One of the sweets I remember from my childhood is the homemade brownies my parents used to make. For a long time, none of the brownies I had ever really compared to what I remembered as the perfect brownie that my parents made. When I made the recipe my mom had given me a few years back for the first time in a long time, I found it too sweet and the only chocolate source was also Ghiradelli Hot Cocoa mix- not enough chocolate flavor for me. I used to think what made these so special was the malted milk powder that was added. Over the last few months, in developing my hot chocolate mix, it struck me- it wasn't the malt, it was the milk powder! Hot chocolate mix is pretty much two parts milk powder to one part cocoa powder and one part sugar. The sugar and cocoa powder were already in the recipe I was working on, with the addition of some milk powder I got the flavor and texture I remember. The milk powder adds some of that malted flavor, and gives a nice chewy fudgy texture to the brownies. I also have added some bittersweet chocolate along with the cocoa powder, which isn't normal- usually it's just one or the other. This gives the brownies a great well rounded chocolate flavor, make sure you use high quality chocolate and cocoa powder or they won't be your favorite brownies! After I get the variations nailed down, I'll post some other options beyond plain brownies... peanut butter swirl, cheesecake, raspberry hazelnut, coconut macaroon... oh the opportunities are endless! Try these out and let me know what you think!
Brownies ( makes about 16 medium sized squares)
4 oz bittersweet chocolate
4 oz butter
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 TBS vanilla
1/2 cup non fat dried milk powder
3/4 cup cake flour (I have also used whole wheat pastry flour with great results)
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa powder
Pre heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Over a pan of boiling water (or in the microwave) melt the butter and chocolate together. After it is completely melted add the sugar, mix, and add the eggs at once. Stir until they are mixed in, add the vanilla extract, and then the milk powder. Sift all the dry ingredients together and add to the chocolate butter mix and stir just until combined. Pour into a greased 9x13" pan and bake until when a skewer is inserted into the middle it comes with crumbs attached. Be careful not to over cook them!