Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Yummy… but I thought it would be yummier {Pinterest recipe semi-success}

I don’t know what’s gotten into me lately, but I started cooking up a storm this fall. It started with pumpkin muffins and sort of exploded from there. And if you know me at all, you know I don’t cook much.

The Hubs says he could get used to this, but I warned him not to. It’s most likely just a phase and it will pass. Like the flu.

For me to attempt a recipe, three criteria must be met. First, it must be easy. If the directions are too complicated or time consuming, forget about it. Second, everything on the ingredient list must be simple and normal. If I have to hunt down some exotic or expensive spice that I will never use again, it’s a deal breaker. Finally, there has to be a chance – even a small one – that at least one of the two picky eaters in my house will enjoy it. I don’t want to have to make my “f**k-it-we’re-ordering-a-pizza” face.

So far, I found and attempted three recipes on Pinterest that met my criteria, and I will share my culinary successes and failures with you as they occur. I classify this first one as a semi-success.


 I don’t know what these things are actually called, so how about “heaven squares” or “euphoria brownies?” I got so excited about this recipe when I found it on Pinterest. How can one go wrong with these three ingredients – cookie dough, brownie batter and peanut butter cups? Seriously, has a dessert ever sounded so delicious?

You start by smooshing some break-apart cookie dough into square muffin tins. I used the back of a metal spoon to do the smooshing, and that worked splendidly. Then you put a peanut butter cup on top of the cookie dough. Then you whip up some boxed brownie batter and spoon that on top of the peanut butter cup, and then bake at 350 for eighteen minutes. (Find the Pinterest photo and super simple recipe here.)

I drooled so much at the mere thought of this recipe, I decided to make it for a play date I was hosting and posted this announcement on Facebook.*

Unfortunately, the recipe really didn’t live up to my expectations. I mean it tasted good because, too review, you actually cannot go wrong with those three ingredients. But it wasn’t the greatness I expected.

What I learned

First, once you add the cookie dough and peanut butter cup, the muffin tin squares are already ¾ full. So there’s really not a lot of room to add the brownie batter on top, and they overflow during baking.

Second, the cookie on the bottom gets done way before the brownie batter does. So in my oven, eighteen minutes over-cooked the cookies, under-cooked the brownies and the peanut butter cup didn’t melt all the way. A little dollop of peanut butter in the middle might’ve work better, but that doesn’t solve the cookie/brownie cook time problem.

Third, it’s impossible to get these things out of the muffin tin in one piece, so forget about trying to serve them up all pretty on a plate. They instantly crumble apart.

Finally, you will have left over cookie dough and left over brownie batter. This is not a good thing. There’s a chance I consumed way too much raw egg in the making of this recipe. I recommend refrigerating the extra. When the “heaven squares” are done, you can bake a few cookies as normal, and then you can put the brownie batter into a few spaces in your mini muffin tin and bake some brownie bites. Both of which would turn out better than this recipe.

*Quick side note: One friend asked me how I bake this much and not weigh a thousand pounds. I’ll tell you my secret. First, I don’t actually bake that much. Second, I give away almost everything I bake. I only bake when I’m having people over or when I can take it over to someone’s house. For example, I love baking cookies at Christmastime, so my friends and family get buckets (literally) filled with cookies delivered to their doorsteps. Baked goods make for fabulous gifts that are inexpensive and always appreciated.