Showing posts with label brownies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label brownies. Show all posts

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CTB 2014 - Fat Witch Brownies

I'm sorry, I made you two desserts in a row! Last Thursday was a fruity and summery cobbler. Today you get brownies. Brownies that are filled with cream cheese and hazelnuts.


That's right. Cream cheese and hazelnuts. I'm absolutely terrible.

So what if we are all still trying to maintain our cute bikini bodies? We all need a little bit of luxury every now and then. Besides, it's the middle of August. It's time to start getting ready for cooler temperatures.


To be honest with you... I baked this batch of brownies, photographed the 3x3-inch bars, and then cut the large bars into four smaller, bite-sized pieces. These brownies are so rich, there is no way you would even want to eat a big slab of brownie. Bite-sized is the way to go with these.

Just be sure to toast the hazelnuts.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

CTB 2014 - Pillsbury Best Cookies Cookbook

Last week a few people at work asked me what I was going to bake for Easter. I replied - "Nothing." I don't really cook for holidays and you all know that a blogger bakes holiday foods way before the actual holiday. I was making Thanksgiving sides by Halloween. Christmas candy in late November. Valentine's day treat for Presidents day. But seriously, I'm not really a holiday blogger.


I may get lucky and make something green around St. Patrick's Day, like a salad, or whip up something patriotic around the Fourth of July. A good bet though, if you are in need of a holiday treat, you may want to hit up another blog! Holidays seem to sneak up on me and it's all of a sudden the week after Easter and I'm buying Cadbury mini eggs on sale at CVS.


This year I think I have an excuse. Of the past four weeks, I've been out of town for three of them. Maybe I'll start celebrating foreign holidays? Heading to London, Berlin & Sydney next month - time to research what English, German and Australian people celebrate in May!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Brownie Cupcake Sundaes

We are only days away from Christmas.  It's been really easy to tell how many days are left before the holiday weekend begins because of the following.  Each day this week...

My morning train has been emptier and emptier.  Friday morning promises to give me a three-seater all to myself!

There have been fewer and fewer people in the halls at work.  My company is closed next week for our winter shutdown and some people choose to extend this vacation by taking a few days this week as well.  I'm pretty sure there will be 10% of the people in the building and maybe 1% of them will be doing actual work.


My evening return to the city each night has become more packed with families.  They are all dressed up in their winter best, heading to the city to see the Rockefeller tree, shop at Macy's and view the holiday windows.  Oh yeah, and be loud and noisy on the train.  Shhhhh...

T minus five days - Boyfriend has fled the cold weather to visit his parents in Florida.  This is a good thing.  While we will be spending Christmas apart (I'll be heading to Buffalo this to visit my own parents), I get to use this time to shop and wrap for the guy. 

I finished my holiday shopping last night after work.  My antibiotics have helped me kick the bronchitis that took up residence in my chest.  And Perry's Ice Cream sent me two containers of holiday flavors.  It's time to celebrate!


Actually, the container of ice cream pictured is not the original one that they sent me.  I accidentally ate all of that one.  All by myself.  Don't worry, it took me almost two weeks to eat the whole container.  BF and I had to make our way to the New Jersey Wegmans and buy the last container of peppermint ice cream.

Before I ate all of the ice cream, I had plans to make these little brownie cupcakes.  These dessert treats are really simple and perfect for a complicated holiday dinner.  Make some brownie cupcakes, top them with your favorite mint/peppermint ice cream and add a dallop of whipped topping.  Hello delicious.

Happy Holidays everyone!  I hope that you get to spend some time with the ones you love.

Many thanks to Perry's Ice cream for helping it feel like home, all these miles away from Buffalo.  I've also found that if people know about Perry's Ice cream, they love it.  If you can find it, give it a try!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Brookie Sandwiches

Things are getting back to normal in the Wilde household.  Last week I stayed with friends on Long Island so that I could get to work without spending more than six hours a day commuting.  I learned how to play Texas hold-em (I know, I'm the last person in the world to learn), got to sleep until 7:30am and baked banana bread at night. 


This week, the Long Island trains normalized and boyfriend offered to drive me to Secaucus junction.  It meant that he had to wake up an hour early and work an extra long day to pick me up on the way home.  Isn't he sweet?  By Tuesday, New Jersey transit opened up the Midtown direct connection and trains were running only three miles from my house and come Wednesday I was taking my normal train, albiet at an unusual time. 


I'm excited to be back in my apartment and sleeping in my bed.  Boyfriend in enjoying his extra shut eye.  Hopefully my Long Island friends will be happy when I bring them cookies.  My kitchen is happy to have me back, or sad because I'm going to make it messy again.  I'm not really sure.  Come by this weekend for the nut butter "Why Bother 2012" challenge post.  With living in Long Island and weekending in Montreal, I haven't had a chance to get back into my kitchen!

If you have been affected by the hurricane, I hope that things are getting back to normal for you.  So many of my friends just got power back this Sunday!  If you were outside of the storms path, I hope you are almost ready for Thanksgiving.  I can't believe it's next week!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Peanut Butter Cup Blondies

The thing that I love the most about warm weather vacations? Beach hair. There is no other time in your life that you can exert next to no effort on your own appearance and look absolutely amazing.

The pink cheeks from a day spent exploring. The effortless clothes that say 'I have no where to be.' And the salt-infused hair that tumbles around in the wind. It all says vacation.


Upon returning to the room after a day spent on the sand, I am loath to take a shower and ruin my beach-perfected look. As soon so I step foot into the fresh water my sun-kissed skin turns into a lobster red sunburn. My beachy waves lose all of their fun and I'm left looking like I spent too much time in the sun.

But you can't go on without showering. Not only are you covered from head to toe in ocean salt, sunscreen and whatever beachside drink you inevitably spilled on yourself, but if you are like me you took half of the beach home with you.


The post-beach shower is sadly necessary to remove all those rogue bits of sand that are trying to come home with you. Sure enough you'll be packing plenty of sand in your suitcase, there is no reason to let those tiny grains stowaway on your person. If I spend any time at all in the surf, I will have to spend an equal amount of time scouring myself with a loofah to wash away all the residual sand.

Beachside showers and hoses are no match for the sand, it wants to come home with you. I'll be finding bits of sand all over the apartment and myself for at least the next two weeks. Small memories of vacation or tiny little nuisances? Only time will tell.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Peanut Butter Brownies

Sooo, tis the season, right?  The season where we make nothing but cookies in our kitchens and get to real food as an afterthought?  Well, that's how things turned out in my kitchen this weekend.  These brownies are the product of a cookie-filled weekend at the Wilde household.  If you're already brownied out after last week, just tune back in on Thursday when I make some real food!


These brownies were the first of three recipes that I tried out this weekend.  I had big plans for these cookies.  They were to be packaged up and sent around the country as a part of the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap 2011!!!  I have made these in the past and the note in my cookbook read "12/05/09 - Delicious!"  Thinking that I could probably trust myself, I got out of bed in the early morning hours of saturday to make these bad boys.


To give my past self credit, these brownies are delicious, they just won't be sent to my cookie swap friends.  You might be asking yourself why, especially if you are my secret cookie swap friends, but there is a good reason for it.  The delicious chocolate glaze that sits on top of these brownies didn't really set up.  If I mailed these delicious brownies to my secret cookie swap friends, they would be greeted to a big chocolate mess when they opened the box. 

So, if you don't need to ship brownies to anyone and you want an entire 15x10-inch pan of brownies all for yourself, make these!  And don't worry, I wound up with an awesome treat for the Cookie swap, I hope my secret matches like them!  You'll all have to wait until next Tuesday to see them!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Coconut Brownies

Did anyone else wake up this morning and wonder how it came to be December 1st already?  I know that I did!  It feels like we should still be working our way through September right now.  Maybe it's the warm weather that we've been experiencing in the Northeast (not that I'm complaining one bit!).  Maybe it's the fact that this is the first time in my life that is gorverned by the real calendar and not the scholastic calendar (where was the influx of undergrads to mark the beginning of September?)  Maybe it's because I kinda skipped out on the whole Thanksgiving dinner thing?

Some of you were wondering why I missed out on my turkey dinner last Thursday, I promise I had a good reason!  Instead of partaking in a Thursday evening food-fest, boyfriend and I spent the usual binging hours flying from New York to Florida.  We flew down to warmer weather to visit his parents on the sunny Gulf coast and that's why we missed our turkey and stuffing.


Yes, I know that New York City enjoyed near record temperatures last weekend, but it was still warmer in Florida.  Plus, boyfriends parents live a mere seven-minute walk to the beach.  It would take me hours to walk to the beach from my apartment in New Jersey, then I would find myself confronted with the chilly Atlantic.  Brrr...

I enjoyed a restful weekend at the beach and got a little sun, then I fell asleep in the back seat of the car when returning to the airport.  Yes, I was thoroughly made fun of.  What can I say Vicki plus sun plus car ride equals nap time!  Who am I kidding, I fall asleep in the car all the time.

Since I know that you aren't feeling bad for me now for missing thanksgiving dinner, here are some brownies.  They are awesome and one of the tastiest treats to come out of the Wilde kitchen in a while!



Did you also notice the new tab at the top?  Be sure to stop by and check out my upcoming challenge for 2012!  I need your help, I need your input, I need you to challenge me!!!  Go on, it will be fun.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Caramel Brownies

Once upon a time I lived in a cold, frigid land with howling winter winds and a lack of parking in the university center.  The evil professors took all the parking for themselves and left the poor, lowly graduate students to take to public transportation.  In the bright and sunny days of June, July and August, there were none happier than the graduate students as they waited for the busses to come and whisk them to work.  However, as the summer gave way to fall and the trees shed their leaves, the temperatures began to drop as well.

One early winter morning, a bright-eyed first year graduate student bounced out the door in a fire-orange wool jacket, ready for the day ahead.  Only this was not any normal morning, it was the morning of her first Midwestern winter and the graduate student was ill-prepared in her beautiful orange coat.  While her faithful coat protected her from the milder winters of the East coast, it was no match for the winds that tore down the streets. 


The graduate student was no longer bright-eyed, instead she was chilled to the core, red-nosed and buried under layers of sweaters and scarves.  Week after week the winter winds grew stronger, the temperatures plummeted and the graduate student realized that her orange coat would not be enough. 

Armed with her trusty credit card, the graduate student ventured out to find the coat to face all winters.  One that would stand up strong to blustering winds and laugh off snow as it came pelting down.  Searching store after store, the graduate student tried on coat after coat.  Short ones, long ones, puffy ones and sleek ones.  None seemed up to the task of providing her the protection she needed. 

As all hope was dwindling away, the graduate student found it, the perfect coat.  More down-filled comforter than jacket, just the right length and the perfect mocha color.  This coat would allow the graduate student to not only handle the Midwestern winter, but conquer it. 

The blanket jacket protected the graduate student as she waited for her early morning bus and it kept her warm in the evening hours or her return trip home.  The years passed and the jacket provided just the right amount of warmth when the graduate student moved to the milder winters of the Colorado Rockies and it hugged her tight on her long walks home from the lab when she moved back to her beloved East coast.


As the years passed, the blanket jacket became thinner and thinner, yielding its downy filling to the hands of time.  As the graduate student prepared to make her way out into the real world, she realized that it was time to say goodbye to her longtime companion.  The corporate world is no place for a blanket jacket.  Packing it up with loving care, she sent it off to the hands of the Salvation Army, hoping that someone would love it just as much as she had.

Now don't worry, the story doesn't have a sad ending.  While wandering her new hometown, the former graduate student found a new coat.  A beautiful, plum-colored, wool coat, perfect for her new life in the real world.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Cheesecake brownies

I wanted to thank you all for reminding me of the great things that come along with living in a university town. Examples. Most university towns are home to some of the greatest ethnic eats! It must have something to do with the wide variety of backgrounds of the people living and working at the university. While walking down State street you will pass Ethiopian, Laotian, Greek, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Brazilian, Afghanistani, Mexican and five ice cream shops. Just to name a few. And yes, ice cream is its own genre of food.



They also have the best options for grocery shopping. To go along with the traditional mega grocery store, you can find the wholesaler, the food co-ops (yes, plural), the employee owned warehouse store, the organic grocery and Trader Joes. Love it. There are also multiple Asian and Indian markets. My favorite places to go and buy random food products, often with non-English labels. Just remember your cash, the international markets rarely take credit.

There are also the great events that take place through the year. There is “Kites on Ice” in the winter, Arboretum tours in the spring and Hippie Christmas in the summer. Hippie Christmas you ask? Well, I’m sure that it happens in every university town, right around move-in time. In Madison, hippie Christmas is always the week of August 15th.

The vast majority of leases end at noon on August 14th and you move into your new apartment as soon as you can get keys on the 15th. The night of August 14th, it is very likely that you will find people either a. partying all night, or b. sleeping on their front lawns guarding their stuff. The streets are piled high with some of the funkiest couches you have ever seen and each year I wonder how there can be more 1970’s couches. Do old couches come to Madison to die? Not only do you find couches, but you also find beds, shelves and other furniture, cookware, clothes and the list goes on and on.


Those not afraid of picking through piles on the side of the road view this stuff as gold. The Madison hippies love August 15th. When I moved from one apartment to another in the summer of my first year I put a bunch of stuff at the curb on top of an already huge pile. When I came out twenty minutes later to deposit more hippie gold, my bookshelves were already gone. Way to pounce hippies, I hope your books enjoyed their new home.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Mint Brownies

Is it Christmas yet? I’m pretty sure that it was July about a week ago and all of a sudden Halloween has gone by! And what did I do on Halloween? Perhaps I went to some crazy costume party. Or maybe I enjoyed an evening of pumpkin carving with friends. No, that’s all lies. I spent my Halloween on a train. A five hour train ride getting home from Washington, D.C. The only Halloween festivities that I saw Sunday night were the crazy people in Newark train station. I must mention that I was not out amongst the lunatics, I watched from my little train window as they reveled.



This time of year is rife with holidays, which means that the time seems to pass all that much quicker. No sooner is one holiday upon us that we are looking forward to the next. I like to go buy Halloween candy (for me to eat, not give out to cute kids), but I am confronted with chocolate Santa’s and peppermint nougats. We spend thanksgiving reading the ads for the next day’s black Friday sales. Christmas is spent deciding what you are taking back tomorrow (those pants are totally going back).


So in the spirit of enjoying every moment, I am going to spend the next several days celebrating me! Did you know that it’s my birthday next week? I will be entering into my final year as a twenty-something. So let’s spend the week celebrating with sweets! I’ll throw in something healthy every few days, but I want to celebrate with sugar! And today we start with mint and chocolate, mmm. Happy Birthday me.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Spicy Brownies (High altitude)

When I made the move from Wisconsin to Colorado it was a big change. Well, some things were the same. When comparing Madison, Wisconsin to Boulder, Colorado, someone once told me that “the only difference is swapping out lakes for mountains.” Madison and Boulder both have the same college town feel, the same hippies and each their own pedestrian –only streets downtown. If you took Boulder and plopped it down in the middle of some lakes and fields, you would have Madison.



The big difference between the two cities however, is altitude. An avid baker, this difference affected me to a great extent. Why were all my cookies paper thin? How come my muffins were concave? Why are my cakes falling? Cooking at altitude (as we’ve discussed before), is lame. While most of my baking forays were edible, they were dense and made me sad. Sad baking.

This is how the first few months at altitude went, until I discovered Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy. This cookbook is just what I was looking for. Susan spent an enormous amount of time testing and re-testing her recipes at sea level, 3,000, 5,000, 7,000 and 10,000 feet. I was even more encouraged knowing that she did her 5,000 ft cooking in Denver. Not only was she at the same altitude, but she was testing these recipes in the dry Denver air, perfect.



Sad baking soon turned to happy baking. Pie in the Sky also taught me how to adjust other recipes (like in our Franken-cupcake journey). So for my high-altitude friends, go buy this book. Your kitchen will soon be a happy one!

When you want brownies don’t go out and buy a mix, homemade brownies are so much more fantastic. They require so few ingredients and take mere minutes to whip up. Making brownies this weekend, I was in the mood for something a little different. While spinning thru my spice rack I settled on adding some cayenne pepper to my regular brownie recipe. The pepper adds a very subtle kick to the chocolate, while the chocolate chips send you on chocolate overload.



Spicy Brownies
Adapted from Pie in the Sky by Susan G. Purdy
(High-altitude adaptations in red)


½ cup Cocoa powder
½ cup All-purpose flour (plus 1 tbsp)
1 cup sugar (minus 1 tbsp)
1/8 tsp salt (1/4 tsp)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 eggs (3 eggs)
1 tsp Vanilla extract
6 tbsp butter (8 tbsp) – melted and cooled
1 cup chocolate chips

- Mix cocoa powder, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and add eggs, vanilla and butter
- Mix ingredients until blended and add chocolate chips, maybe add some nuts too!
- Scoop batter into an 8x8 pan
- Cook at 325 for 30-35 minutes (375 for 20-27 minutes at altitude)
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