When I see a cookbook that is shaped like its contents, I have to say, “Genius! Pure genius!” You don’t even have to read to know what it’s going to contain. Help me think less, that’s my motto (at least for today). When my cousin sent me a little book entitled The Cookie Jar shaped like a cookie jar, I just got all a twitter. (For you post-Twitter young uns, that means excited. But, I also felt the need to share via Twitter.) Then, I made the brownie recipe in it. (I never said that I was consistent.)
I chose the iced brownies mostly for this picture:
If those surprised-looking, ceramic ducks wanted to snatch these chocolate goodies, who was I to argue? (True confession time: I have a weird relationship with ceramic fowl. It goes back to the 1980s when my mother placed a few geese in my bedroom as a way to “bring the room together.” Although disturbed by this decorating choice, I also kind of loved those little buggers. And, was a bit sorry when my dad decided to use them in the garden as objets d’art. They didn’t survive the Michigan winter. Not surprising since they were ceramic and didn’t know how to migrate. Poor little guys.)
But, I digress. You come here for brownies. And, not to give anything away, these will definitely fulfill any sweet tooth cravings you might have.
- 2 squares unsweetened chocolate (2 oz)
- ⅓ C shortening (I used butter)
- 1 C granulated sugar (this recipe is brought to you by Dixie Crystals Sugar so they request you use their brand)
- 2 eggs
- ¾ C sifted flour
- ½ t baking powder
- ½ t salt
- ½ C broken pecans
Melt chocolate and shortening over hot water. Beat in sugar and eggs. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt, and stir in. Add nuts. Spread in 8-inch square pan. Bake until imprint is left when touched with finger. Cool, and ice with following icing.
Before we get to the icing, notice an issue? Oven temperature and time are missing. I went with 350° which took about 30 minutes (but I’d start checking at around 20 minutes depending upon the pan). Now, on to the teeth achingly sugar filled icing.
Melt over hot water 1 T butter and 1 square unsweetened chocolate. Blend in 1½ T warm water. Beat in 1 C sifted Dixie Crystals Powdered Confectioners Sugar. Add more sugar if necessary to get a good spreading consistency.
I no longer have ceramic ducks, so I had to bust out my ceramic roosters. (I told you I had a problem. Do you people not listen?)
I think the roosters are just as peckish for chocolate snacky desserts as their duckling cousins. So, this is the most basic of recipes. Really, a solid go-to brownie recipe. A few additional thoughts:
- Grease the pan first because they can be a bit rough to get out.
- I should have used a metal pan rather than a Pyrex. I just didn’t think about it (so not a baker). I would have had crispier edges.
- I think I’d like this without nuts.
- I would use a bit more water and a bit less sugar in the icing. Holy cow this stuff is sweet and a bit tough to spread if you don’t have an offset spatula.