Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Carmelitas. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe can be found over at Lulu the Baker.
This week’s recipe was my choice. I don’t remember where I first read about Carmelitas or what was said about them, but it was enough to make me go look for a recipe. This one looked pretty simple – but tasty! – so I thought we should give it a try. Luckily, Nance agreed. (Or more likely, Nance said “Yeah, fine, whatever” after glancing at the picture of what they look like.)
Caramels, heavy cream, melted butter, brown sugar, flour, rolled oats, baking soda, and semisweet chocolate chips.
I had one hell of a time finding the caramels at the grocery store. I must have walked up and down the damn candy aisle three times before I thought to look at the big Halloween candy display at the front of the store. (Then I bought two bags, because they were buy one, get one free and there’s nothing I love as much as a good B1G1 sale.)
Okay, so first you combine your caramels and cream in a saucepan over low heat. Like such:
This part took longer than I expected, probably my heat was a little too low, but when it comes to stuff like this I figure I’d rather go too low than too high and burn the crap out of everything. (If you want, you can use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce instead.)
I actually watched the clock on this, so I can tell you that it took almost 20 minutes for my caramels and heavy cream to melt together and be all smooth and tasty looking.
The recipe actually makes it look like you should do the next part when the caramel sauce is done, but I’m a multi-tasker, so while the caramels were slowly, slowly, slowwwwwwly melting, I started the “crust” part of the recipe. It’s simple – mix together melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Then pat half of the mixture into the bottom of an 8×8″ pan.
Bake it for 10 minutes. It just so happened that when this part was done, my caramel sauce was done, too. So it was just a matter of sprinkling the chocolate chips over the hot oatmeal crust, pouring the caramel sauce over that, and then crumbling the other half of the oatmeal mixture over the top.
Then you bake it for 15 – 20 minutes, and while it’s cooking, you go snorgle you some kittens.
Those kittens are 5 weeks old now, and MY GOD the attitude on them. I punish them by kissing them as often as possible. They HATE it. (Okay, they don’t. They don’t understand it, but they tolerate it.)
Once out of the oven, it took hours and hours for this stuff to cool down. I waited until it was completely cool before I cut a piece to try. They were still warm, like, 5 hours later.
The verdict? I thought they were pretty good the day I made them, even better the next day, but the day after THAT is when they crossed the line into completely awesome. Fred thought they were okay the day I made them, but he was completely uninterested in trying them again after that (I think he’s not quite the fan of caramel that I am.)
I will absolutely be making these again in the future – but only when we’re expecting company so that I don’t end up eating them all by myself!
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!
I decided to write Robyn a note so she could visualize my enthusiasm for the recipe she picked.
I wonder if Robyn understood my message.
Yes, I am throwing shade at her because we just made stuff with caramel!
These are unwrapped caramels in a pan with some heavy cream. I know you’re impressed.
Rumor has it that cats like cream, but Waldo wouldn’t know because I also heard a rumor about cats, cream, and diarrhea.
Nothing more boring than waiting for something to boil. Or melt.
Apparently I’m psychic because I called this shit before the cream was even added.
Not going to lie…I ate some of this before I patted it into the pan. And by patted I really mean smashed that shit into the bottom of the pan with a spoon.
Grabbed it out of the oven and tossed the chocolate chips in. Action shot, FTW!
The beagle would like to know why Robyn had to pick a recipe that includes chocolate because that’s just RUDE. Note: Waldo in background. The cat knows how to open the cupboard doors, but refuses to close them. Very annoying.
Thankful that I was not the recipient of a hot caramel burn.
These two didn’t hear about the chocolate part of the recipe yet. I smell disappointment in their future. Thanks, Robyn.
I sprinkled the other half of the oatmeal mixture on top and once I threw it in the oven and set the timer I went to take a nap. Shirley made sure the house didn’t burn down.
This is what it looked like when I came downstairs later. I was pissed when I saw that caramel up on the sides because OHHELLNO.
I knew this was going to be some messy, sticky shit to deal with and this recipe did nothing but prove me right. You can’t even eat it without having a mess on your hands. That, to me, makes this cookie recipe an absolute dud.
What kind of cookie needs a fork to eat it with? The wrong kind.
Cuisine: With a name like that, it's gotta be Spanish! Italian? Oh, I don't KNOW.
32 caramel squares, unwrapped (OR 1⅓ c. Kraft Caramel Bits)
½ c. heavy cream
¾ c. butter, melted
¾ c. packed brown sugar
1 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
6 oz. semisweet chocolate chips
Combine caramels and cream in a small saucepan over low heat. Stir until completely smooth; set aside. (If you prefer to use homemade or store-bought caramel sauce in place of the caramels & cream, use 1¼ c. of caramel sauce, and omit the caramels squares and heavy cream.)
In a separate bowl, combine melted butter, brown sugar, flour, oats, and baking soda. Mix well. Pat half of the oatmeal mixture into the bottom of an 8x8" baking pan.
Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes.
Remove pan from oven and sprinkle chocolate chips evenly over crust. Pour caramel sauce over chocolate chips. Crumble the remaining oatmeal mixture over the top of the caramel.
Return pan to oven and bake an additional 15 - 20 minutes, until the edges are lightly browned.
Cool completely before cutting.
Store and serve at room temperature - you can put the pan in the fridge to help with the cooling; it takes several hours at room temperature to cool completely.
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Twix Brownies. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post. The original recipe can be found over at Jasey’s Crazy Daisy.
This week’s recipe was my choice – but really it was Fred’s choice. He saw the picture on Facebook or something, and emailed me the link telling me that he’d be kind enough to allow me to make them for him, because he is ALL HEART. I, in turn, added it to my list of potential recipes, and when it was time for Nance and I to set up our schedule of recipes (we plan them weeks and weeks – really, months – in advance, just so you know), I made him look through the list and choose what he wanted me to make. Because I think we all know that if left to my own devices, I’ll eat Asian chicken for all my meals, and Dove ice cream bars (or Mayfield ice cream sandwiches) for all my sweets cravings. Stuck in a rut, is my usual default. I LIKE IT THAT WAY.
It, luckily for Fred, wasn’t until I was ready to make the Twix Brownies that I realized what a huge fucking PAIN IN THE ASS this whole thing was going to be. So I shot a glare in his general direction and started making them at 11 am.
Sandies cookies, brownie mix, hot fudge ice cream topping, caramels, heavy cream, milk chocolate chips, butter.
My gripe this time around: recipe calls for a 14 ounce bag of caramels, and my grocery store only had 11-ounce bags. Fred, who WAS NOT MAKING THE FUCKING BROWNIES (and yet this did not stop him from making an unsolicited offering on the topic) thought I should just use a single 11-ounce bag. I wonder who would be the first one to complain if there wasn’t enough of a caramel layer, who oh who would be FIRST IN LINE to bitch about that, do you think? A MYSTERY. Instead, I bought two 11-ounce bags, measured out 14 ounces on the kitchen scale, and crammed the leftovers into my face over the rest of the weekend. Damn, I love caramels.
CARE. UH. MELLS. Is how you pronounce that. Properly. For the record.
First, you make your crust. You do that by cramming cookies into a food processor and processing them until they look like sand. I made the mistake of putting ALL my cookies in at the same time. If I were to do it again, I’d do half the cookies at a time, just because it’d save me from having to take the top off the food processor, stir the cookies around, put the top back on, run the food processor some more, and repeat. The profanities: I used them liberally.
When you finally have your cookies ground down to a sand-like texture, mix your sand with melted butter, and then spread it out on the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
Clearly I lined my pan with tin foil, which made life a whole lot easier when time came to cut the brownies – we just lifted the whole thing out, peeled down one corner of the foil, and cut. I highly recommend this technique.
Then you mix your brownie mix (following the directions on the back of the box), and add 1/4 cup of hot fudge ice cream topping. Don’t bother to warm the topping first, just add it straight from the jar. I didn’t take pictures of any of this part, so you’ll just have to imagine.
While I was waiting for the brownies to finish baking was when I really started swearing up a storm. Because is there anything in the original recipe about needing to cook the brownies LONGER than the directions called for? Why, no. No there was no discussion of that at all. The box said to cook them for 23 minutes, but at 23 minutes I the brownie layer was nowhere near done. They had to cook for another 11 minutes. Which isn’t so long, granted, but I was ready to fake my own death to get out of finishing up these brownies AND THE FUN HAD ONLY JUST BEGUN.
You’ve gotta wait for your brownie layer to cool. Which takes HOURS. So I went off to take a nap. Because fuck this shit.
“You take too many naps, lady.”
That’s Jon Snow. Doesn’t he have the coolest eyes? Don’t you love him? Don’t you want to adopt him? TOO LATE. I took him to Petsmart at 11:30 Saturday morning, and he was adopted by 1:00. YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOOOOOOOOSE.
Before I went off to take my nap, I unwrapped my 14 ounces of caramels, and set them aside in a bowl. Fred – who thinks he is hilarious – came into the living room and said “That was a good idea, to unwrap all those caramels. It makes it much easier to eat them!” Oh, har har. (He didn’t really eat any of them, because he knew I’d tear his head off and bake it into the caramel layer of the brownies.)
The brownie layer was cool after my nap (it was a long nap)(shaddup), so I started the caramel layer. Caramels and a little heavy cream, in a saucepan over medium-low heat. The instructions say to stir constantly, but I had shit to do. I was NOT going to stand there for ten minutes and just stir that shit. I went back to the stove every few minutes and stirred the caramels, and somehow it worked out just fine. I think we can conclude that the need for “constant stirring” is a myth perpetrated by THE MAN to keep us all chained to our stoves!
I found it easiest to dump the melted caramel down the middle of the brownies, and then smooth it out with a plastic spatula.
Oh, dude. You see that picture? You see the upper right part of the picture? Those are my fingers (which were on my hand at the time, shockingly), wrapped around the handle of the saucepan. But if you let your eyes go a little unfocused, they kinda look like LIPS. Big colorless lips. Like Angelina Jolie’s lips are swooping in for a slurp of melted caramel before she puts on her lipstick. IT’S KINDA FREAKIN’ ME OUT, MAN.
Smooth your caramel layer with a plastic spatula (or Angelina Jolie’s lips, whichever you prefer), and then you can leave it on the counter to cool for another 145 hours, or you can pop it in the freezer for 15 minutes. I opted for the latter. Because can we GET this SHOW on the motherfucking ROAD?
While the caramel layer was cooling in the fridge (with the brownie and crust layer, obviously)(possibly also Angelina Jolie’s lips), I washed the saucepan I’d used to melt the caramels. And then I tossed the chocolate chips, butter, and heavy cream in there.
Then I stirred. Not constantly (the need for “constant stirring” being a myth, as mentioned), but more often than I did with the caramels, because the chocolate chips were melting faster. I don’t know if the temperature was too high or I accidentally got a little water in there, but I do believe that the chocolate did what is known as “seizing.” Which is to say that it wasn’t smooth and glossy, it was kind of thick and clumpy. I imagine that with a little time and patience and maybe some more heavy cream I could have gotten to the smooth and glossy stage, but I said:
Fuck. That. Shit.
And I dumped it on the top of the caramel layer. (I tasted the melted chocolate first, and it tasted pretty damn good, so I didn’t worry too much about how it looked. Who’ve I got to impress?)
Then I smoothed it out.
Then I let it cool.
About an hour later, Fred decided everything was cooled enough, and it was time to give it a try. So he cut a piece, and he bitched about how the caramel was sticky and chewy. Because this is apparently unusual for caramel. I took a few bites, and personally? No. I didn’t care for it. It was blah. It was kind of bland. The crust was too crumbly. Fred said that aside from the caramel layer being sticky and chewy (I think we all know I’m rolling my eyes right now), he thought the flavor was good. He was wrong.
This is where I fucked up even more, after an ENTIRE FUCKING DAY of making this shit. I didn’t take the “after” picture with all the layers showing beautifully so that all of you would be sucked in by the picture, all “Oh! I need to make that!”, only to find out that it is SO NOT WORTH the time and effort. I figured I’d get a picture in the morning. Only, in the morning while I was laying in bed trying to decide whether to get up or go back to sleep (I never ever go back to sleep, I don’t know why I always think I’m going to), Fred came in and we discussed the brownies and he complained some more about the chewy caramel. I told him that as far as I was concerned the chickens could have it, and so he decided to remove the caramel layer (he was afraid the chickens would eat it and glue their beaks shut), and by the time I realized I hadn’t gotten an “after” picture, he’d already done it.
He reported that the caramel peeled off in one easy sheet, in case you were wondering.
Do yourself a favor – do not EVEN try this nonsense. Life’s too friggin’ short.
Have a recipe you want us to make? Check out this page (there’s also a link to that page up there under the banner) and follow the instructions to submit a recipe!
Confession: I never eat Twix™ candy bars because I think they’re awful. And I can’t fathom why anyone would choose a Twix™over a Snickers™or a Milky Way™. But I have to tell you that my husband loves Twix™. He’s also a big weirdo and there is nothing I can do about it.
Here, have a picture of a beagle.
When it comes to seeing pictures of animals in the kitchen you’re going to have to get used to seeing Peace. This damn dog is always in the middle of things when there is food involved. Peace does not like it when I crouch down with the camera aimed at her face. So I just slowly lower the hand that’s holding the camera and casually snap away hoping that something good comes out.
It would have helped if the original poster had mentioned that Keebler™ makes these cookies or even just posted the name correctly. They are Sandies™ by Keebler™. I had never heard of Simply Sandies Shortbread Cookies and figured I was going to have a helluva time finding them. Which is why this entry is late because I am a procrastinating motherfucker when it comes to doing things that could become irksome.
I have never been prompted to give blood from a package of cookies. Whatever works, right?
Surely I’m not the only person on the planet that hates to haul the food processor out to do one freaking thing. What a pain in the ass. I should have thrown these cookies in a plastic bag and took a rolling pin to it.
I’ve had this thing for over 13 years and the locking/protection mechanism still throws me the fuck off every time I go to use it. It won’t work unless I am safe, dammit. I really need to hack this bitch.
If you let someone with ADD control the food processor, they will walk away and let the cookies go way past the sand stage. I do have a pulse button, but eh, that takes commitment and effort. My husband is amazed that I’m still married when you consider the commitment that shit took. So am I, Rick. So am I. Heh.
The crust. This butter cookie mixed with melted butter…it may or may not be delicious and I may or may not have wanted to stop right there, put it in a bowl, and eat it. ALL OF IT.
Guess who forgot to add the Hot Fudge Stuff to the brownie mix when she was making it?
Sometimes being in the kitchen just overwhelms me. I’m pretty sure I just put this in my microwave, turned it on, and walked the fuck away. The funny thing is that I know some of you think that I’m lying since nobody in their right mind would do that, right? Yup.
I glooped it all in there and then I marbled that shit.
Fancypants Nance is fancy.
It was a pretty good recovery.
Peace is concerned because there is no dance party going on in her kitchen. Image Source: Amazon.com
There was no way in hell I was willing to sit down and unwrap all of those caramels so I took the easy way out by buying Caramel Bits.
Rick did this part because I was otherwise occupied (in the bathroom reading a book – yeah, I said it).
He took this picture and I laughed like hell when I saw it because somebody was trying to be artistic. Or maybe just weird.
This. I had just realized my chocolate chips were not milk chocolate so I decided not to risk ruining it with semi-sweet. And there is no way in hell I was running to the store for the right ones because I don’t care what Amanda C. thinks of this recipe! So I took a little piece out of the pan to try it. And then I took another one. Then Rick came along, and then my mom, and there was just no turning back.
Unfinished faux Twix™ brownies. Does it taste like a Twix™ bar? Of course not. It’s not even close. Is it good? Of course it is. It has a buttered butter-cookie crust with a chocolate brownie center and caramel on top. By law this had to be good. But you know what else is good? A damn brownie.
Peace cannot believe that I’ve been in the kitchen for so long and there was no meat involved.
You know how we all have that one friend/relative that has to make everyone else’s food look like ass? And whatever they make is so delicious and over-the-top that you rave about it and even ask for the recipe? Even when you know damn well you’re not going to be bothered because WHOINTHEFUCK has time for this shit? That’s this recipe.
Twix Brownies - Nance and Robyn make the same recipe
1 (12.8 oz.) package of Keebler Simply Sandies Shortbread Cookies
6 T butter, melted
1 box of brownie mix
Ingredients required in directions on back of box
¼ cup hot fudge ice cream topping
14 oz of caramels
2 T heavy cream
1 (11.5 oz.) bag milk chocolate chips
2 T butter
¼ c heavy cream
Grease the bottom of a 9x13 pan OR line pan with foil first (and grease the bottom of the foil). Using foil will make it easier to cut the brownies at the end.
Using a food processor, pulse half your cookies until they resemble sand. Remove to a bowl, and process the other half of the cookies. Mix all cookie sand with melted butter until well mixed, and press into the bottom of your pan.
Prepare brownie batter as directed on the back of the package, mixing ¼ c. hot fudge ice cream topping into the brownie batter (don't heat the topping first). Pour batter on top of cookie crust and bake as directed. You will likely have to bake longer than the directions call for; once the original bake time is up, continue baking and check in two-minute increments until brownies are done. (Check using a toothpick inserted into the brownies 1 inch from the side of the pan. When toothpick comes out clean or with only a few crumbs, brownies are done.) Cool completely.
Place caramels and cream in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and creamy. Pour over cooled brownies. Spread the caramel as evenly as possible. Let cool until set (you can stick the pan in the freezer for 15 minutes to make this step faster).
Melt chocolate, butter, and cream together in a saucepan over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until melted and creamy. Pour over cooled caramel layer and spread as evenly as possible. Cool.
Every week we’ll post a recipe that we both made. This week’s recipe was Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches, found over at Smitten Kitchen. Printable recipe can be found at the bottom of this post.
When Nance suggested this recipe, I was COMPLETELY on board. I love a good ice cream sandwich, and since the weather turned brain-meltingly hot, I’ve been eating Mayfield ice cream sandwiches because they are gooooood. But the day I made this recipe, I started off in a rotten mood because it was MOTHERFUCKING HOT AS SHIT and I didn’t want to do anything but lay on the couch under the ceiling fan. But I’d been a slack-ass slacker, putting off making them all week because that’s just how I am, and I needed to get them done. I suspected they were going to be awesome, but before you can eat the finished product you’ve got to MAKE the finished product, and I didn’t wanna. But I did. See? I do and do for you people!
The recipe, as written, has you make the cookie part of the recipe and then while they’re baking, you’re meant to spread your softened ice cream into a baking dish and putting it in the freezer to re-freeze. I opted to do the ice cream part first because I had other shit to do (somehow, the world doesn’t stop turning and kittens don’t stop screaming to be kissed just ’cause I’ve got baking to do.), and I figured that was going to be a pain in the ass, and wanted to get it over with.
So anyway, let your half gallon of ice cream sit on the counter for, oh, half an hour or so? I think I set it out and then vacuumed the house, so maybe more like 45 minutes. Then line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper, dump the ice cream in the baking pan, smooth it out, and put it into the freezer to harden.
By the way, I used Publix vanilla ice cream because (1) it’s damn good, and (2) a lot of the name-brand ice creams have quietly reduced the amount of ice cream in their “half gallon” container so that it’s less than a half gallon. The recipe called for a half gallon, I wanted a damn half gallon.
I forgot to get a picture of the part where I dumped the softened ice cream in and smoothed it out. You’ll have to use your imagination. I used a plastic spatula.
So then I made the cookie part. These are the ingredients:
All-purpose flour, special dark Dutch-processed cocoa powder, softened unsalted butter, granulated sugar, salt, egg yolks, and vanilla extract.
Sift the cocoa and flour together into a bowl.
Then realize that you weren’t supposed to sift it into your mixing bowl, and be all like “Motherfucker!”, and get out another bowl and dump the sifted stuff into that.
Then toss the butter, sugar, and salt into the mixing bowl and beat it all together ’til it’s light and fluffy.
Add yolks and vanilla, beat some more, then add the flour mixture a bit at a time and mix until combined.
Transfer the dough to a floured surface, and divide it into two equal pieces. Now, first of all, I SUCK when it comes to dividing dough into two equal pieces, and then also I knew that I was going to have to roll that shit out and EXCUSE ME NANCE. What the fuck with the using the damn rolling pin all the damn time all of a sudden? First the crackers, now this? This aggression will not stand!
So I divided the dough and I think I did a somewhat decent job of making two equal pieces.
It’s a really stiff dough, by the way, and apparently if it’s too soft to work with, you should stick it in the fridge for a bit. If you’re under a time crunch, this might not be the recipe for you – on the other hand, you can make the whole thing ahead of time so, you know. Whatever works for you.
Then I had to roll out the dough (NANCE), and while the instructions say to roll each batch into an approximate 10 x 8 inch rectangle, you will see that I clearly said “Fuck this, that looks good enough to me.”
And then, since I cannot cut a straight line to save my life, I used my round biscuit cutter to cut out the cookies. I think it worked pretty well.
But THEN, my friends, that is not all. The horror doesn’t end there with the rolling out of the dough and the cutting of the cookies. Then, you’ve gotta poke FUCKING holes in the cookies for some probably scientific reason that makes perfect sense, but I do not know what that reason is. I started out using a toothpick and being careful about spacing the holes equally, but after about cookie #2 I lost what little patience I had, and I went to using an oral syringe (we have a million of them around here for medicating kittens. It worked perfectly.) and just kind of jabbing holes in the cookies.
So I get the first pan of cookies into the oven, and then what happens? I’ll be damned but the friggin’ INSPECTOR showed up to inspect my damn kitchen.
“Sink full of dishes? Inspector Stompers give you ten demerits for that.”
“Inspector Stompers think you a slob. Why you never do dishes? That’s horrifying.”
“Tomatoes on the same counter near where you make cookies? Twenty-three demerits! That’s just wrong.”
“Inspector Stompers disapprove of the “Smitten Kitchen” business. It supposed to be smitten KITTEN, and Stompers not appreciate the play on words. That’s IT. You close this operation down!”
I paid the inspector off with crunchies and packed him off to his room for a nap, and continued with what I was doing.
The cookies were ready to come out of the oven after 16 minutes, and I put the second pan of cookies into the oven to bake, then put all of them on wire racks to cool.
When the cookies were completely cool (I will neither confirm nor deny the allegation that I took a nap while they were cooling.) I got out the ice cream, lifted it out of the baking pan, and started cutting it with my biscuit cutter. It was relatively simple to do, and I got the ice cream put between the cookies (you know how to make a sandwich, I trust – two cookies, one slab of ice cream, put ’em together) pretty quickly. But let me reiterate, it was FUCKING hot, and the ice cream started melting immediately.
I wrapped each sandwich in plastic wrap, and stuck them in the oven freezer.
And the verdict? I didn’t like them. The cookies were too hard, and the layer of ice cream was too thick. I tried one bite, the cookies broke, the ice cream started to squirt out, and that was it as far as I was concerned. When I can get a tasty box of chemical-filled ice cream sandwiches with only the effort of tossing them in the cart, I’ll be damned if I’m going to spend the time to make them from scratch.
On the other hand, after they sat in the freezer overnight, Fred liked them quite a bit. He agreed that the cookies were too hard (I’m thinking I cooked them too long) and that the layer of ice cream was too thick, but he told me he thought they were really really good, so there you go. I’d be willing to try making them again just for him because I am a good subservient wife (HA HA HA), but he said they weren’t so good he wanted to listen to me bitch about the annoyance of having to roll out the dough. Ha.
If I were going to make them again, I’d cook them for less time (I’d start checking them at 12 minutes), and I’d make the layer of ice cream thinner, maybe by using a larger pan to spread the ice cream into.
The pigs each got one as a special Saturday night treat.
I freaking love ice cream sandwiches! LOVE THEM. So when I saw this recipe I was all over it and I had faith that Robyn would be right there with me. This is why I tolerate having to make things like the roasted chickpeas (barf) recipe that Robyn suggested.
True Confession Time: Rick (my husband) is out of the country and I’ve been having a helluva time dealing with how different it is without him here. Between the time difference (he’s 6 hours ahead of me) and our co-dependent marriage (only when he’s away, hee) neither one of us is getting much sleep. Another thing that happens when Rick goes out of the country is that this family shuts.the.hell.down. It takes us 3-4 days to get enough dishes in the dishwasher to run a full load and it’s mostly just coffee cups and glasses. We don’t eat, we just graze and pick at whatever might be available. I have pretty much existed on cheese, saltine crackers and Hershey kisses because none of us can be arsed to make or bake anything. Why am I telling you all this? Because I felt the need to explain why I was so late posting this entry and hell yeah, I’m trying to get some sympathy!
As excited as I was to try out these ice cream sandwiches, I definitely put it off until (much later than) the last minute. My friend, Regan was over visiting yesterday and she was so disgusted with my lackadaisical attitude that she took matters into her own hands.
I was allowed to take pictures.
I really wish Regan’s mother (Hi, Pat!) would talk to her about this whoreina fingernail situation. I see the bright red tips and I can’t help but wonder if my soccer-mom friend is fixin’ to start a new career that involves dancing with a pole.*
My favorite food group. Pulled fresh from the freezer and trying to soften. Hey, I already warned you that I was unprepared (see big word above: lackadaisical).
I need to tell you about a small personality quirk (please note: I did not say FLAW) that I have. I am a control freak and I may be a little bit obsessive compulsive. I want (need!) order in my life when it comes to anything that I do. Especially cooking. The picture above does so many things to my head that I feel faint every time that I look at it. I believe that is butter on the lid of my Hershey Cocoa can. Good Lord.
As I was trying to gain some control over the situation and get a grip on my OCD, I pulled an apron out of the drawer and handed it to Regan. The next time I looked over at her I saw this.** I’m also ashamed to say that my very good friend has a Jorts*** situation going on. She says they are comfortable. There are no words. But it does give me an insight into why she’s not offended by my mother’s tube-top/pajama bottom combo. Can you say fashion victims?
She’s using the wrong bowl and making a mess! Ugh! I probably should have just went and laid down right then and there. But somebody had to take the pictures so I soldiered on. I do want to mention that Regan did clean up her mess. Wearing that goddamn apron around her neck the entire time.
All I can see is that flour/cocoa on the top of the paddle that will not get mixed in correctly. I may have developed a twitch.
This is what it looked like rolled out. Regan made the executive decision (before she tried to roll that shit) that we would roll out and bake 2 giant cookies. Then we would slather the softened ice cream in between them and throw the whole thing in the freezer. After the ice cream firmed back up we would cut them into individual sandwiches. I agreed with her because it made sense to me too. Do you know what this means? It means that Regan and I are both dumber than dirt.
Regan allowed me to help out by having me poke holes in the whole mess. Can you see my hidden message? We giggled like 12 year-old girls. After the cookie part was baked Regan went home and left me to figure out the rest of it. How rude! Okay, she does have a family to tend to, but still. LEFT ME HIGH AND DRY.
Turned out that the cookies were still a bit too fragile. I grabbed the parchment paper underneath the cookies to put them on my counter (for the slathering of ice cream) and it all went to shit. It started cracking and I had to stand there pressing it back together. It was time for me to pick up my son from work so I left the cookies on the counter thinking that maybe they needed to cool more. By the time I came back they were hard. Real hard.
We did manage to get one put together for a photo and I forced my kid to try it. He said, “Oh, gross. It’s too sweet. I can’t eat this.”
Proof that he tried it. Heh.
I put another one together for my mom and she said that they weren’t very good and maybe I baked them too long. I thought the cookie part was pretty good when I was munching the broken pieces, but it was not anything like the ice cream sandwiches that I remember.
I think if you have the time and patience to babysit this recipe (hell, just to read it because whoa, WORDY) and you’re one of those people that wants homemade treats then give this recipe a shot. But if you’re like me and just want a tasty ice cream sandwich go buy a box at the grocery store and save yourself the mess.
** Nutbags Magee wore that apron around her neck the entire time. I couldn’t even look at her.
*** Jorts = jean shorts. A huge fashion no-no. Don’t kill the messenger.
Classic Ice Cream Sandwiches (Nance & Robyn make the same recipe)
⅔ cup plus ¼ cup (75 grams) extra dark or Dutch-processed unsweetened cocoa powder
1¼ cups (2½ sticks or 285 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
¾ teaspoon table salt
2 large egg yolks
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
½ gallon (8 cups or approximately 1050 grams) ice cream, your choice of flavor, softened
Line the bottom of a 9x13-inch pan with parchment paper, allowing it to overhang on two sides so it will act as a sling. Spread the softened ice cream into the pan, smooth the top, and freeze until firm - 1 hour or longer.
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift the flour and cocoa together into a bowl that is NOT the mixing bowl you're about to cream the sugar and butter together in.
In the bowl of a standing mixer with a paddle attachment beat butter, sugar, and salt together until light and fluffy.
Add egg yolks and vanilla and mix until combined.
Add flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined.
Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and divide into two equal pieces. (If the dough is too soft to handle, wrap and chill in the fridge for no longer than 30 minutes.)
Roll each batch into a ¼-inch thick rectangle, about 10x8 inches. Cut into 2x4-inch rectangles or use your favorite cookie/ biscuit cutter.
Reroll the scraps of dough and create more triangles if that floats your boat.
Transfer rectangles to the prepared sheets, leaving only an inch of space between them. Use the tip of a thermometer, toothpick, oral syringes, whatever is close at hand, to poke the cookies with holes. Smitten Kitchen recommends more than 14 holes per cookie.
Bake the cookies for 16 - 18 minutes or until they stay firm when tapped in the center. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat with remaining cookie dough, rerolling scraps as needed (or not).
Remove your pan full of ice cream from the freezer and run a knife along the exposed sides of the pan to loosen the ice cream.
Lift ice cream out of the pan and onto the work surface. Using one of the cookies as a template (or using cookie cutter again), cut ice cream into bars (the number of cookie pairs your batch yielded.)
Assemble sandwiches (one cookie, ice cream on top, second cookie on top of that), wrap in plastic wrap, and stick in the freezer.
I first spotted this recipe over on Jenna Fischer’s MySpace page, so I started referring to them as “Jenna Brownies”, but the recipe originally came from Devin Alexander at Discovery Health. (Also, please note that I found it on MySpace. How 2005! Does MySpace still exist? I don’t want to know.)
They’re simple (that should be my theme, “If it’s simple, I’m IN!”) and very tasty. They don’t have any oil in them, though they do have sugar. I’ve never tried making them with a sugar substitute, but if you do please report back on how that worked out, I’m curious (but obviously not curious enough to try it myself). It had been a while since I’d made a batch of these, and then when Nance posted her Black Bean Brownie recipe a few weeks ago, it reminded me that I hadn’t made these in a while.
Unsweetened applesauce (I canned my own last Fall!), vanilla, eggs, sugar, all-purpose flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and semi-sweet mini chocolate chips. The recipe calls for a wee bit of instant espresso powder, but I don’t keep that stuff on hand and I’ll be damned if I’m going to rush out and buy some. I think the brownies are perfectly fine without it.
Mix all your wet stuff in one bowl, all your dry stuff in a second bowl, add the dry to the wet, stir it up, and dump it in a 8×8 inch cake pan, which you’ve already sprayed with cooking spray. The original recipe calls for butter-flavored cooking spray, but I just use whatever I have on hand (which isn’t usually butter-flavored, for the record). The original recipe also called for you to sprinkle the mini chocolate chips on top of the batter before baking, but I prefer to stir mine in because that’s just how I roll.
Bake 24 – 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out dry.
This makes 12 1-brownie servings, but we make 9 brownies out of this recipe instead of 12, which I guess makes them 117.33333333 calorie brownies for us.
They are surprisingly filling, and so good you might be tempted to eat a second one. DON’T or you’ll be groaning about how full you are. Trust me!
God help me, if I ever got a decent picture of food, I’d keel over and die from the shock of it. They taste better than they look, I swear it!
Nutritional information, according to Devin Alexander (and only because I can cut and paste it into this post; don’t expect nutritional information on any kind of a regular basis, folks): Each brownie has: 88 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, less than 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 133 mg sodium
Original Source/Author: Devin Alexander, Discovery Health
: dessert, snack
¼ c. unsweetened applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
4 egg whites (I use two whole eggs instead, which probably ups the calorie count)
1 c. sugar
¼ c. all-purpose flour
½ c. cocoa powder
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp instant espresso powder
½ tsp salt
¼ c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Butter-flavored cooking spray (or whatever cooking spray you have on hand)
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray an 8x8 inch cake pan with spray.
Mix applesauce, vanilla, egg whites (eggs) and sugar until well combined.
Add flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, espresso powder (if using) and salt. Stir in the mixture until just combined with no lumps. Pour into prepared pan.
Sprinkle the chips evenly over the top (I mix my chips into the batter).
Bake for 24 - 26 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.
Nutritional info according to Devin Alexander: Each brownie has: 88 calories, 2 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fat, less than 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 133 mg sodium
You can double the recipe and cook it in a 9x13 pan. It'll take longer to cook - it took me 7 minutes of additional cooking time, but your time may vary, just make sure to test with a toothpick until it comes out dry.
I fell down a rabbit hole while surfing the Internet a while back and came upon a recipe for protein infused brownies. It was interesting to me because I’m definitely not getting enough protein in my daily diet. I have tried a multitude of protein bars and all I can say is…BARF. I have not found a single one that I like and I’m certainly not dedicated to mixing up my own protein shakes or even buying the damn things pre-made. I love me some brownies and I love black beans so I figured it was a win-win situation. Plus, you only need two ingredients (and some water). TWO! I’m all about that because I hate pulling a bunch of stuff out of my cupboard and then putting it all away again (lazy much?). Unfortunately, I did not bookmark the page so I can’t acknowledge it here. I googled every which way I could and still could not find the site, but I did find a lot of people who make these brownies and damn, where was I when this was all happening? I’m sorry to the girl who was so into beauty, make-up and living life in New York. If you come across this page, e-mail me and I will most definitely give you proper credit!
One package of brownie mix (any brand – I obviously used the cheap one, but that’s only because we really, really like this brand of brownie for some reason. And trust me, my fat ass has tried them ALL). One can of black beans.
Drain and rinse your black beans with water (action shot – W0oT!)
Put the beans back in the can. Then with the beans still in the can, fill it up with cold water.
Dump it all into the blender and blend the hell out of it.
It kind of reminds me of a thick milkshake.
Pour it into a bowl with the dry brownie mix (do NOT add any other ingredients – just dry brownie mix and the liquefied beans)
Mix it up really well.
Pour into an 8×8 baking dish. Bake according to the directions on the brownie mix package. You may need to bake them a little longer. Just check them to make sure they’re baked completely.
I think they’re fabulous. Trey thought they were great. Rick didn’t like them. My mom didn’t care for them. So we’re a family divided which just means more for me!