Category Archives: Brownies & Chocolates

Rocky Road Brownies for #SundaySupper

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These brownies aren’t the only crazy thing happening around here this week, though they are insanely fudgy and I made boxes of these for friends who loved them and I’m selling them online here so if you want them without so much as stepping a toe into your kitchen, I can make that happen now.

Crazy? I love crazy.

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Just about 45 minutes ago, I got off an epic long late-night phone call (yes, it’s 3 AM and I manually pressed the Publish button on this post) with my friend. I’ve been prone to lots of anxiety and high-stress nights lately for seemingly no reason, so catching up with her (instead of spending the evening wringing my wrists to a pulp) was a pleasant change of pace.

At one point, she mentioned rereading this blog post I published back in June about defining self-worth–if you haven’t read it yet, I spill a whole bunch of juicy confessions in it about my life and insecurities that are interesting and probably mildly entertaining. From there, we started talking about just about everything: about the difficulty of living up to expectations, feeling burnt out from Life, piecing together bits of our life through expert stalking social media surfing, the recent guys in my idiosyncratic love life, and, oh yeah: my recent tendency to eat my feelingz.

Mostly because #school. And maybe some of the aforementioned guys stuff. (Thankfully none of them think big-picture enough to actually read my blog #middleschoolalloveragain)

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With these brownies just schlumming around the house all the time now and getting wrapped up for Etsy orders, I shouldn’t be surprised I’m eating my weight in feelings these days. Thick, fudgy, gooey, crunchy feelings.

However, one of the best reminders to come up in our conversation was the importance of taking time to reflect on our own lives.… Read more

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German Chocolate Brownies for #SundaySupper

I’m not usually an eat-my-feelings kind of girl.

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Lately, though, I have had ALL the feelings, and that called for eating my weight in brownies. Because let’s face it–who the heck did I try to kid 5 seconds ago when I said that eating a whole panful of chocolate won’t solve every problem, ever?

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Exactly.

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Truth be told, I have been particularly terrible lately about eating my way through feels. Is anyone else this way, or did you all just sprout from miracle baby trees where this stuff doesn’t happen?

I was definitely born on a food pantry tree, probably of the sweets variety, because this pan of absolutely rich but not-too-cloying brownies did not make it out the doorway unscathed.

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I’ll admit it: one of the reasons you see brownies and bar cookies on my blog so often is that, unlike cookies (which are a solid, impregnable unit) and cakes (which, let’s face it, look butt ugly when you’re not supposed to slice into it yet and you start picking off random pieces anyway so it looks like a freakin’ mouse got to it first), brownies are SO easy to cut into.

Slice a smidge here. Oh, I’ll trim a little bit more off the edge. Now OCD dictates that I must make all the brownies the same size, so let’s do it–for the better good. You can even see the knife marks since I sliced into them after they were cold from the fridge.

Let’s trim them ALL and stuff our face with the scraps!!

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These brownies: lord. After making this bomb Hawaiian Chantilly Layer Cheesecake Cake for #SundaySupper a few weeks ago, I knew I had to use up that scrumptious frosting on something else, and thus these big bad brownies were born. With an incredibly fudgy base using one of my favorite brownie recipes, topped with a creamy not-too-sweet chocolate frosting, and topped with toasted coconut, nuts, and some of that chantilly frosting…

It’s a damn good thing I’m running 13.1 miles tomorrow morning.… Read more

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Healthy Sticky Fudgy Chocolate Cake/Brownies (GF, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, & Weird-Free)

Hi there. Yeah, you. I think you’re a really smart and charming person.

No, really! I mean it. And if you leave me a note after reading this post, I’ll take the time to personally tell you what’s great about you, too.

Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 2--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)But now stop and think for a moment: when was the last time you accepted a compliment?

And I mean honest-to-goodness, wholehearted, modesty-exempt acceptance?

Was it yesterday?

Was it a few weeks ago?

Was it just now, when I told you you were charming and smart and a wonderful human being who has somehow found this hideaway blog of mine?

(And if it was that last one–good on you!)

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Recently I watched this video about the power of accepting compliments. I am a complete sucker for Making Life Meaningful clips. In the video, these social science-y folks do an experiment where couples split up and the one with lower self-esteem gets complimented–genuine compliments, mind you–by their partner.

And here’s the best part: the first person has to accept the compliment with only the words, “thank you.”

The idea behind this experiment is that accepting genuine compliments is a) hard for people who tend to have lower self-esteem, and b) great for boosting self-confidence, since the act of acceptance allows us to reflect on ourselves positively.Healthy Sticky Fudgy Brownies 17--080214 (GF, Dairy-Free)

Now, I can honestly tell you that I suck at accepting compliments. My ability to accept them is inversely proportional to the amount of chocolate I have consumed on any given day, so if you have the godforsaken misfortune to catch me on a day sans Chocolat, be prepared to have your compliments shot down to the point of awkward embarrassment. I usually enter any conversation armed with an arsenal of “no’s,” “it’s really not’s,” and “no seriously, it’s nothing’s.”

It’s not Compliment Fishing.… Read more

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Hot Fudge Chocolate Brownie with a Killer Choco Frosting (V, GF, Raw, No Added Sugar)–And the Importance of Meeting Strangers

My earliest memory of talking to a stranger goes back to Ala at age 6, standing in a ballet class, chatting happily and obliviously in her pink tutu to one of the nice ladies sitting near the side of the room.

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“My mom told me not to talk to strangers,” I confidentially informed the lady, whom I remember now as friendly-faced and quite tall. “I’m Ala,” I continued, holding out my hand and solemnly shaking her, which was proffered with a smile. Then I added, just in case she didn’t understand, “Now we aren’t strangers anymore.”

And then I went right on chatting.

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My mom still laughs about this incident now, but in many ways it foreshadowed my later affinity for striking up random conversations  in the most unexpected places. Some of my closest friends or most interesting memories today have emerged from chance encounters of the Love Actually sort: getting a ride with another grad student to a surprise banquet, sitting down at a conference table with a Disney Imagineer, chatting with the night shuttle officer on my way back from school, catching public transportation and whiling away the time with surprisingly fun conversation.

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Though I don’t consider myself particularly confident (blog name, anyone?), I still love love love to meet random people. One of my best grad school friends is a bright, energetic gal I met in a Zumba class my first year: we spent the entire quarter beaming at each other in the mirror as we grooved and moved and body rolled with as much grace as flopping fish–and when we both arrived on the “last day of class” only to realize that the last day had been last week, we ended up jamming to our own tunes by setting up an improv class with her friends. Anytime anyone asks us how we met, we turn and positively grin at each other before launching into one of our favorite stories.… Read more

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Filed under Bars, Brownies & Chocolates

Two-Toned Red Velvet & Chocolate Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

As I’ve grown older and the weary years have coated my hunched back like a film of unwanted snail slime, I’ve come to the wary conclusion that there are two sides of me: the one that you know, and the one that you wouldn’t want to know for all the holy flying bats in the world–though what you would want to do with a colony of holy flying bats, I haven’t the faintest idea. You tell me.

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Of course, unless you’re my mom and have witnessed the stormy tantrums I still throw all the time used to throw as a kid in the Polly Pocket aisle of Toys R Us, I’m pretty much an “As Seen in Stores” kind of girl. Peppy, extroverted, painfully enthusiastic at times, and totally predictable.

But at rare little moments of extreme environmental stress or unceasing irritation, my trigger–like any normal human being’s–will trip. And boy, you don’t want to be the person standing in front of it when it does. If you’re the one who tripped it up, all the bleaker for you. My judging glare is not something you want to experience from the receiving end. Nor is my adult, I-will-smack-you hands-on-hips gesture when I appear, glowering, in your doorway.

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On the latest battlefront, my neighbors have been demons from the darkest depths of Dante’s nine circles of hell. Zac Efron (who, by the way, visited us for the premiere of Neighbors last month) has got nothing on my. Freakin’. Neighbors.

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Baked Brownies: Guest Post at Gotta Get Baked

These are the quintessential brownies: gorgeously chewy, deeply fudgy, and perfectly crackly on top…and you can read more about them today at my quite awesome friend Nance’s blog, Gotta Get Baked!

And if you’re here visiting for the first time from Nance’s blog–welcome! I’m so honored to have you here. Please stick around and say hello <3

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Nance and I met up two weeks ago when I visited Vancouver for a children’s lit conference. She is the most absolutely lovely person ever–like the dopplegangers we are, she totally blogged about our meeting too–and I am so excited to be posting over at her fantastic blog!

We had been toying with the idea of swapping guest posts for a while before we met, so I was panicking a little about what recipe I wanted to share. Something fancy? Something simple? Something so whimsical and fun it will hurt your brain?

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Well, when I finally met up with Nance, we had a wonderful dinner and she made the very wise decision to get dessert (because what baking bloggers wouldn’t order dessert? Duh). She ordered a fabulous, creamy rich pot de chocolat with chile in it, which was topped off with two large scoops of vanilla ice cream. This was also a very good idea, because that night is when it hit me.

Chocolate.

Gotta get baked.

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Baked brownies. Bingo!

Today’s topic is the Little Things–the smile on your significant other’s face when you get home after a long day battling the coffee machine or the smell of the freshly-mown lawn as you step outside before the rest of the world wakes up. You know, all the things that we are–sadly–sometimes only too willing to overlook in the midst of our crazed, overachieving lives. So go share some blog love and read the post on Nance’s blog now!And don’t forget to say hello to her as well while getting the recipe (and some pretty awesome gifs/photos) for my hands-down FAVORITE brownie!… Read more

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Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars (Gluten-Free, V)

It’s gif season!

(Pssst–if you like this gif, maybe you should consider following my shiny new Twitter account for the latest WG updates. Also, have you entered my personalized care package giveaway yet?)

Healthy Raw Vegan Fudgy Bars Gif 1

I know what you’re thinking. 

Actually, I’m just saying that. If I really knew what you were thinking, I wouldn’t be hanging around my toybox apartment scrounging up pennies to pay the rent. I’d be out there investing in a get-rich scheme that would involve a crystal ball, inch-thick spectacles, and tons of foggy incense.

But. I still know what you’re thinking.

“YUM.”

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Pretty close, right? It’s hard to believe these bars are vegan, raw, gluten-free, and fudgy to the max.

I’m pinning them to the Eat Clean Challenge Pinterest board this week, so go check it out! And while you’re there, why not check out Wallflour Girl on Pinterest, too? (;

So what’s the Eat Clean Challenge? Let me tell you while we both drool over some more in-your-face fudginess……

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Epic Dulce De Leche Brownies

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It’s that time of the year again. You know, December: the month of Christmas lights, good cheer, the smell of warm apple pie wafting around every street corner, the murmur of family chatter over holiday feasts, and the universally-acknowledged wish that we all had the metabolic capacities of high school swimmers again.

Yeah, that time.

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These fudgy, rich, and not-a-dry-crumb-in-sight brownies made me wish really, really hard for that metabolism. Ditch the woolen socks (although after these I could use a roomier pair of jeans) and come onnnn, Santa!

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In our extended household, holiday dinners are always something of a battlefield. Imagine the Spartans meeting the Huns meeting Napoleon Bonaparte, then imagine them getting squished into an itty-bitty little corner by Brobdingnagian knocking elbows and clattering plates. Stretchy pants are the phrase of the day, and chopsticks are our surprise weapon of choice here.

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I like to think we burn off all of our food just by fighting for it–but I may or may not have majored in Wishful Thinking in college.

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So as you sit there at your computer regretting all the extra stuffing, strudel, and sausage you shoveled onto your plate this lovely weekend-after-Thanksgiving (for all you Americans out there, at least!), I am going to sit here at MY computer–completely blameless, thumbs twiddling–and introduce you to these Epic Dulce de Leche Brownies. Please enjoy the photo-music I have prepared for you while you wait…

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La la la la lots, and to all a good–no, amazing, awesome, EPIC brownie! And you can feed them to the people around you so you feel better about yourself, ha ha. <– But seriously, this actually works…have you tried it? Then don’t talk until you have.

These are, hands down, unlike any brownie I have ever made–and I say that having made all of these uh-mayzing variations.… Read more

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Killer Cookies ‘N Cream Brookies and Oreo Butter: An Online Bake Sale for the Philippines

How does one not lose all control when digging a fork into this warm, melting gooey Oreo lovers’ mess?
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Oh, that’s right. One doesn’t. If you couldn’t tell by the gif.
But before I get started on these outrageous Oreo cookies ‘n cream brookies (yes, that’s a brownie + cookie smashed into one sugar-coma-inducing concoction), I want to tell you about a really important event, and the story behind why I decided to tackle these in the first place.
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As anyone who even remotely follows world news knows, a terrible storm hit the Philippines a few weeks ago. While the story has sadly faded off the radar of our fast-paced, sensation-seeking U.S. media, the relief and rebuilding efforts–as is true with any disaster, big or small–are still happening around the clock, around the world, to help the affected people and areas. I have spent ample time researching and making my own donations to the Philippines Red Cross (which, by the way, I definitely recommend if you’re considering making donations but worry about where your donations actually go–they’re one of the established agencies that you can count on to get your money to the relief spots), but wasn’t sure what I could do beyond that to spread the word. Then, by some unlooked-for chance, I stumbled across Tina’s blog, and get this: she is hosting an online bake sale to raise funds to support the relief effort! Very important? YES. I almost never do plugs for other blogs, but please consider learning more about how you can help through a small gesture that will go a long way, no matter what source you choose (as long as it’s a reliable one).
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How it works: 1. Tina is accepting ‘virtual baked good donations’ until FRIDAY, 11/22/13. All you have to do is fill out a pledge form and send her a photo of the goods you will be ‘selling’ for donations.
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Filed under Baked Goods and Desserts, Bars, Brownies & Chocolates, Dips/Spreads

Peanut Butter & Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Brownies

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Think this recipe name is a mouthful?

Wait until you actually EAT one of these. Talk about one mouthful after another…and another…

So here’s a gif, since gifs need no words. (Note: I’ve noticed that the gif takes some time to load, so it may appear slow the first time you watch it–but just wait for the second loop, it should play just fine after that!)

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Please. Don’t speak. Just print and share this recipe, pronto, kay?

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These are insanely fudgy brownies. So. Fudgin’. Good.

Dump in peanut butter buckeye-style truffles, melted cookie butter swirls, a whole load of chocolate chips, annnnd…

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Seriously, do I need to come over to your kitchen with a spatula and tell you to pin these, print these, share these with all of your friends and enemies?

Because I will.

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You have been warned.

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So FUDGIN’ good. Gifs do not lie, and neither do my taste buds. Go shove one (or two, or an entire pan of these) into your mouth right now.

Don’t forget to print, pin, and share away!

Ala

Tuesday Talent Show Link Party at Chef in Training! It is held weekly and has some amazing link ups!

Peanut Butter & Cookie Butter Fudge Truffle Cookies
Adapted from Bakergirl
Ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (you may substitute cookie butter)
  • 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter or margarine
  •  2 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon water (or you may substitute an equal amount of coffee or Kahlua)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks
  • 1/2 cup cookie butter

Directions:

  1. Start by making your delicious peanut butter (OR cookie butter) truffles: Combine 1/2 cup peanut butter or cookie butter and confectioners’ sugar in a small bowl. Roll dough into 1/2-inch-sized balls and place them separately on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet.
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