Thursday, January 24, 2013

Giant Heart Brownie & Brownie Bites for your Valentines

I was trying to come up with a reason to make brownies.  I asked the family, "Do you guys want brownies?"  To my surprise, they all sort of shrugged.  A shrug?  For brownies??  Who are these people and what have they done with my family?
I made them anyway.  Now, I make a good brownie...a great cookie dough brownie, in fact  My secret is knowing the right boxed mix to use (Betty Crocker Original Supreme).  This time I was going to try it from scratch using a recipe from King Arthur Flour:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups Double-Dutch Dark Cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • I glanced at the ingredients and added the sugar and two sticks of butter to my mixing bowl.  I know the recipe started with eggs and cocoa, but that's not the sequence I normally use for baking.  I was going to cream the butter and sugar and then proceed.  I proceeded by reading the instructions and realized I was supposed to melt the butter.  Oops.  I sprung for the mixer to turn it off and removed most of the butter from the sugar.  Then I melted the butter in the microwave.
Had I read the instructions even further, I would have continued to heat the butter to allow more sugar to melt to form the nice thin layer on the top of the brownies.  Ahhh well, next time.  I added two cups of chocolate chips to the butter/sugar mixture- melting the chips in the microwave for one minute (melting about half of the chips).
Next time I'd probably only add one cup of melted chips rather than 2 cups half melted/half whole.  Note:  I also omitted the espresso.
 Add the sugar/butter/chocolate chips to the eggs/cocoa/baking powder/vanilla/flour mixture.
The heart pan.  I heart the heart pan.  My twin sister and I would make heart shaped cakes each year for our February birthday.  She would decorate my cake and I would decorate her cake.  Last year I found this Wilton heart-shaped pan at Target during the Valentine's season.
 "What will I do with the heart cut-out in the center?" I wondered.
 I found the pan's purpose:  brownies.  It just makes know, more edges.  I lightly greased and floured the bottom of the pan and lined with wax paper before pressing the brownie batter into the pan.  The batter was thick.  Really thick.  My kids even commented, "Wow.  That seems really thick."
I didn't end up with that delicate thin top layer, but it didn't matter so much since I would be flipping the giant heart brownie over.  The 30min at 350F ended up more like 50min.  The brownie released beautifully from the pan.
 I sprinkled with powdered sugar and trimmed the boarder with fresh red raspberries.
We served the brownie tart (tart seems like a good name for it) that evening for my brother's induction into the Knights of Columbus.  See...there was a baking occasion after all!
 The outside of the brownie was kind of hard and chewy ,and the inside was soft and chocolatey and cakey.
I still had about a third of the batter remaining, so we made a couple dozen brownie bites.
Since the batter was more cookie-dough-like, I used a cookie scoop to fill the paper liners (2nd batch I ditched the paper liners.  Both pans turned out fine.
Don't let the size be an indication of flavor.  These little brownie bites are rich.  They are also firm on the outside and cakey on the inside.  
I brushed a small amount of melted chocolate over the tops of the brownie bites using a pastry brush, and then dipped the brownie in sprinkles or crushed up conversation hearts.
 I thought the brownie-bite was the perfect serving size for this brownie recipe.
And they're just so cute.
So, the brownies with the left-over melted chocolate inspired the Chocolate Heart Pudding Cups and before we knew it, we had a little mini-party on our hands.  Just add pink lemonade.
Two chocolate filled desserts filled with love for your Valentines this year.


  1. The big brownie is soooooooooooo beautiful
    and the little brownie-cupcakes are cute
    I so like this post :)

  2. Looks so good. I want to get one of those heart pans!!

  3. These are so pretty and so indulgent. I really need to find me that Wilton pan. The idea of a giant brownie is sending me crazy right now. :)

    They're so awesome I'm featuring them on my blog tonight. Hope that's OK?

    Sweet 2 Eat Baking



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