Monday, November 8, 2010

Candy Bar Brownies

Hello there.
I know, it has been a while.  This fall has been very busy so far and unfortunately, not all in a good way.  While I haven't stopped cooking or baking, I just haven't had the time to take and upload pictures or write posts (even though I don't write much!).  Hopefully this entry will be the first of many as we quickly approach the holiday season. 
My intention here is to solve a problem that we all face once a year: What do I do with all the leftover Halloween candy?  The obvious thing to do is just eat it, but even I get sick of the same ol' candy day after day. So I came up with something fantastic that literally transcends those boring candy bars into something spectacular: Candy Bar Brownies.
It's very simple: make a batch of brownie batter, pour half the batter into the pan, place cut up pieces of (chocolate) candy into the batter and cover with the remaining mixture.  Bake according to the recipe.  I like to mix up the candy and place in no particular order in the brownies; that way each bite is unexpected.  This year I used Snickers, Reeses PB Cups, Reeses Pieces and Heath Bars. 
Using a brownie mix would work fine, but while I am here I might as well share my favorite brownie recipe-and believe me, I have tried many! 

Fudge Brownies 
Recipe adapted from King Arthur Flour 
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs
1 1/4 cups cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips (I do not add chips when making Candy Bar Brownies)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 9×13 baking dish.
2. In small saucepan over low heat, melt butter completely. Stir in sugar and continue cooking for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Do not allow sugar mixture to boil.
3. Pour butter mixture into a large bowl or stand mixer, beat in cocoa powder, eggs, salt, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla extract. Mix until well combined.
4. Stir in the flour and chocolate chips until well combined.
5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 30 minutes, until a tester comes out mostly clean. The edges should be set and the center should still look slightly moist, but not uncooked.  Cool on a wire rack.

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