5 Unexpected Brownie Recipes For National Brownie Day

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So, we don’t really believe in celebrating random marketing holidays… unless, of course, they involve food, in which case you can consider us devout observers of the celebrations in question. Such is the case with National Brownie Day, which may well be nonsense, but our devotion to gooey, chocolate-y goodness is serious business. To help us observe this, the most esteemed of December holidays, with the proper amount of pomp and circumstance, we enlisted the help of Sheila G., founder of the highly-addictive Brownie Brittle brand and author of one of our favorite tomes of 2016, Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate: 101 Creative Sweets and Treats Using Brownie Batter. Here, 4 unexpected (and amazing) treats from the book as well as her signature brownie recipe.

Sheila G.

Brownie-Filled French Toast

One day, while preparing brunch for out-of-town guests, I remembered that I had leftover brownie filling in the fridge. Since I firmly believe everything’s better with chocolate, I spread the filling on some bread and made a French toast sandwich. I knew I had a winner when my guests said it deserved to be on the menu at a fancy resort.

YIELD: 4 servings PREP: 20 minutes COOK: 3 to 4 minutes per batch

Ingredients: 6 large eggs ¼ cup milk 8 slices dense bread, such as white or challah 3 tablespoons salted butter Whipped cream and strawberries or maple syrup, for serving

Directions: Prepare the brownie filling according to instructions; set aside. Lightly whisk the eggs and milk in a shallow bowl until combined. Spread the brownie filling in between the slices of bread to create 4 sandwiches. (See note below.) Dip each sandwich into the egg-milk mixture briefly to coat. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When the skillet is hot, brown the sandwiches until golden on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Serve topped with whipped cream and strawberries, or drizzle with maple syrup.

Note: There may be enough leftover brownie filling to make one or two more sandwiches, or you can store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month. Bring to room temperature before using.

BROWNIE FILLING Because this filling is egg-free, it need not be baked, and may be used in many ways.

YIELD: 2 cups PREP: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup 100% baking cocoa ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Directions: Blend the sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter. Mix in the vanilla. Add the cocoa and flour and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool; texture will be exactly like a brownie batter. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month. Bring to room temperature before using.

Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains © 2016 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Tina Rupp.

Sheila G.

Pumpkin Pie With Brownie Brittle Crust

This recent addition to our family’s holiday fare was a H-U-G-E hit! It’s spicy, sweet flavor and rich, creamy texture are what you’d expect from a much more complicated recipe. But it really is a breeze to make. Guess you could say it’s as easy as pie. And who doesn’t appreciate easy around the holidays? Or, pie for that matter!

YIELD: 8 to 10 servings PREP: 15 minutes BAKE: 50 minutes

Brownie Brittle™ Crust Ingredients: 1½ cups BROWNIE BRITTLE™ (one 5-ounce bag = 1 cup crushed) or chocolate wafers crushed in a food processor 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Prepare the Brownie Brittle™ Crust. Mix the crushed Brownie Brittle™ with the melted butter. Press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly into the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside to cool.

Pumpkin Filling Ingredients: 1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin ¼ teaspoon ground cloves ½ teaspoon ground ginger ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk

Directions: Increase the oven temperature to 425°F. Prepare the pumpkin filling. Combine the pumpkin, cloves, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and salt in a small saucepan. Stir and cook over low heat for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to meld. Set aside and allow to cool. Beat the eggs thoroughly in a bowl and then mix in the sweetened condensed milk. Add the cooled pumpkin and spice mixture to the egg mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour the pumpkin filling into the crust and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F and bake an additional 35 minutes or until center appears to be set. Allow the pie to cool completely, then refrigerate until ready to serve.

Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains © 2016 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Tina Rupp.

Sheila G.

"Haute" Chocolate

YIELD: 1 (10-ounce) serving PREP: 5 minutes

"Haute" Chocolate Ingredients: 3 tablespoons Brownie Filling (recipe below) 1¼ cups milk Whipped cream, optional

Directions: Warm the brownie filling and ¼ cup milk in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until blended. Pour in the remaining 1 cup milk and whisk until heated through. Garnish with whip cream, if desired.

Brownie Filling YIELD: 2 cups PREP: 5 minutes

Ingredients: 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, melted 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 cup 100% baking cocoa ¾ cup all-purpose flour

Directions: Blend the sweetened condensed milk with the melted butter. Mix in the vanilla. Add the cocoa and flour and mix thoroughly. Allow to cool; texture will be exactly like a brownie batter. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one month. Bring to room temperature before using.

Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains © 2016 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Tina Rupp.

Sheila G.

Signature Brownies

This recipe is the one that started my love affair with chocolate in general and brownies in particular. Handed down from my grandmother Rose to my mom, Hilda, and then on to me, it is the best brownie recipe ever. Why? Because it blends two chocolates: semisweet and cocoa powder. Most brownie recipes call for one or the other, rarely both, but the double dose of chocolate delivers a much more interesting flavor profile. My Signature Brownies are dense, chocolatey, and rich enough to stand on their own. However, if your family simply has to have frosting, whip up your favorite from scratch or try my Cream Cheese Frosting recipe on page Prefer a more cakelike brownie? Simply add an extra egg to the recipe for an 8 x 8-inch pan or two extra eggs to the 9 x 13-inch recipe.

Ingredients (for 8x8-inch pan):

YIELD: 9 brownies PREP: 10 minutes BAKE: 30 minutes

2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips 6 tablespoons salted butter 2 large eggs 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract ½ cup sugar ½ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon 100% baking cocoa

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 13-inch pan and set aside. Microwave the chocolate chips and butter in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 seconds; remove and stir. Return to the microwave if not completely melted and microwave in 15-second intervals until smooth and creamy. (Do not overheat or the chocolate will scorch.) Mix together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a separate bowl using an electric mixer set on the lowest speed or a spatula. Blend the egg mixture into the melted chocolate mixture until well combined. Add the flour, baking powder, salt, and cocoa to the chocolate mixture and mix well by hand or using the lowest setting on the mixer. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, until edges are crisp and the center is completely flat with a crackly surface. Cool completely, and then cut into 9 squares or 24 pieces, depending on the pan size. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months.

Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains © 2016 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Tina Rupp.

@unbakedbar

Cookie Dough Brownie Bites

YIELD: 28 pieces PREP: 20 minutes BAKE: 12 minutes

Signature Brownie Ingredients & Directions: See Slide #4

Raw Cookie Ingredients: 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) salted butter, at room temperature ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed 1/3 cup granulated sugar 1 ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour 2 tablespoons milk

Semisweet Chocolate Drizzle Ingredients: 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips ¼ teaspoon vegetable shortening or coconut oil

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a mini muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. Prepare the signature brownie recipe according to directions. Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with the batter. Bake for 12 minutes, until muffins rise in the center, then fall, and edges begin to crisp. Remove the pan from the oven and indent the center of each brownie bite with a small round object, such as a soda bottle top. When the pan is warm to the touch, turn the mini bites gently to make sure they are not sticking to the sides. When cool, remove the mini bites by hand, or turn the pan over to release them. Prepare the cookie dough filling. Mix the butter, brown sugar, white sugar, vanilla, flour, and milk until smooth and creamy. Use a small scoop to measure portions of the cookie dough and place them on the indentation in the center of each cooled brownie bite. Prepare the semisweet chocolate drizzle. Microwave the chocolate chips and shortening in a microwave-safe bowl on high for 30 seconds; remove and stir. Return to the microwave if not thoroughly melted, and microwave in 15-second intervals until smooth and creamy. (Do not overheat or the chocolate will scorch.) Drizzle the chocolate topping over the top of each brownie bite.

Sheila G’s Butter & Chocolate by Sheila G. Mains © 2016 Kyle Books, and the photographs © Tina Rupp.