Thursday, November 02, 2006

Baking From My Home to Yours Review Part 2: Brrrrr-ownies

Despite the cutesy name, I decided to make the Brrrrr-ownies recipe (p. 103) from Baking From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan as part of the cookbook challenge. I had made and reviewed the allspice muffins recipe before and was disappointed, but so many others have had success following recipes in the book, I wanted to try a different recipe and see if it came out better. I picked the brrrrr-rownie recipe because 1. it used York Peppermint Patties, which I like, 2. was relatively low fat-York Peppermint Patties are a low fat candy and it only called for 5 tablespoons of butter and 3. it only called for 1/3 of a cup of flour and no baking soda or baking powder which is a little unusual. I also wanted to make a dessert since I found her muffins so lacking (although others have had success with other muffin recipes), and everyone seems to be having luck with the desserts. I also picked the brownies because many of her recipes call for raisins, which remind me of squished bugs or tiny amounts of ground nuts, which I don't generally keep on hand and I couldn't justify buying a whole bag when I only needed 2 or 3 tablespoons. Not when I could buy half price Halloween leftovers instead. I didn't want to subsitute anything for these ingredients either- I wanted to make the recipe as accurately as possible.

Again, my main quibbles with the actual recipe were how she gives too many details on some things (how it looks when you mix sugar and melted butter together, which to me, is just common sense) and not enough on others- we are to cut the candies into "bits" but there are no instructions as to how small "bits" are. Crumbs? Chunks? Chips? The directions were easy to follow and each step looked as she described it. I did find the need for both unsweetened and semisweet chocolate vexing, why not just use unsweetened and up the sugar content? But I followed her instructions and was rewarded with....


very pretty peppermint-y brownies! Not bad at all. They taste like a giant slightly warm York Peppermint Patty and are sort of refreshing. The candies sort of melted into the batter leaving behind streaks of white. Which is fine, and perhaps if you cut them into smaller "bits" than I did, they wouldn't do that. They are very flat (as I suspected, as there were no leavening ingredients) and very sticky-chewy in places but rich and tasty. I did find them difficult to cut into neat bars, they are too soft and sticky for that, but if you are not into presentation, you'll be fine. I am not sure if I would make them again-I don't generally bake with candy, but I am much less hesitant about making anything else from the book. All in all, a positive experience.