The Search for the Perfect Brownie (Part 1)

https://i2.wp.com/static.tastykitchen.com/recipes/files/2013/02/Double-Chocolate-Brownies-by-Ann-How-Crazy-Cooks-410x273.jpg

At our house, brownies are always in high demand… I guess i should also add to that by saying that the search for the perfect brownie recipe is always being hunted forbut never found. All these years we have been guilty of buying & making the oh-so-yummy- store-bought boxed brownies. It’s just that it is such a comfort to know that you have a box sitting in the cupboard all ready to be thrown together if you have an unexpected guest or sudden craving stop by for a visit!  So on that note, i cannot explain to you how excited we were when we found this recipe! 🙂 It was like we had just found a gold-mine or something! These brownies are chewy, chocolaty, and just like the boxed kind!  Now the only caveat to this story is that i cannot promise you that this will be our favorite recipe forever (we might find something better – who knows?! i mean we are on a hunt for the perfect recipe, right?! ) but anyways, as of this moment, it is our favorite. And so, the story about our search for the perfect brownie recipe has only just begone!   I assure you that this is not the last time you will hear about perfect brownies! 😉

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Butter
  • ⅔ cups Dark Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1-½ teaspoon Vanilla
  • ½ teaspoons Salt
  • ½ teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 4 whole Large Eggs
  • 1 cup All-purpose Flour
  • ½ cups Chocolate Chips

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray and line the bottom and two sides with parchment paper, leaving some paper overhang. Spray the parchment with non-stick spray as well. Set aside.

In a medium saucepan melt the butter over medium low heat. Remove from heat and whisk in cocoa powder, sugar, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. Mixture will be grainy. Whisk in the eggs one at a time, working quickly so they don’t scramble. After all four eggs are added the mixture should be smooth.

Toss the chocolate chips and flour together in a small bowl. Add this to the chocolate mixture and mix just until combined. Some lumps and/or streaks of flour are OK. Do not over-mix.

Pour brownie batter into the lined 8×8 baking dish and bake at 350 F for 45-50 minutes, or until a wooden skewer comes out with no raw batter. Do not over-bake either. Let the brownies cool in the pan at least 15 minutes then use the parchment paper to lift them out of the pan. Slice into squares and serve.

Store any leftovers in an airtight container.  Or cool completely and individually wrap in plastic wrap and store. Eat within 2-3 days.

Tip: We like to double the batch when we make these, but if you double it, keep a close eye on the baking time – it differs slightly from the original, and it depends on what pan you use and how deep it is. 🙂  Oh, and one last thing! When you add the eggs to the mixture….don’t scramble them… Please?!  lol

Happy Baking & Bon Appétit!

Picture & Recipe Credit: http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/desserts/double-chocolate-brownies-4/

Candy-Stripe Cookie Sticks

Welcome~

A bend in the road is not the end of the road… unless you fail to make the turn.  ~Author Unknown

If you can find a path with no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.  ~Frank A. Clark

This is a festive, Christmas treat, enjoy!

Candy-Stripe Cookie Sticks

  • 8 egg whites
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cup flour
  • 1 1/4 sticks, unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cups plus 2 TBSP. heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • Red food coloring

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Put egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on medium speed until foamy. Reduce speed to low. Add flour and salt; mix until just combined. Add butter, cream, and vanilla, and beat until combined. Transfer 1 cup batter to a bowl (set remaining batter aside). Stir in red coloring until desired color is reached. transfer tinted batter to a pasty bag fitted with a small plain round tip. Secure end of pastry bag with rubber band. Set aside. Spoon a heaping tablespoon of plain batter on a greased 9″ X13″ pan (there will be enough room on the pan for two small rectangle shape cookies spread with a small spatula. Pipe evenly spaced diagonal tinted stripes onto each rectangle. Bake until pale golden  about 4 minutes (don’t overcook!) Immediately loosen edges with a spatula, and flip cookie over after it comes out of the oven, roll cookie into a thin cylinder, Place seam side down on a clean work surface; let cool and set aside. Quickly repeat with second cookie. Repeat process, tinting and baking two cookies on a pan at a time.

*Tip- I found that before rolling each cookie dip your fingers in cold water, that way the heat of the cookie won’t be as hot to the touch.
*Recipe from Martha Stewart’s Cookie Cookbook

Apple Pie

Welcome to Sweet 16’s Kitchen!

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity…Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” Melodie Beattie

“If you concentrate on finding whatever is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.” ~Rabbi Harold Kushner

Apple Pie

Scrumptious Apple Pie

Crust:

  • 2+ cups flour
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 7 TBSP cold water

In a bowl, combine flour and salt; cut in the butter until crumbly. Add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms a ball. Divide dough in half so that one ball is slightly larger than the other. Roll out larger ball to fit a 9-in. pie plate. Transfer pastry to pie plate. Trim pastry even with edge. Pour apple filling into crust. Roll out second ball; position over filling and fold top crust over bottom crust. Flute edges. Cut slits in pastry. Bake according to recipe directions.

Apple filling:

  • 8 cups thinly sliced peeled apples (Granny Smith apples are great)
  • 2 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1+ tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 TBSP butter
  • 1 TBSP water

Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust. Set aside. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; add to apples and toss. Pour into crust; dot wit butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie; cut slits in pastry. Trim, seal and flute edges. Lightly splash water over the top of pastry and sprinkle with white sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 350 degrees; remove foil and bake 40-45 minutes longer or until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool on wire rack.

Yield: 6-8 servings

*photo from http://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/scrumptious-apple-pie/a41b6992-efb5-4b8a-998c-26d25f05e05a

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Welcome to Sweet 16’s Country Kitchen~

This quote really stuck out to me, something I often like to ponder. It’s so easy to complain about our circumstances which we are going through or anything really, and often times we miss the beauty of the flower that is blooming in the dry desert. It is there waiting for us to pick it and enjoy its true loveliness.

“Instead of complaining that the rose bush is full of thorns, be happy the thorn bush has roses.” – Proverb

“Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

This is a yummy cookie, enjoy! 🙂

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • chocolate chips (amount as desired)

In a mixing bowl, cream butter, peanut butter and sugars. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Roll into 1-1/2 inch balls and place 3 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets/ Flatten with a fork. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned. Remove to wire racks to cool.

Yield: about 4 dozen

Raspberry Chocolate Bars

Greetings~

“Failure is not an event, but rather a judgment about an event.  Failure is not something that happens to us or a label we attach to things.   It is a way we think about outcomes.” ~John Ortberg

This is a rich chocolate dessert filled with raspberry deliciousness!

Enjoy!

Raspberry-Chocolate Bars Recipe

Raspberry Chocolate Bars

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cups pecans (finely chopped)
  • 1 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 egg
  • 1-12oz.  jar raspberry jam
  • 1 2/3 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, pecans, butter and egg; stir until crumbly. Set aside 1 1/2 cups of this pecan mixture. Press remaining mixture into the bottom of a greased 9×13″ pan. Spread raspberry jam over all. Sprinkle with chocolate chips, then with remaining crumb mixture. Bake 40-45 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely in pan on wire rack, cut into bars.

Yield: 3 dozen

*Picture credit http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/raspberry-chocolate-bars-10000000226739/

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

Welcome!

Life can only be understood backwards,but it must be lived forwards. – Soren Kierkegaard

Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands.
– Elisabeth Elliot
 
This cake is an all time favorite here, it takes some time but is really worth it! It taste especially superb with a scoop of coffee ice cream or just plain coffee! 🙂

Enjoy!

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

Orange Chocolate Chunk Cake

  • 1/2 lb. unsalted butter (rm. temp.)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 lg. eggs (rm. temp.)
  • 1/4 cup grated orange zest (4 oranges)
  • 3 cups + 2 TBSP all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk (rm. temp.)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chunks

Syrup:

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice

Ganache:

  • 8 oz. semi-sweet
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tsp. instant coffee granules

Preheat oven to 350 degrees ~Grease and flour 10″ bunt pan. Cream butter and sugar w/electric mixer 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time then add orange zest. Sift together, 3 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl combine: OJ, buttermilk and vanilla. Add flour and buttermilk mixtures alternately to creamed butter mixture, begin and end with flour. Toss chocolate chunks with 2 TBSP of flour. Add to batter. Pour into pan. Bake 45min-1 hr. Let cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. Make syrup: in small saucepan over low-med. heat, cook sugar with OJ until sugar dissolves. Remove cake from pan- spoon orange syrup. Allow to cool completely. Ganache: Melt chocolate, heavy cream and coffee in double boiler until warm and smooth. Stirring- Drizzle over top of cake.

* picture from: https://themoveablefeasts.wordpress.com/2011/06/15/orange-chocolate-chunk-cake/

Aunt Mary’s Fudge Brownies

Good afternoon everyone!

What an eventful day it has already been, as you heard from my last post, my pet Dairy Cow, “Jemimah”, was due to have her calf at anytime. Well, at 9am this morning she had a cute, little, bull calf. Everything went well, and both mother and baby are doing great! Here is a picture of the calf and mother, still trying to think of a name for him. 🙂

“A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.” ~Washington Irving

This is my Aunt’s delicious recipe, they are the best brownies ever! They are a moist, cake like brownie, the chocolate frosting really makes it extra yummy! It has been a favorite of all the family for as long as I can remember! Thanks, Aunt Mary for sharing this wonderful recipe with us! 🙂

Enjoy!

Aunt Mary’s Fudge Brownies

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped nuts
  • 2 cups sugar

Frosting:

  • 1/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
  • 1 box confectionery sugar
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Brownie batter – beat all together and Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.

Frosting – heat milk, butter, confectionery sugar, cocoa and vanilla. Pour over warm brownies.

Mama’s Patriotic Fruit Tart

Happy 4th of July!

Our house has been a buzz with excitement today, not only for the festivities going on tomorrow to celebrate Independence Day, but also because my pet Dairy Cow, “Jemimah” is going to have a baby calf anytime now! I thought for fun, that I would ask you all if you have any suggestions for girl names for the calf. Feel free to post any names you think might be good! I will let you know if I pick yours in a few days! Now, I know this is a “cooking blog”, but I just couldn’t resist telling you about this special event. 🙂

Now, for the quote of the day!

“Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself for he shall never cease to be entertained.” ~John Boswel

Enjoy!

Mama’s Patriotic Fruit Tart

  • 3/4 cup butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 package (10 oz.) vanilla chips (melted and cooled)
  • 1/44 cup whipping cream
  • 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese (softened)
  • 1 pint fresh  strawberries (sliced)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/4 cup  sugar
  • 1 TBSP. cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice

In mix bowl, cream butter and confectionery sugar. Beat in flour. Pat into bottom of greased 12″ pizza pan. Bake at 300 degrees for 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Coll. in another bowl beat and cream vanilla chips and cream cheese until smooth; spread over crust. Chill for 30 minutes.

Servings: 12

Lemon Sugar Cookies

Greetings~

These cookies are a delightful treat, they are a light, lemon sugar cookie, great with coffee or tea. It is an extra special recipe for me because it was a favorite of my Grandpa’s. 🙂

“Each new day is a new beginning- to learn more about ourselves, to care more about others, to laugh more than we did, to accomplish more than we thought we could, and be more tan we were before.” ~Unknown author

Enjoy!

Lemon Sugar Cookies Recipe

Lemon Sugar Cookies

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. lemon extract
  • 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • additional sugar

In large mixing bowl, cream butter, sugars and oil. Beat in eggs and extract. Combine flour, baking soda and cream of tartar; stir into creamed mixture. (dough will be stiff) Roll into 1″ balls; place 2″ apart on ungreased baking sheets. Press with bottom of glass dipped in water, then in sugar. Bake @ 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Yield: 11 dozen

*picture from: http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Lemon-Sugar-Cookies

Grammy’s Chocolate Cookies

Good morning~

These are an amazing, moist, chocolate, cookie!  They are one of Maratha Stewart’s wonderful recipes.:)

“Faith goes up the stairs that love has made and looks out of the windows which hope has opened.” Charles H. Spurgeon
 
Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup Dutch cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 sticks plus 4 tablespoons) unsalted, butter room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar, plus more for dipping
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Sift together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter, 2 cups sugar, and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add vanilla, and mix to combine. Gradually add dry ingredients, and combine with mixer on low speed. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, and chill until dough is firm, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with Silpat baking mats. Roll dough into 1-inch balls. Dip top of each ball into sugar. Place on prepared baking sheets about 1 1/2 inches apart. Bake until set, about 8 minutes. Cool on baking sheets for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Peanut Butter Jumbo Cookies

Good afternoon, welcome back to Sweet 16’s Country Kitchen!

“The greatest part of our happiness depends on our dispositions, not our circumstances.” ~Martha Washington

This is a wonderful recipe by, Deborah Huffer

Enjoy!

Peanut Butter Jumbo Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup miniature semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup M&M’s miniature backing bits

In a large mixing bowl, cream peanut butter, butter and sugars. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla. Combine oats and baking soda; gradually add to creamed mixture/ Stir in chocolate chips and baking bits. Drop by heaping TBSP. 2 in. apart unto ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-14 minutes or until edges are browned. Remove to wire racks.

Yield: 9 dozen.

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

My how time fly’s, it has been quite a while since I have posted anything. 

“Worry is wasting today’s  time to clutter up tomorrow’s opportunities with yesterdays troubles…. “Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” ~Matthew 6:34

This is my Aunt’s delicious apple crisp recipe. She is a wonderful cook! Thank you Aunt Caroline for sharing this delightful recipe with us!

Enjoy!

Old Fashioned Apple Crisp

  • 12-14 Macintosh Apples (or Granny Smith if you like it more tart)
  • Grated zest 1 orange
  • Grated zest 1 lemon
  • 2 TBSP. fresh orange juice
  • 2 TBSP. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar (packed)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 lb. cold, unsalted butter (diced)

Preheat over to 350 degrees. Peel, core, cut apples into large wedges -Combine apples with zests, juices, sugar and spices. Pour into greased 9x13x2″ pan.

Topping: Combine flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and cold butter with electric mixer on low speed until crumbly and butter is the size of peas. Scatter over apples. Place crisp on sheet pan. Bake 1 hour or until top is brown  and apples are bubbly. Serve warm.

  • 10 servings


Flag Pie

Welcome!

“To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world. ~Make a difference! ~Author unknown

Every year for as long as I can remember, my mom has made this delicious Flag pie. It is a tradition we have done on every 4th of July for our big family cook-outs. It is a festive, easy, and fun pie to make!

Enjoy!

Image

Flag Pie

  • 3 cans cherry pie filling
  • 1 can blueberry pie filling

Favorite Pie Crust:

  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 3/4 cup shortening
  • 1 TBSP. sugar
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBSP. vinegar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup water

Frosting for top (you can +/- any of the ingredients depending on how thick you want the frosting)

  • 1/2 cup confectionery sugar
  • 1-2 TBSP. milk
  • 1/8 tsp. almond extract

With a fork mix flour, shortening, sugar and salt. In a separate dish, beat remaining ingredients. combine both mixtures with a fork or pastry blender until moist/ Using hands mold dough into ball and chill at least 15 minutes before rolling out. Dough can be left in refrigerator for three days or frozen until ready to use.

After dough is finished cooling line a greased large cookie sheet with 3/4 amount of the dough making a thin crust. Then put the blueberry filling in one corner and spread the cherry filling all around it. Next cut out strips and starts to put on the top. Bake @ 400 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until lightly browned. After it is fully cooled spread the glaze over the stars and stripes.

Dutch Chocolate Chip Cookies

Hello!

“The first step in the acquisition of wisdom is silence, the second listening, the third memory, the fourth practice, the fifth teaching others. ~Solomon Ibn Gabriol

This recipe brings back many fond memories to me of when family and friends would stop by for a visit at our farm.We enjoyed many wonderful conversations at the kitchen table over some freshly brewed coffee and cookies. I hope you enjoy them as well! 😀

Enjoy!

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Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla (or almond) extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • 2 cups chopped nuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Beat butter, brown sugar and white sugar in large mixing bowl at medium speed, until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add eggs one at a time. Beat in vanilla. At low speed, gradually add flour, oatmeal,baking soda and salt; beat until well blended. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts. Drop dough by heaping TBSP, 2 inches apart. Bake 10-15 minutes or until golden.

  • Makes about 45 cookies

Blueberry Buckle

With the bright sunshine surrounding, I can’t help but feel joyful today. Yet, in the times when we are discouraged, and the clouds in life seem to block out all hope of the sun ever escaping again, God comes in and changes everything. We are filled with encouragement and deep joy that can only come from his unfailing love.

“May you be blessed with Joys deeper than any sadness, Gratitude happier than any regrets, Hopes brighter than the shadows of any discouragement, and the Vitality to make of everyday what God on Christmas Day made for all days.”~Dr. Lewis Smedes

This is a wonderful, breakfast delight, especially with a good cup of coffee. 🙂

Enjoy!

Blueberry Buckle

  • 8 TBSP. butter softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 cups blueberries
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup milk

Topping:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup butter (softened)

Cream butter and sugar~add eggs and beat well. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, alternately with milk. Beat until smooth; fold in berries. Spread batter in greased 9×13″ pan. Make topping and sprinkle on top of batter. Bake @375 degrees 35-40 minutes.

Enjoy!