matcha dusted fudge brownies

Dear Sam,

Huzzah! It feels like Easter was many moons ago as I am very late in writing this post. I was like, who could I write this to? and you popped into my mind because you finally gave in and had chocolate just because I made these. To that, I am humbled and I also commend you on going 39 days without chocolate. That’s not an easy task. Even just today, I was poking around my kitchen looking for something chocolate to nibble on. I eventually gave in and opened my second box of Daim cake. And just to be clear, I would have made them again after Easter so you could have some!

These brownies are so addictive, but it was seeing a photo of the glossy and crinkly top that drew me into the recipe in the first place. Stella Parks is a dessert genius. If she’s reading this, I would love to know how to swirl the matcha onto the top (and just the top) of the brownie. Would it still achieve that glossy film?

Glossy Fudge Brownies
Recipe adapted from BraveTart: Iconic American Desserts
Makes enough to fill a 9 x 13 x 2 inch pan

1 cup all-purpose flour
1⅓ cup cocoa powder
3 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (the original recipe calls for dark chocolate bars, chopped)
2¼ cup white suguar
¼ cup brown sugar
1¾ teaspoons salt
6 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extra
(The original recipe also calls for instant espresso powder here, but it’s optional, and I didn’t have any.)

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a 9 x 13 x 2 inch baking pan with foil so that the bottom and sides are covered.
  2. In a pot, melt the butter over medium-low heat. I dabbed a little of the melted butter with a brush to grease the foil in the pan. Increase the heat to medium and let the butter simmer until the butter is golden yellow and silent (there’s a lot of hissing and popping during the process).
  3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the chocolate chips.
  4. Sift the flour and cocoa powder together.
  5. Using a stand mixer, whisk the white sugar, brown sugar, salt, eggs, and vanilla extract. Run it on medium-high until the mixture is thick and fluffy (about 8 minutes).
  6. Reduce the stand mixer speed to low and pour in the warm chocolate-butter mixture. Once it’s combined and you don’t see anymore streaks, add in the sifted flour and cocoa powder. Mix on low until the batter comes together. Be careful not to over mix here. Use a spatula to help fold if you think the stand mixer might be too heavy handed.
  7. Pour the batter in the pan and bake for about 25 minutes. The brownies should have a glossy film and still be soft to the touch.
  8. Here’s the hard part, wait. Let it sit and cool. It’ll be too gooey to slice if you don’t wait.
  9. Gently tug and lift the foil out of the pan. Cut the brownie into squares (or triangles). Store in an airtight container with wax paper between each layer. It’ll last for a week in room temperature. I also froze some to be mixed in with ice cream sundaes in the future.

Chocolate Brownies

Stirring the melted butter and chocolate together.

Chocolate Brownies

Sifting the flour and cocoa powder!

Chocolate Brownies

Pour that luxurious batter into the baking pan.

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Finally, it’s cool and ready to be sliced.

Chocolate Brownies

Oh my gosh, look at the center where it’s nice and dark. This is one moist and delicious brownie.

Liza, if you’re reading this, it’s time to look away.

Chocolate Brownies

Dusted some matcha powder on the top of my brownie square.

Chocolate Brownies

Yaasss! So ready to dig in.

Chocolate Brownies

The first bite, get in my belly!

Chocolate Brownies

Time for a second bite.

Sincerely,
Syl

cinnamon waffles

Dear Alison, Catherine, Charidy, Kathryn, Kathy, Liz, Liza, Lynne, Pamela, Peter, Samantha, Sue, Tara, and Vikki,

I cannot thank you enough for my waffle maker!

Some of you know that I used my bridal shower gift for it, but what you didn’t know was that it was actually a huge group effort (yo, waffle makers are pricey). It was only with the generosity from past and present colleagues that I was able to pick up this awesome makes-four-at-a-time waffle maker! I received a lot of great kitchen appliances from my wedding, but I probably use this one the most – almost on a weekly basis. Some of you have even seen me munching away on a waffle at my desk. They make for a great grab-and-go breakfast item.

This is the recipe I use that lasts me all week. It’s versatile and pairs well with maple syrup or fruits. AND, it’s technically a pancake recipe (waffles are pancakes with abs) from one of my favourite NYC brunch places, Clinton Street Baking Company.

Cinnamon Waffles
(Makes about 16 to 18 waffles)

6 large eggs, separated
3 cups whole milk
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cinnamon powder

  1. I know this looks fussy and complicated, but it’s not that bad! Ideally you’d have two mixing bowls to separate the egg yolks and egg white, but if you only have one, use the egg whites in the one for the stand mixer so you don’t have to do the whisking. Once separated, you can turn on your stand mixer with the whisk attachment on low for a bit and then medium to get the egg whites started.
  2. In the bowl with the egg yolks, add the milk, melted butter, and vanilla extract. Whisk that together until combined.
  3. Next, add in the flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Stir until it comes together, but not smooth. You don’t want to over mix the batter – that will make your waffles really tough. Clumps are ok! You know why?
  4. Because the next step is to check on your egg whites. They should be fluffy clouds by now. You don’t want it shiny (like when you make meringue), but soft peaks. Add that into the batter and fold it in (see more mixing, so the earlier clumps will be smoothed out).
  5. Preheat your waffle maker while you’re folding in the soft peaks into the batter. When your waffle iron is ready, ladle the batter in, close the lid, and wait patiently for the the waffle maker to beep!

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Weekends are for waffles? Well . . . weekdays are for waffles too!

Oh if you’re what waffle maker I got, it’s the Breville Smart Waffle. I read a lot of reviews and it came down to the Breville and the All-Clad version. The sales person at the store told me that she owned the All-Clad one and recommended it highly. I wanted the waffle iron to make four at a time (to cut down on waiting time when I’m hungry in the morning), but it was the two slice All-Clad that mainly received the praise, not the four slice. Wait, are waffles called slices?

That was the deciding factor for the Breville Smart Waffle and I couldn’t be happier. It’s truly nonstick, I haven’t had to use any oil on the irons (in fact, the instruction manual says not to). The waffles release super easy when they’re done. The moat around helps catch any overflow (which has happened when I pour too much batter in). But I haven’t even had to fiddle with the settings because the machine just magically knows how long to cook the waffles for. And you can adjust the dials for something lighter or a bit more darker. I love how thick and fluffy the waffles turn out! The deeper the irons, the better. I knew I didn’t want one that creates thin ones that are akin to frozen waffles. This waffle maker is basically perfect for my sweet tooth and creates the right amount of thickness for savoury dishes too (chicken and waffles!).

Sincerely,
Syl