Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

December 8: National Brownie Day

We have blogged several times about brownies before. But this one is baked with a special ingredient—a chocolate candy bar! And it’s not just any bar—it has hemp seeds! Hemp is related to but is not the same as marijuana, although they both come from one of the varieties of their common cannabis plant. When baked into brownies, a few people automatically assume there is “pot” in it, which is illegal in some states. Nevertheless, we reassured our skeptical friends that they would probably only get high on sugar and not on “weed”! For National Brownie Day, bake some brownies with a special ingredient—a chocolate candy bar with or without hemp.

Recipe

(Adapted from Dave Lieberman of the Food Network)

Ingredients

  • ½ cup (1 stick butter) butter, melted, divided use
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 1 hemp chocolate candy bar, coarsely chopped

Directions

Prepare an 8×8-inch square baking pan that has been lined with foil with a little hanging over the edges (this will act as the “handles” to lift the cooled brownies from the pan). Grease the bottom and sides of the foil-lined pan with 2 tablespoons melted butter. With the remaining butter, combine it with the sugar in a mixing bowl.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Beat in the egg, water and vanilla. Next, add the salt, baking powder, cocoa powder and flour.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Fold in the chopped hemp chocolate candy bar pieces. Spread evenly into the prepared pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes or until the center is set and the top is shiny and slightly wrinkled. Remove from the oven and let cool completely. Use the foil “handles” to lift the brownie out of the pan. Cut into squares and serve. Yield: 16 brownie pieces.

Hemp Chocolate Candy Bar Brownies

Notes

  • Thanks to Lisa L. for giving us the special ingredient for this recipe—the hemp chocolate candy bar. The hemp seeds added a nice occasional crunch to the fudgy-cake like texture in this brownie.
  • Substitute the hemp chocolate candy bar for a cup of another candy bar (like Snickers fun size or mini chocolate-peanut candy bars).
  • Search our blog for other brownie recipes.

Raspberry Brownies

Raspberry Brownies

July: National Berry Month

Add some razzle dazzle to boring basic brownies with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache! These brownies are rich and fudgy and have become one of our favorite indulgences! We typically have them with a side of fresh raspberries to balance the sweetness with a tart taste. Raspberry brownies are a delicious decadent dessert to bake/eat/serve during National Berry Month.

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

For the brownies

  • 4 ounces/squares of unsweetened baking chocolated\ (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup (1½ sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup flour

Directions

In a microwave-safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter. Stir until smooth. Let stand for five minutes to cool slightly. Mix in the sugar. Beat in the eggs. Add the vanilla.

Raspberry Brownies

Stir in the flour to make a smooth brownie batter. Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving some overhang on the sides. Mist with cooking spray. Spread the brownie batter in the pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely before topping it with raspberry jam and chocolate ganache.

Raspberry Brownies

For the topping

  • ¼ cup seedless raspberry jam
  • 6 ounces/squares semi-sweet baking chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup heavy whipping cream

Directions

Stir the raspberry jam until smooth. Spread over the top of the cooled brownies. In a separate microwave-safe bowl, combine the chocolate with whipping cream. Melt in the microwave for two minutes. Stir until smooth and well blended.

Raspberry Brownies

Carefully spread over the raspberry jam mixture. Chill the brownies in the refrigerator for at least an hour to allow the ganache to set. Remove from the refrigerator and lift the brownies from the pan with the foil handles.  Slice into small squares (approximately 32 pieces).

Raspberry Brownies

Notes

  • Wipe the blade of the knife after slicing each time to make clean cuts through the frosted brownies.
  • Because this is a very rich dessert, smaller servings with fresh fruits/raspberries are recommended.
  • Search our blog for other recipes containing raspberries, blueberries, strawberries and blackberries.

Guinness Brownies

Guinness Brownies

March 17: Feast Day of St. Patrick

Slainte! St. Patrick’s Day is a time to celebrate Highlander’s heritage. He has traced his ancestry to the Ulster-Scots (Scots-Irish). Today is also a time to eat brownies boozed up with beer from Dublin, Ireland—Guinness. The dry Irish stout, mixed with a “trinity” of chocolate (unsweetened, semi-sweet and white),  makes this dessert dense and delicious! Shake some shamrock sprinkles on top for an edible emerald color contrast. Get into the “spirit” of St. Patrick’s Day and indulge in Guinness brownies.

Recipe

(Adapted from Detroit News)

Ingredients

  • 1 cup flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened/baking cocoa powder (we used Nestle Toll House brand)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces (8 squares) of unsweetened chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup white chocolate chips (we used Nestle Toll House brand premiere white morsels)
  • 6 tablespoons butter (we used Kerrygold brand Irish unsalted butter)
  • 1 cup sugar (we lessened the amount to ¾ cup)
  • 4 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 ¼ cup Guinness beer, room temperature
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (we used Ghirardelli brand)
  • candy shamrock sprinkles (optional)

Directions

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with foil. Mist with cooking spray. In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Set aside. Melt together the unsweetened chocolate squares, white chocolate chips and butter. 

Guinness Brownies

Stir until smooth. Beat the eggs. Add the sugar. Mix in the melted chocolate. 

Guinness Brownies

Gradually add the flour-cocoa mixture. Stir in the Guinness beer and blend well. The batter will be thin. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Spread evenly with a spatula.

Guinness Beer

Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees F for 25-30 minutes. Remove from the oven. Cool completely. Slice with a plastic knife. While the brownies are still warm, sprinkle candy shamrocks (optional). Yield: 24 square brownies.

Guinness Brownies

Notes 

  • The background in the final food photo above features Highlander’s family tartan, a plaid with green, blue and white colors.
  • Instead of the shamrock sprinkles, dust the Guinness brownies with powdered sugar before serving.
  • Search our blog for more brownie and Irish-inspired recipes.

Peppermint Patty Brownies with

White Chocolate Mint Drizzles

 Peppermint Patty Brownies

February 11: Peppermint Patty Day

We had some Peppermint Patty (round chocolate-covered mints) in a candy dish leftover from a holiday event. So we decided to bake them into brownies. We enhanced this simple recipe by flavoring melted white chocolate with mint and drizzling it over the brownies. The drizzles reinforce the minty taste as well as add a decorative touch to these sweet treats. Prepare Peppermint Patty Brownies with White Chocolate Mint Drizzles—they are perfect for observing Peppermint Patty Day!

Recipe

(Adapted from Real Simple)

Ingredients

  • 1 box brownie mix, family size (19 ounces, 9×13 inches) [we used Duncan Hines brand dark chocolate fudge flavor)
  • 1 package Peppermint Patty candies (we used York brand)
  • 2 squares (1 ounce each) white chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 1/8 teaspoon mint extract

Directions

Unwrap the Peppermint Patty candies and set aside. Line a 10×10-inch square baking pan with foil and grease with cooking spray. Mix the brownie batter with the ingredients according to the package.

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Layer half of the batter on the prepared pan. Place the Peppermint Patty candies on top. Carefully cover with the remaining batter. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven. Transfer the brownies in the foil to cool on a wire rack.

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Slice in 36 mini-squares. Separate the brownies and place on a wire rack above another foil-lined cookie sheet.

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Melt the white chocolate. Stir the mint extract into the melted white chocolate. Fill a pastry bag with a small round tip or a plastic zipper top bag with a small cut in the corner with the melted chocolate. Drizzle over the brownies. Let the chocolate cool and set. Place the brownies on a tray and serve. Garnish with fresh mint leaves (optional).

Peppermint Patty Brownies

Notes

  • Use a plastic knife to cut the brownies as they tend to stick on stainless steel knives.
  • Ice the brownies in chocolate frosting before slicing into squares for a sweeter dessert. Then decorate in white chocolate mint drizzles as described above.
  • Search our blog for more brownie recipes.

Chocolate Brownies

Chocolate Brownies

December 8: National Chocolate Brownie Day

Brownies have had a bad reputation for including a “special ingredient.”  Perhaps that is why we seem a bit paranoid at potlucks and parties when brownies are served! Considered a cross between a cake and a cookie, brownies can include ingredients, such as nuts and chocolate chips, and may be iced with chocolate frosting or dusted with powdered sugar.  But we prefer them “basic and boring”—no additional ingredients, “special” or otherwise—with a tall glass of milk (lactose-free for Islander) or a cup of coffee (Kona for Highlander). For us, plain brownies are simply sweet enough at snacktime to satisfy our chocolate cravings. Urban legends aside, bake brownies for National Chocolate Brownie Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Kraft Foods)

Ingredients

  • 4 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • 3/4 cup (1 ½ sticks) butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3  eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup  flour

Directions

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with heavy duty foil. Mist with cooking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, melt the chocolate with the butter on high for two minutes. Stir until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs and vanilla and blend well.

Chocolate Brownies

Gradually mix in the flour. Spread the batter into the baking pan. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 30-35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Carefully lift the foil out of the pan. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

Chocolate Brownies

Notes

  • To this basic brownie recipe, add a cup of chopped nuts or chocolate chips for a crunchy texture. After it is baked and cooled, spread chocolate frosting or dust with powdered sugar for a rich topping.
  • A plastic knife is recommended for slicing the brownies. Use cookie cutters for interesting shaped brownies.
  • Search our blog for variations of brownie recipes.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

February 10: National Cream Cheese Brownies Day

Although we have baked brownies and blondies before (click on the links for our blog recipe posts), we especially like the combination of colors and artistry of cream cheese marble brownies. We think they are a sweet symbol of us as an intermarried couple—a brownie girl with a blondie boy. In fact, we really like the marbled motif that our own wedding and 10th anniversary renewal cakes were chocolate swirled with vanilla and our wedding favors were Hershey’s Hugs (milk chocolate “hugged” by sweet cream). Cream cheese marble brownies are less elaborate to make than a wedding cake but they are still a special snack for Highlander and Islander on occasion, like on National Cream Cheese Brownies Day.

Recipe

(Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens and Kraft Philly)

For the brownie base

  • 1 ¼ cups flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ salt
  • 6 squares (1 ounce each) unsweetened chocolate (we used Baker’s brand)
  • ¾ cup (1 ½ sticks) butter, cut into small pieces
  • 2 ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • ¼ cup milk

Directions

Line a 9×13-inch baking pan with heavy duty foil. Mist with cooking spray. In a bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside. In a large, microwave-safe mixing bowl, melt the chocolate squares with the butter. Stir until well combined.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

Mix in the sugar. Beat in the eggs, Add the vanilla and milk. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

Gradually add the flour mixture and stir until the batter is smooth. Spread into the baking pan. Make the cream cheese topping.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

For the cream cheese topping

  • 1 bar (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened (we used Kraft Philadelphia brand)
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 egg

Directions

Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg and mix until smooth. Drop the topping batter in random spaces on top of the brownie spread. Use a toothpick to swirl a marbled design on top, being careful not to overmix.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40-45 minutes until the brownie base is cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool completely. Carefully lift the foil out of the pan. Cut the brownies into squares and serve.

Cream Cheese Marble Brownies

Notes

  • Thanks to our talented Auntie Maria B. for making our marble-flavored wedding and anniversary cakes. Some of the intermarried couples whose weddings we have sponsored at church also had a marble-style wedding cake.
  • Search our blog for variations of brownie recipes.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

Brownie Pops

Rudolph Brownie Pops

December 8: National Chocolate Brownie Day

With Christmas right around the corner, we got in a merry mood and made Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer brownie pops for National Chocolate Brownie Day! We used a brownie pops silicone mold to bake basic brownies and decorated them as the most famous reindeer of all using frosting, chocolate chips, pretzels and red cinnamon candies. Share these Rudolph brownie pops with others at holiday get-togethers and you, too, can go down in history as the host/hostess with the most/mostess creative Christmas confections!

Recipe

(Inspired by Bakerella)

Ingredients

  • 1 package brownie mix (we used Duncan Hines brand chewy fudge flavor)
  • 1 bag of mini pretzels (we used Synder’s of Hanover brand) for the antlers
  • 1 tube white icing (we used Wilton brand) for the eyes
  • mini chocolate chips for the eye balls
  • 1 container chocolate frosting
  • red round candies (such as Cinnamon Red Hots or M&Ms) for the nose
  • lollipop sticks

Directions

Lightly grease the cavities of the silicone molds. Mix the brownie batter according to the directions on the package. Fill the silicone molds with brownie batter. Bake in the oven following the directions on the brownie mix package. Remove from oven and let cool.

Rudolph Brownie Pops

Carefully cut the pretzels to make the antlers. Dip the ends in chocolate frosting and insert into the brownie. Pipe the eyes using a small round tip on the white icing tube. Dab a little chocolate frosting on the back side of a red round candy and place the nose underneath the eyes.

Rudolph Brownie Pops

Add the mini chocolate chips on the point of the white icing of  the eyes. Rudolph brownies may be served on a tray at this point but can also be made into pops for a pretty presentation. Dip the end of a lollipop stick in chocolate frosting then insert it into the bottom of the brownie. Stand the Rudolph brownie pops on a piece of styrofoam. Tie a ribbon on the lollipop stick for a festive touch.

Rudolph Brownie Pops

Notes

  • Listen to Burl Ives sing “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” in a YouTube clip in the finale of the Rankin/Bass childhood animated classic 1964 TV special here.