Monday, August 27, 2012

Savta Brownies, aka the best brownies you will ever have

Cravings: some cooler weather, enough August!

Hi all,
I thought maybe I would bookend the month of August with some blog posts seeing as I went from posting once or twice a day to 0. I got some inspiration today though.

While in Alabama, I got to spend some great time with lots of Charlie's family. Uncle Jim is his mom's youngest brother, and I got especially close to his two daughters Jessica and Samantha. We even have a  picture up on our fridge right now that Samantha drew for us (she is 6 years old, despite Charlie thinking she's 2). This has led to many jokes of walking toddlers being "2 weeks old" etc. Funnier if you're there for it.

Anyway, while visiting them in Auburn one weekend back in July, I asked Jessie if she wanted to bake some brownies. She ran to get a box mix and I told her she didn't know me well enough yet. After making this batch a couple of times over a few visits (sometimes with butter and sometimes with vegetable oil), I hope Jessie will never make boxed brownies again!!

My grandma is one of the best cooks I know, and she is famous for her "oogiot savta" (grandma cookies, little hard round butter cookies with ground almonds as their base), and her decadent brownies. She used to put walnuts in them but stopped a few years ago when one of my cousin's husband disclosed he was allergic. I like them both ways.

Now the debate: My grandma eats these freezing cold. Literally - she freezes them, and lets them sit out just long enough to thaw so they don't break your teeth. I'll take my beer cold, but my brownies hot, thank you very much!

-4 eggs
-2 cups sugar
-4 ounces butter
-4 tbs cocoa powder
-1 cup flour
-2 tsp vanilla
-1 tsp instant coffee
- tbs liquer (originally the recipe called for brandy but in auburn alabama at 9 pm we only found some baileys - it worked)

Jessie really wanted to crack the eggs separately (which is a smart thing to do to ensure no shell gets in the batter).

1. Melt your butter and cocoa together in the microwave
2. Measure your sugar and eggs and put in a stand mixer (hand mixer would work find too)
Beat sugar and eggs together and add in the butter/cocoa mixture:
3. Add in the baileys, vanilla, and coffee - mix until combined.
4. Slowly add the flour in and mix until combined.
5. Pour into a baking dish, and let settle for about 10 minutes before baking.
6. Bake at 350 for about 25 minutes. Let cool (if you can resist), cut them into squares, and enjoy.

The brownies come out fudgy, almost as if they are slightly under-cooked.

Yummmmmm. I want some now.

By the way, after you make them, refrigerate in an airtight container, and they last for a really long time. You can freeze them as well, but unlike my grandma, I recommend you nuke them before eating them from the freezer.

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Reverse chocolate chip cookies

I was taking a bit of a blog hiatus just because I've been wedding planning and taking care of lots of odds and ends at the house with Charlie (who came back less than a week ago and already accomplished so much, hurrah!).

I made these cookies last night and HAD to post. I suspect I'll have about 32 posts in 3 days because I have all these back logs of pictures to upload. And stories too.

Since I made my grandma's brownies (I will post the recipe soon and you will never be able to eat a different brownie again without pouting)...well since making my grandmas brownies, I've been enjoying the thought of using cocoa powder in everything (chill anyone?). Why not my "OMG cookies" with some chocolate in the dough?

(sidenote, I made a regular batch as well and they just didn't turn out right for some reason. I think maybe the dough didn't cool enough. I guess even I can screw up my own cookie sometime!)

I had a bag of white chocolate chips in the pantry (note to self, buy more of these to have around). I thought it would be better to have white chocolate chips in the chocolate cookie. The result was AMAZING. Charlie had 4, and he's been doing so good with being healthy. Whoops!

Recipe (modified from original omg cookie)
-2 sticks of room temp butter (or just melt it in the microwave if you're in a rush)
-1 1/4 cups brown sugar
-1/4 cup white sugar
-5 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (I buy the Hersheys brand)
-1 egg and 1 yolk
-2 tbs milk
-1/2 tbs vanilla
-1 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp baking soda
-2 1/4 cups of bread flour (remember, bread flour! important)
-2 cups (about one package) of white chocolate chips (I used nestle tollhouse but store brand would work too)

1. Put the butter, brown and white sugar, and cocoa in a mixing bowl and use a hand mixer to mix together.
2. Add in the egg and yolk, vanilla, and milk, and mix to combine.
3. Add the salt, soda, and flour, one cup at a time, combining between each cup of flour.
4. Add the white chocolate chips and use a spatula or spoon to mix the batter together.
5. Refrigerate for at least one hour, but more would be better. Use a 1.5 ounce scoop (3 tbs), to scoop out the batter on to cookie trays, and bake for 12 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let them cool just long enough to not burn your tongue, and watch as your fiancé eats four.