October 10, 2008

Making Brownies Pretty

I'm going to let you in on a secret today. I have never been able to decorate a cookie or cake or anything for that matter so that it looks "pretty". Oh, sure, I can ice it and make it presentable... but, how I would LOVE to make something show-stopping. Yes, that is one of the things I would really like to be able to do and one of these days I'll take the Wilton class at Michael's and at least learn some basics. If I can just master some simple techiniques, I'll feel like I have really accomplished something!

Now you may be asking yourself, why I am talking about making pretty baked goods? I came across a recipe for Spiderweb Brownies, and just had to make them. Mainly because it included using a toothpick to create these web-like designs on the brownies.

I wouldn't say that this brownie recipe is the best I've made. I tend to like a dense, rich, fudgey brownie. This one was very thin and a bit dry. The ganache on the other hand, did bring it back to life. The ganache was so simple to make - and I never imagined it would be because the name sounds so complicated. Creating the pretty design was much easier than I thought it would be even though it does not exactly match the picture in the cookbook - I'm pretty happy with the results.

spiderweb brownies 2

Looking for some other tasty treats, that are also impressive to look at? Check out these recipes:

Check out the stunning Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake that Susan at Sticky, Gooey, Creamy, Chewy made for her mom.

The Pumpkin Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting that Sophistimom made look so irresistable and perfect for fall.

If you love chocolate and cookie dough (honestly, who doesn't?), then check out My Kitchen Cafe's Cookie Dough Truffles. They look simply addictive!

Spiderweb Bars
Source: The Complete Idiot's Guide to Snack Cakes

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 recipe Chocolate Ganache (recipe follows)

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9x13 pan with non-stick cooking spray

Melt butter and chocolate together over low heat, stirring until completely melted. Remove from heat and beat in sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Sift together baking soda, salt and flour and beat into batter. Transfer to prepared baking pan, spread smoothly, and bake 20-25 minutes until firm. Cool completely.

Using a glass or ceramic dish, melt white chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 5-10 seconds until smooth and lump-free. Set aside.

Pour warm ganache glaze over baked brownies and spread smoothly. Cover the ganache with thin, straight lines of drizzled warm white chocolate, covering the entire surface in one direction.

Quickly use a toothpick to draw perpendicular lines through the white chocolate every one inch. Next, draw the toothpick in the opposite direction between the first lines. Chill at least two hours before cutting into bars.

Chocolate Ganache

Ingredients
8 oz. bittersweet chocolate
1 cup heavy cream

Directions
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring cream to a boil.
Place chocolate in a medium-size bowl. When boiling, pour cream over chocolate, let stand 3-5 minutes, then whisk until smooth.

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14 comments:

Lisa said...

These brownies are very pretty! i need to sharpen up on my decorating skills too.

Kevin said...

That is a really nice topping pattern!

That Girl said...

You're right, these are very attractive.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

Those brownies look beautiful, Patsy! You did a great job with them.

I'm so glad you liked my cheesecake. Thanks for the mention!

Mary said...

How beautiful! I'd ALMOST hate to eat them. Mary

Mallory Elise said...

ahk! gorgeous photo at foodgawker, bravo!!!

Olga said...

gorgeous!!!

wütende Bäckerfrau said...

those look delicious. i always wanted to make spiderweb brownies during halloween. yours look great!

Ingrid said...

Your photo of the ganached topped brownies came out beautiful! I'm not the best when it comes to "swirling" but yours came out fabulous!

~ingrid

Leslie said...

Oh yum! That is a stunning photo!

Prudy said...

Holy Gorgeous! Great work.

Patsyk said...

Thank you, everyone! I must say I was quite proud of how these turned out... I guess there is hope for me aferall! ;)

Andrew Abraham said...

I found you site looking for brownie recipes to compare a brownie recipe that was on recipebuddys.com.... Please advise if you can assist... I would like an opinion on the recipe...thank you in advance...

Jaime said...

wow, i have always been so intimidated to make the pretty swirly pattern - but yours look so perfect!! was it really that easy? :)

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