Whoops-a-FAIL and Bailey’s for breakfast

EPIC. FAIL.

Who forgets the SUGAR when making brownies?! I mean, really. SUGAR. Psshhh.

Well, that would be me, apparently.

Whoops.

Not entirely sure where my head was the evening I was making these: perhaps screwed on a wee bit backwards? I realized what had happened (or rather, NOT happened) when the so-called “brownies” were about halfway done in the oven. Out of slight curiosity (and irritation: wasting food, especially baking materials, is like a cardinal sin in my book), I decided to let them finish baking and then taste them. Fully prepared to hate them, I whipped up another batch so that brownies could be had for Mutti’s reunion… and then took the *ahem* REJECTS out of the oven to cool before I attempted to taste them.

mmm

But wait.

Time for the bombshell. You’d think completely sugar-less brownies would be nasty, right?! But… they’re NOT! They turned out like some kind of brownie-bread, or at least that’s what Vati and I thought. So rather than throw them out, we decided to hang on to them for breakfast and dessert purposes. Waste not, want not! Besides, then you can have GUILT-FREE BAILEY’S for breakfast!! If that isn’t awesome, I’m not sure what is. The brownies themselves (properly made) actually aren’t too bad for you—they originally come from a Cooking Light recipe. QED, brownies minus sugar = healthy breakfast. Ha. Winning.

Do yourself a favor: make them, sans sugar. Top them with mascarpone cheese and blueberry jam and cinnamon… and eat them for breakfast.

Epic fail? Absolutely not.

Remind you of anything? Mayan calendar, perhaps??

Bailey’s Brownies

For REAL brownies, use sugar. Obvs. Please don’t leave it out. They’re wonderful brownies: hydrated and fudgy interior, chewy exterior and a crackly top. Perfection. For “brownie bread” (excellent for breakfast and all-purpose snacking), omit sugar and pretend you did it on purpose.

Recipe gratefully borrowed (and slightly adapted) from Gimme Some Oven, here! Makes an 8 by 8 pan of brownies.

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 c unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • my-cup-runneth-over 1/3 c chocolate chippies
  • 1/4 c butter (1/2 a stick)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 c sugar
  • 1/3 c (slightly overflowing, hehe) Bailey’s Irish cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
breakfast is served..

Preheat the oven to 350, and line an 8 by8 pan with foil (this makes for ridiculously easy removal).

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. In a large microwave-safe bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips together, using bursts of about 30 seconds. Let cool. Once cooled, whisk in eggs vigorously for a few seconds. Once incorporated, whisk in sugar, Bailey’s, and vanilla. Add flour mixture and stir until just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan, smoothing out the top a bit.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a tester comes out with a few moist crumbs (don’t overbake, unless you like brownie bricks! I don’t exactly recommend this). Let cool in the pan for a bit, then lift the foil onto a cooling rack to completely cool.

stack o’ rejects

Cannonball Depth Charge!

spoooongebob!

SO. Indulgence time, ready…go.

These cupcakes have THREE kinds of alcohol in them. Impressed? Yes. You should be. And no… I did NOT bake these in my car… though I’m pretty sure my car would smell aaaamazing if I had done so. Though perhaps making your car smell like alcoholic beverages is really not the best idea…

Anywayyy.

As a belated Vati’s Day reward for Vacuum Vati (AAND as a virtual birthday present for Carl—Happy Birthday!!), I decided to make him/them cupcakes! But wait. Not just ANY cupcakes, oh no. These correspond appropriately to the logic these two jokers so often spout when they get together: beer = a meal in a glass; cupcakes = sissy dessert. By my logic, then: beer in a cupcake = a complete meal + non-sissy, manly¬†dessert. QED. Ha. Infallible logic, don’t you think? And why settle for just beer in a cupcake, when you could have 2 more types of alcohol as well? And what better compliment to beer than Irish whiskey and Bailey’s?! Let’s be real, Bailey’s goes with anything.

mmm

That being said, these cupcakes are indulgently delicious. No stinting on the butter in these babies (live a little every so often!). The cake is moist¬†(eww no, not that word again!) HYDRATED, and delicately compliments the slightly bitter chocolate-whiskey ganache. Bailey’s buttercream completes an already ridiculous combo, rounding out the flavors perfectly. Guinness, Jameson, and Bailey’s… an inspired trifecta! These take the Guinness brownies to an entirely new level (and I definitely like them better)… are you salivating yet? Hmm, I thought so.

In endeavoring to be politically correct and inoffensive to all parties involved, let’s call these..

//

Depth Charge Cupcakes!

(hehe. get it?! Like a shot dropped into a beer… use your imagination.) I made a half-batch and ended up with 12 cupcakes, a perfectly manageable number for 3 people. I’ll give my measurements here; double if you need a mega-batch. Recipe very slightly adapted from Brown Eyed Baker! I reduced the sugar slightly—it may even be okay to take it down a bit more, as per sweetness preferences.

Let’s do this:

un-sprinkled

For the cupcakes:

  • 1 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • scant 3/4 c sugar
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • very heaping 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 c plain lowfat yogurt
  • 1/2 c Guinness
  • 1/2 c unsalted butter, softish
  • 1/4 c + 1/8 c unsweetened cocoa powder

For the whiskey-ganache:

  • 4 oz dark chocolate (I used one bar of Trader Joe’s 72% Fair Trade Belgian chocolate)
  • 1/3 c heavy cream
  • 1 tbsp butter, softish
  • 2 tsp of Jameson or other Irish whiskey (mine were two teaspoons that *oops* accidentally mega-runneth over)

For the buttercream:

  • 1 c unsalted butter (2 sticks), a bit soft
  • 2.5 c powdered sugar
  • a good glug of Bailey’s (somewhere in the vicinity of 5 tbsp)
  • a dash of Jameson (I didn’t measure, likely around 2 or 3 tsp)
filled :)

Proceed!

Preheat the oven to 350, and line a cupcake/muffin tin with liners… mine happened to be Spongebob. Don’t judge! In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. In a larger bowl, use an electric mixer to beat together egg and yogurt until combined. In a small saucepan, bring Guinness and butter to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and stir in cocoa powder. Let cool a bit. Once cool(er), add the Guinness-butter mixture to the egg/yogurt, and beat until combined. I ran the mixer on low while adding mine, since it was still on the warm side, to prevent scrambled eggs (ewww, who wants that?!). Reduce speed to low and add in flour mixture, beating until combined (but minimally, to keep cupcakes fluffy!). Fold in any remaining flour. Pour batter into cupcake tins, and bake for just about 17 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

up close and cupcake personal

While the cupcakes are baking, make the ganache! In a small saucepan, heat cream until just barely simmering (watch it like a hawk—we don’t want it scalded! Ewwwy). Break chocolate up into smallish pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. When the cream reaches the simmer point, pour it over the chocolate and let sit for one minute, then stir it carefully together until incorporated. Add butter and whiskey and stir until combined. Let sit for a bit, until it firms up just slightly but is still scoop-able.

For the buttercream: I recommend a stand mixer for this. Do as I say, not as I do… a hand mixer was not the smartest choice…

Beat softened butter a few minutes until fluffy. Add in powdered sugar gradually, until completely incorporated. Add in Bailey’s and whiskey and beat until combined. It should be spreadable: light and fluffy!

Assembly:

Using a metal decorating tip (I found a small spoon for scooping to be helpful), cut out the centers of the cooled cupcakes, about 2/3 of the way down (extra bonus: eating the centers is totally acceptable). Fill the resulting hole with slightly-cooled ganache. Frost as desired. Sprinkles are nice :)

Imbibe. Indulge. Enjoy your canon ball depth charge in cupcake form.

I know, I know… don’t be jealous ;)

 

Shut the door, have a seat (and a brownie)

the Roger Stirling of the brownie world

Whilst watching Mad Men tonight, I came to a rather giggle-inducing revelation:

Apparently I never make brownies without spiking them…?!

I’m like the Roger Stirling of the brownie world.

so much yummy.

I mean really. It’s like Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce take over when I decide to make them. Am I satisfied with a normal, dense chocolatey brownie? Obviously not. Brownies are sooo much better when they have Bailey’s in them. Or Guinness. But really, at least if you indulge in these at lunchtime, you won’t be sloshed by the time you get back to work (*AHEM* Roger Stirling). That being said, I do love my Mad Men. And my Draper-style brownies. Dark. Mysterious. Imbibed. Heehehe. Besides, I’m graduating in a week and it’s finals for all those other underclassmen mortals. Pshhh, what else am I going to do besides bake and watch Mad Men?! I can think of so many other less appealing options (like studying. Post thesis… what is this studying you speak of?!).

you see what I did there?! Cleverly, with the slicer?!

But you see, I almost NEVER make brownies for myself. I might bake them for a friend or for a function or something, but usually I eat about half of one and max out. I’d much rather have a cookie or a huuuge slice of cake. Also because I rarely make a brownie recipe that I’m truly satisfied with. BUT. THEN. I watched some Mad Men and made these. And was INSPIRED. Because of course when you think of Mad Men, you think of alcohol, right?!
Soooo, what better to put into Nutella brownies than Bailey’s?! That’s like a match made in culinary heaven. Or at least that’s what Kira and I decided, so in it went. And ohhh, am I glad it did. These are perfect brownies: chewy on the edges, fudgey dense in the middle, and subtly flavored with Irish cream and hazelnut. Mmmm. AND they have that perfectly crackly top. Win win win, all around.

Just like SCDP at the CLEO awards, ha.

Come in, shut the door and have a seat. And maybe an infused brownie to chase your mid-morning cocktail…

mmm

Irish Cream-Nutella Brownies

Adapted from Alaska From Scratch, here!

Procure:

  • 1/3 c butter, softened (we used salted)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • heaping 1/2 c Nutella spread
  • 3/4 c whole wheat pastry flour
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 c Bailey’s (more, if you’re feeling particularly frisky)
//

Couldn’t be simpler, just like Don Draper whipping out a creative ad campaign: Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly grease an 8 by 8 pan. In a largeish bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar. Add in eggs and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Mix in Nutella. Add flour and salt and stir until just combined, then toss in Bailey’s and stir until just mixed (don’t overstir, pretty please). Spatulaize the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for just about 25 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. Err on the side of slightly underdone though, as they will continue to cook in the pan and dry brownies are ickyyy! Let cool for about 10ish minutes, or however long you can resist them… then cut and devour. With more Bailey’s on the side, naturally ;)

flying brownie?