chocolate frosted brownies (GF + DF and sooo good!)

These are silly.  Silly good.  This is the best gluten-free and dairy-free dessert I have had to date.  I must admit that I don’t eat a lot of GF and DF sweets – but I can tell you that when I make these for Greg I’m eating them too!  Andy, Rob, Sylvie – all love them – although we are forced to abstain since Greg’s choices are so limited.  I made them for my friend Judy and she said a hit with her family too.  She then asked for the recipe which is always a good sign.

I found these gems in my Bakerita cookbook written by Rachel Connors.  She also has an amazing blog – and these are also featured in the blog.  I’ve made her chocolate chip cookies and snickerdoodles and both – well, just delicious.  Greg will likely have some vacation time around the holidays so I’ll start looking for some new ideas soon.  And likely from this book!

I always double the recipe and bake in a 9×13 pan.  The brownies are a little thicker this way and I prefer that.  So the timing needs to be fiddled with.  They burn easily and it is hard to tell when done so it make take some guess work.  I usually underbake a tad but we all like it that way.   If you happen to overbake, consider doubling the icing as it is sooooo good and unlikely that anyone would notice your hard brownie.  They also freeze well so I’m always ready for Greg and his sweet tooth.

Note: This recipe uses coconut sugar.   Although healthier (a non-refined sugar) I use brown sugar instead.  For the 3/4 cup of coconut sugar in the recipe I use a packed half cup of brown sugar.  You can do either and they will be good either way. 

Enjoy these!!  Here is a link to the blog post.

chocolate crusted banana blondies

Jessie’s text to me after I dropped these nuggets off was “Avery just tried your desserts and said they were a miracle in her mouth!”  Avery is her daughter btw and that made me happy because I too felt the same way but couldn’t articulate it as well.  The chewy banana top and the chocolate crusted bottom are so good together.  The addition of pecans gave these bars additional texture and cut the sweetness which resulted in a treat that went from delicious to scrumptious.  These were featured in the New York Times by food editor (among other things) Melissa Clark.  Her sweet tooth rivals mine and I find I want to bake everything that she writes about.  Her savory recipes are equally impressive.  I have her two instant pot books as well as Dinner, Changing the Game and I use them all frequently.  Enjoy! 

This recipe calls for brown butter – Here is a video review and there are more videos on youtube should you want more instruction.


  • 2 1/2 sticks unsalted butter (1 1/4 cups), divided!
  • 200 grams Famous chocolate wafter cookies (to make about 3 cups of crumbs)
  • 55 grams of light brown sugar (about 1/4 cup)  
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt 
  • 2 ripe bananas 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 455 grams dark brown sugar (about 2 1/2 cups) 
  • 2 tablespoons dark rum or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 130 grams all purpose flour (about 1 cup)
  • 80 grams toasted walnuts (I used pecans), chopped (about 1/2 cup) 
  • flaky sea salt for sprinkling


  • Preheat oven to 375 and line a 9×13 pan with parchment.  I usually spray the pan first to make the parchment stick
  • Melt 1 stick of the butter (just one stick) then place the wafer cookies, melted butter, light brown sugar and salt into your food processor and grind until the mixture is the consistency of wet sand.  Dump into prepared pan, and press into an even layer.  Bake for about 10 minutes or until the surface is a bit firm.  Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees 
  • Melt the remaining butter (12 tablespoons or a stick and a half) and continue to cook the butter over medium high heat until the foam subsides and the butter becomes a nice nut brown. This should take about 5 minutes.  You don’t want to burn the butter though.  Here is a video review of browning butter and there are more videos on youtube
  • Combine the mashed banana, eggs, dark brown sugar, and vanilla (or rum) and then add the brown butter.  
  • Gently fold the flour into the wet mixture and add the toasted walnuts or pecans (or not if you don’t want them!)  
  • Pour this batter onto the cooked cookie crumb crust and sprinkle a little flaky salt on top – as you may know I love Maldon sea salt for this.  
  • Place in the oven and bake for about 45-55 minutes — until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs attached or clean – but not with wet batter. 
  • Cool and eat! 
  • These freeze really well


butterscotch brownie bars

The title in the NY Times said “These Brownies are as sweet as candy” –  chewy, salty and run through with brown butter…   Well, come on, how could I not make them.  My mom sent me the recipe oh, I don’t know maybe 6 different times.  And I had already clipped it. 

I love these.  LOVE.  They are not for everyone because they are definitely on the sweet side.  I made them this summer for a hospital near by and I was told that they were a hit.  They are incredibly easy and use only one bowl so they are ideal for bulk baking.  Additionally they freeze well.  The brownies can be made with or without chocolate chips and with or without nuts – but to me pecans and chocolate are ideal.  There are choices too of vanilla, coffee or rum -and for me coffee hit the spot but you get to pick.  

As mentioned – I found this in the NewYork Times and created by Melissa Clark.  

Have a good time – 


  • 1 cup melted butter (2 sticks) 
  • 1 1 pound box of dark brown sugar (or about 2 1/4 packed cups)
  • 2 large eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract (or a shot of bourbon or espresso)
  • I used espresso – and like that it tamed the sweetness a bit
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups (255 grams) all purpose flour
  • optional 1 cup or so chocolate chips
  • optional 1 cup nuts – I used pecans – delicious


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease or better yet  foil a 9×9 pan or 9×13 pan. Let the foil have a nice overhang so you can use it to pull the brownies out of the pan.  

  • Put  the brown sugar in a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Melt the butter in a saucepan and let it bubble and sizzle away until you notice that it gets quiet – at this point it should start to brown, you can swirl your pan around to see the color and allow the butter to brown more easily.  The butter should look amber – or a golden brown.
  • Immediately pour the butter onto the brown sugar.  Whisk until smooth, then let the mixture cool for a few minutes before you add the eggs.  You don’t want to curdle the eggs –
  • Whisk in the eggs and the vanilla extract (or bourbon or espresso) 
  • Add the dry ingredients to the bowl sprinkling the salt and baking powder as you add it – add the flour then gently mix to incorporate.
  • Fold in optional chips and nuts and pour into baking pan.  Sprinkle if you like with a little sea salt – Melissa Clark does this – I didn’t – but do what you like and what suits your taste.
  • Bake until the top is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without any wet batter clinging to it.
  • In a 9×9 pan this can take 25-35 minutes.  Larger pan 20-30 m.
  • Let rest in the pan and if you used foil you can lift out by the foil overhang and cut and enjoy.  These freeze really well! 
  • I hope you like them!!

holiday brownies

So my mom texted this AM, asking which brownie recipe to make for my dad because he needs to put on weight.  I immediately thought of these goodies.  Looking at the blog, I realize that I had yet to finish the write up.  And when I looked closer at my draft, I realized that my parents actually tried and like them when they were here last.  Kind of funny.

Rob said these are the BEST brownies to date.  This is an extremely compelling reason to try them because Rob is a tough crowd.  And yes, I know there is no crowd in one, but he can feel like a crowd with his chocolate thoughts and opinions.  Andy, Sylvie, my mom, my dad – whoever came by that week truly enjoyed.  These are chewy and chocolatey, and not as rich as my regular fudge brownies.  The brownies have a lovely sheen on top and yummy crisp edges.  It’s a really good brownie.  I called them holiday brownies only because I’m embarrassed to write “brownies again” 🙂  Try them!

I love this cookbook btw – it is filled with terrific, thoughtful, healthy and quick dinner recipes and a few dessert goodies at the end — this being one of them.

holiday brownies (from The Mom 100 Cookbook by Katie Workman) 

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate|
1/2 cup unsweetened dutch processed cocoa powder
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (if using table salt, cut in half)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
chocolate chips (optional)
toasted nuts (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 13×9 inch baking pan with foil or parchment or use butter or cooking spray.

Place the butter in a medium sauce pan and over low heat, start to melt it.  Add the unsweetened chocolate by placing on top of the butter and slowly melt the two together.  Do not burn the chocolate or cook it.  If you are too worried doing it this way,  just use a double boiler or a makeshift one (metal bowl on top of a saucepan with an inch of barely simmering water).

Stir in the cocoa powder, sugar, and salt.  Then blend in the vanilla.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time and stir quickly after each one is added.  Then beat again once all incorporated.  Fold in the flour and chocolate chips and nuts if using.  I used chocolate chips.  I always do.  I usually use a darker semi sweet or a bitter-sweet (esp for Rob).

Bake for about 24-30 minutes…check them after 20 minutes.  Bake until the edges start to pull from the sides a tad, and a toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cool and enjoy!


brown butter brownies

Baked these brownies for a charity and they wrote to say how much they looooovvved them!  The mattress delivery men were eyeing the brownies as they went up and down the stairs…and were happy to leave with their goodie bags.  They said best brownie they ever had.  Wow.  (Although these are very good, I’m thinking they were hungry).  But it is amazing what a little treat can do for someone.  That is prob my favorite part of baking.  The delight (my own, and others).  My family prefers the “favorite fudge brownies” and although I too love those, they can be a bit rich at times.  These are chewier and have a shiny top which is fun for some reason.  If you can, add the walnuts because the texture and taste is definitely heightened and you can get a good dose of omega-3 fats too (making them healthy?!)  🙂

You will need a little muscle for this recipe.

brown butter brownies (from Alice Medrich’s Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts):

10 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cup (2.4 ounces) unsweetened cocoa powder, preferably natural
rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.78 ounces) all purpose flour
1 cup (3.5 ounces) walnut pieces
chocolate chips (optional)

Toast your walnuts if you have time – 350 degree oven for about 10 min – plus or minus — basically until fragrant.  Set aside to cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with tin foil and spray with  a non stick spray or rub some butter on it.

(In case you don’t remember the easiest way to line the pan, turn the pan upside-down and place the foil on top gently folding around the edges and sides.  Turn pan right side up and now you have a “mold” so to speak that you can easily push into the pan to prevent the foil from tearing.)

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and cook until it melts, and then turns golden brown.  Then quickly remote pan from heat and add the sugar, cocoa powder, salt and vanilla extract.  This will stop the butter from burning.  Mix well and let cool for 5 minutes or so.

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat very well after each addition.  Add the flour and mix well again.  Once the flour is incorporated, beat the mixture with a wooden spoon – about 50 times.  Yup.  Hard, fast and vigorously  — you want the mixture to get good and shiny.

Fold in the nuts and if  you are using chocolate chips, add as well.

Pour into the foil lined pan and bake until done.   A toothpick should come out just clean.  Alice says 20-25 m – but check before and after.  I just learned that my oven is off by 25 degrees – and yours might be too, so bake them until you think done, not the timer.

Let cool.  Then remove brownies by carrying them with the foil onto a cutting board and slice.  You can also invert them and gently peel off the foil first as it will be sticky.

Enjoy –




warm double chocolate brownie cakes

I’ve been meaning to bake these for 5 years.  Clipped from the February 2009 issue of Food & Wine magazine — Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect occasion.  Made with milk chocolate and cocoa powder, butter and eggs – these are fairly simple and quite delicious.  If the milk chocolate bums you out, you should know that Rob (who doesn’t like milk chocolate) loved these.  Loved.  In fact, he won’t know until now (as he reads this) that they were made with milk chocolate.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take the buttering and flouring of the muffin pans seriously.  I was lazy.  As a result, I had many broken cakes and lots of pieces.  But no worries, I had plenty ofIMG_7123 pretty ones to photograph (and eat) and Rob has since used all the pieces in his chocolate sorbet (that I also made for Valentine’s Day).  He is normally left out of the cake and ice cream thing, so this was extra special for him.  Don’t save these for a holiday though.  They are not to hard to make and look impressive, even crumbled!

Enjoy –

warm double chocolate brownie cakes (from Food & Wine, 2009 by Emily Luchetti):

1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 ounces good quality milk chocolate, chopped
3 tablespoons cake flour
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 large eggs (room temp if possible)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

vanilla ice cream…yum!  (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Butter and flour 8 cups in a standard size muffin pan.  So really butter and flour generously so they don’t stick!  Like mine.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter.  Add one-fifth (1 ounce) of the chopped chocolate, and mix until melted.  Set aside to cool.

Whisk together the flours, cocoa powder and salt and set aside.

Beat the eggs and sugar with the whisk attachment (or with handheld beaters) at medium speed for about 5 minutes.  The mixture should be pale and thick.

Beat in the vanilla extract.  Remove from mixer and gently fold in chocolate/butter mixture leaving it striped with chocolate and not yet fully combined.

Fold in the flour and the remaining chopped chocolate and mix until just combined.

Spoon the cake batter into the prepared muffin pans.  Bake for about 22 minutes but check often and before as usual.  You want to see the cakes rise, and a little springy to the touch.

Let the cakes cool in the pan for about 15 minutes.  Then gently turn them out onto a wire rack and let them cool 15 minutes longer.

Serve the cakes warm with ice cream (or chocolate sorbet!)  You can also reheat them later if you want to make them in advance.



lemon “brownies”

First – sorry this photo is so funky.  I was rushing and just took a quick one from my iPhone – and boy it is scary.  They look less electric than this and better in general.  Anyway…

Wet and juicy, dense and lemony, these simple treats are worth your time.  (And they don’t take much of it!)   Nothing fancy –  just a small square of lemon delight.  This was a hit with Rob, the kids and their friends.  Oh, and me too.  Make these if you don’t have time to make the lemon pound cake which can be a bit more time consuming.



lemon brownies  (from Just a Pinch Recipes):

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup (two sticks) butter, softened
4 large eggs
4 tablespoons lemon zest
4 tablespoons lemon juice

1 cup powdered sugar
4 tablespoons lemon juice (I ran out of lemons and added some fresh orange btw)
pinch kosher salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Zest and juice your lemons.  Remember to wash your lemons first.

Butter or spray a 9×13 inch pan and line with foil or parchment.

Mix together the flour and salt.

With the paddle attachment of the mixer – beat the butter and sugar together until lighter.

Add the eggs, one at a time and beat and scrape and beat again.  Add the zest and juice and beat and scrape and beat again.

On the lowest speed (or fold by hand) mix in the flour until just combined.

Spread batter into prepared pan and bake until it is done.  I’m sorry but I forgot to time this.  Start at 25 minutes and see how it looks.  Bake until the edges start to turn golden brown and a toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cool for 10 m.  Then pour and spread half of the glaze on top.  Let sit until completely cool, then add the rest of the glaze.  You may have enough with just the first half – taste a corner and see what you think.  If enough, save it in the fridge it will last a while.

Cool, cut and enjoy-

nutella blondies

Nice too for Valentine’s Day.  I was able to write these up quickly because they are soooo easy (seriously – 10 m) and a decadent treat for your loved one(s).

Nothing fancy here but a solid mass of goodness in a square shape.  Easy, rich, and so very pretty these will hit your speed spot.  I promise.  I made these for friends and many of them enjoyed – especially those who like Nutella (obviously!)  Serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and I promise you will be very happy.  Not much else to say because well, a Nutella brownie kind of speaks for itself.  Cousin Daniel – next time you are here…well, you know — they will be waiting.  If I remember.  (Remind me!)

Oh, actually – the recipe calls for peanut butter chips or chocolate chips.  My family doesn’t love peanut butter – but if you do, then go for it!

Nutella blondes from Averie Cooks (click here for her link – with alternate ideas for Nutella as well):

1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter, room temp
1 egg
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup chocolate chips (you can use peanut butter chips here if you desire – or a mixture)
1/3 cup Nutella
1/3 kosher salt

Preheat oven 350.  Line an 8×8 pan with foil or parchment and lightly butter or spray.

Melt the butter and mix in the brown sugar.  Add the egg and vanilla and mix again.

Add the flour, salt and chips and gently fold until combined.

Pour into the prepared pan.  Smooth.  Then take small dollops of Nutella and plop all over.  (So eloquent I know.)

To decorate the top, drag a toothpick “draw” 4 or 5 lines.  Rotate the pan 90 degrees and repeat.  Alternately, you can just smooth it around.

Bake for 20-25 m – until a toothpick comes out just clean.

Let cool in pan.  Pull out by the sides of foil and parchment.  Slice and serve.

Btw, these freeze very well.


choc espresso brownies (one bowl)

You have seen these before but with so many people turned off by white chocolate (although I’m serious when I say good quality white chocolate is delicious) I decided to make these with my semi-sweet super chips.  (Any semi sweet chips will do.)  And yummy yum yum.  Judy, Rob and I loved them.  (Although I still prefer my white chunk!)

FYI – good quality white chocolate is actually a bit more golden in color.  Very white white chocolate is probably not the best.

Here is the original treat – and you can substitute your own chocolate colored chocolate!

one bowl chocolate espresso white chocolate brownies



cakey brownies

My “favorite fudge” brownies are great.  So great – they are, not bragging, but just the truth.  In ice cream still great but later, in bed, I’m not thrilled.  Too rich.  So when Melissa decided to make a sundae bar for New Years – I decided it was time to find a cakey brownie suitable as a mix-in.  I scoured my books and like many a time before found myself drawn to Alice Medrich.  Her cakey brownies are perfection.  Chocolately and so good with that crumbly top that I can’t really get with fudgy brownies.  I added chocolate chips since I love that texture – and nuts would also be great.  Rob really liked them and he doesn’t eat ice cream so alone he thought delicious and def blog worthy.  Andy and Sylvie agreed.  I don’t think Greg tried them since he is slowly not eating any sweets 🙁  I will make these even without ice cream.  A nice change and so easy!

cakey brownies (from Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy Melt In Your Mouth Cookies by Alice Medrich):

2/3 cup flour (3 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate (good quality is best)
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate
10 tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract (not imitation)
3 large eggs (pull to room temp if you remember)
1 cup (3.5 ounces) walnuts, pecans, or other nuts (optional)
chocolate chips, semi sweet (optional)

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees and place oven rack on lower third of oven.

Line and 8×8 inch pan with foil or parchment so that there is overhang.  See photo:


In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt.

Place the chocolates and butter in a heatproof bowl and place over a pot of barely simmering water.   Heat (do not cook) and remove when melted stirring here and there.

Remove bowl from water.

Place sugar, vanilla and eggs, and beat with mixer on medium high for about two minutes.  Gently fold the chocolate into the egg mixture.

Stir in the flour mixture until just blended and stir in nuts or chips if using.

Bake for 35-40 m (but check often and before – always remember that ovens vary)  Remove when a toothpick comes out JUST clean.

Let cool.  Remove from pan by lifting the foil or parchment.  Cut and serve and enjoy –