Pioneer Woman’s Mocha Brownies
Yes, I’m posting two brownie recipes in a row. These photos were in my archives, and I had to post them eventually, so why not now? I think the fact that my normal eating routine is in complete upheaval is contributing to my brownie-lust. I ate some rotten chicken the other day (I’ll spare you the details), and while the physical consequences of that are finally out of my system, the mental consequences will be around for a long time. While in Ghana, chicken is my go-to protein and it’s no longer an option. Goat meat tastes good, but how can you eat goat when you see the cute little baby goats eating grass along the road? And picking the bones out of the fish is too labor-intensive, which means that’s out too. So I’ve chosen to eat beans cooked with rice, with fried plantains on the side, for nearly every meal until I leave.
If only I could eat brownies while I was here. These brownies, more specifically. I love brownies and I love frosting. These brownies are pretty much perfect-if (and this is a big if) you bake them in a 9×13-inch pan. The directions say to bake them in a 8×8 pan, and we used a 9×9, which, as you can see in the photos, resulted from brownies pretty much spilling over the sides of the pan. And to take a bite I had to unhinge my jaw. Well, not really, but it seemed like it. You know how when you’re taking a bite of a huge hamburger (or a veggie burger) you smush down the bun so you can actually bite into it? I found myself tamping down the frosting with my finger, pushing it over the side of the brownie so I could actually bite into the thing. It was a little absurd. But the frosting… oh the frosting. I think I’ll be making these again (in a 9×13 pan) when I get home.
And, last but not least… the winner of Just Eat It’s first giveaway is Lisa Hester! She will be receiving a $35 gift certificate to CSN stores. Congrats, Lisa! It was really interesting reading everyone’s favorite kitchen gadgets. Microplane zesters definitely got the most votes, and they are indeed handy. I have two.
Adapted from The Pioneer Woman
4 1-oz. squares unsweetened chocolate
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
Mae’s Mocha Icing
1/2 lb. (2 sticks) butter, softened
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh-brewed coffee, cooled to room temperature
Preheat the oven to 325º F. Spray an 9×13-inch baking pan with nonstick baking spray.
To make the brownie batter, place the chocolate in a microwave-safe bowl. Melt the chocolate in the microwave in 30-second increments, being careful not to let it burn. Set it aside to cool slightly.
In a medium mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. With the mixer on low speed, drizzle in the melted chocolate. Add the vanilla extract and mix. Add the flour to the bowl and mix just until combined; do not over mix. Pour the batter in the baking pan. Spread it to even out the surface. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes, until the center is no longer soft. Set the brownies aside to cool completely before icing.
In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla. Mix until slightly combined, then add 1/2 cup of the brewed coffee. Whip until the icing is the desired consistency. If the icing is overly thick, add 1/4 cup more coffee. It should be very light and fluffy.
Ice the cooled brownies, spreading the icing on thick. Refrigerate until the icing is firm, and then slice the brownies into squares.