Inspired by posts from Briarrose at Flour Dusted and Lindsey at Gingerbread Bagels, I decided to bake some brownies. Until now I’d only made them from a box, (spank my hands). With an arsenal of cookbooks at my disposal I set out in search of the perfect brownie recipe. The choices were dizzying! With nuts and without. Blondies, brunettes, and a few red headed velvets thrown in for good measure. Cream cheese, crème de Menthe, coconut or marshmallows. Which one shall I choose?
I thought of taking the easy route and duplicating Lindsey’s Ghiradelli Almond Brownies, Or Briarrose’s Two Layer Peanut Butter Brownies. But nooooooo, I had to choose the mother of all brownie recipes. It was originally created by Donald Barickman, co-owner of the Magnolias, in Charleston, South Carolina, and is from Southern Living 1997 Annual Recipes.
This recipe used a cazillion bowls, cups, and measuring spoons. My kitchen looked like a chocolate war zone and let me tell you a glass of Merlot was in order when I was done. Whew, it was a ton of work! Ah, but the reward was totally awesome. This is a chocolate lover’s fantasy. Three types of chocolate, cream cheese, caramel and chocolate sauces. Pure Nirvana. Hope you’re ready for this.
4 – 1oz squares unsweetened chocolate
4 – 1oz squares semisweet chocolate
1/3 cup butter
2 – 3oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
¼ cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar, divided
6 large eggs, divided
1 tsp vanilla
2 TBS all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups (9 oz) semisweet chocolate chips, divided
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Microwave first 3 ingredients in a 1 qt bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until melted, stirring mixture once and cool. I opted to chop the chocolate for a quicker and smoother melt. Yeah it was more work than necessary but I considered it a good arm workout.
Beat cream cheese and ¼ cup butter at medium speed until creamy; gradually add ½ cup sugar and beat well, about 5 minutes. Add 2 eggs, one at a time, beating until well blended. Stir in 1 tsp vanilla. Fold in 2 TBS flour and ½ cup chocolate chips and set aside.
Beat remaining 4 eggs in a large bowl at medium speed, gradually add remaining 1 ½ cups sugar, beating well. Add melted chocolate and 2 tsp vanilla; beat until well blended. Combine 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt and fold into chocolate batter. Then stir in remaining 1 cup of chocolate chips. The batter is pretty thick at this point.
Reserve 3 cups of batter, and spread remaining batter evenly in a greased 9×13 “ pan. Spreading the remaining batter was a bit challenging because there wasn’t much and it was thick. Pour cream cheese mixture over chocolate batter. Top with reserved chocolate batter and swirl with a knife.
Bake at 325° for 40 – 45 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Be sure and use a timer, you don’t want the brownies to overcook. Cut into squares. Top with ice-cream, and serve with caramel and chocolate sauce. Yield: 1 ½ dozen.
½ cup butter
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup whipping cream
½ tsp vanilla
Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; add sugar, and cook stirring constantly, until mixture comes to a boil. Gradually add cream, vanilla and salt, stirring constantly. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, of course, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Makes 1 ½ cups.
1 cup whipping cream
8 – 1oz squares semisweet chocolate, chopped
Bring cream to a boil in a heavy saucepan and then remove from heat. Add chocolate, stirring until it melts. Makes 1 ¾ cups.