As many of you already know, I also review some of my most favorite, fabulous cookbooks, right here on my blog – or my website as I’ve been calling it lately. I do not review a cookbook unless it is one that I personally love myself! My tastes may be different than your tastes, that is great! And then again, maybe we enjoy some of the same books? I read and go over hundreds of cookbooks a year, but I only give the ones I REALLY LOVE the honor of making it into my “Cookbook Corner”. Browse around my website, search “Cookbook Corner” in my search engine, or Google “Blaise the Baker Cookbook Corners” for a full list of all of the wonderful books that I have in my collection.
The latest cookbook I am obsessed with is…
“Butter and Chocolate” By: Sheila G. Mains
Let me start off by saying that this book is FABULOUS! Well, of course it is, or I would not have been giving it center spot in my “Cookbook Corner” feature. I may even go as far as saying it is in my TOP 5 FAVORITE COOKBOOKS OF ALL YEAR – 2016! Yes, I am serious! I love the recipes in this book, I love the format, the photography, the stories, everything! Sheila is a GENIUS and I love her for coming up with such user friendly recipes using butter and chocolate – my two favorite food groups I feel the need to mention.
If you have heard of Sheila before it is perhaps because of this…
She is the creator of “Brownie Brittle”! I had not tried this treat until recently and let me tell you – O.M.G.! IT IS DELICIOUS! I am highly recommending everyone reading this post go out and buy a bag (I found mine at my local “Cracker Barrel” store) and TRY IT! Yes, I am going crazy and using all CAPS because IT IS THAT GOOD! Can I tell you a secret? I am buying a bag of this for everyone I know for the Holidays to include in their “Foodie Gift Baskets”. If you have never had it before it is a thin, crisp, flavorful chocolate brownie. Comes in a lot of flavors – the chocolate chip is my favorite. IF you can not find it in your local area, order it here – http://browniebrittle.com/
Anyways, she is the creator of this fabulous treat…so if you have heard her name from somewhere, chances are – it is from this!
Her cookbook is chopped FULL of recipes ranging from BROWNIES (my favorite section) to cheesecakes, candies, donut holes, bread pudding, bars, cookies, cake pops, parfaits and just about everything else you can think of. And – the best part? All of the treats inside use BROWNIE BATTER! Yes, and some even call for her “Brownie Brittle”.
Some of my favorite recipes are…
“Cookie Dough Brownies” (page 26) and also featured on the cover. They are a delicious brownie, topped with cookie dough (egg free) and a frosting made from chocolate chips. I served these with family and friends (and some taste testers) and they were blown away! I can not tell you how many times I have made these since I have gotten this cookbook! This recipe will be in my rotation from now on, very delicious and I highly recommend!
Another recipe I am enjoying is…
“Salted Caramel Brownies” (page 33). If you love salted caramel (like I do) you will love these! My friends and family went wild for these too! Great flavor and the salt really sets them apart from the other brownies that you may find in the stores.
Some other recipes I have been enjoying are…
“Signature Brownies” (page 19) – This recipe is the base recipe for the other recipes in the book. Some call for this recipe in a smaller size pan, and some in a larger. Sheila will go over which recipe to use, in each recipe these brownies are called for. They are delicious because they combine semi-sweet chocolate chips with unsweetened cocoa powder.
“Red Velvet Brownies” (page 30) – I LOVE anything red velvet – these are no exception.
“Peanut Butter Cup Brownies” (page 34) – If you love the classic combination of chocolate and peanut butter you must try these! And of course, use real peanut butter for them!
“White Chocolate Cinnamon Blondies” (page 40) – These are delicious! I love the flavor combination of white chocolate and cinnamon and I can not wait to serve these this Thanksgiving! I think they will be something new and fun added to the table.
“Brownie Filled Donut Holes” (page 51) – The name says it all!
“Brownie Banana Bread” (page 58) – This chocolate banana bread is quickly becoming one of my favorite recipes! I love banana bread and this recipe is really over the top!
“White Chocolate-Raspberry Cheesecake Bars” (page 74) – I love the incredible combination of white chocolate and raspberry! Think of that combination and add the flavors and textures of a cheesecake – fabulous!
“Brownie Whoopie Pies” (page 87) – A new take on the traditional.
“Pumpkin Pie with Brownie Brittle Crust” (page 102) – I may never make a traditional chocolate crust again! I love her version using her incredible “Brownie Brittle”!
“Cannoli Brownie Bites” (page 135) – A cannoli and a brownie = incredible!
“Brownie Ice Cream Sandwiches” (page 150) – Perfect for the summer!
“Lava Cakes” (page 169) – You must try these! Foolproof and decadent…
AND guess what!? I get to SHARE WITH YOU ALL one of my favorite recipes from the book! “Brownie Bread Pudding” (page 62) IS A MUST TRY!
And yes – their photos are so much better than mine! I do not pretend to be a professional food photographer, and until I have a friend who can send me free props, give me lessons, lend me a camera, lighting and professional style tips – you are stuck with MY photos! Ha! Seriously though – if you can help me out with my photos – firstname.lastname@example.org Until then, I guess I will have to settle with “food writer, recipe developer, columnist and cookbook author” – I like the sound of that, what about you!?
Brownie Bread Pudding
Several years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house for brunch. When I asked what I could bring, she replied without even taking a breath, “Why dessert, of course. That’s your specialty!” Wow! No pressure, right? Now, I had to come up with something different, something spectacular. Hmmm, I thought. Bread pudding is pretty popular. I bet if I “brownied” it up a bit, it would pass muster. Well, my bread pudding never even made it to the dessert table. It was served along with the main course, and there wasn’t a crumb left when it was time for coffee and sweets. I took my empty bowl home—with my brownie queen reputation still intact.
YIELD 6 servings
PREP 30 to 35 minutes
BAKE 45 to 50 minutes
Unsalted butter for greasing pan
Brownie Filling recipe (page 43)
12 slices brioche bread or challah, at least 1 day old
2 cups light cream
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 °— 8-inch baking dish with unsalted butter.
Prepare the brownie filling according to directions. Spread it on 6 slices of the bread, then top each one with another slice of bread to form 6 sandwiches. Cut each sandwich into 6 to 8 pieces and pile the sandwich pieces into the greased baking dish.
Prepare the pudding mixture: Combine the cream, salt, and vanilla in a small saucepan; cook over medium heat until warm. Whisk together the sugar and eggs. Add the cream mixture to the egg mixture gradually, stirring constantly to make sure the eggs do not cook.
Pour the pudding mixture over the bread pieces and cover the dish with aluminum foil. Bake on the center rack of the oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil after about 20 minutes and check every few minutes until golden brown on top. Allow the pudding to rest at least 10 minutes before serving.
Taken, with permission, from Sheila G’s Butter and Chocolate by Sheila G. Maines. Published by Kyle Books, photography by Tina Rupp. Shout out and special thanks to Sheila G. Maines and Kyle Books.
To see even MORE recipes and to buy “Butter and Chocolate” please click here…