Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’


Worth the wait!

March 1, 2010

Back in December I made cream cheese brownies for a coworker’s birthday, which everyone seemed to enjoy.  Some people liked them even more than others.  The Pregnant Girl ate more than one (I’m not allowed to say exactly how many), and has been hinting that she’d like some more ever since.  When she found out that the February theme was brownies and bars, you can just guess what she asked for.  I knew I wanted to make them again, but I kept putting it off, until suddenly it was the end of the month, and I only had one workday left.  So Thursday night, I went to pull out the recipe that I had used previously………and came up totally empty.  No idea where it went.  Disappeared into thin air.  And of course the fact that I’m amazingly disorganized had absolutely nothing to do with it!

So back to the drawing board.  I needed a good, reliable recipe, since I wouldn’t have time to make a trial version first.  Aha!  Cook’s Illustrated (home of the magazine by the same name, and the America’s Test Kitchen TV show) does all the work for you!  They’ll pick a recipe, research the heck out of it, make a zillion versions while tracking the differences in each, and then come up with one final recipe that is the end-all and be-all for that particular item.  That said, because of this sometimes their recipes can be a bit labor intensive, or take forever, and you just want to make something fast and easy.  But I’ve found time and again that if you’ve got a little bit of extra time, it’s totally worth it.  So I pulled out my Baking Illustrated, turned to page 488, and got to work.

The brownies, they were HEAVENLY.  Rich and fudgy and oh-my-lord-SO-chocolatey.  Slight crackle on the top.  The cream cheese swirl was substantial without being overwhelming, and it tasted like little bites of cheesecake melting in your mouth.  With other marbled desserts, I’ve often found that the swirl will separate from the main item, causing unsightly ravines.  Not so with this brownie – other than one or two isolated spots, the two textures melded perfectly together.  Just amazing.  This is now officially my go-to recipe for cream cheese brownies. No need to look any further, I’m more than happy to take the extra steps (which are easier and faster than reading the recipe may lead you to believe, and totally worth it.).  And The Pregnant Girl?  Well, after she got over being mad at us (because we were as mature as schoolchildren, and hid them from her before she got to taste one – don’t ever do that to a pregnant person, trust me), she loved them too.  And she ate more than one. Read the rest of this entry ?


World class chocolate

February 20, 2010

I know that traditionally Wednesday night is Prince spaghetti night, but this week in our house, it was Cranky Night.  Yes, the capitalization is needed.  It was that bad.  We were arguing over absolutely nothing at all, and it was getting old fast (Yes moms, everything is fine.  The Olympics have thrown off our sleep schedule, is all).  I decided to see if I brownies would help.  If it worked, excellent.  If not, well then we’d still be Cranky, but we’d also have chocolate.  Win-win!

It was actually a challenge to find a recipe that I had all the ingredients for.  I was running low on lots of things, and there was no way I was leaving the house.  As usual, King Arthur Flour came through for me, with their recipe for Fudge Brownies. They looked delicious and fairly easy, and are rated 4.5 stars.

Don’t be intimidated by the stove top portion of the recipe – the whole thing was actually quite simple and fast.  The hardest part is at the end, waiting for them to cool before cutting and devouring.  I didn’t have quite enough semisweet chips, so I used some dark chocolate chips, as well.  I also noticed that I needed an additional seven minute of cooking time before i was at the ‘moist crumb’ stage in the center.  Other than these two things, I made the recipe exactly as written.

How were they, you ask?  I have discovered my go-to recipe for basic chocolate brownies.  Somewhere between cakey and fudgy, with a shiny crackled top and a deep chocolate flavor, these hit the spot.  We each had a generous sample, reverted back to normal human beings, and then the remainder were devoured by my coworkers the next morning.


Nothing wrong with easy, if that’s what it takes

February 3, 2010

As I mentioned earlier,  January was a blur of activity here in loveyland.  Something with chocolate was definitely in order, but I was too worn out to attempt anything new or complicated.  As I sat there with my fist in the Costco-sized bag of chocolate chips, trying to decide what to make and getting whinier by the minute, it came to me.  Classic Toll House cookies!  Nah, still too complex.  Who wants to take the energy to individually scoop out cookies *and* have to put them on a tray???

Absent-mindedly reading the back of the bag – a habit I’ve had as long as I’ve been reading (seriously, who can eat without something to read?) – it hit me between the eyes like a freaking sledgehammer.  Toll House cookie BARS!  Perfect solution when you need something reeeealllly easy and comfortable.  We ended up eating a couple of them, just enough to get a taste, and then the next morning the rest went to mrslovey’s work, where they were devoured instantly.  There’s a reason these are a classic. Read the rest of this entry ?


Everybody deserves chocolate

January 16, 2010

I just realized that the virtual oven has been quiet this week, as the real oven has been in overdrive.  Lots of baking has been going on, and most of it wasn’t quick bread or muffin related, so will have to wait for another month.  In the midst of it all, however, I took an evening to make three dozen Chocolate Breakfast Muffins from one of my favorite recipe sources, mail order catalogs, and retail stores – King Arthur Flour.   These muffins are incredible.  Little handfuls of amazingly chocolately goodness, so compelling that you want to open up the oven and lick the piping-hot batter while they bake, because you can’t possibly wait another minute to taste them.  Seriously, they’re THAT good. Read the rest of this entry ?