The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mmm.....Chocolate.....

I was shopping the other day, and studying some yarn (so unusual for me....) when I was approached by a charming lady who wanted to know if I knit. Do I knit........! I told her I did, and she invited me to join her fledgling knitting group. She was so nice, I decided to try it--tonight will be my first time there. In the interest of combining some of my favorite things (and possibly bringing others down with me) I made some caramel brownies to take with me. See what you think:


A tiny bit blurry...who would guess that a plate of brownies wouldn't be a good photography subject (surely it isn't my skills......). Anyhow, wanna make 'em? (Don't be silly--of COURSE you can do it!)

Ms. Knitingale's Knitting Group Brownies

you'll notice that the base of this is just an ordinary brownie recipe--feel free to use your own if you like it better. I don't recommend a mix, though, as I don't think it will be dense enough to support all the caramel-y goodness!

Okay, get yourself a microwavable bowl and put 4 oz of good quality unsweetened chocolate in it. Nuke it about a minute, then put 1 1/2 sticks of real butter in. (My mom always said I could use cheap margarine in baking--that no one would ever notice. She lied. Use the real butter.) Nuke it for another 45 seconds or until it's mostly all melted. Stir it together until smooth. Now dump in 2 cups of sugar, a teaspoon of real vanilla, and 3 eggs. Stir it all together, but don't beat it--it won't be dense and fudgy if you overbeat it. Now stir in 1 cup of flour. See how easy that is? Okay, spread it in a 9 x 13" pan. (I line mine with foil and spray it with a bit of butter flavored cooking spray because I'm too lazy to scrub the pan later.) Bake it at 350 for about half an hour. It will start to pull away from the sides when it's done. Put the whole pan on a cooling rack to cool.

Now, make the caramel topping. (No, don't panic--I swear this is foolproof. And I don't mean "a trained chef could do it blindfolded"--I mean you really can't screw it up.) Get yourself a saucepan (medium size ought to do it). Put a stick of real butter in it (I never said this was healthy). Line up these things on the counter, in this order: 1/3 cup of milk, 3/4 cup of packed, light brown sugar, 1/2 cup of white sugar, 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs. (A note here: if you are a better person than I, you may certainly get yourself a box of graham crackers and crush the life out of them. I, however, will admit that I just buy the box of premade crumbs. It saves me cleaning cracker crumbs off of every surface in my kitchen once I get frustrated and toss the whole thing in all directions. In any case, you may go either direction with this.) Okay, now turn on the burner under the butter. How high you turn it depends on how diligent you want to be. Butter burns way easy, so I put it on medium heat and stir it around pretty much constantly. Once it's melted, stir in the lined-up ingredients in the order listed. Bring it to a boil, still stirring. You're almost there. Now boil it for 5 minutes. You'll need to stir pretty frequently, and you'll need to turn it down if it starts to stick. Don't worry--it will be fine. Feel free to lick out the brownie batter bowl with your free hand as you wait for the 5 minutes to pass. Time's up? Great. Now spread the caramel stuff on the brownies. It'll get thicker--promise. Stick it in the fridge for an hour or so. Knit a few rows while you're waiting.

Last step: melt a regular sized bag (12 oz, I believe) of chocolate chips. You can use milk or semi-sweet chocolate. I've done it both ways, and they're both good. For the picture above, I used semi-sweet. Spread the melted chocolate carefully over the caramel. Let it set up, but watch it closely. If it gets too hard before you cut the brownies, it will break instead of cut nicely. Cut it into as many squares as you like. If you're like me, cut a few of them too big, so that they require trimming, and someone to eat the scraps. Scraps don't have calories, I'm pretty sure.

I'll let you know how the knitting group goes. I'm also volunteering with Knit for Life today in addition to my usual Monday, so maybe I'll have meaningful progress on pomotamus to share tomorrow.

2 Comments:

  • At 6:12 AM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Goodness! and I mean that in so many ways...now I'm off to fetch a dishtowel to mop up the drool...thank you.

     
  • At 10:48 AM, Blogger Ms. Knitingale said…

    Always glad to make a fellow knitter/chocoholic drool! But don't stop there--make yourself a batch. I swear it's really easy!

     

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