Wispa Brownies

Paul introduced me to Wispa chocolate bars. He goes crazy for them. His whole family goes crazy for them. When relatives visit from England they bring bags of Wispas and other English chocolate treats. I think it’s a requirement for allowing them to visit. When Cadbury, the maker of Wispas, discontinued the brand in 2003 there was a massive uproar in the UK which spawned a successful internet campaign to bring the bar back.

It used to be tricky to find Wispas in the States, hence the hoarding by Paul and his family. Now you can find Wispas at any World Market or gourmet grocery. Because of this, Paul subtly (not) suggests ┬ábaking with his favorite candy bar. I successfully baked Wispa Chip Cookies–Alton Brown’s The Chewy subbing chopped up Wispas for the chocolate chips. Unfortunately this was done before I returned to blogging and I can’t share the results with you. I can, however, share these glorious Wispa Brownies.

I made the Classic Brownie recipe from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking…From My Home to Yours subbing the chopped up Wispas for walnuts. I think the next time I make these brownies I will leave the bars whole or use 4 bars instead of THE LAST TWO BARS in the house. The chopped up Wispas got a little lost in the brownie goodness.

Anne Strawberry hosted the recipe when the Tuesdays with Dorie Bakers blogged about Classic Brownies in September of 2011. You can find the recipe HERE.

Photo by Paulrus

{twd} cherry-fudge brownie torte

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If you want a show-stopping dessert this is it. If you want a quick and easy treat this is NOT it. Luckily I had a party this week so I was in need of a fabulous dessert. With lots of dishes and ingredients, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie selection, the Cherry-Fudge Brownie Torte, certainly fit the bill.

It’s a souped-up brownie with a hint of spice from coarsely-ground black pepper and liquored-up dried tart cherries. I love liquored-up dried fruit recipes because you get to set them on fire. Fun times.

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The torte is topped with a vanilla-flavored creamy mascarpone mousse. I decorated the top with sprinkled cocoa powder and chopped and whole chocolate-covered cherries.

The torte was so successful that it disappeared before I could try it. My guests loved it and really dug the surprise of the black pepper.

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The pizza party was also a success. All the guests had a fabulous time and can’t wait for my next party in January. Unfortunately, I didn’t take good pictures during the party. I was so busy rolling out dough and watching the oven. It was interesting to see the different ways people topped their pizza. Some were very methodical and took a along time creating their pizza, others were very haphazard.

The Dessert Spread, before party

The Dessert Spread, before party

I made 6 different types of pizza dough (which I divided into 5 oz individual pizza size ) and 4 different sauces. I provided some toppings and guests were told to bring their favorite toppings. We baked most on my pizza stone, but we also made a few pan-style.

after

The Dessert Spread, after party

Thank you to April of Short + Rose for hosting this week’s selection. In addition to being a fabulous baker, she is also an avid gardener and crafter. I love reading about everything that comes out of her garden. If you would like the recipe for the torte visit her blog or buy the book.

{twd} espresso cheesecake brownies

I wanted to love these. I really did. I mean, you all know, I love coffee. I also love cheesecake and brownies always make me swoon. To be fair, this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe–Espresso Cheesecake Brownies–tasted good. The combination of the a brownie with espresso cheesecake topped with a sweetened sour cream frosting was wonderful. They were a big hit with everyone–but me. I think the problem was that there was too much cheesecake to brownie. Because I love all the components in this dessert I want to try it again, but next time decrease the amount of cheesecake by half. Oh, and become a better swirler. My swirling could use a little help.

Thank you to Melissa of Life in a Peanut Shell for hosting this week’s selection. For the recipe, visit her blog or buy the book.

*edited to add: I sprinkled espresso sugar on top of the brownies.

{twd} mini-brownie ice cream sandwiches

This week was busy {so, thanks for the one-sentence post challenge}: I rescued my vanilla beans (!) and a few other essentials, went on a 9.5 mile hike, made Dorie Greenspan’s Vanilla Ice Cream {David Lebovitz-ing it up by using both Tahitian vanilla bean and Tahitian vanilla extract}, made this week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe Brownie Buttons {thanks to Jayma of Two Scientists Experimenting in the Kitchen ; for recipe visit her blog or buy the book}, baked brownies in 8×8-inch pan instead of mini-cupcake pan, and created Mini-Ice Cream Sandwiches which resulted in world peace, eternal happiness, and a perfect summer treat.

{TWD} Carmel-Peanut-Topped Brownie {mini-cup}Cake

Recipe #275

In my household, we love eating nuts. However, some people (read: my husband) are just plain silly because even though he will eat nuts by the handful he hates nuts in desserts. This week’s Tuesdays with Dorie recipe, Carmel-Peanut-Topped Brownie Cake, has nuts right there in its name. Because I didn’t want a mini-revolt, I made mini-cupcakes: 1/2 with peanuts and 1/2 without peanuts. ­čśŤ┬á I also made a cake using my mini-springform pan because I had left over batter.

Nuts!!!

Nuts!!!

No nuts for silly people

No nuts for silly people

Tammy of wee treats by tammy chose this recipe. You can find the recipe on her blog. I liked the brownie cake itself b/c it wasn’t dense or overly sweet. I probably could have carmelized the sugar a bit longer, but overall it worked with the cake.