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Choose Your Own Adventure Brownies

Choose Your Own Adventure Brownies

I used to believe that brownies couldn’t possibly get better than Baker’s One Bowl Brownies. After all, the only thing that stood between you and brownies in the case of that recipe was one bowl. But then I found this recipe on Butter and Brioche. And I modified it a little bit so that they weren’t quite so intense (three bowls and a mixer, just for brownies? I don’t think so.). And now we have the perfect brownie recipe. You can make these in a regular old brownie tin and add the icing or you double the recipe, throw the batter into a huge cast iron pan (12 inches or bigger!), and top it with ice cream. Either way, you’re in for a delicious day. Trust me.

Espresso Brownies

Espresso Brownies

Icing? On brownies? Yes. And it’s about to be your new favorite thing.

Espresso Brownies

By , February 11, 2019

This recipe will take a pan of brownies from "oh, that's just a regular pan of brownies" to "holy schniztel, she put espresso in those brownies!" real quick. Follow this recipe if you're after the espresso icing, and skip down to the next one if you're headed into cast iron territory.

Makes: 10-12 servings

Espresso Brownies

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1 and 3/4 cups of unsalted butter, divided (that’s one and a half sticks for brownies plus two other sticks for the icing for those of us in the stick camp), room temperature
  • 2 cups of white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa powder for brownies, plus 1/4 cup extra for icing
  • 1 TBSP of vanilla extract for brownies, plus 1 tsp for icing
  • 1 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp of espresso powder for brownies, plus 2 tsp for icing
  • 1/2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips, divided
  • 3-4 cups of powdered sugar
  • flaky sea salt, for garnish

Instructions:
  1. Let’s get the brownies going first. Preheat the oven to 350, and grease and line a 9x9” baking tin.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine 3/4 cups of butter (aka one and a half sticks) and the white sugar. Set over a low to medium heat. Stir occasionally to mix evenly. Try not to think about the amount of butter in front of you. When it’s all shiny and melty and definitely not bubbling yet, remove from heat and set aside. Turn off the stove, also. Double check to make sure. Just me? Okay.
  3. While that ish is cooling, get a large bowl and add the eggs, 1/2 cup of cocoa powder, and 1 TBSP of vanilla. Whisk it good. Or until smooth. Your call.
  4. Now, while you’re continuing to mix / whisk in perhaps a slightly slower manner so as not to splatter your countertops with brownie batter, slowly pour the butter / sugar mixture into the eggs and cocoa. Whisk until combined.
  5. Slowly add in the flour, 1 tsp of espresso powder, the baking powder, and the 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in one cup of the chocolate chips (I use a spatula for this part), then pour the batter into the pre-prepared tin.
  7. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until a shiny crust has formed on top of those perfect lil babes. This is a great time to make that icing, which, by the way, should not be applied to brownies that are AT ALL hot.
  8. In a stand mixer or using a hand mixer, whip the two remaining sticks of butter with the powdered sugar until fluffy as a cloud (this usually takes me about three to five minutes on a pretty high speed).
  9. While you’re doing that, melt the extra cup of chocolate chips in a microwavable bowl, then set aside to cool slightly.
  10. Add the remaining vanilla and cocoa powder to the icing mixture, and mix to combine, then drizzle in the melted chocolate.
  11. Whip it good, then spread evenly on top of the cooled brownies. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt, then die of happiness.
Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

For digging in while you have the campfire movie on Netflix.

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

By , February 11, 2019

As campfire-friendly as this seems, it kind of ends up being a very indulgent treat to enjoy in your city apartment. My favorite ice cream to throw on top is cookies and creme because I am a savage dessert girl.

Makes: 10-12 servings

Cast Iron Skillet Brownies

Prep time:

Cook time:

Ingredients:
  • 1 and 1/2 cups of unsalted butter (i.e. three sticks), room temperature
  • 4 cups of white sugar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 cup of cocoa powder
  • 2 TBSP of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsps of espresso powder
  • 1 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of kosher salt
  • 2 cups of chocolate chips

Instructions:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350, and grease and line a 12" cast iron skillet.
  2. In a medium saucepan, combine the butter and the sugar. Set over a low to medium heat, and stir occasionally to mix evenly. Try not to think about the amount of butter in front of you. When it’s all shiny and melty and definitely not bubbling yet, remove from heat and set aside. Turn off the stove, also. Double check to make sure. Just me? Okay.
  3. While that ish is cooling, get a large bowl and add the eggs, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Whisk it good. Or until smooth. Your call.
  4. Now, while you’re continuing to mix / whisk in perhaps a slightly slower manner so as not to splatter your countertops with brownie batter, slowly pour the butter / sugar mixture into the eggs and cocoa. Whisk until combined.
  5. Slowly add in the flour, espresso powder, baking powder, and kosher salt, and mix until just combined.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips (I use a spatula for this part), then pour the batter into the skillet.
  7. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until a shiny crust has formed on top of the skillet and a knife inserted into the brownies comes out clean. This may take you longer than 70 minutes depending on your oven and the depth of your skillet. It's worth the wait.
  8. When done, top with ice cream and serve while still hot, being careful to use oven mitts lest you burn the crap out of your fingers.

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