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Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Bittersweet Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Hello Frosting Fans!

I made another frosting recently that I think you’ll enjoy! This one I used food coloring to dye a green, to go with my friend’s Birthday Cupcakes, since that is her favorite color. But that part is definitely optional!

Bittersweet Chocolate Buttercream – YUM!

To start, if you do want to use food coloring, I highly recommend you get this from Hobby Lobby, or this one from Michael’s, or something similar from whatever crafting store you frequent! I prefer the Wilton Icing Color Set, but the Duff’s will work just as well!

Wilton Green Icing Color

So to make this delicious and pretty confection, I started with the basics for any self-respecting buttercream frosting: creaming 1 cup of slightly softened unsalted butter with 2 tspn vanilla extract and 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder until nice and smooth. Once this is smoothed out, add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and another 1/4 cup of unsweetened cocoa powder and mix on high speed until well blended. Once this gets to a smooth state, IF you need it a little thicker, then add in another 1/2 – 3/4 cup of powdered sugar by 1/4 cup increments, and blend until smooth.

To color: Take a fresh toothpick, swirl it in your food coloring until you have a pretty good and thick layer on your toothpick, and ‘wipe it off’ into your frosting. I basically took the lower half of a toothpick and got a gob of green on it, had the mixer still going and so swirled the green into the frosting as it mixed in, literally wiping off the frosting on the toothpick (with the extra coloring included) to keep mixing it. I ended up doing this process 3 times – I used one toothpick on either end, plus one side of another toothpick, to get the desired color which is pictured above. Store in a bag and let it cool for at least 2 hours, or overnight. If it’s solid, just let it sit for 5 minutes and come to room temp before putting onto your cupcakes or cakes!

Frosted and delicious!

NOTE: You don’t want to keep dipping your toothpick end you’re using into the color repeatedly, because it will leave behind the frosting residue, which could cause bacteria and contamination on future uses for other frostings!

The flavor of this frosting comes out very bittersweet, but still incredibly chocolate-deliciously. It is not overly chocolatey (though adding more chocolate would fix that), and it’s not overly sweet, but it’s just a perfect meld of bittersweet chocolate. I hope you enjoy this, and please let me know you’re

Craft You Later,
Beth

Baking Is Science For Hungry People: Snickers Brownies

Hello again baking fiends!

I was browsing around Pinterest the other day and found a link to this Snickers Brownie recipe from Jasey’s Crazy Daisy!

Holy droolfest. I love Snickers. To my mind, it has chocolate which is good for your mental state, caramel which is good for your stress levels, nuts which are good for your health, and nougat which just makes it all taste good. (I don’t care what you say, that is my story and I am sticking to it!!!!) And make it into a brownie? Ambrosia!

Snickers Brownie Heaven!

After tricking my coworkers into the Fudgy Black Bean Brownies a few weeks ago, I had to swear on my life that there was nothing ‘weird’ in these ones. I didn’t have time for weird, this brownie had a LOT going on of its own!

Disclaimer: while I stuck mostly to the Jasey recipe, I did make a few changes. Shocking, isn’t it?!? 😉

First:
Take a box of Betty Crocker Fudgy Brownie mix and mix in 2 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 2/3 cup canola/blended oil and 1/4 cup (or thereabouts) of Hot Fudge Sauce (y’know, the ice cream topping stuff? yeah, that.) that is at room temperature. Mix well.

Brownie Batter!

I baked 2 8×8 pans, wanting one for work and one for home. That said, I baked these for 24 minutes, then turned the oven off and let them sit for 3 minutes then removed them from the oven to let them cool completely. Perfecto!

While that is baking, make your peanut butter nougat filling! Take out a saucepan over medium heat and melt 1/4 cup (half a stick) of unsalted butter. Once that’s fully melted, add in 1 cup sugar and 1/4 cup (2 oz) evaporated milk, stirring until fully incorporated. Next add in 1 1/2 jars of Jet Puffed Marshmallow Crème (7 oz jars), and stir constantly (this will bubble, so the stirring is key). Gradually add in 1/2 cup crunchy peanut butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract. (This differs from the recipe greatly). Stir until completely smooth. Remove from heat and keep stirring. After about 2 minutes of cooling time, pour this into a small mixing bowl, stirring every 3-4 minutes.

Peanut Butter Nougat!

Now make your caramel sauce. To do this, put that saucepan (rinsed out) back on the burner set at medium-low (more low), and pour in 1 14-oz can of Sweetened Condensed milk. I typically use the reduced fat or fat free kind. Add 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of unsalted butter, and stir every few minutes. This will take about 25 minutes to complete. It should start to gradually boil, and you will need to stir it more for about the last 8 minutes. Taste as this will let you know when it’s perfect. WARNING: It WILL be extremely hot!

Homemade Caramel Sauce!

As your brownies have cooled, and your caramel is going, top the brownies with the peanut butter nougat, spreading evenly. Put in the freezer for 15 minutes to set it.

Peanut Butter Nougat Topping!

Once the 15 minutes is up, your caramel should be about ready. Remove the caramel from the burner and let sit about 3 minutes, stirring once. Take your brownies out of the freezer (nougat will be slightly spongy but firm) and top with a thin layer of caramel sauce, spreading evenly. Stick back into the freezer for another 15 minutes.

Caramel Topping!

For your chocolate topping, rinse out your saucepan again and then set it on medium heat with 10oz bittersweet chocolate chips and 1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter in the pan. Stir occasionally until this is a smooth and creamy blend of yumminess, then remove from heat and let sit 2 minutes.

Caramel Topping!

Remove the brownies from the freezer and top with an even layer of the chocolate topping. Cover and put in the fridge overnight, or at least 2 hours, to let set. Keep cool as this will melt and it’ll already be super gooey when it’s just out of the fridge! 😉

Finished Snickers Brownie!

Minus one slice!

Disclaimer: this is VERY thick and VERY sweet, so smaller pieces are best for serving….with a drink handy! Everyone LOVED them at work, though the consensus was that these are high enough in sugar to put you into a sugar coma easily! Hope you enjoy, though, and let me know if you try them, and what you think!

Craft You Later,
Beth

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