Foodie Friday – Dark chocolate brownies (revisited)

First of all, I must apologize for neglecting my webpage. Again. I’ve been working on a few posts, but I just haven’t been able to finish any of them. Traditionally there’s a lull in posts in the summer and it seems this year is no different. It’s a lame excuse, I know, and I’m working on rectifying the situation. But for now, check out these amazing dark chocolate brownies!

It took about four iterations, but I finally perfected this dark chocolate brownie recipe. I posted the original recipe last fall (check it out here), but I knew there was room for improvement. So I increased the amount of every ingredient except the eggs, which I reduced. And the result was incredible. These brownies are really dark. Both in the sense of the chocolate flavor and the actual color. Does anyone else sneeze when they eat really dark chocolate? No? Well, it might just be me, but these brownies sometimes make me sneeze. That’s how chocolatey they are. Everyone who tried these brownies loved them, including me. I had to share them with my co-workers because I could have eaten all of them myself. So if you’re looking for a brownie recipe with more chocolate flavor than you could ever imagine, give this one a try!

INGREDIENTS:
1 c (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 c brown sugar
1 Tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 c Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
1 c flour

DIRECTIONS:
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. You can use an electric mixer, but I usually just use a wooden spoon. Add the vanilla and eggs and beat/stir until combined. Add the flour and cocoa powder and stir until just combined. Spread the dough into an 11×7″ pan lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. This makes for easy removal from the pan when the brownies are cool and less dishes to wash later. Bake at 350 deg F for 25-30 min, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean. Don’t overbake! Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Enjoy!

Based on Shugary Sweets’ Perfect Dark Chocolate Brownies.

Foodie Friday – Blueberry upside down cake

So I’ve already written about the Brown Butter Rice Krispie Treats I made for the Memorial Day weekend so that there would be a lighter dessert option, but then I made this blueberry upside down cake for the more indulgent end of the spectrum! As I’ve gotten older I tend to prefer fruity desserts to chocolate ones (I know – I’m shocked too) so I really liked this cake. It’s dense and moist and the blueberries provide the perfect summer-y topping. It was patriotic for the holiday weekend too. (I suspect you could just add some sliced strawberries for the perfect July 4th dessert. Good idea for next year.) So if you’re looking for a great fruity dessert definitely give this blueberry upside down cake a try. It’s really easy to make. I have pinned lots of different varieties of upside down cake on Pinterest (pineapple, cranberry, pear, plum), but this one needed the least amount of preparation. You can just throw the blueberries in there whole – no peeling or slicing required!. And it looks fancy so everyone will think you slaved away in the kitchen. Bonus!

INGREDIENTS:
1/4 c (1/2 stick) melted butter
1/2 c brown sugar
2 c blueberries
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/2 c (1 stick) butter
3/4 c granulated sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c buttermilk

DIRECTIONS:
Combine the 1/4 c melted butter and brown sugar. Spread the mixture evenly on the bottom of a 9″ round cake pan. Spread the blueberries evenly over the brown sugar mixture and drizzle the lemon juice over the berries (I might have forgotte this step).

In a large bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar. You can use an electric mixer, but I just used mixed everything by hand. Add the egg, extracts, and mix until combined. Add the baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and flour and mix until just combined. Add the buttermilk and stir until combined. Spoon the batter over the blueberries and carefully spread it evenly. Bake at 350 deg F for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack, then invert on to a large flat plate. Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Based on Half Baked’s Blueberry Upside Down Cake.