Chocolate protein one-bite brownies

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Experiment # 2 was a success. I took a recipe posted to the Dr. Poon page called Phase 1 “Poonified” protein chocolate cupcakes by Cintia P. and made a few tweaks.

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Before you get started: I’m working with carbalose flour to reduce the net carbs in my baked goods. I used vanilla protein powder because I’ve got a 2 lb jar of the stuff and I don’t like it, and baking with it seemed like a good way to use it up.

Yields: 20

Cost per brownie: 13 cents

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $71.22

Ingredients:

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 175°c / 350°f and put paper liners into mini muffin tin.
  2. Beat egg, vanilla, and half of the water. Reserve remaining water.
  3. Combine dry ingredients. Pour into wet, half at time.20160604_100319
  4. Mix in remaining water and stir until combined.
  5. Pour into muffin tin, filling about three quarters. 20160604_101021
  6. Bake 12 min then cool on rack. 20160604_102941

Verdict: These were very easy to make and I’m pleased with the flavour and consistency. The outer layer of the brownie stuck to the liner.

I think they’d be much better with chocolate protein powder, but I like drinking the chocolate so I’m stuck using the vanilla to get rid of it.  I might add double the amount of cocoa power perhaps.

So far baking with Carbquik seems easy and it’s a nice challenge to find recipes and adapt things to the Dr. Poon lifestyle.

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Pumpkin brownies

Autumn is the best time of year. Good things happen when the leaves turn; including my birthday, Halloween, and the ripening of that most wondrous squash: the pumpkin.

As soon as I saw this recipe on the Globe & Mail today I had to try it.

Good to know before you start: This recipe needs pure pumpkin, which is not pumpkin pie filling. Look for a label that says either “100% pure pumpkin” or “pumpkin purée”, and  it should not contain any herbs or spices.

Time required: 3 hours

Yields: about 30 pieces

Cost per slice: $1.83

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $55.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 9″ x 13″
  • parchment paper
  • digital scale
  • Oster blender
  • KitchenAid mixer

Ingredients:

BASE

  • 2 C flour
  • ½ C icing sugar
  • 1 C unsalted butter, (cold and cubed)
  • 1 TSP fine sea salt

FILLING

  • 3 eggs
  • 482 grams canned pumpkin (one 14 oz can)
  • ¾ C dark brown sugar, packed
  • ⅓ C corn syrup
  • ½ C heavy cream
  • 2 TSP freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 TSP pure vanilla extract
  • 1 TSP ground cinnamon
  • ½ TSP allspice
  • ½ TSP ground ginger
  • ¼ TSP fine sea salt

TOPPING

  • 2 TBSP butter, softened
  • 2 TBSP (28.6 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ C icing sugar
  • 1 TBSP milk

Instructions:

1.Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Line baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl mix: flour, icing sugar, butter and salt. I used a pastry blender, then switched to doing it by hand. The mixture should be crumbly, don’t form it into a ball.

3. Pat into pan.

4. Bake 25 min, and place on cooling rack.

5. Beat eggs in blender.

6. Weigh out the amount of pumpkin you need and add to egg. Don’t forget to adjust for the weight of the container.

7. Then add: brown sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream, lemon juice, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, ginger and salt. Blend until well mixed, scrape sides, then blend a little longer.

Did you know brown sugar could float? Neither did I.

8. Pour liquid over base and bake for 40 min, then place on cooling rack.

9. Meanwhile make your frosting. Beat butter and cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in icing sugar and milk.

10. The recipe suggested drizzling the frosting over the pan, which I tried, but the amount of icing nearly covered the entire surface anyway so I spread it evenly instead.

11. Chill at least 2 hours, and cut into squares.

Verdict:

In this town, we call home, everyone hail to the pumpkin song!

These were really good. Boyfriend says, “They are awesome baby. I could eat the whole pan.”

Playlist: The Nightmare Before Christmas soundtrack

Patty’s peanut butter & white Belgian chocolate brownies

“Mmmm-mmmm!” said Boyfriend, after he ate one of my new brownies; warm from the oven and made with peanut butter and white Belgian chocolate.

I wanted to use up my remaining white Callebaut chocolate, and combine it with peanut butter to make a delicious brownie. I envisioned a layer of peanut butter in the middle but that didn’t work out as expected. It was good, but not what I had planned, so I’ll make this again with a few modifications.

The only brownies that have ever made my heart sing are the gooey cheesecake brownies. I had high hopes for my peanut butter and white chocolate creation.

Good to know before you start: I didn’t use enough flour and I lost track of time while it was baking. The batter had too much liquid, and I’m not sure how long it actually baked, but it was over 30 min. When it came out of the oven it was bubbling at the edges and still liquid, I let it set for 2 hours and prayed it would firm up. I suspect the terrible humidity here is affecting my baking because my chocolate supply (which is stored in a sealed container in the dark) had softened so much I didn’t need to cut it. 0_0

Time required: 2 hours

Yields: 25

Cost per brownie: $1.40

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $35.00 (add $15.00 for premium vanilla and chocolate)

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 8″ x 8″
  • tinfoil

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz white Belgian chocolate (equivalent to 8 squares)
  • ¾ C smooth peanut butter
  • 1¼ C butter, room temp
  • 1¼ C granulated white sugar
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 2 TSP vanilla
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • ½ C flour

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Line baking 8″ x 8″ pan with tinfoil and grease.

2. Use serrated blade to chop chocolate, set in sauce pan but do not turn on.

3. In the microwave, melt butter.

4. Mix sugar, cocoa and salt into melted butter; then microwave for 30 seconds and stir until thoroughly combined. Let the mixture cool 5 min.

5. Meanwhile, heat the chocolate on low heat, stirring often until melted.

6. Stir peanut butter into chocolate and remove from heat. Set aside.

7. In the brownie bowl, add eggs one at a time.

8. Add vanilla.

9. When everything is combined add flour.

10. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.

11. Spread peanut butter mixture on brownie.

12. Pour remaining batter on top. (The chocolate layer refused to stay above the peanut butter, it started sinking and looked awful so I thought what the hell and stirred it up.)

13. Bake 30+ min.

14. Cool 2 hours and slice.

Interestingly the bottom of the brownie has a slight crust, while the centre and top are very chewy. No idea what’s up with that. These look kind of ugly!

Verdict: Needs work. I’m going to take my brownie recipe back to the drawing board, I’m still not really satisfied with it, and that needs to get worked out before I start adding funky stuff like white chocolate and peanut butter. I’ll make this again with a few changes.

I’m not heartbroken over this, wasn’t sure if it would be a grand slam or not. Boyfriend loved this so I’ll consider it a success. This one isn’t going onto my recipe index until it’s perfected.

Playlist: Naruto soundtrack

Patty’s maple bacon brownies

Today, in a gesture of overwhelming self-sacrifice, I am making a dessert with bacon for Boyfriend. He doesn’t know it yet. I’m meeting him at a bar later to celebrate something, and I will be arriving with bacon brownies.

Why is this a gesture of self-sacrifice?

Well dear reader: I don’t like bacon.

Some people, when they find out, assume:

  1. I am allergic
  2. I have a religious restriction
  3. I am insane

But they are wrong. I just don’t like it. I love pulled pork and ham, but bacon does nothing for me. Boyfriend’s parents almost crashed the car when they found out.

“But how?” they gasped. “How can anybody dislike bacon?!”

Well, if you are curious why I don’t eat bacon you’ll have to make it to the end of this post.

Good to know before you start: I assume that regular bacon from the grocery store will work, but since we are celebrating a special occasion, I went to the butcher shop and got a pound of premium bacon.

I used Nova Scotia maple syrup from Maple Berry Farms in Fenwick. If you do not have real maple syrup, well…. I feel sorry for you. I picked up this bottle on my trip home in the spring.

Kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan 8″ x 8″
  • 2 cookie trays

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bacon
  • 2 TBSP real maple syrup
  • 1¼ C unsalted butter
  • 1¼ C granulated white sugar
  • 1 C cocoa powder
  • ¼ TSP salt
  • 2 TSP vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ C flour

Instructions:

1. Pre-heat oven to 177°C / 350°F. Line cookie trays and baking pan with tinfoil, do not grease.

2. Place bacon on tray and baste with maple syrup. Cook until it is a) not raw, and b) not burnt.

When you decide it’s done, place it on plates lined with paper towel and blot it well, on both sides. Meanwhile…

3. In microwave on High, melt the butter. This will take around 2 min, stirring every 30 seconds.

4. Stir in sugar, cocoa and salt. Microwave for another 30 seconds. Stir. Let the mixture sit 5 min.

5. Add the eggs one at a time.

6. Add vanilla.

7. When everything is combined add flour.

8. Pour half the batter into the prepared pan.

9. Layer in the bacon strips. I cut the bacon into small pieces so it will (hopefully) be easier to cut the brownies later.

10. Pour remaining batter on top. Bake 25 min.

11. Cool brownies completely in pan before slicing.

12. Enjoy?

Verdict: Yes, it must be love! I fully expect to be worshiped forever after making this. The flavour I can only describe as a brownie that tastes chocolatey yet smokey.

Boyfriend adored this. I did not.

Bacon, ugh. I just do not like it; it smells weird, it feels weird, it’s fatty and gross and just ugh – no thanks! That said, Boyfriend loves bacon with an intensity that borders on eroticism. I don’t understand.

Prior to making this I had no idea how to cook bacon. I figured this site would have a decent explanation, so I baked it in the oven. But 10 minutes wasn’t doing it, so I consulted my friend M and sent him pictures of the partially cooked bacon, and he guided me through to cooking it to completion. (Thanks buddy!)

I am guessing the size of this bacon was the problem? Oh well!

I brought the pan of brownies to the bar, and Boyfriend and K got to try them. They said it was great. J and E, however, almost vomited. It seems to be very taste-specific. I didn’t care for them.

I think it would have been different with small strips of bacon cooked to a crispy texture. I told Boyfriend if he would like to have this again, he can cook the bacon. I cooked 13 strips and only used 4.

Playlist: Cobra Starship – Good Girls Gone Bad

Gooey cheesecake brownies

A rich chocolate brownie with a cream cheese topping.  #winning.

I made these for spite.  I was planning to avoid cheesecake-type desserts for awhile but my resolve shattered after flipping through my cook book.  I had intended to make these brownies last month but didn’t get around to it, so last night just seemed like as good a time as any.

This recipe is also from Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Mine don’t look quite as nice as the book, but they tasty really good, and that’s mostly what counts!

Time required: (3 hours: 1 hr prep, 1 hr baking, 1 hr cooling)

Yields: 36 pieces

Cost per brownie: $1.05

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: between $27.00 and $38.00 depending on what type of vanilla extract you like, I am using pure Tahitian vanilla extract at the moment.

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 9″ x 13″
  • tin foil
  • KitchenAid mixer!

Brownie ingredients:

  • 1¼ C flour
  • ½ TSP salt
  • ¾ C butter (one and a half sticks, room temp)
  • 6 oz unsweetened chocolate (6 squares)
  • 2 C granulated white sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs, room temp

Topping ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened (1 block)
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 2 C icing sugar
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract

Instructions:

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 177°C / 350°F.  Line baking pan with tinfoil and grease.

Step 2 – Prepare brownie: whisk together flour and salt.

Step 3 – In a sauce pan melt the baking chocolate, and stir in the butter until smooth.

Step 4 – Remove from heat, stir in sugar and vanilla.

Step 5 – Beat in eggs until just combined.

Step 6 – Stir in flour mixture, then spread into prepared pan.

Step 7 – Prepare topping: beat cream cheese.  Add the eggs, icing sugar, and vanilla.

I wasn’t paying attention at this point because one of my parental units called and I got distracted, so I didn’t blend the cream cheese as well as I should have before adding the rest of the ingredients. Oops.

Step 8 – “Use a metal spatula to spread topping gently over the brownie.”

Hmmm. I didn’t have to use a spatula at all, my topping was very runny and poured easily from the pan onto the brownie.  Hurrah, one less dish to clean!

I tilted the baking pan and it spread out on its own. Hope that is okay…

Step 9 – Bake 55 minutes, a toothpick inserted will come out cleanly when done.  Cool completely in pan, on wire rack. Looks good so far, and smells amazing.

Step 10 – Use tinfoil to lift brownie from pan, and slice lengthwise into 6 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 6 pieces.

Verdict: Wow – I’m in heaven. These are pretty good.

I will definitely make this again but will change three things:

1. Melt the chocolate and butter in the microwave in a big glass bowl instead of on the stove, because stirring dry ingredients into my small sauce pans sucks.

2. Avoid answering the phone while preparing the topping.

3. Lower the baking time by 5 minutes.  My oven runs 2 degrees cold, and you would think that by following recipe times exactly my results would always be good – but not so!

It seems every time I used the exact time listed in a cook book it’s overdone.  The bottom of the brownie was slightly crispy, and the topping was a wee bit overdone.  Still tastes good, but next time will be flawless.

Playlist: Schubert – Der Erlkönig

Pennsylvania-Dutch brownies

More of a spice cake than a brownie, made with molasses and a subtle chocolate flavour. 

This recipe is also from Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

Time required: 3 hrs (1 hour prep + 2 hour cooling)

Yields: 30 pieces

Cost per brownie: $1.10

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $33.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • baking pan: 9 x 13″
  • tinfoil

Ingredients:

  • 4 TBSP butter, room temp
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate
  • ¼ C molasses
  • 2 eggs, room temp
  • 1½ C flour
  • 1 C + 2 TSP granulated white sugar (used in separate stages)
  • 1 TSP + ⅛ TSP ground cinnamon (used in separate stages)
  • 1 TSP ground ginger
  • ½ TSP ground cloves
  • ½TSP baking soda
  • ½ TSP salt

Instructions:

Step 1 – Preheat oven to 190°C / 357°F.  Line the baking pan with foil, and grease foil.

Step 2 – In a sauce pan on Low, melt chocolate and butter.  (Um, I wasn’t really thinking this through and used a small bowl in the microwave instead.  Since you will later add the dry ingredients to the chocolate, you may want to use a larger bowl.)

Step 3 – Stir in molasses, then eggs, one at time.

Step 4 – Combine in a bowl: flour, 1 C sugar, 1 TSP cinnamon, ginger, cloves, baking soda, and salt.

Step 5 – Stir the dry mixture into the wet.  I moved the wet mixture into a large bowl, then added the dry mix, one third at a time. (At this point I wondered if the batter consistency was off because of the unorthodox way I prepared it.)

Step 6 – “pour” batter into prepared pan. Humph. More like scoop and smoosh. Slightly concerned now, batter very thick, sitting in pan unevenly, does not reach all sides of the pan.

Step 7 – Bake 15-17 minutes.  Brownies are done when a toothpick inserted 1 inch from the edges comes out cleanly.

Step 8 – While this is baking, in a small bowl combine 2 TSP white sugar and ⅛ cinnamon.  As soon as pan is removed from oven, sprinkle sugar mix on top, then cool on rack (in pan) 2 hours.

Hmmm.  Is it supposed to look like this?  Is the bottom right corner supposed to be overloaded with sugar?  Will the rest be bitter?  We’ll see!

Step 9 – Peel off tinfoil, slice lengthwise in 3 strips, slice crosswise in 5 strips, then cut each piece diagonally.

I made a green tea latte and sampled a brownie.

Verdict: Hmmm.  These weren’t bad, but not what I expected either. Then again, since I’ve never eaten Pennsylvania-Dutch anything, maybe my expectations were skewed. I found that the molasses overpowered the taste of the chocolate though.

I was surprised to see the price of the spices is what pushed the total cost so high, but I suppose that makes sense considering spices have been such a hot commodity (hah, get it?) for thousands of years. Guess some things never change.

Playlist: Final Fantasy soundtracks

Malt chocolate brownies

Yesterday I purchased a new cookbook, Good Housekeeping Brownies: favourite recipes for Blondies, Bars & Brownies, which is available on Amazon.com and Amazon.ca.

This is the 2nd GH cookbook I own and I like their style because they are sturdy books with a ring binding, easy to prop up, and have decent pictures. I’m not a big brownie fan, and consequently have only made them 2-3 times before, from a mix.

This recipe caught my eye. Seemed like a good one to try  from scratch.

Mmmm smells like milkshake

Mmmm smells like milkshake

Time required: 20 min prep, 20 min bake, and 1-2 hour cooling

Yields: 32 squares

Cost per brownie: 38 cents

Total cost if you have none of the ingredients: $50.00

Special kitchen implements I used:

  • 9″ x 13″ pan
  • tinfoil
brownies: getting started

getting started

Good to know before you start:

Altogether you need just under 2 whole sticks of butter, but divided into separate (and not equal) parts for the batter and frosting.

A 100g bag of Maltesers is about 1C.  The official recipe calls for 1½C of the candies, so you’d need 2 packages. I had 2 packages but um…. ate quite a few of them while preparing my batter. 1C is fine.

Official baking time is 25-30 minutes, but I removed mine from the oven after 20 minutes, and found that after cooling they were a bit dry. The frosting was applied last night and it still hasn’t set, I suppose it will stay gooey?

Brownie recipe:

  • 1½C flour
  • ½TSP baking powder
  • ½TSP salt
  • ¾C unsalted butter, softened (1.5 sticks)
  • 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (4 squares)
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate (2 squares)
  • 1½C granulated white sugar
  • 1 TBSP vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs, room temp

Frosting recipe:

  • ¾C malted milk powder
  • 3 TBSP milk
  • 1 TSP vanilla extract
  • 3 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
  • 1C icing sugar
  • 1C malted milk balls, quartered

Step 1 – use centre rack, pre-heat oven to 176°C / 350°F.

Step 2 – line a 9″ x 13″ pan with tinfoil, wrap the foil over the outside of the pan to get the shape, then transfer to inside of pan, flatten down, and grease.

brownies: fitting tinfoil to the pan

fitting tinfoil to the pan

Step 3 – make batter, using whisk to combine 3 ingredients in a medium bowl; flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

brownies: melting butter, cracking eggs, mixing dry ingredients

Step 4 – melt butter in sauce pan on Low. Meanwhile…

Step 5 – use serrated blade to chop chocolate

brownies: chopping chocolate

Step 6 – add chocolate to melted butter (still on Low), stir until melted, then remove from heat

brownies: melting chocolate and butter

Step 7 – use wooden spoon to mix sugar into chocolate, then vanilla – stir until thoroughly blended

brownies: stirring in sugar

Step 8 – beat eggs into chocolate

brownies: stirring in eggs

Step 9 -Transfer chocolate to a large mixing bowl, and add the flour about one third at a time, mixing until blended. (My sauce pan is too small to add the flour to the chocolate in the original pan). Colour lightens quite a bit.

brownies::eggs blended in

Step 10 – pour batter into foil-lined pan, bake at least 20 minutes. When done, a toothpick inserted about an inch from the edge should be clean.

brownies: pouring into pan

Step 11 – leave in pan, cool on rack completely. Meanwhile…

brownies: baked and cooling

Step 12 – make frosting; using a whisk in a small bowl to stir together3 ingredients; malted milk powder, milk, and vanilla.

brownies: making frosting with malt power, milk, vanilla

Step 13 – cream in butter until blended, I used a pastry blender for this

brownies: cream in softened butter

Step 14 – cut in icing sugar, about one third at a time

brownies: stir in icing sugar

Step 15 – spread frosting evenly over brownie

brownies: spread frosting evenly

Step 16 – chop each malted candy in half, and then halve each piece again (quartering them), sprinkle on top of frosted brownie – let set

brownies: quarter each piece of malt candy

About half of the malt pieces are added here:

brownies: sprinkle malt candy over frosting

Step 17 – after frosting has set, lift entire brownie from the pan using the tinfoil edges. Peel tinfoil away.  Use sharp knife to slice lengthwise into 4 strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 8 pieces.

brownies: let frosting set, and serve

I had to beat Boyfriend away with a spoon to keep him from plundering the pan while they set, haha. I enjoyed these a lot. Now I’ve got a serious milkshake craving, and since I’m in possession of a blender and malt power, I’m off to procure some ice cream today. ^^

If you are curious about why I post the total cost of ingredients I will talk about that soon.