There are brownies, and there are brownies, and, for the most part I can take them or leave them. That is until I flipped through the pages of a remarkable book by Connie Weis, Extreme Brownies, 50 Recipes for the Most Over the Top Treats Ever. Fifty. Over the top. And she is not kidding. This book can turn even the most disinterested brownie eater into one filled with passion. Get the mop ready, because turning the pages of this book, chock full of jump-off-the-page color photos, is going to make you drool, and turn you into a brownie chef extraordinaire.As a lover of malted milk balls, I was thrilled to see the recipe for Whopping Malted Milk Ball Brownies with their malted milk ball glaze, malted milk ball garnish, and milk chocolate drizzle. One taste and I was in absolute heaven. Malted Milk Balls not your thing? How about Peanut Butter Cup Brownies loaded with chunks of peanut butter cups in every bite? The book is as addicting as the brownies. Even non-chocolate lovers (Is there such a thing?) will find something to love here.There are a baker's dozen recipes for Blondies -- think Caramel Crispie, White Chocolate Raspberry, and Lemon Mascarpone, to name but a few. Weis, a confirmed chocoholic, asserts that “extreme” doesn't equal difficult, and she is right. The instructions are ample, clear, and concise, allowing even the novice cook to whip up a beautiful batch of eye-popping brownies. If brownies studded with extra ingredients does not appeal, try the PMS Brownies. This simple recipe yields a dense, sinfully chocolate brownie that will have your eyes rolling back into your head with pleasure.If you've ever had the experience of following a recipe exactly as written and still coming out with less than satisfactory results, the problem may lie in your choice of ingredients. Weis discusses ingredients at the beginning of the book, even going so far as to list brand names; I really appreciated that. There is a section on equipment necessary for creating the perfect brownie, as well as detailed steps on how to remove the uncut brownies from the pan in one “slab” to allow for bakery shop perfection when slicing, packaging, and shipping. This book is brownie perfection.
Here is a sneak peek with this recipe for the Whopping Malted Milk Ball Brownies. Making these is a two-day project unless you start early. I didn't, and as they require 7-8 hours of refrigeration, made them over the course of a couple of days. They are a bit of work, but look how beautiful they are. And the taste? Wonderful! More like a decadent slice of dense cake, I plated these and served them with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream. People were begging for more.
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