Friday, May 15, 2009

Iraqi Brownies

What are Iraqi brownies? Simple, brownies I'm making that I'm sending to my daughter in Iraq. She's a flight medic and arrived in Baghdad 10 days ago. I'm preparing my first care package for her. According to the counter on my blog, she will return home in 340 days. Ugh!!!

This recipe comes from my favorite source for bread and such, King Arthur Flour. I did make some changes though. One, instead of chocolate chips, I added 2 oz. of unsweetened melted chocolate. Secondly, I added a tube of the new Starbucks Instant Italian Roast coffee, VIA Ready Brew. Simply stated, AWESOME! These brownies are thick, and rich, and chocolaty, with a coffee note, and scream for a glass of milk to be in the other hand. I would have frosted them with a light ganache but since they are being shipped overseas, she'll just have to suffer. Hah.

2 sticks butter, melted
2 1/4 cups sugar
2 oz melted unsweetened or semisweet chocolate
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups cocoa
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 package Starbucks VIA Ready Brew instant coffee
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups King Arthur Flour (Bread or All-Purpose is fine)

Melt the butter and chocolate together in the microwave in 30 second bursts. Stir after each time to blend. Don't over melt or the chocolate will burn.

Add to bowl and add sugar and beat well. Add beaten eggs to mixture and incorporate. Add cocoa, salt, baking powder, coffee and extract and mix well.

Mix in flour.

Pour into greased 9 x 13 pan, and spread evenly. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Cool completely, cut into squares. Serve immediately. OR, in my case, carefully package and send to Iraq in a care package.

Love you Merissa!


Anonymous said...

I would like to try but am not familiar with the "tube" of coffee.
What amount is that and are you speaking of coffee for brewing or instant coffee? Thanks.

The Merlin Menu said...

I understand, it's a new product from Starbucks. The "tube" of coffee is a teaspoon of intensely ground espresso coffee. It's their new instant coffee. Hope this helps.

You can substitute instant espresso coffee of any brand that you want.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Now I can make them...yeah....
Oh, have you posted somewhere on your blog the "light ganache frosting"? Sounds like a great topper.

The Merlin Menu said...

Ganache Recipe:

* 9 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 tablespoon dark rum (optional)

1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil, watching very carefully because if it boils for a few seconds, it will boil out of the pot. When the cream has come to a boil, pour over the chopped chocolate, and whisk until smooth. Stir in the rum if desired.
2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a cake. Start at the center of the cake and work outward. For a fluffy frosting or chocolate filling, allow it to cool until thick, then whip with a whisk until light and fluffy.

NC said...

Man, I wish I had checked your blog Friday. I have been craving brownies something fierce but all my other attempts to make them have been dismal failures. I wasn't willing to risk another failure so I broke down and bought a boxed mix on Saturday. I suspect this recipe is a winner. I'll try it in a few weeks. I hope all is well with your daughter.

The Merlin Menu said...

Thanks for the kind words and my daughter thanks you also. I'm sure this recipe will work. One comment is, don't overbake. Even 25 minutes in the oven instead of the 30 I stated might be sufficient. Other than that, let me know.

Have a great day.


Becca said...

My dad's "best" dish is pancakes. Hmmmm :)

Nicole said...

I might try making these to send to my husband in Iraq! I've sent several packages but have yet to send any baked goods. Brownies would be a nice surprise! How did you package them?

Will keep your daughter in my thoughts and prayers!

The Merlin Menu said...


You're husband is in Iraq? God bless him.

As for packaging, I just let them cool completely, wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap, and then placed them in plastic freezer bags.

I sent them USPS priority mail for APO/FPO for $12.50, and they got there in 5 days! And, I understand were devoured in like an hour....

God Bless your Husband, May they ALL come home soon.

Miliani said...

My boyfriend just returned from his 2nd 11 month deployment in Iraq. This would have been an excellent recipe to send during the hot months. I have a cookie/bar recipe using 6 types of chocolate that was a big hit if you are interested.

It's so important to do these simple things for our men and women who are serving and sending baked goods really do help. It keeps them connected and lets them know that they aren't forgotten.

Praying that your daughter and Nicole's husband come home safe and sound.

The Merlin Menu said...

Thanks Milani for the kind words.

I'd love to try your recipe.

My email is ronmerlin AT gmail DOT com