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Thursday, February 25, 2016

Saucepan Cocoa Brownies


Brownies are a favourite cookie dessert, especially for chocolate lovers.  Now, I'm not a big chocolate lover but I can force down a brownie if given a chance.  For me, the best part is the chewy outside crust which is missing from the brownies cut from the inside when baked in a square pan.  But, if you bake the brownies in a muffin pan, each little brownie is surrounded by the much desired chewy crust.  The muffin pan baked brownies are often referd to as "Two Bite Brownies" but if you gobble them down quickly they could be called "One Gulp Brownies".  Ha, ha.  

I have another great brownie recipe on this blog, Bernice's Easy Brownies, which is made with melted baking chocolate.  These, as you can tell from the title, are made with cocoa.  I don't always have baking chocolate in the cupboard but I always have cocoa on hand.  These Saucepan Cocoa Brownies can be made anytime I need a batch of brownies.  And to make them more appealing, they are made in the same saucepan in which the butter and cocoa are melted--just one pan to wash.

This is one of the recipes I collected when I was babysitting Benjamin while his mother finished her university degree.  The original recipe for Saucepan Cocoa Brownies can be found at RecipeCurio. The recipe was from a 1943 Women's Day Kitchen and according to the information given the entire recipe would have cost 51cents!  Today, that would hardly cover the cost of the eggs.

I've changed the recipe just a little by adding baking powder as an optional ingredient.  It's just a texture preference for me.  

Saucepan Cocoa Brownies
½ cup butter
6 tablespoons baking cocoa
1 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
¾ cup sifted flour
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking powder, optional
½ - 1 cup broken walnuts or pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease or pan spray an 8x8-inch square baking pan or you may also use small muffin pans for two-bite brownies.  Line the square pan with waxed paper or parchment for ease of removal.

Heat butter and cocoa together in saucepan over low heat, stirring out all lumps.  Sift the cocoa if it is very lumpy. Cool the mixture and then beat in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs one at a time, beating until well mixed. Sift flour, salt and baking powder if using and combine with the cocoa mixture. Add the nuts if using and blend well. Turn into prepared pan or muffin cups.   Bake square pan for 25 minutes or until surface is dull.    Remove from oven and let cool a few minutes before turning out on cake rack.  If you leave the parchment paper hang over the pan you can use the paper as handles to lift the brownies from the pan.  Cool completely and cut into squares. Store in tightly closed container. 

For two-bite brownines bake the muffin sized brownies for 10 - 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and let cool about two minutes and then turn out on cooling rack.  

Makes 16 squares or 24 small two-bite brownies.  

The Brownies may be eaten plain or iced with a Chocolate Buttercream Frosting.   


Melt the butter and add the cocoa.  Stir until there are no little lumps of cocoa remaining.  I like to sift cocoa.  Once the cocoa and butter are blended together, mix in the sugar and vanilla.  Let the mixture cool and then beat in the eggs one at a time. 

Sift or mix the flour, salt and baking powder together.  Add to the cocoa mix and blend until no flour remains showing.

If you like nuts in your brownies, add them now.  I didn't put nuts in mine because I was taking them to a church dinner and you never know if someone may have a nut allergy.  When serving them at home I always put walnuts in brownies.

Place the brownie batter into a prepared 8x8-inch pan or in small muffin pans.  I used a heaping tablespoon for each two-bite brownie.

The brownies baked lovely in my little cupcake pans.  If you look closely, you can see, they are pulling away from the sides which indicate they are baked.  Be careful, though, not to overbake brownies.

Each little two-bite brownie has a bite of chewy crust in every mouthful.

 Someone wants four bites!

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