and then some

This is possibly one of the times when everything will sound pretty much convoluted and fall short of making any sense. I had tried steering away from updating when I’m feeling down in the dumps (don’t worry, I’m not going to start whining here), but I felt an obligation to recommend a recipe as well as share several tips with my dearest readers. So pardon me if I don’t sound so cheery.

Without further ado, I present to you The Brownie To Drown Your Sorrows In.

I don’t think this actually needs any introduction, really. Not by the aforementioned name, of course. But I’m sure that any Oreo-lover out there would have either had the privilege of having this whipped up in their name, or have succumbed to dire temptations and indulged in its Royal Oreo-ness within the ticks of his/her worn-out oven. I think the brownie can simply be summed up as such:

Oreo + Brownie = Love
Oreo CHUNKS + FUDGEY Brownie = Heavenly Love
Oreo CHUNKS + FUDGEY Brownie + VANILLA ICE CREAM = Heavenly Love Song

So you see, even if you prefer your brownie ala carte (i.e. without the scoop), it would be enough to embrace you with the heavenly love you need to perk up your day. But if you had with the ice-cream, you’d practically be singing away. Makes sense?

(recipe at the end of the entry)

For those who read the opening paragraph and assumed the tips were going to be kitchen-centric, I’m sorry to disappoint. Nope, nothing to do with baking at all. Rather, in conjunction with Earth Day last week, I thought I’d share with you some ideas for lil projects, involving the re-using of certain materials. Magazines, cloth, envelopes;– have I piqued your curiosity yet?

Magazine Gift Wrap

If you’re looking for something quirky yet stylish for a gift wrap, why not reuse your magazine pages? Simply cut out pages and tape them side by side, to a desired rectangle/square length of a wrapping paper. To make it more interesting and personalised, choose pages containing advertisements or articles relating to the gift, and align the gift such that selected words/images appear on the top of the package. I did these: an image of vibrant flowers for box containing a necklace with a butterfly pendant; a set of mini-speakers contained within a gift wrap made from two advertisement posters of radio stations; and a package made from fashion articles (photos of the runway), concealing a huge fashionista bag.

Fabric Gift Tag

To spruce up a personalised card, simply take your choice of card material (in plain colour), and cut out a random shape from one of your old fabrics, or that sun-dress that you can’t fit in anymore. Here, I used a red polka dot felt cloth to cut out a flower on a black construction paper.

Inside-Out Security Seal Envelopes

This is a personal favourite of mine. A simple project that is simple and fun, and would be great with the kids. The next time you get your bill in the mail, don’t angrily tear open the envelope. Instead, open it carefully so as to retain its shapes and folds, and once you’re done opening all the sealed sides, just turn it inside out so that the security seal pattern shows on the outside. Then just glue the sides along, and there you have it, a beautiful envelope to send cards/letters in. It certainly beats the dull of getting your monthly bills! More pictures and detailed instructions from the wonderful people at Design*Sponge.

Oreo Crunch Brownie
(adapted from Ina Garten’s Barefoot Contessa)

1 cup flour, plus 1/4 cup flour
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vanilla
4 sticks of butter
6 eggs
1 pound semisweet chocolate chip
6 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3 tbsp. instant coffee granules (I omitted this)
4 cups oreos, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 11 1/2″ x 17 1/4″ x 1″ baking pan.

2. In a heatproof medium bowl, set over a saucepan of simmering water and heat butter, chocolate chips and unsweetened chocolate until melted and smooth. Allow to cool slightly.

3. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, coffee granules, vanilla and sugar. Blend chocolate mixture into egg mixture; cool to room temperature.

4. In a medium bowl, sift together 1 cup flour, baking powder and salt. Add flour mixture into chocolate mixture. In a small bowl, stir oreos and remaining 1/4 cup flour. Add oreo mixture to chocolate mixture. Pour batter into baking pan.

5. Bake for about 35 minutes or until toothpick inserted into middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before cutting.

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17 thoughts on “and then some

  1. the mister

    You know what else would go with brownies for a frumpy miss bakety bake?

    A patented shoopabiebie uyuk hug…

    C’mere you….

    *uyuks*

    P.S. Wah, you’re a full fledged planeteer now, dear!

    Wooohooo!

    Go, planet!

    (Sorry, got caught up in my 80s cartoon moment there… Hehe.. :P)

    I think the stuff you made are uber cool, luv! :D

    Reply
  2. ovenhaven Post author

    didally: Me too! There’s just something about that scoop which makes it feel all complete… Hehe :P

    bie: Aww, thank you, dearest *uyuks* :) I’m beginning to think I have too much time on my hands to be doing all these!

    Reply
  3. .: Mandy :.

    *drool*

    Oreo CHUNKS + FUDGEY Brownie + VANILLA ICE CREAM = Heavenly Love Song

    TOTALLY AGREE! :P i love the inside out envelope idea! i shall do it next time~ :D

    Amanda

    Reply
  4. ovenhaven Post author

    lcsa99: Funnily enough, now that I’ve used up my Oreo’s to bake these, I wish I had a whole packet of Oreo’s just to munch on right now. And chocolate covered Oreo’s sounds delish!

    Mandy: Nothing quite hits the spot like decadent brownie filled with your favourite cookie and topped with soothing ice-cream, does it? Hehe :P Have fun doing the envelopes! I’ve been looking forward to my bills ever since :P

    Reply
  5. Farhan

    This looks like it’ll make a huge amount, how many brownies did you get? And one cup of flour to 4 sticks (400g) butter and a pound of chocolate?? U r definitely making a lot of people happy, haha!

    And what’s the cookbook u got it from? Sounds so interesting..

    Reply
  6. Farhan

    Oh and I love the black card with the felt flower! So sweet.. Where did u get the felt from??

    I can’t believe you can get such beautiful envelopes by inverting them. i’m quite sure none of the insides of my envelopes were green though.. What a fascinating idea!

    Reply
  7. jean

    Why oh why oh why did you have to be a tomboy in ij??? If not, you cld be our resident baker! And for my birthday I can ask you to bake for me. No malu.

    I want that brownie can? Courier over!

    Reply
  8. ovenhaven Post author

    Farhan: Haha, in typical artery-clogging Ina Garten style, of course! I cut them pretty small, so I got about 30 pieces I think.

    I got the felt from Spotlight. They’ve got a whole bunch of polkadots in different colours! As for the green envelope? It’s my Starhub bill :P

    jean: Guess I’m glad I was a tomboy, then. You’re always no malu! :P

    Reply
  9. mel

    hi there! The inverted envelope is such a neat idea! I never really paid close attention to those envelopes…they are after all bills, just want to get rid of them as fast as I can. heh. Anyway, I’ve been visiting your blog from time to time… I got the link from happygrub. I must say, I really enjoy reading your entries and looking at your mouth-watering sweets! Thanks for sharing! :)

    Reply
  10. ovenhaven Post author

    Gigi: Yup, I hear they even double up as Brownies To Rid Exam Stress as well, so hope it’d perk you up! :P

    mel: Thanks for dropping by, Mel! I spy with my little eyes gorgeous creations on your blog! ;)

    Reply
  11. Ashley

    Ooo wow oreo brownies sound incredibly tasty. Must add those to my list! Love the inside out security seal envelope idea. :)

    Reply
  12. ovenhaven Post author

    Ashley: Try it out! The brownies, and the envelopes idea :P

    veggielove: By the time you read this, they’re all gone. Sorry! :P

    Indigo: Nothing compared to your insane brownie ice-cream combo!!! Brings brownie enjoyment to a whole new level. *salutes* :D

    Reply

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