Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentines (Not So) Goodie...

Two years ago was the first time I was creative and managed to give a Valentine gift.  I went all out, let me tell you, as can be witnessed here.  But for those that don't want to check it out, in summary, I decorated brownie bites (that I purchased at Sams Club) with chocolate and strawberry frosting and put a hug or kiss on the top.  Not very creative for most, but most impressive for ME.

This year I had this great idea in my mind (damn mind, never a good thing to use, always a good thing to waste!) of what I wanted to do this year.  I wanted to make sweets that were peanut butter and chocolate and put them in a decorated box of some sort.  Similar to two years earlier, but with actual baking and more effort.  (Note to self: Not a Good Idea)

Many years ago I made some awesome peanut butter chocolate fudge.  I don't recall the recipe being extremely easy and somewhat labor intensive, but well worth the work!  Of course I can't find the recipe.  I remembered it was with a cluster of recipes I had from a magazine and I still had a few left.  So I searched for recipes and found one that seems very simplistic, so figured I could try it (Note to self: Try is NOT a good idea when hoping to have the perfect final result the FIRST time). So I printed the recipe - twice - since who knows what happened the first time around (of course I assumed it printed and closed out of the search engine).  I made a list of the ingredients that I would need.

I even purchased cutesy heart cookie/brownie cutters and tiny ones for the fudge the night before.  Pre-planning, yep, that's me!  I went to the store on my lunch hour and purchased everything I needed to make Double Chocolate Surprise Brownies and Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge.

That is, until I decided at 10:15p.m. to actually make the fudge and realized I missed the ingredient of heavy cream that was in the narrative of modification to make chocolate peanut butter glaze.  Sigh. OK, onto making the brownies instead.

I had all the ingredients.  I followed the directions exactly, because that's how I roll. Of course I struggled with the definition of beat and mix. So does mix mean not with the beaters or do I mix it in and use the beaters?  Where is my bake by numbers already?

Direction 5 reads: "Reserve 1 cup of chocolate mixture. Pour remaining mixture into prepared 9-inch square pan."

Issues so far: How am I suppose to "prepare" the pan?  So I sprayed it and lightly dusted it with flour because that seemed "prepared".  I pulled out the tape measure to measure the pan and I think mine is 8", so I'll adjust the cooking time.

Next I make the "filling".  Again I have issues with the definition of whip and mix. Ah what the hell?  I'll beat it all up with the mixer.  So after the filling is mixed I move on to the next step.

Direction 7 reads: "Pour the cream cheese mixture over the chocolate mixture, by tablespoon.  Swirl to marble." (8 reads: Bake at 350...blah blah blah.)

Anyone else seeing my next issue?  What the hell happened to the reserve cup?  Was I suppose to pour the filling over the reserve cup and swirl?  If so, then what was I suppose to do with it?  If I poured it over the mixture in the prepared pan, when was I suppose to add the reserve cup?

Seriously, who the hell writes recipes?  Do they ever proof read them?  Besides the fact that a finger test tasted extremely salty and I wonder if it should have really been 1/4 tsp. of salt. 

So, I put the filling on the prepared pan chocolate by tablespoon until I realized how ridiculous that was as there was so much filling it covered the entire pan!  So then I took the reserve cup of chocolate and by tablespoon added that onto the filling and attempted to swirl; however, there was so much filling, it was practically swimming.

Yes, I understand now whey they are called Double Chocolate SURPRISE Brownies.  The surprise is on me!

So pretty sure when they finish baking and cooling, they may be headed for the garbage.  And tomorrow, I will be heading to get heavy cream and a box of Betty Crocker brownies and cookies which cost mere pennies to all the ingredients necessary to botch (I mean bake) my own!

Another reason why I have no reason to embrace Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentines Day to you and yours!

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