Sunday, January 31, 2010

Killer Kahlua Brownies from Mary Kennedy, author of Dead Air

Mary Kennedy, a Twitter and Facebook friend, and I share a mutual love of Chocolate and Mysteries. It's funny how the Internet unites people. I also do a team building event called Operation Military Giving through my company TeamBuilding Unlimited, and Mary also sends boxes to the troops with homemade goodies. Worlds Collide. Now Mary's first adult mystery, Dead Air, came out this month from Penguin and Reel Murder will appear in June, so I asked Mary to Guest Blog and share a chocolate recipe. Her Kahlua Brownies are Killer!

Mary Kennedy, author of Dead Air (Penguin, January 2010):


Like Dr. Maggie Walsh, my heroine in DEAD AIR, I’m a licensed clinical psychologist. Of course, Maggie is a radio show host in sunny Florida and I live and work in not-so-sunny Delaware. But both Maggie and I love chocolate.

Why do we use chocolate for a quick boost, a way of making ourselves feel better? Some scientists believe it’s because chocolate contains a high level of phenylethylamine, which raises dopamine levels in the brain and is related to falling in love.

When I sent a goodie box to the troops in Iraq, I included Janet Rudolph’s wonderful “Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Truffles” along with Kahlua Brownies. And a copy of DEAD AIR, of course. If you’d like to try the Kahlua brownies, they are easy and delicious.

Cook Time: 35 minutes

3/4 cup cocoa, unsweetened
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2/3 cup melted butter, divided
1/4 cup boiling water, 1/4 cup Kahlua
2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts or pecans
2 cups (12 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips

Directions for chocolate brownies
In a large bowl, combine cocoa and baking soda; blend in 1/3 cup melted butter. Add boiling water and Kahlua; stir until well blended. Stir in sugar, beaten eggs and remaining 1/3 cup butter. Stir in flour and salt. Stir nuts and the chocolate chips into chocolate brownies batter. Pour chocolate brownie batter into a greased 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes or until chocolate brownies are firm and begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool before cutting into squares.

These are absolutely fabulous!--Janet


Mary Kennedy said...

Thank you so much for posting this, Janet. I made these for the 389th in Iraq and they loved them. Going to make a huge batch and send them again. They love all your chocolate recipes by the way. Everything travels well and it takes about a week to get there. Hint: if you are shipping brownies, don't cut them, just send them in sheets. They stay fresher that way. If you know a man or woman serving overseas--or just want to "adopt" a soldier--please consider sending some goodies. It's easy to do and you only pay for shipping to New York.

Donna said...

I am "dying" to try this! and your new book!!
So great that you are helping the troops and that is a great tip about shipping.
Everything sounds delicious!

Autumn Jordon said...

First, Kudos to you and Janet for sending a little bit of home to our troops. I'm an army brat and my son is an army brat so I know how much this means.

I was going to make a banana cake today, but you've changed my mind. I have all the ingredients and this brownies sound totally yummy.

Congrats on the release. It sounds like a great read. I'll put on my list for the next trip to B & N. (25.7 miles away-sucks)

Have a beautiful Sunday.

2009 Golden Heart Finalist

Unknown said...

My, my--we just so happened to have bought a new bottle of Kahlua. Wonder where a quarter cup of it will go. Hmmm.

Kate Collins said...

I've got to try this recipe. I'm such a chocoholic that when I was a kid, my mom would tell people I'd eat anything if it was covered in chocolate, even fish! Um, Mom, no. But almost. I love that it's rich in antioxidants, but honestly, do we really need reasons to eat it?
Loved DEAD AIR, btw. Kept me laughing. Can't wait for the next one in your series.

Becke Davis said...

I'm pretending that recipe isn't staring me in the face -- far too tempting for a calorie-counter!

Mason Canyon said...

What a great recipe. I'll have to give this one a try since I have everything on hand.

Congratulations on the release of your book and good luck.

J Hali Steele said...

Recipe sounds delicious and it looks easy enough for me to attempt!

Your cover for Dead Air is awesome, Mary, congratulations.

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I feel better already, doc! Dead Air is also a great mood enhancer. I'd say you hit a double header.

Mary Kennedy said...

Autumn, banana bread sounds good, too! I bet Janet has a recipe for chocolate chip banana bread tucked away somewhere. One of my friends down south always used to make it. Delish! Thanks for stopping by.

Mary Kennedy said...

Lorna, another great recipe for Kahlua is to pour it over coffee ice cream, sprinkle with walnuts. This is a great dessert and really easy! I'm a big fan of your Booktown Mystery series...just as addictive as chocolate (and not fattening)

Mary Kennedy said...

J Hali, thanks for stopping by. I've always had great luck with this recipe. Someone just e-mailed me privately and said if you're pressed for can use any high quality chocolate brownie mix and just substitute Kahla for half the amount of water called for. Hmmm. I may experiment with this. She said she did add walnuts, I think that jazzes it up a little.

Mary Kennedy said...

Mason, thank you for friending me on FB. Janet always posts the most wonderful blogs, I try to read all of them. The mystery blog, the chocolate blog and the team building blog which is terrific.

Anonymous said...

Kate Collins, hi there! Thanks for stopping by. I bet Abby Knight of your fabulous Flowershop Mysteries would love these brownies. I've tried all the recipes on your website, btw. Excellent!!

Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Mary Jane, Thanks so much! The last time I was in New York, someone was giving away samples of "chocolate spaghetti." Hmmm. I'll have to get Janet Rudolph's take on that. She's my "go-to" person for all things chocolate. Glad to see LAW AND DISORDER is doing so well, it is fabulous. Congrats!

Janet Rudolph said...

Yes, I need to find my banana chocolate chunk cake recipe. I know it's here somewhere. This week. I'll check with my Sister. I know she has a copy.

Mary Kennedy said...

Becke, I think chocolate is my downfall, calorie-wise. I'm afraid I belong to the "I-can't-eat-just-one" club!

Mary Kennedy said...

Janet, if you find the recipe, I'll include it in the next box of goodies to Iraq. I know they will love it!

Cleo Coyle said...

DEAD AIR is a FABULOUS read, Mary. Congrats on the launch of a fantastic, fun, and intelligent new mystery series. Now I can't way for June and REEL MURDER!

I love all things coffee, of course, and chocolate! So a pan of your Kahluah Brownies is right up my java alley. Thank you so much for all you do...not only in your important work as a clinical psychologist but also in your heartfelt support of the Troops (and your fellow authors).

Also sending major props to Janet for all she does, too--and for writing this sweet, sweet blog, which is one of my faves!

~ Cleo

Janet Rudolph said...

Yes indeed, I posted Chocolate Spaghetti on Nat'l Spaghetti Day. Sweet or savory dishes.

Susan at Stony River said...

Oh Janet! thank you for tweeting this -- I've got friends coming for lunch on Thursday and have been hunting for something to make it special. Mary's recipe is it!

Congratulations to Mary on the upcoming novels too -- I'll be looking for them.

Mary Kennedy said...

hi Susan, honored that you would make Kahlua brownies for your lunch guests. They are delish, some of my friends pass a bowl of freshly whipped cream and a bowl of strawberries (for the truly decadent) but they are really good, as is.

Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Cleo, so glad I discovered your terrific books when I was reviewing crime fiction for The Examiner. I am in awe that you write for two terrific series, The CoffeeHouse Mysteries and the Haunted Bookshop mysteries. You must do a juggling act (and I thought my schedule was jammed ) Hope you enjoy the brownies!

Mary Kennedy said...

Hi Donna, hope the weather in the Tarheel state is better than it is up here in the Northeast. The brownies are easy and really good, thanks so much for stopping by!

Anonymous said...

Just checked out Janet's chocolate spaghetti blog, it does look delicious! Wish I had waited to get a sample in Manhattan (the lines were too long.)Still, there's always next time!

Mary Kennedy said...

Oh dear, I'm "anonymous." (but it's me, Mary Kennedy, really!). Yikes, how can I be so low tech. Sorry about that, folks!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

This sounds delish! I'm a huge chocoholic and this sounds like the perfect recipe for a cold, icy day (which is what I'm having here in NC!) Thanks for sharing.

Mystery Writing is Murder
Mystery Lovers’ Kitchen

Mary Kennedy said...

Hey Mason, thanks so much for stopping by, this has been fun! Make sure you check out Janet's other blogs, too, she is one prolific lady!

Janet Rudolph said...

Thank you, Mary, for your wonderful recipe, terrific mystery, and friendship.

~~louise~~ said...

Hi Janet & Mary,
I will be absolutely be saving this recipe for National Kahlua Day February 27th. What a fun and tantalizing post. Thank you both for sharing...How cool you "met" on twitter:)

Caridad Pineiro said...

Sounds yummy! Thanks for the recipe. I usually send hard candies in the shoeboxes along with some books and other goodies.

Bobbi Mumm said...

I really love all the little connections between people. Thanks for this recipe, Mary. It has made me smile and I haven't even tried it yet!

Anonymous said...

These brownies were delicious, but I could not taste the kahlua. Do you think I could use 1/2 cup of kahlua instead of adding 1/4 boiling water and 1/4 kahlua?
When do you add the vanilla? It's not listed in your recipe.

Janet Rudolph said...

You can def. add a 1/2 cup of kahlua instead. You might want to add the vanilla around the same time.