I re-made: Brownies

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This is the same recipe that I tried previously.  I did a few things differently:

  • I added 1 tsp of espresso powder.  Results: not a noticeable coffee flavor, but it’s possible it enriched the chocolate flavor.  Would try again, but increase amount.
  • Baked in a smaller pan with the goal of creating taller brownies.  Results: the edge pieces were tall, but the center pieces rose and then collapsed like a cake does.
  • Used an electric hand mixer instead of just manually stirring it on the stove.  Results: much less sore arm.

Overall: these are still really amazing brownies and I would again recommend this as a great recipe.

I made: Jalapeno Cheeto Krispy treats

Look, I know this is insane.  I got the idea from a wonderful Facebook group I’m a part of, where I’m fairly sure the member shared this as a joke.  It struck me as an idea so bad that it revolved all the back away around to gourmet.  Also, it struck me like a bolt of inspiration from God that I should put candied jalapenos on it.  So when I visited the Dallas Arboretum and saw that they were selling homegrown candied jalapenos, I felt it was a sign that I needed to follow my dreams.

To make:

  • Start with a party size (16 oz) bag of crunchy Cheetos and crunch them up in the bag using your hands.
  • Melt 3 tbsp butter.  Add 1 10-oz bag of mini marshmallows and melt over low heat, stirring constantly.
  • Once melted, immediately mix the marshmallows in with the cheetos.  (The recipe says to do it over the pan but I think this would be insanely difficult, I used a really big mixing bowl.)
  • Press the mixture into a greased large baking pan and top with candied jalapenos.  If you don’t have candied jalapenos you can make them yourself, it takes about a month though (just google for recipes).
  • Cool to set and cut into squares.

OVERALL:

  • I know this is a joke but I actually kind of liked them.  The marshmallow cancels out the salty/cheesiness of the Cheeto, so they really are palatable (if you like marshmallow).  Candied jalapenos are AMAZING and I would eat them straight from the jar honestly, and they add something just a little special.
  • My husband refused to even try them so I think I’m going to need to ask for a divorce.

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NEXT TIME:

  • Although he refused to try them, my husband did offer a few good tips.  Number one, the jalapenos don’t really stick to the top surface of the bars.  So it would be better to chop them up and mix them in with the marshmallows directly.
  • Secondly, mixing the marshmallows and Cheetos together was a massive pain.  I’d try it with the puffy kind or maybe use slightly fewer Cheetos or mix in two separate batches or something, just to reduce the total elbow grease required.
  • I honestly would re-make these although I’m not 100% sure who would want to try them lol.

I made: Lemon bars

Lemon bars are honestly one of my favorite desserts, and for some reason I’d never made them before.  I got another excellent, comprehensive recipe from The Kitchn to follow for this one.

How to make:

  • Preheat oven to 325F, coat 11×7 inch baking pan with cooking spray, and line dish with parchment paper “sling.”
  • Zest about 3 lemons (you need a little more than 2 tbsp).  Juice the lemons to get 1/2 cup of juice.
  • Make the shortbread crust: Mix 1 cup flour, 1/4 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup powdered sugar, 1 tsp lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.  Cut in 8 tbsp cubed chilled butter.  Use a food processor if you have it; mix until coarse crumbs.
  • Press the crust into the pan using your fingers to really press down.  Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  • Parbake the crust 25-30 minutes until golden brown.
  • Make the filling: whisk together 4 large eggs, 1 large egg yolk, 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, 2 tbsp lemon zest, and 1/4 tsp kosher salt.  Then whisk in 1/4 cup lemon juice, followed by 1/4 cup flour until combined.
  • Pour the filling into the crust and bake 15-20 minutes, until light brown around the edges.  Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Dust with powdered sugar using a fine-mesh strainer.  Cut the bars once completely cooled.

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OVERALL:

  • Good recipe, no major issues in the instructions.  Obviously I don’t understand what it means to “dust” lemon bars with powdered sugar, because these look ridiculous.  (Fortunately, after 12 hours or so, the powdered sugar just absorbs into the top, so they don’t look quite as stupid, although they’re probably overly sweet.)
  • I don’t have a food processor so I just cut in the butter with a fork.  It took a long time and was kind of annoying, but didn’t seem to have any problematic consequences.

NEXT TIME:

  • Aside from the other minor issues mentioned above, I’d like to make this in a smaller pan.  Mine was fine, but the bars looked a little skimpy.

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