Old Fashioned Brownie with frosting

Old Fashioned Brownies with frosting -- A Pinch of Joy

Old Fashioned Brownies with frosting -- A Pinch of Joy

A good brownie recipe means different things to different folks. This recipe isn’t strong on the chocolate, not too sweet and is more on the cake side of the equation.   I chose it first for the lower amount of sugar and make it occasionally for that reason.    Ya know – healthy brownies.

However, every time Bytes will say “this needs frosting!”   So much for reducing carbs and calories with less sugar!  Last time he even compared it to the brownie in a certain frozen dinner.  How would he know about frozen dinners in this household?  Oh yeah—those long days of painting over the past year plus.   At any rate frosting it is.  For his half of the brownies.  Not sure how he ends up with half a pan while Wheels and I get to share the remaining half.  Something about metabolism I think.  :-)  I will admit the chocolatey-ness and creaminess of the frosting add to the yummy factor, though.

Yes, this recipe calls for baking powder though most brownie recipes do not. Maybe because it is an old recipe.  I was a little anxious the first time I whisked the cocoa into the butter, but if you use a good wire whisk it only takes a moment to make it smooth like – well, like melted chocolate.   Brownie batter is very thick so you will need to spread it into the greased pan.   Let the baked brownie cool before frosting and you will save your sanity and extra cleaning.  Any and all brownies may be good right out of the oven, but they are even better if you can contain yourself so the chocolate flavors can develop while cooling.

You might also want to check out  Classic Naked Brownies (that post explains how this short series started)  or  Cheesecake Topped Fudgy Brownies

Old Fashioned Brownie with frosting
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
A cake like brownie, easy on the chocolate and sweetness, with a rich chocolate butter frosting!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 bars
Ingredients
  • 1 cup plus 3 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup cocoa powder
  • 4 large eggs OR 5 medium eggs
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Frosting
  • 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 2⅔ cups confectioners sugar
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9x13 inch baking pan with butter or cooking spray.
  2. Melt butter in microwave and pour into large mixing bowl.
  3. Whisk in cocoa powder until smooth and then stir in vanilla and sugar.
  4. Add eggs until just well mixed.
  5. Add flour, baking powder and salt; again, until just mixed.
  6. Spread into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Test early and do not overbake.
  7. Cool on wire rack.
Frosting
  1. Set out butter to soften before you begin making the brownies or soften in microwave for about 10 seconds.
  2. Mix cocoa powder and confectioner’s sugar together in medium bowl and cream with softened butter.
  3. Add milk and vanilla and stir until thoroughly mixed and fluffy.
  4. Spread over cooled brownies and slice into 24 2”x2” bars.
  5. Note: Frosting recipe will cut in half easily and turn out as nicely as a full batch.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!   Follow:    Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and   pinterest.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!

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Classic Naked Brownie

.Classic Naked Brownie - A Pinch of Joy

.Classic Naked Brownie - A Pinch of Joy

“Got a good brownie recipe?” my sister  asked.  “Oh, two or three,”,  I replied.  Brownies are chocolate –a life necessity.  What did she mean, did I have “a” brownie recipe?  So here is take one:   Classic Naked Brownie.  This brownie has a rich chocolate flavor, not too sweet and just the right texture.

Texture is the key characteristic of any brownie.  Some people like dense fudgy brownies, others like a less dense, more cake-like texture, still others want chewy middles or crispy edges.  All brownies have five basic ingredients:  Chocolate, butter, sugar, flour and eggs.  Varying the amounts of chocolate, butter, sugar, and flour will affect the texture of the brownie.

That’s not to say eggs are not important.  Most recipes are intended for large eggs, whether they are specified that way or not.  All I had were medium eggs that were definitely on the small end of the medium spectrum.  (Great sale price though!) How did I make sure that I used the right number of eggs?  I know that eggs will translate one to one from large to medium until after the number of required eggs is greater than three.   Then you add one extra medium egg for each large egg specified.  Four large eggs needs five medium eggs for the right eggy amount.  Five large eggs is the equivalent of 6 medium eggs and six large eggs is the equivalent of 7 medium eggs.

Whatever kind of brownie you choose, it is key to not overbake.  Test at the least amount of time given, using a toothpick inserted near the middle.  The toothpick should come out moist but clean (no crumbs or batter).  The edges of the brownie should be just separating from the sides and just barely beginning to crisp.  This particular recipe bakes at 325F degrees – a bit lower than the usual temperature – for a longer period of time than most.   I find it helpful to note on any recipe you might make again,  the exact amount of time it takes YOUR oven to produce the best brownie.

Another key is to not overmix the batter.  Eggs need to be mixed until no longer visible and “don’t whump it”,  as my mother would say.  Fold flour in gently until no white is showing and then get that delicious batter in the prepared baking pan pronto.  Prepare pan by spraying with cooking spray OR wiping pan with butter.   Another alternative is to line the pan with aluminum foil, lightly greased, or parchment paper with 2 inches overhanging on each end.  This allows you to lift cooled brownies from pan for slicing or freezing.

Bytes and Wheels had a great time testing the brownies for this short series!  They want you to know they take their job seriously!! :-) No matter how many batches they have to eat in a week – just so I have pictures for you (and my sister).

Classic Naked Brownie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Classic Naked Brownie with a rich chocolate flavor, not too sweet and just the right texture. No toppings, no addins -- just a great brownie!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 24 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 ½ cups butter
  • 1 ¼ cups cocoa powder
  • 2 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 large eggs or 6 medium eggs
  • 1⅔ cups all-purpose flour
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. NOTE: temperature is lower than usually required therefore baking time is longer. Prepare 9x13” pan by spraying with cooking spray OR wiping pan with butter.
  2. Melt butter in microwave, one minute on high or until completely melted. Pour into large mixing bowl and whisk in cocoa powder with wire whisk until smooth, about 1 minute.
  3. Stir in sugar and salt. Add vanilla extract and check temperate of mixture with tip of finger to make sure it is cooled. If it is tepid, add about half the eggs and stir until just mixed. Add the remainder of eggs and mix again.
  4. Shake flour over the entire surface of the brownie mixture. Stir gently with rubber spatula or large wooden spoon until just mixed.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake at 325F for 35 to 40 minutes. Check with toothpick at 35 minutes. Do not overbake.

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing!  I’d love to have your company on this venture!!   Follow:    Facebook RSS feed  / bloglovin’ /   twitter  and   pinterest.   Share: if you found this helpful or inspiring please click one of the buttons below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is appreciated!

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Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecake – No Bake

Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecake -- A Pinch of Joy

Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecake -- A Pinch of Joy Incredibly rich, smooth and delicious layered cheesecake with no baking required.

Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough No Bake Cheesecake.  The perfect dessert to celebrate a special day — anniversary, birthday or just because.  We’d already celebrated Bytes’ birthday at a big family gathering with the traditional  cake and a rousing rendition of Happy Birthday.  This was a smaller celebration.  Perfect for cheesecake and fudginess!

I’m always a little hesitant to give preparation times for recipes.  They can vary according to how many times the cook rescues a toddler or the number of shortcuts that are taken.  Like using already crushed graham crackers.  Although putting two packages of graham crackers squares (not oblongs) in their wrapping on the work counter and smacking them smartly several times with the side of a meat axe or a rolling pin is a pretty quick process.  Overall this recipe is about 25 minutes to prepare so don’t let the number of steps keep you from this fabulous indulgence!

When you make the chocolate layer it will look like crumbs, but just when you think it’s not going to work, everything magically comes together.  You have a beautiful eggless chocolate cookie dough that will turn into divinely smooth fudge.  It is a little sticky to work with, but not so sticky as to be difficult or time consuming.  Folding the whipped cream into the whipped cream cheese is the same way.  Hang in there, resist the urge to pick up the mixer and beat some more.   Beating it  will make it dense and notsogood.  Stay the course, fold gently and persistently and all will be well.

Press the graham cracker crust firmly into the serving bowl. To make the cookie dough layer , pinch off a bit of dough according to the size of your serving dish. Roll the dough into a ball and then flatten between your palms to the size of the dish and about a quarter inch thick.  Place on top of the graham cracker crumbs, pressing it firmly into place.  Spread the whipped cheesecake layer on top.  Garnish with chocolate for an elegant, glamorous dessert or colored sprinkles for fun.

I used six medium, almost large,  serving dishes.  Too much.  We all left about half of the dessert – soo good and soo rich – but just as  good the next day.  Eight smaller dishes or even ten would be better.  If you use tall dishes – champagne flute style – make two layers each of chocolate and cheesecake.   This will spread out the flavors for better savoring.

Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecake - No Bake
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Incredibly rich, smooth and delicious layered mini cheesecakes with no baking required!
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 10 servings
Ingredients
  • Crust
  • 1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs (about 8 squares, crushed)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter, softened not quite melted
Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough layer
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 cup flour
  • Pinch of salt
Cheesecake layer
  • 12 ounces cream cheese (1 8 ounce package plus half of a second 8 ounce package)
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Crust
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs, brown sugar and butter until well combined.
  3. Press into bottom of eight to 10 serving dishes.
  4. Refrigerate until ready to fill.
Fudgy Chocolate Cookie Dough layer
  1. Beat butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add cream (may substitute milk) and vanilla.
  3. Add cocoa, flour and salt. Mix on low speed until dough comes together in a ball.
  4. Coat palm of hands lightly in flour and pinch off a bit of dough about the size of a walnut. Pat dough evenly into circle the size of the serving dish and at least ¼ inch thick. Place on top of refrigerated crust.
  5. Return serving containers to refrigerator.
Cheesecake layer
  1. Beat softened cream cheese, vanilla and sugar at medium speed until fluffy.
  2. In separate medium bowl, whip the cream until soft peaks form.
  3. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture until well mixed.
  4. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.
  5. Garnish as desired.

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