Brownies with White and Dark Hearts

OK, how cute are these brownies?  Personally, I think they are très über cute, make-you-smile-when-you-look-at-them cute.  Just plain darned cute!

This isn’t an out of the ordinary recipe.  It’s just a one-bowl brownie recipe although you will have to make it twice—once with dark chocolate and once with white chocolate.  The only other things you’ll need are one (two would be even better) 8″ square pan, a 1″ heart-shaped cookie cutter, and lots of patience.  And, oh yes, fine motor skills.  :-)

Don’t wait to put a smile on someone’s face.  Valentine’s Day is just three days away!

Brownies with White and Dark Hearts

Ingredients

This recipe makes 16 2-inch square white or dark chocolate brownies.  To make a pan of each and reverse the middles, you will need to double the ingredients listed below.  You will end up with 32 reversed-center brownies (or if you read my notes below, perhaps you’ll choose to cut so as to get 18 slightly larger reversed-center brownies).

  • 3 ounces semisweet or good white chocolate (I use Ghirardelli), coarsely chopped
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing pan
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tbl. sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. table salt or 1/2 teaspoon flaky salt
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1-inch heart-shaped cookie cutter

Directions

Read Fran’s Notes below before making this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with foil with ends of foil extending over opposite sides of pan.  Repeat with second piece of foil in opposite direction. Butter foil.

Melt white (or dark) chocolate and butter together in a large bowl in the microwave following directions on the package (usually a few minutes at 50% power).  Whisk in sugar.  Whisk in eggs, one at a time, then vanilla.  Add flour and salt together, stirring until just combined.  Spread into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (for the dark chocolate version) and 30 to 35 minutes (for the white chocolate version).

Yin and Yang

Repeat this recipe with the other kind of chocolate and a second 8×8-inch square pan.  If you don’t have two matching square pans, simply wait until you can remove your brownies from the pan as directed in the next step, and start again.

Cool pans on a wire rack in the freezer if you’re going to make cut-outs; it is much easier to make clean cuts from frozen brownies.  Once solid, transfer brownies in their foil “sling” to a large cutting board and cut each pan of brownies into 16 even squares, about 2×2 inches each.  Still cold (and if they warm up and soften too quickly, pop them back in the freezer for 5 minutes), carefully, slowly, gently, press your cookie cutter into the center of each brownie and set the cut-out aside.

Insert the dark cut-outs into the centers of the light brownies, and vice-versa.  From here, you can let them warm up to room temperature or wrap them up in the freezer until you will need them.

Fran’s Notes

I used my two 8″x8″ baking pans planning to measure the brownies once they were baked.  Many pans, including mine, have sides that are slightly angled outward from the bottom of the pan to the top, and it is usually the top measurement, from side to side, that determines the size of the pan.  As a consequence, the bottom measurement of the pan is less than stated—and, if the baked products shrinks which is quite often, then the final baked product will be smaller than the stated pan size.

Such was the case for me.  When I measured the baked brownies, I had a perfect 7″ square—not 8″.  I have a graduated set of heart cookie cutters and had planned to use the 1″ heart for my little center cut-out.  Once I cut my brownies into 16 pieces, the 1″ heart cut-out was basically too large to use with the squares I had cut.  Fortunately, I had a 3/4″ heart cut-out and used that.  Because it was so small, it was a bit of a challenge to get the heart piece out without breaking the brownie.  The next time I make these, I will cut the 7″ square into 9 large brownies (with the two pans, I’ll get a total of 18 large brownies) and use the 1″ heart cut-out.  There will be fewer brownies, but there will also be fewer swear words!  I don’t want anyone cursing me from afar!!

Tic Tac Toe, anyone?

Source:  Adapted from a Smitten Kitchen recipe

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