Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Brownies Inc.

I was 13 years old when my cousin came home from one of her classes in college (she majored in Nutrition) armed with a brownie recipe. At that time, I had no idea what a brownie was but I was so excited to get going with the baking part. My Mom had a co-worker (Tita Warlet) who made all of my birthday cakes and when I had time off from school, I would go with my Mom to the school where she teaches and this visit almost always includes a side trip to Tita Warlet's house where she does all of her baking. To the 10 year old me, that was a little slice of heaven on earth.

Anyway, landing back to earth, we had this  stove top oven contraption that allows you to bake a cake with the annoying limitation of it coming out as a round cake with a hole in the middle. Still, we were determined to try out my cousin's recipe. It was sadly my or I should say our first taste of a baking disaster but we ate the brownie anyways. It was still a treat even though we were eating the brownie off the sides of the pan where it got stuck. The damage was done though, I was in love with baking.
One of my favorite brownie recipe is Ina-Garten's Soho Charcuterie Brownies. The only problem is that her recipe is really fit when you are feeding an army. Way too much brownie in a 12x18 baking sheet pan. An alternative is my other go-to recipe, Nigella Lawson's version of Birthday Brownies in her book, "How to be a Domestic Goddess". Hers is more manageable in a 9x13 pan and has become a favorite of my niece.

Cream Cheese Brownies - I used the recipe from
Copyright 2011 LtDansKitchen blogs
I've also recently come across some recipes for cheesecake brownies as I've always loved them ever since a small stall in the SM City North Edsa mall back in the Philippines sold really awesome brownies. The company is Brownies Unlimited. I would buy their 6-pack brownie box with a cheesecake brownie in the mix. I have a recipe on file but I never got it to work although I've made some progress recently courtesy of Stephanie Jaworski's Cream Cheese Brownie recipe at her website and an even more recent find is David Lebovitz's recipe on his "Living the Sweet Life in Paris" blog. Make sure you check out their awesome websites and their recipes as well. 

Below is the first brownie recipe I ever tried. I referred to it as "Best Brownies" but the recipe is fairly basic although it does satisfy the craving for something sweet. It is fairly easy to make as well. Add semi-sweet chocolate chips if you want to up the chocolate factor.  


½ cup unsalted butter + extra for greasing
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup flour
1/3 cup cocoa
¼ tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. Salt
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional) 


1.    Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 9-inch baking pan with foil and grease with butter.
2.    Melt the butter over low heat in a bowl. Add the sugar and mix with a wooden spoon until almost dissolved.
3.    Add the eggs one at a time and mix very well after each addition.
4.    Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt.
5.    Gradually add into butter mixture. Mix very well. Add the vanilla and nuts (if using) and mix until incorporated.  
6.    Spread into greased pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and cut into wedges. 

My brownie with ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and ½ cup walnuts.
Copyright 2011 Lt Dan’s Kitchen blogs

1 comment:

  1. the last picture... definitely looks better than the ones they sell at Brownies Unlimited... :-D