Since I gave birth to my son a year and a half ago, it has really been hard getting back in the kitchen. Now that he’s older, I am starting to be able to cook a little more. But I haven’t baked at all until a few weeks ago.
It was a Tuesday night, and I really wanted a brownie. But I didn’t want to go to a bakery and buy a brownie. I wanted the satisfaction of making my own.
But what kind of brownies? I perused my cookbooks and perused Google. I decided to be ambitious and bake two kinds of brownies. There were a study in contrasts.
The first recipe I tried was one from Epicurious for cheesecake-marbled brownies. I have always loved eating these type of brownies, and while I’ve made many separate batches of brownies and cheesecakes, I’ve never combined the two.
I don’t why, but I was surprised at how easy it was to make the cheesecake brownies. I guess any kind of layering, especially in baking, sounds complex to me, when it really isn’t, especially with this recipe. You just make the brownie batter, put it in a pan, make the cheesecake batter, put that on top of the brownies and then swirl everything together with a knife. A few people on the Epicurious forums suggested adding extra chocolate, which was a really good tip. I think it would not have enough chocolate flavor otherwise.
The second recipe was for Bisquick fudge brownies. This may seem like an odd choice, but I was intrigued by the ingredient list, which included sweetened condensed milk and of course, Bisquick. I wanted to see how it would turn out.
The condensed milk gave the brownies an interesting tang, and a nice fudgey texture. I don’t know if using Bisquick was really necessary (unless you have some in your pantry that you’re trying to get rid of!) Regular all-purpose flour would have been fine, but maybe would have resulted in too-dense brownies.
I had friends, family and co-workers try both kinds of brownies and the cheesecake-marbled brownies were the hands down winner. I don’t think it’s because the Bisquick brownies weren’t good, but they just couldn’t match the powerful combo of gooey chocolate and cheesecake.
While sampling my brownies, one of my colleagues at work said, “You know what the best brownie recipe is? The one on the back of the Baker’s chocolate box.”
So last week, I made those too. I have really missed baking!
The Baker’s one-bowl brownies were the best yet. What I liked most about them was the top of the brownie was crispy, almost like it had a candy coating. And these brownies had the most chocolate flavor of the three I tried. The recipe calls for two cups of sugar, but I feel like one would be plenty. If the brownie was less sweet, I feel like even more of the chocolate-ness would shine through.