Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mini Football Brownies

I have a lot of *mini* stuff, don't I? Well, it's cute, easier to store, easier to snack on, and easier to share, so I will probably continue to have a lot of mini stuff.

Today is our 8th anniversary. I've been scheming something football-themed, but all my ideas were pretty huge for just the two of us, so I finally settled on these football-shaped brownies. They tasted awesome, and the shape was great. Football jokes abounded. "Pass me a brownie! I'm open!" "Oh no! Pass interference!" We crack ourselves up.

I got the mini football silicone mold last week when I journeyed to the baking Mecca of the greater Phoenix area, ABC Cake Decorating Supplies. The mold was a fun idea, but the design was only a very faint outline on the baked product. I was able to trace it easily enough when I piped the white frosting on for the threads and the stripes, but if I'd frosted these first, I think I'd have been on my own for the pattern. Luckily, the Chef and I agree that frosting on brownies is simply unnecessary.

This brownie recipe is one I found many months ago when the "chocolate cake in a coffee cup" was going around. It's about a million times better than that cake, still very easy, and doesn't have any exotic ingredients. I omitted nuts and added Hershey's Special Dark chocolate chips instead. The recipe yields 12-15 brownies, but I only made 12 mini footballs. The first batch, I filled the mold about 3/4, which was a little heavy. The brownies puffed up over the top of the mold a little, which gave them a "ledge" when they were turned out on the cooling rack. They were also realistically a little much for a single serving, but we soldiered through! The second batch was more like a 2/3 fill, using all the remaining batter, and these baked perfectly to the top of the pan with no "ledge". If I do this again, I could probably make 14 footballs with this recipe, but doing a third batch for just 2 footballs doesn't appeal to me.

Recipe (makes 12 *generous* servings):
  • 3/4 c butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 3 eggs

  • 1 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3/4 c all purpose flour
  • 1/2 c cocoa powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 c chocolate chips (approximately - I just poured them in until it looked good, but I used a little less than half of the 2 c bag)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking mold with Wilton cake release, butter, or non-stick cooking spray. (I used cake release, because I read that it was easier to use the silicone mold with it. I haven't tried the mold with butter, so I can't say if it's better or not, but it certainly worked well with the cake release.) If you want to make normal brownies with this recipe, it will fill a 9x13 baking pan, and the baking time is about the same.

Melt butter in small bowl in microwave (about 45 seconds on high - may take longer if your butter is fresh from the refrigerator).

In large bowl, beat eggs and sugar together. (I used my stand mixer with the whisk attachment.) Add melted butter and all other ingredients except chocolate chips and mix until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips by hand.

Pour into prepared baking mold, filling each cavity about 2/3 full. (Note, the photo shows my first batch, which was more like 3/4 full. See above.)

Place silicone mold on metal baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees, about 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool about 10 minutes before unmolding onto a cooling rack covered with parchment paper. Continue to cool completely before decorating (otherwise your frosting will melt and slide off).

For the decoration, I used ready-to-use vanilla frosting in a disposable decorating bag with a #3 round tip. I put about a tablespoon of frosting in the bag, and probably used less than half of it. There's not a whole lot to frost on these!

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