The full-swing merchandising season is still in effect and work has been nothing but full plates for me. While I haven’t any complaints, truly, it does make me a bit less enthusiastic in the kitchen, solely because I’m already beat! However, that really hasn’t stopped me. I received a lovely gift, a serviette of sorts for teacakes and the like, from a co-worker who had salvaged it from being wasted. A good clean later and it was ready for some tasty goods!
First I’ll just show off some digestives I made–chocolate dipped of course–that were approved by our ‘official Brit’ at work. That really does mean a lot to me because she’s terribly passionate about biscuits, so to get her thumbs up was like waving a big banner that said “Goal Accomplished!”
Now, on to something recipe-worthy. I wanted to make some pretty little nibbles to go on the aforementioned piece. Not yet ready to tackle petit fours, avoiding more cupcakes, it came to me: triple layer brownies. I ripped open the cabinet when I got home and there it was, just as I had been turning it over in my mind all day at work:
My first ever Mexican drinking chocolate, meant to be dropped into a mug and covered in hot milk.
But not me. I made brownies.
Triple-Layer Mexican Chocolate Brownies
makes one 9 x 13″ pan, or about 50 or so small brownies
(a small one is just enough, really!)
Layer 1: Brownie Baselayer
4 1/4 oz Mexican drinking chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 c whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c + 2 T all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnnamon
1/8-1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (play with it; some like it nonchalant, some like it in their face)
1/2 c sugar
2 T cocoa powder
1/4 c applesauce
1 T vegetable oil or similar
2 T almond milk or similar
6 oz silken tofu, pureed
Layer 2: Lightly Cinnamon’d Cream Cheez. Really.
1/4 c vegan cream cheese (Tofutti’s the only kind I know)
1/4 c non-hydrogenated shortening
1-2 T almond milk or similar
1/4 tsp cinnamon extract (if you have it)
1/4 tsp cinnamon
2 c powdered sugar
Layer 3: Chocolate.
1 c semi-sweet chocolate, melted and cooled
1/2 c bittersweet chocolate, melted and cooled
Turn your oven on to 350 and prep a 9 x 13″ pan (or 2 8 x 8″ pans; that used to see me through just fine.) Mix together flour spices, and cocoa powder; set aside. Heat (I use a microwave) Mexican drinking chocolate till just soft; because of the sugar and nibs, it won’t go smooth like other chocolate. In a blender or food processor, whir the tofu till smooth and almost fluffy. Add chocolate; blend, then the applesauce and oil; blend again. If you’re lazy like me, you’ll scrape down the sides, then add the dry ingredients and the almond milk, whirring till just together. Spread into the prepared pan. It will be a very thin layer. Bake for 25-30 minutes or till a toothpick comes out clean; the time will depend on your oven. Set aside to cool.
Prepare the second layer when the brownies are nearly done cooling. Using your trusty hand mixer, blend together the soy cream cheez and shortening till smooth; add spices and extract and blend again. Add sugar at intervals, adding almond milk as needed. Spread in a thin layer over the top of the cooled brownies, which I am sure you have transferred to a piece of waxed paper on a cooling rack to make slicing easy later.
Melt chocolates together. Spread carefully over the top of the icing layer. Take care not to push to hard or make it too thin, otherwise you’ll have ‘bald’ spots in the top layer. If you’re feeling fancy, comb a pattern into it, or swirl the layers together some. If you’re like me and like seeing the layers in each bite, pop them into the fridge till the chocolate has just set. Transfer, paper and all, to your big cutting board. Slice first into lengths, about six for petite brownies, before slicing into individual pieces. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge. Enjoy!
(See Frankie? My recipes aren’t all secret!)