LoveKelRenee’s ADVENTURE LOG | Adventure One: Sweet Treats
Welcome to LoveKelRenee’s ADVENTURE LOG, where each week I take you on an adventure through my life as a semi-functioning adult!
This week’s adventure is close to home but far from my readily available skill set. That’s right, this weekend I’m BAKING! My super sweet saving skills left me some extra grocery money this week, and I thought what better way to spend it then on baking materials. I have a full functioning kitchen, a rampant desire for sweets, and lots of time on my hands (four loads of laundry takes a long time). And thus, a quest was born.
Part One: Messy Success
My journey began with a Tumblr post raving about a particular sweet recipe that was super simple and super easy. As someone who is absolute shit at baking, ‘simple and easy’ is about as good as it gets! The recipe may or may not have had a name, but rather than saving it, I screenshotted it, so I only have the essential information. It contains only these ingredients:
-a single egg
-2 whole sticks of unsalted butter (2 cups)
-2 cups of flour
-1 cup of sugar
-1/2 teaspoon of salt
-1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
That’s it! Super simple! So I gathered the ingredients and the required 9 x 13″ pan and got to work.
Step One: Preheat your oven to 400. Then put your pan in the freezer. Done.
Step Two: Using a mixer…hang on. I don’t have a mixer! You know what this means? WE’RE DOING ARMS TODAY! Mix the softened butter, sugar, egg, and salt in a large bowl. Do this for several (I mean several) minutes, or until the mixture is evenly creamed. Your arms will hurt for a bit, and the pain will come back tomorrow as an achy reminder of those several minutes, but it will be worth it in the end, so keep pushing.
Step Three: Now this is where things get messy. Add the last two ingredients (vanilla and flour, if you’ve forgotten) and mix together. The recipe says ‘use your hands’, and seeing as I’m new to this, I trusted the random internet baker with their instructions and dug in! Squishing dough-like batter in your hands is both slightly uncomfortable and strangely empowering. Nevertheless, it mixed quite well (tasted good too)!
Step Four: Now take your pan out of the freezer, grab your dough and cover the bottom of the pan with it from edge to edge. Then bake for about 12-15 minutes, let cool and cut up into strange little cookies squares to enjoy. It is not advisable to eat all cookies at once as it may cause tummy aches and regret.
These little cookie bars taste exactly like the sugar cookies my family makes during the winter holiday season, and nothing makes me more nostalgic for my home than the taste of old family traditions. Not only that, but these little guys are so light and crumbly they make me melt! 12/10 would recommend to novice bakers and experts alike.
Part Two: Fudge-i-licious
Once I had successfully created something edible, I decided my next baking adventure for the weekend was going to be a bit more ambitious. The recipe is called Mint Chocolate Chip Fudge WITH A TWIST (that last part was my addition). You can find the recipe here; I wouldn’t advise following my instructions as there are many of them and I’m not as thorough as I ought to be.
Part One of Part Two: The Twist
I know twists usually come near the end, but I guess baked goods don’t follow the same rules as standard story structure, so you’ll just have to live with it. The first thing I had to make was brownies. Fudgy Mint Brownies, to be exact. And there were a lot of steps, and separate bowls, involved.
Once again, because of my significant lack of mixer, I had to whip out the guns (muscles, of course) and beat more butter and sugar together. Then add eggs and some mint extract. Bowl number 1.
Melt some chocolate. Bowl number two.
Whisk some flour and cocoa powder together. Bowl number three.
Warm water and espresso powder. Bowl number four.
Extra chocolate chips to mix into the batter. Bowl (or measuring cup because you ran out of bowls) number five.
Everything eventually gets mixed into the most beautiful batter you’ve ever seen in your whole life, you shove it in a pan and into the oven (350 for 35-40 minutes). Time to take a mid-bake nap.
-One Nap Later-
Part Two of Part Two: The Easy Part
Great! Your Fudgy Mint Brownies are finished! Before you do anything else with them MAKE SURE THEY ARE COMPLETELY COOL! (Side note: I once made banana cake with my sister and we didn’t wait for the cake to cool before adding the icing, thus creating this runny sugar liquid on top of our cake instead of fluffy, creamy goodness. It didn’t taste bad, but the cake lover in me was disappointed. It also made it taste like banana bread that someone went butter crazy on. Cool your goods, people!)
While your brownies are cooling, though, you can make the best part: MINT FUDGE! This part is actually so easy.
White chocolate, condensed milk, heated in a bowl, and mixed until beautifully creamy. Add your mint for flavor. Add some green food coloring for a minty look (mint extract is not green, if you want your fudge to look minty, you must add your own green). Voila! Fudge is done!
Part Three of Two: Frankenstein’s Dessert
Now, why would a recipe make you create two perfectly good desserts in a recipe that advertises a single dessert? Simple, WE AIN’T FINISHED YET! That’s right, these two lovely creations will be combined to create the ULTIMATE MINT DESSERT ITEM! Pour your fudge on those (COOLED!!!) brownies. Cover with mini chocolate chips (for pizazz) and stick it in the fridge for at least an hour before consuming.
They. Are. INCREDIBLE! Not too minty that they scream Christmas four months too early. Not too rich that you feel like you’re going to die of a sugar overdose after a single serving. They’re perfectly soft and so so chocolatey. 10/10 would consume again!
This week’s adventure was an interesting one. I have baked in the past, but it has never been a go-to hobby of mine, nor have I found myself very good at it. But to spend some time with just myself, busing my hands, and making things that I’m proud of has made this weekend one of the best thus far in the semester. Truly it has been quite the experience!
Tune in next week for another ADVENTURE LOG! In the meantime, thanks for listening,