Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Mint Brownies

It took me many many batches to get this one right, but I finally devised a brownie base for this amazing recipe that we actually like. The original was really weird and dense. Again, I apologize for another stolen picture. I really need to start taking my own.

3/4 cup butter, melted (1 1/2 sticks)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mint Frosting:
1/2 cup butter, softened (1 stick)
1 lb. (3 3/4 cup) powdered sugar
1-3 Tbsp. milk
1/2 tsp. peppermint extract
green food coloring

Chocolate Topping:
1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter (1 stick) - I usually reduced this to 1/4 cup, but then I discovered that only certain kinds of chocolate chips can handle less butter. Try this with caution.

Brownies: Mix butter, cocoa, and sugar; add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Stir in flour, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Spread into a greased 9x13-inch pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let cool completely.

Mint Frosting: Mix butter and powdered sugar. Add only enough milk to make a smooth consistency. Add mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. Frosting will be thick. Spread over brownies. Refrigerate until firm.

Chocolate Topping: Melt chocolate chips and butter in microwave for 2-3 minutes, stopping to stir frequently, until the mixture is smooth. Pour over frosted brownies, covering frosting completely. Refrigerate until topping is set and hardened. Let brownies sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before cutting. Cut into 24 small squares with sharp knife.


I am so shamelessly addicted to pizza. I told Travis once that I really don't like to eat anything unless it is sweet or pizza. I'm like a 9-year-old, you know, when you ask what a 9-year-old's favorite food is. It's always pizza. We seriously make homemade pizza almost weekly. Oh and the huge forest of fresh basil growing on our patio doesn't help much. This makes two 12-inch pizzas. (I use 3/4 of this recipe to make one gigantic pizza that fills my pizza stone completely.)

1 1/4 cups warm water (105-115 degrees)
1 package active dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 - 3 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. cornmeal,
1 cup pizza sauce
Assorted toppings (pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, olives, peppers, etc.)
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

Combine 1/4 cup water, yeast, and sugar in mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes. Add remaining water, olive oil, 2 cups flour, and salt and mix well. Add more flour 1/2 cup at a time until dough forms a ball but is not overly sticky. Place in greased bowl, cover, and let rise until doubled (about 45-60 min.) - (This is where I scrape the dough into a ball and spray the inside of the mixing bowl with olive oil, cover it and put it over a bowl of hot water, which will cut the rising time in half - about 20-30 min.)

Punch dough down, turn out onto floured surface and knead until smooth. Divide in half and roll each half into a round (if you let it rest for about 10 minutes it will stretch easily to the size you want). Transfer to pizza stone or pan sprinkled with cornmeal. Bake at 425 degrees for about 9 minutes. Remove from oven and top with sauce and pizza toppings; bake for another 15 minutes or until it looks done.

Oh yes, back to the basil. I like to do a "pizza margherita" with sliced tomatoes, snipped fresh basil, and slices of fresh mozzarella. Then you feel healthier because you're eating vegetables (you know, the tomatoes) and no meat.


{This recipe is mine but the picture is not. Sorry, I stole it. Next time I make these I'll take my own picture.}

1 cup warm milk (about 115 degrees)
1 package instant dry yeast (about 2 1/4 tsp.)
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbsp. butter
1 egg white
2-3 cups flour

Combine warm milk, yeast, and sugar in electric mixer bowl. Let stand for 5 minutes. Add salt, butter, egg white, and 1 cup flour (add salt last if possible, with the flour, since it will kill the yeast if added directly). Beat well with a dough hook and add a second cup of flour. Knead until well combined, adding up to another 1/2 cup of flour if needed. Do not make it too dry; leave it soft and slightly sticky! Scrape dough into a ball, spray with olive oil, and let rise until doubled. Roll or twist into breadsticks and place on pan. Let stand 10-30 minutes (depending on how big you want them). Bake at 400 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Immediately brush with butter and sprinkle with garlic salt.

ANOTHER VARIATION: We used to love eating at the Pizza Factory in Provo because the breadsticks came wrapped around wooden sticks standing up, which I thought was a very fancy presentation. We've done this as well - just twist the breadsticks around bamboo skewers and prop them up against the edges of a baking sheet. Bake as normal (making sure the skewers are not touching any part of the oven!)