I would like to extend a warm welcome to one of our new monthly contributors, Courtney Price of Courtney Price Design. I’m excited to say that starting today, Courtney’s column on Entertaining will be appearing here for us on second Wednesdays of the month. I’m thrilled to have you here, Courtney!
What an honor it is to guest post for Live The Life You Dream About, one of my favorite blogs! It is an equal honor to be posting near one of the editor’s favorite holidays, Valentine’s Day. As you readers have seen, Sarah is a true romantic, and her posts sharing the romance of Sarah & Vikas are so inspiring that they should be made into a movie! Because of the theme of Valentine’s month, I have decided to take a traditional entertaining idea and infuse it with love for a special Valentine’s dessert!
Valentine’s Day is here and why not make it special with a sweet little chocolate dessert that fits with the holiday. We are all busy so I will keep it simple. My first thought is presentation. There is something extra special about desserts coming as small individual creations rather than portioned servings… they impart the sensation of a little gift having been placed before the diner rather than a portion of the bigger item. All that is required is a quick peek in your stash of dishes for this one- if you have any ramekins or oven appropriate small dishes (i.e. not your great grandmother’s fine china demitasse cups) you are good to go! For Valentine’s Day I thought we would use little red espresso cups. (* note: pay attention to baking times below, depending on which dish you use)
In my humble opinion, the very best brownie recipe is the one that comes on the Baker Unsweetened Chocolate box. They have their reputation hanging on it. Here is the recipe:
4 squares Baker’s unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter
2 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1 cup chopped nuts, optional
1. Heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwave bowl at high 2 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.
3. Stir sugar into chocolate. Mix in eggs and vanilla until well blended. Stir in flour and nuts. Spray inside of espresso cups with nonstick spray. Pour mixture 1/2 way into the espresso cups. (if you do not have espresso cups or ramekins, Spread in greased 13 x 9 inch pan) Line up espresso cups in a pan to keep them contained but not touching.
4. Cook times: For smaller individual servings- Bake 12+ minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. Let cool to a warm state rather than hot.
For 9×13 pan- 30-35 min. Cool in pan; cut into squares. Makes 24 fudgy brownies.
5. Garnish with whipped cream and whatever you have that will accessorize your creation. I used a rolled up cookie. Serve immediately while the whipped cream looks good!
Note: When using metal baking dish, bake at 350 degrees. For cake-like brownies, stir in 1/2 cup milk with eggs; use 1 1/2 cups flour.
Bonus Tip: For liqueur infused brownies, sub in a little of your favorite liqueur (grand marnier, kaluah, amaretto) for some of that milk. *note- the alcohol cooks out, but not the infusion of flavor. …OR…
Bonus Tip Variation: try lightly sprinkling a dash of kaluah over the brownies after you pour into baking dish. it will caramelize on top of the brownies and add an unexpected nice twist to the flavor, making Chef-you look like a rock star!
Have a lovely Valentine’s Day!!
Images / Courtney Price Design /
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