Fortunately I spent quite some time in the kitchen today, it seemed pretty sad that I have started this blog and had so far failed to actually make mention of a specific recipe. Better yet, (for me at least, maybe not for you) each endeavor was a success!
I'm not very fond of recipes that call for pre-baked, store bought pie crusts. Where is the fun in that? "Yes, I made this pie for you. Homemade? Well, the pecan filling was all me, but you'll have to thank the darling elves at Nabisco for the flaky bits around it." Not my style. Besides, one of the most charming things to make is pastry dough. I wouldn't say cutting in butter is exciting by any means, but something about the rustic simplicity of a rolled out pie crust is just gorgeous. The smooth, flour dusted, golden brown surface and somewhat unevenly folded edges of a homemade crust has so ridiculously much more appeal than the shrink-wrapped and sticker labeled crap in Meijer's baking aisle. I took a picture and was disapointed in my digital camera's complete failure at capturing the charm of it all. I suppose I'll post it anyway, but you'll have to promise me you'll roll out one of these yourself!
And that was perhaps my favorite part. I must admit, I don't care for pecan pie. Were it the last sugar filled substance on Earth, I'm sure I would happily serve myself a slice, but I would never choose to eat pecan pie over other desserts. The pie is a gift, however, to someone who claims it is their favorite, so I happily set out to provide an indulgence. In the end I can only assume it was a success. Because it's a pie present, I wouldn't dare cut into it, and probably wouldn't care to try a bite anyway, but I think it's pretty and that's good enough for me!
Later this evening, without really trying, I definitely satisfied my own sweet tooth by much more interesting means. A pan of brownies was requested and, because I simply cannot bake anything in the standard way, set out to find an interesting brownie recipe. Taylor gave me a baking book for Christmas that if I didn't adore already, I've certainly fallen in love with now! What the book calls "Brownie Fantasy Bars" won me over for good. Where my mom would've chosen a brownie box mix, I embarked on a two batter recipe that was well worth the work. I'm not sure I would even call them brownies really... but whatever they are, they are AWESOME. The first batter was basically a thick chocolate brownie batter, with cheerios, miniature marshmellows, chocolate chips, raisins, dates, crushed oreos, and chopped pecans mixed in. Sound like a lot? It is. But that is topped by a batter the recipe referred to as a "caramel batter" that is swirled in. As if that's not enough, when the whole pan of batter is done baking, chocolate and butterscotch chips are melted on top as a frosting type garnish that makes you realize that if you eat any of this you will probably instantly have a heart attack. Oh well! I have to admit, I cheated on the taste testing... it's supposed to chill for at least two hours, but if you cut into this monster of a "brownie" when it's just out of the oven, it's a melty gooey goodness that taste so delicious it's worth ruining the bar aspect.
I suppose I should take more pictures along the way, I'll have to do that next time. In a few days I'm planning on making a four layer cake, my birthday cake, and since Taylor will be lending a hand I'll have to make sure we do that. I might even have to post a few recipes on here, in case somebody decides they'd like to make them, too. Especially this darned brownie recipe, if you're mouth isn't watering by now you're completely nuts.