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Foodie Fridays: Tuxedo Brownies
Posted by Guest in Foodie Fridays
Last week, Peony shared some tips with us on how to have a lovely, low-pressure Valentine's Day. As part of the Valentine's Day fanfare, most of us are looking for a dessert that's impressive, but won't find us spending hours in the kitchen. This, my friends, is just the thing -- cute little two-bite brownies, filled with cream cheese and topped with a maraschino cherry.  They're perfect for sharing and, for those of you with a significant other in your life, how sexy would it be to feed these to each other?

Even better, you can whip these cuties up in no time flat. If you don't feel like making the brownies from scratch, you can substitute brownie mix (look for a fudgy variety). No matter which way you decide to go with these, you'll end up with an amazing little treat that's perfect for Valentine's Day or any other occasion. Enjoy, and Happy Valentine's Day!

Tuxedo Brownies
(adapted from Alice Medrich’s Pure Dessert
and The Pampered Chef Celebrate! cookbook)

Brownies:
8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into several pieces
3 large eggs
1 cup sugar
scant 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon (1.2 ounces) all-purpose flour

Position oven rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 350?F. Spray two mini muffin pans with non-stick cooking spray.

Place chocolate and butter in heatproof bowl and set over a pan of almost-simmering water. Stir frequently until mixture is melted and smooth and warm. Remove from the pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, salt and vanilla with a hand-held mixer on high speed until the eggs are thick and light colored, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the warm chocolate. Fold in the flour.

Using small scoop, place a level scoop of batter in each cup, filling 2/3 full. Bake 12-14 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean and edges are set (do not overbake). Remove from oven and immediately press tops of brownies with a mini tart shaper to make indentions (if you don't have a tart shaper, you can use the back of a measuring spoon or your thumb to gently press down the center of the brownie). Cool in pan briefly and then loosen edges and gently remove brownies from pan. Cool completely on a wire rack while making the filling.

Filling and toppings:
4 squares white chocolate for baking -- 1 oz each
4 tablespoons heavy cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup powdered sugar
48 maraschino cherries
melted semi-sweet chocolate for drizzling(optional)

Microwave white chocolate and milk uncovered on medium power in 20-30 second increments, stirring in between, until melted and smooth. Cool slightly. Combine cream cheese and powdered sugar; mix well. Gradually beat in white chocolate mixture until smooth.

Fill a decorator bag fitted with rosette tip with cream cheese mixture. Pipe mixture into cooled brownie cups. Place cherries on top. Drizzle with melted chocolate. Place in airtight container and refrigerate for 1-3 hours before serving.

Yield: 4 dozen

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