Thursday, March 10, 2022

Amaretto Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

Oh My Goodness. A wonderful decadent fudge brownie with slightly crispy edges with just a hint of amaretto. How can you go wrong?   Go easy….the alcohol doesn’t completely bake out of these brownies! 

     Amaretto Brownies with Salted Caramel Sauce

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for pan
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch salt
4 large eggs
2 cups sugar
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur 

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

   Line a 9 by 9 square baking pan with parchment paper, making sure  
   paper hangs over the edges. Grease paper with butter so the brownies
   don't stick.

   Melt butter and chocolate over a double-boiler and stir gently until   
   smooth and shiny. Remove from the heat and cool slightly.

  Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl and set 
  aside. Whisk together eggs, sugar and amaretto in a mixing bowl until 
  combined. Pour in chocolate mixture and continue to whisk until 

  Gradually add flour mixture, then add walnuts and incorporate with a   
  wooden spoon. Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 40 to 45   
  minutes or until a tester comes out clean when inserted into the middle 
  of the pan.  Set aside to cool for about 5 minutes while you make your 
  caramel sauce.

    For the caramel sauce:

      1-1/4 cup sugar
      1/3 cup water
      1 stick salted butter, cut into small pieces
      2/3 cup heavy cream

    In a medium saucepan over medium-low heat, combine the sugar and 
    the water. Simmer just until the sugar is dissolved. Add the butter, and 
    let it boil until it turns a deep amber color. 

    Remove from heat and carefully add the cream. Whisk to combine, and 
    place back over medium-low heat and cook for about 30 minutes, until 
    it has thickened and is nice and creamy. 

    Invert brownies onto a cutting board and remove paper. Drizzle 
    caramel sauce on top and cut into squares.

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Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seed

I don't usually wait for St. Paddy's day to make this bread.  I make it often because it is one of the easiest breads to make and it goes perfectly with that cup of coffee in the morning. It's a quick bread that is so simple to make and so few ingredients. It requires no yeast so there's no rising and kneading or any of those steps.  You simply need a base of flour, baking soda and buttermilk!  You can make it sweet or savory....I make the classic Irish Soda Bread with lots raisins and caraway seeds. But you can add what you like.  As a matter of fact you can make it start to finish in less than an hour!  Hot crusty sweet bread from oven to table in no time! And absolutely delicious!

Irish Soda Bread with Raisins and Caraway Seed

5 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
2 1/2 cups raisins
3 tablespoons caraway seeds
2 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 large egg

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter a heavy 10 inch cast iron skillet with at least 2 inch high sides. Then line the skillet with parchment paper.  If you don't have a cast iron skillet you can use any heavy skillet or a cake pan.

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Add the butter and using your fingers, work it into the dry ingredients to form a crumbly dough.  Stir in raisins and caraway seeds.


Next, whisk buttermilk and egg in medium bowl to blend. Add to the dough mixture and stir with spatula or wooden spoon until ingredients are incorporated.  Using your hands work the dough to make sure all ingredients are mixed in well.  Bring the dough together as much as you can and then shape it into a round 9 inch loaf and place in your prepared skillet. At this point the dough will be very sticky.  Smooth out the top.

Using a sharp  knife, make an X in the top of the dough, going in about 1 inch deep. This is important as it will allow this dense bread to cook through.  You can dip your sharp knife into flour if you need to. 


Bake until bread is cooked through and a skewer inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour, no longer than an hour and 10 minutes. Cool bread in skillet 10 minutes. Turn out onto rack and cool completely. Irish Soda Bread is best eaten the same day and especially served warm out of the oven!  Store leftover bread tightly wrapped in foil.

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