Nothing is more welcome in your lunch box or as a snack after school (with a glass of milk) than brownies.

Here are some recipes from handletheheat.com.

ULTIMATE BROWNIES

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 1⁄2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces (113 grams) high quality unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1⁄2 cups granulated sugar

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch metal baking pan with foil or parchment and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract.

Using a rubber spatula, gently stir in the cooled chocolate mixture. Gently fold in the flour and salt until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake.

Let cool completely to room temperature, the brownies need to set before cutting into. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

PEANUT BUTTER STUFFED BROWNIES

Peanut butter filling:

1 1⁄4 cups creamy conventional peanut butter

Brownies:

10 tablespoons unsalted butter

4 ounces semisweet baking chocolate, chopped

1 cup granulated sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted

1⁄4 teaspoon fine salt

Make the peanut butter filling:

Place the peanut butter in a heat safe bowl and microwave for 20 to 30 seconds, or until pourable but not super hot.

Line a metal 8-inch square pan with parchment paper, leaving an overhang. Spread the peanut butter into an even layer in the pan. Freeze for 1 hour or until solidified. Use the parchment to remove from pan and return peanut butter sheet to freezer. Keep frozen while making the brownie batter.

Make the brownies:

Preheat oven to 350°Line the square pan again with parchment paper, leaving an overhang.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine butter and chocolate. Microwave in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Add sugar to the hot butter mixture and whisk vigorously until combined. Allow to cool until just barely warm.

Add in eggs, yolk, and vanilla extract and whisk for about 1 minute, or until very well combined.

Use a rubber spatula to stir in flour, cocoa powder, and salt until just combined.

Pour half of the batter into prepared pan and smooth out. Carefully place the frozen peanut butter sheet over the batter. Pour remaining batter on top, covering completely.

Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until cooked through but still very slightly gooey in the center. Let cool in pan 30 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool for another 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

NUTELLA BROWNIES

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1 1⁄2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into pieces

4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 1⁄4 cups granulated sugar

1⁄2 cup Nutella

3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3⁄4 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1⁄4 teaspoon fine sea salt

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8-inch *metal* baking pan with foil or parchment, leaving an overhang, and spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate chips, butter, and unsweetened chocolate. Heat in the microwave for 1 minute then stir. Continue heating in 30-second bursts, stirring between each burst, until the mixture is melted and smooth but not scorched. Remove from the microwave and let cool slightly. Stir in the Nutella.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the eggs and sugar on medium-high speed until light and thick, about 3 minutes. Beat in the vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture with a rubber spatula. Add the flour, cocoa, and salt, folding gently until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Bake until a tester comes out with moist crumbs still attached, 35 to 40. Do not overbake, you want to error on the side of underbaking. Let cool to room temperature. Serve at room temperature, warmed, or chilled.

CARAMEL PECAN

 BROWNIES

For the blondies:

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted

2 cups dark brown sugar

2 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk

1 tablespoon molasses, optional

1 teaspoon vanilla

1⁄4 teaspoon fine salt

2 cups all-purpose flour

For the caramel pecan filling:

25 soft caramel candies, unwrapped

3 tablespoons heavy cream

1 cup pecans, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line an 8 by 8-inch pan with foil or parchment. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Don't skip this, the caramel filling gets sticky!

Make the blondies:

 In a large bowl combine the butter and sugar with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, egg yolk, molasses, and vanilla and stir until combined. Stir in the salt and flour.

Pour half the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the top begins to set. Keep oven at 350°F.

Make the filling:

Meanwhile, combine the unwrapped candies with the cream in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave in 30 second bursts, stirring between bursts, until the mixture is melted and smooth. Stir in the pecans.

Pour the caramel over the middle of the bottom baked blondie layer. Pour the remaining batter over the caramel layer is completely covered.

Return to the 350°F oven and bake for another 30 minutes, or until golden brown and set. Let cool completely before chopping into bars with a big sharp knife. Wipe the blade with hot water for cleaner slices.

Serve or store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

(606) 326-2661 |

lward@dailyindependent.com

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