The 2nd place award winning “dessert bars.” :)
There was a small controversy at the judging table, and among some fellow bakers, that suggested that the taste of chocolate did not come through. I will agree. The brownie recipe is my Grandmother’s, and she stole it from someone else, so it is an older recipe. Compared to several other brownie recipes I have seen, it does not have a high percentage of cocoa in it, and it does not have any melted chocolate, so this will give you more of a cake like brownie than a dense fudge type brownie. Still, I grew up on it, and I think it is one of the best brownies out there.
This has several parts. It is not necessarily a recipe that needs to be followed exactly, but rather a starting point for future explorations. I have made a few notes in places where I would modify it if I were making it again. Enjoy it!
Coconut Ginger Brownies with Ginger Salted Caramel Sauce
I have posted these before here
1 1/2 cup (7.5 oz) flour
2 cup (14 oz) sugar (or you can use part brown sugar)
1/2 cup (2oz) cocoa
1 tsp salt
1 cup vegetable oil (or do half melted butter and half oil)
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup pecan halves (optional)
(to make it ginger: add 1 tbsp ginger powder. If you want more of a ginger taste in the brownie, you can experiment with adding diced candied ginger to the batter.)
Place all ingredients in mixer bowl. Beat on medium speed for 3 minutes.
For regular brownies, you can bake these as is. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Coconut “Macaroon” filling
Idea from AllRecipes.com (which has a very similar brownie recipe with a different way of mixing)
I did not measure this. It was approximately 7 oz of Sweetened Condensed milk (or about half the can) to about 5 oz of Coconut Flakes. Stir together until you have all the coconut covered in the sweetened condensed milk. When I did it this time, it was very crumbly. Next time, I may try a higher proportion of sweetened condensed milk, or more coconut. Many people said that it did not taste enough of coconut.
To make the layered brownies, place half of the brownie batter in a 9×13 baking pan. Top with all the coconut, sprinkled as evenly as possible. Top with remaining brownie batter. Bake for about 30 minutes, at 350, until a toothpick inserted comes out mostly clean.
You can also make these just two layer brownies, with brownies on the bottom and the coconut on the top. I made a half batch (pictured above), which cooked for 22 minutes. The tallest peaks of the coconut were dark brown, but I think it would be fine in a longer bake for the full size brownies.
Salted Caramel Sauce
Adapted from Good Eats
2 cups of Sugar (14 oz)
about 1 cup of water
1 cup of heavy cream
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1.5 tsp sea salt
Pour sugar in Heavy Pan. Pour water around edge of the sugar pile, to try to get any sugar crystals off the side. Put over high heat. After it boils for a bit, insert a candy thermometer. Cook until it hits the right temperature. (I took mine to 320, because I was playing it safe. You can take it higher than that. Rose Levy Beranbaum said in Rose’s Celebrations that she takes her caramel to 380. Alton Brown said on Good Eats to take it until you see wisps of smoke. Me, 320 to be safe, and it was tasty.)
Once it hits the temperature, pour in the heavy cream. Stir and boil until it is all combined. Then add the butter and sea salt, and turn off the burner.
Ginger Salted Caramel
Dice Candied Ginger. Mix with Salted Caramel Sauce. Pour over cooled brownies.