Hey! Easter happened! Just in case you didn't know.
This year was different for me. I do believe, for the first time, my grandma forgot to hide candy around her house. Ok, yeah, my sisters and I are a wee bit old for that, but she's always done it. Always. Same hiding places, every time.
This lady has never accepted change well, but she is good to us.
Easter baskets are also a big deal. And they also consistently contain the same candy. It's all good though, I know Easter's not all about freaky bunnies and Peeps. So I accept my basket with grace and swallow down some bland, tinfoil-wrapped chocolates.
Seriously, she must buy those things in bulk and then parcel them out for a few years. You can tell when they get to that third year. I'm not a huge chocolate freak (though it entirely depends on the time of month), but I do like it. And if I'm going to indulge, I want it to be good.
That makes me sound like a spoiled brat, don't judge. I've just got an acute sense of taste. If I didn't, this blog probably wouldn't be in existence.
This year, I was determined to do something about this stale chocolate business. Among the same ol' yellow easter grass lay the numerous foiled Kisses, eggs, and bunny shapes. I knew they'd end up in the garbage, or possibly in my digestive system...if I got a desperate enough craving. No no, bad.
So I chopped them up. And made brownies. Yeah! Ferrealz. When in doubt, smother everything in brownie batter. Works like a charm. Throw in your old malted milk eggs, those weird crispy chocolate-y things, stale peep chunks (except those should be eaten by the fistful, what in the heck are you doing with those lying around?), I don't care!
Just maybe steer clear of the jelly beans...
The brownie base I used was simple and pretty old school, but it was the perfect combo. Dense, fudge-y brownies with a beautiful, crackly crust; studded with chunks of softened milk chocolate...seriously the perfect touch for any dark, rich brownie.
These beauties don't lie, they're every bit as good as they look. Just ask my currently growling stomach and stimulated salivary glands. This coming from the girl who's not a huge chocolate freak. I can't get enough of those creamy morsels.
Obviously, these aren't restricted to just leftover Easter stuff. If massive amounts of chocolate are ever thrust upon you, that forgotten stash turns up, your lover gets you the wrong brand on Valentine's (picky, picky), or Halloween was just waaay too chocolate-y, these brownies are for you. Chop it, bake it, eat it (bop it!).
No one really has to know what your "secret ingredient" is, that knowledge is safe with me. Trust.
Leftover Chocolate Chunk Brownies
Yield: one 9x13" pan
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter
- 3/4 cup cocoa powder
- 2 tbsp. strong coffee or water (optional, if water, add 1/2 tsp. of instant espresso powder to the cocoa)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp, baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- About 1 cup coarsely chopped chocolate candies (or whatever you have on hand)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13-inch baking pan.
Combine butter and cocoa powder (also add the optional instant espresso powder if you like, if you're adding water instead of coffee) in a heatproof bowl, and place over a pot of simmering water. Make sure that the simmering water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Add the coffee or water and stir to melt the ingredients.
In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs and the sugar until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract. When the butter and chocolate have melted and come together, slowly stir the chocolate mixture into the sugar mixture. Add the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir to combine. Fold in the chocolate chunks. Pour the batter in the pan.
Bake for 18-25 minutes, or until a thin, sharp knife inserted into the center comes out with just a few crumbs. You want the brownie mostly set and with a nicely-crackled top, the slightly underbaked middle will give you the fudge quality as it cools. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
Sources: adapted from Joy the Baker, who adapted it from Toll House