I love showering my friends with baked goods… They probably think I’m a really generous friend, but really I’m just a selfish baking fiend looking for excuses to bake way more than my household can consume on its own. But alas, everyone benefits from this system! So, in honor of my dear friend Sarah returning home, I made her these butterscotch type brownies that I found in Lora Brody’s “Growing Up on the Chocolate Diet” called “Surfer Squares.” I had a bag of butterscotch chips lying around and instead of just simply having them be a mix-in for blondies (as delicious as those are), I wanted to find a new way to use them, and Brody has you melt them along with chocolate chips to make the brownie batter…. yum!
I added extra instant espresso and took out the nuts and marshmallows. I was afraid I had overbaked them, so I cut out a square to taste, because I am paranoid and obsessive like that. Although a bit too crunchy on the outsides, they tasted great: the same rich chocolateyness that you love about brownies, but the butterscotch chips gave them a twist that makes them slightly different than normal brownies.
Well, now that my pan of brownies was missing a corner, and I had also confirmed the sides were too crunchy, I decided to cut off all the edges, and then, to make them even more delicious (and to take away from how it was a tad too sweet), I made a cream cheese mousse topping with Kahlua and a delicious vanilla bean paste I got from Trader Joe’s. I put the cut out brownie into a glass container, slathered the fluffy cheesecake mixture on top, and voila, a classy brownie dessert to give as a gift. Sarah loved them! (And so did my family, who ate the cut out sides and leftover mousse) The combination of brownie and topping was not too sweet, but oh so creamy and dreamy and chocolatey and… mmmm I’m almost sad I gave them away.
Adapted from “Growing Up On the Chocolate Diet” by Lora Brody
6 oz butterscotch chips (I might try to reduce this next time, it was a bit too sweet)
6 oz chocolate chips
1/4 cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
4 tbsp butter
1 extra-large egg
3/4 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp instant espresso dissolved in a few tbsp of hot water (Although next time I would use more!)
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF, butter an 8-inch square pan.
2. In a medium-sized saucepan, combine butterscotch chips, chocolate chips, sugar, and butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until chips and butter melt and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, add the egg, and stir to mix well.
3. Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder into the mixture and stir to mix.
4. Stir in the vanilla extract, dissolved espresso powder.
5. Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. (Try checking around 20)
6. Cool completely before cutting into squares.
Cream Cheese Mousse
1/2 cup whipping cream
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
2 tbsp powdered sugar
Added to taste: vanilla bean paste, Kahlua
1. Beat the cream cheese (with a rubber spatula is fine) until smooth, mix in 1 tbsp powdered sugar.
2. Add the Kahlua and vanilla bean paste, if using. (I would definitely recommend it!!!) Set aside.
3. Whip the heavy cream until it starts to form soft peaks, then add the remaining 1 tbsp powdered sugar, then whip until heavy peaks form. (Essentially, whipped cream.)
4. Now, you need to combine the two mixtures! I found manually using the whisk attachment from my mixer to be most effective, so add the whipped cream in two batches to the cream cheese, whisk together, and refrigerate for around 10 minutes so it can set up a bit.
5. Slather on top of brownies, or really, use for anything, because this stuff is delicious!!