I started working out again, after a multi-month hiatus. I am in the process of doing a life spring cleaning, so to speak. All of those things I have been saying I'd do, well, I'm actually doing them!
Start baking blog. Check.
Bake brownies, successfully. Check.
Bake a delicious summery pie... Coming soon!!
A little background here: I can pretty much come up with any excuse for not going to the gym. There are an inordinate amount of things I didn't even realize I needed to do until, well, "go to the gym" showed up on my day planner.
But I must watch another episode of Sons of Anarchy first!
(key word here being another)
Or, heaven forbid, that I miss out on a cuddle with my puppy!
You see, the gym can always wait.
But, my optimistic spring cleaning has forced me into my runners and onto the treadmill.
Fabulously, I discovered, I can find excuses to stop working out at the gym even while I am already at the gym.
This is my favourite, and most subtle: 10 minutes into the work out and, damnnnnn girl, I realize that I am looking mighty fine! I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and steady flow of (silent) self-compliments get started. Only a few minutes into the work out and I am feeling so good about myself that I just don't see the point of staying any longer.
BAM. Done. Workout successfully shortened.
It is seriously the most reliable, subconscious workout shortener that I have ever encountered. And that's a pretty long list, I'll tell you.
Shorter gym time means I can turn to my other goals. Ones that require no excuses - to do, or to get out of.
Such as making brownies. Brownies with oreos in them.
3 oz bittersweet chocolate
5 oz unsweetened chocolate
3/4 cups butter
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup flour
a pinch of salt
1/2 cup of white chocolate chips (or more?)
1 bag of double stuffed Oreos
Cook for 25 - 30 minutes, until the brownies have set, at 325 F.
Melt the chocolate and butter together. I read a little article which I now can NOT track down on the importance of not over heating the chocolate.
Essentially, to sum up, do not over heat the chocolate.
I melt everything in a metal bowl that sits on top of a pot of boiling water. You have to be careful that the boiling water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. The steam alone will heat the chocolate. Stirring helps the chocolate melt quickly.
Allow the chocolate mixture to cool slightly and then pour 1/3 of it into your eggs, sugar and vanilla. Whisk whisk whisk!! Then add both wet mixtures together in a large bowl and fold in the flour.
Once everything is mixed together, pour half of the batter into your pre-buttered and light floured pan (mine is a 7x7). On top of that, add a full row of Oreos.
Then we smashed up the rest of the Oreos and folded them, along with 1/2 cup of white chocolate chips, into the remaining half of the brownie batter.
Pour that baby on top.
And swirl prettily.
My only wish - dare I say regret? - was that I had left the mixture sit, right now, like it is, for 10 or 20 minutes before putting it in the oven.
Why? I wanted soft Oreos! I have this strange love for stale, soft Oreos. Perhaps because as a kid I always took forever to get through a bag? and those last precious Oreos were always delightfully soft? It's likely. Or maybe it's because the milk dipping always made them soft. And eating them without milk just feels kind of wrong.
The Oreos in these brownies are crunchy, which is kind of fun, especially in combination with the soft moist brownie it is hugged by... But I would just love to see how they'd turn out with just a little bit of time to soften pre-oven.
But, in the mean time...
Don't you think they look like little pandas?
These pandas look like they had one too many Oreo Brownies.
Can't really blame them, can you?
The similarities are endless!
And since I can't have a baby panda, even though I would very much like one, I can at least have a panda-inspired brownie, or two.