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Note: If you’re reading this, and you’re straight, and you have a penis, then just skip down to the bottom of the page for the recipe and directions. You’re welcome.

GREAT FIRES OF LONDON!

How freakin’ hot is Jon Hamm?!?

More importantly, do you know how long I’ve been waiting for Mad Men to come back on the air? 17 months. That’s right. In the time that Mad Men has been off the air I could’ve had almost 2 whole babies and watched like 9 seasons of The Bachelor (seriously, does that show ever take a break?)!

Anyways, I won’t waste any more time complaining about how long it’s been off the air. I’m just happy I can spend my Sunday nights drinking wine, watching the show, and wishing I lived in the 60s and could be treated like an object again.

In celebration of its return I decided to make a swanky cocktail inspired dessert. Brandy Alexander Brownies. I basically took the triple chocolate brownie recipe from Cook’s Illustrated and added chocolate chips, Brandy and Crème de cacao. Then I topped the brownies with a sweet Brandy frosting.

Chocolate and booze in brownie form. It’s the bee’s knees.

Chop up your chocolate and cut up your butter. I used a 4oz. bar of bittersweet chocolate, an ounce (or two) of Guittard semisweet chocolate chips and 2oz. of unsweetened chocolate.

In a double boiler melt the chocolate and the butter. Mix in the cocoa.

I’m sorry chocolate. I know we were on a break for a while when I decided to spend some time with Cherry Crisp. I’ll never leave you again. I promise. Really.

The recipe only calls for 3-4 tablespoons of the booze. What you do with the leftovers is up to you. I won’t judge. I’ll leave that up to the producers of Girls Gone Wild.

My little guy is so lucky to have me as a mom. To protect him from possible salmonella contamination I licked the spoon clean, and consumed any traces of leftover batter in the bowl. One can never be too careful when it comes to brownie batter. It’s a dangerous world out there my friends.  Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Mix in Brandy, Crème de cacao and chocolate chips; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined.

Have I mentioned how hot Jon Hamm is? And that his last name is Hamm? I don’t think it’s a coincidence that his last name is also one of the most amazing salted and cured meats ever created. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula.

Bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes (40 minutes for me). Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, unless you’re using a glass pan, then only cool for 10 minutes and remove (glass does a great job holding in heat and you don’t want the brownies to dry out!) then remove brownies from pan using foil handles.

Mix up your frosting. The original recipe called for one tablespoon of each Brandy and Crème de cacao, but I added two tablespoons of the cacao as that gave it a little bit stronger “cocktail” taste. Frost with Sweet Brandy Frosting. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Cut into 1-inch squares as they are very rich, so smaller bites are better this time around!

I found these sitting on my backdrop. I guess the little guy wanted me to photograph his shoes after I finished taking pictures of the brownies. What a goofball.

A brownie fit for the Mad Men season five premier. These brownies were amazing! They tasted like real brownies, made with real chocolate. The frosting was a little sweeter, with bigger notes of Brandy and Crème de cacao, which balanced out the strong, deep chocolate flavors in the brownie. Rich, tender, moist, and bold. Almost as delicious as Don Draper himself.

P.S. If you’re looking for a blog that will get you up to speed on Mad Men then check out Tom & Lorenzo.  They’re funny, fabulous and a great resource for all things fashion and entertainment.


MAD MEN BROWNIES

Chewy, Fudgy Triple Chocolate Brownies
Adapted quite a bit from Cook’s Illustrated

5 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), cut into quarters
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon table salt
2 tablespoons Brandy
2 tablespoons Crème de cacao
½ bag semisweet chocolate chips
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
Ground nutmeg (for garnish)

Sweet Brandy Frosting
Adapted from Recipes from my mom

2 Tblsp. butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 Tblsps. Crème de cacao
1 Tblsp. Brandy

Instructions

  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray. Fold two 12-inch pieces of foil lengthwise so that they measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in bottom of greased pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; overhang will help in removal of baked brownies. Fit second sheet in pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In medium heatproof bowl set over a pan of almost-simmering water, melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.
  3. Whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla, and salt in medium bowl until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Mix in brandy, crème de cacao and chocolate chips; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners, and level surface with rubber spatula; bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan using foil handles.
  4. Frost with Sweet Brandy Frosting and sprinkle with nutmeg. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve.

Note: Adding chocolate chips to the batter will make cutting the brownies difficult, as your knife will occasionally catch the chips and pull away small chunks of the brownie. If I were to make this recipe again I would either omit the chocolate chips or add in smaller bits of chopped chocolate.

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