Archive for Dessert

Experimints (har har) gone awry…

Like anyone who knows their butt from a food blog, I’m pretty much a slave to Bakerella. I also love – LOVE – the pairing of mint and chocolate and there’s two times during the year when it’s okay to let that obsession pretty much take over your life: Christmas (influenced by candy canes and such) and St. Patrick’s Day (you know…green). So when Bakerella’s “Experi-mint-ing” post when up, I knew two things: 1. I had to have these brownies in my life and 2. I should make them for St. Patty’s.

Things did not go exactly as planned. To start, I didn’t get in gear on making these until well after midnight on March 18th, so technically I missed making them for Green Day St. Patty’s. Also…I botched them in an incredible horrible way that I’m still baffled by and, thus, am unable to resolve for next time.

To begin, I didn’t have the mint chips that she used – though, hello, mint chips?! my kitchen needs these ASAP! – so I added 1 tsp of mint extract and it gave the brownies a really light, minty flavor that I loved. I ended up just using semi-sweet chips instead, so these puppies were PACKED with chocolate and also tasted like mint – how could something so right go so wrong?

Well. I don’t know.

I cooked them for about 35 minutes, as recommended, and they puffed up to ENORMOUS proportions. Like a loaf of bread. But brownies. They also got a lovely light brown “shell” on top, but inside they seemed…extremely gooey. My boyfriend suggested that they were perhaps dramatically under-cooked, but if I’d left them in any longer the edges would have started to burn (gross). Also, the middle seemed too firm to be under-cooked, but it’s definitely too gooey to be fully-cooked. Right?

Another theory was that maybe the gooeyness was from all the extra chocolate chips I used. Like, maybe they melted and that’s where the goo is coming from? Bakerella’s mint chips didn’t melt, so hers were significantly less gooified than mine. Although, there are still full, unmelted chips in my brownies, so maybe that’s not the reason?

The whole kerfluffle is kind of a moot point, because I’m for sure going to eat these bad boys anyway (chocolate! mint! goo!). I will probably keep them in-house, though. Mostly to avoid embarrassment; it’s one thing to eat minimally baked brownie batter in the privacy of my own kitchen, but quite another to give it to someone else, especially when I can’t explain exactly what went wrong.

Any ideas? Insight? Wisdom? Help!


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How To Make Cupcakes

…in five easy steps!

Step One: Go to Vanilla Pastry Studio.

Step Two: Buy a bunch of cupcakes. (Half a dozen will do, I suppose.)

Step Three: Marvel at the beauty of your chosen cup o’ cake.

(I chose chocolate peppermint – it was a GOOD CHOICE.)

Step Four: You’re not done yet! I said MARVEL!

Step Five: Jam that sucker in your mouth. Or eat it in a bowl with a spoon, if you’re classy.

Vanilla is easily the gold standard for cupcakes in the city of Pittsburgh.* The “sugar fairy” gimmick I could see as getting a little obnoxious over time, but as long as they keep creating such moist, delicious little cakes topped with such fluffy, delicate mounds of heaven icing, they can call themselves whatever they want.

Like “genius.” Or “goddess.” Or, okay, “sugar fairy.”

*They don’t even pay me to say stuff like this! But, hey, Vanilla…if you’re listening…WILL WORK FOR CUPCAKES!

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