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When the Urge Hits, Bake Brownies

Oh boy, oh boy, a new year is here! 2018 was a fast year, a furious year, and beneath the madness, a rewarding year.

I'm not unlike many authors when I become annoyed with myself for not finishing a book on schedule. Such was the case with the book for which I recently typed, "THE END." It took ages to write, and not because it was difficult, but because my brain too often turned to mush during the writing of it. I blame exhaustion. Cover reveal to come soon.

Actually, I kept changing my mind. A lot. It was going to be a short novella, then it wasn't, then it was, then a long novella, and then the characters said, "Shut up, we're going to do what we want," and so it became a novel and I had to go along with it. Once I did, the words came much easier.

It is never a good idea to fight so much with high-minded characters. And because of the constant fighting and the ensuing exhaustion, I turned to one of my favorite pastimes—baking or walking. In this case, I baked.

It's not uncommon for me to keep a supply of dark chocolate nearby while I write, only last week as I was going back through to add a little more "meat" to a kitchen scene, I realized there was no chocolate within reach. All that talk of food was making me hungry, so a break was in order and the result was a pan full of homemade brownies.

This is a recipe I shared once on my author website, and I'm sure I will share it again elsewhere because it's one of my favorite brownie recipes. The brownies stay refrigerated or frozen until ready to eat, and they are so rich and chocolately that one really can't (or shouldn't) eat more than one sensible square at a time.


Chocolate Hazelnut Frosted Brownies

Chocolaty and nutty goodness is what this brownie is all about. Adapted from an old Pillsbury recipe from 1985, this recipe is simple to prepare and enjoyable to eat. The special dark cocoa is what really makes this brownie rich and smooth. Butter and the vegan buttery sticks are interchangeable. I've used both with the same results so it's a good non-dairy alternative. All of the ingredients listed are what I use in my kitchen.

Chocolate Hazelnut Frosted Brownies

Recipe adapted by: MK McClintock

Yield: 36 small brownies (Cut them into smaller cubes for a quick and sensible treat.)

  • 5 oz unsweetened chocolate, cut into pieces (I use Baker's brand)

  • 3/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks, softened

  • 1 Tbs pure vanilla extract

  • 1 Tbs hazelnut flavored syrup (chocolate flavored syrup also works if you're not partial to nutty stuff)

  • 2 1/4 cups organic granulated sugar

  • 4 large eggs, room temp

  • 1 1/3 cups unbleached flour

  • 1 1/2 cups hazelnuts, chopped (pecans are also delicious)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Using baking spray, coat a 13x9 inch metal baking pan.

  2. In small saucepan, melt butter and chocolate; remove from heat and add vanilla and hazelnut; set aside. 

  3. Using a mixer with the whip attachment, beat the sugar and 4 eggs about 7 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. 

  4. Combine chocolate and eggs mixtures; blend well. 

  5. Fold in flour until combined; fold in hazelnuts (do not over mix). 

  6. Pour into prepared pan and bake for approx 25 minutes or until done (do not over bake). Cool in pan on rack for 30 minutes before frosting.

For the Frosting: 

  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

  • 2 Tbs Special Dark unsweetened cocoa (I use Hershey's brand)

  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks, softened

  • 1 large egg, room temp

  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 tsp hazelnut flavored syrup


Combine all frosting ingredients and beat until smooth. Spread over bars and refrigerate for 1 hour; cut into bars. Keep stored in the refrigerator. Bars freeze and heat well.

Try more of my recipes and adaptations: https://www.mkmcclintock.com/recipes

Book Spotlight

Ha, made you look. Cover reveal is still to come.

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