Until today I had never made brownies from scratch; I always used the box mix and as a result, I always felt a twinge of guilt. Making homemade brownies has been on my kitchen to-do list for a long time and when I saw the Browniebabe event I had the perfect excuse to finally whip up a batch!
Samoas® Girl Scout cookies are a favorite in our house and I couldn’t remember ever seeing these cookies morphed into a brownie. I had my brownie idea! Since Samoas® are based on a shortbread cookie, I used a blondie as my base for this so-decadent-need-to-eat-with-a-fork-and-wash-down-with-milk brownie.
(adapted from Kraft Foods)
1 1/2 cups firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 lb. caramels
1/4 cup milk
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 13×9-inch baking pan with foil, with ends of foil extending over sides of pan. Lightly grease foil. Mix brown sugar, butter, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl until well blended (I mixed by hand with a wood spoon); set aside. Combine flour, baking powder and salt. Add to brown sugar mixture; mix well. Reserve 1 cup of the batter for later use; spread remaining batter into prepared pan.
2. Baking 15 minutes or until firm. Microwave caramels and milk in microwaveable bowl 2-3 minutes or until caramels are completely melted, stirring every minute. Pour over baked layer in pan; spread to within 1/2 inch of edges.
3. Spoon reserved 1 cup batter over caramel layer; with an icing spatula, spread batter together with caramel until a smooth layer appears. Bake an additional 18 minutes or until center is set. Cool completely.
Toasted Coconut Topping
(adapted from Cupcake Bakeshop)
2 (5-oz) cans evaporated milk
1 1/3 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
3 cups shredded, sweet coconut
1. Spread the coconut onto a sheet pan. Toast in a 350 degree oven, stirring frequently to prevent burning, until the coconut is an even brown color, approximately 12 minutes.
2. Combine milk, sugar and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, over medium heat until thick, bubbly, and golden, about 15 minutes.
3. Add 2 cups of the coconut, reserving the remainder for assembly of the brownie; stir to combine. Cool completely.
(source: Cupcake Bakeshop)
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup (8 oz) heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla
1. Chop chocolate and transfer into a heat proof bowl.
2. Heat cream until bubbles form around the edge of the pan and then pour cream over the chocolate.
3. Let sit for 1 minute then stir until combined.
4. Add vanilla and stir until combined.
5. Let cool to room temperature.
ASSEMBLING THE BROWNIE:
1. Bake blondies and cool completely.
2. Prepare chocolate ganache and once cool, spread a thin layer over the cooled blondies. Put pan in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
3. Prepare toasted coconut topping and let cool to room temperature. Spread over hardened chocolate ganache layer and top with extra toasted coconut.
4. Drizzle with remaining chocolate ganache.
And I took the suggestion of my friend Amber and cut mine out in the shape of a real Samoas® cookie :)