Simple, easy and forever delicious: brownies and blondies!!

March 10, 2014 § Leave a comment

As much as SWEETTABLESCAPES bakes fun cookies, pretty cupcakes and miniature pastries, we cannot and will not ignore the simple and 0h-so-satisfying joys of classics. Brownies (and blondies) are definitely at the top of the list for the all-American, forever-popular and completely delicious dessert. Whether you grab it on the go at your local baker or take the time to bake it yourself at home, whether turned into a guilt-inducing Sunday with all the toppings or enjoyed plain and simple, it is a beloved sweet that can be made quickly and easily on a daily basis.

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We used the classic (and reportedly original) Palmer House Brownies recipe cut from an old magazine for the brownies and good old Martha Stewart for the blondies…and voila…perfect week-end treat!

Palmer House Brownies:

You’ll need:

9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter

1 cup plus 6 TBsp sugar

2 large eggs

1 cup cake flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups coarsely chopped walnuts

1/2 cup apricot preserves

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour 8x8x2-inchg metal baking pan.IMG_6063

Melt chocolate and butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring often; cool to lukewarm.IMG_6049IMG_6051IMG_6052

Using electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs in large bowl until well blended, about 1 minute.IMG_6053IMG_6054

IMG_6056Whisk in melted chocolate mixture.IMG_6059

IMG_6060Sift flour, baking powder and salt over; fold to blend.IMG_6055IMG_6061IMG_6062

Transfer batter to prepared baking pan. Sprinkle walnuts over and press gently into batter.IMG_6064IMG_6065

IMG_6066Bake brownies until edges are raised and cracked and tester inserted into center comes out with some moist batter attached, about 45 minutes.IMG_6067

Melt apricot preserves in small skillet over medium heat. Strain preserves, brush melted jam over hot brownies. Cool one hour, then transfer to refrigerator and chill until cold, about 2 hours.

We skipped the preserves part to keep the plain, yet delicious brownies. And for the “gourmands” amongst us, we added some Hazelnut ice-cream, freshly whipped cream and chocolate sprinkles!!

Decadent!

IMG_6068IMG_6069

Almond-Raspberry Blondies:

You’ll need:

  • 9 tablespoons (1 1/8 sticks) unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup sliced almonds, (3 ounces), toasted
  • 1 pint raspberries
  • Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

Directions:

  1. Step

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line a buttered 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over sides. Butter lining (excluding overhang); set pan aside.     IMG_6071

  2. Step 2

    Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl, and set aside.IMG_6072

  3. Step 3

    Put butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; cream on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes. IMG_6074IMG_6075Add eggs and vanilla; beat until combined. IMG_6076IMG_6077Add flour mixture, and beat on low speed, scraping down sides of bowl, until well incorporated. Mix 3/4 cup almonds into batter.IMG_6078IMG_6079

  4. Step 4

    Pour batter into prepared pan; spread with a rubber spatula. IMG_6080Scatter berries and remaining 1/4 cup nuts over batter in pan. IMG_6081Bake until a cake tester inserted into blondies (avoid center and edges) comes out with a few crumbs but is not wet, 55 to 60 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar before cutting into squares.IMG_6082IMG_6084IMG_6085

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