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Brownie Buttons

February 6, 2014

I was about to begin the post I was planning (hello H!) when I suddenly remembered the Food Bloggers meeting over the weekend. Theme: Chocolate! My realistic ability to attend? Slim to None. My desire to send an ambassador? Very high.

Now that we had that decided, I felt like making something a bit different yet pleasantly familiar. How many of you are familiar with Master Baker (show of hands, please) Dorie Greenspan’s work? Ok, put your hands down, you’re sitting in front of a computer, for goodness sake (or even sillier, holding your phone). Her book,  Baking, From My Home to Yours , is one terrific resource and the photographs will leave you salivating.

If  I’d had the time, I might have taken the trip over to Surfas to buy my beloved Belgian chocolate, Callebaut. But there was no time, and I was dealing with a low supply of energy molecules. Bronchitis and constant coughing will do that to a person. OK, Ghirardelli is good stuff. Don’t you folks agree? I’m not exactly using the plain-wrap brand.

good stuff chocolate

After some nosing around Baking, I came upon these dear little Brownie Buttons. With basic ingredients and an extremely lovely one-pot procedure. Hurray! Less time at sink for me.

roughly chop chocolate

Roughly chop chocolate the heat will take care of the rest.

butter, sugar, chocolateSugar and butter and chocolate, oh my!

melted butter, sugar & chocolateCan you think of anything more curative than standing over a pot, melting butter, chocolate and brown sugar? I didn’t think so. Very healing, indeed-y.

Smell that divine aroma? Or is it just me? Oh, it’s just me.  The recipe called for orange or lemon zest. I had a bunch of little Mandarin tangerines sitting on my counter. Why not? The aroma became even more divine. Plus, I took a break and ate that tangerine.

The only thing I can now suggest is get thee to the market at once to purchase the requisite ingredients and then, get thee to it!

we're  rready to bake

greasy little papersThe mini paper liners  emerged a tad greasy. I didn’t want these little darlings slipping out of people’s hands as  they unpeeled the papers. No problem – I had a stock of these little liners that were sitting in my drawer patiently awaiting their day. I unwrapped…

white chocolate on brownies

… melted a little white chocolate in the microwave (caution: keep your eye on it – white chocolate will break down if over-heated – kind of like me) …

re-wrapped brownie buttons… and re-wrapped!

Dorie Greenspan’s  buttons looked wondrous.  Perfectly swirled. Mine, how shall we say, tended more toward the rustic. That’s fine. Rustic is good.

I sent Novio off to the meeting with Brownie Buttons tucked into a large plastic container. “I don’t know. I feel a little funny going without you,” he said. “You’ll be fine,” I assured him, “You’re my emissary.” Well, my emissary was gone for quite a while and returned with a lovely sampling of the wares. The wares cheered me considerably. And he wasn’t all that hungry for the rest of the day. Wonder why…

Brownie  Buttons

from Dorie Greenspan’s Baking – adapted ever-so-slightly


zest of 1/2 an orange or 1 small mandarin (optional)
1 t. sugar (optional)
1/4 c. plus 2 T. flour
pinch of salt
1/2 stick (4 T.) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
2 1/2 oz. bittersweet chocolate (coarsely chopped)
1/3 c. light brown sugar, lightly packed
1 t. pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
For Glaze
1 1/2 oz. white chocolate, chopped


Pre-heat oven to 350ˆ.

Place mini-muffin liners in mini-muffin tins. You’ll get 16-18 from this batch. If you’re not using liners, grease pan.

If using zest, place zest and a teaspoon of sugar in little bowl and rub between your fingers to blend.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and salt.

Mix butter, chocolate and brown sugar in heavy bottomed pan, stirring constantly and on a low  flame until mixture is completely smooth. Remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes.

Stir vanilla, egg and zest (if using) into the pot of chocolate mixture until well-blended . Mix in flour until just incorporated to make a smooth glossy batter.

Using a teaspoon, spoon batter into mini-muffin cups to 3/4 full (mine were more 1/2 full – I wanted a few more)

Bake about 14 minutes, or until tops just spring back when touched. Don’t overbake – chocolate loses its lusciousness when overdone.

Place pan on rack to cool for 3 minutes. If you’re not using liners, carefully remove buttons to cool to room temperature on rack. If you are using liners, remove from pan and cool on rack to room temperature. You may want  to remove the liners and change to fresh liners after dipping into glaze. Your choice.

To make glaze, melt  white chocolate in a small shallow bowl in microwave at half-power for 3o seconds. Stir thoroughly until melted. If a little lumpy microwave another 15 seconds, Remember to use half-power to prevent scorching.

To glaze, dip tops of buttons into melted white chocolate, one by one, twirling them so that you get a little swirl at the center of each one, and the excess chocolate drips back into the bowl. Refrigerate for 15 minutes until set. For me, this takes a bit of practice. I’m sure you’ll do fine!

The recipe easily doubles and freezes well, so, why not? But will you have any left to freeze? That’s the question!

Brownie Buttons

Here, my dear readers, I present you with all manner of (mostly) chocolate goodies and bubbly ideas to brighten your February.  Click on the links below for some terrific recipes.

FBLA Chocolate Party 2014 Recipe and Resource Links


Savory Dishes

Champagne/Sparkling Wine Recommendations

  • Jaume Serra Cristaliino Brut Cava by Eating RulesJaume Serra Cristalino Brut Cava ($7 “but tastes like $20+”) — Andrew Wilder of Eating Rules
  • NV Presto Prosecco Brut ($10-$12), a “price performer” — Alison Ashton of Nourish Network
  • Brut Roederer Estate Mixed Vintage ($20) — Jennifer Daskevich of A Little Gourmet Everyday
  • Colbert Eco Brut (sugar-free organic sparkling wine; $25) — Caren Magill of The Fit Habit
  • Barefoot Bubbly Brut Cuvée ($10.99). “When serving mimosas there is no need to buy expensive bubbly, but naturally you don’t want to serve your guests headache-inducing sparkling wines or champagne either. The Brut Cuvée is Barefoot’s most traditional bubbly and tastes of green apple and jasmine with hints of kiwi and peach flavors which bubble up for a crisp finish and, in my opinion, make a delightful Mimosa,” said Priscilla Willis of She’s Cookin’.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!


From → Desserts

  1. I should not have read this while hungry and about to head to the grocery store! These look delicious!

  2. hsimpsongrossman permalink

    Can you change your posting day from Thursday to Monday? or Tuesday, when my Shabbat menus aren’t finalized yet? or maybe tell me in advance when you make something I might like? I have already baked three cakes and two kinds of cookies and have to devote Friday to making some real food. These are mental torture!
    Shabbat Shalom to you and Novio!

  3. These buttons were DELISH! We missed you, and hope you are feeling better.

  4. Delicious, Judy! We missed you!

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