Archive for ‘Brownies’

March 17, 2013

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies


Sometimes, a girl just needs a makeover. A fresh start. A clean slate.

Ladies and gents, I present the new and improved A Sprinkle In Time.

Yes, it’s been almost a year since I graced your presence with sweet treats. Sorry about that. Sometimes life gets in the way, ya know?


But I’m back and better than ever.


Listen, I am generally not into change. I keep the same CD in my car for months on end. I’ve been using the same makeup routine since I was a freshman in college. I must eat pillow cookies every Christmas Eve (more on that someday). I believe in the chocolate chip cookie recipe off the back of the bag and Betty Crocker box mix brownies.

But every once in a while, I get that antsy feeling. I need to shed my skin and try something new. Once upon a time that meant dying or chopping off my hair, or dropping out of college to backpack through New Zealand. I think I’m a grownup now, because all I could think of was a new blog layout… and these brownies.


Inspired by a recipe from my brand new Joy The Baker Cookbook (which I cannot stop reading cover to cover every other day) and the need for something just a little different, I pulled out my apron and my trusty old camera and whipped up some Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies.


I must say, I am generally into fudgy brownies over cakey ones (again, not really into change here), and these brownies definitely fell into to cake variety, what with the 4 eggs fluffing things up. However, their deep chocolate flavor mixed with a sticky sweet swirl of peanut butter across the top made for quite the elegant treat. These are grownup brownies. These are brownies to send to your future in-laws. These are brownies for a new beginning.


Welcome back friends, I missed you.

Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Swirl Brownies
adapted slightly from Joy The Baker

4 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
12 Tbs unsalted butter
1 1/3 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 large eggs (although I’d like to try with just 2 to try a more fudgy version)
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup peanut butter
1 Tbs confectioners’ sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter up a 9×13 pan real good.

2. Mix together flower, baking powder and salt in a small bowl and set aside.

3. In a double boiler, melt butter and chocolates until smooth. Remove from heat.

4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until pale and thick.

5. Add chocolate mixture all at once and whisk until completely incorporated.

6. Add flour mixture all at once and whisk until completely incorporated, making sure to scrap to the very bottom of the bowl.

7. Heat peanut butter in the microwave in 10 second intervals (20-30 seconds total) until slightly running.

8. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar. Heat one more time if necessary.

9. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan. Drop dollops of peanut butter mixture on top, all across the pan, making sure to get some near the eduges.

10. Run the blade of a sharp paring knife back and forth through the batter to swirl the peanut butter and chocolate together. Swirl until evenly distributed but not mixed.

11. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20-30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.


February 18, 2011

Darlin’, it ain’t over yet!

Sorry guys, I can’t help but celebrate Valentine’s Day all week long.

Oh…Valentine’s Day. Ya either love it or ya hate it. Some people delight in wearing every item of pink and red clothing they own and parading around with candy and cards and gushing about their hunky hunky boyfriends. Some people might feel like Valentine’s Day is like rubbing salt in the wound if you aren’t currently glued to the hip of your very own sweetie. I say leave all that to Hallmark. Personally, any holiday that centers around flowers, chocolate, homemade cards, and sweet sweet love is fine by me.

I used to make individual homemade valentines for every single kid in my class when I was little. I would spend hours making each one individualized. I was never a fan of those punch out cards with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles wishing you a COWABUNGA VALENTINES!


I like a little personal touch. I was short on heart stickers this year though, so I decided to make edible valentines this year. What better way to say “I love you” than with sugar, butter, and a whole lot of chocolate? I can’t think of any!

These little guys were incredibly easy to make and have a very nice presentation value. They look like candies and then SURPRISE! They have a fudgy brownie base. Then can be personalized and sprinkled and dolled up to your hearts delight.

So forget about all the baggage that comes along with Valentine’s Day . Whether or not you have a special someone, you too can spread some love. Love yourself. Love your friends.

Love these brownie bites.

V-Day Brownie Bites

adapted from My Baking Addiction

makes 30 bites


1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

½ pound of candy wafers (available at AC Moore)

Decorations as desired


1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. Line mini muffin tin with mini liners.

3. In a medium bowl combine melted butter and cocoa and stir until cocoa is dissolved.

4. Add sugar and mix well.

5. Add eggs one at a time and stir until well combined.

6. Stir in vanilla, flour and salt until you no longer see any flour (do not over-mix).

7. Spoon into muffin tin, filling 1/2-3/4 of the way. Bake for 13-15 minutes. Remove from pan and let cool

8. Melt candy wafers according to the package instructions. Using a spoon or plastic squeeze bottle, fill the tops of the brownie bites with the melted chocolate.

9. Decorate immediately with sprinkles or other toppings. Let cool.

10. Share with someone you love.

September 22, 2010

Try, try again.

Raise your hand if you remember how I ended my last blog entry. Wait, don’t cheat and look. I’ll just tell you.

“If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

This was one of my dad’s wise saying to me as a girl. Along with:

“When climbing the ladder of success, don’t let the boys look up your dress.”

That’s a story for another day though. Right now I want to talk about that first piece of advice. These cheesecake brownies were the “try” part that comes after you don’t succeed. After my less-than-stellar cookie episode that I had intended to bring to a Drastic Measures a capella rehearsal, I woke up early the next morning and whipped up a batch of scrumptious cheesecake brownies.

WRONG. These guys have no place being called brownies. There was chocolate, and there was cheesecake. There was no brownie in sight.

Want to know why? Yes, I had another failure. Failure to read directions. Apparently changing 2 oz of melted chocolate into 2 cups can have some pretty serious ramifications for the consistency of your baked goods. Guys, I didn’t even have it in me to take nice pictures.

The good news in all of this? I took the cheesecake creation, sliding around on its chocolate goo, to rehearsal, where they were devoured. With spoons.

August 20, 2010

Chocolate Swoon Bars

Who WOULDN’T make a dessert called “Chocolate Swoon Bars”???

Someone with far greater self control than myself.

Let’s jump straight to the verdict on these chocolate-filled babies. They were just very strange to make. And very strange to bake. They puffed all up and got very crunchy on top, and then the middles fell right in and below the crunchy top barely baked through. But you know what? They are pretty darn good! Hang on. I need to go eat one – be right back. Okay, swooooon. YUM.

These bars are chewy and crunchy, rich and chocolate-y, and totally worth a try. The combination of brown sugar and chocolate is really pretty divine. I’m pretty sure the butter played a part too… Rereading the recipe, I realized I made a mistake – I added both the milk chocolate chips AND 1 cup of semi-sweet into the batter, and THEN added additional chips on top (I tried semi-sweet, peanut butter, and white on different sections). I also tried making these in cupcake tins – 12 cupcakes and the rest in a 9inch round pan. I liked the cupcakes for portion control…. 🙂

Chocolate Swoon Bars
adapted from Dozen Flours

2 cups light brown sugar, packed (I used dark)
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla butter nut extract (I didn’t have this on hand – so I
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 12 ounce bag milk chocolate chips
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips (try different kinds of chips!)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease baking pan and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and baking powder together and mix well with a fork. Set aside.

If you have a stand mixer, have the metal bowl and paddle attachment ready to go. If you’re using a hand mixture, get your mixer ready to go. Set up a metal or glass head proof bowl and have a towel or over mit close by.

In another small bowl, mix the eggs and extract together as so as to break the yolks. Set aside.

In a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat, combine the brown sugar and butter together, stirring constantly until the mixture becomes very think and starts to bubble. Once it starts to bubble, continue stirring constantly, scrapping the sides and bottom of the pan for an additional three minutes or so. Do not increase the heat. (Note: you’re not looking for a caramel here, but you want the mixture to almost be to the point where the sugar is dissolved, but not quite).

Remove the pan from the heat and continue to mix by hand for about a minute. Pour the hot mixture into the metal stand mixer bowl and mix on low speed for three minutes. Increase the speed to medium and mix for two minutes, stopping once a minute to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. By now the mixture should still be warm, but not molten.

Return the speed back to medium and slowly add the egg/extract mixture. Add a little at a time to avoid the egg scrambling. The batter should get very shiny and turn a pretty shade of light brown. Continue mixing until all the egg is incorporated. Be sure to scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.

Add the flour in two batches, mixing until it’s just incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix for about 30 seconds on low until the chocolate is combined. The chocolate will melt and that’s okay.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.

Remove it from the oven and scatter a cup of chips on top. You may need to add more chocolate chips to fill in any bald areas.

Let cool completely and cut into bars.

August 9, 2010

Three Tier Brownie/Cookie Cake!

Well folks, summer seems to be zooming by with not nearly enough baking going on in my life.  But I did have time to make this interesting concoction while on vacation with my family. My brother’s friends Serena and Anthony came along with us, and it happened to be Serena’s birthday!

Why not make a three tier cake with the layers made out of chocolate chip cookie and brownie you say? My thoughts exactly. I found various sized round pans in the rental house and just sort of cobbled this guy together. I made the same delicious buttercream frosting from the 4th of July cake.

This was pretty deadly. As in delicious, but also overwhelming. I think we all felt a little sick after a whole slice of this. But in my opinion, what better excuse for decadence than birthdays?

Three Tier Brownie Cookie Cake

Using your favorite cookie and brownie recipes, bake three rounds in decreasing size. Once mostly cool, chill in freezer for 15-30 minutes to help remove from pan. Stack layers and decorate!

I used the Nestle Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe and the following brownie recipe (which was excellent!)

Brownie Layer
adapted from Bake or Break

  • 3 & 1/3 cups (20 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease a 9″x 13″ baking pan. Line bottom of pan with parchment paper.

Melt butter, half of the chocolate chips, and usweetened chocolate in a double boiler (or microwave). Let mixture cool to warm.

Whisk sugar, eggs, and vanilla just until mixed. Over-mixing will cause crumbly brownies. Fold in warm chocolate mixture.

Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Fold dry ingredients into chocolate mixture until just combined. Stir in remaining chocolate chips mixing just until combined.

Pour batter into prepared pan. Spread to an even thickness. Bake 32-36 minutes. The edges will be slightly firm and the center will be soft when they are fully baked. Do not overbake. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.