September and Brownies with Praline Icing

It has been a hectic month. Earlier this month we housed a couple from Texas who will be in the doctorate program with us. We know all too well how scary it can be to move to a different country without knowing anyone or what to do to when you get here. They stayed for about 10 days and we were able to point them in the right direction for the life here in Nottingham. I spoiled them with my cooking. Homemade bread, homemade pasta, some of my Asia challenges, and other wonderful treats. The husband was of Thai descent so he was elated that I was cooking homemade Asian food and my Laksa reminded him of something his mom would make. Talk about a compliment. It was wonderful to have them and reflect on our last year of living in this country.

For the next week we are playing host to the in-laws. David’s parents have arrived for their first international visit. After a missed flight in the States, a detour to Germany, and missing luggage they arrived completely exhausted. David has some big plans for them. He of course wants to show them everything however we are used to walking miles in a day. So, he is going to have to pick and choose what he wants to show off. They are most likely going to have to need a vacation after this trip.

For my father in law, I made chocolate brownies with praline icing. He loves all things turtle (chocolate, caramel, pecans).

Chocolate Brownies with Praline Icing (8×8, 9×9, my pan is 10×5)

My Chocolate Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
3/4 cup flour
1 cup chocolate chips or 100g/6oz bar of dark chocolate, chopped

1. Preheat oven 350F/175C. Grease pan with butter or oil.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add sugar and cocoa powder to the butter and mix well. Turn heat off. DO NOT BOIL.
3. Stir in salt, baking powder, and vanilla.
4. Whisk eggs in a bowl. Add a spoonful of chocolate mix to the eggs and whisk quickly. Do this a few more times. You want to rise the temperature of the eggs to avoid scrambling the eggs. This is called tempering the eggs. Add the tempered egg mixture to the chocolate mixture.
5. Stir in flour and chocolate chunks.
6. Bake for 30 minutes. Use a toothpick to check the doneness keeping in mind the chocolate chunks. Cool completely.

Praline Icing
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
3 tbsp milk
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. In a saucepan, bring the brown sugar, butter, and milk to a boil. Boil for one minute while whisking continuously.
2. Remove from heat and whisk in powdered sugar and extract until smooth.
3. Stir in pecans and continue to stir for about 3 minutes or until it begins to thicken. Pour onto cooled brownies.

I am going to be honest, if I were in the States I would use the brownie mix. Brownie Mix is not as popular in the UK as it is in the States so I make my brownies from scratch. But, I bet if you used mix and did the icing people wouldn’t even question them. Yum. These are a must try.

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