And I must speak to brownie batter since it is one of Dave’s favorite things on the planet! Because it is full of raw eggs, Dave gets dibs on it (I don’t want to give it to my kids). So he doesn’t even have to play rock/scissors/paper to determine the bowl/beater/spoon licker. Last year for his birthday he asked for brownie batter for his cake. Really? Wierd. So I made a smaller pan of brownies and the rest of the batter was served in a bowl. He loves the gritty sugar texture and the rich chocolate. When he sees me reaching for the rubber spatula (his enemy) to scrape the bowl he says, “Really? Do you have to scrape it with the rubber spatula?” It is much too thorough and leaves far too little for him.
- I decided this was the week to post about these Just Right Brownies for 2 reasons: 1. My sister’s birthday is this week and she loves a good brownie. She loves gooey, rich chocolate desserts. For her birthday she typically prefers brownies with hot fudge and ice cream over a birthday cake. She says that she sees cake as simply the vehicle to carry icing- since the icing is the part she loves. So, because her birthday is in December and peppermint ice cream is available (and we love it), we often times have brownies with peppermint ice cream and hot fudge for her “birthday cake”. I got to make it last year for her 40th birthday and used this recipe. The recipe is birthday worthy. So happy birthday Jennifer!
- The other reason I wanted to post it is because one of my favorite varieties of this is Peppermint Brownies, which are so Christmasy! I replace the 2 tsp.vanilla with 1 tsp. peppermint extract. Then a few minutes before the brownies are done, I reach in and sprinkle crushed peppermint on the top of the brownies (see Peppermint Bark post for crushing instructions). They are so pretty and YUMMY!
- You can also make the classic brownies and then have toppings so that everyone can make it their way. Like this week when my girls’ group came over and we had brownies with vanilla ice cream, crushed peppermint and toasted sliced almonds as toppings with our brownies.
- Another variety that is a consistent hit is Symphony brownies. Have you ever made them? I don’t know who thought them up, but Paula Deen’s cookbook was the first place I saw the idea. They are a very special brownie- and leave people wondering about the lovely filling. You take Hershey’s Symphony Bars-the big ones (Symphony bars are milk chocolate bars with bits of toffee and almonds) and spread ½ of the brownie batter in the pan and then cover with 3 large symphony bars and then top with dollops of the remaining ½ of batter and gently spread together. Bake normally and you have a chocolate almond toffee filling sandwiched between two amazing brownie layers. (If you want to add another touch, you can throw some sliced almonds on top when there are a few minutes of bake time remaining)!
- A little brownie tip- Cut brownies with a plastic knife…it’s amazing! Something about the plastic doesn’t stick to the brownie like a metal knife does. And you get beautifully-cut, gooey brownies. Try it!