Chocolate Insanity Brownies

I have made these brownies about 4-5 times in the last 2 months because they are heavily requested and quite easy for a seasoned baker.  If you are not a seasoned baker or do not have many of the tools for this, it might be much much more difficult for you.  So I suggest this recipe for experts only.  Once you have mastered them, everyone will want them.  Rich says he now would consider it child abuse to serve our kid brownies made from a box  now that he knows what real ones are like.  These are truely chocolate insanity. They are huge, moist and you must make them a day before you need them because they take a long time to cool down before you can cut them, but they are worth the work and the wait (judging by the praise I get because i have never eaten one)

Recipe modified from here  Makes 24 2.5 inch square brownies (very big!)


1 pound unsalted butter (4 sticks at room temp)
1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
6 large eggs
3 tablespoons instant coffee granules
2 tablespoons vanilla
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and flour (i just used my silpat)  a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet (1/2 sheet pan).
3. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl    over simmering water in a double boiler. Allow to cool slightly.
4. In a large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, coffee granules, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture.
5. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt.
6. Add flour mix to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss  12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then fold into  the chocolate batter. Pour into the baking sheet.
7. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie dough. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Top will be shiny but not wet.  Do not overbake!
8. Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate for a few hours to make cutting easier, and cut into 24 large squares.

Here is my pretty new double boiler that I got for christmas.  It works so much better than me trying to balance a bowl on top of a pot. I heart it.. and it is pretty much necessary for this recipe unless you have mastered the balancing bowl-pot act.

Here is the batter going down onto my 1/2 sheet pan and silpat.  A silpat is not necessary for this recipe but you will have to thoroughly butter and flour the pan.  when mine is done I just run a butter knife (not a sharp knife because it will ruin the silpat) along the edge to loosen the sides and then turn it upside down on the counter and peel off the silpat.. super easy and ready for cutting. If you dont have a 1/2 sheet pan I would suggest splitting the batter into 2    13x9 pans and backing off on the bake time. 

Here is what it looks like when it is done. Nice and shiny but not wet.  I must remind you that there are giant chocolate chips in this, so your toothpick test might hit one of them and be covered in chocolate giving you a false impression that it is not done.  I suggest you do several toothpick tests to make sure you are not hitting a melted chocolate chip.  Here you can see that the top of my toothpick hit a chocolate chip, but when turned around and placed in another area it came out clean (bottom of toothpick)  so my brownies are done!

Hope you have the stamina to make these, cause they are worth it.  If you need them for a party I highly suggest doing them a day before because the cooling process takes hours!

Just in case you were not convinced of the richness and denseness of these brownies, here they are on my food scale.. yes this recipe makes 5 POUNDS of brownies!

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ever want just a really easy quick from scratch recipe?  Well here it is. These soft sugar cookie bars are super easy because you make them in one bowl, and on one sheet pan.  They are soft and yummy. You can change them for any season!. I did them with valentines m&ms, but you can use regular or other colors, or even go for reeses pieces or just plain choco chips.. make it your own!.

Sugar Cookie Bar Recipe
1 cup butter; room temp.
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
5 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp soda
11 oz  bag m&ms or other candy
pink sprinkles 

1.Cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs, and and vanilla & mix well. 
2. turn off mixer and add flour, salt & soda  then mix just until combined.  fold in 1/2 the m&ms by hand
3. Roll out onto a greased baking 1/2 sheet pan (13 x 18 pan).  Or use two 13x9 pans . Top with rest of m&ms and press in slightly with hands.  Sprinkle with sprinkles.
4. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-15 min, until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan then cut into 2inx3in bars

My Cupboard

Do you ever wonder what someones cupboard looks like?  Well I just got new containers for my baking goods and decided I would do a post on my awesome cupboard.  I love my new containers.  When I got married I registered for those heavy duty nice looking glass ones.  But the openings were only large enough to fit a 1/2 cup scoop in, and as I was storing them above my head they were becoming challenging to get down because of their weight.  So I looked for nice sleek plastic ones... Martha Stewart to the rescue!  I found these when I wend to St. Louis for a conference at a Macy's.  Sadly we dont have a Macy's, so I bought them all there and they shipped them to me for free!.  Here are my newly organized cupboards!

Nutella Cookies

Peanut butter cookies are my favorite, and I make them a lot.  Which means I bring them to work very often.  One of my co-workers is sadly alergic to peanuts, not the Im going to die alergic, but the kind where you get very bad GI symptoms.. so needless to say, she is sad when she cant partake in the baked goods.  The other day she requested that I make some with nutella rather than peanut butter.  Well I scoured the recipe boards, and saw no recipes that I really liked.  So I decided to input nutella into my favorite peanut butter cookie recipe and go from there.  Turns out nutella has a few different properties than peanut butter, it is less oily so the cookie looses moisture quickly (adjustment in baking time was needed).  Also because it has chocolate in it, it is more acidic than peanut butter ( this would call for more baking soda than normal).  I think they turned out really good, and I went ahead and added the valentines sprinkles I had laying around.

Nutella Cookies

1c Butter Flavored Crisco
1c Nutella
1c White Sugar
1c Brown Sugar
2 eggs
1tsp Vanilla
3c Flour
2tsp Baking Soda

1. Preheat oven to 350.
2. Cream crisco, nutella and sugars together.  Add eggs and vanilla until combined well.
3. In a seperate bowl wisk flour and baking soda.  Add dry ingredients to the sugar mixture and mix till combined.
4. Scoop 2 inch balls and roll in sprinkles or sugar and place on a parchment lined baking sheet 2 inches apart.  With the bottom of a glass flatten balls to 1/2inch thick
5. Bake for 8-10min or until the tops are cracked and edges are set
6. Cool on cookie sheet for 2 min, then remove and continue cooling on wire rack until completely cooled.