Sunday, March 13, 2011

Birthday Brownies & Beauty and the Beast

Who didn't dream of being a princess as a little girl?  With a glistening tiara, heavenly voice, and gorgeous ball gown, Disney Princesses are idols for kids all over the world.  It just so happens that they aren't idolized by kids, but teenagers too.  Specifically high school drama students.  Since September, I have been practicing my ass off for our school production of Beauty and the Beast, which has taken up SO much time, especially in the past couple of months, that I haven't had any time to bake or post anything up in this blog. I'm sorry about that!  But what it has taught me was that magic does exist, and regardless of being such a time consuming project, in the end tears flowed from my eyes like water out of a fountain - they couldn't be stopped.  So for our last performance, I decided to get everyone sugar high on brownies - with icing! I used a recipe that I've previously tried, and succeeded! But since I ran out of time for decorating, I have no pictures of the Beauty and the Beast brownie cake.  (not really a cake but I'm calling it one because I made it in a 9 x 13 inch pan.

These brownies are delicious, I always get good remarks out of them.  The icing on the brownies were not needed because the brownies were so good on their own, but icing does make a difference and makes it more like a cake!

They were VERY tender, moist, with a crispy crust... everything that a brownie can ask for.  They weren't overly sweet, or as thick as a brick, they were the perfect combination of everything.  And I'm sure the other 72 040 people who saved this on Allrecipes agrees with me.

I found this recipe on Allrecipes, and decided to give it a try. It's called "Best Brownies", and though they were pretty darn delicious, I don't know if they were the best brownies I've ever had.  Mainly because I rarely have brownies, but also because this is just one recipes out of a million that I've tried.  Hopefully I'll get to another brownie recipe soon and I'll do a comparison.

Adapted from Allrecipes

I made these brownies for my sister's advisory class for her birthday, everyone enjoys cake, and I enjoy baking so what a better excuse to stay up late baking? Especially for your sister because then she has to treat you nicely otherwise she knows you wont do something like this again.  But what she doesn't know is that I'll take any excuse to bake.

I'm sorry the lighting it terrible in the above picture 
(It's also my camera, I don't have a pro one yet)


  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour an 8 inch square pan.

  1. In a large saucepan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat, and stir in sugar, eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat in 1/3 cup cocoa, 1/2 cup flour, salt, and baking powder. Spread batter into prepared pan.
  2. Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes. Do not overcook.
  3. To Make Frosting: Combine 3 tablespoons butter, 3 tablespoons cocoa, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1 cup confectioners' sugar. Frost brownies while they are still warm.

I doubled the recipe (except I used 2-3 eggs) and made it into a 9x13 inch brownie. I also added a tablespoon (or more if preferred) to the icing to make it more spreadable since I found that it was too thick to spread.  The icing also was VERY sweet, so if you like a less-sweet icing I suggest trying this one instead:

Adapted from Bakingdom, who got it from The Pioneer Woman's recipe "The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.

This was the icing recipe that I used for the second time I made this brownie.  The first time I used the icing recipe that came with the "Best Brownie" recipe, but I decided to change it up for this time and found this alternative recipe that I thought was better!

3/4 cup, plus 2 tablspoons (1 3/4 sticks or 14 tablspoons)unsalted butter

1/2 cup cocoa powder
6 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups confectioners’ sugar

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
2. Remove from heat and stir in the cocoa powder until fully incorporated. Add the milk, vanilla, and salt whisking to thoroughly combine.
3. Add the confectioners’ sugar, 1 cup at a time, mixing until fully incorporated and smooth.

The original recipe said to use nuts in the icing, but I omitted the nuts and just made a plain chocolate icing.

So I challenge you to find a better brownie recipe (perhaps the one from Bon Appetit magazine is better?) and share your thoughts on this brownie recipe, other brownie recipes, and icing recipes.

Don't forget to watch the Disney classic Beauty and the Beast while enjoying your brownies :)


  1. These really sound delicious. This is my first visit to your blog and I've spent some time browsing through your earlier entries. I'm so glad I did. I really like the food and recipes you feature for your readers. I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  2. Thank you! I took a look at your blog and found some unique and amazing looking recipes that I cannot wait to try!