Here in Utah summer seems to have shown up with a vengeance. We had a pretty cool spring, but as May has drawn to a close it’s come with hot temperatures and kids anxious for the end of school. This also means we’ve started with park days and my kids have informed me that a good park day is made much better with a snack. These orange chocolate brownies are quick to make, easy to pack up and carry with us, and are perfect as the before mentioned snack.
As we’ve talked about before Ultra Gel is used in brownies and other baked goods to help keep them tender and moist. We want these orange brownies to last…well…at least for as long as they kids don’t get to them. They freeze wonderfully if you want to make a batch ahead of time and eating frozen orange brownies is kinda fun too. If you want to get even more decadent freeze these brownies, chunk them up and add to some homemade ice cream.
Orange Chocolate Brownies with Ultra Gel
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon orange extract or 2-3 drops orange oil (There is a difference, make sure you know which one you’re working with)
1/2 cup flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease (I like cooking spray) a 8-9 inch backing pan. Combine the chocolate and the butter in a small, heavy saucepan and melt over low heat, stirring frequently until smooth. Add the vanilla, eggs, Ultra Gel, sugar, salt and orange to the chocolate and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the flour and mix well. Spread into prepared baking pan. If desired you can top with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips, nuts, sprinkles, little m&ms or whatever you like your brownies. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the top is dry and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes, cut and serve.
To freeze: Cool completely and remove brownies from pan. Wrap in cling wrap and then in aluminum foil and freeze for upto 3 months.
Mix 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel and 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips into brownie mix. Prepare brownie as per the box. Spread 2/3s of the brownie mix in the bottom of a glass 9×13 inch pan. With an electric or stand mixer beat cream cheese, egg, sugar and 2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel until smooth. Add raspberries and beat until well mixed. Spread cream cheese mixture over brownie mixture. Top with remaining brownie mixture and swirl. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-40 minutes until tests done with a toothpick. Cool and serve with a sprinkle of powdered sugar or a light layer of chocolate buttercream to push it right over the top!
About a week ago I was having a night filled with serious chocolate cravings. However, I didn’t just want any old chocolate bar I wanted brownies. Fudgy and chewy and decadent. It sounded perfect, but I didn’t want just any brownies either. I wanted brownies that were all corners since you get even more chew that way. Now, there are Pans designed to give you more edges, but I don’t own one of those. Honestly I agree with Alton Brown about unitaskers (in general) and it’s just not a pan I have space for given the number of times I’d use it. So what’s a chocolate craving girl to do?
Cookies. Brownie cookies. One batch gives you more servings than an 8×11 pan and everything is edges with this gooey yum right in the middle. And with the addition of Ultra Gel these moist cookies freeze really well. My daughter loves them to munch on when we go for an afternoon walk, and when it comes to ice cream sandwiches you just can’t go wrong!
1/2 cup butter, cut into pieces
12 ounces semi sweet chocolate chips
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
2 Tablespoons Ultra Gel
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup flour
Combine chocolate chips and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook in 30 second bursts, stirring between until the chocolate is melted smooth. ((You can also do this over a double boiler if you prefer)). In a separate bowl or stand mixer combine eggs, sugars, cocoa powder, Ultra Gel and vanilla and beat smooth. Add chocolate mixture to creamed mixture to mix to combine. Combine dry ingredients and add to chocolate mixture until just combined. If desired add white chocolate chips or mini chips for even more chocolate death. Drop spoonfuls onto a lightly greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 10-12 minutes. Let cool on sheets for 2-3 minutes before removing to a cooling rack.
A few nights ago Bunneh and I were catching up on some of our DVRed shows and just enjoying the evening. At a certain point I found myself wandering around the kitchen because I wanted… Something. Something really amazing, something I could make in a hurry. I mentioned this to Bunneh and he said, “So you want brownies too?”
And truthfully, yeah, I did. But I didn’t want just any brownie. I wanted homemade, from scratch, amazing brownie goodness that I could be eating within a half hour. When I have these kinds of cravings the place to go is the family cookbook. Yeah, the internet is all fine and dandy and everyone on Pinterest will tell you they have the best recipe for this or that, but the family cookbooks are always my go to source for culinary goodness. I am rarely disappointed, and this time was no exception. I found a fudgey chocolate chunk brownie recipe from my cousin and it was just the thing to sooth my craving. With a little bit of Ultra Gel to hold the moisture in we’ve been munching on the goodies for nearly four days, and that’s pretty good for a 9×9 inch pan and just the two of us. 🙂
Fudgey Chocolate Chunk Brownies from Shaina Cornaby Sorensen
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tablespoons milk
1 Tablespoon Ultra Gel
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
2 cups chocolate chunks
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 9×9 inch baking pan by greasing or lining with parchment and then greasing. Set aside.
Beat together butter, sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time mixing between additions. Add milk and mix through. In a separate bowl stir together Ultra Gel, flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add dry ingredients gradually to creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chunks.
Pour batter into prepared pan (it’s a thick batter) and bake for 35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Serve warm with ice cream! Or cool and eat by the block!
It’s Memorial Day weekend, which is a lovely time for us. An unofficial kick off to summer and a chance to spend a few days together, as well as the very important duty of remembering those who have gone before us. One of the nice things about the long weekend is the chance to do some special cooking. My Bunneh has been as busy as can be making ham and chicken stock, steaks and rotisserie chicken. My job was to come up with the sides and the dessert.
The dessert I settled on was a brownie ice cream pie with raspberry topping. Raspberry prices are dropping but I wanted something even easier. Going to my freezer I spied my containers of jam in a jiffy raspberry jam and decided that would make easy and yummy topping. When it all came together I was happy with the results. I think we could have added a little whipping cream for the lightness and pretty factor, but without it it was pretty darn good too.
So there you have it…jam in a jiffy freezer jam, not just for sandwiches!
Raspberry Brownie Ice Cream Pie
1 large brownie mix
2 cups vanilla ice cream, softened
1 cup raspberry jam in a jiffy freezer jam
Make brownie mix according to the box directions, adding 2 Tablespoons of Ultra Gel to the mix for extra moisture and tenderness. Pour into two 9 inch pie plates and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely.
Layer softened ice cream on brownie pie and remove to freezer for a minimum of four hours.
Cut and top with freezer jam, serve immediately. Add whipping cream as desired.