Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Good Stuff

I have successfully moved passed my pumpkin obsession. I think that the first step was admitting that I had a problem.  A problem that somehow mysteriously vanished with the passing of Thanksgiving.  I guess now I am onto my chocomint obsession.  Why can't I just enjoy things a healthy amount??

I apologize for these Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars coming late (i.e. past Thanksgiving), but I did want to share the recipe with you since I talked it up so much before and I ended up making it again.  It is a super simple recipe to make.  You start with room temperature butter.

You add in sugar, egg and vanilla.

Then the pumpkin pureé (forgot to take a pic - warning: the mixture gets all lumpy and looks weird, but it is ok, just keep going).

In a bowl you combine the dry ingredients and then add those in.

Next comes the chocolate chips.  It says to use semi-sweet, but I am in love with Dark Chocolate Mini Chunks from Whole Foods.  I use them in any and everything.

Aren't they cute??

Put the dough into a buttered dish and try to level it out a bit.

Bake it and eat it!

Ok, now onto the AMAZING brownies that I made.  This is a new recipe.  King Arthur Fudge Brownies.  I have no idea why they are named that.   I think that it is the recipe from the King Arthur Flour package...? I had an old recipe that I used to make for Devin on his birthday, but it called for like 3.5 sticks of butter and 8 cups of sugar (possible exaggeration?  maybe.  maybe not.).  I wasn't about to go there.  Don't get me wrong, this recipe has a lot of butter and a lot of sugar (see blue bowl below), but I would say it is totally worth it.  I made both of these treats for my advisors as a thank you for writing my letters of recommendation.  I saved 1 row of each for Devin and myself.  It was good not to have the full trays sitting on the counter.  We were however both very bummed that I didn't save more brownies.  I am just waiting for a good excuse to make them again.  Maybe getting halfway through the week is a good reason??

Ok, so besides the butter (which is sitting in a pan to the left of everything), here is the cast of characters.  

Blue bowl of sugar.  Orange bowl of flour.  Vanilla. Eggs.  Chocolate Chips.  The recipe calls for 2 cups.  I combined a couple half empty (full) bags to get me there.

Now the red bowl.  This contains (fancy, expensive) cocoa, baking powder, salt and espresso powder*

* I had instant espresso powder meant to be used for baking, but it expired like 14 years ago, so Devin made me throw it out and he ground up some espresso beans very (very) finely.  It worked perfectly!  It was probably even better.

Devin photobombed (new word that I learned this past week: someone photobombed Obama and apparently Aaron Rodgers is the king of photobombing) a shot of the ingredients.  I am dying to put it on here because it is hilarious.  I however think I would die because he would kill me if I did.  Just picture a big smiling Devin face in front of the left column of bowls.  

Alright.  So you melt the butter and then add in the sugar.

Transfer it to a bowl and then add in the contents of the red bowl plus the vanilla.

I made sure that the mixture wasn't too hot and then whisked in the eggs.  I always worry that the eggs will scramble when added to a warm mixture, but thankfully they did not.

Smooth and Silky.

Then you add in the flour.

And last the chocolate chips.

Then into the pan it goes. Let me introduce you to my special brownie pan.  It is for brownies only.  I am so glad that I bought it for $30 from Williams and Sonoma 5 years ago.  I use it like once per year max.  Maybe now that I have this new great recipe I will be taking it out more often.

Bake 'em up and eat 'em up!

They are dense and chewy and not overly sweet despite what that huge bowl of sugar may have led you to believe.

Here are the girls being silly.  

An old picture clearly.  No beards.

So  Long!

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