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HALLOWEEN RECIPE: Spider Web Brownies

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Brownies for Halloween. If you want to place an edible spider in your web, sandwich two chocolate wafers with icing and add candy eyes and string licorice legs. Photo courtesy King Arthur Flour.

 

Need to bring something to a Halloween party? How about a twist on that party favorite, chocolate brownies?

This recipe for Spider Web Brownies is from King Arthur Flour, the source of everything wonderful for baking. Prep time is 18 to 22 minutes, baking time is 28 to 30 minutes.
 
 
RECIPE: SPIDER WEB BROWNIES

Ingredients For 24 Pieces
 
For The Brownies

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1-1/4 cups dark cocoa or Dutch-process cocoa
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon espresso powder
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2-1/4 cups sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  •  
    For The Spider Web

  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flourr
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon mint flavoring
  •  

    Notes Prior To Preparation

  • The order in which the ingredients are mixed is important.
  • The cream cheese for the web must be soft, so the sugar and flour can be incorporated smoothly.
  • Be sure there are no lumps in the mixture BEFORE adding the egg yolk and flavoring to the web ingredients. If you forget, you can press the mixture through a strainer to get rid of lumps, but it’s a lot of work.
  • Note that the image above shows a round spiderweb, while the directions and step-by-step photos show a 9″ x 13″ rectangular pan. You can make either shape from the same recipe. To make round spider web brownies, divide the batter into two 8″ round cake pans.
  • Here are step by step photos of how the cream cheese web is made.
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MAKE the brownie base. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9″ x 13″ pan or two 8″ round cake pans.

    2. CRACK the eggs into a bowl; add the cocoa, salt, baking powder, espresso powder and vanilla and beat at medium speed for about 4 minutes.

    3. MELT the butter in a medium-sized microwave-safe bowl, or in a saucepan set over low heat. Add the sugar and stir to combine. Continue to heat (or microwave) briefly, just until the mixture is hot but not bubbling, 110°F to 120°F. It will become shiny looking as you stir it. Heating the mixture to this point will dissolve more of the sugar, which will help produce a shiny top crust on the brownies.

    4. ADD the hot butter/sugar mixture to the egg/cocoa mixture, stirring until smooth. Add the flour and chips, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the pan(s).

     

    Mummy Brownies
    More Halloween brownies: round, bite-size, wrapped in fondant, by Blissful Brownies. Available exclusively at Williams-Sonoma.

     
    5. MAKE the “spider web.” Combine the cream cheese, sugar and flour in a small bowl, and mix until smooth. Add the egg yolk and optional flavoring, mixing until smooth once again. Transfer the mixture to a disposable pastry bag and cut just the very tip off the end.

    6. PLACE a small pool of the mixture in the center of the brownie batter. Draw concentric circles around the pool, about 1 inch apart, moving out from the center. Once the circles are drawn, take a table knife, wet the tip, and draw it back and forth through the circles. The knife will draw the cream cheese filling into arcs. When the arcs are finished…

    7. USE the remaining filling in the pastry bag to trace the path where the knife traveled, to create the spokes of the web.

    8. Bake the brownies for 30 minutes, until the brownies just barely pull away from the edge of the pan. The center will rise while baking, but will sink back level once the brownies are cool. Remove them from the oven and cool before cutting.

    When testing to see if brownies are done, insert a cake tester into the center of the pan, digging around just enough to see the interior. You should see moist crumbs, but no uncooked batter. You’ll be left with a small divot in the center of the brownies; cover it up with a dab of the cream cheese frosting.

      




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