Tuesday, June 7, 2011

m&m frosted brownies

The Friday afternoon before Memorial Day was Boy-o's official preschool graduation. He'll stay at school for most of the summer, but Friday marked the End of the Year Show, complete with songs, group and individual yoga poses (gotta love the 4-year old shouting out, "Ardha Chandrasana," while trying to do half-moon pose), and a pizza party. I asked B what he wanted me to bring, and he chose frosted brownies with M&M's.

They came out really cute, and the kiddos gobbled them up, but I've gotta say, they weren't great. (The under-5 set = usually not too discerning.) Maybe I just overbaked the brownies, because they are usually pretty fudgy. But something about the combination of frosting + brownie just sucked all the moisture out of the brownies! They almost turned cakey. It was really weird. I thought it was just me, because I've been less enamored of this recipe lately and seeking something fudgier, but Josh noticed it, too.

I made my usual brownie recipe and searched online for something akin to a Texas Sheetcake cooked icing to pour over the brownies. Texas Sheetcake icing tastes fine, but it's a little thin and always has that cocoa essence; I wanted something a little thicker that would stand up on its own and have a more pronounced chocolate flavor. Although I wasn't wild about the brownies overall, I wouldn't fault the icing: it was tasty, a great thickness (thin enough to pour but set up nicely, probably 1/8" thick, with a glossy sheen on the surface), and very easy to make. I would definitely make frosted brownies again, but perhaps with a different brownie recipe next time.

In any event, congratulations to the mini-graduates!

Steffi's Brownies (from Epicurious)
Makes an 8" pan; double the recipe for a 9x13" pan

1 stick butter
2 ounces (2 squares) unsweetened chocolate
1 cup (7 ounces) sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons (2 5/8 ounces) flour
pinch of salt
1/2 cup chocolate chips (ok, the recipe says walnuts, but we know nuts don't belong in brownies)

Preheat the oven to 350F. Line an 8" pan with tinfoil, shiny side up, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

This recipe is great because you can make it all in one saucepan (or bowl, if you prefer to use the microwave). Melt together the butter and chocolate over low heat. Let cool for three minutes, then stir in the sugar and vanilla. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, stirring thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the flour and salt until just combined, and then fold in the chocolate chips (or nuts). 

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake for 18-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean but not dry. Err on the side of underbaking. Remove from the oven and let rest until it is cool to the touch. Remove the foil-lined brownies to a cutting board or wire rack and allow to cool completely before cutting. (Note: if you're frosting them, underbake them an extra minute or so - they will continue to cook in the pan - and leave them in the pan after removing from the oven. You're going to pour the warm icing over the warm brownies.)

Brownie Frosting
Makes enough to frost a 9x13" pan of brownies; halve it for an 8" square pan

6 tablespoons milk
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) butter
1 ½ cups (10 ½ ounces) sugar
1 cup (6 ounces) chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup M&M's (optional)
Combine milk, butter, and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Allow to cook at a rolling boil for 30 seconds and immediately remove from heat. Add chocolate chips and vanilla, and stir until the chips are completely melted. Pour immediately over warm brownies. If desired, let set for 5-10 minutes and then sprinkle with M&M's.


Lisa said...

Mmm, looks like he made a very good choice. I have a sweet treat linky party going on at my blog till Monday and I'd love it if you'd come by and link your brownies up. http://sweet-as-sugar-cookies.blogspot.com/2011/06/sweets-for-saturday-21.html

Anonymous said...

You're right, nuts don't belong in brownies! You're speaking to my soul. Thanks for the delicious recipe and mouth watering pictures!