Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Brenna's Brownies

I don't have anything due this week. But I have so much to do. Internship applications, building my personal website (which, by the way, went live today:, finding the Jordan River on a map for geography, etc. So naturally, yesterday I baked.

Apparently "Brenna Brownies" are something to get excited for. When I bake, I tend to make at least two things at once, so on the menu were Mexican brownies and cheesecake brownies. There was some Twitter talk about them, so I knew I had to make them good.

The Mexican brownies were suggested by my friend Stephen, who I'm convinced puts some sort of spice in every food he eats. I saw this recipe for brownies that included cayenne pepper and cinnamon and knew he'd like them. I think he ate half the pan.

I'm also a huge fan of cheesecake, so cheesecake brownies seemed like the natural progression. Orange swirls, of course, for Halloween. These taught me a valuable lesson — never, EVER, let my boyfriend Drew near my baking. He saw the orange swirls and assumed that those brownies were cream cheese-cayenne brownies. As in, mixing in cayenne pepper in cream cheese and just swirling it right in. Yeah, I thought it was pretty darn gross too.

So I brought both pans in to the newsroom this morning, and when the copy editing class came down the hall, they made a beeline for them. I'd say they were a success.

I got to talk about my weird baking obsession tonight at dinner as well. I was invited to dinner with a journalist and the dinner table talk got to cooking. One of my political science teachers, the one who invited me, talked about how his father was a classically trained French cook, so now he did all the cooking. I suppose my baking comes through the family too, if that's possible. My grandma, who was born in 1920, grew up in Dust Bowl Kansas. Her father died of cancer around the Great Depression, and so her mom got them through the depression by baking for her small town in western Kansas. I've got some of those recipes but I haven't tried any yet — I have to decipher the handwriting first!

But before I try any of those recipes, I plan on making some awesome Halloween cupcakes. Witches, monsters and black cats of course!

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