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Sunday, March 27, 2011

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites

This recipe has me peeved. OK, not the recipe itself; that rocks.

I just checked to see whether this had been posted online before I typed it all in, and it was.


In fact it's been posted numerous times, often not crediting the source: Tish Boyle's wonderful cookbook, The Good Cookie.

Not nice.

And another thing: People shouldn't write  "ADAPTED from blahblahblah" when they've copied it nearly word for word and haven't changed a single ingredient. I do not think the word "adapted" means what they think it means, to paraphrase the much-quoted line from The Princess Bride.

OK. Deep breath. On with the recipe.

I liked these so much I wanted to share the recipe -- despite it being splashed across the Internet -- just in case someone would stumble upon it only here. And I wanted to plug the author. I recently made these cookie-brownie hybrids for friends who just had a baby. The parentheticals contain my tips.

Chocolate Toffee Brownie Bites
½ cup butter, cut into tablespoons*
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped*
½ cup all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup toffee bits, such as Heath, with or without chocolate coating

Chocolate Glaze:
5 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped (or use 3 oz. semisweet and 2 unsweetened)
½ cup plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1/3 cup toffee bits, such as Heath (with or without chocolate coating), to sprinkle on top

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease two 12-cup miniature muffin pans well and dust them with flour.

In the top of a double boiler over barely simmering water, combine the butter and chocolate and heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and smooth. (*I was too lazy to chop the chocolate or slice the butter, and it worked fine). Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cool until tepid.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt together into a medium bowl. Stir until combined.

Stir the sugar, eggs, vanilla and almond extract into the cooled chocolate mixture until well-combined. (If you are in a bit of a hurry, you can stir in sugar and extracts while chocolate is still warm. That cools it enough to then add eggs). Add the flour mixture and stir until blended.

Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, filling them only about two-thirds full. (This is important; filling them fuller means they will rise over the well and onto the baking pan and become difficult to remove from the pan later. You or your significant other might enjoy eating those torn bits, however.)

Bake for 10 to 14 minutes (check first at 8 minutes or so), until set but still soft in the center; a toothpick inserted into a brownie should come out with a few moist crumbs clinging to it. Let the cookies cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert them onto the rack to cool completely.

To make the glaze:
 In the top of a double boiler over simmering water, combine the chocolate, cream and corn syrup and heat, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and the mixture is smooth. Remove the bowl from the heat. (If you want to make it thicker, just stir in powdered sugar until you are happy with the texture). This makes almost enough glaze for a double batch.

To glaze:
 Place the rack with the cookies on it on a baking sheet. Arrange the brownie bites, still inverted, so that they are no more than one-fourth inch apart. Pour (mine was so thick I spooned rather than poured) the glaze over the bites, covering the tops and sides. You can use a small offset metal spatula to smooth glaze over any exposed spots. Top with toffee bits. Refrigerate until the glaze is set, about 10 minutes (unless your house is cold; then the topping firms up in a few hours on the counter).

Serve at room temperature or chilled. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 3 days, or refrigerate up to a week.

Joe was happy to see this much leftover glaze (nearly a cup). Mmmmm, chocolate.

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