Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies

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If you haven’t been here long, you probably don’t know that I’m a Texan. If you have been here for a while, you’re probably tired of me making references to the fact that I’m a Texan. Not the kind that wears cowboy boots with skirts and rides to work on a horse named sugar, but a Texan no less.

I can’t help it, I’m a Texan. It’s a pride unlike any other.

You won’t find better Tex-mex anywhere, steaks seem just a bit bigger, beautiful bluebonnets transform regular hills into waves of blue, seeing cows from the side of the road is perfectly normal, margaritas are a staple, BBQ is an art form, the night sky isn’t more beautiful anywhere else, and pecans run rampant across this great state.

Texas, I made you brownies. Brownies you wouldn’t mind calling home. They have rum and pecans in them, you’d be proud!

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Do yourself a favor: if you hate rum or aren’t crazy about the strong flavor of rum in your baked goods, don’t make these. There’s a half cup of rum in these, they are not for sissies. If you don’t like pecans, you can sub for any other nut just be sure to toast them or the flavor will get lost. If you don’t like browned butter, you’re in the wrong place πŸ˜‰ BUT, you can just as easily use regular melted butter in place of browned. If you don’t like chocolate… we can’t be friends anymore*. If you want to smother these brownies in vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce, and a drizzle of dark rum for good measure… I think we can be the best of friends.

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Rum, Brown Butter and Pecan Brownies
yields 12-16 brownies

Ingredients:

100g unsalted butter, cut into 16 small pieces
175g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
190g (about 3/4 cup) granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup dark rum
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
75g (about 1/2 cup) all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
heaping 1/4 pecans, toasted and chopped

Instructions:

Preheat your oven to 350F. Line an 8×8″ pan with foil or parchment paper, taking care to leave an overhang on at least two sides for easy removal later. Lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray, set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the butter, swirling the pan occasionally until all the butter has melted. After several minutes, the butter will begin to bubble and this is your sign to really pay attention to your butter. The milk solids will separate: stir it frequently at this point, so that the milk solids do not settle at the bottom of the pan and burn (there is no saving burned butter, trust me). Continue stirring as your butter changes from a light brown to a medium brown and smells nutty. Remove from the heat. Let it cool slightly.

In a medium bowl, toss in your chopped chocolate and pour the browned butter over it (swirl the bowl a bit to make sure all the chocolate pieces are submerged in butter). Let it sit for about 3 minutes. Using a whisk, mix the chocolate and butter together vigorously until it is satiny and combined. Add the sugar and whisk until combined. Add eggs, one at a time until incorporated. When both eggs are in, give it a good vigorous whisking for about 10 seconds. Add the rum and mix well.

Sift the cocoa powder, flour and salt together over your chocolate mixture. Fold everything together with a rubber spatula until almost combined and then toss in pecans and fold until combined. Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 20-25 mins, begin checking early to ensure your brownies don’t overbake.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan until room temperature. Remove the brownies from the pan using the overhang, cut and enjoy!

Adapted from Raspberri Cupcakes

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TWD – Oatmeal Breakfast Bread

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This bread is deceptive in every way. The name isn’t particularly appealing (unless you’re an oatmeal FREAK) or eye catching (I would have skipped right over it). The ingredients aren’t anything special, just your run-of-the-mill staple ingredients plus the addition of applesauce and oil instead of butter. It tricks you into thinking that this bread is nothing short of plain jane.

Wrong-o!

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This bread is PHENOM! It is wonderfully aeromatic: spices that waft together to remind you of that snowy day during Christmas season. It is moist and keeps well. And the flavor OH THE FLAVOR! So simple yet divine. But the star, was the simple addition of pecans and brown sugar pressed atop the loaf prior to baking. It makes ALL the difference.

I subbed apple butter for the applesauce (which gave it a little extra kick in the spice department) and I added rum soaked raisins, just cus I could.

You should try this bread. I promise, you won’t be sorry.

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A big thanks goes out to Natalie ofΒ Oven Love for choosing this delightful recipe. Get the recipe here. I will be making this again and again.

Up next week: Crunchy and Custardy Peach Tart — I’ll be scaling way down as peach desserts pretty much hate me, but I am excited about this one!

TWD – Lots of Ways Banana Cake (sorta)

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When a recipe tells me that there’s ‘lots of ways’ to make one certain recipe… I’m totally on board. You see, I used to be afraid of making my own nips and tucks to recipes for the fear that whatever-it-was-to-be wouldn’t turn out. I never took any creative opportunities. I was a weenie.

Well, I’ve been baking for a while and making substitutions and changing things around don’t irk me as they used to. I welcome the creative opportunities!

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*The natural light makes my heart smile*

So I can make this cake and choose to use buttermilk instead of coconut milk. I can choose to throw in the rum (hey, boozy = better). I can choose to use semi-ripe bananas (because that’s what I had, ha). I can choose to completely skip the coconut and dried fruit and throw in an ungodly amount of mini chocolate chips. I can choose to bake these up in 6 mini cakes and a sorry excuse for a bundt cake. I can choose to skip the frosting all together. But daydream about a silky ganache to top the next bundt I make out of this recipe.

And that I did. All of it. I’m a rebel πŸ˜‰

This cake is really delicious!! Its super moist and tastes like your very own little slice of banana (and chocolate, in my case) heaven. I half expected the nutmeg to be a bit overpowering but I was surprised that it was merely an afterthought of each bite.

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I can only imagine what it would taste like with coconut rum, toasted coconut and dried pineapples (or even crushed fresh pineapple!), coconut rum glaze sprinkled with more toasted coconut. Oh my, I think I have inspiration for the next time I bake this cake. Oh yes, there will be a next time πŸ™‚

A big thanks goes out to Kimberly of Only Creative Opportunities for choosing this recipe. I think she secretly knew that I loved banana cakes/breads. Head on over to her blog for the recipe!

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Up next week: Chewy Chunky Blondies. Oh these were a HIT!!

TWD Two-Fer – Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes and Tarte Noire

Paying catch up is always fun πŸ™‚

Rum Drenched Vanilla Cakes
Chosen by Wendy of Pink Stripes, head HERE for the recipe.

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These were a breeze to make and smelled divine! I was FINALLY able to use my small heart cakelette pan. I halved the recipe and it was the perfect amount for 6 small cakes. Perfectly adorable and easily sharable. Although I did halve the cake recipe, I didn’t halve the rum syrup. They came out moist and boozy with a tight crumb and a delightful vanilla aroma and flavor. Did I mention boozy? Dorie would be proud πŸ˜‰

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Check out all the other boozy creations HERE.

Tarte Noire
Chosen by Dharmagirl of bliss: towards a delicious life. Click HERE for the recipe, you’ll want it x10!

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I can’t do this tarte enough justice. I can sit here and wax poetic how Dorie’s ganache tartes are JUST AMAZING, but it just wouldn’t really come out and grab you.

So instead I’ll tell you that this is quite literally the closest you’ll get to nirvana. To heaven. To a Parisian terrace without the plane ride. To pure, unadultered bliss. Its ALL of it. Wrapped into one lovely, glossy, addictive tarte.

Seriously, proceed with caution. This tarte comes with its own disclaimer. Crumbly buttery chocolate shortbread crust filled with a creamy dreamy bittersweet chocolate ganache? Someone call the gluttony police. Wait, do they even exist? They probably should…

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I went for the Chocolate shortbread tarte crust to keep with the ‘noire’ theme. I didn’t save a bit of the dough to patch and cracks (the ONE AND ONLY TIME I didn’t, ugh) and OF COURSE my crust looked like an earthquake ravaged by oven. But thanks to my genius of a fiancΓ©, he suggested that I just melt some chocolate and spread a thin layer over the crust to seal the holes and just freeze it before pouring in the ganache. GENIUS!! Problem: deliciously fixed! I melted, slathered, froze, poured and chilled. It sounds like a lot… but this tarte was seriously a total of mayyybe 10 mins hands-on time.

You’ll get more hands-to-mouth time that’ll make you forget aaaall about those measly 10 mins of prep time. Pah, 10 mins is NOTHING when you get this as a reward for all your efforts.

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Next time I might substitute some Kahlua for the heavy cream. Cus it’s good. And I’m boozy like that.

Did I ever mention that ‘boozy’ is one of my all time favorite words to say? Boozy. Say it with the best British accent you can muster. I’ll wait….

Fun, N’est pas?!

Up next week: Brrrr-ownies. These are goooooood. So good.

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