Pastry Hacks: Two Types of Brownies on a Stormy Day

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During the midst of Yolanda’s strong winds, I decided to to kill time and my sweet craving and bake some brownies. Since my ingredients were incomplete and there was no way you could make me head out in the biggest super typhoon in recorded history, I whipped out a pack of Ghiradelli Triple Chocolate Brownie and gave it my own little twist. What’s great about this particular brownie mix is that it actually tastes better than some made-from-scratch recipes that I’ve had tried. It’s chocolatey, fudge and pleasantly gooey every single time I make it on its own. If you have more time to prepare the stuff that you need, you can try out this recipe from David Lebovitz’ Ready for Dessert book.

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I made the brownies according to package instructions, but the fun actually starts just before I pop it in the oven, or oven toaster in my case. I placed the brownie mixture in a cupcake pan, placed three big marshmallows in the first three cups and a dollop of crunchy Trader Joe’s Speculoos cookie butter on to the last three. I preheated the oven toaster at 325 degrees Fahrenheit and placed the pan there for 30 to 35 minutes or until nothing sticks to my fork. This was how the first batch turned out:

The first three in the upper left corner were the marshmallow brownies. I was kind of hoping it would have this s’mores look to it because I froze it , but it just became a sticky mess. Even if I tried a different approach in the next batch by submerging the mallows, I still got the same results. I ask my mother (my first baking mentor) why it turned out that way. She said the marshmallows that I used were too big, and I can only do what I was going for with a burner. It was a lesson we both learned together long ago when we used to make Jessica’s Marshmallow Clouds. My only consolation was it still tasted good (although too sweet) despite its appearance.

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The Speculoos brownies were a different story though. I was pleasantly surprised at how it turned out. This sweet gingery, cinnamon spiced spread went really well with the brownies. I could definitely see myself doing this again especially for the holidays.

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Last week’s brownie baking experience was really something fun to do and it really eased my mind off a bit on the terrible weather outside. Next time I try another experiment, I’ll use Lebovitz’ recipe and ask for some solid baking advice before I begin something.

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