Friday, July 9, 2010

Recipe Showdown

So I've been working some interesting hours this summer at the church.  We have had 4 different summer camps (all at night and last between 4 and 5 days).  These camps are every other week 7 weeks in a row!  I've been pooped!

There are two things that have always been great stress-relievers for me: playing piano and baking. When some people encounter stress they freak out, break out in hives, become irritable, or shut down.  I bake. So, I got this new "Best of desserts" magazine.  It's full of cakes, cheesecakes, pies, crumbles/cobblers, cookies/bars, and ice creams.  Yum!  So I've begun baking my way through my new magazine.

The first recipe I tried were brownie crackles.  DELICIOUS!  These are soft chewy chocolate cookies with chocolate chips, rolled in powdered sugar!  Sugar overload?  Yes!  Delicious?  Yes!  These are really easy to make but a bit time consuming (the rolling them in powdered sugar part is).  So make sure you have some time to make these:
1 package fudge brownie mix (13x9 in pan size)
1 c. flour
1/2 c. water
1/4 c. oil
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
Confectioners' sugar

In a large bowl, beat the brownie mix, flour, egg, water, and oil until well blended.  Stir in chocolate chips.

Place confectioners' sugar in a shallow dish.  Drop the dough by tablespoonfuls into sugar; roll to coat.  Place 2 inches apart on greased baking sheet.

Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until set.  Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.
*These smelled so fantastic we couldn't even wait for the to cool and ate them hot while still gooey in the center!

Next, I tried making Marble Brownies.  These were super easy homemade cheesecake brownies.  The cheesecake toping was good but the brownies were a bit dry.  I was supposed to make them in the microwave but that made me nervous so I baked them, which might be why they were dry.  Next time, I'll try them the way the directions say.
5 T butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2/3 c. sugar
2 eggs
1 8 oz pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 egg
1 t vanilla
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
In a microwave safe bowl, combine the butter and chocolate.  Cover and microwave on high for 30-60 seconds; stir until smooth.  Beat in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Combine the flour and baking powder; gradually add to the chocolate mixture until blended.  Spread into a greased microwave-safe 8 in square dish; set aside.

In a large microwave safe bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy.  Beat in the sugar, egg, and vanilla until smooth.  Spoon over the brownie batter; cut through batter with a knife to swirl.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips.

Cook, uncovered, at 70% power for 8-10 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Cook on high for 1 minute longer.  Remove brownies to a wire rack to cool completely.  Store in the refrigerator.

Finally, I made a recipe I won't share with you.... it was that bad!  I don't know how it made it into the magazine: Potato chip Cookies.  I liked the concept- salt and sweet (butterscotch chips).  I figured the crunch of the potato chips would be awesome with the butterscotch.  I baked the first batch for the suggested amount of time.  They were MIGHTY crunchy this way.  So then I baked them until they were done they way I like.  These spread out a LOT on the cookie sheet and didn't have much "girth" to them.  I don't like a thin flimsy cookie and that's what these were.  Spencer and I each ate one, gave one to the dog, and threw the rest out.

Oh well, these cooking messes and successes somehow revitalize me and renew me for more 12 hour days in the office.  Thank goodness for baking!


  1. I'm going to try those brownie crackles! Sounds like something my mom used to make but I like the brownie mix shortcut.

  2. Cari, the brownie crackles are to die for. Like I said we ate several in one day. Then Spencer took a huge tub of them to work and didn't bring any home with him!

  3. the brownie crackles sounds a lot like my chocolate crinkle cookies. I don't use a brownie mix (but that way sounds WAY easier) and your adding choc. chips sound like they would make them even better. But I have ALWAYS enjoyed those cookies and I just may add choc. chips next time. Glad you have a stress reliever! :).