Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder

There’s nothing like a fresh batch of warm, slightly gooey brownies to make a cold day seem more cheerful. The trouble is that most recipes make dozens of brownies, which is way too much! This recipe is for a small batch of brownies, made with cocoa powder. So, you don’t even have to go out and buy baking chocolate or special ingredients.

I made it in my new  favorite little baking dish (it’s about 6.5 inches square, instead of 8 or 10, so it’s perfect for baking small batches).

The other great thing about this recipe is that you only need one bowl to make it. Just put everything in the bowl, mix it all up, pour it in the dish, and bake.

I don’t know where the original recipe came from, but I did cut down the sugar a bit and change the sugar it used. As written, it called for all brown sugar. It also said to use an entire cup of sugar. I thought that was a bit much for a small portion, and I also thought that all brown sugar would be too sweet. I used half granulated sugar and half brown sugar, and reduced the total to 2/3 C (1/3 C each kind of sugar).

I still think that’s a bit sweet, so I may reduce it to 1/4C of each the next time. However, since I know I tend to like less sugar than many other people, I’ll leave the larger amount here in the recipe.





Tools and Ingredients for Small Batch Brownies with Cocoa Powder


First, you’ll need a small baking pan. Since this is a small-batch recipe, using a large one will likely cause the brownies to get overcooked and burn. It’s not just for brownies though. Use it for a small lasagna, for quiche, or to bake a small coffee cake.

The next important thing is the cocoa. Use a high quality brand, such as Cadbury or Droste if you can.


Cadbury Bournville Cocoa
This is what I used to make my brownies. It’s dark, rich, and delicious (makes great hot cocoa too). It is a bit pricey, but it lasts forever so long as you keep it in a cool, dark place, away from anything damp.


Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

For this, or any other recipe that calls for it, make sure to use genuine vanilla. Not “vanilla flavored,” but the real thing. The artificial stuff is made from wood! It’s a large bottle, and since you don’t use much vanilla in most recipes, it should last a long time.

More Dessert Recipes

easy chocolate mousseEasy Chocolate Mousse

The absolute easiest mousse recipe I’ve ever seen. It’s got only five ingredients and there’s no need to separate eggs, use a double boiler or do anything else that’s difficult.

 

pear dessert crepePear Crepes

These crepes have a secret. They’re not really crepes at all. They’re something else entirely that works just as well and is a whole lot simpler to cook with.

 

cinnamon sugar bananasCinnamon Sugar Bananas

A super-easy dessert with some bananas, some warm seasonings, and a splash of brandy. Only takes a few minutes to make.

 

greek yogurt chocolate cakeGreek Yogurt Chocolate Cake

Is this decadent? Why yes it is. Sort of. There are three kinds of chocolate, it’s true. But, there’s also yogurt. And that’s healthy. So there.

 




Easy Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe for One Person

This easy pear crepe dessert recipe is ready in just a few minutes, without a lot of fuss and bother.  It’s nearly winter, the temperatures are dropping, and it’s the perfect time for a holiday treat.

The pears were still fresh at the greenmarket, so I pounced.

You’re probably wondering how the words “crepe” and easy go together. After all, crepes are a bit of a pain to make from scratch. It takes a bit of work to get going (even if you’re accustomed to it) and it’s not really practical to make just one.

The secret is that I didn’t use a standard crepe recipe, or even a crepe recipe at all.  I used a very thin, whole wheat tortilla instead.  That meant I could cook it quickly, and didn’t have to worry about extra crepes lying around.

The rest of the tortillas will be used for another day’s dessert, for wraps, and turkey enchiladas (next week’s recipe). And, since the tortilla is sturdier than a real crepe, it holds together better, and I can fill it with more pear! I haven’t tried it yet, but it might also work well with bananas.




Single Serving Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe Substitutions and Variations

  • try pear brandy instead of standard brandy
  • serve topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream
  • add a pinch of ginger to the cinnamon/pear/sugar mixture
  • drizzle the crepe with chocolate syrup

Tools and Ingredients for this Pear Crepe Dessert Recipe

oxo kitchen tongsoxo kitchen tongsKitchen tongs

These tongs are great for flipping tortillas, turning steaks, or transferring chicken or fish cutlets from pan to plates. They lock in place when you put them away, so they won’t take up lots of space in your drawer or gadget holder.

 

cuisinart skillet
Cuisinart Chef’s Classic Stainless 8-Inch Skillet

This is a classic, simple frying pan that’s just the right size for tortillas, a couple of fried eggs, fajitas, or vegetables. It’s not non-stick, but I found that my non-stick pans started peeling (!) and and didn’t hold up so I got rid of them. This is better. Turn the flame on, heat the pan, add the oil or butter, and then add your food. You can even put it in the oven (just don’t broil it).

Check out these Single Serving and Small Batch Pear Recipes

poached pears with chocolate sauce and ice creamPoached Pears with Chocolate Sauce and Ice Cream

Easy, and remarkably elegant. Gently cook the pears, then top with chocolate sauce and ice cream. Simple and delicious.

 

ginger pear bread

Small Batch Ginger Pear Bread

Pears with a bit of a kick. Baking the ginger transforms it from spicy to warm and mellow. A perfect complement to the sweet pears.

 

rustic pear tartRustic Pear Tart

Think pie, with a lot less work.  Make a quick dough, cut up the fruit, let it rest, and bake. Perfect for when pears are at their peak.