It’s Knights Night at our house! Tonight is game 3 of the Western Conference of the NHL Stanley Cup Final.
We love our Knights!
Usually we do homemade pizza on Knights night, but tonight is a school night and I needed to keep it a smidge more simple. I’ve been planning this idea for a while, so it was really easy to pull together with minimal effort. All you need to pull this off is a 3 inch circle cutter, a stencil slightly smaller than 3 inches, and some edible shimmer spray. I recommend using a foil pan to contain any off spray from the project. These were as fun to create as they are delicious to eat.
I’ve promised you my Ultimate Fudge Brownie recipe for a while now, but the end of the school year sprint has really thrown us for a loop. Sorry it took so long. Enjoy!
I want to introduce you to my ultimate fudge brownie recipe…
Soon. (Don’t hate me! I can explain.)
Tonight I’ve done it with a twist.
I’m always experimenting with ways to simplify life without robbing myself of the rich rewards of a worthwhile labor. It’s not that brownies are labor intensive by any standard, but when you’ve got many little ones who pull your attention in multiple directions, it is best to plan ahead in order to keep your domestic crown perfectly in place no matter when or how you are needed.
Tomorrow is the night I will actually need to bake the brownies, because my daughter wants to bring them to school on Thursday morning; but I wanted to get the mess out of the way so we had little to worry about tomorrow. Because of that, I’m experimenting tonight: dry brownie mix two ways…
Dry mix #1 has an exciting (to me) ingredient in it: powdered butter. Now, don’t turn your nose up at it just yet. Let’s look at the benefits. For starters, if you buy a box brownie mix at the grocery store, it will ask for crap oil which, in my opinion, has no place in a GOOD brownie. (Just don’t lower yourself to that standard, I beg you.) Second, this has enabled me to create a nearly fool proof solution to the lofty goal of buttery, chocolatey brownie instant gratification. Just add eggs, water, and mix. Similar to the box crap on grocery store shelves, no? (No! Better!)
Yes, this is entirely the reason for making the dry mix two ways tonight. Tomorrow night I want to do a side-by-side comparison and decide for myself if this is as good as the product claims. If it is, which is what I hope, then can you imagine how many batches of delicious brownie mix I will be making?! Ahem… purely for simplifying my life as needed, of course. No midnight episodes of chocoholic instant gratification here! (Hah. Believe what you want. I confess, you’re most likely half right.)
So… that leads me to Dry Mix #2. It will contain the regular amount of melted butter as usual. I have no doubt that these will be as decadent and sinful as usual. It’s a wonder I haven’t gone down the dry mix road before now, isn’t it? I cannot wait to report back to you how it goes. Who knows what other avenues it will enable us to explore in the near future?
Do you want to know what I do when I need to de-stress? I get crafty or bakey. Last night it was bakey. Chocolate is like my own special, tasty form of valium, so I heeded the call and I was gall-darned determined to soothe the craving. I had chocolate chips, but they’re insufficient. I could have made cocoa or baked cookies, but it wouldn’t have been good enough. Oh no! I had to go all the way and make the fudgiest brownie I possibly could with what was in my pantry. Alas, my best cookbooks are still lost in boxes as I try to unpack from having moved 3 months ago. (I know, I need to pick up the pace on that.) So I had to get a random recipe from the internet before dinner and make do with it.
All of you foodies out there know as well as I do that taking an unknown recipe from the internet usually goes one of two ways: you either hate it or you love it. This was neither. It was a chain of events that could have proven catastrophic for lesser mortals, but nay! Not for this domestic goddess! I started out intending to try this “Ultimate Brownies” recipe as it was written, willing to give it a chance in its original form before making any tweaks until the next time. (Yes, almost every recipe I get my hands on faces the same fate: try it as it is written first, I make my assessments on how it will need to be improved- because you know as well as I do that there’s almost always room for improvement, and then I work my culinary magic on round two- and in rare cases a round 3, then they go into my personal cookbook. But I digress…)
Here’s a word of advice for everyone that I’m sure you’ve all heard more than once in your baking lives: Always make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand before you begin the project. Desperation compelled me to force myself off of that culinary cliff with full knowledge that I would be forced either to fly or fall. Well… The jury determined that this momma has herself some wings. Because I am radtastic, I will share the recipe. You’ll have to tell me what you think.
Ingredients and Directions:
1/2 stick butter
1 c semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c sour cream
1 c pumpkin purée
1-1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T vanilla extract
1 c cocoa
1 t salt
1 c flour
Melt the butter and chocolate chips, add the sour cream, mix until smooth. Add the pumpkin purée, mix well, then gradually add the eggs until everything is incorporated. Add the sugars and vanilla (I don’t drink or bake with alcohol- shocking but true- but if you do, then this would be a good place to put half vanilla extract and half bourbon or kahlúa on your own particularly stressful day) and mix until smooth. Then just gradually add the cocoa powder, salt, and then flour until everything is incorporated. Pour into two 8”x10” pans which you have generously coated with baking spray. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until they smell absolutely awesome from the oven and they are firm to touch when tapping the center of them. Allow them to cool slightly and then cut them however large or small you like! They taste like treacley chocolatey pumpkin heaven! Also before serving, if you dig it, dust them with a bit of powdered sugar. It’s pretty. 😉