Baking Duel Brownies

A baking duel. One recipe. Two bakers. It was on.

Our co-worker challenged Whitney and me to a baking duel. Not a bake-off with multiple recipes or slight variations. The same brownie recipe on the same day at the same time.

Really, I think he found “the best brownie recipe ever” and wanted someone to make it for him. Or… two people to make it for him. We were just the suckers that fell for it – or bakers who love any excuse to try out a new recipe.

The duel was set for Friday before spring break. Sure enough, for my first North East winter, it snowed – like 7 inches. It snowed so much that we had a “code red.” Unfortunately (or I guess fortunately since I’m the one that gets them), a code red in the army is not the same as a code red in the marines (and by marines, I mean the fake marines in the “a few good men”). A code red for us means that civilians do not have to be at work. But the duel must go on!

We showed up. So did the rest of our office. The rest of the building was gone, but our office was there. They were there for the duel. (Ok… Maybe they weren’t there for the duel – we are all just work obsessed and come in even when we don’t have to.)

The duel went off and the craziest thing happened. The brownies tasted very similar! The colors were different because there were different cocoas and one was thicker than the other, but I can honestly say they both were awesome.

This recipe is nice because it just calls for cocoa. I don’t always have unsweetened baking chocolate squares or dark chocolate bars, but I do always have cocoa.

Here is the recipe. I thought it was a little silly the was he says to cook the chocolate until you say “oww” when you put your finger in it. As it turns out, that is the perfect way to describe it!










I’m back!

Hello! Sorry I have become so delinquent with posting. I just found an ap for my iPad that will allow me to post pictures, so I am hoping I will start posting more again! I end up taking the train into the city most weekends, so it will be the perfect time to share the latest with you.  Since it has been so long, I thought I would just post an update with some of the things I’ve made since I moved to New York and mainly recently.

For labor day fireworks at west point, I made some ice cream sandwiches from the smitten kitchen blog. I picked up some cake batter ice cream from one of the five ice cream shops in my little town to give it a little bit of a different twist. smitten kitchen ice cream sandwiches


Izzy loved them:


I found an awesome grocery store just 20 minutes from me (everything is 20 to 30 min. away), and they have the best fruit in the summer! I went on a blueberry kick and made a bunch of blueberry yumminess, including these blueberry crumb bars, again from smitten kitchen.


After hosting dinner parties at least once a month in Nashville (if not more), by November I had made enough friends to have one in new york! One of the desserts I served was a cranberry apple pie from cooks illustrated.




In December, my good friends Raven and Joe hosted a holiday mad men party. In honor of the theme, I made a Christmas jello mold. One person tried it at the party. I took it into work and it took almost a week for it to disappear (which is impressive given that most things put down in the lounge are gone in less than 15 min). I guess jello isn’t so popular anymore.


If you are looking for a delicious but easy dessert, try a molten chocolate cake. The recipe called for 13 minutes in the oven. I’d recommend reducing that to 12… Just to increase the gooeyness. molten chocolate cake




Finally, while not meant to be a dessert, I thought I would share that I recently competed in another food competition. As you may remember, the last time I entered one, I lost miserably. (See my blog post on it.) This one ended in the same result. Maybe the third time will be the charm. I made a lemon, strawberry pizza. It was supposed to have fresh basil, but I bought bay leaves by accident…


The winner made a pear, Gorgonzola, walnut pizza:


Peanut Butter Brownie

Originally posted January 21, 2011

Peanut butter and chocolate are awesome together.  Think reese’s peanut butter cups.

I’m visiting my brother and sister-in-law, so in addition to making a full dinner (fried chicken, green beans, mashed potatoes, gravy, biscuits…) we needed something delicious for dessert.  We searched around for some peanut butter and chocolate desserts and almost settled on a couple.  Before making our final choice, I thought I would check smittenkitchen.  That’s where we found this recipe for peanut butter brownies (

They are … awesome (am I repeating myself?).  Gooey like a brownie with the delicious peanut butter / chocolate combination.  I’ll show you the steps I took to make the brownies, but here is the recipe.  We used chunky peanut butter rather than smooth, and I liked the extra crunch.