Thursday, February 3, 2011

Be My Valentine Brownies

These moist and rich brownies are easy to make using a simple recipe with ingredients you often keep on hand.  Make an extra special Valentine’s Day treat by cutting them into heart shapes and topping them with pink and red sprinkles.  If you want to leave out the instant coffee granules, you can sprinkle peanut butter chips on top instead of regular chocolate chips.

Brownie Ingredients:2 tablespoons water

½ tablespoon instant coffee granules
1/3 cup butter
¾ cup sugar
¼ teaspoon vanilla
1 ¾ cups chocolate chips (divided)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¾ cup flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8” x 8” pan with foil leaving some foil hanging over the edge of the pan for lifting the brownies out later.  Spray the bottom of the foil-lined pan with cooking spray.

Place water, coffee granules, butter, and sugar in a medium saucepan.  Cook and stir over medium heat until mixture bubbles.  Remove from heat.  Immediately stir in vanilla, 1 cup chocolate chips, and eggs until chocolate chips are completely melted.  Stir in flour and baking soda; mix well.  Pour into prepared pan and sprinkle top with ¾ cup chocolate chips.  Bake for 30 minutes.

Allow brownies to cool then lift them out of the pan using the foil handles.  Use a two inch cookie cutter to make six hearts.  Place hearts on a wire rack over wax paper.  Drizzle with chocolate glaze (recipe follows) and Valentine sprinkles.

Chocolate Glaze:
2 ½ Tablespoons water
2 tablespoons butter
2 ½ Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Heat water and butter in a small saucepan over low heat until butter melts.  Stir in the cocoa powder.  Gradually stir in powdered sugar.  If mixture is too dry, add more water one teaspoon at a time until a smooth glaze forms.  Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. 

Yield: 6 heart-shaped brownies or 12 square brownies

- Jen

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