This weekend, along with Stephanie Cookies, I decided to be more adventurous in my baking- going well beyond my comfort zone- for a birthday party I was attending; another student is my program was hosting a birthday party for her husband. Not only did I want to make something for the party, but I felt baking was long overdue. Although I enjoyed making non-desserts for my blog, I was really missing baking. So along with cookies inspirted by Stephanie, I wanted to make brownies, because I realized other than bars, I had not made brownies for my blog. Sadly, Im not sure if this turned out as I imagined but I'm glad I can check off making brownies (though I will for sure be making more- one can always use the practice in making brownies).
Alright- so now to the fun fact: Mixing. When mixing dry ingredients with wet ingredients, you do not want to overmix. In fact several times, I use the term mix until just well incorporated. Several bakers even suggest mixing dry ingredients in by hand so as not to overmix. However, if using an electric mixer, one must just be very careful to make sure to mix, just enough. Why is this important? Over mixed dry ingredients will overdevelop the gluten. What does that mean? Well, over developed gluten will toughen the baked good. Lesson from this post: never over mix the batter- just until youdo not see any powder left :) I mean, who wants tough baked goods?
Preheat Oven to 375F Degrees
FOR THE BROWNIE BASE
1 c. Butter (2 stick, softened, room temperature)
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flower
3/4 c. cocoa powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2/3 c. almonds (chopped, slivers)
1/2 c. chocolate chips
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 c. all purpose flour
1 (7oz) package sweetened shredded coconut (keep 1/2 for garnish)
2, large milk chocolate Hershey Bars
2 tbsp. shortening
For the chocolate brownie base: cream butter and sugar (for a good 6-8 minutes). Mix in eggs (at room temperature), one at a time, until well incorporated. Set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together all purpose flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking soda. Mix together with wet ingredients unitl just well incorporated. Then add almonds and chocolate chips. Bake for 12 minutes and allow to cool, until a bit hardened.
For coconut topping, mix eggs and sugar. Then add vanilla, all purpose flour and shredded coconut (remember to keep 1/2 c. for garnish). Wet your hands and then place mixture of wax paper, press down to create a square. Then gently place ontop of brownie base. Bake for an additional 25-30 minutes. If you do not wait for the brownie base to cool, the coconut mixture will sink down. Once baked, allow to completely cool. Then cut into small squares (I suggest 20).