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Homemade Pretzels

I haven't made homemade pretzels since we were in Alabama and I had forgotten how easy they are if not a little time consuming. I made these last week for Oscar night. They keep a long time in an airtight container. 1   (.25 ounce) package   active dry yeast 1 tablespoons   brown sugar 1  teaspoons   salt 1 ½   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 3   cups   all-purpose flour 1   cup   bread flour 2   cups   warm water (110 degrees) 2   tablespoons   baking soda 1-2   tablespoons   butter, melted 2   tablespoons  kosher salt Line two or three baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. Place the yeast, brown sugar and salt in the 1.5 cups of warm water. Stir to dissolve. Stir in the flour. Knead for about 7-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl and cover. Let it rise for an hour (I place mine in the oven with the light on). Combine the two cups of warm water with the baking soda in a square shallow pan. After the dough has risen, cut it into 12 equal pieces.  Roll each section into a

Denver Brownies

These are sooooo good. I think these may rank as one of my favorite of Maida's numerous brownie recipes (my favorites are the Palm Beach Brownies and the Santa Fe Brownies).

Maida Heatter says she got the recipe at a television station in Denver and was told that Julia Child had raved about them. I can see why. 

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup honey
2 tbsp. water or coffee
4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter, in pieces at room temperature
6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups (6 oz.) walnuts or pecans, cut into medium-sized pieces
2 tbsp. bourbon, brandy, or rum

Preheat oven to 325. Line a 9-inch square pan with foil. Butter the foil and set aside. (Note: It is helpful to cut the foil large enough so that it drapes over the sides of the pan. This will make it easier to remove from the pan).

Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Place the honey, water or coffee, butter and chocolate in a 2-3 qt. saucepan over low heat. Stir occasionally until the mixture has melted.

Stir in the vanilla with a wooden spoon.

Stir in the eggs, one at a time.

Add the flour mixture and mix well.

Stir in the nuts.

Transfer to the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for about 25 minutes until tester comes out barely clean. Do not overbake.

Remove from the oven and brush the hot cake with the liquor.

Cool slightly and carefully remove from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before applying the frosting.

White Icing

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar

Beat the butter until soft. Add vanilla and gradually add sugar, beating until soft and fluffy.

Spread the icing over the cake and smooth the top.


Chocolate Icing

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tbsp. shortening
1 tbsp. unsalted butter

Place the chocolate, shortening and butter in the top of a double boiler over hot water. Bring water to a boil, turn off the heat and cover for a few minutes until the mixture has melted. Whisk until smooth.

Pour the icing in ribbons over the cake and use a spatula to smooth it out.


Use a sharp serrated knife to cut the brownies into 1" squares.


  1. I would SO much rather have one of those brownies than the fish stew my husband is making for dinner...


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