Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Ultimate Decadence Brownies

I have been a mouth out of control since the blond boy and the DIL came home at Thanksgiving.  Then we had the curly haired boy and his chick for Christmas, and the baby boy and his chick for my birthday.  After that I traveled for work, Anchorage, San Jose, and Seattle...what I'm trying to say is I wore jeans today and I look like 5lbs. of sausage stuffed in a 2lb. casing (I know, not a real attractive picture).

So it is time to get things under control.  And what do I do to cement my self control and get things moving in the right direction?  I bake...

I had to.  Terry at work put together my new standing computer desk (it is so cool, now instead of sitting all day I stand while I work on the computer and it is so comfortable!), and Bill and Kevin fixed the problem with my computer not talking to the copy machine.  I owed it to them, it was only the right thing to do.

You see my dilema?  I work with so many different people and most of them are so kind and helpful, I want to do something kind back.  So I bake.  We all know the picky eater husband of mine won't eat sweets so I eat them, and take them to work.

If someone has done a favor for you, or put together a desk, or got you out of a computer jam, this is the perfect thing to make as a thank-you.  These are rich, chocolaty, and with the ribbon of cream cheese, the name: The Ultimate Decadence.  I figure I can afford to eat one (or two) of these since I am standing at my computer all day now!

The Ultimate Decadence
The Bun on the Run Cookbook, 2011

For Brownies:
8 oz. baking chocolate, chopped
1 1/2 c. butter
6 eggs
3 c. sugar
1 2/3 c. flour
1 Tbsp. vanilla
1 c. chopped walnuts

For Cream Cheese ribbon:
8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
2 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. almond extract (optional)

Make Brownies:

Butter a 9X13 pan, line the bottom and short sides with parchment paper, butter the parchment.  Pre heat oven to 325˚F.

Melt in a double boiler, or microwave, until chocolate and butter are just melted, stir well, let cool.  Beat eggs and sugar for 3 minutes, until fluffy and light colored.  Turn mixer speed to low and add the chocolate mixture.  Add flour, mixing thoroughly, then vanilla, mixing thoroughly, them walnuts.  Spread half the batter in the prepared pan.

Make Cream Cheese:
Mix cream cheese, butter and sugar until thoroughly combined.  Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using), mix well.

Carefully spread cream cheese mixture over chocolate mixture in pan.  Cover with second half of brownie mixture.  Bake on center rack of oven until the cake rises up, cracks and moist crumbs adhere to a toothpick.  Remove immediately from oven, do not over bake (be really careful about this, I was reading, heard the timer, but waited until the end of the chapter before I got the brownies out of the oven and they got a little dry) .

February 20, 2013     Daylight 9 hours, 9 minutes, 15 seconds     Temp:  H -4/ L -18˚F

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