What a way to kick of a no-sugar cleanse than to gorge on sugar. My mom is here so, as a treat to her, I decided to make homemade oreos. This recipe was found on numerous other blogs but I pulled it off of the smitten kitchen blog (my new favorite). I modified the recipe slighty —and used only a cup of sugar for the cookie and I added 1 Tablespoon of Marshmallow Fluff to the filling. Other than that, I followed the recipe to the ‘T’. I wasn’t really that impressed though—my cookie just wasn’t crisp enough to be Oreo-like, —the filling, my least favorite part of the Oreo, did taste surprisingly similar to the real thing. In my opinion these cookies were more like a a chocolate Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie (without the oatmeal), does that make sense? Both my mom and husband thought the same. (Which gives me a bit of inspiration—-homemade Little Debbie Oatmeal Cream Pie’s–anyone have any success with those?) Don’t get me wrong……everyone in my house loved the Oreos and gobbled them up. I, just didn’t love them.
The recipe is here.
Sunday night, after hours of landscaping and power washing, I had some free time to peruse the cooking blogoshphere and what did I find? A new post from Smitten Kitchen on the best cocoa brownies. These brownies are labeled as the best cocoa brownies, which got me to thinking that there must be other kinds of brownies out there–possibly those that use rich bittersweet chocolate bars —that I need to expereiment with. I have only made brownies with cocoa and have felt that they were perfectly delicious—but maybe I need to branch out. Anyway, these brownies were one of the easiest things I have made and tasted great, even better than my previous brownie. I didn’t have any fancy cocoa, just the basic Nestle cocoa powder—but it worked. The brownies were a very dark color and moist and chewy with a thin crunchy layer at the top. I did have a problem cutting them into pretty squares and they ended up as mis-shapen polygons…..but we didn’t have a problem eating them.
I only hope someone eats the rest of them soon, as this cleanse will be all the more difficult if I come home to a plate of those brownies sitting on the counter. So, kids, if you are reading this,…..please eat the rest of those brownies for breakfast and take some more for lunch.
If you are not starting a no-sugar cleanse tomorrow, I suggest you make these brownies right away. They are perfect.
Best Cocoa Brownies
Adapted from Smitten Kitchen after being Adapted from Alice Mendrich’s Bittersweet
Makes 25 small brownies
1 1/4 sticks of unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (I just used Nestle cocoa powder–nothing fancy at all)
1/4 teaspoon salt (or a heaping 1/4 teaspoon flaky salt, as I used)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, cold
1/2 cup (66 grams, 2 3/8 ounces) all-purpose flour
2/3 cup walnut or pecan pieces (optional) (I skipped the nuts but they would have been great!)
Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 325°F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on two opposite sides.
Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and microwave on low for about four minutes—-checking occasionally to make sure the butter is melting. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth.
Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one. When the batter looks thick, shiny, and well blended, add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer, then beat vigorously for 40 strokes with the wooden spoon or a rubber spatula. Stir in the nuts, if using. Spread evenly in the lined pan.
Bake until a toothpick plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 20 to 25 minutes is Medrich’s suggestion but it took me at least 10 minutes longer to get them set. Let cool completely on a rack. (This may have been why I couldn’t cut nice brownies….I never seem to be able to wait until things cool down.)
Lift up the ends of the parchment or foil liner, and transfer the brownies to a cutting board. (Yay! No messy pans to clean!)
Cut into 25 semi-squares and then proceed to eat seven of them.