Monday, January 18, 2010

Back to school baking

Come tomorrow, it feels like school will really have started. We had classes on Thursday (and Friday, but I don't have Friday classes!), but it was really just a syllabus day. So I decided for most of the weekend that it was still winter break. Both a good and bad decision.

My classes on Thursday were POLS 600, Contemporary Feminist Political Theory and EECS: Concepts of computers or something stupid like that. I really like the politics teacher, so I'm super excited for that. The computer one, not so much. But I have to fill a spot to graduate, and that was the lucky winner. At least I'm taking it with Brianne so I won't go quite so crazy.

The wackiest thing about Thursday was that I got out of class at noon and got to go home! This may sound a bit ridiculous, but I haven't gotten to go home after classes since my first semester freshman year. Every other semester I've had to go to the newsroom after class and hang out. It was the weirdest feeling ever. So I got home....and decided to bake to fill my time. On the menu: red velvet cupcakes and Brenna brownies, as they've affectionately come to be known.

It seems I've gotten back on my cupcake kick, courtesy of Stephen asking me to. I go back and forth between loving making cupcakes, because you can be so creative, and making mostly cookies, because they take considerably less time (when you figure in the time needed to cool and ice the cupcakes). Anyway, the last time I made red velvet was for the fourth of July. I have a great relationship with red velvet; it became my favorite cake while working at Capers, a local coffee and pastry shop, in high school. And I'm a firm believer that cream cheese ice cream makes everything better. But when I made red velvet for the fourth of July, it wasn't in traditional form. It was a red velvet cookie sandwich, with the top red, the bottom blue and the cream cheese icing in the middle. The icing kind of sucked, which made me sad, but with these cupcakes, Martha knew her stuff. The cream cheese icing was perfect. In fact, it might be my favorite icing ever. The cupcakes were pretty tasty as well.

Along with the red velvet cupcakes, I made Martha's double chocolate brownies, which is one of my favorite things to make. I modify them a bit though and make them quadruple chocolate by adding in chocolate chips and white chocolate chips as well. They make a super chunky batter but I bake them just under the time you're supposed to and they are unbelievable. I don't mind that they're known as Brenna Brownies now. :)

So, after making 24 cupcakes and 16 brownies, I started handing them out. Some of the cupcakes went with Drew's roommate Eric to his newsroom. The rest I took to the Kansan, and they were gone really quick. But I bake for the fun, not the eating, otherwise I'd be the size of a hippo.

I made the brownies a second time this weekend, then took them to game night filled with Catchphrase and Apples to Apples. Then the next night, I felt antisocial and went for more. I made my favorite homemade pretzels, modeled after the Auntie Anne's pretzel places in the mall. They're super easy and made a really yummy (if not slightly unhealthy) dinner. You can put any kind of topping on them, but I usually do a mixture of grated Parmesan, garlic powder and this time added a pinch of cayenne.

Then, for dessert, I tried yet another Martha cupcake recipe, brown sugar pound cakes. They're pretty heavy, but I guess pound cake's supposed to be that way. Instead of doing the glaze, I decided to do cream cheese frosting again and went with her brown sugar cream cheese frosting. Also excellent. They're almost breakfast-y cupcakes.

So regular classes start tomorrow. My time will start filling up soon, but for now, guess I'll keep baking. Now I'm going to go make more brownies for just us to enjoy.

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