Valentine's Day is coming! If you're anything like me, there's so much to do with such little time. I've never been one to go crazy with material gifts because we were raised to appreciate experiences, since those are the memories that truly last. I'm working diligently to instill that same thought process in MiniMe but it is a little more difficult when you're a kindergartner in a class full of kiddies that love to celebrate every observance. We don't want her to be the odd one out this Valentine's Day and that is why we are sending her to school with sweet treats for her buddies.
You might be wondering how I'm going to pull this off between working, wifing, and mothering. Well, I found a way to make it happen and I'm hoping it helps make things a little easier for you too! It is my pleasure to introduce you to *drumroll* Crock Pot Brownies!
Here's what you need --
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ tsp salt
⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
8 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
CREAM CHEESE SWIRL:
4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
¼ cup sugar
Let's get started!
First, you want to start by lining your crock pot with parchment paper or spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray. This comes in handy when it's time to cook and remove your brownies.
In a mixing bowl, combine the properly measured flour, salt and cocoa powder. Stir together with a spoon until mixed. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the chopped unsweetened chocolate and softened butter. Stir occasionally until it’s fully melted, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a larger mixing bowl, beat the sugar and eggs plus additional egg yolk with an electric mixer for 1 minute, until the mixture is pale yellow and doubled in volume.
Once the chocolate is melted, pour it into the egg mixture. Then add the vegetable oil and vanilla extract. Stir with a spatula to combine.
Then, spoon the flour mixture into the wet ingredients, mixing with a spatula just until combined. Do not continue to mix the batter once you can no longer see flour -- this is very important!
Now, it's time to work on the batter.
Reserve 1/3 cup of the batter.
Add the remaining batter to the crock pot. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar and egg, beat using an electric mixer until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
Drizzle the cream cheese filling in a grid pattern, then use a butter knife and drag it across the grid to create swirls.
Add in the remaining 1/3 cup of batter where you see fit. Swirl again with the knife.
Once you're done with the above steps, cook for 3 hours on HIGH. Turn off crock pot and let rest for 30 minutes.
Most importantly, allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting.