Mocha Almond Fudge Brownies


Being unemployed isn’t as cool as I thought it’d be.

(Not that I thought having zero income, fighting EDD for a sad $54 a week, and gaining weight would be cool. Spoiler alert: it’s not.)

Yeah, I was kind of kind of looking forward to having some time to laze around and bake goodies and not have to get dressed to be bossed around… and that made me happy for about, oh, ONE DAY.

Being a housewife isn’t fun unless you’re: a) an actual WIFE with an actual HUSBAND who makes actual MONEY to support you being an actual HOUSEWIFE; b) on the TV show The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, because everyone knows those ladies aren’t really housewives…and their husbands may not make as much as they do…but jeez, at least they’re getting paid to pretend to be a housewife. The only “payment” I’m receiving is a couple more pounds around my waistline and a couple hundred calories burned by vacuuming my house like a mad-woman; and c) you have lots of money to spend on frivolous things like costume jewelry from Forever 21, cookie cutters at Crate & Barrel and expensive Christmas presents for your super-hot boyfriend.


Instead, I’m at home, pretending I am pretending I’m a housewife on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills watching them spend more money on a simple dinner out than I received in a two-week check when I was working. I’m also frantically looking for jobs, impressing potential employers with my dazzling personality, interview-ready answers and adorable disposition when given the chance… which sadly, isn’t as frequently as I’d like.

So in these “bummer times” as I like to call them, I’ve learned some small tricks that are helping me (slightly) stay sane and happy amid the current storm-front of crap.

It’s OK to spend $10 on a nail polish you really like, then find out Hard Candy makes it for cheaper. It was really saddening to see I could have saved $5, but who knows–maybe the designer nail polish has magical powers built into the varnish that will make me a queen or something.

It’s OK to judge people being interviewed who show up in flip flops. While waiting for my interviewer, I spotted a girl leaving her interview wearing FLIP FLOPS. Keep in mind we were NOT applying for jobs at the community pool as life-guards or as pretend California models at Hollister. It was for a restaurant. And she was wearing flip flops. And now you know why I hate people.

It’s OK to think that perpetually cleaning your house is burning more calories than it probably is. Simple math: Eat an entire bag of tortilla chips+spend 25 minutes vacuuming the thick, shag carpet of dog hair around my house =burning 5,247 calories. Right?

It’s OK to have lazy days… after all, you aren’t unemployed to not enjoy one. I know, I know. But between being a full-time student neglecting her math homework to looking for work to being a full-fledged baking superstar, I find it justifiable to spend a day off or two walking around in yoga pants, talking in a British accent and doing nothing but watch Jerry Springer is perfectly okay. It balances the sanity, people.

It’s OK to be slightly delusional, if not a lot hopeful, your one single baking video will someone make it into the hands of Food Network within the next 5 minutes and you’ll become rich and famous instantaneously. YouTube is huge, as if you didn’t know. And who knows? Maybe Susie Fogelson and Bobby Flay are trolling the likes of YouTube and happen upon my cooking video and are like, “oh my god, who’s that girl? She’s positively scrumptious. Let’s sign her on a five million dollar contract to do cooking demos. And we’ll buy her a hot pink Kitchenaid mixer just cause we’re feeling generous.” Never say never!

I just hope I can fit them into my busy schedule of watching Jerry (and being thankful for all my teeth, all my dignity and, really, all my money) and making these delectable brownies.

I came up with the idea of making mocha almond fudge brownies after I bought a half pint of mocha almond fudge ice cream at the store a few weeks ago. I loooove the ice cream–so rich, decadent and yummy, and these brownies are no exception! Positively scrumptious, I may add.

I need to put a disclaimer on these, simply because while they’re easy to make, it is IMPOSSIBLY HARD to resist eating the damn bowl of coffee frosting and keeping your fingers away from the toasted almonds. I don’t even like coffee all too much, yet I was shoveling this frosting back like someone was paying me to do it (and YES, I will HAPPILY do this for money, if anyone’s wondering…)

Mocha Almond Fudge Brownies

1 box fudge-brownie mix, plus ingredients on back of box
2 Tablespoons, plus 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules, divided
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp almond extract
About 4 cups powdered sugar
1 cup almonds, toasted (I had slivered on hand, but chopped or diced would work–just not whole)

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly spray a 8×8 inch pan with cooking spray; set aside.
2. Prepare brownie batter according to package directions. Stir in ONE teaspoon of instant coffee granules and stir to combine. Pour into prepared pan and bake according to the box, about 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely. Once cooled, cut brownies into squares and set onto a platter or plate while you prepare your frosting. This makes them easier to frost rather than while they’re in the pan.
3. Pour the 1/4 cup of milk into a glass measuring cup and microwave for about 40 seconds or until hot and boiling. Immediately stir in the remaining 2 Tablespoons and 1 teaspoon of instant coffee granules until they dissolve. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl of a stand mixer, beat together your softened butter and the 1/2 tsp of almond extract until creamy, about 2 minutes. Pour in HALF of the milk mixture and beat to combine. Gradually add powdered sugar, one cup at a time, up to 2 cups. Add the remaining milk mixture and beat to combine. Continue gradually adding the remaining powdered sugar until a nice frosting consistency is reached.
5. Pipe frosting onto cooled brownie squares, just as you’d do a cupcake. Top with toasted almonds and store covered in the fridge…if they’ll make it that long.

Holy Jamoca, these are good. They remind me of a chewier, gooier, and richer version of its addictive ice cream counterpart (though no less addictive).

Needless to say, I think I’m a genius. And I think I should be getting a call from someone rich and famous anytime now to offer me a position as a full-time genius by rewarding me with lots of cash, lots of fancy cars, and that glorious (sexy, may I say) hot pink Kitchenaid mixer.

This week will be FULL of awesome posts, so keep your eyes peeled for those and the new video which we begin filming tomorrow! So excited.

Happy Tuesday!

xo, Hayley

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  1. Hi! This post could not be written any better! Reading this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept talking about this. I will forward this write-up to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Many thanks for sharing!

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