Brownies For Belly & Soul: Make Ahead Recipes that Nourish Stomach & Spirit | Shelley Kay | Skillshare

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Brownies For Belly & Soul: Make Ahead Recipes that Nourish Stomach & Spirit

teacher avatar Shelley Kay, Art educator, artist, baker, mom

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

12 Lessons (27m)
    • 1. Brownies: Introduction

    • 2. Belly And Soul Introduction

    • 3. Project and Resources

    • 4. Brownie Supplies

    • 5. Brownie Ingredients

    • 6. Mise En Place-Get it Set Up!

    • 7. Making Those Brownies

    • 8. Sticky Isn't Savvy (Parchment Paper!)

    • 9. Baking and Checking

    • 10. Wrapping, Freezing and Serving

    • 11. Choosing Chocolate

    • 12. Conclusion and Final Thoughts

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About This Class


In this class you will learn how to:

1. Bake the best (and easiest) brownies you have ever had. Better still-they store best in the freezer, so no matter how busy you are you can bring delicious treats to work, have your kid take it to the team dinner, or treat yourself to your own.

2. Have the confidence that you can make them any time since you will always have the equipment and ingredients on hand.

3. Gain basic baking skills...or up your baking game! I will go over everything from key supplies to parchment paper, knowing when those brownies are ready and how to navigate the chocolate aisle!

4. Finally, you will have brownies in the freezer that are homemade, are safe for anyone with food allergies, and are adaptable for so many with special diets. 

Watch the class through once, or at least through the first recipe. That way you will have both the supplies, ingredients and familiarity. You might get hungry, so watch again and start baking!

***The Recipe, Necessary Supplies and Chocolate Tips are all in downloadable PDFS under "Projects and Resources." 

Finally, feel free to reach out to me through Skillshare, or my email, [email protected],with questions.

But first, your project...

Meet Your Teacher

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Shelley Kay

Art educator, artist, baker, mom


Hello and welcome! I believe that art is a gift for all of us, especially in times of stress. I also believe that enjoying the process of art is as important as the product. At the same time, some basics skills and guidelines can actually make that experience even more rewarding.  As for me, creativity has been the through line of my life, whether through baking, writing and art. I am also a life-long educator, having spent over 25 years teaching middle school.  Over the last few years I focused on baking sourdough bread, and exploring 4 mediums: watercolor, gouache, bookbinding and linocut printing.  My work is inspired by the outdoors and the constant beauty and patterns of nature. I have recently opened “The Sunporch Studio” The Sunporch Studio is an ar... See full profile

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1. Brownies: Introduction: So this first-class that I'm making is on making brownies. And this is a really phenomenal recipe for a few reasons. First of all, it's easy. It's really, really easy and it's using the ingredients you have in the house. So it makes it hard to say, well, I can't just do it. You can you can find the time beginning to end. It might take you about 10, 15 minutes, not including the cooking time. The second thing is you can put them in the freezer. And when you take them out, not only are they better, but having them in the freezer means you never have to go out and buy something. You don't have to make it from a mix. It's a right there. And finally, as I said in my introduction, it really is a great recipe because you can customize it for someone's dietary needs for allergies. And I forgot the most important things. These brownies are amazing. They're just the best balance of bitter, sweet, and fuzziness, and they're just wonderful. The original recipe was from smitten kitchen, just one of the world's great, great recipe websites. But I've adapted it on my own. I definitely check out her website for anything. And one last thing is these are a really great recipe if you want to cook with your child. My own teen boys had been making them for years now. And except for one step that I'll explain in the video, you they really can do it themselves. At the end of this video, the set of classes I have a standalone class on or stand alone lesson, I should say on chocolate. So you who are taught that being near the end and please e-mail me with any questions. Thank you. 2. Belly And Soul Introduction: Hello, My name is Shelly, and I am a teacher of many, many years. I've taught middle school social studies in Civics for 25 years. I've also taught him more informal ways, and one of those ways is cooking. I have literally been cooking since I was born. Lots of stories about me wanting to play with pots and pans is composted toys. And that's been a lifelong passion. And so when people would ask me to help them to cook or my own children myself, that's been something I've always done. I also love to write. I also loved to do art, both digital art and particularly the finer. It's particularly watercolor. And I love the outdoors and all of those pieces come together in my life. So in terms of creating this particular series called Abelian soul, these are my cooking series. I hope to eventually do a series on painting and mixed media, which is another passion. But this series was really based in the idea that although you can go out and you can make something from a mixer, you can purchase something. When you make something homemade. It's very healing for yourself. And I believe it's really nice and wonderful for the person that receives it, whether that is another family member or someone that's struggling, right then. It also is really nice to customize what you're cooking. So whether that's making something dairy free or vegan or gluten-free or my son has a nut allergy, so to be able to cook that way, it's less expensive. And best of all, these are all recipes that no matter how busy you are, you can make them and you can keep them for when you need them. And I'll explain that more in terms of each of the videos I do in each of the recipes I offer on that note, please know that if you go to skillshare on the web-based browser, not the app. And you go to Projects and Resources. Under that, you're going to see the recipe really spelled out for you there with the supplies you'll need and variations. So when I cook in these videos, don't panic that you have to be writing it down or memorize it. Know that recipe is right there. And also because I am new to being a Skillshare teacher, reach out to me anytime through Skillshare or flower and flower SK. I'll put that in the notes as well. And finally, why I'm doing this is really two main reasons. One is that I think I have something to offer as a teacher and a really busy person about how you can do these things, whether it's cooking or art in the pockets you have and how wonderful that can be. Also because Skillshare for me has been just an incredible lifeline for the past year and a half that teachers on here are good people and incredible teachers. And they have really given me so many gifts. And it's my hope to be able to give back to them and to everybody else on here. So thank you. 3. Project and Resources: So what is your project for this class? Make the brownies, bake them, take photos as you go along and you can post those. You can post photos of a final brownies of you eating them someone else, as well as what you thought about them, what others thought about them, and let me know what you think. So hopefully, that's a fun project for you. 4. Brownie Supplies: So first I'm going to talk about the supplies you'll need. You want a mixing bowl. I really recommend a microwaveable safe one. You'll see why. I have a cutting board right here. It's a nice soft one, a cleaver, something to cut up the chocolate. I have the eggs in addition to crack the eggs into some measuring spoons, measuring cups, spatulas, a eight by eight inch brownie dish and parchment paper rate here are non-stick cooking spray. And then some cooking loves I have over there, the black ones right there. So that's really all you'll need in terms of supplies. 5. Brownie Ingredients: So in terms of the recipe, the first thing to know is if you go to Projects and Resources, there's a PDF with the entire recipe there, so don't worry about taking notes or having to memorize this. It is there as well. And in terms of what you need, really, it's things that you'll pretty much always have in your house, which is one of the great things about the recipe. At the end of all the videos is a video, quick video where I go over chocolate. But for this you're going to need unsweetened chocolate, just three ounces, which is unsweetened being the key bakers is easy brand to find. You need one stick of butter. You can make this non-dairy by swapping out four ounces of any kind of boil you want. You're going to need 20 eggs. You're going to need white sugar. And that's one in the third cups of white sugar. You're going to need two of the eggs. You're going to need one teaspoon of vanilla salt. This is just the regular salt that you would have in your house and you're going to need a quarter teaspoon of that. And then just two-thirds cup of flour and you can swap out different kinds of flower. I'll explain that later. And finally, I'll talk about parchment paper. If you don't use that, you'd want non-stick cooking spray and that's really it. 6. Mise En Place-Get it Set Up!: So the next thing I'm going to talk about is meson place, which I call the key French phrase, bakers should know. It's pretty much what you see here. It's having everything laid out in advance. You don't really have to think about it. You don't have to worry about what you need. You can cook as you go along. So that's the first level of meson plus. The next level is to really take it one step further and get started. And in this case, what I'm going to need to do is chop up the chocolate and microwave it with the butter to soften it. 7. Making Those Brownies: So as I said before, you're going to need three answers of the unsweetened chocolate. So take it out. And what's nice about the baker's chocolate right here is it's scored. So just take three answers right there. If I can break it off very easily. Okay? So what I always do is I take the extra chocolate, I wrap it up in. This sounds silly, but I find it's really helpful. I put it back in here so that anyone who's craving chocolate at night doesn't accidentally eat this. It's really, really, really bitter. It's good for cooking, but not saying you want to nibble on. The next thing I'm gonna do is you're gonna see me. I'm going to speed it up, just chopping up the chocolate into really small pieces so that it can microwave down really easily. This is a great knife. I got really inexpensive leader key. It's more of a cleaver, so that's what you're going to see next. So hopefully what you can see me doing is I turn it. I put my hand down hard on the blade and I chop it up. And again, the point of this is to make it easy to microwave. Now, too obvious things here. One is, this is one of the first recipes I told my sons to cook and they now make it regularly. Obviously, this is not a step you'd want kids to do, but I wouldn't skip it. You could certainly do it in a food processor. It's just a little workout for my hands. And when it's chopped up enough, I'm just going to chop it a little few minutes more just to get really small. Not even a few minutes more like a few seconds. So really just that's really good. Then what I like about this, which is actually another ikea purchase, I just use this and slide the chocolate right in there. I take one stick of butter, throw that in. And I'm now going to throw this, it put this in my microwave to melt it. A few words about the microwave, you can melt it on high power really slowly. Would I recommend instead, is on my microwave. I do it on low-power and I'll show you how to do that right now. Every microwave is a different way of doing this on mine. You hit three minutes power and then 30, which is 30 percent power. And I'm going to hit Start and it will melt down the chocolate and the butter. So in terms of total time to melt the chocolate, it's gonna depend on a few things. How much you chop up the chocolate, how little the pieces are, whether you use full strength, in which case it might be closer to two minutes or how powerful your microwave it. So it's a lot of different factors in there. I wouldn't stress about it more importantly, just stop periodically. And again, you can now see it's all really melted together and that's what you want. And so the next thing I'm gonna do is I'm going to show you how to crack some eggs. So if you're thinking, I know how to crack eggs, just skip this video. However, some people that, especially kids I find are really curious about good ways to crack eggs. And what you're gonna see I do is I have first of all, paper towel in case I make a mess. I have two separate containers for shells. And then I'm going to take the egg and I'm going to call this the flat side. Am I smash it pretty hard on a hard surface and then it must stick my thumbs in and break it open. So let's see how it goes. Okay, so that's pretty much what you want it to look like. So again, I have the paper towel for just this. You want to teach kids, especially that you don't want to play with egg yolks, want to wash your hands really well. So again, the egg, the long side, I'm going to hit it pretty hard right there. Flip it over, stick my thumbs in and you really want to be confident about this. And there we go. So I'm going to pause and I'm going to clean all this up. So we were so close to the end that I am preheating my oven right now to 350. And all I'm gonna do, take the eggs, give a quick whip up. And that's really plenty are just trying to mix the egg yolks and the whites. I'm going to add one teaspoon of vanilla right into that container. I'm going to add one quarter teaspoon of salt. And again, this is just regular Salton, I guess a fancy container. I can't reach it, so I'm gonna put it in my hand. That way I don't get too much salt in there. Okay. Quarter teaspoon of salt. Mixed that up. And now I'm actually going to put the sugar and next, that's 1 third cups of sugar. And in part that's going to help cool down that chocolate mixture. Now, one of the interesting things I find about this recipe is it's definitely pretty bitter, sweet, which is part of why I think everyone loves it. Even kids. I find that even kids who think they won't really love it. So you'd be unsweetened chocolate, we're adding sugar which is less than you'd normally have. Can see all that amazing butter in there. And now at our egg mixture. So that was the egg, some of it now I'll give that a little stir, try not to get it all over the piece. Now at this point, someone might want to try it. And we always remind kids and adults that eggs can have salmonella and then the bacteria, believe it's a bacteria that can get you six. You don't really wanna do that. And again, we're making sure that there's really nothing, no egg whites that you can see in there. And then lastly, we're going to add that flower. It's very little flower, as I said earlier. And it's only two-thirds of a cup, you can swap it out for gluten-free flour, white whole wheat flour. Even you could use mod simulate Passover for those of you that celebrate that. So when you mix this, you don't want to over mix it. You also, I was gonna say you don't want to get flour everywhere, but you also don't want to have clumps of flour. So one more mix. End up getting good arm workout here. Alright, there we go, that's it. They are all ready to be put in a pin. 8. Sticky Isn't Savvy (Parchment Paper!): So in terms of the pan, I had this hand right here and you can certainly just break cooking split in here. I much prefer to buy something called parchment paper. You can get full sheets online. I loved the King Arthur store. You can get it in roles like aluminum foil and just cut it up. And I like to use both. So first I'm going to spray the pan and then I'm going to put this in, press it down. It just makes it so easy to get the brownies out. And you can see it's kind of bump and backup for this in. We can see why I love this spoon Sheila, because I can use it both as the mixing spoon and to get the brownies in the pan. Now you certainly, and you'll see this in the variations. You could add chocolate chips or walnuts. I prefer to keep it really simple for two reasons. One, so many people have allergies or dislikes, things like nuts. Second, I, these are actually really phenomenal, just as simple as they are. So get those last bits out. Okay, so I'm now going to put this in the oven and I'm going to set it for 30 minutes. And then after 30 minutes, I'm going to show you how to test to see if they're done and whether or not you have to put them in just a little bit longer, little bit of a mess there, but that's cool. All right. See you soon. 9. Baking and Checking: Now, one of the most ironically challenging parts about these particular Brownies is knowing when they're done. And that's because at some level you actually want them seems to be under done, but you don't want them to 100 done so that they're basically raw and you don't want to overdo them. So there's two ways I have of checking them. The good news is they're going to be delicious no matter what. So the first is I'm just going to press it and I don't know if you can see how quickly that goes sinks right in. So right away I already suspect they're not done. I'm also going to take a toothpick right here and put this in. And I don't know how much you can see there's a lot of the raw batter from here to here. So that was 30 minutes. So I'm going to put it in for I'd say another 10 minutes. So now it's been a total of 35 minutes. Let's see the difference. When I press here, there's a lot more resistance. Take my handy dandy toothpick again, put that in. And I don't know if you can see, but there's a lot less chocolate on the end of it. Okay, So the first time that chocolate was about up to here and now it's just here. To me, that's how I like it. And, you know, here's the good news. You're going to play around with these. You'll make him a few times and you'll figure out how well done you like them or not. But now's a heartbreaking part one, you're going to let them sit to cool. And then I'm going to show you how to wrap them. And then you're going to try to wait to not eat them until they're frozen, which would be like the next day at least. So just hold out and trust. 10. Wrapping, Freezing and Serving: Okay, So my brownies are cooled off. I cut them into two halves and I'm showing you here that first I'd wrap it in two layers of plastic wrap to keep it sealed really well. A layer tin foil. And then I'd put both halves in here and I will write the date on here that it's November 2021. You could literally leave them in about 24 hours and then eat them the next day. But you can have them in there for one to two months. And what I really like about doing it in halves is if one of my kids is going to an event, a small event with some friends, he can grab one, but they can also grab too. So it just makes it easier, especially at you or if I'm going over to gather with some people just for a lunch and you have just a small small package right there. Okay. So I want to serve the brownies. I took them out about two hours ago. And this was a half batch. And that can be really nice. You can see that I wrapped it here in many layers of plastic to prevent freezer burn. So it might take a few seconds to get this off. But what's really nice about the half Brach is these are so rich that you can really serve quite a few people with just a half batch, especially people that say they're only going to have one. So all right. So you can see now they've really settled. I mean, it's almost like fudge. You can see it right there. So it's almost a veggie consistency. Okay, so I just start unwrapping these. I've left them out for about two hours at this point. And so I've had those two layers of plastic wrap on there. And now when you look at them, you can really see their phonology. They've got that beautiful crust on there. And because these are so rich, I'm going to cut these into a pretty small pieces. So there's still a little bit on this cytochrome. Just make sure you can see that there. And I'll show you how small I'm going to cut these. And so that's why they again, that half batch is a really nice, okay. The psi dot be a cook. I also, I'm not great with straight lines. So here they are. And then they smell they smell really good. Sorry, that's my dog barking there. Hold on. Okay. So that's it. And now you can just serve them as is. Okay, so I've got these cut up. So that was a half batch and that's three by 618 right there. And again, you're just gonna have to trust me until the first time you try these, that they're pretty rich and veggie. Now one other thing to note is you can sprinkle some salt on there. Some people love it, some people don't. I actually tend to keep them simple like this. And I just think it makes people really happy. So hopefully you'll enjoy those again. They'd been up for about two hours. 11. Choosing Chocolate: So let's talk chocolate for a minute. So you can see I've all kinds of chocolates sitting out here. And I'm gonna go over three different things, grams, styles, and shapes it in. So we'll go in order of that in terms of brands, you've got everything from store brands, Trader Joe's, pretty much every store has their own brand. You've got the ones that you see really everywhere. Toll House, Hershey's, I feel like you're a deli you now see more and more often, good yard, probably less so easily available online and probably at some stores near you as well as they'll Ronan other higher end types of chocolate. So in terms of buying chocolate and the bakers that I talked about, if you saw my brownie video. So in terms of the brand by first of all, what you can afford, I do believe that the Gutai Art is really fantastic and delicious. I also am very happy with the gear a Delhi and I think Toll House universities have worked really hard to come up with better chocolate. That being said, Trader Joe's Wegmans, they have fantastic, fantastic for brands. So by what you can afford and even really more fun, Let's try a few and just kinda play around with it. So that's the brand. In terms of the style. What I mean by that are the words that you're seeing right now. So you see milk, dark, bitter, sweet, semi sweet, extra semi sweet, UI. And so I'm going to start over here. So for the brownies that I make, I use unsweetened chocolate, which says a 100 percent cat cow, which means quite simply, there's no sugar in this. You don't want to nibble on it or go for it and you'll be making faces pretty quickly. So this is best if it's your base for cooking, particularly a cake or brownies. So again, in other words, you're adding sugar, you're making, you'd want unscreened and that's really the main reason why. Then you look on here. This is 74 percent checkout for this bitter, sweet 60 percent cat cow. I think there's only ones with the numbers on here. That means that this has 26% sugar. So that's pretty bitter, sweet, not a lot of sugar, 40 percent sugar. Okay, So this is slightly sweeter than these. This as over here up 55 percent, so even sweeter, so that would be even sweeter than that. Semi sweet over here tends to be they don't put the percentage on here as far as I know, but I think these tend to be closer to about 50 percent literally have sweet half. I'm a little bit or from the kick cow, the dark chocolate is usually another word for bittersweet. Again, I don't see the percentage on their Hershey's has this is in special dark and that I when I taste it to me, it's closer to more like 60 percent. And then you've got the total other and the milk chocolate, which is so, so sweet over here. So now the question is, what do you want to use? Well, if you're making these chocolate chip cookies, I'd really recommend anything right here. And I'm actually going to go a little further and say for these particular cookies, I really recommend bitter, sweet or dark. Or again, whether they call the special dark because the cookies themselves are so sweet and this balances it so well. I find even kids love this. Now you absolutely could use a semi sweet. Another thing you could do is you could try the milk. I think that would really be over the top in a way that would almost not be tasty. So I actually have never used the milk chocolate for this recipe. Another thing you can do, as I said before, is you could easily just put a few chips, literally make the dough balls, put chips in and try it out and see what you think. But what you're going to see me do for this particular recipe is used the combination of these darker chocolates. So lastly, we have the form, as you saw if you saw the brownies or when he saw the brownie video? This is a bar kind of like this. Okay. And I chopped it up to make the brownies. You could actually chop up this dark chocolate bar. Sorry, that's my dog and background, chop this up and put slivers of chocolate in. All of these are chocolate chips and for the most part they're the standard size you would see at the store. I have seen bigger ones than this where they have oops, sorry about that. Where they have that kind of I don't know what you'd call it at the top kinda point there at the top. These are the Hershey special dark. They're slightly bigger than not much. And then you have what I think is one of the world's great inventions. The fancy, fancy word for this as FEV, FEV1. Yes. You also, I will call it good. You're good yard, sorry, calls it a wafer. And what you have here is not just a big ship, but it's basically flat. And when you bake these up, what that means is rather than having that point of a chip, you have a cookie that's mostly chocolate. So here's my thought with this particular cookie recipe. When people think these are so special and unique, I think a lot of it is that I always use one bitter, sweet tooth. I use wafers, and three, I mix different kinds of chocolate. Again, if all you can find that the story is semi sweet, Go for it. I would say, I'd really recommend trying at the most simple level just because it's easy to find these some sort of bittersweet chocolate chip. So that's the point about chocolate. Feel free to ask me any questions beyond that. 12. Conclusion and Final Thoughts: So congratulations you did it. So hopefully you have a nice package of brownies in your freezer and I hope you enjoyed them. Please remember to post photos of your brownies or the process of cooking them, what you thought about them, others thought about them. Any tweaks you might make or questions you have for me in the project section. You can also reach out to me through my email, flower and flower SK at It's flower FLRW, ER, and flower FLO UR. And most of all, I hope you gained some baking skills through this, as well as a delicious treat and your freezer. Thank you so much.