Cocoa Brownies


Well I come to you today to let you know that these brownies are a great way to soak up slightly warm beer from a plastic cup.

I celebrated the Fourth of July by playing beer pong with friends only to remind myself that I am a light-weight. But it doesn’t matter who wins or loses, it’s how you play the game.  And when you are playing the game while slightly tipsy, everyone wins anyway.

I have always been on the look out for a brownie recipe that is better than the brownie box mix.  One major obstacle was that most homemade brownie recipes require baking chocolate, usually of high quality.  Both my wallet and my desire to not have to get up from my couch and walk often prevented me from making these recipes.   So I tried many brownie recipes that were cocoa-based, but they often did not turn of chocolately or fudgey enough. So when I came across this brownie recipe that only used cocoa powder, I gave it another go.

Well, here it is.  A cocoa-based brownie recipes that tastes wonderfully chocolatey and fudgey.  Perfect for beer pong, obviously.

Barely Adapted from Recipe Girl


11 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
8 3/4 ounces granulated sugar (1 1/4 cups)
3 ounces cocoa powder (1 scant cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 eggs, room temperature
1 3/4 ounces all purpose flour (1/3 cup & 1 tablespoon)


Preheat oven to 325°F. Prepare an 8 inch by 8 inch baking pan. Set aside.

Place butter in a large bowl and melt over a double broiler. Stir in sugar, cocoa powder, and salt while still over the double broiler. Stir until completely mixed. Remove from double broiler and let cool slightly. Stir in vanilla extract and eggs, one at a time until fully combined. Add all of the flour. Stir to combine for 25-30 strokes. Pour into prepared baking pan. Bake for 18-23 minutes, until a toothpick comes out slightly dirty. Let cool completely and cut into bars.

Pecan Pie Brownies


As you read this, I am probably currently around 10,000 feet- cruising my way back home for the holidays.  I am also probably tightly gripping my armrest because I am a somewhat nervous flyer.

I am so ready for some big holiday fun.  It has definitely been a stressful semester, and I am ready to take a break. I love all the holiday prep and planning that will be taking place the next few weeks- especially all the holiday food we get to make and eat.

I made these pecan pie brownies for our Thanksgiving dessert since some people in our family aren’t a huge fan of traditional pecan pie.  Guys, there were absolutely amazing.  I loved them so much that I would have almost been happy just eating a big batch of these brownies for my Thanksgiving dinner.  You got a fudgey brownie sprinkled with chocolate chips and then a gooey pecan pie filling on top.  Yum.  These are so good- I think everyone should make them for their family, for a holiday party, or just for themselves.

The only way I could be happier about coming home is if a huge plate of these pecan pie brownies were brought to me immediately as I de-boarded the airplane.


Barely Adapted from Half Baked Harvest


For the Brownies:
1/3 cup canola oil
4 tablespoons butter, melted
4 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 eggs, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup chocolate chips

For the Pecan Pie Topping:
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup brown Karo syrup
4 eggs, room temperature
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons rum
4 cups pecan halves
1/2 cup chocolate chips


For the Brownies:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with foil. Grease the foil.

In a large bowl, whisk together canola oil and butter. Whisk in cocoa powder, eggs, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt. Stir in flour until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.

Spread batter into prepared baking pan. This will be a very thin layer. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool.

For the Pecan Pie Filling:

In a large bowl, whisk together brown sugar, Karo syrup, eggs, vanilla extract, and butter. Stir in rum, pecans, and chocolate chips. Pour mixture on top of brownies. Bake for 30-35 minutes until filling is set. The filling should still jiggle a little bit.

Cool brownies completely and chill. Cut and serve (do not attempt to cut before brownies are cold- they will not cut easily).

Oreo Brownies: Improv Challenge


I hope Texas is holding up without me.  I having a great time on this vacation- I may never come back.  But today it is time to take a break from my glorious vacation to talk about some good dessert.  Brace yourself- this one is a doozie.

Who doesn’t love a good Oreo?  I have never met a person who has any negative feelings toward the chocolate cookies with the creamy vanilla filling.  Sure, we may play favorites and like the creme better than the cookie (I refuse to believe no one loves that sweet creamy filling), but there is a general appreciation all around for the glorious Oreo.  And although Oreo will keep trying to come out with wacky new flavors, I always turn to the classic cookie.

What’s better than an Oreo?  Putting an Oreo in a dessert.  I have never heard a complaint about that. Oreos seem to become even more magical when they are warm and baked.

Side Note: If you have never had a deep fried Oreo, you haven’t lived.

This month’s Secret Recipe Club challenge was to make something with chocolate and vanilla.  Two classic dessert flavors. Taking inspiration from the wonderful Oreo, I made these fabulous brownies.   These brownies have double Oreo goodness: first, there is an Oreo baked into a chocolate brownie.  And then you have the chocolate brownie and the vanilla creme on top imitating that wonderful Oreo combo.

These brownies are definitely magical.  Oh so chocolate-y and creamy.  And those Oreos. Mmmm.  And I won’t lie, I did not wait for these brownies to cool completely.  Because I believe that is physically impossible.  Who can wait for a dessert as good as this?  And should we?  No.  No we should not.

Fight for the right to eat desserts.

Also, the use of Double Stuff Oreos is mandatory in this recipe.  The use of Mega Stuff is encouraged.


Adapted from Handle the Heat


For the Brownies:
10 tablespoons butter
1 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup cocoa powder
2 eggs, room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup all purpose flour
16-20 Oreos

For the Vanilla Creme:
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk


For the Brownies:

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line a 9 inch by 9 inch pan with aluminum foil.

Melt butter in a saucepan over low heat.  Stir in sugar and cocoa.  Remove from heat.  Let cool slightly.  Mix in eggs one at a time, vanilla extract, and salt.  Stir in flour until just combined.

Place Oreos at the bottom of the prepared pan.  Spread brownie batter on top.  Bake for 16-18 minutes, until a toothpick comes out mostly clean.  Cool completely (if this is humanly possible.  If not, cool mostly).

For the Vanilla Creme:

Combine butter, powdered sugar, vanilla bean seeds, vanilla extract, and milk in a large bowl.  Beat on medium speed until mixed together.  Spread onto cooled brownies.  Slice into bars.

Make sure to check out what everyone else make for this month’s Improv Challenge.  Thanks Frugal Antics of a Harried Housewife for hosting!

Brownie Pudding

I know it’s the start of the new year and everyone is starting their diet and resolutions, but I am not there yet.   I am at the tail end of my winter vacation, and while I am at home, I am in a “treat yo self” mode. And as I mentioned before, right now treating myself means chocolate.  A lot of chocolate.  I am still here to tempt you all away from your stalks of celery to this molten chocolate dessert.  If you are still practicing self restraint, good for you!  Feel free to check out my recipe page for some healthy dishes.  Just to remember to bookmark this recipe for a later special occasion.

This brownie pudding calls for an OMG!!! (I don’t OMG lightly either).  You mix up a thick decadent brownie batter then bake it until it just barely baked through. The result is a crisp outer crust and a thick, molten brownie batter underneath.  Serve it with melted vanilla ice cream, and you will be in heaven.

This decadent, delicious recipe comes from none other than Ina Garten, who has never let me down with a recipe.  I like to think of Ina as a close personal friend (she just doesn’t know this yet), and I am now even more connected for her.  For my birthday, my mom got me a signed copy of Ina’s newest cookbook.  She got to meet her in a person when she came to Houston for her book tour, which is officially cooler than when we saw Lyle Lovett in Austin.  Since I have had contact with my mom, I count this as being one step closer to being Ina’s BFF.  Next time Ina just needs to come to town when I am not in school!  Or perhaps she could consider adding Lubbock to her book tour stops.

Slightly Adapted from Ina Garten

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
1 vanilla bean
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons water
1/2 cup all purpose flour
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup coca powder
1/4 cup Dutch processed cocoa powder


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease 7 inch by 12 inch baking pan.

Melt butter and set aside to cool.  In a large bowl, beat sugar and eggs together for 5-10 minutes, until thick and light yellow.  Beat in the seeds from one vanilla bean, vanilla extract, and water.  Beat in flour, salt, and cocoa powder until just combined.  Beat in cooled melted butter until just combined.

Pour brownie mixture into greased pan.  Place pan in a 9 inch by 13 inch pan.  Fill the larger pan with the hottest tap water halfway.  Bake for 50-60 minutes.  Be careful not to over bake.  The cake is done when a cake tester comes out 3/4 of the way done when placed 2 inches from the border.  Let cool slightly for 3-5 minutes.  Serve immediately with vanilla ice cream.