The Ultimate Brownie Book

The Ultimate Brownie Book


Review By Cheri Sicard

Author: Bruce Weinstein


206 Pages

Published by William Morrow

Ordering Information

HereÂ’s an encyclopedic reference on AmericaÂ’s favorite treat, including thousands of ways to make brownies, blondies, frostings and doctored brownie mixes. If you love brownies, you owe it to yourself to add this tome to your library. It would also make a fabulous gift for any brownie loving friends.

Much as I love brownies, I never had very much luck at making truly great ones. For some reason, all of my earlier attempts, while not bad, didnÂ’t really sing like a perfect brownie should. This book changed all that. Much to the detriment of my waistline, the handful of recipes I have tried have come out awesome!

After covering some basic tips for success, and needed equipment and ingredients (nothing fancy here), the author dives into the recipes. There is every imaginable type of brownie or blondie recipe here, but especially nice is the section on doctored brownie mix recipes. Save time and use a store bought mix to make truly gourmet brownies and desserts.

ItÂ’s impossible to list all the recipes, but this will give you some hints of the treats that wait inside:

Brownies: Bourbon Brownies, Brownie Cookies, Brownie Pancakes, Cake Brownies, Chestnut Brownies, Burnt Sugar Brownies, Chocolate Syrup Brownies, Coconut Brownies, Coffee Brownies, Fudge Brownies, Cream Cheese Brownies, Fat Free and Low Fat Brownies, Malt Brownies, Cheesecake Brownies, Passover Brownies, Mint Brownies, and many, many others.

Blondies: Butterscotch Blondies, Carrot Blondies, Fruitcake Blondies, Gingerbread Blondies, Maple Blondies, Low Fat Blondies, Jam Swirl Blondies, Marshmallow Blondies, Oat Blondies, Peanut Butter Blondies, and many more.

Doctored Brownie Mix Recipes -- Brownie Mix Baked Alaska, Brownie Mix Bourbon Balls, Brownie Mix Black Forest Cake, Brownie Mix Heath Bar Squares, Brownie Mix Lemon Bars, Brownie Mix Kahlua Bars, Brownie Mix Ice Cream Cake, Brownie Mix Peach Cobbler, Brownie Mix Pie, Brownie Mix Tiramisu, Brownie Mix Rocky Road Bars, Brownie Mix Truffle Squares and many more.

Sample Recipes from The Ultimate Brownie Book:

The Ultimate Brownie Book,Weinstein, Bruce

Chapter Excerpt:

Marble Cheesecake Brownies

Makes sixteen 2 1/4 X 2 1/4-inch brownies

If you got a little worried when you saw that the first recipe in this book was Applesauce Brownies, you can put your fears to rest. Here are the most decadent brownies we've ever made: A sweet cream cheese ribbon is swirled into the buttery batter for a treat that's rich, gooey, and still packed with chocolate. Ice them with Chocolate Fudge Frosting (page 152) or for cream cheese lovers -- Cream Cheese Frosting (page 155).

One 8-ounce package cream cheese (regular or low-fat, but not fat-free), softened

1 1/3 cups sugar

3 large eggs, at room temperature

2 large egg yolks, at room temperature

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, plus additional for the pan, at room temperature

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped, or semisweet chocolate chips

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus additional for the pan 1/2 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 1/3 cup sugar with an electric mixer at medium speed until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is smooth, about 4 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Beat in 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well combined. Set aside.

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-inch square baking pan; set it aside. Place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in the top of a double boiler set over simmering water. If you don't have a double boiler, place the butter and both kinds of chocolate in a heat-safe bowl that fits snugly over a small pot of simmering water. Stir constantly until half the butter and chocolate is melted. Remove the top of the double boiler or the bowl from the pot; then continue stirring, away from the heat, until the butter and chocolate are completely melted. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and allow to cool for 10 minutes. (To melt butter and chocolate in a microwave, see pages 9-10.)

Beat the remaining 1 cup sugar into the melted chocolate with a whisk or with an electric mixer at medium speed; continue beating until the mixture is smooth and silky, about 5 minutes by hand or 2 minutes with a mixer. Beat in the remaining 2 eggs, 2 egg yolks, and 1 tablespoon vanilla until incorporated.

With a wooden spoon or a rubber spatula, stir in the flour and salt just until combined. Do not beat. Spread three-quarters of this chocolate batter into the prepared pan. Cover with the cream cheese mixture, spreading it as evenly as possible with a spatula. Do not press down. Dot the cream cheese mixture with the remaining chocolate batter, using heaping tablespoons of batter.

To create a swirl effect in the brownies, run a sharp kitchen knife through the batter without touching the bottom of the pan or lifting the knife up during its course. Slice through the chocolate dollops and drag some of the mixture into the cream cheese. Continue swirling until a spin-out, almost psychedelic pattern has formed.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool for at least 30 minutes. Cut the brownies into 16 squares while they're still in the pan. Carefully remove them with an offset spatula. Serve immediately, or let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap for storage at room temperature. They will stay fresh for up to 4 days. The brownies can be tightly wrapped in wax paper, sealed in a freezer-safe bag, and frozen for up to 3 months; allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.

To vary this recipe

Substitute one of the following flavorings for the 1 tablespoon vanilla used in the chocolate batter: 2 1/2 teaspoons almond extract, 2 1/2 teaspoons maple extract, 2 teaspoons banana extract, 2 teaspoons coconut extract, 2 teaspoons mint extract, 2 teaspoons rum extract

and/or

Stir in 3/4 cup of any of the following mix-ins, or 3/4 cup any combination of the following mix-ins, with the flour mixture in the chocolate batter: chopped candied chestnuts, chopped candied orange peel, chopped Heath bars, chopped Oh Henry! bars, chopped pecans, chopped walnuts, cocoa nibs, dried cherries, shredded sweetened coconut, white chocolate chips.

Brownie Mix Rocky Road Bars

Makes twenty-four 2 1/4 X 2 1/8-inch brownie bars

Rocky Road candy was popularized in the 1920s, at a time when the roads across the nation were first being paved; the bumps of marshmallows and nuts looked, of course, like old country roads. Since a rocky road was a primitive one, this candy was popularized as a "homemade" Ozark delight. (It was actually a Fannie Farmer recipe picked up by a nut company.) Here we've brought that classic combination of marshmallows, nuts, and chocolate to a doctored brownie mix for a quick and easy treat.

Unsalted butter for the pan

All-purpose flour for the pan

One 19.9-ounce package brownie mix, or any brownie mix suitable for a 9 X 13-inch baking pan 3 large eggs, at room temperature, lightly beaten

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

1 1/4 cup milk (whole, low-fat, or fat-free)

3 cups mini marshmallows

1 cup chopped walnuts

6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (about 1 cup), or chopped semisweet chocolate

Position the rack in the lower third of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9 X 13-inch baking pan; set it aside. Place the brownie mix, beaten eggs, melted butter, and milk in a large bowl; stir with a wooden spoon until smooth, then pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.

The moment the pan is out of the oven and on a wire rack, sprinkle the marshmallows over the top, followed by the nuts and the chocolate chips. Cover the pan with aluminum foil to hold in the heat for 5 minutes; then uncover the pan and cool for an additional 30 Minutes. Cut the brownies into 24 pieces while they're still in the pan. Carefully remove them with an offset spatula. Serve immediately, or let cool completely before covering tightly with plastic wrap for storage at room temperature for up to 4 days. The brownies can also be tightly wrapped in wax paper, sealed in a freezer-safe bag, and frozen for up to 3 months; allow them to thaw at room temperature before serving.

To vary this recipe

Substitute chopped pecans for the walnuts

and/or

Substitute butterscotch chips, milk chocolate chips, mint chocolate chips, peanut butter chips, or white chocolate chips for the semisweet chocolate chips

and/or Stir any of the following flavorings into the batter with the milk: 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 teaspoons rum extract, 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 1 teaspoon almond extract.

From The Ultimate Brownie Book by Bruce Weinstein. HarperCollins Publishers. Used by permission.

About the Author:

Cheri Sicard is the author of "The Great American Handbook: What You Can Do For Your Country Today and Every Day," and the editor of FabulousFoods.com, a favorite net destination for recipes, cooking tutorials, health and fitness information, holiday and entertaining ideas, celebrity chef interviews, cookbook reviews and more. Sign up for their free cooking and recipe newsletters!

Order Information

The Ultimate Brownie Book is available from Barnes and Noble. Click Here for order information


 
 
 

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