Thursday, June 10, 2010

Brownies for Breakfast?

Not gonna lie, there are some things even I cannot eat in the morning. Today I learned that one of those things is a brownie. Truth be told, I don't really know how much I ate, all I know is that I rolled out of bed and while I was ganaching the top and cutting and priming them for my department, little pieces kept falling off and I couldn't bear to throw them away. So I ate them, and became quite ill. But the good kind...

I have really caught the baking bug as of late and so on a recent trip to the grocery store, my boyfriend ever so slyly added another box of brownie mix to the shopping cart. Smart man because as soon as I saw it I had a plan - raspberry brownies! So decadent, so fudgy, so delicious. I think, if there's anything I've learned from my experiments with brownie mix, it is this:

ANYTHING can go in a brownie and be tasty - marshmallows, peanut butter, M&Ms, Snickers. All you need to do to take it to that next level - to make it a little more "gourmet" if you will, is dress it up. For example, after baking the brownies, I made some more ganache and spread it over the top, then drizzled over some raspberry jam (which I heated in a saucepan to loosen). Now people know what's in it AND it looks like it should be on a magazine cover.

All I did was prepare the brownie mix according to the instructions, substituting milk for water. I also ended up omitting the fudge packet (because it was late and I forgot), but everything turned out fine :) Again, I used the Betty Crocker Ultimate Fudge mix- I have found this mix makes a higher brownie while maintaining moisture, which I really, really like. There is something so satisfying about sinking your teeth into a tall, chocolaty, sinfully delicious concoction. Where was I again? Oh yes! After making the batter, I layered about half in the pan - I have really found that I enjoy making brownies in a round cake pan. I think it's because there seems to be less "edge" per piece (also I believe there is less surface area) and so the brownies stay fresh longer.

I also coated the pan in waxed paper and then buttered the paper = no sticking. I made the mistake of not doing this last time and my poor pan paid dearly for it. The brownies were vacuum sealed to the bottom: we tried cutting them out with a knife and then one of us had the idea to bang the pan with a spaghetti sauce jar which, as we foun, dented the cakepan. It was a funny little episode that taught me it is just as important to line and butter your pans as it is to make a good recipe.

So, there you are with 1/2 of the brownie mix layered in. Now, warm up about 1/3 cup raspberry jam and plop it over the top. Slightly spread it out so there is a layer. Alternatively, you could put in all the batter, pour over the jam, and use a toothpick to swirl it in. But I was ganaching this so it didn't matter to see the raspberry jam AND I think having it in the middle contributes to a more concentrated raspberry flavor.

Cover with the remaining batter and bake as directed

When the time is up and after they have cooled slightly - like 1 1/2 hours, make some ganache by heating 1/3 c chocolate chips with a couple Tbs heavy cream and spread it over the top

I brought these into work as a Thursday treat - so I think the recipe is great as a party item or something to share when you don't have tons of time but want to make an impression. I promise next week there will be more savory items. I have just been in a baking mood :)


  1. this was the most delicious thing i have ever read. I almost tried to eat my computer screen! ganache on brownies is absolutely genius!!
    don't feel bad about having brownies for breakfast, my breakfast of choice is a nice big cupcake!

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  3. I read once that if you're gonna eat dessert, eating in the morning is your best bet because you have the rest of the day to work it off!! And I've totally had cake for breakfast before :)

    Oh dear, I am so sorry about that we know not to use pasta sauce jars....gahh.

  4. Rita,

    I am happy to know you aren't suffering from computer-consumption poisoning! And I am glad to know I am not alone in devouring massive sugar before 10am.

  5. Patti,

    That is so true - you are a genius! Except I definitely ate a "real" piece later that day, too. There is no hope for those of us with a sweet tooth.

    Don't even worry about it - I just think it's SOOO funny! Every time I look at that pan, I think of you and how much fun we had getting those things out - I think fighting for them made them all the more delicious!

  6. Mmmmm, why is it that baked goods always look so delicious at breakfast-time?


  7. Katie,

    I think it's because we're too sleepy to hear that little calorie-counting voice that says, "Stop! Think before you eat that!"

  8. You bring treats into work!? Me too!! I brought everybody muffins the other day and on Friday I'm bringing more muffins for Joseph and Max because I almost got us all in trouble. So if you ask them nicely, they might give you some.

  9. Melissa,

    Your muffins were great - and I knew like I was eating something healthy for breakfast :)