Inga's Indulgence

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Naughty & Nice

When it comes to dessert, some people prefer to be bad, while others genuinly try to find that paradise where flavor and health are able to co-exist harmoniously.

My personal preference is subject to change. That's why I present you with two sweet treats below, that despite sharing the criteria of being yummy, are polar opposites of each other.

First stop: the "nice" option - with ingredients like whole wheat flour, vegetable oil (not butter), egg whites, and a tart burst of fresh cranberries and apples, these delicious bars will satisfy your sweet tooth, and keep you on that right track ;)

Cranberry Apple Bars
(yield: 12 bars)

1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
1/3 cup vegetable oil (plus more for greasing the pan)
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of salt
1 large grannysmith apple, peeled and cut into medium cubes
1 cup fresh cranberries
1 egg white
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan with oil.

Using an electric mixer, beat the egg, milk, orange juice, and oil together in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, mixing just to combine. Stir in the cranberries and apples. Pour batter into prepared pan, and spread evenly.

Make the merengue: In a clean bowl, whip the egg white until frothy. Add lemon juice and sugar, and continue to whip until soft peaks form. Dollop the merengue all over the batter. Using a spoon, gently spread the dollops across the batter.

Bake about 25-27 minutes, until the merengue becomes slightly golden. Let cool completely in pan before cutting.

Now for all you hooligans out there, who are looking to get down to business, here it is...
wait for it....
Oeey, Gooeey, Chewy, Chocolaty, Rich - this baby doesn't mess around - it's the ULTIMATE BROWNIE!!!!!!!!

Everyone needs a good brownie recipe. If you're serious about chocolate, let this one be yours.

The Ultimate Brownie
(yield: 12 brownies)

1 stick unsalted butter (plus 1 tbsp for greasing)
2 whole eggs
1 egg white
1 1/2 cups sugar
6 1/2 oz semi-sweet chocolate
2 oz unsweetened chocolate
1/4 cup whole milk
3/4 cup All-Purpose flour
1/4 cup Dutch Processes cocoa powder
pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9"x13" baking pan with butter, and line with parchment paper. Grease the parchment as well.

Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs, egg white, and sugar in a large bowl, until pale yellow, 2-3 minutes. Add the milk.
Place butter, and chocolate into a double boiler, and melt, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, and let cool 5 minutes. Continue to beat the egg mixture on medium speed as you slowly drizzle in the melted chocolate.

Combine remaining ingredients in a separate bowl. Whisk to combine thoroughly. Add dry mixture to the wet mixture in 3 increments, mixing just until combined. Pour brownie batter into prepared pan, and bake 28-30 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before attempting to dissect the brownies (these guys are pretty gooey). If you're in a hurry, you can pop them in the freezer for a few minutes before cutting.

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