What a year! Today marks the one year anniversary of my first post to Peppers & Pennies. I honestly couldn’t be more happy with what I have produced and the experiences my blog has provided me. What a fun little hobby this has turned out to be!
To celebrate, I thought of baking a cake, throwing a big ‘ol #1 candle on top and calling it a day. But then it hit me, I am not a huge cake fan. I mean, cake is okay but what I really wanted was a dessert that I would actually serve at a special celebration and lately cake seems like such a predictable cop-out. Since this is celebration of me and how much I have grown and accomplished in the past year, I decided to take a look at what made my year so special and incorporate it all together to create a perfect birthday treat.
First off, I looked at my highest ranking and most popular post. Oddly, my best performing blog post was not a recipe but rather my frugal travel guide titled How to Eat Well Without Going Broke in Paris. So, while I first thought that was a bust to get a good idea from, I remembered some great memories from the trip and how we completely adored walking into random little bakeries during the day and picking up a little treat now and then. From there I decided my celebratory dish would be ‘petite’. Let’s channel the Parisians and eat indulgently, but in small servings, shall we?
Following that post, my second highest performing is How to Not Mess-up Cheese Cake which features a recipe for an ultra rich and decadent Dark Chocolate Cheesecake. The element I wanted to pull from this recipe was clear. I am a dark chocolate fan through and through. Check.
And finally, having this blog has provided me with some really cool experiences like meeting fellow Winnipeg Bloggers, attending informational food events and too many hours spent at local thrift shops looking for the most vibrant plate ever (see my Creamy Fettuccine Alfredo Recipe to see the result of that shopping trip)! One of the most eye-opening experience for myself was when I attended Canola Connect with Canola Eat Well. At the event not only did I get to learn from experienced recipe developers and published writers, eat mouth watering food and learn about agriculture in our province I also came home with a new found appreciation for just how amazing canola oil is. Honestly, this stuff can be subbed for pretty much any type of fat you find in a recipe. It’s great for Indian food, whipping-up a quick hummus, tossing your veggies in before they hit the grill and super perfect for baking! Canola is so much more affordable than butter so it officially has become my new go-to. So, in it goes!
The result? An indulgent, yet controlled dark chocolate, no butter brownie! Perfect for sharing at a celebration!
Thank you all for reading and enjoying the ride with me! I am so lucky to have a great bunch of people behind me every step of the way! My husband especially has shown an immense amount of patience and support! Also thank you to my amazing friends! From buying food photography props to trying-out the recipes I couldn’t ask for a better bunch of girls to be my personal cheerleaders.
Small Batch Brownies
- 4 ounces baking chocolate – dark
- 3 tablespoons Canola Oil
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
- Preheat oven to 325. Prepare small baking dish (6×6*) with canola oil to reduce sticking.
- Using the double boiler method, melt dark chocolate. Remove from heat and let cool for about 3 minutes. Mix in Canola oil, sugar, cocoa powder and egg.
- In medium bowl mix flour and salt. Add melted chocolate mixture, slowly stirring. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into pan. Sprinkle walnuts on top, lightly pressing down to ensure they stay put.
- Bake in oven at 325 for 20-25 minutes (do a toothpick check at 20 minutes and adjust time as needed).
- Place on rack to cool. Let brownies completely cool prior to cutting and serving. Enjoy!* 6×6 pans seem to be rare. Get one, they rock. If not, a loaf pan can be used!