Last night’s dinner

Here is the last, lonely brownie and here is the recipe for said brownies.

The recipe is from the Godiva site which has lots of great (or bad, depending on how you look at it) chocolate recipes. Green and Black’s also has great ideas.

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, cut into pieces
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
8 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons instant espresso powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup walnut halves

Bittersweet Chocolate Glaze (optional):
2/3 cup heavy cream
4 bars (1.5 ounces each) Godiva Dark Chocolate, coarsely chopped

Decoration (optional):
1 bar (1.5 ounces) Godiva Milk Chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 bar (1.5 ounces) Godiva Solid Ivory, coarsely chopped

Make the brownies:

1.Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 13x9x2-inch baking pan with aluminum foil so that the foil extends 2 inches beyond the two long sides of the pan. Butter the bottom and sides of the foil-lined pan.

2.Mix butter and sugars in medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until butter is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

3.Place chocolate in food processor bowl. Cover and process for 15 seconds or until finely chopped. With the motor running, pour the hot butter mixture through the feed tube and process for 15 seconds or until chocolate is completely melted. Add eggs and vanilla and process for 15 seconds or until combined. Add flour, espresso powder and salt. Process just until combined. Add walnut halves and pulse about 10 times to incorporate them into the mixture and to chop them slightly. Spread mixture in prepared pan

4.Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted 2 inches from the center comes out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Do not overbake.

5.Cool in pan on a wire rack. Using the two ends of the foil as handles, lift the brownies out of the pan. Invert onto a cutting board and peel off the aluminum foil. Turn brownies top side up. Trim sides of the brownies so they are straight and even. Place brownies on wire rack and set rack over a baking sheet.

Make the bittersweet chocolate glaze (optional):
Heat cream in medium saucepan over medium-low heat until it comes to a gentle boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Let stand 30 seconds or until chocolate melts. Stir until smooth. Cool glaze until slightly thickened but still pourable, about 5 minutes. Pour the glaze over the brownies, spreading evenly over the top.

Decorate the brownies (optional):

1.Place milk chocolate and solid ivory in separate small microwave-safe cups. Microwave, one at a time, on medium (50% power) for 1 minute. Stir. Microwave 30 seconds more or until chocolate is softened. Stir until smooth. Spoon into separate small paper cones.

2.Cut a 1/16-inch opening at the tip of both cones. Pipe thin straight parallel lines of milk chocolate at 1/2-inch intervals across the top of the brownies. Pipe thin straight lines of solid ivory inbetween the lines of milk chocolate. At 3/8-inch intervals, draw the tip of a toothpick completely across brownies perpendicular to the piped chocolate lines, reversing direction in which you pull the toothpick across brownies. This will create a feathered design (see photo). Or drizzle both chocolates over the top making a free-form design. Refrigerate brownies for 15 minutes to set glaze. Cut into 15 bars.

Tonight’s dinner/treat

I’m giving scones another try. I have, in my head, perfect scones like the ones my Grandma used to make. Her’s were so light and airy that you would (and I did) eat six or seven at a go and still want more. I have her recipe and saw her make them hundreds of times but mine are always awful. I mean horrible, hard, roof tile material. I had gorgeous scones (thanks to Sue) from the Sconewitch (http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/250/1433499/restaurant/Centretown-Downtown/The-Scone-Witch-Ottawa) not too long ago and it’s made me want to try again. Maybe it’ll work out for me finally. I found this recipe reading a cool blog called Orangette which is written my a great sounding gal named Molly who has written a sweet book called…

Here is her take on scones. Keep your fingers crossed.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. table salt
4 Tbsp. (½ stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into ½-inch cubes
¼ cup sugar
½ cup diced dried apricots
½ cup half-and-half, plus more for glazing
1 large egg

Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, rub the butter into the flour mixture, squeezing and pinching with your fingertips until there are no butter lumps bigger than a large pea. Add the sugar and dried apricots, and whisk to incorporate.

Pour the half-and-half into a small bowl, and add the egg. Beat with a fork to mix well. Pour the wet ingredients into the flour mixture, and stir (with the fork; it works fine) to just combine. The dough will look shaggy and rough, and there may be some unincorporated flour at the bottom of the bowl. Don’t worry about that. Using your hands, gently press and shape the dough, so that it holds together in a messy clump. Turn the dough and any excess flour out onto a board or countertop, and press and gather and knead it until it just comes together. Ideally, do not knead more than 12 times. As soon as the dough holds together, pat it into a rough circle about 1 ½ inches thick. Cut the circle into 8 wedges.

Put the wedges on the prepared baking sheet. Pour a splash of half-and-half into a small bowl. Using a pastry brush, brush the tops of the scones with a thin coat to glaze. Bake for about 15 minutes, or until pale golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool slightly. Serve warm – with butter, if that’s your style. (My mother used to split the Earth/Lovelight ones in half and toast them, and then smear them with butter. Very good.)

Note: If you plan to eat them within a day or two, store the scones in an airtight container at room temperature. For longer storage, seal them in a heavy plastic bag or container, and freeze them. Before serving, bring them to room temperature. Either way, reheat them briefly in a 300°F oven. They’re best served warm.

Yield: 8 small scones

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