Currently viewing the tag: "brownies"

brownies
I have two exciting things to share with you: this giveaway, for a Vanilla Bean Baking Book apron and tea towel, and a recipe for my favorite brownies found in my cookbook. Yah!

I had some lovely help with these photos; my daughter above, and Ms. Molly Yeh, Melissa Coleman, and Zoe Francois. I got to hang out with them this weekend at Pinch of Yum’s amazing studio to celebrate Molly’s new book, and they were kind enough to let me take a picture of them in my pretty pink apron.
molly apron

melissaa

zoe
FIRST THINGS FIRST, THE GIVEAWAY
To Enter: Pre-order THE VANILLA BEAN BAKING BOOK and enter for a chance to win an apron and tea towel designed to go with the book! 12 winners will receive these lovely and practical (I had to make sure that the aprons have pockets!) kitchen items. Everyone who has pre-ordered my cookbook previously or places an order through Wednesday November 6th is eligible to participate. (Sorry, US and Canada only!) Simply go to this google form here and fill it out.

Extra Entries: Share my photo about the giveaway on Instagram to receive an extra entry! Make sure to use the hashtags #vanillabeanbakingbook and #vanillabeangiveaway to help me track all entries. Thanks!
apron

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nutella brownies | the vanilla bean blog
‘He stood staring into the wood for a minute, then said: “What is it about the English countryside — why is the beauty so much more than visual? Why does it touch one so?”

He sounded faintly sad. Perhaps he finds beauty saddening — I do myself sometimes. Once when I was quite little I asked father why this was and he explained that it was due to our knowledge of beauty’s evanescence, which reminds us that we ourselves shall die. Then he said I was probably too young to understand him; but I understood perfectly.’
-Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
nutella brownies | the vanilla bean blog

nutella brownies with pumpkin ice cream | the vanilla bean blog

Billy Green from Wit and Vinegar just came out with a new book, and the recipe for these nutella brownies are found among its pages. If you haven’t checked out Billys’ blog yet, head over for good recipes and sassy conversation. “Oh, hello there. Thank you for picking up this book and flipping to this page to decide whethere or not you want to buy it. Your hair looks great today, by the way. You wanna talk about food?”

It’s an instant cure for the blues.

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really good brownies + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
I have a giveaway for you! And one I’m terribly excited about. It’s for a copy of the new Cook’s Illustrated Baking Book. I was given a copy of their first baking book, Baking Illustrated, eight years ago, and it is currently resting on my shelf of favorite cookbooks, covered in flour, and chocolate, and handwritten notes. After spending the last few weeks reading through this latest book, I am confident that it will be just as well-used. There are new recipes, and improved recipes. And there are beautiful black and white photographs. I’m sold.

I had already made several things from the book (they had been featured in Cooks Illustrated Magazine), and I spent some time this month making a few more: blueberry scones, cream cheese coffee cake, no-knead brioche, cinnamon swirl bread, multigrain bread, focaccia, ultimate chocolate cupcakes, almond ring coffee cake, and triple chocolate cake, just to name a few. Oh, and these brownies. (My husband threw the word sexy around when he took his first bite; they are really good.)
really good brownies + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
really good brownies + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
really good brownies + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
really good brownies + a giveaway | the vanilla bean blog
All you have to do to enter the giveaway is leave a comment on this post! I’ll be picking a winner November 1st. Good luck! The winner is Kelly from kellybaked! (FYI: Sometimes it takes comments awhile to show up!)

(And, Cook’s Illustrated generously gave me a review copy of this cookbook, but all opinions are my own!)

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Even as a young girl, the sweet and salty combination was one of my most favorite things. I have very fond memories of my sister and I dunking hot, salty fries in cold, frothy chocolate shakes, gleeful at our latest invention. Sure, they were from some fast food empire, but we didn’t know any better, and thought we had come up with the most amazing discovery. [We also came up with popcorn and sour patch kids. Try it next time you’re at the movies. Really, just dump the sour patch kids on in. You won’t regret it.]
Years later, I am now enjoying salty and sweet in a more sophisticated way. Every restaurant, coffee house, bakery and food blog has some pastry or recipe that combines this union. The Baked Explorations cookbook is no exception, and these brownies are incredible. They are so chocolaty and deep, with a thin layer of salty caramel and a dusting of coarse sugar and salt. They are a little more work than heading through the drive-through for a shake and fries, but it is time well spent. I think my sister would agree.

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Purchase my cookbook!

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