Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My Favorite Brownies, a Snowy Morning & a Rainbow...

Good afternoon! Hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

I was just settling in to the quiet of the house after doing all my running to school and back (twice!)...making a card or two, when the electricity went out. It really is amazing how many things we do in the course of a day that involve electricity. I kept thinking, "That's okay...I need to do this anyway..." and would realize that it ALSO required electricity!

So, I resolved to actually sit & read, when the most horrid, piercing sound filled my house! Apparently, the smoke alarms need their batteries replaced! I didn't have the proper batteries...so I went outside and tried to wait it out. In about an hour, the electricity came back on, the unworldy screaming stopped, and the universe made sense once again!

I suddenly felt like baking, as soon as it was actually possible, and decided to make our favorite brownies. I have never really been tempted by brownies. I used to make them for my family knowing that I wouldn't probably eat them. That all changed last year, when I decided to try this recipe found in a Gooseberry Patch Christmas cookbook. Oh. My!

There's really nothing else to say right now, so I'm just going to show you what they look like and give you the recipe. You won't be my friend anymore after you make these, because you won't be able to stop eating them. I mean it! They're almost like fudge...YIKES! And the frosting.....double YIKES!!! I thought I was done talking...



DOUBLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES

2/3 cup butter, softened
2 cups brown sugar, packed
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups flour
2 Tbsp. baking cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup chocolate chips (I just add the whole darn bag, cuz why not???!!!)

Cream butter and brown sugar together in a large mixing bowl; add eggs and vanilla. Set aside. In a separate bowl, combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt; gradually stir into butter mixture. Fold in chocolate chips; spread into a greased 13" x 9" baking pan. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes. (I only bake for 20 minutes--kinda gooey at first, but they stiffen up--very fudgey and fabulous!)
(from Gooseberry Patch "Flavors of Fall" cookbook)

Now for the frosting--and this may possibly be the most delicious chocolate frosting I have every had. Really.

CHOCOLATE FROSTING

2 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup milk
2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups powdered sugar

Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy saucepan over low heat; remove from heat and add milk and vanilla. Mix in powdered sugar to desired consistency. (Thick, please!!!) Makes 1 1/2 cups.
(From Gooseberry Patch's "Christmas all through the House" cookbook).

I usually double the frosting recipe to make sure the brownies are covered to maximum frostiness. This is very important!

ENJOY!

Now for things with absolutely no calories whatsoever!

I did this first card for a Color Challenge on Splitcoast. Never participated in one before--I'm trying to expand my horizons a little! This was a beautiful color combination, I think--Kraft, Mellow Moss, and White. I knew I'd seen a beautiful image in my new Crafty Secrets' "Christmas" Images & Journal Notes booklet that I thought would fit this nicely, and here's what I came up with:



I made the snow with my new favorite toy--"Snow-Tex"--basically textured white paint--to which I have to, of course, add glitter! So much fun, and it dries pretty quickly. Touched up the icicles overhead with my trusty glue pen and some Dazzling Diamonds, and popped up the two little birdies with the other half of the image from the booklet--a smaller journalling piece that I wasn't going to use, and I noticed the exact same two birds on it, so of course I had to cut them out & pop them up!

I got those two little antique-looking brass bells while at my Mom's this summer--they felt perfect for this.

Apparently I still have a little Springtime left in me, because for this week's Crafty Secrets' challenge at Splitcoast, I decided to use this image. It's from CS's "Childhood" Images & Journal Notes booklet--I've loved it forever & just hadn't used it yet.

Lori Lynn is hosting the challenge this week, and has asked us to "make it shiny!" Embossing was suggested, which I was going to do, but decided to gloss up the rainbow with Inkssential's "Glossy Accents" and then douse it with Dazzling Diamonds. Love the way it turned out. Of course, the colors in the rainbow don't show up nearly as vibrantly in the photo as they do in real life, but I'm happy with it!




Well, that's it for today...off to pick up my youngest daughter then head up to Gilroy for my middle daughter's Field Hockey game--they are our big rivals, so keep your fingers crossed! See you all tomorrow.

Now, go make some brownies!