I love to cook, and bake. There are two places I can be found when my mind is full, and that’s in a kitchen, or writing. I’m a bit fonder of the results from my kitchen…or maybe I’m just more confident in them. In all my kitchen endeavors, I seem to be known most for my baking. This means every time we are invited somewhere, asked to bring something, or help out with food, I’m assigned dessert. And I DO NOT mind a bit. However, sometimes those things pile up. Before you know it you’re taking cupcakes to the baseball party, end of the year party, and have to throw something together for those people coming over all in the same day. Like I said, I DO NOT mind this. But sometimes I have to shut down the perfectionistic and creative side that would love to make something fantastic, delicious, and spend all day in the kitchen doing so. Sometimes, you just gotta get ‘er done, and not care if Creme Anglaise is a part of it or not. So when I want fun with a little fancy and more importantly easy, I pull this out.
There is one box mix in my pantry at all times, and only one. I have tried lots and lots of brownie recipes from scratch, and they just don’t compare. So whatever, Ghirardelli for life. My one caveat to the directions is to add coconut oil instead of the canola/vegetable oil as directed. It adds great flavor, and is healthier. A dash or two of cinnamon and pinch of cayenne make things really fun if you’re feeling adventurous!
I pour them in a mini muffin tin, sprayed with coconut oil and bake for 8-10 minutes. Run a knife gently around them while still warm to help loosen them a bit. Let cool completely then remove from pan. You could stop right here and throw them on a plate, but I like to go a step further. While the brownies are baking I make some ganache (recipe and directions here). As I pop them out of the tin, I dunk the tops of them in ganache and lay them out for the chocolate to firm up a bit. I then throw some berries (any kind will do) on top. Blueberries and raspberries are pretty easy to plop on; for the strawberries I cut slits and spread them out like a fan, making those a bit more time consuming. If you have mint or basil in your garden, throw a few sprigs on top (it adds great flavor too!) and you’re ready to go!
These are great little hand held bites that are perfect for places where portability is key. And they’re so pretty. And easy. And yummy. And you should make them. I won’t judge if only half of them make it to their intended destination because the others made it into your mouth. That may or may not have happened here. Maybe my intended destination was my mouth.