HERSHEY’S Brownies

I love brownies-but who doesn’t? Whenever I need a quick and easy dessert I use this go to recipe from the HERSHERY website. I almost always have the ingredients on hand and they are always a hit.
This past weekend I offered to bring a dessert to the cousin’s house. Since they were nice enough to put us up and set up the craft fair, this was my little contribution.  I needed something that was easy to transport and something that everyone would enjoy.  I also took a pumpkin chocolate chip loaf and a banana loaf that I baked as a little thank you gift and for her to put away for another day.
All packed up, we headed out. Needless to say the brownies were a hit so I decided to share this easy recipe. It may not replace your favorite brownie recipe but it is nice to have on hand.
hershey-baking-cocoa_sm
 Ingredients

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  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup HERSHEY’S Cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped nuts or chocolate chips (optional)
  • CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING (recipe follows)

Directions

Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 9-inch square baking pan. Stir together butter, sugar and vanilla in bowl.

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Add eggs; beat well with spoon. Stir together flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually add to egg mixture, beating until well blended.

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Stir in nuts, if desired. Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. I don’t have a square pan at the moment so used a cake pan. It worked just fine.

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I decided to top with mini chocolate chips before baking and skip the frosting.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack.

Prepare CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING if desired; spread over brownies. Cut into squares. Makes 16 brownies.

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(They were gone before I could get a picture of the chewy goodness on the inside!)

CREAMY BROWNIE FROSTING

(optional)

3 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened

3 tablespoons HERSHEY’S Cocoa

1 tablespoon light corn syrup or honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 cup powdered sugar

1 to 2 tablespoons milk

Beat butter, cocoa, corn syrup and vanilla in small bowl until blended. Add powdered sugar and milk;Beat to spreading consistency. About 1 cup frosting.

Enjoy!

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http://www.hersheys.com/pure-recipes/details.aspx?id=5008&name=Best+Brownies

Sugar Cookie Bars for a Crowd

One the second Sunday of the month, our church has a pot luck of sorts. Sometimes it has a specific theme like a taco bar or baked potato bar, and once a year they have a chili cook-off (Thommmee always enters this but has not placed yet much to his dismay). It is a lot of fun. Since we always attend the first service, we join other members of the church in the setting up during the second service for the feast immediately following.  This month I decided to bring a desert to the smorgasbord.  I searched Pinterest for a desert to feed a crowd and came across this sugar cookie bar recipe. I borrowed this from blogspcookinchemistot.com. She has a bunch of really good recipes!

I will have to call this experience a moderate success.  Two problems. I over baked the cookies a bit when I set my oven at 375 instead of 350 degrees. They were a bit dry (not too bad though). I think the 350 degrees would have worked just fine. Since I have a slow oven, I always cook my food for the maximum recommended time. 20 minutes might have made a difference. Second, I did not have two cups of butter for the frosting so I decreased the recipe by half and had a light layer of frosting. I don’t like a highly frosted cookie anyway. It worked out fine for the taste part of the cookie but not so much so much for the visual presentation. Also, I decided to use a few drops of yellow food coloring thinking it was a spring color. It appeared to be lemon which it was not! All that being said, they were not an overly sweet cookie and had a great flavor. The frosting was wonderful!  They were easy to make and definitely able to feed a crowd. Good luck with this and please don’t let me discourage you from giving it a try.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ingredients:
Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda

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Frosting:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tsp. vanilla extract
pinch of salt
4-5 cups powdered sugar
5 Tbsp. milk (I used almond milk)
food coloring, if desired

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. I used my  hand electric mixer since this is the only one I have.

sugar cookie bars.

 Add eggs, mixing one at a time until well combined. Mix in vanilla. In a separate  bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking soda. Add to the butter mixture until just combined. Grease a large rimmed baking sheet (10×15-inch) with nonstick spray. Gently spread the dough over the sheet.

cookie bars

Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the edges of the bars are just beginning to brown. Place on a wire rack to cool.

While the bars are cooling, beat the butter in a large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Mix in vanilla and salt. Add powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, alternating with a little milk. Mix until smooth and spreadable, but sturdy. Add a few drops of food coloring if desired. Spread over the cooled cookie bars (only after they are completely cool).

Cut and enjoy!

 
 
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Yogurt and Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

I borrowed this from a  great blog I have followed.  Although it was not what I would consider a ‘guiltless’ dessert, it was certainly worth the indulgence. (You may want to check out her blog. She has some great recipes!

http://simplymadekitchenandcrafts.com/2014/03/03/yogurt-and-cinnamon-apple-coffee-cake/)

Yogurt and Cinnamon Apple Coffee Cake

1 1/2 cups vanilla yogurt

2/3 cup oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

 1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

4 small tart apples, peeled, cored, and diced

2 1/2 cups flour

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided

1/2 cup brown sugar

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed.

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Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Lightly spray with cooking spray, a 9×13″ baking pan. Mix together the yogurt, oil, lemon juice, sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl.

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Fold in chopped apples.

(I used 3 large apples instead)

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(I forgot to peel first-much harder my way!)

In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.  Stir into liquid ingredients until no lumps remain. In a small bowl, mix the remaining 2 teaspoons cinnamon with the brown sugar and butter.

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Pour half of the batter into the cake pan. Sprinkle half of the brown sugar mixture onto the cake, pour in remaining batter and sprinkle the remaining mixture on top of the cake. Bake 45-55 minutes until lightly browned.

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Cool before serving.

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Enjoy!

(Seems I must like apple cake as this is my third apple cake recipe!)

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