Friday, March 14, 2008

Newlywed Cooking at its Best: Small Batch Baking

mini batch brownies
Baking has always been one of my passions. When hubby and I were dating, I'd joyfully bring him and his roommates cakes, cookies, and their favorite- rice crispy treats, and they'd instantly be gobbled up. It also won me brownie points (OK, sorry for that cheesiness). If the guys weren't around, I'd at least have my own roommates and coworkers to share my culinary creations with. Now that we no longer have two sets of roommates, and I don't work in a large office anymore, its up to hubby and I to devour the majority of my baking treats. I can't say we really mind this challenge at times, but our health probably does! Beyond that, having to bake for two limits how often I'm able to experiment with new recipes.

Small Batch Baking recently came to the rescue with decadent desserts that serve two to four Small Batch Baking Cookbookpeople. Even better, the amount of ingredients used is so small that even a fancy dessert such as Petite Pear Tarte Tatin does not seem as daunting. If the recipe fails, at least I only wasted 4 tablespoons of flour!

I feverishly flipped through the book the first night it arrived, overwhelmed at which recipe to make first. In the mood for a muffin? Well, perfect - there's a recipe that makes just two jumbo morning glory muffins. Too lazy to make an apple crumble pie? Don't be, you only have to use one apple! Over the past couple days, I've managed to make almost 5 recipes. Some were divine, others were near kitchen disasters (pecan snowball cookies). The Moist Fudgy Brownies were top-notch if you enjoy gooey brownies with crisp edges. I also enjoyed the rum cakes, hubby felt otherwise ("they taste like egg cake..." OK!) . All in all, this cookbook is great for couples or those looking for some portion control. I will admit I did feel bad when hubby came out for a study break and asked for another brownie. I suppose it's probably for the best. More Small Batch recipes and reviews to come.

Moist & Fudgy Brownies
adapted from Small Batch Baking
Makes 2-3 brownies

1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 1/2 tablespoons semisweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon plus 2 1/4 teaspoons egg substitute or beaten egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt

Pan Required:
1 petite loaf pan (2 cup capacity, about 5x3 inches) My mini loaf pan is smaller(about 3/4 cup capacity), so I divided the batter between two mini pans.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line the pan with aluminum foil. Very Lightly grease the foil.
  2. Place the butter and the chocolate chips in a medium sized microwaveable bowl and microwave on medium power until the chocolate is soft and the butter is melted, about 45 seconds. Stir until the chocolate is smooth and completely melted. Add sugar and stir until incorporated. Then add the beaten egg and vanilla, and stir. Finally, add the flour & salt. Spread the batter evenly in the prepared loaf pan(s).
  3. Bake for 28 to 30 minutes (about 24 minutes if using a smaller pan), or until a toothpick inserted comes out with moist crumbs; the top will appear dry and the brownie will start to shrink from the sides of the pan. Do not overcook.
  4. Remove the loaf pan from the oven, place on wire rack and let the brownies cool completely in the pan. Use the edges of the foil to lift brownies out of the pan. Remove foil and cut brownies.


Anonymous said...

That is very cool! I'm definitely gonna have to check out that book. I love to bake, but have the same problem regarding how much I end up with. Thanks for the tip. ;)

Megs said...

Hi Sharon - I just discovered your blog and I love it!

What a good idea for a book. It's almost impossible for me to adapt recipes (ok, ok, I'm just too lazy to) so that the portions aren't out of control for just the two of us!

Anonymous said...

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See you there.


MrOrph said...


Sharon, puleeeze warm one of those up and scoop some vanilla ice cream on it for me....

Karen said...

I feel like you've opened up a new world to me! Small batch baking! I've seen the light now...

It's just the two of us right now AND I'd like to practice portion control. Even when I make a healthy batch of muffins or brownies...they're gone in two or three days. I've resorted to giving them out to neighbors! Thanks for this recipe and keep posting them!


Sharon said...

Kristal & Megan - Yea, the book is great though sometimes I wish I had one more cookie or one more brownie! I usually screw recipes up when I try to adapt the proportions myself.

Mroprh - I'd be happy to trade some brownies for some of your gyros :)

Karen - I'll be posting a recipe for Happy Morning Muffins soon. They were delicious!

Thoughts Anonymously said...

Where did you find this book? I must have it!

Sharon said...

Hi Brigid, I got mine from Amazon. There's a link to it in the post (click the book picture). I'm sure you could find it at Borders as well. Let me know if you try it out!

The Pink Cupcake said...

Just started reading your blog, good stuff. I have this book, although I haven't tried anything yet. Maybe I'll get on the ball this weekend and get something done!