Brownies & Bars

Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Valentine’s Day gives me all those sappy love feels, not just because of all the hearts and pink covered chocolates in the stores, but because that was the day Matt and I had our first official date ten years ago. The two weeks after we met we had our little dinner dates in the dining hall and lunches on the quad, but this was our first real date.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

When Matt asked me to go out to dinner on “Thursday” I didn’t even realize it was Valentine’s Day at first. As we walked through Boston we held hands in the pocket of Matt’s coat since neither of us brought gloves on the cold night. Matt wanted to surprise me and show me this hidden sneaker store. It is fronted by a convenience store and you have to walk through the Snapple machine in the back so he said he needed deodorant to get me to go over there (not sure why he picked something so unromantic and didn’t go with shampoo or something 😂 but sappy and goofy sums us up pretty well). Then we went and had burgers, fries, and milkshakes; I can still feel the energy of that night like it was just last week.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Since I was especially feeling like celebrating love this year I wanted to make something that looked cute while tasting next-level delicious. Enter these Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

I find normal krispie treats bland so I started brainstorming on how to make them into a treat I would want a second and a third of. My first thought was to cover it in semisweet chocolate since chocolate makes everything better and it would also let me use the adorable heart sprinkles I bought.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Then I looked at the recipe on the back of the Rice Krispies box and thought that if we were bothering to melt the butter we might as well keep melting to brown it to create a richer, toasted flavor, similar to my Perfect Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Lastly, adding some extra mini marshmallows at the end gives you little pockets of gooey marshmallow. These amped up krispie treats are so quick to make, but when you’re done they look (and taste!) like they just came out of a bakery. Time to express your sappy love feels this Valentine’s Day with these Chocolate-Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats!

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats  |  Lemon & Mocha

Chocolate Dipped Browned Butter Rice Krispie Treats
 
Yield: 12 regular or 9 jumbo krispie treats
Ingredients
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 4¾ cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 6 cups Rice Krispies cereal
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, plus more as needed
  • Sprinkles
Directions
  1. Line a 13x9 pan or a 9x9 pan (see note) with nonstick aluminum foil and set aside.
  2. In a large pot big enough to fit all the cereal, melt the butter over medium heat. Continue to cook the butter, making sure to continuously swirl the pan, until the butter is golden brown in color, about 4 minutes. Lower the heat then add 4 cups of the marshmallows, stirring until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla and salt.
  3. Add the cereal to the pot and gently stir until coated. Gently stir in the remaining ¾ cup of mini marshmallows. Pour the contents of the pot into the prepared pan and spread evenly. I used a small piece of wax paper to lightly press on the krispie treats in the pan to create an even-ish surface without pressing too hard (you don’t want the krispie treats to be dense). Let cool completely.
  4. Once cooled, remove the foil from the pan and cut the krispie treats with a sharp knife. Line a small baking pan or sturdy cutting board that will fit in your fridge with wax paper and set aside.
  5. Add the chocolate chips and the vegetable oil to a microwave-safe measuring cup or bowl. I used a 2 cup measuring cup since it is deep and narrow - ideal for chocolate dipping. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue microwaving and stirring at 15-second intervals until the chocolate is completely melted. Dip half the krispie treat into the melted chocolate and let the excess drip off. Coat with sprinkles and set on the wax paper to cool. Continue with the remaining krispie treats, melted more chocolate as needed, then place in the fridge to allow the chocolate to harden. Remove from the fridge as soon as the chocolate has hardened then store at room temperature in an airtight container.
Notes
For 12 normal-sized krispie treats use a 13x9 pan. For 9 jumbo-sized krispie treats use a 9x9 pan.
The krispie treats stay for a few days, but they taste best the same day.

 

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Remember way back when I promised the fifth, final and most outrageous installment of the Lemon & Mocha brownie series just in time for Valentine’s Day? Ta-da! Here it is:  Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies. I am very sorry for keeping these from you for so long,  but aren’t they perfect for Valentine’s Day?

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These brownies are the king of all brownies and they are utterly amazing. Lets go layer by layer to give you time to process the amazingness.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Layer one:  homemade red velvet brownies. Fudgey, moist and with just a hint of chocolate flavoring that red velvet is known for, this is the perfect base.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Next up, layer two:  Oreo truffle. If these layers were children the Oreo truffle layer would be that favorite child. Have you ever made Oreo truffle balls? This layer is the inside of those truffles. Crushed Oreos and cream cheese are whipped together to create the most perfect balance of sweet, creamy and chocolatey.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Finally, layer three:  chocolate crunch. Chocolate is melted over the top of the Oreo truffle layer to create a hardened chocolate topping, but oh no, even that is not enough. Before the chocolate has time to harden, mini chocolate chips are sprinkled allover to create chocolate chunks in the hunk of chocolate.

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Yes, I promise you that this is real life and you can actually go make these brownies right now. They are an ultimate texture overload. Fudgey base, creamy Oreo middle and hard crunchy topping come together to make you eat a second, or a third, or a fourth, or a….

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Red Velvet Oreo Truffle Chocolate Crunch Brownies
 
Yield: 32 brownies
Ingredients
for the red velvet brownie layer
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter (1 cup), room temperature
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • 1½ cups brown sugar
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1-2 ounces red food coloring
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • ½ teaspoons salt
for the Oreo truffle layer
  • 1 package Oreos
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
for the chocolate crunch layer
  • 1½ cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
Directions
for the red velvet brownie layer
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan and set aside.
  2. Beat the butter, sugar and brown sugar together with the paddle attachment of a stand mixer for 2 minutes, or until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each egg is added. Add the food coloring and vanilla extract until the color is completely incorporating and is the desired color.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt. Carefully add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients being sure to incorporate completely while trying not to over-mix the batter. The batter will be very thick, but make sure the batter is a uniform color.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and smooth the top. Bake for 35 minutes, or until crunchy on top and gooey underneath. Let cool completely. Once cool you can either leave in the pan or very carefully flip the brownies out onto a large clean surface. I flipped my over onto a clean cutting board that easily fits in my fridge so it would be easier for later refrigerating and cutting.
for the Oreo truffle layer
  1. Turn the entire package of Oreos into crumbs using a food processor or crushing in a large plastic bag. Combine with the cream cheese until blended.
  2. Dollop the Oreo mixture onto the cooled brownies then carefully use your hands and a rubber spatula to create a smooth even layer covering the brownies all the way to the edges. If you try to simply spread you might tear the brownies.
for the chocolate crunch layer
  1. Melt the chocolate chips with the vegetable oil in the microwave. Microwave for 30 seconds, stir, then continue to microwave in 10 second intervals, stirring after each, until melted and smooth. Carefully pour over the Oreo truffle layer and smooth with a rubber spatula. Sprinkle with the mini chocolate chips then refrigerate until the chocolate crunch layer has hardened.

Red velvet brownies from Newlyweds.
Bar recipe from Pizzazzerie.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

It was negative 1 degrees when I woke up in Boston this morning. Negative 1! Oh, and the “feels like” with wind chill was negative 19 degrees. Sounds toasty right? With cold temperatures across most of the country and countless reminders from your Facebook friends about how cold it is I figured we could all use a pick-me-up.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

And what could bring a smile to your face better than a picture of decadent, gooey, chocolately brownies? Well, probably the actual brownies, but now you have the recipe for them!

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

These brownies are nearly identical to the peanut butter crunch brownies I posted last month, but peanut butter is replaced with marshmallow. I had just finished baking the peanut butter crunch brownies when I spotted the big tub of marshmallow fluff in my baking cabinet and got inspired.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

I love the way the Special K cereal gives the brownies a nice crunchy topping.

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Also, just to make sure we are keeping count, this is part four of the Lemon & Mocha brownie series. Expect the fifth, final and most outrageous installment next month just in time for Valentine’s Day. In the meantime, treat yourself to some marshmallow crunch chocolate brownies!

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Marshmallow Crunch Chocolate Brownies
 
Yield: 32 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownie batter, enough for a 9 x 13 pan
  • 1 ½ cup marshmallow fluff
  • ¼ cup corn syrup
  • 4 cups Special K, or similar cornflake cereal
  • 1¾ cup chocolate chips, semisweet or milk, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9x13” pan and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Pour half the brownie batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Put the Special K in a large bowl and set aside.
  4. Combine the marshmallow fluff and corn syrup in a small bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir and continue to heat in 30 second increments until the marshmallow mixture is smooth. Pour the marshmallow mixture over the Special K and carefully toss to fully coat.
  5. Evenly distribute ¾ of the marshmallow crunch mixture onto the brownie batter in the pan by dropping small clumps of the marshmallow crunch mixture right onto the batter. Pour on the other half of the brownie batter being sure to cover as much of the marshmallow crunch mixture as possible. It is okay if it doesn’t all get covered.
  6. Bake according to package directions. Be sure not to overbake as brownies will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. I usually pull mine out 3-5 minutes before the package’s minimum baking time.
  7. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, run a knife around the edges then evenly sprinkle 1 cup of the chocolate chips on top before covering the pan with tin foil so the chocolate can melt.
  8. Meanwhile, place the remaining chocolate chips and vegetable oil in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on half power then stir. Heat for 15 seconds on half power then stir. Continue until the chocolate is smooth.
  9. Remove the tin foil from the brownies and carefully spread the melty chocolate chips with a spatula in an even layer on top of the brownies. Top with the remaining marshmallow crunch mixture then drizzle with the melted chocolate. Refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut and serve.
Notes
I highly recommend using 2 packages of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix to make these.

Recipe adapted from Half Baked Harvest.

Maple Walnut Blondies

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Today is part three of Lemon & Mocha’s holiday brownie extravaganza series! After this we are going to take a minor break from the brownies, but they will be back soon, I promise!

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

When I was looking over my brownies that I had dipped, drizzled, dunked and doused in chocolate I realized the brownies were missing their tasty counterpart: the blondie. A blondie is basically a chocolate-less brownie and I love them equally. Ok, maybe the chocolate lover in me likes brownies more, but blondies are also extremely tasty. Especially when they have chocolate chips.

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

But I am excited to say that these 100% chocolate-free blondies were one of my favorites from my brownie baking bonanza. Maple walnut blondies. They are chewy, with a bit of crunch from the walnuts, and have a very subtle maple flavor.

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The recipe I used mentioned that using real maple syrup would have a more mild maple taste, while using maple flavored syrup would produce a pronounced maple blondie. I only had the real stuff in my fridge so that’s what I went with and a lot of people told me that they were pleasantly surprised by the subtly of the maple. So step away from the chocolate and make these delicious maple walnut blondies!

Maple Walnut Blondies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Maple Walnut Blondies
 
Yield: 16 blondies
Ingredients
  • 11 tablespoons unsalted butter, half melted
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup, divided
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups walnuts, chopped and divided
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a 9x9” baking pan and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl combine the butter, brown sugar and salt.
  3. Add ½ cup of the maple syrup and the egg, then stir to combine.
  4. Add the flour and baking soda, then stir to combine. Once completely combined, stir in 1 ½ cups of the walnuts.
  5. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to smooth the top. Drizzle the remaining 2 tablespoons of maple syrup over the batter then swirl into the batter with the spatula. Evenly sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of walnuts onto the top.
  6. Bake about 30 minutes, or until the blondies are golden and just set in the center. Be sure not to overbake. Let blondies cool in the pan completely on a wire rack. Cut and serve.
Notes
For a subtle maple flavor, use real maple syrup. For a pronounced maple flavor, use maple flavored syrup.

Recipe from Serious Eats.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Ever since I experimented with chocolate peppermint fudge last year, dark chocolate and peppermint has been added to my list of favorite dessert flavor combinations. Of course there is a list.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The decadent chocolate paired with the refreshing peppermint aftertaste is a nice break from all the rich desserts of the holiday season. Packing a triple peppermint punch, these fudgy brownies are for true peppermint lovers.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

First, peppermint extract is baked into the brownies. Second, when the hot and gooey brownies come out of the oven, peppermint bark is layered on top to melt in a thin layer. Third, crushed candy canes are sprinkled on the top to add a nice crunch, to make them look festive and of course to add extra peppermint flavor.

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Thankfully Matt is all pepperminted out this season so I have our batch of these all to myself, lucky me!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

The best part of these brownies, other than their deliciousness, is how fancy they look, but how simple they actually are to bake. So bake some up this holiday season, and remember to keep some for yourself!

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies  |  Lemon & Mocha

Dark Chocolate Peppermint Brownies
 
Yield: 16 brownies
Ingredients
  • 1 batch brownie batter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  • 6-8 squares peppermint bark, broken into chunks
  • 3 candy canes, crushed
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease an 8x8” brownie pan and set aside. If you want thin brownies like mine then use a 9x13” pan instead with the same amount of brownie batter. This will give you 32 brownies instead of 16.
  2. Add the peppermint extract to the prepared brownie batter then pour into the prepared pan. Bake according to the package instructions, being sure not to overbake as brownies will continue to cook once you remove them from the oven. I usually pull mine out 3-5 minutes before the package’s minimum baking time.
  3. As soon as the brownies are out of the oven, run a knife around the edges then evenly top with the chunks of peppermint bark before covering the pan with tin foil so the chocolate can melt.
  4. After a few minutes, remove the tin foil then carefully spread the melty peppermint bark with a spatula in an even layer on top of the brownies. Sprinkle the crushed candy canes over the top then refrigerate until the chocolate has hardened. Cut and serve.
Notes
I highly recommend using 1 package of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie Mix to make these.