Autumnal Speculaas Brownies

I really love brownies. And I really love experimenting with brownies. You can do so much with them! For example, I made these lemon and ginger brownies last year and they were delicious. So a few weeks back, when I was feeling all autumnal and stuff and the idea for these brownies popped into my head I was excited immediately. And boy, was I right to be.

THEY ARE SO GOOD.

I’ve used speculaas in quite a few of my recipes on this blog already, and I always feel a bit conflicted, since it’s a typically Dutch biscuit and I’ve got no clue if you can get them elsewhere (except for Belgium or Germany). I really really love speculaas, though, so I’m going to put up this recipe anyway, and provide a few alternatives in the list of ingredients! For example, if you’re in the UK, you could try using Ginger Nuts instead – it would be slightly different, but really tasty still, I think.

As for the rest of the recipe; it’s just like all of my other brownie recipes – very simple, just throw in the extra ingredients along the way, and you’ve got yourself a delicious brownie with a little twist.

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Chocolate Brownie and Orange Tart (with hazelnuts)

Back in 2015 I baked an absolutely delicious chocolate brownie and raspberry tart for my birthday. It was a huge success, and not that difficult – despite it having quite a few steps. This tart right here is a variation on that one – I used orange instead of raspberry and added some more hazelnuts to the equation.

It looks a tiny bit less appealing than the raspberry one because the orange coulis almost looks a little green (it isn’t; that’s just the brownie shining through), but it tastes just as delicious – or perhaps even a little better! I adore the combination of orange and chocolate, and the hazelnuts lift it up even more. I roasted these in the oven for a few minutes – that makes them taste even yummier. If you’re not a fan of nuts, however, you can easily leave them out.

I’m still having some trouble getting back into blogging and reading, which bums me out a little. I’m going to keep trying, though! I really love this blog and this community, and I definitely want to keep it all going.

Also, an exciting life update: I found a job! At a book store! It’s only a part time gig as an on call employee person thingy (and not yet enough to live off of) but it’s perfect for me. I had my first couple of days last week and it’s even more fun than I imagined it would be. Perhaps I’ll do a life update post soon to tell you all a bit more about what’s been going on with me post university. But first, let’s get to the recipe!

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Lemon and Ginger Chocolate Brownies

This weekend, I had one of those days where I was just completely exhausted and done with everything. I was wound up about a couple of different things, and as a result I kind of just broke down. I’m sure I’m not the only one who has days like that! In my experience, you just have to let it happen and try to be kind to yourself and do things that make you happy.

To me, that’s baking brownies.

I had the idea for these lemon and ginger brownies for a while now, ever since I first tasted what’s become a new favourite chocolate bar, which (unsurprisingly) featured … lemon and ginger. After tasting (and loving) that flavour combination I thought: “I’m sure that’d work amazing in a brownie.”

And I was right! These brownies may look like regular ol’ brownies (which are pretty freaking good as well), but they do indeed feature ground ginger and the zest of a lemon – it adds a great kick to an already delicious brownie!

Oh, and I’m feeling fine again, by the way. It must have been all that chocolate…

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Decadent Three-Layer Brownies

These brownies are more commonly known as “slutty brownies” but I don’t like that name, so I went for “decadent three-layer brownies” instead. It’s still the same type of brownie, though: a layer of cookie dough covered by a layer of Oreos covered by a layer of brownie.

I know.

They’re as good as they sound. Interestingly, though, they taste far more delicious when they’re completely cooled down than when they’re still warm, which is counter-intuitive to me, but hey. You live, you learn.

Although there are quite a few steps, these brownies are definitely easy to make. I simply combined two of my other recipes and threw in some Oreos in between. They’re very dense and heavy, though, so I cut these into rather small pieces. But I’m not here to judge: you do you.

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Rolo Sea Salt Brownies

I don’t often bake on a whim. Usually, I figure out what I want to bake a few days in advance, put together a recipe, and then bake it. But this week, on Thursday, to be more specific, I decided I wanted to bake brownies. Not just any brownies, though, I wanted to add something to them, to make them even more awesome than usual (I bake pretty awesome brownies, to be honest).

So, I came up with the idea to add a bunch of Rolos to the batter. For those of you who don’t know what Rolos are (under which rock have you been living?): they’re small pieces of candy made of milk chocolate filled with caramel. Good stuff.

And then, while I was innocently typing away on my thesis, I had another brainwave: add sea salt. Which was a brilliant idea, because salted caramel seems to be all the rave these days. Should work pretty well with these brownies too, right? And it did! These are some next level brownies and they are delicious. Like, really delicious.

Although, to quote one of my friends after she tasted these bad boys: “The power of chocolate, caramel and sea salt is not to be underestimated.” So, I had some pretty good collaborators there.

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Chocolate Brownie and Raspberry Tart

As I mentioned in my Monthly Recap, I celebrated my 22nd birthday this past week, which is more or less the reason why I haven’t posted anything since said recap… That, and the two deadlines I had this week. Those didn’t help either.

Anyway, I’m here now, which is what’s most important! My birthday was a lot of fun, with lovely presents (the complete series of Gilmore Girls being the highlight!) and even lovelier people to celebrate it with. On the 7th of October itself I had dinner at my parents’ together with my grandparents, my aunt and my cousin, and the day after I cooked dinner at my own place for four of my best friends. We ate, we drank, we played Cards Against Humanity – it was great!

That dinner leads me to today’s recipe… I made a chocolate brownie and raspberry tart as the dessert for the dinner with my friends, and it was a huge success! It was absolutely delicious, with the raspberry coulis providing a fresh, tangy flavour to accompany the fudgy, chocolate-y brownie.

This tart was inspired by Tamal’s creation in The Great British Bake-Off during chocolate week, when he made a chocolate tart with raspberry coulis as well. Most recipes for chocolate tarts use a lot of cream or milk, though, and I couldn’t do that for this one, because one of my friends is allergic to milk. So I came up with the brownie idea and it worked splendidly!

I also added some chopped hazelnuts on top, since my parents had a lot of hazelnuts lying around (there’s a hazel tree in the garden) and hazelnuts are great, so why not? I roasted them in the oven and blitzed them up in my tiny food processor. They’re a great addition to this already amazing tart.

One last thing: I took the pictures the next day (when it wasn’t dark outside and I had natural lighting) so that’s why there’s only one piece in the pictures – most of the tart was gone already!

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Chocolate Brownie Cookies

I don’t have chocolate cravings all that often, but when I do, I usually make my chocolate brownies – my very first recipe on this blog and the only one I know completely by heart. However, I’d recently seen a YouTube video by CupcakeJemma in which she makes chocolate brownie cookies. This intrigued me! Brownies, in cookie form? Yes please!

I decided to transform my own brownie recipe into a brownie cookie recipe and it worked like a charm! I added a little bit of extra flour, some baking soda and used light brown sugar instead of granulated sugar and these beauties were the result. They taste delicious, are kind of fudge-y and very chocolate-y, which was just what I was looking for…

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Banana Chocolate Brownies

The very first thing I ever posted on Books Baking and Blogging was my brownie recipe. I’ve made it tons of times since (it’s still a favourite — both with me and my friends), but the other day I decided to give it a new little twist. I had some overripe bananas lying around, and what better way to use these than to bake something delicious with them?

I was having a bit of a bad day that day, so I decided fairly quickly that there would have to be a large amount of chocolate involved with this baked goodie. I also didn’t have that much time, since a friend of mine was coming over — so it needed to be something quick. Solution? Brownies!

My friend Emmie (who blogs!) and I devoured some of these while watching an episode of Friends, and I gave her a couple to take home as well. The next day, I’d just decided that they tasted even better than the previous day when Emmie texted me to tell me the exact same thing! So, if you decide to make these: make them a day in advance! It really does make a difference. On the first day we both felt that a little something might be missing, but that feeling was gone completely on day two.

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Pear and Berry Crumble and a Birthday

I turned 21 on Tuesday, and of course I needed to bake something for the occasion. What’s a birthday without some home made sweetness to munch on? I had a lovely dinner with my parents, grandparents and aunt on Monday, and made an absolutely delicious crumble for dessert. It included all kinds of berries and a couple of pears. Read on for the recipe!

P1010740On Tuesday I celebrated my birthday with a few of my closest friends. They came over for dinner, and of course this called for another really great dessert. I had already figured out what I wanted to make a couple of weeks ago. It was something really simple but also really pretty and so tasty. I made a couple of brownies (recipe) in my muffin tin, added a perfect scoop of vanilla ice cream, and topped if off with some chocolate sauce and a fresh raspberry. One of my friends is lactose intolerant, so I bought raspberry sorbet for her, which also tasted really good. I was pretty proud of how it turned out to look!

P1010743One last birthday related thing I want to share with you all is two of the presents I received. I’ve talked about how much I love Roald Dahl’s Matilda a couple of times before, and about how I still wanted a nice English edition of the book… Guess what my parents gave me? A really gorgeous edition! And my cousin got me a very nice book as well; a cookbook from The Hummingbird Bakery. I’ve already looked through it, and it features some absolutely mouthwatering recipes! I’ll definitely be trying some of those in the future.

Anyway, enough about my birthday. Let’s get on with the crumble recipe!

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Chocolate Orange Cheesecake Brownies

Chocolate orange cheesecake brownies — doesn’t that combination of words just make your mouth water like there’s no tomorrow? That’s what happened to me when I encountered those words on Facebook, and the picture that came with them didn’t help either!

I’ve been following Sorted Food on Youtube for a while now, and they keep amazing me with wonderful and creative recipes. They describe themselves as “a bunch of mates who are out to prove that you can have a bit of fun in the kitchen – cooking doesn’t have to be so serious!” Don’t let this statement fool you, though, they know exactly what they’re doing, mostly because one of them is a trained chef. However, there’s still plenty of banter in the kitchen and they always make me laugh.

I always enjoy their videos, but had never tried out one of their recipes (although this tiramisu cheesecake needs to be made). That is, until these brownies. As you might have read in my previous post, I am quite stressed out because of midterms, and that’s usually the time when I start to crave brownies. I was also feeling a bit bad for not having posted any recipes since the beginning of March, so this was the perfect opportunity to bake these mouthwatering lovelies: it gave me some distraction from studying and stressing, some delicious brain food and something baking related to post today. That’s like a ton of birds with one stone!

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These brownies consist of a normal chocolate brownie base made even more delicious with an orange cream cheese filling. They are really easy to make and don’t take up a lot of your time — it’s the perfect treat for a movie night with friends or just as something nice to go with your cup of tea. Although, you really don’t need an excuse to enjoy these; they’re too delicious for that!

You can find the recipe here, on Sorted Food’s website.

I’ll leave you with some pictures I took while making these amazing chocolate orange cheesecake brownies!

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