Cleaning Out The Pantry
Sunday I had a craving for something, but for the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I wanted. Weather in sunny South Florida was freezing (I know—50’s is all in the eyes of the beholder; I was freezing), so I needed to work with the ingredients I had in the pantry. The thought of bundling up like Nanook of the North was not appealing to me.
Shoshana and Samuel were pushing for muffins, but I wanted something sweeter. I had several bags of sweetened coconut, so I suggested coconut cupcakes. They nixed that idea.
Once I reached brain freeze, I went to Plan B, the Internet. I found a recipe that had tweaking potential, and gave me hope for using up my ingredients and satisfying my hunger.
Recently, I had a German Chocolate Cake from The Sugar Monkey, an uber bakery in West Palm Beach. This is not one of my usual go-to desserts, but something about the memory of this cake stayed with me and I immediately knew what I wanted to make.
A traditional German Chocolate Cake is a chocolate cake with a very sweet coconut-pecan frosting. I had always taken for granted that a German Chocolate Cake originated in Germany. Boy, was I wrong. An American named Sam German developed a sweet, dark chocolate for Baker’s Chocolates back in 1852; someone then used for this chocolate for a cake and thus the name was born.
German-Chocolate-Cake Brownies have a brownie layer that is moist and chocolatey; but it is the top layer that makes the brownies unique. By combining brown sugar and butter with coconut, pecans, chocolate chips and a hint of salt, you end up with a nice, toasty crust.
Fortunately, German-Chocolate-Cake Brownies are not overly sweet, but rather they are the perfect combination of sweet and satisfying. I can’t think of a more tasteful way to clean out the pantry.
|German-Chocolatish-Cake Brownies|| || |
- ¾ cup sweetened flaked coconut
- ¾ cup pecans, chopped
- ¾ cup semisweet chocolate chips
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- ⅔ cup all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 10 tablespoons (1 stick plus 2 tablespoons) unsalted butter
- 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
- 1-1/3 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and flour an 8” x 8” baking pan and set aside.
- For the topping:
- Combine the coconut, pecans, chocolate chips and salt together in a small bowl. Mix in brown sugar and then the melted butter. Set aside.
- For the brownie:
- Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
- Microwave the butter and unsweetened chocolate together in a medium bowl. Stir until smooth. Using a wooden spoon, blend in the sugar.
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Stir in the dry ingredients. Use a rubber spatula for the final mixing, scraping the bowl down as needed.
- Pour the brownie layer into the prepared pan. Spoon the topping over and gently press down.
- Bake in 350º for 35-40 minutes, until a cake tester comes out clean. After the initial 20 minutes, rotate the pan and tent with aluminum foil to prevent the topping from burning.
- Cool completely on a cooling rack. Once the brownies are cool, cut into 16-20 brownies.
- Betsy's tidbits:
- I use Pan Grease to grease my baking pan. Butter and flour work, too.
- If your cake tester does not come out clean at 40 minutes, remove the brownies anyway or else they will be overdone.