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.
Anywaaaaays, 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!
- 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
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Liberally grease 12 cavities in a miniature muffin tin and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
If 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!