Saturday, April 05, 2008

Heckuva Brownie!

This is the first weekend in I don't know how long (weeks? a month?) when I've had a sizable chunk of time unscheduled. What an amazing gift!

So what did I do? I decided to stay home and be domestic.

I know that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but I always have so many "projects" going on at home that I never really feel like I have enough time to devote to them. I'm not complaining, mind you. The social whirl that has swept me up of late has been utterly delightful -- with company worth cherishing -- and I have enjoyed every minute of it.

But it's time to get back to my little projects and to catch up with the rest of my life, even if only for a day or so.

Most of the cooking I've done so far this weekend has been very basic stuff: a pot of vegetable stock to have on hand for spring soups, a broccoli pizza for lunch today, and lavender-blueberry streusel muffins to share with friends and to welcome spring. You've seen them all before, so I won't dwell on them here.

But while the pizza was baking, I decided my sweet tooth needed to be satisfied with something chocolate. I'm out of unsweetened baking chocolate and regular cocoa powder, but I thought that a recipe modified to include a little hit of black cocoa would suit me just fine.

Dear Reader Tina introduced me to a fantastic candied ginger-cardamom bar recipe a few years ago, and I have modified it all up and down, mainly to use as a base for date bars. But this was the first time I ventured to the dark side with it.

I kept almost everything the same, save for replacing 1/4 c of flour with the black cocoa and adding 1/4 c roasted cacao nibs along with the candied ginger bits. I like spices with my chocolate on occasion, and the combination of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger, and chocolate had me swooning even before the pan came out of the oven.

The squares turned out darkly rich and buttery but not too sweet, with a perfect blend of spices and crunch. They're dense, chewy, and a little hearty, reflecting the whole wheat flour added to the recipe... but wow, they're good!

They made an ideal finish to a pizza lunch and helped rev me up for the rest of today's "projects" (which involve me sitting back down at the sewing machine and getting busy!). In short, they did the job I wanted them to do.

And that's a heckuva good thing!


At 4/07/2008 9:07 PM, Blogger Tina said...

Oooh, those sound goooood! Glad you're finding lots of ways to reinvent that recipe!:-)

At 4/08/2008 6:57 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

But your original recipe still remains unparalleled, Tina... I can taste them even now... :-)

At 4/08/2008 9:23 AM, Blogger valereee said...

Yum! I try to avoid making brownies at all costs because I can eat an entire pan, but I may have to bookmark this recipe.

At 4/08/2008 9:29 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

I wouldn't say these are my best brownies to date, but they are pretty tasty. Regular cocoa powder would be fine, too. Hope you get a chance to try them, valereee!


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