Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Kitchen's are Awesome!

Okay lets be real for a second… sometimes you have a to do list that seems infinitely long and sometimes just as infinitely boring… so what do we do instead????
Mid way through our to do list we decide that we have worked hard and need a snack!!
Sound accurate to you??? haha maybe not but me and this little fella just needed a little pick me up- so what better way than to make our fudgey mint brownies?!?? Yes I know… no healthy individual in their right mind should eat these on a daily basis… but once in a blue moon wont hurt.. so pick up your feet…  head to the kitchen.. and get bakin!!!

Simple Homemade Brownies:

1 cup melted butter
2/3 cup cocoa powder
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups flour

Mix butter, cocoa and sugar. Once nice and stirred, add the eggs and mix well. Then add the flour.. and whalla you are ready to bake!!
Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes. Let Cool J

OKAY!! Once the brownies are in the oven-you are ready to prepare step 2 – the mint layer! I personally am a huge fan of Cutler’s  cookies in Bountiful and stumbled across their delicious mint frosting recipe some time ago and even though you can use any mint frosting you want.. I like making mine from scratch using their recipe especially because it is SOOOO EASY and super tasty!

Cutler’s Mint Frosting

1/2 cup butter, softened
3 cups powdered sugar
1 to 3 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon mint extract
green food coloring

Mix the butter and powdered sugar. Add only enough milk to make a smooth consistency; I personally only used 2- but it is best to start with 1 tablespoon and check to see if it needs more.
Add mint extract and enough food coloring for a light green color. The frosting should be thick, not runny.
Once your brownies are nice and cooled gently spread a nice layer of mint frosting over top J

And now for the final layer… the chocolate topping. Okay let me just pause by saying you have two options here… you can do a hardening chocolate glaze type layer or a thick chocolate frosting layer. Both are super delicious but today I opted for the frosting- as I made another recipe last week with the glaze… ya ya ya I know I said you should only eat like this once in a blue moon but let me clarify… this little baby growing inside me LOVES random sweets.. and after one piece I am done! haha which is not good for the hubs or Keller because that leaves them up to eat the rest… and neighbors and family too… I will soon make you all fat!!! Hahahahaha just kidding 

Okay back to work…. The final layer is totally up to you! I will include both options below… but only use ONE not both – I do not want to be responsible for any heart attacks.. or gym membership fees!! teehehe

Cutler’s Thick Chocolate Frosting

1 cup butter, softened
4 - 1/2cups powdered sugar
milk (as needed)
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon vanilla

Beat softened butter, cocoa, and powdered sugar together until smooth.
Add the vanilla and a splash of milk (just enough to make a good spreading consistency) and blend well.
Once nicely mixed, layer those brownies with this chocolaty goodness and they are ready to eat!


Hardening Chocolate Glaze Topping

1 1/2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup butter

Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave or on the stove… (I prefer the stove so that I can watch and make sure not to overcook the chocolate) STIR OFTEN!
Once the chocolate begins to soften and in the butter and finish melting the chocolate… mix well.. and you are done!! **note- you do not want the chocolate too runny!
Once melted, pour evenly over mint layer and allow to sit and thicken- once slightly hardened, you are ready to cut and eat!!

And taaadaaa.. after all your hard work on those deliciously healthy   minty chocolaty brownies you are ready to eat! So grab a fork and dig in!

Okay and while I am at it, can I just say that if you know me- you know that I have always loved cooking and baking and lets be honest- this is a little more difficult once you have kiddos- BUT…. It is so much more fun with them!! One of the reasons I spend more time in the kitchen now is because of this little man… He loves the mixer… and helping… and finishing… yup he is by my side for every step and I get tons of hugs- kisses- and clapping while I bake yummy treats! What could be better- seriously though- Rachel Ray, you  got nothin' on my little audience! :) For real though... any excuse to dance and sing .. while cooking... you better hurry and get on that!!!  
And on a more sentimental note- I just want to give a huge shout out to my mom! I still have memories of her helping me cook and bake- teaching me and simply loving me! There is no way to even begin to describe the endless hours we spent in the kitchen together- cooking, baking, canning, etc…  I learned so much and now as a mom I am learning even more… who knew how much patience was required when you have little helpers!  I cherish every memory – even the ones that consist of me being stubborn and burning food when I was to stubborn to listen or read instructions! The kitchen was a fun place to talk, to vent, to cry, and to giggle! Growing up until I was 11, we had 5 kids in a 2 bedroom duplex which thinking back now- amazes me and I dont know how we did it! but back then- it was perfect- we were forced to be nice and close all snuggled in our cozy little duplex- even when we didn't necessarily want to be! and I know you are wondering how on earth that has to do with a kitchen… well let me tell you… you know when you tell your kids that they cant have a treat unless they can be nice and behave… ya well.. now let’s move that little scenario to the kitchen… when we would want to make cookies my mom would help us get everything out and then even if we were upset or would fight over who got to add what ingredient.. by the time you are mixing up flour and dough and giggling making a HUGE mess.. you are not about to be frowning! In the kitchen we learned a whole lot of love and a whole lot of teamwork!! We learned how to work together- even when it would have been easier to work alone. We learned how to listen.. and we ourselves learned patience... because we all know that the 20 minutes it takes for cookies to bake is an eternity when you are little!
Thanks mom for having all that patience with me and for teaching me how much fun you can have when you work together! I love you to the moon!!
Now.. do you see what I mean… kitchens are awesome!!
But even more awesome are the ones who eat those yummy treats with you!


Sugar Crash!!! hahahahahaha!!! Baking is rough work when you are a little tike! 

okay let me assure you that my child did eat a healthy lunch before all of this sugar! ohh... and he only licks the paddles when we are done with them so if we brought you brownies you do not need to worry! hahahaha I promise they are slobber free!

This kiddo loves his brownies.. cakes.. cookies... FOOD IN GENERAL... yes that may be part of the reason he is off the charts in height, weight, having a big head! haha just kidding! He is perfect and I love him!!! 

I couldn't resist... I was laughing sooo hard! this little guy gobbled up his brownie and crashed mid bite! 

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