Fudgy, super-thick, decadent brownies.
4 easy variations to the batter base to suit every craving + mood.
There are days when only baking (and more truthfully, devouring) a slab of warm, chocolatey goodness will set things right again.
Combined with a fit of mercurial indecision and a wild burst of energy, these days yield FOUR pans of brownies (and very happy neighbors).
- 18 oz (3 cups) chocolate chunks, divided
- 2 sticks butter
- 1-1/4 cups white sugar
- 1/3 cup light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2/3 cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°.
- Melt the butter and pour over 2 cups of the chocolate chunks, the white sugar, and the brown sugar. Mix until combined.
- Add the eggs to the mixture one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Add the vanilla.
- Mix together the dry ingredients separately, then add to wet mixture. Don’t over mix!
- Incorporate the remaining chocolate chunks (1 cup).
- Spread into a buttered 9×13 pan. Top with additions if desired (see notes below).
- Bake for about 40 minutes, or until center is set. Do not use the toothpick test – it will result in overdone, dry brownies!
- 1 (8 oz) pack cream cheese
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup flour
Mix cheesecake batter from ingredients above. Swirl into the brownie batter in the pan, dragging a knife through the mixture for a marbled design. Bake.
Salted Caramel Brownies
- 1 cup sugar
- 3/4 stick (6 tbsp) butter
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp salt
Heat sugar on medium heat in a heavy-bottomed saucepan. As the sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a whisk or wooden spoon. Boil until a nice golden color is achieved, but be careful not to burn. Slowly add the butter, then drizzle in the heavy cream- slowly because the mixture can splatter like hot oil. Remove the sauce from the heat and mix in the salt. Either top the raw brownie batter with the sauce then bake, or drizzle on brownies afterwards. The former will yield brownies with a baked in caramel flavor; the latter are messier but will retain the consistency of the sauce on top.
- 1 cup coarsely crushed graham crackers
- 2 cups marshmallows
Sprinkle marshmallows and graham cracker pieces over brownies halfway through baking time (after about 15 minutes), returning to oven for remainder of baking time.
Alternately, spread half of batter in pan, top with graham crackers and marshmallows, then remaining brownie batter. Bake as normal.
This is a fruity, summery cocktail, not too sweet and just in time for election fever!
- 2 oz white rum
- 1 oz fresh lime juice
- 1 oz simple syrup
- handful mint leaves
- handful strawberries
- handful blueberries
- 1/2 can soda
- In a glass muddle lime, simple syrup, mint, strawberries and blueberries.
- Add rum and stir. Fill glass with ice and top off with soda.
- Garnish with a skewer of strawberries and blueberries.
<<<<Watch the video instructions>>>>
This lightly citrusy cheesecake is tall and decadent, creamy without being too heavy, and absolutely sure to impress. Both people who swore they hated cheesecake and those that hated lemons (who hates lemons?!) sang this cake praises.
It’s not difficult to make, but keep in mind that it does need to be made a day ahead of serving in order to chill.
- 2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
- 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 7 large eggs
- 3 cups (24 ounces) sour cream
- 2 tablespoons (packed) finely grated lemon peel
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- Lemon twists (garnish) – I used this recipe by blogger HomemadeToast
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir the cookie crumbs and the butter in medium bowl until evenly moistened. Press the mixture onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter removable-bottom cheesecake pan. Use a tall pan (at least 3 inches) because this recipe makes a very tall cheesecake. Also, I like to line the bottom of cheesecake pan with parchment. Bake the crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
- Stack 3 large sheets of foil on work surface. Place same cake pan in center. Gather foil snugly around pan bottom and up sides to waterproof.
- Using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar, then the salt. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in the sour cream, grated lemon peel, and lemon juice. Pour the filling into the pan.
- Place the wrapped cake pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up sides of the cake pan. Bake the cake until the filling is slightly puffed and moves only slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Remove the cake pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for 2 hours. Then chill uncovered until cold; cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.
- Run a knife around the sides; carefully loosen pan bottom from sides and push up pan bottom to release cake. Place cake (still on the pan bottom, unless you’ve lined the pan with parchment) on a platter. Garnish with lemon leaves or twists.
When I asked a friend to teach me how to make empanadas, I didn’t know what I was getting myself into. Four hours in, I had done so much eating, dancing, and laughing that my sides ached the next day, but we hadn’t even started the empanadas.
The real star was the pastelón de yuca, Liyibel’s favorite dish, beloved enough to have it served it at her wedding this past winter.
I think of pastelón as Dominican shepherd’s pie: a hearty comfort food made of layers of meat and a mashed starch, in this case yuca (cassava). Topped with melty cheese, it’ll give you the energy to dance Bachata all night!
Pastelón de Yuca y Pollo
- 3 lbs yuca, peeled and cut into chunks
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ cup evaporated milk
- 1 stick butter
- 1 egg
- 4 chicken breasts
- 2 red bell peppers
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 diced purple onion
- 1/2 cup evaporated milk
- 2 tablespoons butter (for greasing pan)
- 1 bag shredded Mexican cheese blend
- Peel and cut yucca. Boil in salted water until soft. Drain water. Mash yuca with milk, butter and egg until you get a smooth puree without lumps. Discard any tough stringy fibers from the yuca.
- Mix the chicken, cilantro and garlic. Cover with water and add a teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Boil chicken until tender, adding more water if necessary. Drain and cool to room temperature. Shred chicken into thin strips.
- Melt butter in a skillet, add the red pepper and onion and sauté until tender. Add chicken and cook until chicken is hot. Add milk and cook until the liquid becomes a thick sauce.
- Preheat oven to 350 ° F [175°C]. Spread a 9″x13″ pan with butter. Put half of the yuca in the pan, spreading evenly using a fork to check for yuca fibers. Add chicken and vegetable mix, distributing in a uniform layer. Follow with the rest of the yuca. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese.
- Bake until the cheese browned (15-20 mins).
- 2 cups orange juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 cups evaporated milk
- 2½ cups ice
Refrigerate the orange juice and milk until very cold. Add the ice to the milk and stir. Add sugar to taste. Slowly pour the orange juice in the milk, stirring constantly. Serve immediately.
A few craft store supplies can seriously elevate your entertaining ‘game’. White tape and sticker numbers transform a green tablecloth. Diamond-shapes cut from construction paper, folded in half and glued over yarn, make an impressive pennant banner. Brown felt, white paint, and hot glue are that’s necessary to create these DIY football koozies.
I love these Super Bowl Bingo cards from Play.Party.Pin!
Filed under how to, party
I’m just beginning to feel winter in the air, but I’m already longing for hot summer days. Here’s a throwback to a job I did a couple months ago illustrating the step-by-step process of making ice cream sandwiches.
I’m a fraud.
I’m a coffee person.
NOT a tea person.
But tea would win the beauty contest…
White hibiscus buds, Green & white teas, Lavender blossoms, Rose petals, and Chamomile flowers
“Take some more tea,” the March Hare said to Alice, very earnestly.
“I’ve had nothing yet,” Alice replied in an offended tone,
“so I can’t take more.”
“You mean you can’t take less,” said the Hatter:
“it’s very easy to take more than nothing.”
“Nobody asked your opinion,” said Alice.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Show up as early as you can get yourself to drag out of bed.
Wander around the industrial section of Greenpoint at dawn.
Sneak into the unmarked, graffiti-ed door, looking behind you as if you were trying to throw the mobster trailing you off your scent.
Buy pastrami lox and whitefish from the no-nonsense, lab-coat clad fishmonger – after much sampling, of course.
Rendezvous with the friend responsible for the bagels + cream cheese.
Plot your next Acme Smoked Fish heist between ravenous bites.
The following recipe is a variation of this recipe by Bobby Flay.
- 3/4 cup good-quality mayonnaise (I used olive oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 pounds smoked whitefish, skinned, boned and flaked
- 1 large stalk celery, finely diced
- 1/2 small red onion, finely diced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Bagels, for serving (I used baked spaghetti squash)
- Pickled Red Onions, for serving, recipe below
Pickled Red Onions:
- 1 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 1 medium red onion, halved and thinly sliced
Whisk together the mayonnaise (or olive oil), lemon zest and juice until combined. Add the whitefish, celery and onions, and gently mix until combined; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour before serving.
Pickled Red Onions:
Combine the vinegar, lime juice, sugar, salt, coriander seeds, mustard seeds and peppercorns in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Remove from the heat and let cool for 5 minutes.
Put the onions in a medium bowl, pour the vinegar mixture over and toss to coat. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours before serving.