Baking with B: Chocolate Pudding Brownies

Isn’t it awesome when you can take something from your cupboard normally used for one thing and then make something completely different using that same thing?

If you don’t follow, then you obviously haven’t made these Chocolate Pudding Brownies where the secret ingredient is (not surprisingly) chocolate pudding. They’re super-soft and moist and honestly do kind of taste like chocolate pudding- if you bake them right, they have that soft, smooth pudding texture that gives the recipe its name. Apologies to brownie purists everywhere-my favorite brownie recipe is still this one-but for people that are short on time and looking for simple baking solutions, this is definitely one you should add to your roster.

Chocolate Pudding Brownies (makes 25 squares)

6 tbsp butter, softened

2/3 c. sugar

2 eggs

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 box instant chocolate pudding powder (4-serving size)

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until smooth before beating in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla. In a separate bowl, sift together flour and chocolate pudding powder. Combine with wet ingredients just until moistened. Spread evenly in a greased 8×8-inch pan and bake for 30 minutes until pick inserted in center comes out moist, not wet, with batter.

B’s Tip: Depending on how hot or cold your oven runs, you may want to check up on these babies frequently to make sure you don’t over-bake them. They’re still pretty tasty if you do, but the texture comes out kind of gummy and spongy instead of cake-y and moist.

These brownies are so ooey, gooey good that you should wait until they cool before cutting and serving, but if you just can’t wait why not pair one with your favorite ice cream or frozen yogurt for a brownie-licious sundae? Just add whipped cream and chocolate sauce and you’re good to go! Brownie points if you top it with a maraschino cherry. (See what I did there?!)

Happy baking!

B

Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

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Baking with B: Rocky Road Sour Cream Brownies

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I confess I used to be one of those people that scoffed at the idea Valentine’s Day. Like those other haters, I believed it was too commercialized, and I resented feeling excluded all of those years I was single on February 14.

As I’ve gotten older and found it more difficult to keep up with all of my personal relationships, I’m starting to realize those greeting card companies might be onto something. There just aren’t a lot of opportunities for romance amidst today’s hustle and bustle unless you make the time for it. Sure, ideally you’d like to show your partner your appreciation every day, but now I think there’s something to be said for putting aside a day once a year for doing something special.

That’s why I’m starting to think Valentine’s Day is really for those in long-term relationships- those relationships that are filled with chores and kids and bills and all those other wonderful things life throws your way as an adult. Those couples need a day like this. They need a way to make things extra-special.

Kind of like these brownies. My chocolate brownies are kind of a staple in my household, and yet when do I ever get the opportunity to jazz them up a little? Valentine’s Day seemed like the perfect excuse to bake this ooey-gooey, junked-up version. The result? A brownie that’s perfect for your favorite chocoholic, or for anyone that you want to feel special.

Rocky Road Sour Cream Brownies (makes 25)

Brownie Base:

1/2 c. butter, melted

1 c. sugar

1/2 c. flour

1/3 c. cocoa

1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 c. sour cream

Rocky Road Topping:

1/2 c. milk or semi-sweet chocolate chips

1/2 c. mini marshmallows

1/2 c. slivered almonds

Preheat oven to 350F. In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter, sugar and vanilla. Beat in eggs one at a time until frothy, then use a spoon to add sour cream and mix well. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Stir dry ingredients into wet ingredients until fully combined. Bake in a greased 8-inch pan for approximately 35 minutes.

Remove brownies from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips, marshmallows and almonds (in that order) over top, taking care to distribute evenly. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes more, or until marshmallows get puffy and golden. Let the brownies cool at least 10-15 minutes before cutting.

B’s Tip: The sour cream brownie base makes these treats really soft at first, so it’s based to wait until brownies are just about cool for the cleanest, neatest cuts. But who am I kidding? Chocolate is chocolate, and these taste good pretty much any which way.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50Baking with B appears every other Monday on the Keeping Busy with B Blog. Find out why I like baking so much here. For more of my baking, click here. And for even more recipe inspiration, check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.

Baking with B: 7 Days of Christmas Treats: Date Pecan Bars

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One of the worst things you can ask a baker to do is to make a recipe and then leave it alone, but trust me when I say that leaving these bars for a couple of days and giving them some space just might be the best thing you can do for them. The flavor soaks into everything, the topping solidifies and the result is a rich, nutty bar that I literally could not stop eating. (That is, of course, once I gave myself the chance.)

Date Pecan Bars (makes 36)

1 c. dates, chopped

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 c. butter or margarine

3/4 c. boiling water

1/4 c. dark rum (or 2 tsp., 10 mL rum flavoring plus 1/4 c. water)

1 egg

1/2 c. granulated sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 1/2 c. all-purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

Place dates in large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with baking soda and stir a bit to distribute. Add butter and boiling water. Continue to stir until butter has melted. Add rum, stir and set aside.

In small bowl beat egg, sugar and vanilla together well. Pour into date mixture. Measure in flour and baking powder. Stir well. Spread in greased 9×9-inch pan. Bake in 350F oven for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and spread with topping. Return to oven.

Topping:

1 c. brown sugar, packed

3 tbsp. butter or margarine

3 tbsp cream

1 c. chopped pecans

Crumble all ingredients together in bowl. As soon as you take squares out of the oven, spread over the top and return to oven for 15-20 minutes until golden brown. Cool. Cover with tight plastic or foil and put on an out of the way shelf in your cupboard so it can mellow out for a day or two.

Happy baking!

B

KBwB-Flower-50

Last year I counted down to Christmas by baking seven different types of Christmas cookies as per my favorite Swedish holiday tradition. This year I’m making it a thing, and sharing seven more delicious recipes with you. For more inspiration, you can check out more of my baking here. For even more recipe inspiration check out my Pinterest full of food eye candy that will have you licking your computer. Promise.