Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Brownie Bites

I can't believe it's been almost a month since I last posted. Today, the move out of my Harrisonburg apartment finally finished! I'm settling into my new apartment- so far, so good!
I made these brownie bites a while ago, for my friend Rekik's graduation party. They're my favorite brownie recipe, cut into itty bitty pieces, with vanilla bean buttercream on top. Um, hi.

I'm hoping that once I'm all settled and things are semi-normal, I'll be able to post more regularly, get into a groove again.
This buttercream frosting is truly the best frosting in the world. I've eaten soooo much frosting in my life, and this is the most consistently delicious, perfect recipe I've ever had the pleasure of consuming.
Brownie Bites
Yield: ~2 dozen, depending on how small you cut them
Unsalted butter- 10 tbsp (1 stick + 2 tbsp)
Sugar- 1 1/4 c
Unsweetened cocoa powder- 3/4 c + 2 tbsp (Dutch process or Natural is fine)
Salt- 1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract- 1/2 tsp
Large eggs- 2, cold
Flour- 1/2 c
1. Combine buttersugarcocoa and salt in a medium heatproof bowl. Set over a small saucepan of barely simmering water. Stir occasionally until butter is melted and the mixture is smooth and hot. 
3. Remove bowl from the skillet, and let cool for ~5 minutes until warm but not hot. Note: It will look kinda gritty at this point, don't panic!
4. Stir in vanilla with a spoon or spatula. Add eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each addition. At this point it should look well-blended, shiny and thick. 
5. Stir in flour until completely blended, then stir vigorously ~40 strokes. Stir in nuts if using.
6. Prep an 8x8" square pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil so it overhangs on two opposite sides. Spread batter evenly in pan and bake at 325 degrees F for ~20 minutes. The tester should come out moist but not drenched.
7. Let brownies cool slightly, then stick in the fridge for ~15 minutes. 
Vanilla Bean Buttercream
Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks)
Powdered sugar- 3 c
Vanilla bean paste- 1 tbsp (or the scrapings of one vanilla bean)
Milk- 1 tbsp
Pinch of salt
1. Cream butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (paddle attached) until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. 
2. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time (use the splash guard that came with the mixer, you'll thank me later). 
3. Add vanilla bean paste, milk and salt. Beat until very well blended. 
4. Switch to the whisk attachment, and beat for 1-2 minutes. 

Take the brownies out of the fridge and remove them from the pan. Spread buttercream, then stick them back in the fridge for 10 minutes. Remove, then cut them into small pieces. 

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