooked, so you might want to chill them before slicing. Cut into 16 squares. Peanut-Butter Brownies (from Yankee Magazine's archives, with a few changes from me) 1/3 c all-purpose flour 1/4 tsp baking powder 1/4 tsp baking soda 1/4 c (1/2 stick) unsalted butter 3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped (I skipped this since I was using the pb cups) 3/4 c packed light-brown sugar 2 large eggs 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1/3 c creamy peanut butter (I used crunchy pb) 1/3 c peanut-butter chips (I used crunchy mini pb cups) Adjust rack to lower third of oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with aluminum foil. Press foil into corners and up the sides of the pan. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, and baking soda in a small bowl. In a small, heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter and the chocolate (if you're using it). Pour into a mixing bowl and stir in the brown sugar. Add the eggs, thoroughly blending into the mixture. Stir in the vanilla and peanut butter, then the flour mixture. Spread batter evenly into prepared pan. Bake for 22 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack. When cool, mark off 1-1/2-inch squares with the tip of a sharp paring knife. Using the handle of a wooden spoon, poke a hole into the center of each brownie; fill hole with peanut-butter chips, flat side up to fit flush with the surface of the brownies (or just press in one mini pb cup per piece). Cut through the markings to form squares.

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