Coconut Brownie Bars

By: Julie

Makes 1 7×11 pan of awesomeness.

Time:  6 hours including chill time.

Last week, while eating the brownies I made I had a thought.  An epiphany really.  A dream of coconut and dark chocolate that would eclipse even the bountiful bounty bar.  And then I made these:

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If you are a fan of Nanimo Bars, these bars are right up your alley. They have a cocoa-brownie bottom, with a coconut filling and a dark chocolate top.  If you are in to rich chocolate and coconut, you will love these.

You Will Need:

For the brownie bottom

  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs

For the coconut center

  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups unsweetened coconut

For the chocolate top

  • 6 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 tbs butter

Prepare the Brownies

Preheat the oven to 320F and line a 7×11 pan with parchment paper (I haven’t tested it but I’m sure an 8×8 would work just as well).

Combine the butter, cocoa, brown sugar and salt in a pan and stir until combined and butter is just melted.  Remove from heat.  When the mixture is luke-warm, stir in vanilla, and then eggs, one at a time until well combined.  Add flour and stir until flour is incorporated.  Spread mixture into prepared pan and place in the center of oven for 18-20 min until just a few crumbs stick to a wooden skewer.

Allow to cool completely.

Make The Filling

Combine the coconut with the condensed milk and spread evenly over brownie mixture.

Make The Top

In a double boiler, melt chocolate with butter and stir until combined.  Remove from heat and allow to cool until mixture is close to body temperature, then pour over coconut.  Spread evenly and place pan in fridge.  Cool for two hours and transfer to freezer.  Freeze for an hour before cutting.  This will allow you to get a clean cut without smooshing the bar and having coconut ooze out.  Cut small, they are packed with a punch and are rich.

This dessert should be served cold and kept in the fridge to keep it’s shape and texture.

 

Chewy Brown Sugar Brownies

By: Julie

Serves: 9 brownies in a brownie pan or 1 8×8 pan.

When the whole salted caramel thing really exploded in the world of baking I was in heaven.    However, there is one problem with this.  I really hate making caramel.

So, in the interests of cheating, I decided to swap out the plain old white-granulated-sugar and replace it with some delicious brown sugar.  Brown sugar can back-fire easily… it can make things overly chewy and hard if over-baked.  However, that didn’t happen here.  The slight chew was pleasant and the outside of the brownies were crispy and delicious.  The brown sugar added a slightly caramelized flavor and I increased the salt to get the desired effect.  When I want chocolate I make brownies.  When I want brownies in a hurry I make them with cocoa powder instead of chocolate.  Don’t be afraid, I promise cocoa brownies are in now way inferior.

I used a special brownie pan that I have had kicking around, just waiting for an experiment like this.  This particular one is Pampered Chef but I have seen similar pans from other culinary companies.  I like it because the center of the brownies cooked through before the edges got too hard.  Also the edges were lovely and crispy (like muffin tops).

You Will Need

  • 10 tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp of your best vanilla
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Make The Brownies

Preheat oven to 325f. If using a brownie pan, lightly grease.  If using am 8×8 pan, line with parchment paper and spray with cooking spray.

In a medium sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the cocoa, brown sugar, and salt.  As soon as it’s melted and blended, take it off the heat.  It will be granular, but don’t worry – it will be lovely in the end.

When it’s still warm, but not hot (body temp is what you’re going for), add the vanilla and stir.  Add the eggs one at a time and stir until well blended.  Then add the flour and mix well.  Add the chopped walnuts and mix.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan and place in the oven.  Cook for 25-30 min until a skewer put into the middle comes out almost clean.  If using a special brownie pan, remove immediately from pan by inverting onto a cooling rack.  If using a square pan, allow to cool and remove from pan before cutting.

 

 

My Favourite Brownies- that happen to be gluten free :)

imageBy: Corinne

These are my favourite brownies. They are slightly crunchy and chewy on the outside, soft in the middle, not too sweet and are the perfect size. They also only take about 5 min to mix up and then 20 to bake, which makes them extra perfect.

I know several people who are celiac (can’t tolerate gluten) and I find that most gluten free cook books and recipes are terribly complicated, use lots of additives and multiple mixtures of flours. In most cases, they can be much simplified. In this case I simply took my favourite brownie recipe and substituted my go to gluten free flour- chickpea or chana flour. In this case, I actually like the result better than using regular white flour. These brownies come out slightly crunchy on the outside and have a more chewy texture using the chickpea flour rather than regular white.

Please heed this important warning, if you try to make these in a square pan rather than in mini muffin cups, they will be a disaster to cut. Inspired by http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2012/08/my-favorite-brownies/ -however notice that as well as substituting the sugar, there are several other changes.

You Will Need:

  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon  vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
  • 2/3 cup chick pea (chana) flour

Heat oven to 350F. Melt butter and chocolate in glass bowl in a microwave in two 30 second increments, whisking between. After the second you should only have a few chunks of chocolate left, you should be able to whisk them in without microwaving again, but if needed put in for another 15 seconds.

Whisk in sugar, then eggs one at a time and vanilla. Whisk in the chick pea flour, it is a little more difficult to mix in than regular white flour, so add a bit at a time. Add the salt last.

Grease mini muffin tins with butter or canola spray. I use silicone ones as I find they pop out nicely. Put batter in tins, I usually get 22 mini brownie bites, so have 2 empty spots.

Bake in 350F oven for 20 min, checking with a tooth pick at 15 min or so. Tooth pick will come out clean when finished. Let cool for a few min in pan, then turn out onto cooling rack to cool completely. These freeze well, annnnnnd… may be delicious straight out of the freezer and frozen as well 🙂