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
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.