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White Chocolate Brownies

March 16, 2011

I am convinced that in every major marketing analysts board room, there is a picture of me…the poor, pitiful consumer, waiting to succumb to the next cute idea they think up.  Why yes, Target, now that I’ve walked past your huge display of colorful summer barbeque ware, I do think I need a new ice tea pitcher…better yet, throw in that set of platters too, you never know when someone might stop by and I couldn’t serve burgers on plain white ones, right?  Saint Patrick’s Day is one of those holidays to me.  I don’t celebrate it, nothing about green leprechauns or four leaf clovers excites me but there I was again, standing in line with green food coloring and polka dot platters, conjuring up images of sugar cookies and cupcakes.

Turns out, you need to buy clover shaped cookie cutters 2 months in advance and I apparently missed the memo.  So instead I went for a slightly easier but very adorable (and generally over-looked) snack, the white chocolate brownie.  Much like coconut cupcakes, the white chocolate brownie has a difficult time getting noticed amongst its rich, fudge-y, chocolate-y counterparts.  I’ve tried white chocolate brownies before but they always turned out too sweet and too cake-like.  I wanted a buttery, moist bar that had the same addictive factor that made a pan of regular brownies so difficult to be around. I saw this recipe on smitten kitchen and these definitely fit the bill! They are dense, not too sweet, actually taste like real white chocolate and with a few walnuts thrown in there, they are highly addictive!

Now the key is to use real white chocolate as smitten kitchen explains.  The baking chips made by a popular brand in the yellow bag?  Yeah, they aren’t real white chocolate (there’s nothing wrong with them, I use them in cookies all the time!).  If you look at the ingredients its just sugar, oil and some artificial flavor.  I recommend using a Lindt or Callebaut if possible, I prefer the former but used the latter for this recipe, it was what I had on hand 🙂 Those chocolates are actually made with cocoa butter and natural vanilla-nothing artificial here!

Chop up your white chocolate

Stir over simmering water until it’s almost completely melted together

Whisk in sugar, ok so it doesn’t look completely smooth when you do this, don’t worry

Add eggs and vanilla

and it smoothes right out

add flour, maybe some green food coloring…

and you’ve got some white chocolate brownie batter

create a “sling” for the batter to cook in-this makes it easier to take out and cut later

have some fun with the batter or just bake until golden brown and set

cut the brownies into squares

and take out their hearts. gently.

How cute are they?!  You don’t even miss the clovers, do you?

ready to be eaten!

White (and green) chocolate brownies
Recipe from Smittenkitchen
Yields approx 16 2-inch square brownies, I cut the edges off so I only got 9 brownies
If you want to do the alternating hearts then you will need to double the recipe and dye one of the bowls, or you can substitute semisweet chocolate for the white chocolate and have dark chocolate brownies.

Ingredients:

3 ounces good white chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 stick unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I omitted them this time because they would mess up the cutouts if you hit a nut, if you’re just making a pan of brownies I highly recommend adding them)

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).  Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, with ends of paper extending over opposite sides of pan. Repeat with second piece of paper in opposite direction. Butter the parchment paper liberally.  I also butter each step to help keep the parchment paper in place.

2. In a heat-proof bowl set over a pan of simmering water, melt the butter and white chocolate together until almost completely melted.  Remove from heat and whisk until completely smooth (this keeps the mixture from getting too hot and cooking the eggs).  Whisk in the sugar, then eggs one at a time.  Add vanilla.  Add flour and salt together, stirring until just combined.  Fold in walnuts if using.

3.  Spread into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes (if  you’re making this with semi-sweet chocolate reduce baking time by 5 minutes).  Repeat the recipe if you’re doing the alternating hearts.

4. Brownies are done when they are golden brown, set in the middle and a toothpick inserted comes out with clean.  Move baking pan to a wire rack and let cool for 1 hour.  After that hour move the rack and pan to the freezer for about 20-30 minutes (so much easier to cut if they are partially frozen!).

5. When you’re ready to cut the brownies, remove from the freezer and carefully remove the parchment paper “sling” to a cutting board.  Cut the brownies into 2-inch squares (and if they warm up and soften too quickly, pop them back in the freezer for 5 minutes), carefully, slowly, gently, press your 1-inch cookie cutter into the center of each brownie and set the cut-out aside. Insert the colored or dark cut-outs into the centers of the light brownies, and vice-versa. From here, you can let them warm up to room temperature or wrap them up in the freezer until you will need them.

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