A Contest! I’m lucky to have met Abby Dodge on Twitter even if so far we are really only ‘virtual’ friends. I hope know that will change but in the meantime, I’ve loved building a relationship with this wonderful, funny and talented woman. Although I had been following Abby on Twitter, I first really communicated with her when it came to my attention that she was the recipe developer behind this beautiful Peppermint Meringue Cake I made last Christmas.
I wanted to tell her how much I loved the cake so sent an email through her website and was surprised and delighted when she wrote back to me with tips and different flavors suggestions for occasions other than Christmas…how nice was that?!
Turns out she is also the whiz behind my all time most favorite cake ever! My daughter won first prize at a Nieman Marcus contest for employees last year with our version of her Espresso Chocolate Cake that we had found in Bon Appetit magazine. We revised it a bit…but it really is my favorite cake of all time. Not kidding!
Abby is an established cookbook author with seven cookbooks to her credit including many authored under the Williams-Sonoma label (this is starting to sound a bit stalkerish cause I just opened my WS version of Desserts (took a wild guess) and sure enough…recipes and text by…well, you know who! As if that isn’t enough, Abbie is a pastry-chef and a Fine Cooking Magazine contributing editor. Whew!
I love making desserts but sometimes I tend toward the more complicated and time consuming (see those two above!) so having a resource for 125 simpler desserts from a cookbook author I already trusted; I could not wait, I just loved the idea. We all lead such busy lives so we need and crave fast and simple solutions; with this book we can combine that with our passion to make it homemade. So many of the recipes use ingredients you have on hand; the beautiful photos give you a clear idea of what they are supposed to look like and I love that Abby also includes some suggestions for alternates (Switch-Ins)…sure helped me when I decided to make her Nutella Fudge Brownies.
I’ve seen several others make this amazing brownie but despite having a Costco sized supply of Nutella (you know what I mean!) I did not have any chopped hazelnuts on hand so it kept getting delayed. Abby herself reminded me of the Switch-Ins and then Tuesday night the perfect opportunity presented itself. It was my daughter’s birthday and we were supposed to go out for dinner. A late afternoon phone call and plans were changed to meet at Lime, a local Mexican food restaurant where she and co-workers and friends would show up too. A quick call to the manager and I was given the OK to bring in a dessert; what could be more appropriate than the Nutella Fudge Brownies with cinnamon…seemed perfect to finish a Mexican meal!
No kidding…from phone call to completion? Twenty minutes and I had 3 dozen of these adorable bites ready to take with me. I sprinkled the tops with a combination of powdered sugar and cinnamon and they were devoured (yes, I made sure to save a couple for that very gracious manager!).
As I’m sure happens with many of your children, birthdays are seldom just one day of celebration here. Wednesday night was a late night for Lauren’s visual team at Nordstrom’s so it was requested that I make another batch for her to take in to work and this time, with a bit more forewarning, I did dress them up a bit with a Mocha Buttercream Frosting. I can’t deny they were, well, amazing, but remember this was part of a birthday celebration. For everyday, in 20 minutes…I’m still good with them minus the frosting!
To top it all off, Abby has graciously offered me TWO BOOKS to give away to my readers; so excited! One copy I would like to offer to everyone that gets my feed via email. I’ve recently changed to a new paid service for my feed and in the event I lost some readers during the transition I am willing to bribe you to come back! I plan to include all of my email readers in upcoming contests so once a registered reader through email, you’ll be included in all of the contests…but of course I would still love your comments. Please? I’m not begging, really…just love to hear from you.
The 2nd book will be for everyone that follows BOTH Abbie and I on Twitter. Abby is @abbydodge and I’m @creativculinary; just let me know in your comment that you are stalking following us!
I’ll collect your entries, use random.org to determine the winners and announce results in one week….next Friday, the 24th. So you have til Thurday, September 23rd at midnight to enter the contest.
US and Canadian Residents Only
In the meantime I would not leave without giving you the recipe!
Nutella Fudge Brownies with Mocha Buttercream Frosting
Bite size treats you can't stop eating!
For the Brownies
- 1/2 cup Nutella spread
- 1 large egg
- 5 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 1/4 cup hazelnuts (not having these, I substituted with 1/4 tsp of cinnamon added with the flour)
For the Frosting
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
- 1 3/4 to 2 cups confectioner's sugar
- 1/8 c unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/4 cup warm milk
- 2 tsp dry espresso or instant coffee
To Make the Brownies:
- Heat the oven to 350
- Line 12 -cup mini muffin pans with paper or foil liners
- Put the Nutella and egg in medium bowl and whisk until smooth and well blended. Add the flour (and cinnamon if using) and whisk until blended in.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins (about 3/4 full). If using hazelnuts, sprinkle those on top of brownies.
- Bake until a toothpick comes out with wet, gooey crumbs, approximately 11-12 minutes. I'm in dry Denver, I took mine out at 10 minutes.
- Set on a rack to cool completely.
- Serve as is or frost with Mocha Buttercream Frosting if desired.
To Make the Mocha Buttercream Frosting:
- Combine butter, sugar, cocoa and vanilla in a medium bow and mix slowly until everything is moistened.
- Combine milk and dried coffee; add slowly to mixture in bowl.
- Beat at high speed with an electric mixer until uniform and fluffy.
- If necessary, add up to 1/4 cup additional confectioner's sugar until the mixture is somewhat firm.
- Pipe or spread onto the top of cool cupcakes
Other Bloggers Who Could Not Help Themselves and have made Abby’s Nutella Chocolate Brownies: