Friday, August 20, 2010

Chocolate & Coffee: A Heavenly Match

It would probably take me the rest of my life to try all the recipes I have tucked away to try "some day." Some are in a pile in my kitchen cabinet. A few are on my pull-down cookbook holder. Others clutter my work station by my computer.

They may be clipped from a favorite magazine. They may be printed from an email. They may be pulled from another writer's blog. A few may still be on an old-fashioned recipe card from a friend.

I have more cookbooks than anyone would ever need, and I've tried only a fraction of recipes from their pages. The Internet has multiplied the possibilities exponentially. Eric (my son-in-law) sent me a new recipe site to look at this week, Jill probably has her link to on her computer's bookmarks since she's always finding new things to try there.

There's an irony here. In this sea of recipes, I often drift toward the tried and true, the ones I can do in 30 minutes without having to crack open the cookbook. (That's what I get for trying to cram in just "one more thing" before starting dinner preparations!)

But this week's recipe is a new one at the County Line. The Fudgy Mocha Brownies recipe is from the back of a label on sweetened condensed milk. Labels are also a good source of recipes, though it's a risky proposition to remove a label in one piece.

I made the bar cookies this week for one of Randy's golfing buddies who was celebrating his birthday. He and I have a running joke about desserts. When he was at our house for a party once, we had so much food on the dining room table that I lined up the desserts on the nearby buffet.

When he left our house that night, he told his wife he was sure surprised that Kim hadn't served any desserts. She told him that he'd just missed them.

I'm surprised he didn't walk back up to the door for a doggy bag, but he resisted the temptation. (Either that or his wife wouldn't let him!)

Since that time, I always make sure he knows where to find the desserts.

He and Randy celebrated the big birthday on the Stafford golf course. The event gave me an excuse to try out the brownie recipe. And, if they flopped, he doesn't think I can cook sweet treats anyway.

In golfing terms, the guys decided they were up to par.

Enjoy the mocha taste with a cup of coffee!

Fudgy Mocha Brownies

1 1/4 cups unsifted flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup margarine or butter
1 14-oz. can sweetened condensed milk
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 egg
1 tsp. instant coffee dissolved in 1 tbsp. hot water
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In bowl, combine 1 cup flour and sugar. Cut in margarine or butter until crumbly. Press firmly on bottom of 13- by 9-inch pan. Bake 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, combine sweetened condensed milk, cocoa, egg, remaining 1/4 cup flour, coffee dissolved in water, vanilla and baking powder. Mix well. Stir in nuts. Spread over prepared crust. Bake 20 minutes or until center is set. Cool. Frost if desired. Store, tightly covered, at room temperature.

Note: In my oven, the crust and the brownies themselves cooked faster than the time in the recipe. I did frost the brownies with a coffee-flavored powdered sugar icing, but I didn't measure (Sorry!) I used a couple of tablespoons of melted margarine, powdered sugar, additional instant coffee dissolved in a little water and a little milk and made a fairly thin frosting.

I used dark cocoa. That's why they are such a dark-looking cookie.

The original recipe said you could use 2 tablespoons of coffee liqueur or the instant coffee/water combination. It's just not something I have on hand in the County Line kitchen!


  1. Thanks,for your good recipes! I tried the Strawberry Delight and it is delicious and so pretty. Do you think it would be just as good with less sugar?

  2. You are welcome. Glad you are enjoying the recipes. I have never tried to reduce the amount of sugar. You could cut it and see what happens. I think it would affect the fluffiness somewhat. It might be interesting to try a sugar substitute (if you don't mind that kind of thing. Some people would prefer the sugar to the chemicals.) I have used a granular sugar substitute to sweeten cranberries, etc., and have liked the results. It might be worth a try! Good luck!

  3. I used fresh strawberries, added 1 cup sugar and let sit for about 2 whipped up very high, actually above the top of the mixing bowl on the church's KitchenAid. It deflated a lot when folding in the whipped cream, but the finished product looked just like Kim's photo! Arlene