Month: December 2009

Cooking Countdown: Ebony & Ivory Brownies

Chocolate. Fudge. Brownies.
Need I say more?

I could write a longer post, but you’d just skip it to get to the recipe anyhow, so I’ll get right on down to business.

Oh, did I mention… they’re laced (with white chocolate, of course!)

Ebony & Ivory Brownies
an original recipe by Allison Sklar

what you’ll need
• 1 cup (8 oz) butter
• 2 ¼ cups sugar
• 1 ¼ cups cocoa
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
• 4 eggs
• 1 1/2 cup (unbleached) all purpose flour
• 1 pkg chocolate chips, any variety (I prefer white!)

how to do it
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 9×13 inch pan. (I lined mine with parchment).
In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave for 1 minute) and heat until mixture is very hot but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the butter and sugar a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.
Stir in the cocoa, salt, baking powder and vanilla. Add the eggs, beating till smooth; then add the flour and chocolate chips, stirring until combined. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake the brownies for 25 minutes. The tops will be shiny, and though a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center may come out all fudgey – they’re ready!
Cool completely – which will allow them to harden into a fudge – then cut and serve.
Eat and thoroughly enjoy!

Cooking Countdown : Sweet & Salty Bark

Recently, I hosted a highly successful cookie party, where I willingly consumed enough sugar to put someone into a diabetic coma. This inspired me – no, not to diet or exercise, but to bake even more! On that note, I’ll get my exercise by walking around carrying groceries. Let’s face it – the gym might make you feel good in the long run, but food makes you feel good right now.

With classes finally on hiatus for the holidays, I’ve conveniently found myself with some extra time on my hands – perfect for concocting lovely little things in the kitchen. What better way to count down the new year than to offer you all a fantastic recipe for each day left in 2009?!

I’ll begin with a simple holiday favorite of mine – sweet and salty bark. The secret? Soda crackers. No, really. They’re in there, and they’re delicious.

What You’ll Need
1 package soda crackers (salted tops)
1 cup butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
1 cup chocolate chips (semi-sweet melts easiest, but any type will do)

How to do it
In a small saucepan over LOW heat, melt butter and dissolve sugars slowly, stirring. Once sugars are dissolved, let simmer until the caramel begins to bubble and become a slightly darker brown. Be careful not to let it burn!
Preheat oven to 300F. Lay crackers out flat on a cookie sheet, side by side, salted tops facing upward. Pour the caramel mixture over the top evenly. Spread with spatula if needed, trying to cover as many of the crackers as you can. Sprinkle chocolate over top.
Bake in oven for 10 minutes, or until caramel bubbles and turns slightly white. Remove from oven and spread chocolate with a spatula to form a coating. Refrigerate (or place on your doorstep if you’re in a cold climate!) for about an hour or until hardened. Break into pieces, serve and eat!