Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes, I swear, I made it from scratch!

When I first told my father of my baking exploits, he just could not wrap his mind around the fact that I made all the desserts I was telling him about, from scratch. He was accustomed to his daughter going to the grocery store and buying packages of cake mix and brownie mix and disgusting tubs of Betty Crocker icing, only to arrive home to discover that we were out of eggs, -the ONE thing I needed to actually add to the recipes myself. 

Lilibeth: "I made really yummy brownies daddy!"  
Dad: "Oh ya, the kind from the box? You used to do that from time to time, I remember."
Lilibeth: "No daddy, I made it using actual flour and sugar, and butter and chocolate that I melted myself, it's not that hard."  
Dad: "Really? So, not from a box? You know how to do that? You?"

I'm not even kidding, we had to have a couple phone converations before he finally believed me. But it's different now that I'm working in my very own functioning kitchen. I say "functioning" because my old apartment in Toronto only had a stovetop, -no oven. And also, I don't have to ask for permission from my mother to use her mixer.  

Mom: "Why do you want to use the mixer? It's up there in that high cupboard, and you won't clean it properly, I know it."

Yes, my mom's quite the character, but I love her. That, folks, is the reason why my mixer is sitting proudly in my kitchen, purposely on display, and very easy to access. For the record, it's always spotless.

My double boiler. I don't think my dad remembers this, but he taught me how to use it when I was little, Saucier that he is.

Brownies à la Lilibeth. Not Betty Crocker.

These are the blondie bars that I made. They are basically "blonde" brownies, because you use brown sugar, and butterscotch chips. I decided to add half butterscotch, half chocolate, and they turned out incredible. We brought them to a friend's house for game night and they were a hit! (Plus very easy to make)

If I had known how easy it was to make brownies, I would have been making them from scratch from the very beginning! I may even have gotten creative, using Toblerone pieces or caramel chunks. Knowledge is power I tell ya.

Brownie Recipe (Makes one 9-by-13-inch batch of brownies)
  • 9 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened, plus more for pan
  • 9 ounces good-quality semisweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9-by-13-inch cake pan; (not square!) line with parchment paper or foil, allowing 2-inch overhang. Butter parchment. Put butter, chocolate, and cocoa in heatproof bowl set over pan of simmering water (or double boiler if you have one); stir until butter and chocolate have melted. Let cool slightly.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl. Put sugar, eggs, and vanilla into mixer bowl; whisk on medium until pale, about 4 minutes. Mix in chocolate mixture. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture; mix until just combined.
  3. Spread batter into prepared dish; smooth top. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in dish 40 minutes. Lift out, and let cool completely on wire rack. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.
Blondie Bars:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
  • 1/2 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (or 1/2 cup chocolate, 1/2 cup butterscotch chips)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush an 8-inch or 9-inch square baking pan with butter; line pan with a piece of parchment paper or foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang on two sides. Butter paper.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk butter and sugars until smooth. Whisk in egg and vanilla. Add flour and salt; mix just until moistened (do not overmix). Fold in 1/2 cup each chocolate and/or butterscotch chips. Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top. Sprinkle with remaining chocolate chips and/or butterscotch chips.
  3. Bake until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Set pan on a wire rack, and let cool completely. Using parchment overhang, lift cake from pan and transfer to a cutting board; cut into 16 squares. Store blondies in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

1 comment:

  1. To be a little closer to my best friend. I am making these blondies as I type this :) They are in the oven and I will email you a picture when its done.
    Always inspired by my Elizabeth.