Monday, January 11, 2010

Brownie Buttons

This past week has been a huge blur of phone calls and housing arrangements, and it all culminated in a successful weekend in a community called Nof Ayalon. As madrichot, we were responsible to find housing for 75 girls. So we put ourselves out there and called random people we dont know to see if theyd graciously open up their homes to our girls for the weekend. After a week and a half of nos and call backs, we succeeded. Shabbat was tiring but nice and the girls had really good experiences. Me? I was wiped out and so glad it was over. So when I came home Saturday night, the first thing I did was turn on the oven to unwind. (As Shabbat ends so early in the winter, this has become the habit.) I wanted something fast and easy and after making the critically unacclaimed date bars, I decided to go with something chocolate and made these Brownie Buttons from Dorie Greenspan's Baking. They are baked in mini muffin pans and Im not sure exactly why theyre called buttons except to say they are certainly cute as. Even more so when glazed with white chocolate. These were easy to make and yielded 16 mini muffins. These were good and fudgy and because of their size, dont make you feel guilty if you eat more than one. Technically speaking, I omitted the orange zest and although these were a hit, I'm really not sure how I feel about brown sugar in my brownies. I've tried it in Nick Malgieri's Supernatural Brownie recipe ages ago and I wasnt a fan. Same here. Im not sure why, I just feel like it detracts from the chocolate flavor and gives it a different mouthfeel. So the only change I'd make next time, and they are too cute and party-perfect not to make again, is to swap white sugar for the brown.

Brownie Buttons
from Baking:From My Home to Yours

1/4 cup plus 2 tbsp flour
pinch salt
4 tbsp margarine or butter
2 1/2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup light brown sugar, or white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
2 ounces white chocolate, optional

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a 16 mini muffin wells with paper liners. Set aside.

Combine the salt and flour. Set aside.
Place the chocolate, sugar and margarine in a saucepan or microwaveable bowl.
Melt, stirring until completely smooth. Allow to cool for a minute or two.
Add the egg and vanilla,
and blend until smooth.
Add the flour,
and mix to make a smooth, uniform batter.
Using a small disher, scoop the batter into each of the wells.
Bake for 14-16 minutes. 14 minutes will yield fudgier buttons. If desired, melt the white chocolate and glaze the buttons with it. Refrigerate for fifteen minutes to set the chocolate.

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