You guys, I’m not doing so well on my list and have less than two months to go until the 20s escape me. I’ve also been staying at my parents’ house in San Antonio for the past few weeks which wasn’t expected, but is just temporary for work things, so at least I’m making money.
There are two small bits of good news which to me are pretty major.
1) Thanks to a tip from Mary, I have conquered the art of cutting disgustingly perfect brownies. The freezer is where it’s at.
And 2), thanks to #16 on the list, I have succeeded in trying coconut things 10 times this year.
Guess what? I actually like it now. (p.s. goat cheese is at 8 and sushi is still at 0…that shiz is expensive!)
Making these brownies was the true test of whether or not I had warmed up to coconut. Of course toasted coconut was never appealing, but I made myself try it…over and over again. An intervention would have been handy, really.
It only makes sense that I ate way too much of the German chocolate filling, only that is slightly horrifying to my past self. German chocolate cake used to be layered with gross with gross on top. I don’t know who I am anymore.
Oh, and I made these for Rachel because she beat me to 30 about a month ago. A couple years ago (pre blogging days), I made this Inside Out German Chocolate Cake for her because it was a twist on her favorite kind of cake. Last year she got the Zebra Bundt, so hopefully brownies weren’t too much of a let-down. But they were super dark and fudgy with German chocolate goodness in the middle…seems like you can’t go wrong, right?
I don’t know if she liked them, but I sure did. Weird. (I should also mention that she’s pregnant and her tastes are all wonky.) (Oh, and I am so very not pregnant, FYI.)
German Chocolate Brownies
So I guess you could use any brownies for this (although I think the batter for Mochi Brownies is too thin), but I highly recommend the Moosewood ones below if you love your brownies fudgy. They are my favorite and are so easy to make. Cakey could be good for obvious German chocolate reasons, but psh. Over here you’re sitting on Team Fudgy’s side.
Moosewood Fudge Brownies
from Moosewood Restaurant Book of Desserts
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
German Chocolate filling (recipe below) – psst, make this first.
Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter or spray an 8 or 9 inch square pan and line with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate together over low heat, then let cool slightly. Stir in the brown sugar, vanilla and eggs. Mix in the flour until just combined.
At this point, if you want just regular awesome brownies, you would pour all the batter into the pan and then bake for about 20 minutes.
But if you want super awesome German chocolate brownies do this: Spread about half of the batter into the pan. I only used about a third of the German chocolate filling but will totally use half next time. Spoon however much of the filling you want on top of the brownie batter. Gently cover the filling with the remaining half of the brownie batter.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until the brownies are set on the edges but still a little fudgy in the center. Let cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then carefully lift them out of the pan with the parchment and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
If you want super neat brownies, let them harden in the freezer for a bit and then cut with a sharp knife.
German Chocolate filling
from Gourmet (via Epicurious)
You only need about half of this unless you make a double batch of brownies. You can freeze what you don’t need and use it another time! Or eat it as is…
7 ounces sweetened coconut flakes
4 ounces (1 cup) pecans, finely chopped
1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Adjust the oven racks so that one is in the top third and the other is in the bottom third. Preheat to 325F.
Spread the coconut out on a baking sheet and the pecans in another (I used a pie plate). Place the pecans on the upper rack and the pecans on the lower. The recipe says to bake for 12 – 17 minutes and when I checked at 12, the coconut was almost burnt! Check at 10 minutes. Combine the two and set aside.
Raise the oven temperature to 425F. Find two oven-safe dishes: you need one for a water bath, so the other needs to fit into it. In the smaller dish (I used a pie plate), pour the condensed milk. Set this dish in the larger one, the pour enough water in the large one to reach about halfway up the smaller one. Bake for 45 minutes, refill the water bath if needed, then bake for an additional 45 minutes. The condensed milk will caramelize, turning a golden brown color.
Stir the toasted coconut and pecan into the condensed milk, then stir in the vanilla. Try to save some for the brownies.
I may have sworn to myself some time ago that I’d never put strips of parchment between baked goods for photos, but alas. The things clean-edged brownies will do to a person.