May 26, 2013

Fudge Frosted Brownies

Umm, hi all. I know I've been a bit of an absentee blogger this week. I'm sorry. I just, last weekend I wasn't able to bake anything new for you guys, and during the week...

Let's just not bring that up.

Anyway, the reason I wasn't able to bake anything new for you guys last weekend, is because I was too busy baking for, and then playing with this little munchkin.
My little M&M turned 1, you guys! And her mommy asked me to bake the cupcakes. And of course, since I'm a crazy person, I had to bake not one, but 2 flavors, make white chocolate tiaras to go on top, and make M&M her own special smash cupcake tower (which she didn't smash- apparently all babies have far too much respect for my hard work).
The cupcakes were a hit. I made my cherry chocolate chip (where I forgot the chocolate chips, heh) and my birthday cake cupcakes. And I received compliments like, "these are better than Funfetti!"
I kind of suck at photography in the real world. Sorry.
How do you respond to that, "Thank you for validating the time I spent developing these recipes by acknowledging that they are better than something that came out of a 99 cent box"? Look, I have no problem with people who use mixes, and I realize that those comments were meant well, but when I spent hours whipping egg whites and creaming butter and getting frosting to the perfect consistency, it should most definitely be better than funfetti.

(To be fair, that wasn't the only compliment I got, but that one really stuck out in my mind)

Oh, and also, I went to see Star Trek this week. What did I think? Well...
Yeah, that about sums it up. To be fair, that's how I felt after the last movie, too. And, looking at it objectively, I think the last movie was a bit better (some parts of Into Darkness felt a bit tacked on, especially Uhura's scene with the Klingons), but the last movie didn't have Benedict Cumberbatch as the villain.

And O.M.G. Benedict as the villain? Hkjklhjhnfewmrwer

He's the best kind of villain, too. Just sympathetic enough that you're not quite sure if he actually is the villain, that maybe Kirk should ally himself with Benedict's character, John Harrison, that maybe he's just that ruthless because that's what he was forced to be.

Crap, I didn't think I could be anymore in love with that man than I already was, but now he's been in Star Trek and he was brilliant.

Let's move on to these brownies before I go full fangirl.
I made these for my little cousin AJ's sixth birthday because I know he loves 2 things, chocolate and frosting.

Don't believe me? This is him eating a slice of the triple chocolate torte I made for my brother's birthday 2 years ago:

I think he liked it.

So I made some brownies with fudge frosting on top. These simple treats got overshadowed by Grammy's super cool volcano cake, but they did get a thumbs up from the birthday boy.
The brownie recipe was adapted from an old Home Ec recipe (like my Chocolate Pudding Brownies) called the Dampest, Darkest, Deadliest Brownies of All Time. They were called this because the original recipe used only dark brown sugar. My brownies do not fit the title because I was out of dark brown sugar, and ran out of light brown sugar. I could have added molasses to try and sub for it, but these ended up just firm and cakey enough to handle that thick layer of fudge frosting, while still being moist and fudgy in the middle. The perfect blend of brownie and cake.
And of course, the fudge layer is about as thick as the brownie itself. I don't have a problem with that, but if you do, you can use half the recipe on the brownie and then do what my mother loves to do with this frosting: keep it in the fridge and eat it like fudge.

Fudge Frosted Brownies
Yield: 16 brownies

For the brownies:
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
2 cups flour

For the fudge frosting:
12 oz. (2 cups) semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup butter or shortening
1/2 cup milk
3 cups powdered sugar

For the brownies: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the sugars, eggs, vanilla, and salt until well blended. In a small saucepan over medium low heat, begin melting the butter. When the butter is half melted, reduce the heat to low and add the chocolate, stirring until the chocolate is mostly melted. Remove from heat and keep stirring until smooth. Whisking constantly, slowly add the chocolate mixture to the sugar mixture, mixing until well incorporated. Fold in the flour.

Grease and line a 9x9 inch square pan with parchment paper. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake about 23 minutes, until the middle is just slightly underdone. Place on a wire rack to cool.

For the frosting: In the top of a double boiler, melt the butter and chocolate chips. Carefully stir in the milk until smooth. Stir in the powdered sugar. Spread evenly over the brownies, and let sit until completely set.

Tip: For easier cutting, wait until brownies and frosting are completely cooled, and let chill in the refrigerator at least 30 minutes. Slice into squares, and let them come to room temperature before serving.

Brownie recipe adapted from my home ec class (original source unknown). Frosting recipe adapted from The Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook