Chocolate-Dipped Brownies {and a Giveaway!}

Chocolate-Dipped Brownies via Sweetapolita

*This giveaway is closed, but the recipe is still divine!

I love rich, silky chocolate. I also love brownies. And, well, sprinkles are my soul mate, so can someone please tell me how I never thought to marry them into one delightful and decadent bar before? It all makes so much sense, but yet, somehow, it never dawned on me.

So there I was, poring over every single recipe in the new book, Taste of Home Baking, All NEW Edition: 725+ Recipes & Variations from Classics to Best Loved!, and there it was: a recipe for Chocolate-Dipped Brownies. Needless to say I sashayed to the kitchen to whip these up, and although I wasn’t surprised, they tasted a good as I suspected they would. The reason I really enjoy this baking book so much, is because it’s made up seemingly endless (I think it’s almost 800!) recipes that have been contributed by home-bakers all over North America (I even spotted a recipe from a woman in Kitchener, Ontario, my home town, which I found very exciting for some reason). That aside, every single recipe in the book has been tested in the Taste of Home test kitchen, so there’s this comfort of knowing that the recipes are reliable and trusted.

*The sweetest gifts: From coffee cakes to cookies, Taste of Home Baking: All-New Edition offers dozens of home-baked gift ideas, and the book itself makes a valuable holiday gift; it comes with a free year subscription to Taste of Home (within the U.S.)

* Trimmed-down favorites, specially designed for health-conscious readers or those who have food allergies, such as gluten-free options.

* Troubleshooting tips that can help any home baker turn exasperation into elation, including step-by-step photos. 

*These are down-to-earth recipes that will warm the hearts of families who know the simple pleasure of gathering around the kitchen table for fresh-from-the-oven happiness.

Because I have a real thing for family recipes and comfort baking, I really connected with the whole concept of this book and, of course can’t help but feel the need to bake everything in it! The even better news is that the sweet folks from Taste of Home have generously provided me with a copy of this beautiful book to give away to one lucky reader (it also comes along with a year subscription to their Taste of Home magazine.). Some of the recipes that leapt off the pages (and are on my to-make list) are the Hot Milk Cake, Caramel Butter Cake, Peanut Butter Truffle Cupcakes, Candy Bar Meringue Torte (just to name a few) and, of course, these Chocolate-Dipped Brownies.

I found these to be a great make-with-the-kids treat, which always means a lot to me. They don’t even require an electric mixer, which is always a welcomed change. Reese was at school the morning we made these, but little Neve and I had a great time making them together (don’t worry, Reese got her taste test in after school!). I had Neve on sprinkle duty and, as you can probably bet, she didn’t mind.

Dipped Brownies via Sweetapolita

What is it about sprinkles that make life that much better?

Sweetapolita

The same goes for cute little cakelets.

Sweetapolita

 An official Sprinkle Sprinkler–imagine if that was a paying gig? Sign me up.

Dipped Brownies via Sweetapolita

I’m thinking these would be a nice addition to a Halloween party dessert table or to give away to close neighbours, friends and family as homemade Halloween treats. They would also, of course, be a nice addition to pretty much any day of the year.

For a chance to win this epic book, here are some giveaway details:

Here’s how to enter:

1. Leave a comment on this blog post telling me what your favourite baked good is. That’s it!

2. For an extra entry, tweet about this post (with the link) and include @Sweetapolita, then come back and let me know.

3. For an extra entry, tell your friends on Facebook (with the link), then pop back over here to let me know.

*Giveaway Completed

Winner will be chosen on Wednesday, October 26th at 12pm EST using random.org. Any entries received after this time will not be considered.

Be sure to check back for see if you’re the winner!

Here’s the recipe for these decadent (but simple!) treats:

Chocolate-Dipped Brownies        {click to print}

From Taste of Home Baking, All NEW Edition: 725+ Recipes & Variations from Classics to Best Loved!, contributed by Jackie Archer, Clinton, Iowa

Yield: 24 bars (1″ x 2.5″)

Ingredients

3/4 cup (150 g/5 oz) sugar

1/3 cup butter (75 g/2.5 oz), cubed

2 tablespoons (30 mL) water

4 cups (685 g/24 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, divided (I used premium chocolate for 2 cups dipping portion) – Callebaut Dark Callets 53.8 % (2 lb)

1 teaspoon (5 mL) vanilla extract

2 eggs

3/4 cup (100 g) all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon (2.5 mL) salt

1/4 teaspoon (1.25 mL) baking soda

2 tablespoons (30 mL) shortening

Chopped pecans, jimmies, and/or nonpareils (optional)

Method

1. In a large saucepan, bring the sugar, butter, and water to a boil over medium heat. Remove from the heat; stir in 1 cup of chocolate chip and vanilla until smooth. Cool for 5 minutes.

2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda; stir into chocolate mixture. Stir in 1 cup chocolate chips. Pour into a greased 9-inch square baking pan.

3. Bake at 325°F for 35 minutes or until set (see my note below). Cool completely on a wire rack. Place in the freezer for 30-40 minutes or until firm (do not freeze completely). Cut into bars.

4. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt remaining chips with shortening; stir until smooth. Using a small fork, dip brownies to completely coat; shake off excess. Place on waxed paper-lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with pecan, jimmies and/or nonpareils. Let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.

*Dipping Bars in Chocolate

* Melt the chocolate chips, baking chocolate or candy coating according to recipe directions. If necessary, transfer chocolate to a narrow container.

* To cover an entire bar in chocolate, use two forks to dip the bar into the chocolate and lift up. Gently shake the bar to remove excess chocolate. Place on a waxed-paper lined baking sheet to set at room temperature.

* If the chocolate cools too much to the bars properly, rewarm and continue dipping.

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • For easy removal of the baked brownie, I grease the pan and then line with parchment paper with an inch or so of overhang. Once brownies are cool and have been in the freezer for the 30 minutes, I then remove from pan using parchment overhang and place brownie on cutting board for clean and easy cutting.
  • Because this recipe calls for so much chocolate, I used standard chocolate chips for the brownie and premium chocolate for the dipping (I use semisweet Callebaut Dark Callets 53.8 % (2 lb))
  • I tend to like my brownies a little less cakey and bake them for less time than more, so I baked mine for 25 minutes (remove as soon as the top starts to crackle).
  • I cut the brownies into 1″ x 2.5″ bars before dipping.
  • I didn’t have shortening on hand, so I used 1 tablespoon of white corn syrup in its place.

Good luck & enjoy!



Related posts:

Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

Here’s the thing about four-year-olds: They are clever, they are charming, and they let you get away with nothing! Nothing at all, really, such as missing and not baking cakes for their toys’ birthdays. Yep. But, as you may have guessed, I am very open to the idea, and felt simply terrible that I forgot dear Clementine the Monkey’s birthday. Bad mommy. Bad. When Reese explained that it was Clementine’s birthday, and that we forgot to bake her a cake, I asked her what kind of cake would she want. She replied, “She’s a monkey, mommy, so banana, ice cream, and sprinkles, of course!” I simply couldn’t argue with that logic.

Sweetapolita

The good news for Clementine (and my girls) is that I’ve been wanting a reason to try making an ice cream cake, and I thought this seemed to be the perfect occasion. I found a fun and easy no-bake recipe for a round two-layer ice cream cake, and gave it a whirl. I was pretty enamoured with the concept: ice cream, a chocolate cookie crust, a ganache shell, and no-bake. Well, it was no-bake until I decided to replace the middle layer with my favourite brownie recipe, but it’s not necessary to make this cake yummy.

I did love the chewy brownie center, and I loved the idea that the possibilities for ice cream cake are endless: you can add almost anything you can dream up, and chances are it will take great inside an ice cream cake. Next time I would be tempted to create homemade ice cream for this cake, but a premium ice cream (they freeze well) worked well. You definitely could use homemade, if you enjoy and have time to make your own.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

The original recipe was peppermint, but we assumed that Clementine would want no part of that, so I went with a premium vanilla ice cream mixed with some frozen banana puree (any reason to use my food processor excites me). It was really a pretty simple way to go, but I wanted to avoid filling it with candy (although you definitely could, and it’s safe to say that I will too in the near future), and I wanted something classic and not too sweet. It was a success!

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

After an entire night of freezing, it was finally ready to go, and the kids eagerly awaited their slices. Is it just me, or does Clementine have that cake in an unrelenting stare-lock?

Sweetapolita

Neve was definitely ready for cake. But, then again, she was born ready.

Sweetapolita

And smiles for Daddy (I’m pretty sure that those expressions of adoration are exclusive to him) while they waited ever-so-patiently.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

It was so yummy, but I have to tell you this was the most difficult treat I’ve ever photographed. As you can imagine, it started to melt pretty quickly and the window for photography was small. Good thing it tasted so good.

Chocolate Banana Ice Cream Cake via Sweetapolita

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday to You

Happy Birthday Dear Clementine

Happy Birthday to You

Here’s the recipe for the no-bake version. If you would like to try it with the brownie, you can simply omit step two and replace with your favourite brownie baked in an 8-inch round pan and chilled. I’ve included the recipe for my all-time favourite brownies below (I highly recommend making them anytime, actually) adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. Actually, I’ve been making these incredible brownies for several years now, and they are one of the most requested things I bake. I believe that using premium chocolate is the key.

Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake

Yield: One 9-inch, 2 layer cake. Serves 12

Ingredients

    For the Crust:
  • 8 oz. (227 g) premium bittersweet (extra dark) or semisweet (dark) chocolate
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick)(115 g) unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 packages chocolate wafers (382 g) or 382 g of Oreo cookie crumbs
  • For the Filling:
  • 7 cups of premium vanilla ice cream, slightly softened (or you can use homemade banana ice cream, and eliminate the addition of bananas)
  • 3 large bananas, frozen
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) whipping cream (heavy cream, 35%)
  • 1/4 cup (59 ml) light corn syrup
  • 6 oz. (170 g) premium bittersweet (extra dark) or semisweet (dark) chocolate, finely chopped
  • Sprinkles, optional

Instructions

    For the Crust:
  1. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt chocolate and butter until smooth. Stir gently with rubber spatula to make sure it is completely smooth and remove from heat.
  2. While chocolate and butter are bring warmed, grind chocolate wafers in food processor until fine crumbs (unless you are using store-bought cookie crumbs). Gently stir cookie crumbs into warm chocolate and butter mixture until just combined.
  3. Set 1 cup (240 ml) of the mixture aside, and press remaining crumbs onto the sides and then the bottom of a 9-inch round with 2-3/4" sides springform pan. Place in freezer until firm.
  4. For the Filling:
  5. Remove frozen bananas from freezer about for about 30 minutes to soften, then puree in food processor. With a wooden spoon, stir banana puree into vanilla ice cream (or, if you're using homemade banana ice cream, omit step 1-2). You will want to work fairly quickly so the ice cream doesn't become too soft.
  6. For the Glaze:
  7. Melt cream and corn syrup in a heavy small saucepan over medium heat until it just begins to bubble.
  8. Pour over chocolate and whisk gently in circular motion, until smooth. Let cool for about 45 minutes.
  9. Assembly of the Double Chocolate & Banana Ice Cream Cake:
  10. Spoon half of the ice cream into the frozen crust and spread evenly with an offset palette knife (you will want to place the bowl of remaining ice cream into the freezer while you work on the first half).
  11. Sprinkle and gently press the reserved crumb mixture on top, followed by 1 cup of the cooled glaze. Freeze for about an hour.
  12. Place remaining ice cream on top and freeze for about 4 hours.
  13. Warm bowl of glaze over simmering water until it has thinned, but not too warm. Spread over top of ice cream with the small offset palette knife. Sprinkle with desired decorations while glaze is still wet. Freeze overnight.
  14. Loosen sides of cake with a small knife between pan and cake, then release from springform pan, and place on plate or platter.

Notes

Best sliced when chilled and best enjoyed room temperature, warm, chilled, or even frozen.

Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/07/double-chocolate-banana-ice-cream-cake/

[ice cream cake recipe adapted from Bon Appetit]

Rich & Classic Chocolate Brownies

These rich and chocolaty brownies melt-in-your mouth, and are best enjoyed with no frosting, but only a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Ingredients

  • 6-1/2 oz. (185 g) bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1-1/2 sticks (173 g) unsalted butter
  • 1-2/3 (332 g) cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (125 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) pure vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F. For use in the ice cream cake, line an 8-inch round pan (or, if you're making these apart from the Ice Cream Cake, you can use a 13 x 9-inch baking pan) with parchment paper (leave some overhang for easy removal).
  2. Melt the chocolate and butter in a heatproof bowl over a small pot of simmering water (do not let the bottom of the bowl touch the water). Leave until melted and smooth, stirring occasionally.
  3. Remove bowl from the heat, and add the sugar, stirring until well incorporated. Add the flour and stir until well combined. Stir in the eggs, vanilla, and salt, and mix until thick and smooth.
  4. Spread the batter among your pan evenly with a small offset palette knife and bake until the surface of the brownie is cracking and flaky, about 30 minutes.
  5. The center of the brownie will still be soft, and you may feel that they aren't quite done, but they will solidify a bit more during cooling. The result is a melt-in-your mouth texture.
  6. Let cool completely in pan on wire rack. Chill in pan, then remove using parchment overhang.
Schema/Recipe SEO Data Markup by ZipList Recipe Plugin
http://sweetapolita.com/2011/07/double-chocolate-banana-ice-cream-cake/

[brownie recipe adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook]

Sweetapolita’s Notes:

  • If you decide to do a brownie layer, you can bake your favourite brownie in an 8-inch round pan lined with parchment paper (you will want the brownie layer to be no more than 1″ high. Cool and chill in pan, then remove from pan and place over first ice cream layer, pressing down gently, and continue with Assembly step 3.
  • The flavour combinations are absolutely endless for this dessert! Substitute any of your favourite ice cream flavours, add a layer of caramel, add some cheesecake bits, add chunks of candy — anything you can think of!
  • This cake is best sliced carefully with a sharp, hot knife as it is quite hard when it comes out of the freezer.

Good luck & enjoy!

Related posts: