memorial day desserts

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We went over to our neighbors' for a bbq Sunday, which gave me a much needed excuse to make a couple of the yummy desserts I've found on Pinterest.  The first thing I made was S'Mores Cookie Bars, and they were even tastier and gooeyer than I hoped they'd be (my next door neighbor actually described them as "life-changing.") One thing I recommend doing is spraying your spoon or spatula with Pam before spreading out the marshmallow fluff... it made it MUCH easier to spread.

The second thing I made (because one dessert just wasn't enough) was Peanut Butter Cup Brownies. They're pretty much exactly how they sound - like Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, but with the added deliciousness of brownies. These were pretty easy to make, and though my centers didn't fall during cooling, I used the back of a 1/2 teaspoon to depress each one and that worked really well. They might be Jared's new favorite thing I bake, and my sister has made me promise to make them for her when she comes to visit later this month.

Overall, I loved both of these desserts and would definitely make them again. I highly recommend either one for your next get together, baking whim, or pregnancy induced sugar craving.

martha's super fudgy brownies

Sorry for not posting much over the past few weeks!  Life has been a little chaotic.  More on that later... Right now, it's brownie time.  Super Fudgy Brownie time, to be exact.  I first tried this recipe a couple years ago when I challenged myself to make brownies from scratch (the box kind is so tasty there seemed little need to go through the all the effort of homemade.)  If you've never had brownies from scratch before, the best way to think about them is like how you felt about cupcakes from scratch the first time you tried them.  Richer, denser, more luxurious... excellent, but lacking in the nostalgia of the ones your mom made courtesy of Duncan or Betty.  That being said, I haven't made brownies from a mix since I started making these, so that should tell you something about how good they are.

The name of these brownies couldn't be more accurate - they're like fudge in cake form.  So if you like fudge, you'll definitely like these brownies.  Here's what you'll need:

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 8 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped (see my note about chopping the chocolate in Step 3 below)
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs

To make the brownies:

1 ) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9-inch square baking pan with butter.  Line bottom and two sides with a strip of parchment paper, leaving a 2-inch overhang on the two sides. Butter paper, and set pan aside.  (This step may seem like Martha's just over-complicating things, but I promise it's worth it.)

2 ) In a small bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt; set aside.

3 ) Place butter and chocolate in a large heatproof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of gently simmering water. Heat, stirring occasionally, until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes; remove bowl from pan.  (I've experimented with several different ways of chopping the chocolate and I've found the best way is to leave each square in its wrapper and give it a good whack with the flat side of a meat tenderizer - then empty the contents of the wrapper into the bowl and repeat with the next square.)

4 ) Add sugar; mix to combine.

5 ) Add eggs, and mix to combine.

6 ) Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not overmix)

7 ) Transfer batter to prepared pan; smooth top.

8 ) Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 50 to 60 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes.

9 ) Using paper overhang, lift brownies out of pan; transfer to a rack to cool completely (still on paper).  (This is the point when you'll be glad you went through all that effort of prepping the pan!)

10 ) On a cutting board, using a dampened serrated knife, cut into 16 squares. Store in an airtight container at room temperature, up to 2 days.

Enjoy!  :)