Brownies with Caramel and Walnuts

A trip to Starbucks the other day inspired this brownie recipe. My boyfriend was all over their caramel and walnut brownies, so I decided to try to make them myself. I am pretty partial about brownies, I could care either way. Anyway, my boyfriend was happy with the end result, so I guess that’s all that matters. ūüôā

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Ingredients:

Brownies:
1 cup butter, melt
3 cups white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 cup walnuts, chopped

Caramel Sauce:
1 cup white sugar
6 tablespoons butter
2/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:
1.¬†Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 baking dish.
2. In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar over medium-high heat, whisking until it reaches a dark amber color. Add the butter and whisk into the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and pour in the heavy cream. Continue to whisk until it forms a smooth sauce. Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before topping the brownies.
3. For the brownies, combine the melted butter, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each, until thoroughly blended.
4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, and salt in a bowl. Gradually stir flour mixture into the egg mixture until blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared baking dish. Scatter walnuts and top with the caramel sauce.
5. Bake in preheated oven until an inserted toothpick comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Remove, and cool pan on wire rack before cutting.

24 servings

chocolART

A couple weeks back, I had the pleasure of visiting chocolART in Tuebingen, considered the biggest chocolate festival in Germany. There were many diverse chocolate specialties, coming from countries such as Africa, Switzerland, France, and Belgium. Here are some images from the festival.

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Spr√ľngli

Usually I don’t buy myself chocolate. It has always been this way. I think part of the reason is that I try to eat as healthy as possible, and I feel guilty when I buy junk. That’s why when you come to my place, there aren’t soda, candies, chips, cookies, or anything of the like. And if there are, they are mostly likely a gift from someone.

Spr√ľngli¬†
Paradeplatz
Bahnhofstrasse 21, Zurich, Switzerland

However, there are exceptions.¬†Spr√ľngli is one of them. Zurich is very well known for its¬†Spr√ľngli chocolates. In fact, you can only find¬†Spr√ľngli stores in Switzerland (Germany has its Lindt brand, and Lindt and¬†Spr√ľngli are actually co-companies). Zurich has its Spr√ľngli¬†flagship store in Zurich, which is where I went this past weekend. The store also has a cafe upstairs (where I had housemade hot chocolate), and you can have cake and tea while overlooking the city center. It’s beautiful at¬†Spr√ľngli. And, naturally, I bought myself some chocolates.


Dark chocolate truffles, dusted with cocoa powder.

Because I’m not a fan of milk chocolate, or chocolate with fruit or rum, I asked one of saleslady for a recommendation for simple dark chocolate. There were two options, one in a black box (pictured above) and one in a white box. I can’t remember what the white box had, but this black box of truffles are very, very good. The truffles are very light and soft. Amazing. Exactly what I was looking for.

And as I’m writing this, they are slowly disappearing from the box. ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Muffins

There’s something lovely about waking up in the morning to a nice warm chocolate chip muffin, isn’t there?

Ingredients:
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
2. In a large bowl, sift flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon.
3. In another bowl, combine the egg, melted butter, milk, and vanilla. Stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Fill greased or paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. Bake at for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans.

6 large muffin servings