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Here's a Tip: Unsweetened Chocolate Squares-- A Thrifty Alternative

First off, I have to apologize.  I'm a lame-o.  I was so excited about doing my 100th post and having a giveaway. I started reminiscing and decided to look through my list of old posts and realized that I had a few drafts in there that I never posted.  So I deleted those and I think this is post #96.  So it'll be a couple more days.  Sorry. :o(   Please come back though.  It'll be worth it.  At least I think it will.  I want to keep the giveaway for myself... but it IS more fun to give than receive, so I'll part with the gifts no matter how difficult it is. :o)

So on to today's tip... Now that baking season is upon us, I thought I'd share a money saving tip I use when I have to use unsweetened chocolate squares.  They come in boxes like this:

The price per box can range anywhere from $3.50 - 5.00.  When you're using a lot of these, it can really add up.  So instead of investing in these unsweetened squares, I save A LOT of money by using:
3 Tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder (that I buy from the bulk section)

1 Tablespoon oil (I usually use vegetable oil) 

Just add both of them to whatever you're baking and it comes out perfect. 
This equals a 1oz. square of unsweetened chocolate. 

And how about a recipe that I just made using this tip???

Cheesecake Marbled Brownies

Oh yeah baby!!!  I found this recipe on SmittenKitten.  This girl has some serious baking talent! Once I saw pictures of this recipe, I knew I had to make it. I'm such a sucker for pictures. 

Makes 16 2-inch square, thick brownies
Brownie batter
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
3 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2/3 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake batter 
8 ounces cream cheese, well softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 large egg yolk
1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Make brownie batter: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch square baking pan. Heat butter and chocolate in a 3-quart heavy saucepan — though I did mine double-boiler style, placing the mixing bowl I was using over simmering water, thereby creating one less dirty dish and melting the chocolate more gently — over moderately low heat, whisking occasionally, just until melted. Remove from heat and whisk in sugar, eggs, vanilla, and a pinch of salt until well combined. Whisk in flour until just combined and spread in baking pan.

Make cheesecake batter: Whisk together cheesecake batter ingredients in a small bowl until smooth. Dollop over brownie batter, then swirl in with a knife or spatula.
[I actually like using a butter knife because the tip of it is round enough that you can use it to fold bits of the brownie batter over the cheesecake batter for a more visibly marbled effect. Try it!]
Sprinkle chocolate chips over cheesecake/brownie batter swirl. Although it might be more logical to just mix them into the cheesecake batter (and feel free to do this, it will have no ill-effect) I thought it might interrupt the swirl-ability of it.

Bake brownies: Bake until edges are slightly puffed and center is just set, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Slicing tip: I like to chill my brownies until they’re almost frozen before cutting them. It makes it much easier to get a clean slice. I also like to eat my brownies super-cold, but that’s just personal taste.

I'm linking to Tasty Tuesdays.


susan said...

This is a recipe that sounds right up my alley! Thanks for the tip on the chocolate squares. The cocoa will last much longer in the pantry too!

heartnsoulcooking said...

What a GREAT!!! recipe. Sounds and looks YUMMY!!! I love chocolate.
THANKS!!! for the GREAT!!! tip.

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