Tuesday, December 4
If I had my own goat(s) I'd be ridiculously content with life. So much, in fact, that any placid contentment would quickly morph into an unfounded fear that a storm was brewing on the horizon. Too much happiness scares me. So for now I'll hold off on snatching up one of the adorable pygmy goats that I pass by once a week- grazing adorably in a field- next to an equally adorbs rustic cabin. *Super-jealous*
I'm not sure if my obsession with goats has anything to do with my equally absurd obsession with their cheese (does it matter?), I love both. I smear the crumbly, creamy, earthy cheese on just about everything, from crackers to bagels, to dark chocolate bars. So making this recipe again didn't take very much arm pulling.
It was more like: "Valerie, will you make those goat ch..." Me: "ok."
These brownies are...what? They're just amazing. Their texture is a wee bit cakey, but that slight brownie indiscretion is completely forgivable thanks to the goat cheese. If you like cream cheese-swirl brownies, I honestly believe that you will adore this upgraded version! They're rich, yet humble- comforting, yet edgy. And who could not fall head over heels for a brownie that's smothered with goat cheese and honey frosting?
goat cheese brownies adapted from Better Homes & Gardens
8 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 3 pieces
1 1/4 cups sugar
1/3 cup whole milk
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 tsp. baking Powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
6 oz goat cheese, softened to room temperature
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 Tablespoons honey
Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line a 9x13-inch pan with foil, butter the foil and set the pan aside.
Prepare the brownie layer: Fill a saucepan with about 1-inch of water and bring to just a simmer. Place the chopped chocolate and 3 Tablespoons of butter into a heat-proof bowl. Set the bowl over the saucepan (be sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water).
Melt the chocolate and butter, stirring occasionally, until smooth. As soon as it's smooth, remove the bowl from the heat and set it aside to cool as you prepare the cheese layer.
Cheese layer:In a medium-size bowl, beat the cheese and 2 Tablespoons of butter on medium speed for about 1 minute (just to combine). Add 1/4 cup of sugar and beat on medium speed until fluffy. Add 1/4 cup of flour, honey, and 1 egg. Beat well (about 2-4 minutes). Set the bowl aside.
Back to the brownie layer: Beat the 2 eggs on medium speed till foamy. Add 1 1/4 cups of sugar, milk, and vanilla extract. Beat on medium speed for about 2 minutes. Add the cooled, melted chocolate. Beat till combined. Using a large spatula, stir in 1 cup of flour, baking Powder, salt, and nuts (if using).
Spread half of the chocolate batter into prepared pan. [Note: I added the entire thing by accident and it still turned out okay.]
Spread the cheese filling over the chocolate batter.
Using large spoon-filled dollops, drop the remaining chocolate batter over the cheese filling.
Drag a thin metal spatula through both the cheese and chocolate mixtures. Try not to overdo it, a few swirls here and there will go a long way.
Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the center is set.
Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
4 oz of goat cheese, softened to room temperature
1/4 cup (that's 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups of confectioners' sugar (have at least one more cup on hand, just in case the frosting is too thin)
2 Tablespoons of honey
1 Tablespoon of milk
In a large bowl, beat the softened goat cheese and butter together on medium-low speed till creamy. It may look chunky at first, but it'll smooth out once everything is combined.
Add the confectioners' sugar in 1/2 cup increments, beating well after each addition. [If you add it all at once, the sugar will go everywhere.]
Once 2 cups of sugar have been incorporated, add the honey and milk. Beat on medium-high speed until creamy.
If the frosting is too thin, add more sugar in 1/4 cup increments until it reaches the correct consistency. If you prefer a thick frosting, add more sugar.
Spread over the cooled brownies and cut into squares.
Makes about 32 brownies