Friday, October 29, 2010


I usually buy boxed brownie mix, which is pretty ridiculous considering that I think Bisquick is a rip-off.  However, a few weeks ago I needed something sweet and I didn't have any mix.  So, I went to the Hershey's website to find out what I could do with the ingredients that I had on hand, specifically cocoa powder.  It turns out that you can make brownies.

The following is a pretty simple brownie recipe.  And there's probably a better one out there that's just as simple but I wasn't exactly on a search for the best brownie recipe of all time.  I wanted a recipe that was fast, easy, and required just the ingredients that I had on hand.  Regardless, it sure beats sending Paul to the grocery store at 9 p.m. for something to satisfy my sweet tooth.  He really is not amused by those sorts of requests. 

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Hershey's Cocoa
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Heat oven to 350°F.  Grease a 9-inch square baking pan.   Stir together butter, sugar, and vanilla in a bowl.  Add eggs and beat well.  Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.  Stir in nuts, if desired.  (I actually just throw all of the ingredients into the KitchenAid and don't concern myself with the order.)  Spread batter evenly in pan.  Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan.  Cool completely in pan on wire rack.  Cut into 16 squares, or however you want to cut them.

You can easily do all sorts of variations, like the mixes that you'll see in the grocery store.  For example:

Add nuts.  
Add peanut butter chips.
Add frosting (recipe below).  
Use peppermint extract instead of vanilla.  
Drop chocolate chip cookie dough into the pan with the brownie batter.
Sprinkle with powdered sugar. 
Creamy Brownie Frosting
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended.  Add powdered sugar and milk; beat to spreading consistency.  Makes about 1 cup frosting.

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