Slutty Brownies

I’ve been starting my tomato and pepper plants from seed and haven’t had much time to devote to baking involved recipes, so I was looking for a quick and easy recipe.  I’d found this recipe on the What’s Gaby Cooking blog (originally from the Londoner) and set it aside but it was a perfect time to try it.  I also found these brownies noted on a lot of other sites and I know why…  I brought a bunch of them to the office for my co-workers and they were gone by mid-morning.  I think the name intrigued them from the start.

I made the recipe a couple of times since the first time I baked it for too long because I kept testing it with a toothpick and it only came out clean after 65 minutes of baking (although my husband loved this crispier version).

Totally yummy.  Try it.

Slutty Brownies

Yield:  16 bars                Cook Time:  40 minutes


Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 16 Double Stuff Oreo cookies


  • 1 package of your favorite brownie mix (my favorite is Ghirardelli – any flavor will do), prepared as directed


Step 1:  Prepare the brownie mix as described on the package and set aside.

Step 2:  For the cookie dough, cream together the butter and sugars with a mixer.  Beat in the eggs and vanilla until entirely incorporated.  Add the remaining dry ingredients except chips and mix on low until incorporated.  Fold in the chocolate chips.

Step 3:  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Step 4:  Line an 8” by 8” baking pan with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray.

Step 5:  Press half the cookie dough evenly across the bottom of the pan (next time I will try using the entire cookie dough recipe in the bottom of the pan).

Step 6:  Add a layer of Double Stuff Oreo cookies four across by four rows.

Step 7:  Top evenly with brownie mixture.

Step 9:  Bake for 40 minutes on the top rack of the oven.  Let cool at least 10 minutes before attempting to remove the brownies from the pan.  If serving warm, the center brownies will be very gooey, almost like the middle of a lava cake.  The ends will be firmer.  Cut into sixteen pieces.


Recipe adapted from What’s Gaby Cooking (originally from the Londoner).

Easter Bread

My family has come to expect me to bake Easter Bread for Easter Sunday.  I’ve used this recipe for the past few years and my family really loves it.

A few years ago I was looking for an Easter Bread recipe to remind me of the bread my Grandmother used to make every Easter.  Although my Grandmother’s recipe was delicious, we no longer have the recipe and the bread was a little dry and heavy.  I searched the internet and I wanted a recipe that produced bread that was moister, lighter and sweeter than the one I remember as a child.  I had seen an Easter Bread recipe on the La Lama Mountain Ovens site and modified it to my liking.  Although I’ve said before that I usually have more difficulty with yeast recipes, this one went well from the first time I tried it.

I usually double this recipe to make six breads because I give at least four away.

Enjoy the recipe.

After rolling out the dough for one bread.

After braiding the dough.

Form the braid into a circle and pinch ends well.

Transfer into the pan and add colored egg(s).

Hot out of the oven.

Easter Bread

Yield:  3 breads                Cook Time:  30 minutes



  • 2 packages dry yeast (1 package yeast = 5 – 1/4 teaspoons; therefore substitute 2 1/2  or 2 1/4 teaspoon jarred yeast)
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 or 4 handfuls of white unbleached flour


  • 8 cups white unbleached flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 8 large eggs, room temperature
  • 4 oz melted butter, cooled (one stick)
  • 1/2 cup Rum (possible substitutes whiskey or bourbon)
  • 6 dyed Easter eggs (eggs don’t need to be hard boiled as they will cook during baking; be careful not to crack)

Egg Wash:

  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • nonpareils


Step 1:  For the starter, add 1 teaspoon sugar to warm milk, then dissolve yeast in the milk.  Use your fingers to mix the yeast until it dissolves.  Whisk (or stir) in flour by the handful until about the consistency of a thick pancake batter.  Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for an hour or until bubbly and about double in bulk..

Step 2:  While the starter is rising, mix 8 cups flour, 2 cups sugar and 1 teaspoon salt together and put this mixture onto a large wooden table.  Make a well in the center large enough to hold all of the starter plus the wet ingredients in the next step.  I have a huge platter that I use for this step so if my flour well gives way, I don’t have a mess dripping onto the floor.

Step 3:  Beat eggs in electric mixer until light and foamy, add melted butter and rum and just beat to mix.  Scrape the starter from step 1 into the well of dry ingredients.  Pour egg mixture in slowly while using a fork to start incorporating the flour into the well, making a soft dough.  This will take some time and a lot of patience because you do not want to collapse the flour walls while you have a very runny egg mixture in the middle.  Once you have a soft dough working, start kneading vigorously using a dough scraper to help it along.  The dough will start off being very sticky.  Keep adding dustings of flour and kneading until it is soft and velvety, being careful not to add so much flour that it become hard or dry.  This kneading will take about 15 min.  Place in a large greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm place to double.  It will take 2 or 3 hours.

Step 4:  Deflate the dough but do not knead it.  Cover again and let rise until double, about 1 1/2 hours.

Step 5:  Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces of about 2 lbs each (make large thick loaves – yields softer bread).  Cut each piece in half for a total of six pieces and roll each piece into a long log, working from the center out.  Rotate working each piece, resting the others. This relaxes the dough and makes it easier to work with.  When all are the size you want (2 to 3 feet) to form them into twisted rings to fit the pan, then take two of the rolled logs and twist together to form a braid, pinching ends together well.  Place on greased (using cooking spray) sheet pans (I use the disposable aluminum half steam tray pans – the bread turns out better) and insert two dyed eggs per bread between the braids but so they are still visible – I usually place one on each side of the bread for visual appeal.  Cover bread with clean towels and let rise overnight.  Repeat for the other two breads.

Step 6:  Preheat oven to 350.  Place all three uncovered breads in the oven.  Bake until golden brown for 30 minutes to yield soft moist bread.  Rotate the breads 180 degrees and top shelf to bottom shelf for even baking when adding egg wash.  After 20 minutes of baking, brush each loaf with a mixture of 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon milk and sprinkle with nonpareils.

Step 7:  Cool completely before wrapping.  Keep breads well wrapped, so they don’t dry out.  You can double wrap and freeze if not eating in the near term.

Recipe adapted from La Lama Mountain Ovens.

Tips:  When handling the dough make sure your hands and all the implements you use are well dusted with flour.  Use your dough scraper as one “hand” when kneading.  You may consider preheating your oven to “low” for 10 minutes and then shut oven off to make a good environment for the various raising stages.  This can dramatically shorten the process time from start to finish.

This post may also be entered in the following linky party. Click the button below to see the other great posts in the blog hop.Sweet 2 Eat Baking

Pandoro (also Pan D’oro)

For Easter Sunday I visited my sister and planned to bring Pandoro and Easter Bread.  I’ve baked this Pandoro a couple of times already and I think this is the best version yet.  The result was a light and sweet Pandoro.  My sister and head taste tester really liked it.  My sister-in-law said the Pandoro was better than those commercially made.

I had seen this on La Lama Mountain Ovens site some time ago and had set it aside for a while before trying it.  This past Christmas I decided it was time to give this recipe a try.  I usually have more difficulty with yeast recipes, so this one took a few tries before I got it to where I was happy with it.  As you can see in the pictures I didn’t use a Pandoro pan, I used disposable aluminum pans that are similar to angel food cake pans but without the center hole.

Enjoy the recipe.

After mixing is competed.

After de-panning.

Ready to take a bite.


Yield:  2 cakes                Cook Time:  60 – 70 minutes


  • 6 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 7 large eggs, lightly beaten, divided
  • 2 large yolks, lightly beaten
  • 3/4 lb. unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
  • 5 1/4 tsp, instant dry yeast OR 7 tsp Active Dry Yeast
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla


Step 1:  Combine flours in a large bowl.  Remove 3/4 cup for kneading later.

Step 2:  Make your starter by placing 2 3/4 cups of the blended flour, 1/2 cup warm water, 3 eggs lightly beaten, 1/3 cup sugar, 1/2 stick (2 oz.) of unsalted butter and yeast in your mixer bowl.  With the paddle attachment, mix until well blended.  The consistency should be of a very thick pancake batter.  Tightly wrap the mixer bowl with plastic wrap and place in a warm draft free place until it doubles in volume.  This should take 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Step 3:  Combine remaining dry ingredients while the starter is rising.  Add 1 1/3 cup sugar and 1 tsp salt to the blended flour and mix with a wooden spoon.

Step 4:  Assemble the dough by stirring down the raised starter in the mixer bowl.  Add the remaining blended flour from Step 3, the lightly beaten 4 eggs and 2 egg yolks, 2 tsp vanilla and 2 1/2 sticks of softened butter.  Begin mixing at the lowest speed with the dough hook for 2 minutes.  Gradually increase the mixer speed to 1/2 speed for an additional 3 minutes.  Prepare your kneading surface with the 3/4 cup flour reserved for kneading.  Dust your hands with flour  and, using a spatula, move the dough onto the kneading surface.  Gently knead while adding flour until the dough feels very silky and buttery and kneads to the point of just barely sticky.  You may find it easier to use a dough knife to help with kneading.  It is important not to add too much flour as the dough must remain very soft.  Place the dough in an oiled large ceramic bowl.  Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in a warm, draft free area until it doubles in volume.  This should take between 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Step 5:  For panning and proofing (overnight), punch down risen dough gently until deflated.  Turn onto lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces.  Roll each piece into a sausage shape and then into a tight ball.  Using cupped hands on top of the dough ball, rotate the dough around in a circle continuously until the surface feels taut, always maintaining the ball shape.  Do not put too much flour on the kneading surface as you want some friction between the dough and the surface it will slide on, just as you want to exert some friction on the ball with your hands as you rotate it – this is what tightens the dough ball.  Finally, turn the ball over in your hand and pinch the seams which have opened up on the flat bottom tight in the center.  Reverse again and place in a well buttered pandoro pan and gently pat down until surface is flat.  Place the two filled pans in a warm, draft free area and let rise until the dough reaches the top of the pan, until the next day.

Step 6:  Bake and de-pan by placing both pans on lower rack of preheated 350 degree oven.  Bake for 25 minutes, then reduce temperature to 300 degrees and bake for an additional 20-25 minutes or until cooked through (check at 20 minutes and then test with a toothpick or skewer every additional 10 minutes, at least twice).  Remove from oven and place on cooling racks.  Do not attempt to de-pan the loaves until completely cool. Remove from pans and sift confectioner’s sugar over if serving, or double wrap and freeze.

Recipe adapted from La Lama Mountain Ovens.

Tips:  When handling the dough make sure your hands and all the implements you use are well dusted with flour.  Use your dough scraper as one “hand” when kneading.  You may consider preheating your oven to “low” for 10 minutes and then shut oven off to make a good environment for the various raising stages.  This can dramatically shorten the process time from start to finish.  Do not open the oven to peek until the whole baking cycle is done.  It is critical to let the loaves cool to room temperature before de-panning the loaves.

Double Cookies and Cream Kiss Cookie Bars

For Palm Sunday I had some family over for dinner and a good time was had by all.  To prepare I planned to perfect a Pandoro recipe I attempted for the first time last Christmas but I needed a fall-back dessert in the event that the Pandoro turned out poorly.  By the way the Pandoro was a success – you’ll see that recipe soon…

I had seen the Double Cookies and Cream Kiss Cookie Bars recipe on the Picky Palate site and they looked soooo good that I thought they would be perfect.  I found the new Hershey Kisses in Walmart a couple of weeks ago and had set them aside (so they wouldn’t get eaten) until I was ready to make the bars.

I was right, my head taste tester thought they were fantastic!  They’re sweet and full of Oreo pieces.

After mixing is competed.

Line up the kisses.

Ready for the oven.

Hot out of the oven.  Ready, set, eat.

Double Cookies and Cream Kiss Cookie Bars

Yield:  16 bars                Cook Time:  25 – 30 minutes


  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chip
  • 12 Oreo Cookies, broken into pieces (if using Double Stuff Oreos, possibly use 9 cookies)
  • 25 Cookies and Cream Hershey’s Kisses


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8 by 8 inch baking pan with aluminum foil sprayed with cooking spray.

Stir butter and sugars in a medium bowl at least 2 minutes.  Combine egg and vanilla into the sugar mixture.  Add dry ingredients and chips to combine.  Finally add the Oreos and stir to combine.

Press 1/3 to 1/2 of the dough into the pan.  Arrange the kisses in 5 by 5 rows on the dough.  Gently press the remaining dough on top of the kisses.  Cover as best you can and press gently.

Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.  Cool 30 minutes before cutting into squares.


Recipe barely adapted from Picky Palate.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes

I missed posting last week ,so here’s the catch-up post…

When I get the chance to combine a sale on cream cheese, chocolate chip cookie dough and chocolate, that’s just heaven.  I’d seen the Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes recipe on My Baking Addiction about a month ago and it was the perfect time to try them.  They turned out fabulously!  My head taste-tester loved them and so did his friends.  They look so elegant and have the taste to match.

The only changes I made to the original cheesecake recipe is that I would only use 1 1/2 – 2 heaping tablespoons of the cheesecake batter for each little cake and I only used about 1/4 of the ganache recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Mini Cheesecakes

Yield:  24 cheesecakes                Cook Time:  22 – 25 minutes


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar, packed
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 6 oz mini chocolate chips


  • 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 4 tablespoons melted butter
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cheesecake Filling:

  • 3 8 oz packages of softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


  • 4 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


I only used half the Chocolate Chip Cookie dough for the mini cheesecakes, so you might want to halve the ingredients or keep the rest for yummy snacks.  Melt butter in a small sauce pan.  Add milk and stir until incorporated.  At low temperature mix in the sugars and stir to incorporate and heat until most of the sugars have melted.  This will help minimize the gritty feel in the cookie dough.

Remove mixture from heat and cool to room temperature.  Add remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated.  Set aside until ready to insert into mini cheesecakes.

Prepare cupcake pans with paper cupcake liners.

In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the crust with a fork until moistened.  Add 1 tablespoon of the crust mixture into the bottom of each cupcake liner and press evenly.  Bake in a preheated oven at 350 for 5 minutes.  Cool on a rack.

Reduce oven to 325 degrees.

Using a mixer beat the cream cheese on high until smooth.  Beat in sugar until incorporated.  Mix in salt and vanilla.  Add eggs one a time and mix well after each.  Mix in the heavy cream until just combined.

Divide the cheesecake batter into the cupcake liner using a couple of tablespoons for each mini cheesecake.

Insert about 1 1/2 teaspoons of chocolate chip cookie dough in the center of each cheesecake.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until the filling is set.  Cool to room temperature on a wire rack; then transfer to the refrigerator and chill for 4 hours or overnight.

I only used about a quarter of this ganache recipe for my mini cheesecakes.  For the ganache, heat the heavy cream in a small saucepan using medium heat until very hot (do not boil).

In a heat safe bowl, place the chocolate chips and pour the hot cream on top and let it sit for 5 minutes to melt the chocolate.  Mix the cream and melted chocolate until smooth.  My chocolate didn’t melt enough, so I microwaved it in small increments until the chocolate melted.  Mix the vanilla and honey into the chocolate mixture.

Let ganache cool for 15 minutes before spooning it over the mini cheesecakes.  Chill the cheesecakes until ready to serve.


Recipe adapted from My Baking Addiction.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough recipe adapted from Ehow.
Chocolate Glaze recipe adapted from Confessions of a Cookbook Queen.