You Can Have My Mini Offset Spatula

When you pry it out of my freakishly strong, heat-resistant fingers! Or you can leave a comment on this post and Lissa will put your name in the hat to win one for your very own. J

Welcome to the kitchen! It’s always been one of my favorite places to be, even before I met my husband in culinary school. Since then, I’ve done more baking than cooking and I always have a mini offset spatula close at hand. Anything you can do with a butter knife or a spoon, you can do better with a mini offset: frost cupcakes, mix color into icing, spread melted chocolate on a crust, fix decorating mistakes, spread batter in a pan, etc. At the moment, I have four in my toolbox and one in my purse. You never know when a baking emergency might crop up!

I often have baking emergencies, although they usually take the form of needing something impressive and fast for a function that I forgot to write down on the calendar. When this happens, I usually make brownies. Serious brownies. Hardcore brownies. Brownies that inspire the NEED for a cup of coffee or a glass of milk. Sometimes both. My brownies can be whipped up in an hour, including baking time, but I never feel like I’ve “lamed out” when I make them. This recipe offers two excellent opportunities to use your mini offset spatula: when you spread them in the pan and when you frost them. Bonus! J

 

Decadent Brownies

Soooo good, they are worth every calorie. Every. Single. One.

Oven temperature: 325

Pan: 13X9

Bake time: 40 minutes

 

2 sticks unsalted butter

18 ounces semi-sweet chocolate

2 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped

1 ½  cups granulated sugar

6 large eggs

1 Tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup flour

a serious pinch of salt

Optional: 1 cup nuts or dried fruit

Also optional: Powdered sugar, store-bought frosting

 

Spray your pan with pan-spray or, if you want to cut them beautifully, line the pan with parchment, making sure the parchment extends over opposing edges by at least 2 inches.

In the top of a double boiler, melt the chocolates with the butter.

Stir in the sugar.

Stir in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add the vanilla.

Then add the flour.

Mix vigorously for one minute.

Scrape into the pan. Smooth the top. Bake for about 40 minutes, until they feel set in the center.

Let cool. If you used parchment, pull them out of the pan and onto a cutting board. Cut into portions.

Easy Finish: sprinkle with a light dusting of powdered sugar.

The Extra Mile: Frost these bad boys with store-bought chocolate fudge frosting or make chocolate ganache and glaze them. It makes cutting the brownies a hair more challenging, but in the best possible way.

Never Let Them See You Sweat: Pipe a rosette of frosting on top of each brownie and garnish with anything that strikes your fancy. I’ve use gummi candies, pieces of candy bars, bouncy balls and chocolate covered coffee beans. Yum!

What’s your favorite last minute dessert? Or do you have a kitchen tool you can’t live without? What is it? I’m always looking for great recipes and useful gadgets! Leave us a comment and Lissa will pick one lucky winner of a mini offset spatula. Happy baking!

Scrumptious Blurb

Joe Rafferty is just as mouthwatering as the food he cooks. But if he thinks he’s going to waltz in and take over her kitchen, he’s denser than a thick slice of chocolate ripple cheesecake. Marly has invested too much of her life in Chameleon to hand off the restaurant to someone else—especially a cocky-as-all-get-out superstar chef. But there’s no denying the man knows how to light her fire. Question is: Can she have the sizzle without feeling the burn?

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About Amanda Usen

Amanda Usen knows two things for certain: chocolate cheesecake is good for breakfast and a hot chef can steal your heart. Her husband stole hers the first day of class at the Culinary Institute of America. Amanda spends her days teaching pastry arts classes and her nights writing romance. If she isn’t baking or writing, she can usually be found chasing the kids around the yard with her very own scrumptious husband. Visit her at http://www.amandausen.com if you’d like to chat about romance, writing or recipes.