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Everybody is all about challenges right now.
A plank a day.
Fifty squats a day.
Three miles a day.
Seven days of ‘clean’ eating.  (And just what the heck is clean eating, for crying out loud!?  Are we not supposed to pick MnM’s up off the floor?  Are we so starved for things to feel guilty about that we’ve made some foods ‘dirty’ now? Remember when ‘sex’ was dirty?  Yeah, that didn’t work so well either, did it?) 

Not to open up a Pandora’s Box here, but how about a little challenge we can all agree on…I’m thinking something like a Brownie Challenge!
Yep, not hearing too much criticism now.

How about, “How Many Things Can I Stuff In A Brownie?” Or “A New Brownie Every Week”.  Or for the over-achievers, “A New Brownie Every Day”!

I think there are all kinds of possibilities, although I’m not sure about how Brussels Sprouts would work in this one.

Me?  I’m going for “A New Brownie Every Week”, although I may average a little more frequently, depending upon how long the chocolate supply holds out.  There are just so many delectable looking recipes out there, and with the current sloppy weather, this seems a good time to start trying them out.  Well…that, and my post-holiday ‘sugar-free challenge’ has lost its luster.

On a less humorous but still brownie-related note, it’s been a tough couple of days.

Today I was wistfully thinking of my brothers and sisters, all of whom are scattered about the western half of the U.S.  The last time we were all in the same spot (three years ago), there were multiple requests for me to make brownies, which I baked multiple times over the course of the few days we were together.  Thinking about all of them made me a want to bake brownies—for me and for them—as though somehow in the making, they all (including spouses and children) would miraculously appear in my kitchen. Unfortunately, time travel and teleporting I have no recipe for.  Brownies though, I can handle. So I did what I could…I baked. 

Since I had some left-over coconut filling* and chocolate butter-cream in the freezer, I decided to throw them all together. If you’re the planning sort—a “30 Days To Organizational Nirvana” type—then you might actually plan on making a German Chocolate Cake with the intention of having left-over frosting and filling to make these.  If not, then this recipe for Brownies stands up nicely on its own, without any additions or random bursts of culinary creativity. They are dense and chewy…my kind of brownie.  

I hope you find a reason to bake brownies this week.  If you decide to join me in my challenge, please let me know what your favorite recipe is.  I’m always up for trying a new one!

With love (and chocolate)~Lorrie

Brownies with German Chocolate Filling

3 oz unsw. Chocolate
½ cup butter
1 1/3 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
¾ cup flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper or foil, leaving an overhang on 2 sides
Coat the bottom and sides with cooking spray, or grease thoroughly

Melt the chocolate and butter in large microwave safe bowl
Stir in the sugar and mix completely
In a small bowl, beat the egg with the vanilla, and then stir into the chocolate mixture
Blend in flour

Spread half the batter in the prepared pan (an off-set spatula is handy for this, but a butter knife will work too)
Carefully distribute the coconut mixture over the top of the batter
Spread the remaining batter over the top of the coconut, spreading it as close to the edge of the pan as possible

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Bake for 35 minutes

Remove the pan to a cooling rack.  When the brownies are still slightly warm, take them from the pan by lifting the edges of the parchment paper and setting them back on the rack.  If you want a glossy icing, frost them with the buttercream, so that it will melt.  The icing will harden when the brownies are completely cool.

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*My last post contained some mention of a German Chocolate Cake.  Since I almost never make a cake with fewer than 3 layers, I always double frosting and filling recipes.  Sometimes (if no one is at home when I’m baking) there is left-over, which I freeze to eat later when I’m by myself  keep on hand for last minute desserts.

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