Jul 11, 2010

Traditional Chocolatey Brownies

Delicious chocolate brownies with creamy chocolate icing!

I love the weekends! I love waking up early and having the privilege of rolling out of bed, fixing breakfast and then sitting in my pjs while I enjoy the morning. During the week I immediately hit the gym for my run and the whole thing is rush rush rush. But on the weekends, I get the chance to relax and enjoy the peacefulness of a Saturday and Sunday morning. No one is really up, you can only hear the chirping from the early birds and my favorite part is the sun! On clear mornings, I love how the sky is crystal blue and the sun shines on the trees almost making them glow. It’s refreshing just having the chance to sit and not worry about where I have to be doing a particular something at a particular time and place!

The weekends also bring about the opportunity for me to bake! We cook our meals throughout the week but sometimes baking during the week becomes quite the juggling act when you get home at 6:30pm from work AND you’re trying to put dinner on the table. So, to eliminate extra kitchen chaos, I try to take advantage of my weekend and spend some added time in the kitchen.

I’m one of those individuals who loves her sweets but is not 100% dessert satisfied without a bit of chocolate involved. My mom put together a fantastic key lime pie the other week and it really was to die for! Super fresh, light and refreshing. However, I’d be lying if I said that there wasn’t a tiny bit of me that was still craving that one bite of chocolate! In the case where chocolate is all that I want, I turn to my mom’s traditional chocolate brownies! With the chocolatey batter and the creamy buttermilk chocolate icing, these are melt in your mouth good! Each bite is like chocolate heaven and my chocolate craving is completely satisfied!

Here’s everything that you’ll need to make these delicious brownies:


Brownie Batter

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) melted butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts)
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose unbleached flour

Creamy Brownie Frosting

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
  • 1 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons buttermilk

Preheat the oven to 350 and go ahead and grease a 9-inch square baking pan. To start making the brownie batter, combine the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl at a medium speed. Allow it to become a creamy mixture and then add your 2 eggs, mixing one at at time. This will make the batter more wet and that’s when I like to add my vanilla extract because I think it combines more easily and evenly.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt and then slowly pour it into the wet ingredients at a low speed. Once everything is added, turn the speed up a little higher and let it mix for just a few minutes. You don’t want to overmix the batter. Best part is, you’re already done with your brownie mixture! How is easy was that!!

Brownie batter. Super simple: butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, flour, salt, baking powder and cocoa!

The batter ends up being creamy, and should also smell delicious at this point! You can go ahead and pour it evenly into your greased square baking dish. Make sure you don’t have any thin spots in your batter so that it cooks evenly throughout.

Brownies set and ready for the oven!

Pop the brownies in the oven and let them cook 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. When you’re kitchen starts smelling wonderful and the air is filled with chocolate scent, you know you did something right!

While the brownies are baking, you can put your icing together real quick. My mom taught me to leave your butter out and allow it to get to room temp when you’re making icing especially. It is so much creamier and a much more successful end product! Homemade icing is incredibly simple! Because this was a small batch of icing for the brownies (about a cup), I combined everything in a small bowl with a beater from my electric hand mixer! You can even use a spoon for this and some whipping action if you don’t have a handheld mixing beater handy. Start my combining the butter, cocoa, honey, and vanilla. Then add the confectioners’ sugar and buttermilk. Just keep mixing it until you have a consistency that is good for brownie topping! It’s really that simple and done in about 3 minutes!

Homemade buttermilk chocolate icing! What puts the 'y' on chocolateY!

When the brownies are done, let them cool for a bit and then apply your icing. You’ve now successfully put together a fantastic batch of brownies that are just calling your name! I made these right before dinner a few weekends ago and it took real strength to hold back until after I finished dinner. It was completely worth the wait though!

Brownies fresh out of the oven (pre-icing)!

I like to make brownies and other bar cookies when I need a dessert fast or I’m trying to cook a few things at once. This particular weekend, I was baking brownies, cranberry orange muffins and then following it all up with dinner. Everything takes just a few minutes to put together and the part that takes the longest, the actual baking, I’m not even involved with so I’m left with time to clean up and start the next thing on my baking to-do list! I also have to share with y’all that the buttermilk in this icing truly makes the icing that much more delicious! My mom taught me that trick as well and it’s one that I’ve followed every time since!

So, I hope these brownies have touched your sweet tooth and provided you with an easy, quick recipe! I’m always trying to provide delicious food recipes that are favorites in my home and to my family but nothing too crazy hard or complex. You shouldn’t spend so much time in your kitchen that you end up in there more than you do at the table actually enjoying your food creations. I think these brownies are a great example though of how the extra 15 minutes in the kitchen provides you with a brownie whose taste trumps the little bit of time you might save when making a brownie in a box recipe. Those are convenient and fast and are error proof most of the time. However, as you see with these brownies, you just add a few ingredients in a bowl, stir it up, pour in a baking dish and let the oven do the rest. That seems pretty error proof to me and I promise you’ll be proud when you pull these out of the oven and take that first bite! YUM! For now, that’s traditional chocolatey brownies…in the shell of a nut!

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