Rich, comforting and complex, brownies and blondies have just about everything going for them – that is, everything but their looks. Their crumbly corners and crinkled tops can’t compete with the picture-perfect desserts of today. Attractive or not, just one bite and you’re completely transfixed by their chewy, fudgey goodness. It’s about time their appearance matched their taste. We’ve come up with a simple way to transform brownies and blondies from homely to handsome.
The solution? Mini cast iron skillets. This charming mould will reveal a swoon-worthy dessert that’s sure to be showered with compliments. Suddenly, a humble after-school snack is the ideal dinner party dessert – in perfectly sized portions. If you’re pining for this pint-sized dessert, read on for step-by-step instructions.

brownies-and-blondies

Supplies:
3.5 inch cast iron skillets, available at Kitchen Stuff Plus

brownies-recipe

Double Chocolate Brownies 
This Double Chocolate Brownie batter from Christine Cushing bakes up with the perfect balance of cakey and chewy.

Ingredients
1/2 cup unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (125 ml)
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped (185 g)
3/4 cup all purpose flour (175ml)
1/2 cup cocoa powder (125 ml)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1 ml)
3 1/2 ounces white chocolate, chopped (100 g)
3  large eggs
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (5 ml)
1 cup packed brown sugar (250 ml)
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. On low heat, melt the butter and dark chocolate in a medium bowl over a medium pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. (The simmering water should not touch the bowl or else the chocolate will scorch.) Remove from heat and cool.
3. Sift flour, cocoa, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (alternatively just combine brownie batter by whisking or stirring by hand), combine cooled chocolate mixture and sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time blending after each addition, until smooth. Add the vanilla and blend.
5. Pour the dry ingredients into chocolate mixture and beat on low until just blended. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir with rubber spatula until blended.
Now for the twist…
6. Grease each mini cast iron skillet and place on cookie sheet.
7. Scoop three tablespoons of batter into each mini cast iron skillet.
8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
9. Test when done by inserting toothpick into brownie centre. Pulled toothpick should be dry.
10. Let cool and serve with Anna Olson’s French Vanilla Ice Cream.

blondies

Brown Butter Blondies

Michael Smith’s blondies are an intoxicating blend of caramel chips, brown butter and crunchy nuts (I replaced the pine nuts with pecans – feel free to mix it up to your taste!)
Cooking time: 45 minutes

Ingredients
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
2  eggs
2 tablespoons vanilla
1 cup flour
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup pine nuts or pecans
1 cup caramel chips
Directions
1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. On low heat, melt the butter and dark chocolate in a medium bowl over a medium pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally until smooth. (The simmering water should not touch the bowl or else the chocolate will scorch.) Remove from heat and cool.
3. Sift flour, cocoa, and salt together into a medium bowl and set aside.
4. In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment (alternatively just combine brownie batter by whisking or stirring by hand), combine cooled chocolate mixture and sugar and mix on medium speed until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time blending after each addition, until smooth. Add the vanilla and blend.
5. Pour the dry ingredients into chocolate mixture and beat on low until just blended. Add the chopped white chocolate and stir with rubber spatula until blended.
Now for the twist…
6. Grease each mini cast iron skillet and place on cookie sheet.
7. Scoop two tablespoons of batter into each mini cast iron skillet.
8. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes.
9. Test when done by inserting toothpick into brownie centre. Pulled toothpick should be dry.
10. Let cool and serve with Anna Olson’s French Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

adena-headshot Adena Lazowski is founder of the charming food blog, Lace and Lemon Drops. A bona fide domestic goddess, she loves her sea-blue KitchenAid mixer, big bowls of pasta, and most of all, preparing food for family and friends.

 

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