Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Summat for the Kids

I didn't get a chance to share with you all the "kid friendly" treat I put out for the people - including my panforte and anything-but-shortbreads-and-chocolate chip cookie-hating sister - on Christmas Eve and tucked into the children's treat bags before the holiday itself rolled around, so what better time than now?
 
I knew that most of the extended family, especially the men (surprisingly) are die-hard chocolate lovers, and even those that don't are hard pressed to pass up a good brownie. These were a little bit on the "adult" side anyways, since I used the delicious 70% bittersweet Lindt bars I picked up on sale as both the "melted" and half of the "chip" components and tossed in some cherry-flavoured dried cranberries too. I didn't want to use nuts, since I wasn't sure what the attendees would either like and/or be allergic to, but some smashed Mini Eggs added a bit of crispness to the batter and lightened up the dark chocolate a touch. I wasn't disappointed - both the batch for the holiday at home and the pan I brought to my hairdresser's disappeared without hesitation. At the salon, one woman even dropped a square, where it landed in her boot, and she grabbed it right out and scarfed it anyways!

Triple Chocolate Brownies
Adapted from Best Recipes Ever
Makes 16
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup butter
1 tbsp honey or corn syrup
2 tbsp whole milk
8.5 oz bittersweet chocolate (I used 70%), chopped, divided
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
½ cup flour
¼ cup chickpea flour
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
½ cup dried cranberries
¼ cup chopped candy-coated milk chocolate (I used frozen Mini Eggs that I smashed) 
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and line a 9” pan with parchment.
  2. In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring sugar, butter, honey and milk to boil, stirring occasionally. 
  3. Stir in 5 oz of the bittersweet chocolate until melted. Remove from heat. 
  4. Let cool 5 minutes, then beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in vanilla.
  5. Stir dry ingredients into chocolate mixture. 
  6. Fold in remaining bittersweet chocolate, cranberries and candy coated milk chocolate.
  7. Bake 30 minutes. Cool completely in the pan on a rack. 
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 199.7
Total Fat: 11.8 g
Cholesterol: 32.9 mg
Sodium: 40.9 mg
Total Carbs: 28.0 g
Dietary Fiber: 1.9 g
Protein: 3.2 g
 
The items I wrapped up for the kids at the shindig were mock candy bars that I had been dying to try out since seeing them on numerous blogs after Hallowe'en. I only ever started to like classic Butterfingers after well into my teens (I wasn't a big "candy bar" fan anyway), and while I adore the peanut butter / chocolate combo I'd much rather have it in cookie or cupcake form than bar. Not to mention, the thought of dealing with anything involving hot sugary substances scares the bejeezus out of me! But the allure of a recipe so dead simple, so inexpensive, and so easy to play with, called to me. I had to try it!

Like I said, the recipe is one that is easy to play with. The same nut-free rules as the brownies didn't apply, but I had some leftover SunButter from making another batch of Monkey Balls, and figured why not try that in a half-batch? For a bit more texture than a smooth nut butter gives, I tossed in some crunchy, flaked cereal as well. A bath in bittersweet chocolate (can you tell I loathe milk chocolate?) later and I had my very own nut-free "Butterfingers"!

Homemade Butterfinger Bars
Makes 1 loaf pan, 8 bars
1 ½ cups candy corn
½ cup creamy nut (or seed) butter (use crunchy peanut for traditional flavour)*
1/3 cup crushed "crunchy" cereal
7 oz chopped semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, melted

*NB: Peanut butter is used in the NI
  1. Line a loaf pan with parchment, making sure to cover all sides.
  2. In a microwave safe dish, melt candy corn, checking and stirring frequently.
  3. Immediately stir in the nut butter and cereal until fully combined.
  4. Press mixture firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan and cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. Remove from pan and cut into bars.
  6. Dip bars in the chocolate to evenly coat.
Amount Per Serving  
Calories: 338.5
Total Fat: 19.0 g
Cholesterol: 0.0 mg
Sodium: 179.0 mg
Total Carbs: 45.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 2.8 g
Protein: 6.0 g
  

With all that leftover coating chocolate, I couldn't help myself - I added some confectionary-quality orange oil and chopped almonds, turned it into a mini loaf pan, then after it set I cut cubes for the adults to enjoy!
 

 

2 comments :

Russell at Chasing Delicious said...

Yum! These guys look great!

Elizabeth, blogging for SunButter said...

Hi, Sarah,
Mmmmm. Your Butterfinger bars are a bit different than other one recipes I've seen, and I'm eager to try them! I blog for SunButter, so I'm always looking for recipes, and this looks like a winner. But mostly, I'm also a fellow baker always on the lookout for fresh inspiration. Thanks much.