chocolate

One-Bowl Brownies

I have a hangover. A football hangover.

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I went back to Lincoln last weekend for an epic Saturday night brawl: Miami at Nebraska.

It had all the makings of a marquee match-up: an old rivalry reborn, decades of Nebraska playing on Miami’s turf, celebration of the momentous 1994 national title game, and the promise of the season ahead. Every Nebraska fan has a nostalgia for those 1990s teams, but it’s especially strong for those of us who came of age during the glory days.

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By the 7pm kickoff, Memorial Stadium was on her feet. We barely sat down all night. I lost my voice for four days.

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Photo from Husker Athletics

And I wish I were right back there again this week.

Anyway, whether you’re tailgating, watching a game at home, or you don’t give football a passing glance (I’ve heard such people exist!), you will love these easy, chocolatey brownies.

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Ditch the box; these are so much better.

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Easy One-Bowl Brownies
From smittenkitchen.com
Serves 16

3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (plus extra for pan)
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8-inch square metal baking pan with foil or parchment, extending it up two sides. Lightly butter the foil, or coat with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium microwave-safe bowl, melt chocolate and butter in 30-second bursts, stirring each time until smooth. Whisk in sugar, then eggs, one at a time, then vanilla and salt. Stir in flour with a spoon or flexible spatula. Spread batter into prepared pan. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool. Carefully lift foil out of pan and place brownies on a flat surface. Cut into 16 squares, or as desired.

S’mores Dip for One

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Danger, Will Robinson!

S’mores in dip form? The thought had never occurred to me, but when someone posted it on my Facebook page I thought it sounded brilliant. This recipe has been bookmarked on my phone for awhile now, and I finally decided to make them this afternoon.

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Because I have no willpower, I adapted it to a single serving. This recipe is easily scaleable for a group, whether you keep it in single-serving dishes or make it in a larger pan. This would also be easy to make in a toaster oven, if you have one.

Don’t let it sit too long, or the marshmallows will fall in and crust over, which is tougher to dig out without breaking the crackers.

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S’mores Dip for One
Adapted from hungrybrownie.com

1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
3 marshmallows, cut in half
8 graham crackers (2 sheets)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Pour chocolate chips into an 1-cup ramekin. Arrange marshmallow halves on top. Place in the oven. Bake until marshmallows are golden-brown, about 6-7 minutes.

Remove from oven. Let cool slightly. Serve with graham crackers for dipping.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

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Happy International Pi Day (a day early)! How will you celebrate?

Notice I didn’t ask whether you were celebrating. It’s implied. I mean, c’mon, it’s pie.

Last year my division held a pie happy hour — everything from pizza to fruit pie — and it was a lot of fun. This year, all of Edelman DC is having a pie tasting throw-down. In an office of 250, there are bound to be some amazing options. My entry: Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie. Extra-dark chocolate, buttery pecans, and just a bite of booze.

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I can’t speak for how the finished product actually tastes, but the bourbon-sugar mixture takes pretty great.

3/14 RHRW Update:I can now speak for the finished product. Great flavor, not too sweet. I baked the pie the night before and served it at room temperature, and while it isn’t overwhelming, you can definitely taste the bourbon (a good thing in my book).

3/16 RHRW Update: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit the bourbon and chocolate.

When filling the pie, pour the sauce slowly, in a spiral motion, so the pecans stay in place and the filling is level.

If you’re looking for more inspiration, check out my other pie recipes:
Grasshopper Pie
Apple Pie
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
French Silk Pie
Pork and Apple Pie with Cheddar-Sage Crust

Grab some whipped cream and let’s get moving.

Bourbon Chocolate Pecan Pie

From Fine Cooking
Serves 8-10

1 pie crust
1 1/2 cups pecan halves, toasted, cooled, and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate
8 large egg yolks
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 Tbs. Maker’s Mark bourbon (1 mini-bottle)
1/2 tsp. kosher salt

RHRW Note: For traditional Southern pecan pie, omit bourbon and chocolate

Blind bake the pie crust: Roll out the crust to a 13″ diameter. Place in a 9″ pie plate, lifting the dough to tuck it into the sides of the pan. Trim edges to a 3/4″ overhang. Roll the dough under itself to build up the edge of the crust. Crimp the edge of the crust with your fingers, the tines of a fork, or a pie edger. Prick the crust all over (including sides) with a fork. Chill for up to 1 hour in the refrigerator or about 30 minutes in the freezer.

Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 425 degrees. Line the crust with foil and fill with dried beans or pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil and weights. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees and continue baking until the bottom looks dry and the edges are golden, 5-7 minutes more. Cool on a rack.

When the crust is cool, spread the pecans evenly in the pie crust. Sprinkle the chopped chocolate evenly over the pecans. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Make the filling: Put the egg yolks in a medium heatproof bowl set on a kitchen towel. Add the vanilla. In a 1-quart saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, corn syrup, cream, bourbon, and salt. Heat over medium heat just until the butter is melted and the mixture is hot but not boiling, 3-5 minutes. Whisking vigorously and constantly, very slowly pour the sugar mixture into the yolks. Strain through a fine strainer set over a 1-quart measuring cup.

Fill and bake the pie: Slowly pour the filling over the pecans. Put the pie on a large baking sheet and place in the oven. Bake until the center of the pie is slightly firm to the touch and the filling is set, 35-40 minutes. Cool on a rack for at least 1 hour before serving.