Sometimes I just get a hankering to bake a cake. Unlike cookies, though, I feel like a cake requires at least some sort of occasion to justify it, so I’ve had this recipe in my “to-bake” stash for quite some time. And oh my goodness, am I glad I finally made it.
I had a relatively frustrating afternoon of bureaucracy and am walking into a weekend’s worth of grading – so naturally, I spent a fair bit of my afternoon looking for a cookie recipe to experiment with. One must fortify one’s spirits, after all. Continue reading “Coconut Cashew Cookies”
When my mom emailed me the recipe for this bar cookie topped with Peeps, I gagged a bit. Then I decided to make them just to experience the absurdity that is this explosion of sugar.
Here is a true fact about baking: recipes come out “wrong” or go awry or do something weird all the time – even for experienced bakers.
This is true of my own kitchen endeavors (witness Chocolate Toffee Biscotti and Lazy Girl’s Crack Pie just to point you to a few), and I’ve found that the key is to remember that it’s not about my kitchen-competence. It’s not because I’m a failure at baking or an idiot. It’s just how baking goes sometimes. And I can either try the recipe again until I get it “right,” or I can chalk it up as a lost cause and eat the generally tasty results anyway.
These brownies are one of those recipes. In my first attempt, the pretzel crust did not pan out. Ha. (It didn’t come out of the pan very well – get it?). This was probably related to the fact that I used pretzel chips (what I had on hand) rather than the normal pretzels that the recipe called for. The proportion expectation was also confusing – I used approximately 1 ½ cups of pretzel crumbs, when I think she means 1 ½ cups of whole pretzels. Either way, the crust was a bust. But the brownie filling is awesome.
So, a couple weeks later, I attempted the recipe a second time – skipping the crust and going straight for the good stuff. In that iteration, the brownies are outstanding: fudgy, dense, and distinctly Nutella without being overwhelming.
It’s also an interesting and differently messy approach – you make the filling in a saucepan after melting the butter. I like it. Easy to mix by hand, no waiting for butter to soften.
Though I prefer my adaptation of the recipe (without all the extraneous fuss of crust and frosting), I strongly recommend you click on the link to the original recipe on Bakingdom since her photos are incredible. Incredible. I didn’t even try with mine – both because the first attempt was a mess, but also ‘cause I can’t even come close to the glory that are her pictures.
Nutella Brownies (AKA Nutella Pretzel Brownies from Bakingdom)
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup nutella hazelnut spread
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8×8 pan with cooking spray.
In a medium bowl, mix together the dry ingredients: cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter. Once melted, remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the sugar until combined.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Stir in the vanilla and the Nutella.
Whisk in the dry ingredients until combined and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out relatively clean. The degree of cleanliness will relate to the degree of fudginess – I took mine out with a little bit of batter still on the toothpick.
(The original recipe calls for a much longer baking time, and I ended up with almost burnt edges. Without the crust, it only took 25 mins or so to get deliciously gooey brownies).
Someday I will learn to read recipes before I start baking. Inevitably, I miss the “requires refrigeration” memo buried in the middle of the instructions. Someday I will also learn not to multitask in the kitchen. This was not one of those days. Continue reading “Chocolate Toffee Biscotti”
It’s probably a good thing I only learned last night how easy it is to make toffee – IF you have an electric stove. Attempting to make caramel/toffee on a gas stove has been the bane of my existence for years. Years! Continue reading “Basic Toffee”
Given how long I’ve been baking, it surprises me how many things I do not feel like I’ve got the hang of yet. Pie is one of them. This pie, in particular. Continue reading “Black Walnut Pie”
Out of good conscience I had to shorten the original title of these ’cause it’s a little out of hand (as are the cookies themselves, frankly): “Nutella Stuffed Brown Butter Espresso Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars.” You see what I’m saying here. Continue reading “Everything That’s Awesome Bars”
I promised myself to try and catch up on my backlog before baking something else – which should be sufficient motivation in itself, but I also learned about the marvels of Meyer lemons last week and the result was a total crowd pleaser that I’m excited to share.
I’ve long been on a quest for a delicious carrot cake recipe. Every time a friend requests a carrot cake for some special event or other, I scour the internet and try a new one – and am generally a bit dissatisfied with the taste or texture. Until now. Continue reading “The Only Carrot Cake Recipe You Need”