Best Ever Fudge Brownies

BestEverFudgeBrownies

So I recently had a startling revelation: I actually do have a sweet tooth.

After years and years of staunchly denying my sweet tooth, telling people that I have a ‘salty tooth’ in reference to my preference for chips, fries, pickles, and all things salty, I finally realized I’m a liar because I effing love sweets and what the hell was I ever talking about?

(Related: I also feel very ‘wtf’ in retrospect about my high school appearance, past boyfriends, and 90% of the mix-tapes I own that I once thought were great).

So yeah. I’m coming out with it: I have a sweet tooth. A massive one, in fact. I mean, as far as I’m concerned I could easily double-fist a basket of piping hot onion rings and a handful of macarons simultaneously. Just call me ‘classy’.

I figured this revelation out when I would look at my bank statements and realize I spent $70 on macarons from Laduree every time I visited New York. Or how whenever I visit a bakery, I have to try every. single. thing. and I secretly enjoy every. single. bite. It isn’t research; it’s because I’m a fat-ass who freakin’ loves food. End of story.

And brownies? LOVE ‘EM. While I’m still not wild about chocolate (you will not, in fact, find me shoveling a chocolate bar down my gullet — yet), I do love me some brownies. They’re pretty impossible to resist at any point in their short lifespan, but I’m especially weak for them right when they come out of the oven. They’re all hot and gooey, with those crackly-crisp tops. If there is anything sexier, let me know.

DSC_0070ABut so often, brownies are disappointing. It’s like when you highly anticipate the newest season in your favorite series because it’s about a circus and OMG, SOMUCHCREEPYPOTENTIAL but then they totally BLOW IT by making every lame character sing like this is some kind of disturbed Glee spin-off and you’re like, you really only had one episode with a ventriloquist doll? Really? and then you kinda sorta vow to never watch it again because it was such crap.

Hypothetically speaking, you know.

DSC_0041AI’m here to change your views on brownies. Those “fudge” brownies that are drier than a Sahara desert in summertime? Never again. Brownies that are labeled as “chewy” but taste like chocolate cake? Sayonara, losers. And brownies that are too sweet, too fudgy, not sweet enough? Later dude. It’s time to say goodbye to mediocre brownies and HELLO to the most amazing, best, fudge brownies ever. I don’t like throwing around ‘best’ and ‘perfect’ all the time since I know brownie recipes can be subjective, of course. I don’t want to step on your ancient Grandma Mildred’s recipe, or your favorite boxed mix, but for me personally, this is my new favorite.

This recipe comes from a delicious bakery here in Sacramento called Ginger Elizabeth. If you’re ever here, I highly recommend stopping by for a sweet treat and some of their amazing hand-crafted artisanal chocolates.

But in the meantime… make these!

DSC_0052A

5.0 from 1 reviews
Best Ever Fudge Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Ultra rich, gooey and fudgy, these brownies are some of the best-ever! They have crispy tops but soft and chewy middles, and bake up incredibly thick. They'll be your new favorite in no time!
Ingredients
  • 1 & ¼ cups unsalted butter
  • 3 cups white sugar
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract (I recommend a high-quality vanilla like a Madagascar Bourbon)
  • 5 eggs
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 & ¼th cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp - 1 tsp instant espresso powder (optional but recommended for a flavor boost; start with ½ tsp for a deeper flavor and use 1 tsp if you want something stronger)
  • 12 oz semi-sweet chocolate chips or baking bar
  • 4 oz unsweetened chocolate chips or baking bar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside. In a large bowl, melt the butter and chocolate together. You can either do this in a microwave-save bowl in the microwave, heating at 45-second increments, stirring after each round until smooth, or you can do it in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water, like a double-boiler method (just make sure the water is not touching the bottom of the bowl). I did the microwave method and it worked just fine.
  2. NOTE: if you are using baking bars (such as Baker's), break them up into individual, segmented pieces before melting. This helps expedite the melting process and make for a smooth batter.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the sugar, eggs and vanilla with the paddle attachment until creamy, about 2 minutes. Add in the chocolate butter mixture until smooth. Then, add in the flour, espresso powder (if using) and salt until a soft yet thick batter has formed.
  4. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approximately 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs (not super wet). Here's where it's up to your preference. I baked mine for exactly 37 minutes, creating VERY fudgy brownies that almost seemed slightly undone which is how I like it. If you want something still fudgy but more structured, bake up to 45 minutes. Do not overbake, as brownies WILL continue to cook and set up once they cool.
  5. Allow brownies to cool, preferably overnight, before cutting into bars. Brownies may slightly sink in the middle during cooling; this is normal. If you'd like, you can frost them or sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Serve room temperature or warm, and store leftovers airtight at room temperature for up to a week. These would freeze well, too - wrap individually and freeze up to 3 months.

Oh my fudge.

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DSC_0071AI mean, these are positively irresistible! Like I said, buttery, fudgy, moist and chewy with those delectable crispy-crunchy tops that add such great texture to these monstrous fudge-bombs. As you may have noticed, there is no leavening in these brownies since they’re already so thick and tall on their own. Even for a 13×9″ pan, these bake up some seriously thick brownies. Feel free to substitute an 11×16 pan or something larger like a sheet pan if you’d like; just reduce the baking time and mind the brownies so they don’t burn or overcook.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some lost time to make up for :)

Have a delicious day!!

xo, Hayley

Best Ever Fudge Brownies

 

 

 

 

Perfect Chex Mix and Sweet & Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies + A Pampered Chef Holiday Edible Gifts Giveaway!

Perfect Chex MixUnless y’all have been hiding out under a rock, I’m sure you’re well aware that the holidays are practically knocking at our doors. Thanksgiving is Thursday(!!!) and Christmas comes shortly thereafter, which means everyone pretty much scrambles to find the perfect gift for friends, family, neighbors, coworkers and the like.

But instead of braving the dreaded mall (the parking is on another level of torture, not to mention the lines!) have you guys ever considered making your holiday gifts? I’m sure you’ve all received a plate of cookies from a neighbor, or some homemade fudge from a coworker, and they have the right idea! Not only is giving edible gifts cost-effective, but you won’t have to bear with mall traffic or testy parents fighting people in the electronics section to get the newest Minecraft game. Plus, food is a win-win, am I right? (Yes, yes I am).

This holiday season, I’ve teamed up with The Pampered Chef for their Holiday Edible Giftables Campaign! The Pampered Chef is encouraging people to create fabulous edible gifts featuring their collection of brilliant, quality products. Whether you use The Pampered Chef’s line of expert cookware to help you create the giftables, or pair the edible gifts with the matching products used to make them, I hope these ideas serve as inspiration for the perfect holiday gift for your closest friends and family!

First up: the Perfect Chex Mix. Growing up, my grandma made HUGE batches of this highly addictive, perfectly seasoned mix of cereal, pretzels and nuts. I’m sure every family has their favorite recipe, and this is mine! It’s not too spicy but has the perfect amount of heat and kick from the cayenne pepper in the homemade seasoning blend. Paired with garlic and onion powder, seasoning salt, butter and smoky Worcestershire sauce, it’s absolutely delicious and impossible to stop snacking at just one handful.

DSC_1459ATo make this fabulously Perfect Chex Mix, I baked the mixture on a couple of The Pampered Chef’s Large Sheet Pans. Their aluminized steel sheet pans heat evenly so your mixture won’t get too dark in certain spots and too pale in others. The rimmed sides prevent Chex from jumping ship in the oven while you stir them. I used two sheet pans for my Chex Mix & it was perfect!

DSC_1517ANext, you’ll want a spatula to turn and stir that glorious Chex Mix into a heavenly treat. This helps distribute the seasoning to evenly coat all of the components of the mix. I love their Mini Serving Spatula which I use for everything, from lifting bars out of the pan to flipping silver dollar pancakes to stirring Chex Mix!

And lastly, I highly recommend gifting this spicy, smoky Chex Mix in the Bamboo Small Snack Bowls. These two beautifully crafted bamboo bowls have a caramelized, rich finish and hold 1 & 1/4 cups of your favorite snacks (like this Chex Mix, duh!). Simply scoop up some of the Chex into a bowl, gently wrap the bowl in cellophane, and gift it! Simple as that.

Now who’s hungry?!

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5.0 from 7 reviews
Perfect Chex Mix and Sweet & Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies + A Pampered Chef Holiday Edible Gifts Giveaway!
Author: 
Recipe type: Snacks
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24 cups
 
This Chex Mix is positively dreamy! Seasoned to perfection, it's not too sweet nor spicy -- just right! And it makes for a fantastic edible gift during the holidays.
Ingredients
  • 6 cups Corn Chex cereal
  • 6 cups Wheat Chex cereal
  • 2 cups Cheerios cereal
  • 2 cups pretzel sticks
  • 2 cups dry-roasted peanuts
  • 2 cups dry-roasted cashews
  • 4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 Tbsp seasoning salt
  • 1 tsp (or less, depending on your preferences) cayenne pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp onion powder
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Line two Large Sheet Pans with foil or silicone liners. Set aside. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together the melted butter, Worcestershire sauce, seasoning salt, cayenne, garlic and onion powder together until combined.
  2. In a large bowl, toss together the cereals, pretzels, and nuts until blended. Spread the mixture evenly among the two sheet pans in an even layer. Drizzle HALF of the butter mixture over the cereal on one sheet pan, then drizzle the remaining butter mixture over the second sheet pan. Gently toss or stir the butter mixture around with your Mini Serving Spatula until the cereal is coated completely.
  3. Bake the mixture for one hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Once the Chex is golden and baked, allow it to cool before dishing up. Store leftovers in an airtight container.

Likewise, I couldn’t very well avoid sweets (it’s in my DNA to bake desserts!) so I had to whip up something buttery, chocolaty and delish. These Sweet & Spicy Cinnamon Chocolate Brownies are the perfect solution! To gift these, wrap together The Pampered Chef’s Brownie Pan with their “Let It Snow” Spatula and their Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend for the perfect how-to giftable. As a bonus, include a recipe card or some of your favorite brownie mix inside of a pretty mason jar, tied with a ribbon. Or, make it extra sweet and include a plate of these very brownies with the gift, served up on their adorable Holiday Dots Square Bowl which makes for a fantastic gift-giving vessel and a great item for them to use again and again.

Choco Cinnamon BrowniesJust whatever you do, please do your tastebuds a favor and pick up that Cinnamon Spice Blend. With hints of orange, ground nutmeg and Korintje cinnamon, it adds a delicious, deeper flavor profile to anything you add it to, including these brownies. It would also be incredible in sugar cookies or snickerdoodles!

DSC_1548A*To make the brownies: prepare brownie mix (your favorite kind or boxed) according to package directions, stirring in two teaspoons of the Cinnamon Spice Blend into the batter. Bake in the brownie pan at 350 degrees F. for about 20 minutes or until done. Allow brownies to cool on the Stackable Cooling Racks until cool, then glaze with a simple chocolate frosting (like from a can) and top with a sprinkling of more Cinnamon Spice Blend. Easy! *

DSC_1547ANo matter how you slice it, The Pampered Chef has you covered this holiday season with their fabulous Holiday Edible Giftable Ideas! I sure hope you’ve been inspired to create your own delicious, memorable edible giftables featuring my recipes or The Pampered Chef’s incredible line of professional cookware to make thoughtful gifts this season. And in case you were craving Chex Mix and Spicy Brownies, The Pampered Chef and I are giving EVERYTHING to one lucky winner!

One lucky duck will receive the following: the Let It Snow Scraper, Brownie Pan, Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend, Madagascar Vanilla Extract, Holiday Dots Square Bowl, Bamboo Small Snack Bowls, Mini Serving Spatula, Large Sheet Pan, & Stackable Cooling Racks to aid in your very own Holiday Giftables! Just enter the Rafflecopter below and one winner will be chosen at random on 12/1/2014. Good luck!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to connect with The Pampered Chef online for news, events, promotions and more! Visit their WEBSITE to shop and explore, or connect with them on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, PINTEREST & INSTAGRAM.

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

In the interest of full disclosure, I was generously provided with these Pampered Chef products to develop a holiday edible giftable recipe featuring said products for this particular campaign. All opinions are 100% my own and always will be. 

 

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars

ChocolateChocolateChipChocoholics, these are exclusively for you. Because frankly, there’s nothing else in them besides chocolate, chocolate and more chocolate.

Liiiike, I seriously don’t understand how these are even real, to be honest. They’re composed entirely of chocolate. Different kinds, different shapes, all baked together into one outrageously gooey square of richness. They make Devil’s Food look like child’s play.

While I’m not the biggest chocolate fan (I know, I get flack for this all.the.time) even I found these to be insanely delicious. Kinda like how I didn’t want to like UGG Boots or Taylor Swift’s new song “Shake” but it happened anyway. Don’t tell anyone.

DSC_1250AThese bad boys have the texture and consistency of a super dense fudge — creamy and soft, but with little gooey pockets of a melty chocolate and sweetened condensed milk mixture that ooze out from beneath layers of chocolate chips. In fact, cut ‘em into small enough pieces and you could totally pass them off as fudge for a holiday cookie tray or party… that is, if you don’t eat them all yourself.

And um, don’t forget the milk — it’s an absolute necessity for the thickness, chewiness and RICHNESS that are these crazy-chocolate bars! Now whether that’s regular milk or chocolate is up to you. I promise not to call Chocolates Anonymous on you if you choose the latter :)

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Chocolate Chocolate Chip Gooey Bars
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15-24
 
These rich, indulgent bars are loaded with chocolate, chocolate and MORE chocolate for a fudgy, thick and chewy bar that's hard to resist!
Ingredients
  • 1 box Devil's food cake mix
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup oil
  • 1 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 2 "Giant" Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bars (7 oz each), unwrapped
  • 1 "King Size" Hershey's Milk Chocolate Bar (2.5-3 oz each), unwrapped
  • ½ cup hot fudge sundae sauce
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" pan with foil, extending the sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Liberally grease the foil with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the cake mix, egg and oil with a spoon until a soft dough forms. Spread the mixture evenly into the prepared pan. Bake for approx. 12 minutes, then remove from the oven but keep the oven on.
  3. Top the crust layer with the Hershey's bars to cover the entire surface. Immediately top with the assorted chocolate chips evenly. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the hot fudge and sweetened condensed milk; pour the mixture evenly over the bars.
  4. Return to the oven and bake for 20-22 minutes or until the center is just about set and bubbly. Cool completely in the pan, preferably overnight. Once bars are completely cooled, cut into squares and serve.

DSC_1262AIs your mouth watering yet?!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Copycat Cosmic Brownies

cosmicbrownieWhile in the grocery store check-out lane, I spotted some Grape Tic-Tacs.

Ever since I can remember, I was a grape fan for most things. I liked grape suckers. I loved grape juice. Grape popsicles were my jam, as was grape jam. So grape Tic Tacs? No brainer; that was in my cart faster than you can say “duh.”

And they were inhaled even faster. I have this thing with mints. ‘Savor’ and ‘mints’ do not go in the same sentence in my vocabulary. The second my jonesing paws get on a package of mints, I inhale them like candy. But that’s another story. Actually, that was the story. The end.

Anywho, the cashier rang up my grape mints and said, “grape?” so incredulously, I figured she was one of those grape haters who was judging me for my inferior liking of fruit-flavored mints.

I felt the need to explain myself and my childhood affinity for grape-flavored things and to my surprise, she agreed. She said grape Kool-Aid was her favorite. Instantly, I felt a lifelong sisterhood bond to the Walmart cashier for her preference to grape drinks. Finally, someone who got it. It’s like she was my soul sister, ya know?

Then later, I went home and on a completely unrelated-to-the-mints incident, I got sick. Or maybe it was related, since I downed the entire pack of mints in about 2 minutes. Whatever. Anyway, I went looking for some medicine to assuage my newfound illness when I realized something: all adult medicine tastes like junk, but kids medicine tastes so delicious.

What. Is up. With that.

As a kid, I hated getting sick — but the silver lining was A) staying home to watch TV all day; B) alternating Scooby Doo episodes with half-assedly playing Barbies; and C) taking fruity-flavored cough syrup. If I do recall, I was most a fan of the orange Triaminic cough syrup which made oranges taste bearable, but because the world hates me, it was only for allergies. So I pretty much spent my childhood concocting fake allergy sicknesses just so I could take it. My mom quickly quelled that soon-to-be-drug habit and thus I never had a taste of the sweet orange nectar again. But I digress.

Now as an adult, taking medicine is almost as worse as the sickness itself. Why can’t medicine companies make our cough syrups and pills flavored? Why does everything have a medicine taste? Is it really that much of an imposition to add some cherry extract to my cough syrup, or would that like, cause the world to cave in upon itself? When you reach adulthood, does that mean you’re somehow not worthy enough of a decent-tasting medicine? Like your life isn’t crap enough, what with going to work sick, not being able to stay home to play Barbies or watch Scooby Doo marathons, and pay bills, now you have to take garbage-tasting medication?

Kids don’t pay bills. Kids don’t have to go to a 9-5 office job while sniffing their brains out. Kids don’t deserve all the fruity flavored cough syrup. It’s an outrage, really, and one I don’t intend on letting off until my medicine tastes like grapes and heaven-kissed oranges. I’M A TAXPAYING AMERICAN, DANGIT, AND I DEMAND FLAVORED COUGH SYRUP!

Anyway. While this has nothing to do with Cosmic Brownies, it does kind of. Because as a kid I would snack on those heavenly morsels of chocolate-fudge-frosted brownies while watching Scooby Doo, and as an adult I still snack on them (but while watching worse TV programming). Cosmic Brownies don’t discriminate — they taste awesome no matter how old you are, and they’re equal opportunist. They aren’t ageist and mean like medicine. So basically, eat Cosmic Brownies all the time is what I’m saying.

DSC_0346SAThese Copycat Cosmic Brownies taste identical to the prepackaged counterparts and come together in minutes. The thick fudge ganache layer is my favorite, topped with a sprinkling of rainbow-colored chocolate bits that bring back nostalgia hardcore.

While they’re not grape-flavored, they’ll do. And I’m not sharing them with medicine companies until my allergy syrup tastes like Skittles.

DSC_0347A*recipe adapted from Life Made Simple Bakes’ recipe

5.0 from 2 reviews
Copycat Cosmic Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownies, Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
Little Debbie's Cosmic Brownies were a huge part of my childhood and this copycat version brought back so many memories! They're simple to make and taste identical to the prepackaged brownies with the same fudgy texture and thick chocolate ganache. You won't be able to resist!
Ingredients
  • ¾ cup (1 & ½ sticks) butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ⅔ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream or milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 & ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • FOR FUDGE GANACHE:
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • ½ cup milk chocolate chips
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • Rainbow-Covered Chips or Mini M&M's, for garnish
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter, sugar and brown sugar with a handheld electric mixer until creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the cream/milk and the vanilla. Meanwhile, in a separate large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cornstarch and salt to combine.
  3. Gradually add the flour mixture into the butter mixture until a soft yet thick batter forms. The batter will be very thick! Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan using a greased rubber spatula to help keep it even. Bake for approx. 15-18 minutes or until the top is shiny and appears set. Do NOT over-bake! The brownies may appear slightly undone, but they will continue to set more as they cool. Cool the brownies completely in the pan.
  4. Once the brownies are cooled, make your fudge ganache. In a microwaveable bowl, combine the semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips and the heavy cream. Microwave for about 1 minute on HIGH power, then stir vigorously (careful not to burn yourself) to help melt the remaining chocolate clusters. Once the ganache is smooth, pour it over top of the brownies in an even layer. Immediately top with the rainbow covered chips.
  5. Allow the fudge ganache to set briefly, about 15 minutes, before cutting into squares. Serve!
  6. NOTE: You can find the authentic Cosmic Brownies Rainbow Chips at craft stores like Michael's, Jo-Ann, etc. They're Wilton Brand.

DSC_0343ASuper rich, ultra fudgy and packed with chocolate flavor, these Copycat Cosmic Brownies are dare I say — out of this world! The combination of semi-sweet and milk chocolate chips in the ganache keeps it from being too sweet nor too bitter, and the fudge brownies have the perfect consistency. Dense, rich and chewy with that fudgy, stick-to-your-teeth consistency we all know and love. These are the ultimate!

Have a delish day!

xo, Hayley

Chocolate Cravings? Check out these other chocolate-packed treats!

kissofdeath

Kiss of Death (Death by Chocolate) Cupcakes

deathbychoc

Death by Chocolate Cookies

nutellacroiss

3-Ingredient Nutella Croissants

 

Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookie Brookies

fudgybrookiesIs there something most other women can do that you absolutely can’t?

For me, it’s doing anything hairstyle-related.

I can tell you how to dye your hair, how to get the most vibrant color for your buck, what dyes to use, and so forth.  I’ve bleached my hair more times than I can remember and I have as many dye-stained clothes and towels as a salon does.  But when it comes to styling hair?

Haaaaallllllppppp me.  I am pathetic.

Even my ponytails look like a four year old did it with her eyeballs closed.  They’re lumpy, uneven and there’s always a tress hanging out in the back somewhere.  Don’t even ask me to do a chignon or a simple sock bun — manipulating hair into those shapes may as well be brain surgery.

Thank gawwwd my hair is naturally pretty straight because I can barely work our decrepit, $10 hair straightener to flatten out the few rogue waves.

And curling irons?  Puhlease.  It’s more like a morbid race to see how fast Hayley will burn herself.

Back in high school, I tried curling my adorable bubblegum-pink colored hair and ended up scalding my neck really badly with the curling iron.  It was at a place on my neck where the weirdly lip-shaped, perfectly-pink-shaded burn could potentially be seen as a hickie.  Trying to convince my suspicious parents that this large, red thing on my neck was, in fact, a product of my poor curling iron-wielding skills and not a horndog teenage boy was a feat in itself.

So with all this said, you’d think I’d avoid curling irons, flat irons and wands like my life depended on it.  So tell me WHY I decided to show up to ULTA one day and buy myself a curling wand?  Because I’m impetuous.  And because I figured, I’m 23 and don’t know how to curl my hair, so by purchasing a $50 hair wand, it must mean I will now know how to curl my hair.  #girllogic

But, despite the fact that wands are seemingly harder to use than curling irons, despite the fact that curling wands require a single glove a la Michael Jackson to help with the curling process, despite the fact that I know as much about styling hair as a Goldendoodle does, I somehow managed to curl my hair… and it looked good.

So now I’m on this kick of but first, lemme curl my hair before I do anything.  It’s kind of obnoxious, really, but sooo worth it.  Those little, loose, tousled waves I’ve always ached over are now on my head.  And I’ve only burned myself twice since I purchased it!  That’s not to say I won’t have a huge hickie-like mark on my forehead next time, but at least my hair will look pretty if my face is mangled.  Priorities.

DSC_0265AAnyways, another obsession as of late has to be these Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookie Brookies.  I’m increasingly becoming more and more interested in peanut butter (a couple years ago, I couldn’t have cared less about the stuff.  Now, I’m practically eating it daily!), and I know that Reese’s and any chocolate/peanut butter combo is an instant win for most people, so these bars were a no-brainer.  Plus, have you ever had a brookie?  It’s a combination of a cookie and a brownie and it is as irresistibly mouthwatering as it sounds!  These fudgy, gooey bars are absolutely no exception.

And trust me, anyone can successfully eat one… or five :)

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4.6 from 5 reviews
Fudgy Peanut Butter Cookie Brookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Brookies are the newest treat to take the blog world by storm! A cookie on the bottom, a brownie on top, and a whole lotta delicious! This version features fudgy brownies on top of peanut butter cookies with lots of peanut butter cups smashed in every bite!
Ingredients
  • 1 box fudge brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 pkg Reese's Mini Peanut Butter Cups
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter, brown sugar and white sugar with the paddle attachment until creamy. Beat in the peanut butter to combine. Add in the egg and vanilla extract. Lastly, beat in the flour, cornstarch and baking soda until a soft dough comes together.
  3. Spread the dough evenly into the prepared pan and top with the entire package of miniature Reese's PB cups; set aside.
  4. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the fudge brownie mix according to package directions. Pour the brownie batter on top of the peanut butter cookie layer. Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean, or with moist chocolate crumbs. Allow the brookies to cool completely before cutting into squares.

DSC_0276AI mean, do you see how fudgy these bad boys are?!  These are a fudge-lovers dream come true for sure!  What I love about these brookies (besides the obvious) is that they manage to stay super moist with a tender crumb throughout the entire baking process.  Sometimes the cookie part of the brookie can dry out while it waits for the brownie layer to finish baking, but this recipe ensures everyone gets baked without drying out.  The result is a super fudgy, super chewy, tender crumbed brookie bar that tastes like a gigantic peanut butter cup.  You won’t be able to stop at one!

And if you’re feeling extra naughty, sauce it up with some vanilla ice cream and hot fudge.  I won’t judge you :)

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Toffee Tiramisu Brookies

toffeetiramisuSo, remember when I told you about OkCupid?  Yeah, it got worse.

And remember when I told you about my hatred of monkeys?  Well, in case you didn’t know (or don’t remember all my weird idiosyncrasies) I hate monkeys.  I positively loathe them.  I think they’re hideous, I think they’re evil, I think they’re gross and I just absolutely HATE them.  Always have.  It’s in my DNA or something, like having detached earlobes and liking Led Zeppelin.  I am unable to shake my inexplicable hatred of monkeys.

Over the years, people usually find this funny and sometimes ask questions like, “well what about baby monkeys?” or “what about spider monkeys?” or “what about the fact that we could have come from monkeys?” and I just rebuff them all with the same statement over and over: I just freakin’ hate them.  And am wishing for a monkey genocide.  That is all, plain and simple.

So when making my OkCupid profile, I gave a small list of random things I like.  Some things included: iced black tea, baking, going on long walks, Gerbera daisies and “all animals except monkeys.”  I wrote it because it’s true, and why not?  It’s just as random of fact as saying I like iced black tea.  I paid no mind to what I’d written.

And then, the influx of emails came.  And the word ‘influx’ doesn’t even accurately describe the obscene amount of emails I received.  Imagine what it’d be like if President Obama gave everyone his personal email and said, “tell me what you REALLY feel.”  It’d be like that times a billion.

Guys from around the Sacramento area saw my profile, my cute pictures, my fun facts about liking tea and daisies and bombarded me with emails about — my hatred of monkeys.  Not. Even. Joking.  Of the 100 or so emails I received in that weekend, about 90 of them consisted of SOME question regarding monkeys and why I hated them.  When I would reply, “I just think they’re evil and gross and I hate them” thinking that this answer should shut most people up, I was greeted with another email continuing to question my answer.

“Well, why do you hate them?  You must have had a terrible personal experience.”
“Oh man, did one fling poop at you at the zoo?”
“It sounds like you were traumatized by a monkey before.”
“Monkeys are funny, though!  They fling poo!  Why do you hate them?”

Soon, the entire male population on OkCupid in the greater Sacramento region morphed into less-intelligent versions of Sherlock Holmes, trying to crack the Great-Hayley-Monkey-Hatred Case of 2014.  Some would eventually back off.  Others continued to pester until I deleted our conversation and refused to acknowledge them.  Some would change the subject, I’d realize they were okay, I would give them my number, and then they’d keep talking about monkeys.  This particular incident involved me shouting (out loud) at my phone while on the treadmill at the gym “JUST LEAVE ME ALONE!!!” before angrily typing some expletives and not-so-nice words to the poor Lothario on the other end.

Is Sacramento some kind of monkey-loving city and I’m this weird outcast?  Is hating monkeys a criminal offense punishable by heinous amounts of inquiring emails?  I didn’t realize that casually mentioning that I hated monkeys was somewhere near cannibalism and burning kittens on the “Awful Human Scale.”  Jeeeeeeeeez.

I mean, I would definitely not badger some random stranger if they happened to mention they hated spiders.  WELL, WHY DO YOU HATE SPIDERS, HM? DID ONE CRAWL ON YOU? FALL ON YOUR HEAD WHILE YOU SLEPT? DID YOU SEE THE MOVIE ‘ARACHNOPHOBIA’ AND THAT’S WHY YOU’RE SCARED? IS IT BECAUSE THEY EAT BUGS? BECAUSE THEY HAVE EIGHT LEGS? BECAUSE THEY’RE FURRY? WHY WHY WHY WHY WHYYYYYY?

So, needless to say, I deleted that tidbit about the monkeys off of my profile as I strongly considered becoming a nun since this whole online dating thing seems to be filled with creepy internet trolls, anyway.

DSC_0626ASomewhat related but mostly not, I used to adamantly say I disliked tiramisu only because I wasn’t a huge chocolate fan and hello, it’s a chocolate dessert.  It wasn’t until I tried it recently that I realized it. is. phenomenal.  And lately, brookies have been sweeping through the interwebs (Aimee’s is a classic and I love Julianne’s minty twist!) so I decided to combine these two very different desserts to create a fun and unique treat that is sure to please everyone, even non-chocoholics like myself :)

Time to eat up, my little animals!

DSC_0629A

5.0 from 3 reviews
Toffee Tiramisu Brookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
 
A classic tiramisu is transformed into this fun brookie recipe -- a bar dessert that combines cookies with brownies.
Ingredients
  • 1 tube refrigerated sugar cookie dough, softened to room temperature
  • 1 pkg brownie mix
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup oil
  • ⅓ cup strongly brewed coffee, chilled
  • 1 cup toffee bits
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13x9" baking pan with foil, extending sides of the foil over the edges of the pan. Spray the foil liberally with cooking spray.
  2. Unroll the sugar cookie dough onto the bottom of the prepared baking dish in an even layer; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the brownie mix in a large bowl by mixing together the brownie mix, eggs, oil and brewed coffee until smooth and no lumps remain. Pour the mixture evenly on top of the cookie layer. Sprinkle liberally with the toffee bits.
  4. Bake for approx. 35-40 minutes or until the center is mostly set (a little jiggly is okay as it will continue to set up as it cools). Do not over-bake. Allow the pan to cool completely before cutting into bars.
  5. Consider topping these bars with a huge scoop of mocha almond fudge ice cream, hot fudge and more toffee pieces!

DSC_0619AI love this unique take on tiramisu!  The sugar cookies act as the Ladyfingers but they’re infinitely awesomer because they’re sugar cookies, duh.  And if you’ve never tried mocha brownies before (a basic, but so so good!) you must!  Adding the brewed coffee to the mix instead of the water totally elevates the chocolate fudge flavor of the brownies and makes them sensational.  It also makes it impossible to tell if this dish was made entirely from scratch since it lends that homemade feel to a basic boxed brownie.  And I love the fun addition of the crunchy, buttery toffee bits!  So fun and SO delicious!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Brownie Truffle Pie {For Pi Day!!}

trufflebrownieI am terrrrrrrible at math.  Awful-awful terrible.

But ironically [or not] I am very, very good at eating pie.

Pie is one of those things that are kind of perfect, like Ryan Gosling’s everything and fit-and-flare dresses — they just work for me, like some kind of serendipitous awesomeness.  < and yes, I do realize I’m not making much sense.

First you have the crust — the end-all, be-all AWESOMENESS that, in my humble opinion, makes the pie.  If you have a gnarly crust, your pie’s gonna be subpar.  And no one wants a shitpie, amiriiiighhtt?  But the perfect crust — something buttery, flaky and tender, but not so tender that your slice completely disintegrates upon leaving the dish.  It’s gotta be stable enough to hold that filling, muted enough so the filling stands out, but also complement the wide assortment of potential pie fillings there are: cream pies, fruit pies, chocolate pies, brownie pies… the list goes on, obviously.

DSC_0634AAnd then the filling: the myriad of possibilities, as I just mentioned.  For today’s pie — celebrating none other than Pi Day (or 3/14 for those of you who needed a reminder… or 3.14 for those who still didn’t get it… or 3.14159 for those who haven’t had math in awhile) — I filled my fave crust with the most decadent combination I could think of: chocolate truffle brownies.  Because while brownie pie is good, truffle brownie pie is better.  It’s the Rachel to my Ryan, the lemon to my raspberry, the Betsey to my Johnson — wait, that one sounded weird.. but you get my drift.

One bite of this pie and you’ll instantly be transported to a magical world where chocolate grows on trees, fat children named Augustus swim in seas of fudge and where lollipops sprout from the coconut grass like wildflowers.  Or, ya know, it’ll just taste really, really good.

Either way, you totally need to whip this bad boy up.  It’s sinful, indulgent and oh-so-rich, but worth every single fudgy bite!  Top it with ice cream if you’re feeling extra saucy.

DSC_0646A*recipe from Babble 

4.7 from 3 reviews
Brownie Truffle Pie {For Pi Day!!}
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 8
 
Decadent, indulgent, rich, sassy -- I'm not just describing myself, I promise. Rather, I'm talking about this amazing Brownie Truffle Pie which you need to make like, yesterday.
Ingredients
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust, room temperature (or you may use your own favorite homemade recipe)
  • 7 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup high-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 & ½ cups white sugar (I like using Zulka brand)
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • Powdered sugar, for sifting on top
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Liberally grease a 9" pie dish with cooking spray. Unroll the pie crust into a flat layer and gently press it into the prepared pie dish. Crimp the edges however you wish and set the pie crust aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cocoa, sugar and vanilla until fully combined. The mixture will be glossy and beautiful! Once combined, pour the mixture evenly into the prepared pie crust.
  3. Bake the pie for approx. 40-45 minutes or until the crust is lightly golden brown and the center is just about set -- if it is slightly jiggly, that's okay as it will continue to set up as it cools. Do not over-bake. You MAY need to tent the edges of the crust with a pie shield or foil mid-way through baking to prevent the crust from cooking too quickly. Cool the pie completely.
  4. Once cooled, dust with powdered sugar and cut into wedges. Serve topped with vanilla bean ice cream and fudge sauce if you'd like!

DSC_0641AWhen it comes to chocolate, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I’m not a huge fan.  I’m a vanilla girl myself, and only enjoy chocolate sparingly.  But when I want chocolate, I go big or go home.  I’m talking huge, towering slices of cake layered with fudgy ganache or thick, molten lava brownies.  This Brownie Truffle Pie came in at a perfect time when my chocoholic craving was at high-tide!  I’m sure you will love the soft, fudgy texture of the pie and the rich, sumptuous flavor of the brownie truffle filling.  I certainly did! :)

Have a fantastical day, and enjoy yourself your Pi Friday!!

xo, Hayley

Vanilla Cupcake Brownies

cupcakebrowniesYou’ve heard of Brookies, right?

They’re those brownies with cookies baked on top.  Get it?  Brownies + cookies = brookies.

But today I’m making browcakes.  Errr.. cupnies.

Maybe we don’t have to name it right away since ‘browcakes’ sounds like a term to describe someone with horribly circular eyebrows and ‘cupnies’ sound like weird kneecaps… which reminds me, I once dated someone who didn’t like when girls had “weird kneecaps.”  Um, have you seen a kneecap?  They aren’t necessarily some sought after sex symbol or anything.  What determines a “weird” kneecap and a “pretty” kneecap?  Hence why this story begins with ‘I once dated someone…’

DSC_0309ABut whatever you wanna call it, it’s definitely considered delicious.  To be more technical, they’re brownies topped with — go figure — vanilla cupcakes.  Like actual baked & frosted & sprinkled-up cupcakes.  The result is an insanely intoxicating combination of sweet Funfetti cupcakes, sugary buttercream icing and super fudgy brownies that kinda sorta explodes in your mouth.  Also, I promise never to say ‘explodes in your mouth’ again.  Sorry about that.

…So, um, are you going to make them yet?!

DSC_0317A

5.0 from 2 reviews
Vanilla Cupcake Brownies
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 15
 
Sweetly frosted vanilla cupcakes are baked on top of fudgy brownies for a delightful combination between two favorite desserts!
Ingredients
  • 1 box chocolate fudge brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
  • 12 miniature vanilla/Funfetti cupcakes, baked and frosted with wrappers removed
  • ½ can vanilla frosting, prepared or in a can
  • Sprinkles
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Liberally grease a 13x9" baking pan with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Prepare the brownie batter according to package directions. Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan. Meanwhile, chop each unwrapped vanilla cupcake in half lengthwise and scatter the frosted vanilla cupcake pieces over the top of the brownie batter as evenly as possible.
  3. Bake the brownies for approx. 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean or with few moist crumbs. Cool the brownies completely.
  4. Melt the prepared vanilla frosting until smooth -- about 15-20 seconds (you don't want it too runny or else it'll separate and become a weird consistency). Drizzle the icing evenly over the brownies and immediately sprinkle with rainbow jimmies, if you'd like. Cut into squares and serve!

DSC_0320AThese are one of those recipes that I *almost* feel guilty publishing because I hardly consider it a ‘recipe’ and more of a mishmash of things I already had lying around :) if you’ve never baked with frosted cupcakes before (or prepared frosting for that matter) then you’re in for a real treat!  I LOVE that the frosting gets caramelized in the oven, creating these pockets of crispy sugar throughout the fudgy brownies.  They’re sweet and offer a nice crunchy texture to the chewy brownies.  Plus, the pops of Funfetti cake color and sweetness are fun, too!  You could switch things up by using any flavor cupcake you desire — chocolate, strawberry, even something like carrot cake!  Or if you can find festive St. Patrick’s Day or Easter cupcakes these would look super cute in hues of greens & golds or pastels for the holidays!

Have a fantastical day!!

xo, Hayley

Baklava Brownie Bombs

baklavaLet’s talk public restrooms for a second.

You know that time when you went to meet a friend for coffee at a quaint coffee chain that may or may not rhyme with “Marclucks” and you two spent three hours catching up over large iced teas and then you felt that sudden OMFG WHERE IS THE BATHROOM moment, only to get up and realize that there is a huuuuuge line outside of the women’s single-stall restroom?

Dude.  We’ve all been there.  You’re squirming awkwardly like a newborn baby deer because you can’t help the OHMYGAWDDD feeling inside, but the squirming makes the feeling even worse, rendering you basically useless as a human being for those critical moments.  People say they can get mean when they’re hungry… well, I get mean when I need to pee like a racehorse.  Don’t eeeeeeven think about talking to me because I will probably start swearing uncontrollably and then urinate all over myself.  Dammit, maybe I shouldn’t have told you that.

Anywaaaays, while seizing in the middle of Starbucks waiting impatiently for the bathroom, I peeked around the corner and noticed that the single-stall men’s restroom was empty.  I turned — only to see more women behind me — nary a male specimen in sight.  So I did what any rational-thinking, full-bladdered person would do: I approached the empty men’s room.

Before secluding myself in my safe haven, I turned to offer the room to the women before me, as if showing them it was socially acceptable in these circumstances to violate gender rules.  But they just looked at me like I was swearing uncontrollably and urinating on myself.

By the time I had finished, washed up and exited the restroom, the same line stood before me.  Again, I surveyed the women, daring them with my eyes to use the men’s restroom — it’s 2014, dammit — liberate yourselves and your bowels! — but they just looked at me quizzically and didn’t budge.

So, my question is: would YOU bend gender rules and use an empty men’s room?  Or is this like, incredibly taboo and I just set a voodoo hex on our human race by peeing in the male washroom?  I guess we’ll never know.

Anyways, let’s stop talking about gender rebellion and start talking about brownie bomb rebellion, shall we?  Ever since I introduced you to the granddaddy of them all, my Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs, you guys have gone CRAZZZZYYY for the original and its unique spin-offs, like my Carrot Cake Cheesecake Brownie Bombs, S’Mores Cookie Dough Brownie Bombs and Raspberry Pie Stuffed Brownie Bombs.  Well, in the spirit of being rebellious I concocted another scrumptious bomb recipe that’s sure to please your taste buds.  Introducing: Baklava Brownie Bombs.

DSC_0152aI’d hope you know what baklava is, but if you don’t, let me inform ya: baklava is a delicious dessert popular in Greece and the Middle East.  It consists of layers of flaky, butter-soaked phyllo dough, spices and chopped mixed nuts.  After being baked, a sweet honey lemon syrup is poured over the scored pastry to soak into all the crispy layers.  This sweet treat is a favorite dessert during the holidays but can usually be found year-round at specialty grocery stores in the bakery case, or sometimes in the frozen food aisle.  And if you can’t seem to track down this intoxicatingly sweet concoction, thankfully it’s relatively easy to make.

But we aren’t dishing it up solo today — we’re stuffing it inside of fudgy brownies, then topping it with a creamy white chocolate, chopped pecans and festive gold sprinkles.  The result is a unique dessert combination that will wow your face off.  Guaranteed.

DSC_0161A

4.7 from 3 reviews
Baklava Brownie Bombs
Author: 
Recipe type: Brownie Bombs
Prep time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
These baklava stuffed brownie bombs combine the classic flavors of the Middle East with the contemporary brownie bomb concoction!
Ingredients
  • 12 (1" square) pieces of baklava
  • 1 13x9" pan fudge brownies, baked and cooled
  • 1 pkg white Candiquik or other candy coating
  • ½ cup chopped pecans
  • Gold sprinkles, optional
Instructions
  1. Cut the pan of brownies into 12 squares, about 1-2" in size. Take a brownie and flatten it gently in the heel of your hand.
  2. Place a square of baklava in the middle of the flattened brownie and gently begin wrapping the brownie around the baklava piece to cover it. Place the coated baklava bomb onto a foil-lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining baklava pieces. More than likely you will not be using the edges of the brownies as they are too crispy to flatten easily; discard the edges or eat them :)
  3. Freeze the brownie bombs for about 15 minutes or until firm. Meanwhile, melt the Candiquik according to directions until smooth and melted. Set aside.
  4. Dip the brownie bombs into the white chocolate using a fork. Allow excess to drip off. Return the bomb to the baking sheet and immediately top with chopped pecans and gold sprinkles. Let chocolate set before serving.
  5. Bombs can be stored airtight at room temperature, or can be frozen. At room temperature, they stay good for about 4-5 days but are best enjoyed the day of or day after.

DSC_0153AI love the surprise, crispy filling of the honey-butter soaked baklava pastry.  It lends such a unique texture against the fudgy, chewy brownie and makes this dessert truly one-of-a-kind!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

Skinny Snickers Brownie Pies

skinnysnickersDo you know someone that you NEVER see under pleasant circumstances and have thus associated this person as walking bad luck?  Or living crappy timing?

We’ll call her Giggles, because despite having terrible luck and being a mega troublemaker, she had an infectious, giggly laugh that also managed to irk out at horrible times.

So I grew up with Giggles and have thus known her my entire life.  We used to play together during the summer all the time — she lived down the street and would come swimming at my grandma’s, or we’d play Barbies until she annoyed me and I’d beg my grandma to please walk her home (I got pretty controlling with my Barbies and Giggles was far too careless with her outfits and interior decorating).  So there’s the obligatory background on my relationship with Giggles.  She was a good childhood playfriend (when she wasn’t messing up my Barbie homes) but that’s about it.

Fast forward to yeeeeeeearsss later.  My ex-boyfriend and I were driving home from getting sushi and we happened to be the first people at the scene of a terrible fatal car accident.  The driver had crashed into a tree and his car had caught fire.  My ex and I darted to the flaming car and started trying to pry open the doors while we screamed at the driver to get out.  Glass was everywhere — the windows had shattered and what hadn’t was melting — and the entire dashboard and engine of the car was on the driver’s lap.  After calling 911, touching his lifeless body to try to wake him up and waiting for what seemed like hours for the firemen, they finally arrived and took over.  My ex and I stood at the side of the road watching the EMTs use the Jaws of Life on this car, finally pulling the driver from the wreckage about ten minutes later… without his legs.

I stood there sobbing my eyes out, shaking uncontrollably, as I watched them drape the yellow tarp over his body on the ground.  Everything was spinning and I was freaking out — um, I had just seen a dead body and then watched said dead body be removed from a flaming car without its legs when moments earlier I had been eating sushi and talking about ugly baby names — and was in no state of mind to do anything but sit.  But lo and behold, in the crowd that gathered to watch the wreckage, Giggles appeared.

As if we were standing at a neighborhood reunion barbeque, or in the middle of Macy’s, or perhaps encountering one another while receiving root canals — really, anywhere would have been more preferable — Giggles begins chatting me up since we “haven’t seen each other in yeeeears!” and wants to know all about my life up to this point… how is your brother?  How’s your grandma?  Where do you work?  What’s your new favorite color?  Did the chicken or the egg come first?  As she bombarded me with questions in the light of a car fire, I just stood there motionless like is this even real?  Then she told me she lived in the trailer park around the corner with her husband who was about 70 years her senior and began prattling on and on and on about the mundane details of the last 15 years of her life while sirens blared in the background.

And then, a few years later, I was wandering around in the local grocery store with my mom.  That morning I had had a vicious panic attack and the entire day I was basically a walking, very-well-dressed zombie on the verge of crying and passing out the entire time.  As I stared aimlessly at candy, I noticed a woman wearing a sweatsuit with her hair done up like she was going to prom walk into the store and head straight for the pharmacy.  As I looked a little harder, I realized it was Giggles.

Panicked, I darted down an aisle to hide, not thinking that darting around in the store would appear somewhat suspicious to anyone, even people with a prom updo wearing sweatpants and slippers.  It was then that Giggles began to walk toward my general direction so I quickly leapt to somewhere else, frantically trying to find an aisle to hide.  I tried to find an aisle where things wouldn’t be commonly needed, like office supplies or adult diapers.  But sadly, my grocery store has terrible organizational skills and puts potato chips with pesticides and office supplies with candy and adult diapers with mascara so I knew that no matter what, Giggles could and would find me.

So I did what any normal person would do: I faced the back wall and refused to turn around for anyone.  A worker asked if I was finding everything okay and I said yes and continued staring at a wall of toilet paper.  As far as he was concerned, I was analyzing my options — I’m not wiping my butt on just anything, you know.  And eventually, my mom informed me that Giggles had left without noticing either of us and I was safe.  But the entire ordeal of hiding from her bouffant sent me into another panic attack in the dental hygiene/alcohol aisle.

DSC_0092AAnywaaaaays, have you ever noticed that diet and yummy food always has bad timing, too?  Whenever you’re on a diet, without faiiiiil you instantly crave something sinful and calorifically delicious.  I hear ya, and I’m here today to put a stop to that terrible timing once and for all.  No longer will you have to wistfully stare at the candy aisle jonesing for a Snickers because these Skinny Snickers Brownie Pies will satisfy any naughty craving!

DSC_0098A*adapted from Hungry Girl’s Snickers Brownies from her Hungry Girl Desserts Cookbook

4.7 from 3 reviews
Skinny Snickers Brownie Pies
Author: 
Recipe type: Pie
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Jonesing for a Snickers but dreading all the calories? These Skinny Snickers Brownie Pies will squelch your cravings for sweet without wrecking your diet!
Ingredients
  • 1 pkg Reduced Fat Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 1 snack size package brownie mix (I like Betty Crocker's brand that comes in the red pouch)
  • ½ can pumpkin puree (of the standard size can -- and make sure it's pumpkin puree and NOT pumpkin pie filling!!)
  • ½ cup fat-free caramel dip
  • ¼ cup miniature chocolate chips
  • ¼ cup chopped sundae peanuts
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease 12 cavities in a miniature muffin tin and set aside.
  2. Unroll the crescent rolls onto a flat, clean work space. Press the perforations together to seal it into a giant piece of dough. Cut the dough into 12 squares (4 lengthwise and 3 across). Press one square into each of the greased muffin cavities to form a cup. Try to get the sides of the roll up onto the sides of the cup to create a that cup shape.
  3. In a medium bowl, mix together the brownie mix and the pumpkin puree -- ONLY these two ingredients! You're not adding any other ingredients to the bowl. The mixture will be VERY thick.
  4. Drop a heaping Tablespoonful of batter into each of the dough cups. Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes or until the tops of the brownies appear set. Cool for a few minutes in the pan before transferring the pies to a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. Once cooled, spoon a teaspoon or so of caramel dip on top of each brownie pie. Top with a small sprinkling of chopped sundae peanuts and chocolate chips. Serve immediately!

DSC_0095AIf you’re wary on the pumpkin, let me explain: using pumpkin puree (and only the orange stuff!) in your brownie mix not only gives your brownies a chewier, almost fudge-like consistency, but it makes them significantly healthier than their oil, egg or butter-laden counterparts.  Yes, there is a sliiiight taste of pumpkin but it’s definitely not noticeable when smothered in buttery caramel, salty peanuts and crunchy chocolate chips!  These petite Snickers pies pack a powerful flavor punch and are sure to squelch any candy bar craving.  Give them a try!!

Have a delicious day!

xo, Hayley

 

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