Fudgy Brownie Hearts w/Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Jodi sent me an email about a month ago for these brownies.  I thought first of all how pretty they were and second, how fun they would be to make for Valentine’s Day!

I have spread my wings when it has come to experimenting with baking!  Don’t get me wrong, this was as nerve racking as could be for me tonight.  But I was determined to get these made and make them look as pretty as I could!

Who doesn’t love chocolate brownies?  And even better, who doesn’t love any type of buttercream frosting with chocolate!!  My hand is in the hair raised!  The brownies were dark and sweet and the filling was even sweeter!

 

How Pretty Are These?

Jodi found these brownies on A Farmgirl’s Babbles blog and I’m really glad she did.

I’d say that this was easy for me to make but it wasn’t.  Not because they were hard to make, but because it’s hard for ME to bake!  I have come a long way and keep pushing myself to see how far I can go without destroying something…..keeping positive thoughts.

Yield: about 6 large (3 in. wide) or 20 small (1-1/2 in. wide) brownie heart sandwiches

Ingredients

  • for the brownies:
  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, diced
  • 3 oz. unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/2 c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. instant espresso powder – I used cocoa powder
  • 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3/4 c. flour
  • powdered sugar, to sprinkle on the finished brownie hearts
  • for the fresh raspberry buttercream:
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 12 oz. raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 3-1/2 c. powdered sugar
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 1 to 2 T. milk, if needed to thin out the frosting – I didn’t need any milk

Preparation

for the brownies:

Preheat oven to 325°.

Fold a long piece of heavy foil into a 13″ wide strip and fit it inside a 9″ x 13″ metal baking pan, leaving foil overhang on the 2 long sides. Spray the foil with nonstick spray.

Stir the butter and chocolate in a large heavy saucepan over very low heat until chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and whisk in the sugar, and then the eggs, 1 at a time. Whisk in cocoa powder, vanilla, and salt. Then sift the flour over the chocolate mixture and stir to blend well. Transfer batter to prepared pan.

Brownies

 

Bake brownies until slightly puffed and dry-looking and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 20 minutes. Let cool completely in pan on rack.

Now prepare the fresh raspberry buttercream:

Cook the raspberries in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently until the raspberries are broken down into a sauce. Pour the sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds, and then pour the raspberry sauce back in the pot. Simmer until the sauce reduces to a 1/4 cup. It will be a very rich red and concentrated sauce. Set aside to cool. With a mixer, cream the butter with a paddle attachment on medium high speed about 2 minutes, until lightened in color and a bit fluffy. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar, the 1/4 cup of cooled raspberry sauce, lemon juice, and salt. Mix until smooth. Add another 1-1/2 cups of powdered sugar and mix until smooth. If you want the frosting less stiff, add some milk, 1 tablespoon at a time. I did not add any milk to mine, and thought it was perfect for piping. Fit a pastry bag with a medium-large round tip (I used a Wilton #12) and fill with fresh raspberry buttercream.

Raspberries

Mix the butter

Raspberry Buttercream

Run a knife around the inside edge of the brownie pan. Use the overhanging foil as an aid and gently lift the brownies from the pan. The pan I used produces a brownie that is 1/2″ thick. Be sure your cookie cutter is taller than 1/2″. Press heart-shaped cookie cutters (the cookie cutters used in my photos measure 3″ wide and 1-1/2″ wide) firmly into the cooled brownie. Use a thin metal spatula to lift the cookie cutter filled with brownie from the foil. Gently press the brownie out of the cookie cutter. Repeat the cutting process until your brownie looks like a big piece of swiss cheese. (And I hope you’re eating up some of those brownie scraps! ) And yes we did..The kids had more fun eating that than the brownie with the frosting.

Cut the brownies

Heart Shaped Brownies

 

With the pastry bag filled with fresh raspberry buttercream, pipe a line of frosting around the inside edge of one of the brownie hearts. Then fill in the inside of the line with frosting, too. Top with another brownie heart, very gently pressing down to make a sandwich. Repeat until all your brownie hearts are completed. To finish off, sprinkle the brownie hearts with powdered sugar. I like to fill a small hand sieve with powdered sugar and gently tap the side of the sieve to let the powdered sugar rain down. I don’t have a small hand sieve (but will get one) so I used a spoon or my fingers…which is why mine have a thicker coating.

Fill with buttercream

 

These are fabulous.

Have a great weekend and a Happy Valentine’s Day!

Beautiful Brownies

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

Source

A Farmgirl’s Babble

 

Avocado Fudge

 

Since we got the avocados I’ve tried to come up with some different things that you wouldn’t normally try with them.  The scallops w/buttercream sauce was a nice surprise.  I have no problems trying things new when it comes to food.  So when given the opportunity to make things that I wouldn’t normally make, I had fun trying to come up with recipes that I haven’t tried yet either!

Avocado Fudge

Yes, you read the title of this one correctly.  Avocado Fudge.  No mistake.  I mentioned this to a couple of people before actually making it and the response was half and half.  When Craig asked me what I was making tonight I said I wasn’t going to tell him because he wouldn’t try it anyways.  So imagine the look on his face when I showed him what I had come up with!!!  (I did make him taste the batter and he said it was good).  Lets see how he feels about it tomorrow when it’s done!

Here’s how they looked in the pan before putting in the fridge to set:

Avocado Fudge before setting in the fridge!

Caleb said it smelled like I was making brownies!  And it did!  When I tasted the mixture, I honestly couldn’t tell that the avocado was in there.  And can anyone say the name “fudge” without  thinking of sugary wonderland and know that it can’t be good for you but you know you have to eat it!!  This is the little excerpt I found on show.com:

Many people wouldn’t think of the combination of avocados and chocolate. But the rich creamy texture of an avocado lends itself nicely to desserts like fudge. Not only are they healthier, but your mouth won’t even miss the oil it replaces. 

Things You’ll Need

  • 1 large ripened avocado
  • 1/2 cup margarine
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 1/4 cups cocoa
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • Saucepan
  • Food processor
  • Baking pan
Instructions
1. Melt the margarine in your saucepan over a medium flame.
2. Peel and puree the avocado mixture in your food processor until the consistency of the avocado is smooth.
3. Combine the avocado, vanilla, cocoa and powdered sugar into your saucepan with your melted margarine. Slowly stir in these ingredients until the mixture is thick.
4. Pour the mixture into a baking pan and place in the fridge overnight so the fudge can harden.
5. Remove the fudge from the fridge and cut into one inch squares and serve.
Don’t forget to stop on by http://www.socalavocados.com to see what they have given us!  Without their response to one of our posts, we wouldn’t be coming up with these fun things to make.
Happy Avocado Baking
Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

 

 

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

 

I’ve mentioned before that Brown Eyed Baker is one of my favorite blogging sites I go to almost every day.  She never fails to give a great dessert!

When I saw these on Pinterest I knew I had to make them.  I didn’t care if I failed, if my picture was less than perfect…I just new I had to try these.  And let me tell you, these are so good.  These are really good.  If I had all of the ingredients on hand right now, I’d make them again.  I don’t care if they have sugar in it that I’m not supposed to have, I loved these.  Did I say that again!!

These were a huge hit in our house.  They were gone within two days if not sooner.  When you compare my picture to Michelle’s, you’ll see that her cookie dough is much lighter than mine.  I’m not sure what I did differently.  It could be the lack of photo skills that I have (my goal is to get a better camera this year).  But does it really matter when you make something that you really, really like?  The answer would be NO!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownies

Yield: 32 brownies

Prep Time: 40 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes

For the Brownie:
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups light brown sugar
4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour

For the Cookie Dough:
¾ cup unsalted butter
¾ cup light brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons whole milk
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups mini chocolate chips

1. Prepare the Brownies: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 9×13-inch pan with foil, with enough to hang over all four sides. Butter the foil. In a medium glass bowl, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract, scraping the bowl as needed. Mix in the melted chocolate until combined. Reduce the speed to low, add the flour and mix just until combined (don’t over-mix). Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool completely.

2. Prepare the Cookie Dough: In a medium bowl, use an electric mixer on medium speed to combine the butter and both sugars. Add the milk and vanilla and mix until combined. Reduce the speed to low and mix in the flour just until combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.

3. Spread the cookie dough over the cooled brownies. Refrigerate until the dough is firm, about an hour. Use a sharp knife or a pizza cutter (my favorite way to slice brownies!) to cut the brownies. Store the brownies in an airtight container at cool room temperature or in the refrigerator.

(Recipe adapted from RecipeGirl.com)

I will be making these again.  I will not be using the “all things in moderation” sentence in my head for these!

Pataricia – Two Girls Cooking

Jodi’s Baby Shower

 

Jodi and baby

 

This Saturday (September 24th) will be the other part of “Two Girls Cooking” first baby shower.   Jodi will be celebrating her bundle of joy this coming November!  Not only am I excited for her shower because of this awesome recipe I found, but I’m just as excited to get to share in her special day and the new life that will begin for her in a short couple of months. For those of us that have had the pleasure of raising kids (and some of us already – grandkids) we know what it feels like to hold your baby in your arms for the first time.  The love that you feel before your child is even born is beyond words.  And that is the excitement I wait for Jodi to feel very soon.  Which I’m sure she already does.  She’s most likely at the point of waiting to meet her little guy by now! Her shower will be a group of friends that she’s known for a long time and some just a few short years.  Either way, we are all gathered to celebrate a special time in her life (and Scott’s too – he just won’t be at the shower!!). We decided on mid morning party so that we could have the best food….brunch!  I had made an egg bake some time back and decided that’s what I was going to make.  When I pulled up our website, there was a picture of another recipe of an egg bake (from Foodbuzz advertisement we have listed).  So I take a look at it and decide that I’m all for trying something new – so I travel back to the store for what I need and get this going the night before! I found this recipe at  a site call thatskinnygirlcanbake.  It was so easy to make and I can’t wait to taste it.  I’m hoping it’s as good as her photos showed it to be! Here’s what you need for this casserole: 4 cups seasoned croûtons 2 cups grated cheddar cheese 8 eggs, beaten 4 cups milk 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1/8 teaspoon pepper 2 cups crumbled cooked bacon (I used a pound) Diced red bell pepper – I left  this out and added mushrooms and onions.  I made two batches.  One with just the eggs and cheese and the other with the mushrooms and onions. Here’s what you do: Place croûtons and cheese in a well greased 9 x 13 pan.  Combine remaining ingredients except bacon.  Pour liquid over croûtons and cheese.  Top with bacon.   Bake at 325º for at least an hour or till egg is set.   To make the night before, complete all steps except for topping with bacon.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning, remove from refrigerator and top with crumbled bacon.  Bake at 350º for 1 1/2 hours or till center is set.  Serve warm. We also had a French Toast Bake that Jodi made.  It was beyond delicious. Here’s what you need:

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 3 apples – peeled, cored and sliced
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 (1 pound) loaf French baguette, cut into 1 inch slices
  • 6 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions

  1. Grease a 9×13 inch baking dish. In a large bowl, mix together brown sugar and 1 teaspoon cinnamon. Mix in melted butter. Stir in apples and raisins until evenly coated. Pour into prepared pan. Arrange bread slices in an even layer over apples.
  2. In the bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, vanilla and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Pour over bread, making sure every slice is fully soaked. Cover with aluminum foil, and refrigerated overnight.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Remove dish from refrigerator while the oven is heating. Bake covered for 40 minutes. Remove cover, and bake 5 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
If that weren’t enough, we also had some Tuxedo Brown Cups that Miss Jodi mommy made.  These too, we beyond words.

Tuxedo Brownie Cups

 Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray with flour
1 pkg (18-21 oz or 450 g) fudge brownie mix (plus ingredients to make cake-like brownies)
2 square (1 oz/30 g) white chocolate for baking
2 tbsp (30 mL) milk
8 oz (250 g) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup (50 mL) powdered sugar
1 cup (250 mL) thawed, frozen whipped topping
1 pint small strawberries, sliced
 Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325°F (160°C). Spray cups of Deluxe Mini-Muffin Pan with nonstick cooking spray with flour. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions for cake-like brownies. Fill wells of pan two-thirds full. Bake 14 minutes or until edges are set. (Do not overbake.) Remove pan from oven; immediately press tops of brownies to make indentations. Cool in pan 15 minutes. Remove brownies from pan; cool completely. Wash pan; repeat with remaining batter.
2. Combine white chocolate and milk in large microwave-safe bowl; microwave on HIGH 1 minute. Stir until smooth; cool slightly. In large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese and sugar; mix well. Gradually stir in white chocolate mixture until smooth. Fold in whipped topping.
3. Pipe cream cheese mixture into brownie cups; top with strawberries. Refrigerate 1-3 hours before serving. Serve on Large Bamboo Platter; replenish tray with brownie cups as needed.
Yield: 4 dozen brownie cups
Here’s a picture of the great food we had yesterday.

I’m looking forward to tomorrow and sharing this recipe with Jodi’s friends (and her little guy yet to come).  Hoping to share, not just the picture of this dish but some fun shower photos as well. Here are some pictures that I have to share with you for Miss Jodi’s special day:

Playing Guess the Book gameGift timeA bottle of wine for after the little guy is born!

Peggy Coloring Onesies

Beth Coloring OnesiesFriends

 

We had a great time.  I want to say thank you, thank you to Sarah.  She opened up her home for us to have this awesome party to celebrate for Jodi.  We had a good time with not just the food but rubbing Jodi’s belly and feeling her little guy move around.  I’m so glad I got to be a part of this and can’t wait for more to come!

Have a great weekend.

Patricia – Two Girls Cooking

S’mores Brownies


Tonight I’m having dinner at a friend’s house, and since she’s doing the cooking I offered to bring something to share. She said how about desert? …Perfect!  I can totally handle that. 

I decided brownies were in order. And while I don’t mind regular from the box brownies, I thought I’d try my hand at something new. After doing some searching through recipes I decided I would give these a try. Now, I know they are for later, but what kind of friend would I be if I showed up with sub-par brownies? I had to do a taste taste purely for quality control purposes (clearly nothing to do with my chocolate craving). They are pretty nummy. A little gooey, but that’s what makes s’mores great!

– Jodi

10 Graham Crackers, broken in half (20 squares)
1-1/2 sticks butter or margarine
4 squares Unsweetened Chocolate
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
2-1/2 cups Miniature Marshmallows
1 cup Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips or Chunks
Heat oven to 350°F. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil; grease foil. Place 15 grahams in pan, overlapping slightly. Break remaining grahams into pieces; set aside. Microwave butter and chocolate squares in large microwaveable bowl on High 2 min.; stir until melted. Add sugar, eggs and vanilla; mix well. Stir in flour. Pour over grahams in pan. Bake 30 to 32 min. or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Sprinkle with marshmallows and chocolate chunks. Bake 3 to 5 min. or until marshmallows begin to puff. Press reserved graham pieces gently into marshmallows. Cool. Use foil to remove brownies from pan before cutting to serve.