Brownies and Bars

Sweet Saturday: White and Dark Chocolate Coffee Brownies

It was 70° two days ago.  Right now it is 39°, cloudy and misty.  I’m wearing long pants, a sweatshirt and my fake fur lined boots…and I like it.

I am starting to truly like cool weather and I’ve always loved the things associated with this time of year.  Changing leaves, pumpkins, sweaters, warm socks, soup, and before you know it, it’s Christmas!  Anyway…

The cooler weather inspired me to bake something warm, rich and chocolate-y yesterday, so I found a basic and easy brownie recipe, halved it to better serve 2 people, and made use of what I had in my pantry.



Sweet Saturday: Chipper Blondie Bars

Chipper [chip-er]


marked by or being in sprightly good humor and health.


marked by the presence of more than 2 types of chips in a baked good.

Lately I have been changing recipes just a tad and trying to figure out just how much can change without affecting the dish detrimentally.  I changed the pasta last week too much with the addition of the sausage, but other than that it was yummy, so I will consider that to be a success!

I found the original recipe for these bars on King Arthur’s website.  A lot of the recipes sound delicious but have mixed reviews, so I am often hesitant to try them.  The combination of butter, brown sugar, and chocolate sounded like it just couldn’t miss…so I decided to give these Warm Chocolate Blondie Bars a try.  I changed the mix-ins, but left the cookie base alone.  I don’t feel quite ready to start messing with people’s baking ratios.  I used chopped Hershey’s bars because they were on sale, white chocolate chips because I like them, and toffee pieces because they melt into pure deliciousness in a cookie.


The only other differences from the original recipe are that I didn’t use espresso powder or nuts.  The recipe has the option of either all purpose or white whole wheat flour.  I chose all purpose for 2 reasons: I didn’t have white whole wheat, and I didn’t want to replace it with whole wheat flour.  I would consider half whole wheat and half all purpose, but a cookie with ALL whole wheat flour is often too hearty and a bit gritty for my liking.  An oatmeal cookie with whole wheat flour works, but not a chocolate chip type cookie…in my opinion…which matters…very little.


Colorado Oatmeal, Coconut, Chocolate Chip Bars

I am part of a family who thoroughly enjoys snacking.  That is why we needed some cookie bars up here in Durango for after finishing off all the cookies we had from Bread Bakery in Durango.  They have some incredible cookies, a delicious ham and brie sandwich and an incredible goat cheese and thyme scone that I plan to try to duplicate at some point.  So, after all the crazy delicious goodies were gone I made these cookie bars.  I found a recipe for oatmeal, coconut cookies from, and changed a few things in the dough and also made bars instead of cookies.  I was reminded by my sister after I had pressed the dough into the pan that I should have done something to compensate for the high altitude, but it was a little late for that.  So, I took my chances.  It turned out not to be an issue.  The bars did take a bit longer to bake than I would have thought.  Other than that, the flavor and texture were good.



Red Wine Brownies

Wine and chocolate are perfect partners.  Well, in my opinion, wine and cheese are perfect partners, but I don’t see a blue cheese brownie in the near culinary future…unless someone reading this is feeling kinda crazy!  Let me know…

Anyway, a red wine brownie only seems natural.  This recipe comes from Cookiemadness, one of the first food blogs I started following when I started blogging.  Love it.

When I read through the ingredients I was so pleased that I had everything to make these without a trip to the store, always a good thing.  I was also pleased that I had an excuse to open a bottle of wine.  

The brownie batter came together really quickly, and I didn’t have to use my mixer!  All you need is a whisk and a spoon.  About 5 minutes before the brownies were done I made the glaze and it was ready when the brownies came out of the oven.  My brownies were very thin (less than 1/2 inch) in the center of the pan.  My cookiemadness advisor told me to be sure I just greased the BOTTOM of the pan.  Greasing the bottom only ensures that the brownies will bake up evenly instead of sticking to the sides and pulling the brownies outward.  I will try that when I make these again, and I will be making these again.  They are so tasty and different than just a regular fudgy brownie.  There is a slight yeast-like flavor that comes from the wine.  These are good.


Red Wine Brownie Bars

  • 4 oz/114 grams unsalted butter (1 stick)
  • 1 ounce (28 grams) unsweetened chocolate, broken up
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (192 grams)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon red wine (Cabernet)
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (spoon lightly into cup to get 94 grams)

Red Wine Glaze

  • 3 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter (50 grams)
  • 1 oz unsweetened chocolate
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar (60 grams)
  • 3 tablespoons red wine (Cabernet)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8 inch square metal pan with foil and grease bottom of pan only or spray the bottom with cooking spray. Don’t spray the sides.

Melt butter in a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add chocolate. Stir until chocolate melts, then add sugar. Continue heating for about 30 seconds to dissolve some of the sugar. Remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk the eggs, wine, baking powder and salt together in a mixing bowl. Make sure you’ve whisked out any lumps of stray baking powder. Add a small amount of the slightly cooled chocolate mixture to the eggs and whisk until blended, then whisk in the rest of the chocolate mixture. Fold in the flour with a large spatula – the goal is to mix it, but not beat the flour too much. Pour into pan. Drop pan onto counter from about 5 inches once or twice to remove air bubbles. Bake on center rack and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a tester inserted in center comes out clean.

Meanwhile prepare icing. Melt butter over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and add chocolate, sugar and wine. Continue heating over low, stirring often, until mixture is smooth – don’t let it boil. Pour hot wine mixture over fresh-out-of-the-oven brownie/cake base and let stand for an hour or so. The topping should sink down into the cake and settle on top. Let sit until topping has set. I put mine in the refrigerator to speed up the chocolate-setting. This worked well for the topping, but I think the refrigerator adds to much stiffness to the base so if you chill these, let them come back to room temp before serving.