If you know me at all, you know that I'm not really competitive. I don't know if it's a self-defense mechanism because I'm not super good at much of anything or what. When it comes to contests/games/whatever, I just usually don't get too much of a fire under my hiney, if you know what I mean. But every once in a while something hits me just right & it.is.on. Like Donkey Kong.
It's county fair time around here. The 4-Her's have really got it going on this year. My niece Maddie has something like 19 projects on display, including her two pigs, Christmas & Bob. My nephew Caleb has nine or ten, including his two pigs, Paco & Porky. Say that ten times fast, Paco & Porky, Paco & Porky, Taco & Torky...it's not easy!
Anyway, I'm not one of those adults who gets their craftiness together & exhibits at the fair. My sister did this year though & her stuff was fabulous - a violet, some blackberries, a wreath she made - all beautiful & blue ribbon worthy.
The thing that tripped my trigger this year is a little King Arthur Flour sponsored brownie making contest. I kind of waited to the last minute to get some inspiration together for what I wanted to make but I think I came up with a fairly good idea - Coffee Infused Brownies with Hazelnut Streusel Topping. I was thinking that coffee & chocolate go together fabulously & that the best coffee has some hazelnut going on. I wanted to stay away from the whole peanut butter or cream cheese or oreo or nutella influences. I figured that I needed to be a little more creative.
I searched online for a basic brownie recipe & then I tweaked it to make it a little more intense. Here's the recipe with my tweaks:
1 cup butter
1 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
1 T hot water
2 T instant coffee
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
Then I made up this streusel topping (it's pretty basic):
1 cup hazelnuts, chopped
scant 1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup raw sugar
1 T cocoa
4 T butter
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13" pan with foil & grease lightly. In a large mixing bowl, melt butter. Add cocoa & blend well. Add sugar & mix well. Dissolve coffee in hot water. Pour into cocoa mixture & mix well. Add eggs one at a time & beat in well by hand. Stir in vanilla, flour, & salt. Pour into the baking dish & spread out evenly.
To prepare the streusel, place hazelnuts in a food processor & process until chopped well. Pour hazelnuts into mixing bowl & add flour, raw sugar, & cocoa. Mix well. Using a pastry blender or two knives, cut in butter until you have pea-sized pieces. Spread over brownies.
Bake for 30-35 minutes. Cool & enjoy!
These are seriously pretty good (not that I'm prejudiced toward myself or anything!). Rich, chocolatey, coffee-infused, crunchy hazelnuts, & yum...I'm seriously going to win.
Actually, probably not but that's all right. They were super fun to make & share. So make some, share some, & have some fun this weekend!