When it comes to cookies, cakes, bars and slices, my all-time favourite treat, hands-down, is a brownie. And that applies when it comes to making them as well as eating them. You know that I'm not the most enthusiastic baker on the planet, so I love that making brownies is beyond simplicity. There is no dexterity required to separate eggs and, consequently, no separate bowls or beaters for whisking egg whites, and no creaming of butter and sugar. One pot to melt some butter and chocolate, and one bowl to mix everything together. Doesn't get much simpler than that.
The other thing I love about brownies, apart from the obvious decadent chocolatey fudginess, is the fact that if you aren't making these for a crowd, they freeze really well. Frozen in individual serving size pieces, this is a great way to ensure portion control - perfect for those of us who have no self discipline and would never be able to leave a tin full of brownies alone.
So I was pretty excited that our theme this week at I Heart Cooking Clubs was Blondies and Brownies. Donna Hay has a multitude of brownie recipes available - I think I found at least one in every one of her books that I own, as well as many others in her magazines and websites.
I had actually decided several weeks ago that I was going to make these Brownie Cookies with Peanut Butter Frosting for this theme. It's a recipe that's been on my radar for a couple of years now, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to indulge. But as it turned out I've been a bit swamped with work lately and I was feeling tired and overwhelmed. So keeping it simple was the order of the day.
I decided to run with the Classic Brownie from the 10th Birthday Edition of Donna Hay magazine, and I tricked it up a little with the addition of some raspberries and chunks of white chocolate. The end result was delicious, and I'm sure there will be no complaints from my friends at work when I bring them in for morning tea, but I have to admit these are not the brownies that will bring you to your knees. My personal preference, and whose wouldn't be really, is for a brownie which is intensely rich and fudgy - I found this lacking a little of the richness, and dense fudginess that I was hoping for. Don't get me wrong ... this is a good brownie, and the addition of the raspberries and white chocolate definitely made it more interesting, but this is probably not the brownie that is going to earn the title "best brownie I've ever eaten".
Double Chocolate Raspberry Brownie Recipe
Adapted from a recipe by Donna Hay
Click here for a printable copy of this recipe
280g (10 oz) butter
200g (7 oz) dark chocolate, roughly chopped
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup plain flour, sifted
1 cup frozen raspberries
200g (7 oz) white chocolate, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).
Place butter in a small saucepan over low heat until melted. Remove from heat, add the dark chocolate, and stir constantly until the chocolate is melted and mixture is smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, eggs and flour, until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate-butter mixture and mix well. Add the raspberries and chopped white chocolate, and stir to combine.
Pour mixture into a 20cm x 30cm (8in x 12 in) tin, lightly greased and lined with baking parchment, and bake for 30-35 minutes (I suggest you test after 25 minutes).
Remove from the oven and cool in the tin, before cutting into squares to serve.
If you would like to get to know Donna Hay a little better, and to see all the fabulous brownies and bars my friends have come up with, then do go visit I Heart Cooking Clubs and check out the links.
I will also be submitting this post to Sweet New Zealand. Inspired by Alessandra Zecchini, and hosted this month by Frances at Bake Club, Sweet New Zealand is an event for all Kiwi bloggers (whether living at home or abroad), or all foreign bloggers living in New Zealand, to link up their sweet treats.
I'll also be sharing this post this week at See Ya In the Gumbo hosted by the lovely Michelle at Ms. enPlace, Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth at Beth Fish Reads, and at Foodie Fridays hosted by Designs by Gollam.