Happy Valentine’s Day! What better way to celebrate than with homemade brownies? And these ones are so easy, you don’t even need a mix….I promise! In this post, I am going to show you how I took one brownie recipe and made it work for me in 3 ways. As much as I love being in the kitchen, I have less time for it now that I am teaching full time. So I look for ways to streamline. I took the brownie recipe below, doubled it, and used it for 3 different purposes (explanations to follow). Each brownie incarnation had a different personality and use, but all are equally delicious and fantastic. Try one (or all) for your sweetheart today (or any day)…a sweet and delicious way to show your love!
This recipe comes straight off the Hershey’s Cocoa container (you can’t buy Hershey’s cocoa in Canada though, I bought it on one of my State-side shopping trips). I love the texture and flavour of these brownies…plus they’re made in one bowl so they come together in a snap! Below is the original recipe, which makes on 9 x 13 inch pan, but for what I made, I doubled it.
Hershey’s Best Brownies
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa or HERSHEY’S SPECIAL DARK Cocoa
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup chopped nuts (optional – I generally don’t add nuts)
Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan.
Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa; beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat well. Stir in nuts, if desired.
Pour batter into prepared pan (but before you do this, make sure you eat some batter…it’s FANTASTIC!….see photo if you need instruction on how to complete this step 🙂 ). Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Frost if desired. Cut into bars. About 36 brownies.
Now….a double batch of this brownie batter makes:
1 ) One large cookie sheet of brownies…which I cut into 30 medium to large-ish brownies. They will be a treat for my class today (shhh, it’s a surprise). I am bringing them in plain, and we will decorate them with the pink icing I made (I creamed together about 1/2 cup butter, 3/4 cup cream cheese, vanilla extract, icing sugar and red food colouring) and Valentine Smarties.
2) 22 mini brownie cupcakes….these were for the get-together my mom had yesterday. I made a chocolate ganache to top them…by microwaving chocolate chips (I just so happened to have some chocolate raspberry ones) with a touch of cream, then adding in a squirt of corn syrup. I dipped the cupcakes in the ganache, spread it around, then topped each one with a raspberry….so cute!
3) 4 heart shaped brownies…which I iced (with the icing above) and sandwiched to make 2 heart-shaped brownie layer cakes. These are going to two special couples I know….I topped them off with Valentine sprinkles for an easy way to complete the romantic look. 😉
And there you have it…one double batch of brownies…3 delightful and delicious desserts! Bet you didn’t think a humble dessert staple like that could do so much!
What is your planned indulgence for Valentine’s Day? Chocolate…champagne…dinner out…dinner in?