Oreo Walnut Brownies of Failure

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Last Saturday I decided to throw together a last-minute batch of brownies for Leandro to take to a cookout with “the guys.”  Both because I was in the mood to bake, and because I’m practicing being a good Armenian housewife.

I’ve been using the Epicurious Cocoa Brownies recipe forever, but have never actually followed their recommended procedure (which is to melt the sugar, butter, salt, and cocoa together in a saucepan before adding the other ingredients). I’ve always just done the wet + dry method.  So this time, I set out to follow the recipe instructions and see whether they come out any better than they usually do.

The answer was “no” and a bunch of swear words.

Reviews

“We are men, our comments are like Twitter bots…we just munch saying ‘yum.'”
– Leandro

Ingredients

See here, plus:
1 extra egg
3/4 cup walnuts
1 cup pulverized Oreo crumbs (like when you put Oreos in a food processor)

The afternoon started off well – I did a good job pouring the sugar.  Into the pot it all goes.

This was not. Coming. Together.  The cocoa was solidifying into chunks that floated in melted butter.  I don’t think sifting it would have helped.  This procedure is a giant fail.

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This is the vomitous base of my brownies, transferred to a glass bowl in the hopes that the extra stirring room would help it come together.

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It worked (kinda), but this still looks pretty horrid.  At least it’s mixed enough that I can add eggs.

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“All this chocolate sure smells nice.  Would be a shame if someone were to poop in the kitchen.”

By this time, I was frustrated and worried enough about the outcome of these brownies that I no longer cared to follow the Epicurious recipe exactly.  So I added 3 eggs, then the flour, and then some walnuts and a cup of pulverized Oreo crumbs.  The result was horrifically, cloyingly sweet.  Oops.

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Oh, well.  Into the oven it went.

They were extremely sweet and rich, but certainly not bad at all.  At least the crackly top came out nice.

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Verdict: Possibly suitable for 5-year-olds due to the extreme sugar content, but no 5-year-old’s mother would want their kid to eat this.  Probably would not make this again.  (Definitely not using this procedure.)

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Oreo Walnut Brownies of Failure

Horrible Oreo Chocolate Cake Balls

Looking for a time-consuming recipe that’ll give you confusingly disappointing results?  Keep reading!

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This is a cake ball.  It is a ball of cake.  (Wadded-up cake that you smash together to make a kind of “cake crumb truffle.”)  They can be delicious, but these were not.  I made them as a gift for Leandro to take on a visit to his parents’ house, but they were probably not enjoyed by anyone.

Reviews

“I don’t know what my parents said about them…they took them to my aunt’s”
– Leandro

Ingredients & Recipe

“Best Chocolate Cake Recipe {Ever}” from Add A Pinch (sort of)
Cream cheese
Dulce de leche
Coffee

I would say that the failure was likely mostly to do with the fact that, since I didn’t need an entire giant cake, I decided to do a “3/4 recipe,” but I didn’t actually measure half the stuff I put it.  I figured that if the proportions were almost there, it’d be fine, because I was going to mix this cake with cream cheese and cover it with Oreo anyway.

That assessment was wrong.  Also, reviewing the quantities in retrospect, I absolutely did not get the proportions right.

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I started by melting somewhere close to a half cup of butter, plus 1 1/2 cups of sugar in a saucepan.  I added about 150 grams (5.3 oz, a.k.a. a lot) of semisweet chocolate in here too, to make it extra chocolaty.  Then I added 3/4 cup of cocoa powder, 3/4 cup milk, some vanilla, and about a tablespoon of espresso.

Next, I mixed flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. Don’t remember how much, but that doesn’t matter, because you should not make this. A teaspoon can double as a whisk, depending on how lazy you are.

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Then I stirred the chocolate mixture into the flour mixture, and then stirred in two eggs.

It went into the oven after that.  Notice the oven thermometer reading – this is my oven on the lowest setting.

 

 

 

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This is my life now.  Everything bakes at a minimum of 400°.

I have a kitchen helper today.  Can you find him?

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After putting the cake in the oven, I realized that I had completely missed the last ingredient: a cup of hot water.  Crap.  Now the cake was going to be dense and dry.

Shortly thereafter, while doing the dishes, I (somewhat ironically) spilled water all over the floor.  My helper was hesitant to give up his “blanket” so that I could clean it up.

This is what came out of the oven.  I tasted it for quality assurance purposes.  It was disappointing.  Not just that it was clearly missing some liquid – it wasn’t quite sweet enough, and the flavor was just bland.  Not as intense as I was expecting, given the amount of cocoa, chocolate, and butter in this thing.

Time to see whether making cake balls out of it could make it any better.  I dumped some cake chunks into a bowl with some cream cheese, dulce de leche (to compensate for the lack of sweetness), and a few tablespoons of coffee.

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It’s finally time to use the Oreos that have been in the background of all the photos thus far.  I ground them up in a food processor, and shaped the cake goo into balls.  Then coated the balls in pulverized Oreos.

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The final result?  Meh.  Don’t make them.

Horrible Oreo Chocolate Cake Balls

Farina With Katrina (And Other Food Adventures)

The horrors!!!

The return of Farina!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup Farina
1/3 cup water
1/3 cup milk
Pinch of salt
Maple syrup
Peanut butter
Cinnamon

Boil water. Mix in Farina.  Mix in salt & milk.

Eat with nostalgia.

We also went for cannolis, and discovered some shockingly, mouth-wateringly enormous and swirly peanut butter cups.

Kars bought me one, even though I told her not to, because she is a kind janitor.  ❤

Found in Boston: What a delicious snack!  Nasty black olives in a fruit cup!  Just what every eight-year-old wants in their lunchbox.

Farina With Katrina (And Other Food Adventures)

Baking With the Buddy Club: Michigan June Cinnamon Rolls and Cinnamon Muffins

Day 1:

Cinnamon rolls!  I missed my flight.

Day 2:

Cinnamon rolls!  I hope my friends forgive me for serving breakfast at 11.  (Also for missing my flight.)

At least the icing didn’t look like sickly nose mucus this time.

Reviews

This is Allen.

“Very good”
– Everyone

“This is the sugariest thing I’ve ever given you”
– Debbie, to Piper

“I beat my children”
– Allen

Recipe

Quick 45-Minute Cinnamon Rolls from the Recipe Critic

Nom nom nom.

Day 3:

Man Club went golfing, and we made muffins.

Ingredients

Don’t remember

Recipe

Don’t remember

How we spent the rest of the day

We relaxed after all our hard work, and extensively discussed farts.

 

 

Baking With the Buddy Club: Michigan June Cinnamon Rolls and Cinnamon Muffins

Milk Chocolate Sugar Pudding (Using 24 Egg Yolks in a Week)

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The past seven days have been a quest to use up a tupperware of 24 egg yolks before they went bad. I did it. Here’s the last thing I made:

Ingredients

3 egg yolks
1/4 c sugar
1/2 c milk
1/4 c low-fat cream cheese
3 oz chocolate
1 tbsp corn starch (if you need it)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat the yolks, sugar, and milk really well. Put it over low heat and keep stirring. (Do not stop stirring or you’ll get an omelette.)

When it gets pretty warm, add the cream cheese and let it melt (keep stirring). Add the chocolate in small chunks, a few at a time, stirring until it melts. Keep stirring until the mixture has started to thicken a little bit. If you need it, you can add some corn starch – it’s better to take it off the heat before it’s completely thickened than risk getting scrambled eggs.

When it’s cooled a bit, add the vanilla.

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Other things I made with 24 egg yolks:

Bread pudding in the microwave: D
Bread pudding in the microwave, second try: D
Lemon curd: A+
Vanilla ice cream: B-

Milk Chocolate Sugar Pudding (Using 24 Egg Yolks in a Week)

Brownie Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream

It has arrived.

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It’s pink!

Remember when I said that I had big plans for Sunday’s brownies?  Well, this was my plan.

Reviews

“It’s nice”
– Leandro

Ingredients

400g coconut milk
1/3 cup soy milk
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
pinch salt
2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tray of brownies, cut into small cubes and frozen overnight

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Coconut milk and soy milk go into a double boiler.

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Eggs are whisked and tempered with hot coco-milk.

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Add sugar and whisky whisky.

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Aww, look how cute they are.  Maybe I will keep them.

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Add vanilla once the ice cream base has cooled a bit.  Let it chill in the fridge until it’s really cold.

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After churning in the machine, ice cream will be at soft-serve consistency.  At this stage, frozen brownie cubes were added to the ice cream and it was put in the freezer to harden.

And the final result…

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Eaten while watching Game of Thrones.  What new adventures will my pink ice cream machine bring next?!

Brownie Vanilla Coconut Milk Ice Cream