Friday, October 16, 2009
I had a busy day of cooking/baking last night with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers soup swap/Oktoberfest tonight and my husband needing a batch of Halloween Cupcakes for his boss' birthday plus there are hungry coworkers expecting cookies! The charity cookie recipe I chose this week was one that I felt originally sounded on the verge of gross. Ginger Brownies! Doesn't that sound somewhat odd... a peculiar combination? I can't say I've had chocolate and ginger before but these had good reviews and Martha's claim of them being easy to put together also sounded good. This is another recipe from Martha Stewart's Cookies book, which is where most of my Cookies for a Cause recipes are coming from since there are so many delicious looking cookies inside that book! I haven't found a recipe in that book that wasn't also on her website for free so don't worry if you don't have the book.
Most of Martha's brownie recipes call for an 8x8 pan. I guess I like generous portions but that sounds like 4 or 6 brownies to me, so I figured I should double that just to fill a 9x13, and then double it again to make the normal amount I bring in for Cookies for a Cause at work. Then with the Michigan Lady Food Bloggers event, I thought "all that soup and beer, maybe we'll also want something sweet?" and these are ladies with sophisticated palettes, so I felt they deserved another double batch at least. So, I was "sextupling" the recipe!
I calculated out all of the "6 x" ingredient amounts and then thought "having to break this into thirds sounds like a pain plus I'm not sure I have anything that will hold this much" so I decided to do two stages of Ginger Brownies and do a quadruple batch followed by another double batch. I recalculated the quadruple amounts for all ingredients and made a stupid mistake.... Instead of 2/3 * 4 = 8/3, I calculated this to be 4/3 so we were missing some flour. Of course I didn't realize this until I was making batch #2 and low-flour batch #1 was already baking in the oven! Argh!! Oh well, too late. At least the third batch would be right, and I decided to keep it for the MLFBers since they likely have more discerning taste buds compared to my ever-hungry-eat-anything stinky-fish-microwaving coworkers.
Once both batches were out and cooled down, I tried one from the Evil-Not-Enough-Flour Batch.. hmm.. pretty darned fudgy, moist and delicious. I then tried a bite from the normal batch.. they were slightly taller and had a smoother consistency and held together better but pretty much the same flavor, so the first batch was still going to go for charity cookies and it wasn't a total waste, yay!
Now about the strange chocolate/ginger combo - try it, it is delightful! My husband and 2 coworkers hated it but about 25 other people loved it. I just told The Husband he had a simple unsophisticated palette.. I mean.. he doesn't even like peanut butter so I'm not too worried about his opinion. hehe In all seriousness, this is a delicious recipe with a deep dark fudgy chocolate brownie flavor that is highlighted with fresh ginger and wonderful spices. They are quite delicious and if you aren't totally turned off by the idea of ginger/chocolate, I think you will love them like I did.
As far as the charity goes, as usual, 100% of the money collected went to a charity of my choice. Today we raised $31.35 for Forgotten Harvest which is a wonderful charity that collects unused foods from grocery stores and restaurants to donate to food shelters and those in need in Metro Detroit. That brings the amount of money I've raised for charity to a fabulous new total: $353.95! Woo hoo, we're over $350. I also had a few "IOUs" so I know a few more bucks are coming our way.
My coworkers probably never knew they were this generous and I've tried many new wonderful recipes in the mean time so it's a win-win situation. I'll keep baking if they keep donating and I look forward to seeing the progress we'll have made by the end of the year. Thanks for looking!
Chocolate Ginger Brownies
As seen on Martha Stewart's website here.
Makes 16 (or like 6 for a decent size)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, plus more for baking dish
3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 cup sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon grated peeled fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Butter an 8-inch square baking dish. Line bottom with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches to hang over 2 sides. Butter parchment; set aside. Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat, and stir in remaining ingredients.
Pour batter into prepared dish. Smooth top with a rubber spatula. Bake until a cake tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs, 30 to 35 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack 15 minutes. Lift out, and let cool completely on rack. Cut into sixteen 2-inch squares. Brownies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 days.
Posted by Kitchen Bliss! at Friday, October 16, 2009