Saturday, June 9, 2012

When there's an opportunity, take it. When there's not, create it.

I don't know if I read that on a coffee mug or heard it from a professor once or made it up entirely... but I'm putting a lot of confidence in those two sentences this week.

Enough so that I felt compelled to bombard Twitter with them.

And then I remembered that Twitter is reserved for snark, social commentary and obnoxious pictures of my baked goods.

I had a moment.

I'll make it up to you with two bits of useful information.

All good?

1) How to open a stubborn jar.

I eat jalapenos like candy, plow through a jar a week...  and believe me when I tell you, these spicy beauties were trapped. (In a glass case of emotion?) No amount of twisting and turning and sweating and swearing... the lid was not budging. I got desperate. Dug through my cutlery drawer and drilled in with the first sharp, shiny object that caught my eye. POP goes the weasel. Multi-purpose magic.

2) How to make no-fail brownies.

And dispose of a leftover sleeve of Oreos that calls to you from the pantry shelf in late-night moments of weakness.

Homemade brownies are my nemesis. Jiggly in the middle, edges burnt to a crisp. I never had the mojo to get them just right.

Then Came You (not be to confused with the fantastic Dionne Warwick ditty)...

{Recipe via Confessions of a Cookbook Queen}

The original is a German Chocolate version. I borrowed the brownie base and free-balled it from there.

1/2 cup salted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

You could skip out on the extras, but I wouldn't:

Oreos (Double Stuf'd, if you're smart)
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8×8 pan with foil and spray the foil thoroughly with nonstick spray.

In a medium bowl, combine melted butter and cocoa powder, stirring until the cocoa powder is dissolved. Add the sugar and mix well. Add eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Add flour and stir only until you can no longer see flour in the batter. Gently fold in chocolate chips. Pour batter in prepared 8×8 pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Press Oreos (as many as you can cram) into the batter.

Bake brownies for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with only a few crumbs stuck to it. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.

Here's where things get out of hand:

Melt peanut butter and chocolate chips together. (Zapped mine for 30 seconds in the microwave. In a microwave-safe bowl). Spread it on top of the brownies. Hit it with some Oreo crumbs. Hit it with some extra chocolate chips. Get artsy and drizzly with whatever is left of the peanut butter/chocolate mixture. And prepare to be berated in CAPS LOCK by co-workers who claim you're making them fat.

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