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January 19, 2018

A Box of Brownies | Easy Valentines Treats

Of course giving a box of chocolates is classic Valentine's Day.  Have you ever heard the Barefoot Contessa talk about how she used to send Jeffery boxes of brownies when they were dating?  I would much rather receive a box of brownies than a box of chocolates.  I would also much rather give a box of brownies than a box of chocolates.

This idea is a Hi/Lo spin on the classic box of chocolates.  It is a beautiful pink gift box embossed with gold filled with good, old fashioned brownies.  I am obsessed with these boxes.  I had them custom made this year for my Valentines Collection.  They are a high quality, rigid 2-piece gift box.  I looked everywhere for the perfect color of pink.  

The measure 5" tall x 7" wide x 1.25" high - perfect for cookies, brownies or a small gift like jewelry, or a gift card.  I cut my brownies into heart shapes using these Heart Cookie Cutters.  Pink Gold Embossed Boxes >

The boxes are beautiful, but these brownies are the true star of the show.  They are just as decadent as homemade fudge - with the same consistency.  They don't have the chewy consistency of a boxed brownie, but more of a dense fudge.  They stir together (no mixer required) in just a few minutes and are made from really simple ingredients.

TIP : The main trick to getting the brownies to come nicely out of the pan is using a Parchment Paper  sheet on the pan.  This recipe is perfect for one of my Small Sheet Pan, $7  but you can double the recipe and use a Large Sheet Pan, $8   For both sizes, I use my Parchment sheets, but either fold or cut it in half for the Small Sheet Pan.

TIP : Another good idea is to place the brownie pan on a large sheet pan (also lined with Parchment) while baking.  This batter can tend to bubble over the edge slightly.

Parchment Paper, 100 for $10

Small Sheet Pan, $7

Large Sheet Pan, $8

When the come out of the oven, let them cool.  I recommend refrigerating them or about an hour to make them firm and easy to work with.  Run a knife around the edge and lift the entire sheet of brownies with the parchment paper out of the pan, using a spatula to help you.

Once they are out, you can cut them into squares or shapes with cutters.

Heart Cookie Cutters, Set of 5 for $6 >

The Best Brownies
This recipe is based on the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownies, but I've simplified it for our taste (without nuts and extra chocolates). 

2 sticks of butter
2 cups of chocolate chips
1 cup of sugar
2/3 cup of flour
1 teaspoon of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of sea salt
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla
3 eggs

In a large microwave safe bowl, place chocolate chips, then top with butter. Microwave for 1-2 minutes, until butter melts and covers the chips. Stir to melt.

Add the flower, baking powder and salt to the mixture.  Stir just until almost combined.  Beat eggs lightly, then stir in until mixed completely.   Do not over mix.  Just until combined. 

Pour into a Parchment lined Small Sheet Pan (9x13) and bake for 20-24 minutes at 350 degrees.

Let cool completely before cutting.  I like to refrigerate for an hour.  I lift the entire sheet out of the pan using the Parchment paper to make cutting easy.

I love that you don't even need to get out the mixer for these.  Just stir together.

I cut a strip of Parchment Paper to line the box, with enough to fold over the sides to cover the brownies when closed.

I think this is such a lovely gift and can't wait to make boxes full of brownies for all of our teachers, neighbors and friends.
Did I mention this is so much easier than decorating sugar cookies?!

Products Used :

Pink Gold Embossed Boxes, 2 for $10

Parchment Paper, 100 for $10

Small Sheet Pan, $7

Large Sheet Pan, $8

Heart Cookie Cutters, Set of 5 for $6

Shop the entire Valentines Collection, here >

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