Monday, May 5, 2008

chocolate raspberry nut bars and baker's one bowl brownies

I was the mistress of the baked bars yesterday. First off, I made Chocolate Raspberry Nut Bars for C.'s school's Teacher Appreciation Luncheon. This is my second time making them, so I thought I'd tweak a mistake I made last time when I misread the recipe and used regular chocolate chips instead of the mini chocolate chips the recipe specified. But 12 ounces of mini chips seems like a hell of A LOT more than 12 ounces of regular chocolate chips. So I think next time I'll go back to doing my original (incorrect) recipe. I also somewhat unintentionally decided to substitute 2/3 cups of sliced almonds for the 1 cup of slivered almonds. When I was at the grocery store looking at almonds, the sliced looked prettier and came in a bigger package than the slivered for the same price. Furthermore, in the spirit of full disclosure, I also have to say that I had written the wrong quantity of almonds on my shopping list -- I wrote 1/2 cup when I in fact needed a full cup (which is why I had been hung up on the package size). I also rationalized that I must have used sliced before, when now I suspect I did used the slivered as the recipe called for. Anyhoooo... regardless of what I did, they were yummy once again. And I'm not one for mixing fruit flavors with chocolate ordinarily. I cut them up to put in the disposable pan for the teachers, but really I cut them up so I could sneak a few squares.
I also made Baker's Chocolate's One Bowl Brownies. My primary (actually, sole) motivation was that I've had this partial box of unsweetened baker's chocolate kicking around my pantry since Christmastime and I'm on a mission to use up stuff in my pantry, particularly since the weather is getting warmer and chocolate does not age well in an overheated kitchen. C., my brownie afiocionado, proclaimed them "not as good as your regular recipe" and refused to even finish one. Sadly, my "regular recipe" is a boxed mix (not even any particular mix, just whatever is on sale the day I go to the store). I explained this fact to him, and I tried to point out to him how these "from scratch" brownies (while admittedly not very chocolatey compared to the mix) are better for us (yes, I really said that) and automatically trump the mix just by virtue of being from scratch. He was unswayed. I then explained to him that it is my ultimate goal to come up with a brownie that's as good as the mix and that it's going to take a lot of experimenting and testing before I get to that point. In the end, he (somewhat reluctantly) agreed to continue being my brownie tester.

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