Five-Ingredient, Super-Easy Brownies

Easy Homemade Brownies from Scratch

Brownies — universally beloved, endlessly adaptable — can be cleanly divided into two categories: fudgey and cakey. The variety made with melted chocolate yields a dense, fudge-y bar that begs for a glass of milk. The other, the kind made with cocoa powder, comes out moist and cakey with a crackly top. We love both versions equally and could not possibly pick a side, but when we find ourselves in the middle of a chocolate emergency (you’ve had one of those before, right?), we always go the cocoa powder route. These five-ingredient brownies will scratch your chocolate itch in a hurry.

Cocoa powder-based brownie recipes are notoriously simple, requiring only a handful of ingredients and about five minutes of active work before the pan goes in the oven. Our favorite iteration requires no fancy equipment, no waiting for butter to soften, and nothing more than a few pantry and fridge staples:

Brownie Ingredients

That’s it. Seriously. All-purpose flour, white granulated sugar, unsweetened cocoa powder, a pair of eggs, and a bit of unsalted butter — a collection you very well may have at the ready at this very moment, just begging to become a pan of brownies. Scroll down to read Blue Apron’s Five-Ingredient, Super-Easy Brownie recipe in full and never panic during a chocolate emergency again.

Baked Brownies
Homemade Brownies

Five-Ingredient Brownies

Brownie Ingredients

½ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup granulated sugar
½ cup salted butter, melted and cooled, plus more for greasing the pan
2 large eggs
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Method

  1. Prepare the pan:
    Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-9-inch baking pan across the bottom and up the sides.

  2. Make the batter:
    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, and cocoa powder. In separate bowl, whisk together the melted butter and eggs. Add the wet mixture into the dry mixture, stirring until just combined.

  3. Bake the brownies:
    Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and smooth the top into an even layer. If you’re into it, you can scatter the top of the brownies with flaky sea salt before sticking them in the oven. The salt adds a bit of crunch to each bit, as well as highlights the full flavor of the chocolate. Bake 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool 5 minutes before slicing. Enjoy!

If you’re hungry for even more dessert, try these five-ingredient blondies.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Picture making cookies on a Tuesday night. Can you? Or is baking such a production in your mind that this doesn’t quite compute? With these 5 ingredient peanut butter cookies, you don’t need a special occasion to flip on the oven.

Simple 5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Well, that’s because you’re not relying on miracle ingredient peanut butter. You may think you already understand peanut butter’s glory, having made peanut sauce or eaten a “bread-free PB&J” right from the spoon. But until you’ve seen how a cup of creamy peanut butter can turn into a batch of cookies, you haven’t admired the nut’s full range.

Of course, even peanut butter needs a little help. Here, we measured out brown sugar, an egg, baking soda, and chocolate chips in addition to the creamy spread.

Close-up of Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips
5 ingredient peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips

That all gets mixed together, a process that’s not nearly hard enough to warrant the use of an electric mixer (phew!). Formed into balls, the dough looks a whole lot like regular not-five-ingredient cookie dough.
And then: bake! These only take about 8 minutes to turn from dough balls into bona fide cookies, so even if you’re hesitant to turn on the oven, you can have freshly baked cookies without turning the kitchen into a sauna.

Bonus! If you care, these are gluten-free. Also, though we like using creamy peanut butter – but if all you have on hand is crunchy, the cookies will still be wonderful.

Recipe for Simple Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips

Continue reading “5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies with Chocolate Chips”

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

It’s not always simple to find a dessert that’s decadent enough for a special occasion but easy to make at home. This molten chocolate lava cake is delightfully rich, and you can count all of the ingredients on one hand. Molten cakes were the star of 1990s dessert menus in restaurants across the country, and now that 90’s fashion is back, it’s high-time they graced our tables again. Grab your butter, switch on your oven, and get ready to create a dessert that will make your dinner companion swoon.

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake Ingredients

The first step on your dessert journey is melting  the chocolate and butter together. The easiest way to do this in the microwave. Just combine the chocolate and butter in a glass bowl or measuring cup and microwave in 10 second bursts, stirring between each stint, until the mixture is smooth. If you don’t have a microwave you can also accomplish this with a double boiler. 

After it’s melted, set this mixture aside and turn to the eggs. You’ll need to whip the egg, egg yolk, and sugar into a voluminous cloud. This may feel like a bit of an arm workout, but you’ll be forming the heart and soul of your future cakes.

Making Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

The next step is to carefully combine the chocolate and egg mixtures. Do this by folding carefully, you don’t want to deflate all that volume you created.

Finally, pour the batter into buttered, floured ramekins and bake. They only need to bake for about 10 minutes, so place them in the oven after you’ve finished dinner. That way they’ll be ready just in time for dessert.

Baking Molten Chocolate Lava Cake

We like to serve ours with berries and a little whipped cream, but they’re also delicious on their own, or with a scoop of ice cream. 

Molten Chocolate Lava Cake with Berries

Don’t miss the rest of our five-ingredient desserts, like tiramisu and apple turnovers.

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One Five-Ingredient Blondie Recipe, Infinite Possibilities

5 ingredient blondies with blueberries
Caramel-y and delicious

Sometimes, you want a simple dessert that you can make with ingredients you have on hand. Other times, you’re looking for a baking project that lets you exercise a little creativity. This easy five-ingredient blondie recipe is the solution in both cases. 

The base recipe is quick and delicious. It comes together in about 10 minutes, and you probably have most of the ingredients in your pantry. Once they’re done, the blondies have a surprisingly deep and caramelized flavor. If you stop here, you’ll be more than happy. 

If, however, you’re feeling creative, this recipe is also infinitely adaptable. If you’re a chocolate fiend, add some chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar before baking. If you’re feeling fruit, you could fold in frozen berries, or even swirl in some jam once the batter is in the pan. Three Blue Apron team members took it for a test drive, and each came back with a twist that worked for their kitchen. 

Chef Alex stuck to the base at first, but after the blondies came out of the oven, he decided to dress them up. One cooled, his bars got a generous drizzle of melted chocolate and cookie butter. 

five ingredient blondie topped with chocolate
All dressed up and ready to party

Madeline sprinkled crushed walnuts over half of the pan before baking, much to Chef Alex’s dismay. When it came time to serve, she chopped her pan into 32 tiny bars, instead of 12 larger ones. 

five ingredient blondies with nuts
Tiny nutty blondies

Laura took a look at her co-worker’s result, and decided to halve the recipe. She split the ingredients down the middle, and swapped in an 8X8 pan. The smaller pan created a slightly thicker bar, so she also increased the baking time by 5 minutes to make sure that they cooked through. For a summery twist, she folded in frozen blueberries. 

blondies with blueberries
Blondies + blueberries

All three bakers gave rave reviews. 

Five-Ingredient Blondie Recipe 

Adapted from Dappled: Baking Recipes for Fruit Lovers

Makes 12 bars 

  • 1 ½ sticks (170g) salted butter, melted, plus more for greasing 
  • 1 ½ cups (188g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ¾ cups (350g) packed brown sugar

1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Prepare a 9 x 13-inch pan by buttering the bottom of the dish and lining with parchment paper. Leave a ½ inch overhang on the long sides of the pan, you’ll use this as a handle later. 

2. Combine dry the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. 

3. Combine the eggs, brown sugar and salt in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer. Beat vigorously, until the mixture is thick and light in color. Slowly pour in the melted butter and mix until well combined.

4. Add the dry ingredients in two portions, stirring gently after each addition. If you’re using any add-ins, fold them in here. 

5. Locate your prepared pan. Using a spatula, spread the batter all the way to the edges in an even layer. Place in the oven on a middle rack, bake for 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through. 

6. Remove the blondies from the oven, and leave them to cool. Once the pan is completely cool, use the parchment paper handles to life the blondies out of the pan. Cut into 12 bars. Keep in a sealed container at room temperature for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to a month.

Homemade Almond Butter and Jam with a Healthy Twist

What’s the best thing to put on morning toast? This week Chefs Lili Dagan and Sarah Entwistle both found themselves looking for a way to give their breakfast a boost, and ended up turning to seeds. Chef Lili created a homemade almond butter, and Chef Sarah whipped up a quick and easy jam. 

toast with almond butter
Breakfast time

Pick a team: jam and jelly, or nut butters. Don’t want to choose? I suppose you can make both. The Blue Apron test kitchen put a few healthful tweaks on each of these familiar ingredients. Enjoy them on their own, or make both to create a hearty twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. 

Raspberry and Chia Seed Jam

raspberry jam
Raspberry jam on homemade crumb cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh raspberries (or your favorite berry)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (most recipes call for more sugar— we like to use less because berries are naturally sweet)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoon chia seeds [optional]
  • 2 lemon wedges, deseeded [optional]

Process:

1. Wash your berries. 

2. Place the berries in a medium pot with the sugar and water; stir to combine. Heat to boiling on medium-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and stir in the chia seeds (if using). Simmer, stirring occasionally for 20-30 minutes, or until the water has evaporated and the jam has thickened (you should be able to see the bottom of the pot when you run a spatula through the jam). 

3. Turn off the heat. Squeeze in the juice of your lemon wedges and let cool for at least 10 minutes (jam will continue to thicken as it cools). Store in your refrigerator in an air-tight container for up to one month. Enjoy it on toast, in your yogurt bowl, on a PB&J, or even drizzle some over your favorite pastry.

Please note: the chia seeds absorb liquid and help thicken the jam. If you are not using chia seeds, you may have to cook down the jam a bit longer. 

Almond Butter with Coconut and Seeds

almond butter
Ready to be blitzed

Ingredients: 

  • 4 cups raw almonds
  • 4 tablespoons virgin coconut oil
  • 6 tablespoons seeds (We used chia, hemp, and flax. Anything you’d sprinkle on oatmeal or a smoothie bowl would work)
  • Pinch of salt

Process:

1. Toast your almonds for 7-10 minutes in a 350°F oven. This will release their natural oils, and help them blend easily. Be sure to cool them completely before blending.

2. Place the cooled nuts and 1 tablespoon coconut oil in a food processor. (Note: I have used a vitamix to make this before, and while it’s faster, a food processor is easier to clean). Blitz, alternating between the chop and grind function, until the nuts have started to break down, periodically scraping the sides down. Add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil at a time, ensuring that it incorporates fully, until your desired consistency is reached. Usually, this takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Add your seeds and nuts and a pinch of salt, and blitz just a couple of times to just incorporate. 

3. Enjoy with toast or fruit. 

Looking or a more indulgent twist on peanut butter and jelly? Try these sweet and salty  peanut butter and jelly bars.

Ricotta Toast is A Restaurant-Worthy Snack

Some days, it takes a little treat to make it to 5 pm. For those occasions, Chef Jessica Goodman seeks out a good snack. If you’re feeling a little peckish, check out her recipe for whipped ricotta toast.

ricotta toast
Take a break, have some toast

Nothing creates a moment of zen in the middle of a chaotic afternoon like a well-composed snack. If the snack is easy to make, that’s even better. This dressed up toast would fit right in on a hip brunch menu, but it’s also easy to *whip* up in your home kitchen. 

Any flavor of jam works well here, just grab your favorite jar and go for it. If you don’t have a food processor, a blender will work. If you really feel like going the extra mile, you could make your own ricotta ahead of time. It’s a great way to use up milk that’s approaching its expiration date. 

Whipped Honey Ricotta Toasts:

  • 1 cup of ricotta 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt 
  • 1 piece sourdough bread
  • 1 tablespoon jam

1. Place the ricotta, honey, and salt into a food processor. Whip the ricotta until it forms a smooth consistency. Taste, and adjust seasoning as desired. 

Whipped ricotta, honey, and salt in a food processor showing the correct texture. This ricotta is ready to be spread on a piece of toast.
Whip until light and fluffy

2. Toast the slice of sourdough bread to your desired doneness. Layer on a thick swoop of the whipped ricotta, and a tablespoon of your jam. 

ricotta being spread onto sourdough toast
Don’t be shy, spoon on a generous portion

3. Enjoy, ideally while looking out of a window with a cup of tea.

Five-Ingredient Corn Dogs

Corn Dog Lead

When’s the last time you enjoyed a corn dog? If you’re like us, it’s been a few years.  Maybe even a decade? We had forgotten about our love for this portable snack, lunch, and/or dinner, but now it is back in full force.  After testing this recipe, we all agreed that we should to be eating far more of them. And not just at fall fairs.

Why? Well, there are a few reasons why this savory treat has sparked such a passionate response. They’re easy to make (our recipe is only five ingredients!), they don’t require utensils, and they pack up perfectly for fall picnics! Plus, they’re DELICIOUS. So, without further ado, here’s the recipe that reignited our latest love affair.

Read on for the recipe.

Pass the Corn Dogs

5 Ingredient Corn Dogs

INGREDIENTS
1 Cup Corn Dog Mix
1 Egg
3/4 Cups Milk
8 Hot Dogs
Canola Oil (approx. 48 Fl Oz. Bottle)

EQUIPMENT
6 Inch Skewers
Candy Thermometer

COOKING INSTRUCTIONS

Homemade corn dog mix by mixing together:

½ Cup Cornmeal
1 & 1/3 Cup All-Purpose Flour
¼ Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt
½ Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
½ Teaspoon Ground Onion Powder
½ Teaspoon Ground Garlic Powder

Pour batter into a large drinking glass or cocktail shaker. This sounds strange, but actually makes for the perfect vessel for coating the hot dogs.

In a large wide pot, heat about 3 inches worth of canola oil until a candy thermometer reads 375 degrees.

Carefully insert 1 skewer into each hot dog, leaving 1 inch to use to hold the corndog. Dip hot dogs into batter one at a time.  Carefully place in the deep fryer you made out of the pot and canola oil. Fry for 3 to 4 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove and set on paper towel. Season with salt and serve with condiments.

Enjoy!

Five-Ingredient Mont Blancs

When a dessert is named after a mountain, you can bet that the goodie will be piled high with something delicious. That’s the case with the Mont Blanc, an old-school French dessert. (“Mont Blanc” means “white mountain.”)

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

Mont Blanc indeed got its name because it looks like a towering mountain with peaks of snow. The mountain, in this case, is chestnut cream, a sweetened puree of chestnuts that has a taste somewhere between Nutella and jam. That might sound weird, but the flavor is truly addictive. The snowcaps on the mountain are whipped cream, and the two are a wonderful pairing.

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

In our version, we turn egg whites into little nests of meringues. The process isn’t unlike our savory dish, Eggs on Clouds. To get the light-as-air texture, though, these are cooked at a very low temperature for a long time, essentially drying them out until they’re crisp. When you take a bite, they’ll melt into your mouth.Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

In many versions of Mont Blanc, you’ll see that the chestnut purée is piped high onto the meringue. We didn’t want to call for offbeat equipment, so we simple simply dollop and smooth the “mountain” part of the dessert on with a knife.

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

And, since you need a decent serving of whipped cream to balance the flavors, we were okay with the fact that our snowcaps were pretty much hiding the rest of the mountain!

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

A few chocolate shavings or some cocoa powder is the perfect garnish.

Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue Apron

Read on to get our five-ingredient recipe for Mont Blancs…Chestnut-Filled Mont Blancs | Blue ApronContinue reading “Five-Ingredient Mont Blancs”

Five-Ingredient Chocolate Truffles

Truffles1

How amazing is it that one of the simplest candies to make at home is also one of the fanciest? 

Chocolate truffles are elevated. They’re the perfect treat. The perfect after-dessert one-bite taste for finishing a restaurant meal. And they’re no big deal to make at home.

Truffles | Blue Apron

The true recipe really calls for two ingredients, not five. The core of truffles? It’s chocolate and cream. Because so few ingredients are needed, you should make sure that the ones you have are really good. Pick up the the hunk of gourmet chocolate you usually bypass at the store. This is the moment for it.

Truffles | Blue Apron
Truffles | Blue Apron

In the ingredients, you’ll see that we specify grabbing two different kinds of cocoa powder. Just look for two different brands if you don’t explicitly see ones labeled “dark.” The idea here is to create a little bit of variety in tone.

The two colors turn into a chocolate rainbow!

Truffles | Blue Apron

By the time you’ve finished rolling each ball of chocolate in cocoa powder – of whatever shade – your hands will be covered in chocolate, but you’ll also have a plate of wildly delicious chocolate truffles.

Truffles | Blue Apron

Serve the truffles at a holiday party or pack them up in individual cellophane bags for gifting.
Read on for the full recipe!

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Five-Ingredient Double Butterscotch Pudding

Because you need another idea for Thanksgiving dessert. No one can deny that. While the savory side of the table may already be filled to the brim with stuffing, turkey, and sausage soup,  there’s always room for one more after the meal.

Double Butterscotch Pudding | Blue Apron

While you might favor tradition in the form of apple turnovers, pear crisp, and pumpkin custards (all with just five ingredients!), this year we’re drawn to an old-fashioned gooey dessert: butterscotch pudding.

Double Butterscotch Pudding | Blue Apron

To build out the butterscotch flavor, you don’t have to do anything fancy. Brown sugar arrives already packed with a deliciously rich butterscotch flavor, and once the sugar is paired with butter and bubbling until it’s thick and syrupy, you’ve got a fine base for a pudding.

Double Butterscotch Pudding | Blue Apron

That pudding comes about thanks to half and half, corn starch, and egg yolks. Together, those two key ingredients turn that load of butterscotch into a thickened pudding with a killer mouthfeel. Once the pudding is all combined, you distribute the custard among several ramekins, or you can pour it right into one big dish, an especially welcome idea if you’re serving a big crowd at Thanksgiving.

Double Butterscotch Pudding | Blue Apron

But that’s not all. While the pudding begins to set, you grab the frying pan again and repeat the beginning steps of making butterscotch pudding, only this time, there’s no diluting the butter-sugar flavor with much in the way of cream or eggs. No, this batch we leave as thick as candy, then drizzle it onto the plain cups for extra flavor and gorgeous decoration.

Double Butterscotch Pudding | Blue Apron

A dollop of whipped cream finishes the pudding’s look.

Get the recipe below.

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Five-Ingredient Cider Caramels

Making candy at home is nowhere near as tough as it sounds. With just five ingredients and some careful attention to bubbling sugar, you can make these cider caramels, which have a deep, slightly tangy apple flavor and are utterly addictive. Best of all, wrapped up in little squares of wax paper, a handful of these caramels makes an incredible edible gift (or a trick or treat!).

Let’s get started. The five ingredients you’ll need are: apple cider, butter, cream, cinnamon and brown sugar.

Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

First, you cook the cider down into a delicious, wholesome syrup. Because of the natural sugars already in the cider, as the liquid simmers, it becomes much thicker. Still, it retains its apple-y tang, a flavor that’ll eventually lend greatness to the finished caramel candies.
Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

To the cider syrup, add sugar, cream, and butter–the ingredients that make this into a caramel. They’ll dissolve into the cider syrup. Yum.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Bring the mixture to a simmer, incorporating everything together. Here’s where you’ll need a special piece of equipment – a candy thermometer. The thermometer allows you to bring the caramel to just the right temperature so it’ll set into candies later.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Prepare your pan by lining it with parchment so the caramel doesn’t stick…Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Add spices to the caramel, then pour it into the prepared pan.

Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Cider Caramel67

After that, the only skill you’ll need is patience. It takes about 2 hours for the caramel to set. When it does, cut the square into square-ish shapes (it’ll still be kind of soft, but do the best you can. Plop a candy in the middle of a parchment piece, then…Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Roll up, twisting the ends, just like you’re making a bit of old-fashioned homemade candy. Oh wait, you are.Cider Caramels from Blue Apron

Keep the candies out on the counter for snacking, or pack a few into a pretty box for gifting to friends.

Cider Caramel Final

Get the whole recipe below.

Continue reading “Five-Ingredient Cider Caramels”

Five-Ingredient Peach & Champagne Granita

Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

Here’s the thing about granitas: you might recognize them as slushies or slurpees or shave ice. The nuances are small, but the most important thing to know about the granitas we make is not that they’re slushy or bright but that they make use of the freshest ingredients–in this case, delightfully ripe summer peaches.

The process for making granita is more or less the same, whether you’re starting with coffee or fruit. Here, we take peaches, Champagne, amaretto, and simple syrup made from sugar and combine them.

Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

We dissolve the sugar into simple syrup, dissolving the grains so the final texture is smooth, not gritty.

Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

That’s blended into a fruity, frothy mix:

Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

We pour the mixture into a flat, wide pan and stick that in the freezer. Because there’s booze, which has a very low freezing point, in there, you don’t need to scrape the pan every half hour as you do with coffee granita.Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

By the time the granita emerges several hours later, it’ll be easy to scrape the ice into individual ice crystals. Scrape as much as you want (it’s kind of fun!). That’s the whole entire process–yes, you need a little time, but you don’t have to do much, turn the oven on, or get a lot of dishes dirty.Peach & Champagne Granita | Blue Apron

If you’d like, you can turn this into a frosty cocktail by topping off the “slush” with peach schnapps or more champagne. You can also add mint or basil to the puree or as a garnish for an herbal note that complements the peachy flavor.

Get the whole recipe below.Continue reading “Five-Ingredient Peach & Champagne Granita”