Brownie Crackle

by Dave on 18 October, 2012

Update: Quite honestly there are many recipes I would love to have and duplicate…this is one of them. The truth be known though I can buy the stuff and it’s better than my recipe and the others I tried. There, I said it. Mine is good, Sheila’s is better.

In addition, Brownie Brittle is a trademark for a specific product, which, like I said, is fantastic stuff. This recipe is for Browne Crackle not Brownie Brittle. I was gently reminded of the trademark issue by the fine people at Sheila G, the makers of the stuff I tried to duplicate here.  They hold the trademark rights and this is why mine is now called Brownie Crackle. To see the original stuff go to Sheila G’s.

We now take you back to our regularly scheduled program.

Joanne called me the other day from the grocery store. Did I want any Oreos? Thank you but no. When I arrived home there were no Oreos but there was a package of Sheila G’s Brownie Brittle.

Bad. As in good, real good, addictively good, sell your soul good. So good we wouldn’t be able to store that many packages in the house. I needed to find a recipe so I could make them at home in order to curb the desire to rob banks or gas stations. I found a recipe on Recipe Goldmine and tried it. Nope…not right. So using that as a starting point I revised it to the current form. The original has cinnamon, ginger, and black pepper in it and they were the first things to go. Like coffee, I don’t subscribe to the “add flavors” concept with chocolate. I mean the stuff is so good without flavors why mess it up?

The trick with this recipe is four-fold but don’t worry, they’re easy.

First. Use a real sheet pan like the ones in restaurants. There are several good ones available. Proper baking requires heavy gauge metal to distribute the heat evenly. Vollrath makes a good one and you can buy them at a restaurant supple store.

Second. As long as you are at the restaurant supply store get a silicon baking mat to fit the pan. I never ever use parchment paper anymore.

Third. Bake the brittle until it’s almost overdone. Unlike a regular brownies, you want it to dry out…kind of. Watch it like a hawk.

Fourth. Let it cool well so when you do eat the entire batch in one night you can at least say you had some self control.

P.S. Sorry there’s no picture. They didn’t last that long.

 

Brownie Crackle
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
I use a silpat silicone baking mat all the time. It helps with clean up tremendously and with this recipe especially. It’s a cheap investment and well worth the money.
Author:
Recipe type: cookie
Serves: 24
Ingredients
  • ¼ lb. unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • 1 ounce unsweetened chocolate, chopped
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup walnuts, crushed
Instructions
  1. Melt butter in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When almost all melted add the chopped (or whole) chocolate and melt completely.
  2. Add the sugar, vanilla and egg, and mix thoroughly until the crystals are incorporated. Now add the flour and nuts and mix well.
  3. Place a silpat baking liner on a one-half sheet pan and pour batter over the silpat. Spread the batter very thin and evenly. Don’t worry about it being pretty, even is what you want.
  4. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes watching so it doesn’t burn. You want it completely baked and almost completely dry to the touch.

 

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{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie November 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm

Thanks for the recipe. Am I overlooking the baking temperature?

Reply

Dave November 7, 2012 at 2:35 pm

Marie,

Sorry about the temperature thing. Bake at 375F for about 20 minutes but check in at 10 minutes in the event your oven heats more evenly than mine.

Dave

Reply

Martha February 7, 2013 at 6:15 pm

I tried your recipe but it was a fine line between done and overdone.
I ended up getting a couple of brownie mixes and messing with them. The best luck I had was with the Betty Crocker Original Supreme Brownie mix. I used the amounts of ingredients it called for except I did not use the chocolate syrup pouch that comes in the box. Instead, I added some Hershey’s special dark chocolate chips. I did increase the water until it was a consistency that would spread fairly evenly (not runny) over the heavy duty cookie sheet I had purchased. And I did use a silicone cooking mat. I had to cook it for about 25-30 minutes at least. Kept checking every 5-7 minutes after the first 15.
It kept very crisp for several days in a storage container, til it was all gone.
I am going to try it again with the chocolate syrup and see if it makes a big difference.

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Dave February 8, 2013 at 12:22 am

Yes, it’s a tricky one for sure. Getting the consistency so it spreads evenly is a bit of a problem but after a couple of batches I seem to have nailed it. The baking time is also a challenge and like I said, you have to watch it like a hawk. The edges almost burned. Now that I think of it maybe it should be baked to almost done and then finished almost like dehydrating fruit, long low heat with the oven door open a crack. I’ll have to give that a try this weekend, which is Monday and Tuesday for me.

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Martha March 3, 2013 at 2:25 pm

I’ve done more measuring and it seems that a scant 3/4 cup of water is just about right. And for my oven 27 minutes. But I now start to break it up after it’s cooled about 10 minutes. I let it sit a little longer and if the center has been too thick and stays soft once it’s cooled I’ll put just those pieces back in the oven at 350 for about another 5-7 minutes. I’ve actually had some people say they like it better than the store brand! YAY!
I luckily was able to buy 6 boxes of mix when my Publix store had a BOGO (buy one get one free) sale going!

Reply

Lauren April 5, 2013 at 3:32 pm

Hello,
I just have a few questions…
I tried to make this (I am in the process of trying as many recipes as I can to get as close to Sheila G’s as possible) and I had a couple of problems.
First, when I added the egg it started to cook and before I knew it I was picking pieces of cooked egg out of the batter… so what is one supposed to do to keep the egg from cooking?
Second, when I put it in the oven and checked on it, about 5 minutes later, it was bubbling like crazy, is that normal?
So needless to say I ended up throwing the batch away without ever trying it…
Can you tell me what I did wrong?

Thank you!!!

Reply

Dave April 6, 2013 at 12:01 pm

Ahh, the old egg ploy. What probably happened is the chocolate/butter mix was too hot. Once the butter is melted take it off the heat and add the chocolate stirring to melt the it. Butter, being a fat, gets very hot when melted. When you add the chocolate the temperature immediately starts to drop. Eggs start to cook and congeal at 165 degrees F and if the temp of the butter chocolate reaches that temperature the eggs will cook.

To prevent the eggs from cooking, as in a custard or creme anglais for ice cream, you need to temper them by adding a little of the hot mixture to the eggs, whisk, add a little more hot mix, whisk, more hot mix, and whisk again. You still need to be careful not to bring the temperature of the custard or egg mix to 165 degrees F.

Try practicing by making an anglais (custard) from the gelato recipe here. The anglais is done when you drag your finger across the back of the spoon and it leaves a trail, add a little Chambord (to taste, maybe 2 tbs. for the recipe here) or other flavored liqueur. Use a thermometer to keep watch over the temperature and take it to 155 or 160 only. If it curdles, meaning the egg congeals, strain it through a fine mesh sieve. It makes a great drizzle over brownies, bread pudding, or even ice cream. You’ll get the hang of it quickly.

I don’t know why it was bubbling like Vesuvius. It may be because the egg curdled, which caused a change in chemistry. Let me know if you try it again and the result.

Thanks!

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Lauren April 7, 2013 at 7:37 pm

Will do!!!
I really hope it works!!!

Reply

Johnny October 4, 2013 at 6:07 pm

Martha, did you end up trying to use the Chocolate Syrup that came in the box? If so, which version came out better, with or w/o syryp? I was going to also try w/o syrup and use choc. chips instead. And, since I’m in Hawaii, was going to throw in some roasted Macadamia Nuts as well!

Reply

Martha October 5, 2013 at 7:57 am

Johnny, I tried it both ways but it came closest by NOT using the chocolate packet. I just saved those to use on ice cream. :-)
I put chocolate chips in mine-love the Hershey’s Dark chocolate chips best. but the brittle seems to crack around them and I haven’t figured out yet how to prevent that! Macadamia nuts sounds great! Good luck!

Reply

Johnny October 5, 2013 at 2:01 pm

Mahalo, Martha! Was your oven @ 375 or 350? I made mine with the sauce and reg. choc. chips and seemed to taste great. Well, at least my wife and daughter loved them so far!

Now I wanna take it to a new level and experiment by adding mint choc. chips or maybe even Andes Candy or toffee and maybe even coffee.

The cracking might be due to the high heat… I was also going to try with other brands of brownie mixes since the one I got that you recommended was kinda expensive. Was going to try the Ghiradelli one’s at Costco…

Mahalo!

Reply

Tre October 16, 2013 at 7:21 pm

Wondering of you have been able to try the Ghiradellis?

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