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Friday, December 4, 2015

Outrageous Brownie Truffles


Have you ever heard of a "happy accident?" Years ago I worked with a woman who had so many of her own sayings, to the point where I labeled them *Meganisms, after her name. I would constantly laugh at the things she would say, but now I find myself repeating everything she did say in my old(er) age. One of her 'isms was "happy accidents." If a mistake was made and we turned it into something good, she would always say "now that is what you call a happy accident!" Last week I was preparing dessert for Thanksgiving dinner, and I was a bit distracted while cooking. My daughter, who almost always takes a nap during the day, decided to refuse a nap that afternoon so I wasn't able to focus on my dessert making. I was making a pumpkin pie, making brownies, and trying to entertain Wendy all at the same time, and I ended up making a pretty big mistake with the brownies. When I took them out of the oven, I could tell something seemed different about the texture, but I couldn't quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me. I was halving a recipe and instead of putting a half pound (2 sticks) of butter in the brownie batter, I had only put in a quarter pound (1 stick). I had it in my head that one stick has 8 tablespoons of butter and translated that into 8 ounces, which is a half pound! I couldn't believe I did it, especially because I have made the brownies several times in the past few months. So, what did I do? At first I thought that the brownies tasted fine, just a little dry, and I was right. But I decided I didn't want dry brownies. So I turned those brownies into brownie truffles! And that, my friends, was a happy accident that occurred in my kitchen. The brownie truffles are even better than the brownies, which are pretty darn good. They are very rich, and you might just need one. My niece, however, exclaimed that she could only eat three (in a matter of five minutes or less) because they were so rich. Here is the recipe for outrageous brownie truffles. Enjoy!

*Note: Name has been changed to protect the anonymity of the individual but the story is true.

Recipe for Outrageous Brownie Truffles

INGREDIENTS:
For the brownies:
One 12 ounce bag of Ghiradelli semisweet chocolate chips
One 10 ounce bag of Ghiradelli bittersweet chocolate chips (you will have a little leftover)
3 eggs
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) of unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. of instant coffee granules
1 Tbsp. of pure vanilla extract (I like Nielsen Massey)
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp. of all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. of baking powder
1/2 tsp. of salt
For the truffle filling:
Cooked brownies
1 stick of unsalted butter, at room temperature
For the truffle coating:
One 9.7 ounce bar of SCHARRFEN BERGER bittersweet (70% cacao) baking chocolate, coarsely chopped

DIRECTIONS:
For the brownies:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 13 x 9 baking pan (mine is 2.75" deep).
Melt the butter, half the bag (6 ounces) of the semisweet chocolate chips and a little over half the bag of bittersweet chocolate chips (about 6 ounces) in a medium saucepan over simmering water. Stir constantly until fully melted and smooth, then remove the saucepan from the heat and allow it to cool slightly.
In a large mixing bowl, gently stir the eggs, coffee granules, pure vanilla extract, and sugar. Then stir the chocolate mixture in and allow it to cool to room temperature.
In a medium bowl, sift together 1/2 cup of the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir in to the chocolate mixture. In a smallish bowl, toss the remaining flour and the rest of the bag of semisweet chocolate chips and about 2 ounces of the bittersweet chocolate chips together. Coat the chocolate chips as well as you can with the flour. Then fold into the chocolate batter. Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared baking pan.
Bake for 20 minutes, and then after 20 minutes, rap the pan against the oven shelf to get air to escape between pan and dough. Then bake for an additional 8 - 12 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted.
Transfer the brownie pan to a cooling rack and allow to cool.
Once brownies are cooled to room temperature (or slightly warmer), scrape all the brownie into a large bowl. Add in the softened butter. Use your hands to work together. Then use an electric hand mixer set on medium low speed and beat until smooth. It should kind of resemble a batter again. Cover the bowl and place in the fridge for a couple hours.
Line a couple freezer safe containers with foil. Use a cookie dough scoop and your hands to form the mixture into 3/4-inch balls. Place each ball into the foil lined containers. Cover containers and place in freezer for several hours, or overnight.
Prepare a double boiler with water. Bring water to a simmer, and then place the bittersweet chocolate in top boiler and melt over the simmering water. Once chocolate is melted, turn off stove heat. Drop one ball at a time into the melted chocolate and use a spoon to coat. Place each coated ball onto a foil lined baking sheet. Place baking sheet in fridge and allow coating to harden before serving. If not serving right away, store in the fridge in airtight containers. Brownie truffles can be served from fridge or at room temperature.

Brownie recipe adapted from: Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies Recipe
Brownie truffles - original recipe.

Recipe makes approximately 3 1/2 - 4 dozen truffles.