Four different kinds of brownies make a special Easter treat

TIDBITS

March 25, 1992|By Karol V. Menzie | Karol V. Menzie,Staff Writer

Forget colored eggs and jelly beans: This Easter whip up a real treat: a basket of four different kinds of brownies. The simple recipes are from the Baker's chocolate folks.

One-bowl brownies

Makes 24 brownies

4 squares unsweetened chocolate

3/4 cup margarine (1 1/2 sticks)

2 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup flour

1 cup coarsely chopped nuts

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave chocolate and margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until margarine is melted. Stir until choc- olate is completely melted.

Stir sugar into melted chocolate mixture. Add eggs and vanilla; stir until completely mixed. Stir in flour until well-blended. Stir in nuts. Spread in greased 9 by 13-inch pan.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan; cut into squares.

Variations:

For Rocky Road one-bowl brownies, use walnuts for nuts in basic One-bowl brownie recipe. Bake as directed, then immediately sprinkle with a topping made of 2 cups miniature marshmallows, 1 cup semi-sweet real chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped walnuts. Return to oven for 3 to 5 minutes until topping begins to melt together. Cool in pan; cut into squares.

For Peanut-butter swirl one-bowl brownies, reserve 1 tablespoon margarine and 2 tablespoons sugar from basic recipe. Eliminate nuts. Prepare basic mixture as directed; spread in 9-by-13-inch pan. Mix reserved margarine and sugar into 2/3 cup peanut butter; spoon over brownie mixture and swirl with a knife to marbleize. Bake as directed.

Sweet chocolate cream cheese one-bowl brownies

Makes 16 brownies.

1 package (4 ounces) sweet cooking chocolate

1/4 cup margarine ( 1/2 stick)

1 cups sugar

3 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)

4 ounces cream cheese

1 tablespoon flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Microwave chocolate and margarine in a large microwave-safe bowl on HIGH 2 minutes or until margarine is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Stir 3/4 cup of the sugar into chocolate mixture. Add 2 of the eggs and the vanilla; stir until completely mixed. Mix in 1/2 cup flour until well-blended. Stir in nuts. Spread in greased 8-inch square pan.

Mix cream cheese, remaining 1/4 cup sugar, egg and 1 tablespoon flour in small bowl until smooth. Spoon over brownie mixture; swirl with knife to marbleize.

Bake for 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out with fudgy crumbs. (Do not overbake.) Cool in pan; cut into squares.

*

You've surely heard of perks for frequent fliers, but how about free food for frequent diners? That's the advantage of belonging to the Chopstix Club at any of the three Baltimore-area restaurants associated with Tzu Yang and his family and associates: Kawasaki, CoChin and STIXX. For $10, you get a pair "designated" chopsticks -- sturdy Japanese-made ones with painted decorations -- that are kept in a case labeled with your name at the restaurant. And you get a Frequent Diner's card, on which the restaurant will keep a tally of your checks (carryout doesn't count, though). When the total reaches $250, you can use the card as a $25 gift certificate at either of the other two restaurants in the group. And you get a new card, with any carry-over balance, to start the process over.

According to Monique Yang, of STIXX, about 150 people have joined since the program began in February. For more information, ask at any of the restaurants or call them. The numbers are Kawasaki, (410) 659-7600; CoChin, (410) 332-0332; and STIXX, (410) 484-7787.

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For years home cooks have been relying on the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Meat and Poultry Hot Line to answer questions about food safety and food labeling. Now the line is being expanded to include meat and poultry nutrition questions, too. The number is (800) 535-4555; in Washington, it's (202) 720-3333. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EST Mondays to Fridays, home economists and registered dietitians will be available for consumer queries.

*

If consumption figures are any guide, a lot more people are turning to turkey and chicken. USDA's Economic Research Service reports that poultry consumption reached a record high in 1990. Per capita consumption rose from 50 pounds in 1985 to 64 pounds five years later. For the first time, it matched consumption of beef, which at 64 pounds per capita was down from 75 pounds in 1985.

Some of the gains came from people who were eating out. The National Restaurant Association reports that between 1988 and 1991, poultry entree orders increased 8 percent, compared with just 4 percent for all restaurant orders. Chicken sandwich orders increased even more during the period, up 14 percent.

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