Maida Heatter’s Santa Fe Brownies

I got this recipe from Joy, after seeing them on her blog, “The Cooking Of Joy“. (Clever title, isn’t it?)

She was gracious enough to send me the recipe – which she didn’t post because of uncertainties with copyrights and permission from the author.

On the advice of my attorney, I’m posting the recipe (insert tongue in cheek here). Seriously, most professional bakers/chefs are thrilled with exposure, and these brownies are something everyone should be exposed to.

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These reminded me of Nick Malgieri’s cheesecake brownies – because it’s essentially brownies and cheesecake batter, just presented differently. I don’t think I followed her directions precisely with respect to the layering, but no matter – these were really, really good. Super chocolatey and dense, with a nice tang from the cream cheese batter – definitely worth making again.

And, these are great straight from the freezer – since they don’t freeze solidly, they just get super cold and a bit chewy.

The only changes I made to the recipe was to omit the nuts from the chocolate mixture, and omit the butter from the cream cheese mixture.

Santa Fe Brownies – adapted from Maida Heatter

Chocolate Mixture*
1 ½ c unsifted unbleached flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
6 oz unsweetened chocolate
6 oz semisweet chocolate
8 oz unsalted butter
5 large eggs
1 ¼ c granulated sugar
1 ½ cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 tbs vanilla extract

Butter and foil a 9×13 pan. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.
Place both chocolates and butter in double boiler on moderate heat, cover and stir occasionally until melted and smooth. Take off heat and set aside briefly.
In large bowl of electric mixer, beat eggs just to mix. Add both sugars and vanilla and beat only til mixed.
On low speed beat in the melted chocolate mixture (should still be warm), then the sifted dry ingredients, scraping the bowl and beating only til incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer. Pour half of chocolate mixture over bottom of pan.

Cream Cheese Mixture*
12 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup granulated sugar
3 eggs
In small bowl of electric mixer beat cream cheese and butter til smooth. Beat in vanilla and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat only til smooth. Pour the cheese mixture slowly in a wide ribbon all over the chocolate mixture in the pan. With the bottom of a spoon, spread cream cheese mixture to edges of pan. Stir remaining chocolate mixture to soften it (it will be quite thick) and pour in wide ribbon (or globs) over the cheese layer. It doesn’t have to cover all the cheese layer and does not have to reach the sides of the pan. With a table knife, cut through the top chocolate and cheese layers in a zigzag pattern to marbleize the mixtures slightly.
Bake 1 hr and about 15 min til cake tests done, be careful not to overbake. Once reverse the pan, front to back. Cool in the pan. Then cover with board or cookie sheet and turn the pan and board or sheet upside down. Remove the pan and the foil lining. Cover the cake with was paper or plastic wrap and then with another board or sheet and turn upside down, leaving the cake right side up. Refrigerate overnight, or at least for several hours.

Midnight Chocolate Brownie Bites

Ok, this is embarrassing. I made these brownies, photographed them, and can’t find the pictures. Anywhere.

So I’ve taken the photo that accompanies the recipe from the L.A. Times to show you. Really, though, these do look better than mine – so I suppose it’s a bit self serving that the pictures have gone M.I.A.

40594233Photo credit: Robert Lachman / L.A. Times

Now, what you really want to know is….how were they? According to my notes, they were very, very good – dark, fudgey and a bit sweet. I think the sugar could be decreased, but then again, I did leave out the Grand Marnier and orange peel – and perhaps that would have given another dimension to the flavor instead of “sweet”. I personally don’t like fruit or fruit flavoring in my brownies – but if you try them, let me know.

Midnight Chocolate Brownie Bites -adapted from  L.A. Times

1/2 cup (1 stick) butter plus more to butter the dish
1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/4 cup best-quality cocoa
1/4 cup flour
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square baking dish with aluminum foil, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of the foil.

Melt the butter and bittersweet chocolate in a medium metal bowl set over simmering water until the mixture is smooth. Stir in the brown sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla.

Whisk in the eggs, one at a time, until completely blended and the mixture is shiny and smooth; the mixture will be thickened at this point.

Sift together the cocoa and flour, then stir the flour mixture into the batter until blended. Fold in the mini chocolate chips.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, smoothing the top. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until puffed and almost set. Do not overbake. Cool while still in the pan, on a wire rack.

Lift the brownies out of the pan, using the foil as a handle, and invert the brownies onto the cooling rack. Gently peel off the foil, then return the brownies to their original position. Cool completely. Cut into 25 squares, trimming off the edges if desired.

Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies

There are as many versions of this recipe floating around in the culinary world as there are fish in the sea – and they all claim to be the original.

In my opinion, there is only one person (Ms. Hepburn) who can verify or deny all the claims, but sadly she isn’t able to do so.

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I found this particular version on epicurious.com, and I really wish I had paid more attention to the comments/reviews.

These were awful – greasy and not particularly tasty at all. Many people commented on the flour/butter ratio being off, and the batter did look like it needed help absorbing all the butter – but I persevered, and unfortunately, the resulting pan ended up in the trash.

I think next time I’ll try Dorie Greenspan’s tribute version –  her recipe uses cocoa powder instead of unsweetened chocolate, which I believe would assist with the butter absorbing into the batter.

Katherine Hepburn’s Brownies – adapted from epicurious.com

1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1. Melt together butter and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat.
2. Stir in 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and beat the mixture well.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour.
4. Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch-square pan at 325°F for about 40 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool before slicing.

Coffee and Cream Brownies

Looking for a bit of coffee and cream on your brownie instead of in your brownie?

Then you must try these –  they are just faaabuuulous! I made them last summer, and can still remember the flavor of the dense brownie, the smooth coffee filling, and the rich chocolate glaze. I found this recipe last year on the Taste of Home website – in fact, there are several more listed that I can’t wait to try!

The only change I made was to double the filling, since I love coffee so much – or course, you can always leave it “as is” if you prefer a thinner layer. I also decreased the amount of sugar in the filling by about 1/2 cup (for a doubled recipe – if you are making the original, just decrease it by 1/4 cup).

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You can tell this is an old picture – it’s from last year, when my photo skills were a bit lacking.

Coffee and Cream Brownies – adapted from Taste of Home

1/2 cup butter, cubed
3 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate, chopped
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
FILLING:
1 tablespoon heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
GLAZE:
1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
1/3 cup heavy whipping cream

In a microwave, melt butter and chocolate; stir until smooth. Cool slightly. In a small bowl, beat eggs, sugar and vanilla; stir in the chocolate mixture. Combine flour and baking soda; gradually add to chocolate mixture.
Spread into a greased 8-in. square baking pan. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean (do not overbake). Cool on a wire rack.
For filling, combine cream and coffee granules in a small bowl; stir until coffee is dissolved. In a small bowl, cream butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in coffee mixture; Spread over brownies.
In a small saucepan, combine chips and cream. Cook and stir over low heat until chocolate is melted and mixture is thickened. Cool slightly. Carefully spread over filling. Let stand for 30 minutes or until glaze is set. Cut into squares. Store in the refrigerator. Yield: 16 servings.

Sour Cream Brownies

If you are looking for a brownie that is quick to prepare, not too sweet, and light on the chocolate flavor, this recipe is for you. These beauties come from Nick Malgieri’s (relatively) new book, The Modern Baker.

They reminded me more of a thin chocolate cake than a brownie. Not fudgy or dense, but a bit cakey with a mild chocolate flavor.

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Perfect to pack for a picnic, these are sturdy and would definitely travel well.

Sour Cream Brownies – adapted from The Modern Baker

6 oz. unsalted butter, cut into pieces
7 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 ¾ c. brown sugar, firmly packed
4 large eggs
½ c. sour cream
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ c. all purpose flour

Line a 9×13 pan with foil and butter the bottom and sides.

Set a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees. Put the butter in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. Let the butter melt, stirring 2 or 3 times, then allow it to bubble for about 10 seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add the chocolate. Gently shake the pan to submerge the chocolate in the hot butter and set aside for a few minutes so that the chocolate melts. Use a small whisk to mix until smooth.

Place the brown sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat in 1 egg on the lowest speed using the paddle attachment. Add the remaining eggs, one at a time, beating smooth after each. Add the sour cream, salt and vanilla and beat smooth.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a large rubber spatula to mix in the chocolate and butter mixture. Mix in the flour.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the brownies until they are firm, but still moist in the center, about 30 minutes.

Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and chill for several hours before attempting to cut them.

New Classic Brownies

Here’s a little fun fact for you – these brownies, from Alice Medrich, were the very first recipe posted on my other blog back in April of ’08.

I had raided the kids Easter candy, and wanted to try Alice’s method of baking the brownies at a high temperature, then putting the pan in ice water for a rapid cool down.

As evidenced from the not-so-great-photo, you can tell my food photography skills were in need of improvement.

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The brownies, however, were terrific. The unusual cooking method produces a nice fudgy brownie, without overly crisp edges and undercooked middle.

Just make sure you use a metal baking pan, unless you like glass shards mixed with your brownies.

New Classic Brownies – adapted from Alice Medrich

8 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup chopped peppermint patties

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line an 8-inch-square metal baking pan with foil. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Stir often, and remove from heat when a few lumps remain. Stir until smooth.
2. Stir in sugar, vanilla and salt. Stir in eggs one at a time, followed by flour. Stir until very smooth, about 1 minute, until mixture pulls away from sides of bowl. Add chopped candy. Scrape batter into prepared pan and bake 20 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare a water bath: Pour ice water into a large roasting pan or kitchen sink to a depth of about 1 inch. Remove pan from oven and place in water bath, being careful not to splash water on brownies. Let cool completely, then lift out and cut into 1-inch squares or wrap in foil.
Yield: 16 brownies

King Arthur Flour Brownies

I got this recipe, which comes from the back of the King Arthur Flour bag, from Nic at Bakeologie. She graciously sent it to me after reading about my disappointment with the results from testing the Baked Brownie (which I am determined to re-do), so she recommended I try them.

You can also read about her results by clicking on the link above.

These were great – thick, fudgey, and full of pure chocolate flavor. And although they contain a bit of espresso powder, (albeit much less than the Outrageous Brownies), in this instance you really can’t detect it at all. It merely amplifies the chocolate flavor, but without you noticing that it’s there.

I would definitely make these again.

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Fudge Brownies – adapted from King Arthur Flour

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups Dutch-process cocoa
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon espresso powder, optional
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups chocolate chips

1) Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan

2) In a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat, melt the butter, then add the sugar and stir to combine. Return the mixture to the heat (or microwave) briefly, just until it’s hot (about 110°F to 120°F), but not bubbling; it’ll become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating this mixture a second time will dissolve more of the sugar, which will yield a shiny top crust on your brownies.

3) Transfer the sugar mixture to a medium-sized mixing bowl, if you’ve heated it in a saucepan. Stir in the cocoa, baking powder, espresso powder, and vanilla.

4) Whisk in the eggs, stirring until smooth.

5) Add the flour and chips, again stirring until smooth.

6) Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 9″ x 13″ pan.

7) Bake the brownies for about 30 minutes, until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs clinging to it. The brownies should feel set on the edges, and the center should look very moist, but not uncooked. Remove them from the oven and cool on a rack before cutting and serving