Outrageous Brownies

September 12, 2010

Many years ago I saw The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten,  make  her Outrageous Brownies and I knew it was something I would one day have to make, so I added them to my Bucket List of Baking.   Today was the day!!  I have made several different brownies in search of the perfect brownie, and most have not been very good, but I must say the search is over!  Ina Garten creates some amazing dishes, she sacrifices nothing for flavour, in other words if you are eating these your diet is out the window!

Outrageous Brownies

  • 1 pound unsalted butter (right there I knew they would be good!)
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons instant coffee granules(I omitted this)
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups chopped walnuts

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Butter and flour a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet.

1. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water.

Look at the shine on the chocolate sauce, you can see the camera in it

2.Allow to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. ( I didn’t put the coffee granules in only because I HATE coffee flavour in anything, they say it just enhances the chocolate flavour, but I did not want to take the chance, and after having them I am pretty sure they would not get any chocolateier)

4. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.

5. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt.

6. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture.

7. Toss the walnuts and 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter.

8. Pour into the baking sheet.

9. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake! Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.

To me a brownie is not a brownie without icing.  I prefer mine with vanilla icing, most like them with chocolate and some like without any icing, I tried to accommodate all.

The verdict? These are the most amazing brownies I have ever had!  Everyone was raving bout them.  I don’t thing I will ever make another kind of brownies again, they were perfection! Only one problem, I can’t stop eating them!!!


Lemon Cranberry Scones

September 4, 2010

After having weeks of really hot humid (41 C) weather the temperature plummeted to a wonderfully cool (and rainy) 15 C, perfect weather to get back into the kitchen and do some baking!

I know I wanted to make something but didn’t know what? Mom put in a request for scones.  It did not matter what flavour, just wanted scones.  I searched to see that I had and I had all the ingredients for these wonderful Ina Garten Cranberry Orange Scones, I did not have oranges so I substituted lemon.

Cranberry Lemon Scones

(adapted from Ina Graten Cranberry Orange Scones)

  • 4 cups plus 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup sugar, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • 3/4 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 egg beaten with 2 tablespoons water or milk, for egg wash
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 4 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix 4 cups of flour, 1/4 cup sugar, the baking powder, salt and orange zest.

Add the cold butter (at this point I knew they were going to be really good.  I mean how could anything with 3/4 pound of butter not be good?)

mix at the lowest speed until the butter is the size of peas.

Combine the eggs and heavy cream and, with the mixer on low speed, slowly pour into the flour and butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough will look lumpy!

Combine the dried cranberries and 1/4 cup of flour, add to the dough, and mix on low speed until blended.

Dump the dough onto a well-floured surface and knead it into a ball. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4-inch thick. You should see small bits of butter in the dough. Keep moving the dough on the floured board so it doesn’t stick. Flour a 3-inch round plain or fluted cutter and cut circles of dough. Place the scones on a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Collect the scraps neatly, roll them out, and cut more circles.

Brush the tops of the scones with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are browned and the insides are fully baked. The scones will be firm to the touch.

Allow the scones to cool for 15 minutes and then whisk together the confectioners’ sugar and orange juice, and drizzle over the scones.

You really can’t go wrong with an Ina Garten recipe.  These scones were moist, flavourful and the perfect texture. Adding the lemon glaze gave it just the right amount of lemony tartness.  The lemon was an excellent substitution.  Definitely will be making another batch of these in the near future


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