The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It


A Charity Case: Burned Brownies for a Good Cause

Recently, I volunteered to help with a fundraiser at work. My choices were to provide canned drinks, to provide sandwiches, or to make desserts for sack lunches.

I decided to make two desserts. I figured I could swing it.

What is it that they say? “No good deed goes unpunished.”

For sure.

First, I made chocolate-white chocolate-peanut butter chip cookies with walnuts. No problem. Cookies are no big deal. They turned out fine. I bagged them for the sack lunches, and they were done. One dessert down; one to go.

Then, I attempted to make brownies with a caramel cream cheese and pecan stuffing. I had no recipe since I made it up. I just figured brownies with caramel and cream cheese with pecans would be good.

Here is the part where I should have quit while I was ahead.

I took two boxes of regular size brownies and prepared one according to the directions on the box. I baked it for about ten minutes while I prepared the rest.

To make the stuffing for the brownies, I mixed one box of softened cream cheese with a jar of Tastefully Simple caramel sauce that I found in the pantry. Then, I mixed a cup of pecans and a half cup of sugar with two tablespoons of melted butter. I baked the sugared pecans for five minutes to toast the pecans and create a nice sugar glaze. When the pecans had cooled a bit, I mixed them in with the cream cheese. If I could do it over, I would beat in a half cup of sugar into the cream cheese mixture. The cream cheese just never lost its twang.

I spread the caramel cream cheese concoction on the first brownie batch. Then I covered that with the second box of prepared brownie mix.

I baked and baked and baked it at 350 for over thirty minutes. The top never got done, the bottom was who knows how done, and I was getting impatient since I wanted it to cool and cut it ahead of time.

What to do? Crank up the heat, of course.

I decided to broil the brownies for five minutes. Why? I don’t know.

I fired up the broiler and left to find another activity for my five free minutes. With about one minute left on the clock, a peculiar smell hit my nose.

I guess this has happened to everyone. That tell-tale smell of burned food that went a little too long. I jumped up and raced to the oven to find a charred clump of brownie.

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I had managed to ruin what had started out okay.

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The caramel cream cheese with pecans had been fine.

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The brownie mix had been great.

But, I ruined the whole thing. The problem then was that I had committed to provide desserts to the sweetest lady ever who was counting on me to provide desserts for our fundraiser.

The pressure-what’s a girl to do?

Cover those burned bad boys with powdered sugar and send them on, of course.

Next time, I’ll provide the drinks.



Chocolate Pumpkin Pie

My husband is a big fan of pumpkin pie.  Being the good wife and mother that I try to be-emphasis on the word try-I make two kinds, and he really likes them both. 

The first kind is a very plain and simple traditional pumpkin pie with very few spices.  It is easy to make and eat with a dollop of whipped cream on top.  Simple.

The second kind is a little more intense.  Well, as intense as a pumpkin pie can get.  I don’t remember how this recipe came to be, but I do know that he likes it every time I make it. 

The recipe for my “intense” pumpkin pie:

1 pre-made graham cracker crust

¼ cup butterscotch or caramel topping from the ice cream section of the grocery store

½ cup pecans, toasted with butter and sugar

1 package of turtle instant pudding if you can find it.  I haven’t seen it in a few years. If you do not find it, use chocolate fudge instant pudding or any other chocolate favored instant pudding

1 package of vanilla or French vanilla instant pudding

1 can of pureed pumpkin

1 t. cinnamon

1 t. nutmeg

1 cup milk

1 large tub of thawed whipped cream like Cool Whip.  You can make your own to go on top, but I like to use the pre-made kind in recipes.  I think it holds up better.

On the bottom of your pie crust, sprinkle the pecans and the caramel/butterscotch.  In a large bowl, combine the two puddings.  Add to that the pumpkin and the two spices.  Mix in the milk and blend well working quickly.  Fold in 1 ½ cups of the whipped cream.  Pour the mixture into the pie crust.

Refrigerate for at least an hour.  To serve, top with the extra whipped cream or with fresh whipped cream. 



A Good Time Was Had by All: Brunch for the Girls
November 19, 2011, 7:37 pm
Filed under: Food I Make | Tags: , , , , , ,

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The girls came over this morning for a brunch. I love having people over, and I love eating great food. I would do it way more often if only I didn’t have to clean me house first. I gotta figure that part out….

We ate entirely too much and had a great time.




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