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Brownies

Tonight’s dinner was American themed – barbecue pulled chicken, fries and coleslaw. And I conveniently had some spare brownies from the batch I made for hubby to take to Monday Night Football (MNF) tomorrow night.

Apparently, these brownies were endorsed by Oprah. Everything I’ve made from the Baked cookbook has been great.  These brownies are also great, except unfortunately a little salty. I rarely use the full amount of salt in any recipe but today I did and now regret it. Sorry about that, MNF guys! The brownies are otherwise delicious and are dense and fudgy in texture. I think my usual recipe (Donna Hay) is even fudgier than these, but I do tend to undercook them a little to make sure of that. These brownies baked for 30 minutes, as suggested. I used Nestle Plaistowe 70% Cocoa Dark Chocolate and Van Houten Cacao Poeder (cocoa powder). I didn’t use the espresso powder, as I didn’t have any in the cupboard and couldn’t justify buying some just to use a teaspoon in these brownies.

The recipe is floating around the web but here is a link to one site that has posted all of it, complete with hints from the authors.

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Softies for Mirabel 2010

It’s on again! Time to make some softies for some kids who deserve a treat or two. Last year I made seven softies, not sure how many I will do this year. I’ve already got a few ready that I made about six months ago.

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Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies

More cakey than chewy but definitely soft. Not as cakey as whoopie pie, but similar. I used milk and white chocolate chips.


Soft Chocolate Chip Cookies
By Martha Stewart

Ingredients

Makes about 2 dozen

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature (This is US tablespoons so 100 grams)
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup milk-chocolate chips

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda. Beat butter and sugars with a mixer on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Beat in egg and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in 2 batches, alternating with sour cream, and beat until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips by hand. Cover, and freeze for 10 minutes.
  2. Using a 1 1/2-inch ice cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop dough onto baking sheets lined with parchment, spacing about 2 inches apart. Flatten slightly. Bake until centers are set and cookies are pale golden brown, 12 to 14 minutes.

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M&Ms

Dear Mr/Mrs M&Ms Australia,

You would really make my life a better place if I could purchase M&Ms in a single colour like you can in the US.

I really do love orange M&Ms just fyi.

Yours sincerely,

Katie

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Chalk It Up

Message from hubby. Chalkboard from Fiona Kate.

I’d like to paint the outside of my fridge with chalkboard paint. Wonder if that would work. At the moment this chalkboard lives on the side of my fridge. I use it for shopping lists, menu planning, and random notes to my hubby.

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Cherry Pie

Hubby’s facebook status on Thursday night: came home to discover his wife had baked a cherry pie from scratch! Just ‘cuz. He married well.

Cherry pie! Yes, I need to make a cherry pie. I guess I did make it just cuz. I’d never had a cherry pie before and I don’t really much care for cooked fruit but once I get an idea in my head it’s hard to let go. The pastry is Donna Hay shortcrust and the filling Joy of Cooking. No pre-made pie crusts in my house. I did realise afterwards I should have weaved the lattice on top. Next time!

 

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Homemade Oreos

This is one of my most favourite recipes. From Smitten Kitchen. I made these for a Sydney 4th of July cookout.

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Look What I Made: Buddy and Betty the Elephants

Elephant pattern by Retro Mama. Card by me for babies Adam and Margaret.

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Chocolate and Coconut Slice

Tips: Eat these at room temperature. Don’t overbake the filing and don’t make it too thick. My slice was a little too tall to get my mouth around comfortably. But I stuck with it and ate some. Actually lots.

Chocolate and Coconut Slice
From Good Taste Sept 2007

Ingredients

  • Melted butter, to grease
  • 80g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped
  • 80g butter, at room temperature, chopped
  • 70g (1/3 cup) caster sugar
  • 1 egg, lightly whisked
  • 150g (1 cup) plain flour
  • 2 tbs cocoa powder

Coconut filling

  • 1 x 225g pkt shredded coconut
  • 1 x 395g can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 eggs, lightly whisked

Chocolate topping

  • 100g butter, chopped
  • 300g dark cooking chocolate, coarsely chopped

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 16 x 26cm (base measurement) slab pan with melted butter to grease. Line the base and sides with non-stick baking paper.
  2. Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan half-filled with simmering water (make sure the bowl doesn’t touch the water). Use a metal spoon to stir occasionally until the chocolate melts and is smooth.
  3. Use an electric beater to beat the butter and sugar in a bowl until pale and creamy. Add the chocolate and egg, and stir until well combined. Sift the flour and cocoa over the chocolate mixture, and stir until well combined.
  4. Press the mixture evenly over the base of the prepared pan. Bake in oven for 15 minutes or until firm to touch.
  5. To make the coconut filling, combine the coconut, condensed milk and egg in a bowl. Spread evenly over the chocolate base. Bake for 25 minutes or until light golden. Set aside to cool completely.
  6. To make the chocolate topping, melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Add the chocolate and stir with a metal spoon until the chocolate melts and the mixture is smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture over the coconut filling. Place in the fridge for 20 minutes to set before cutting into 12 pieces.

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Look What I Made: Reversible Bag and Lidija the Elephant

These were a gift, given away tonight, to someone who does not want for much but appreciates gifts. Especially ones from her granddaughter.

Reversible bag pattern and elephant pattern.

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