Must Desserts


I used to tease our friend Chef Chrissie that he’s not the smoothest Casanova.  Despite being Irish, he is absolutely lacking the Emerald Isle’s gift of blarney.  He’s also honest to the point that if a girl asked him if her butt looked big, he’d tell her.  Petey and he share a sense of style, something I like to call, “sixth-grader at recess ”.

But the man possesses one ability that almost makes all of his deficits disappear.  It’s a talent which when employed in the service of pitching woo, is a laser-guided missile of amour.

It’s his ‘chef-ness’.

Yup…well, sorta.

Chrissie can Turn.It.Out.

The man is a kitchen wizard.  But what to do if you have lots of love to give, but very little in the way of cooking skills?

Don’t despair, for armed with a little knowledge you can easily look like a dashing, undercover pastry chef. With the knowledge to prepare three little items, you can present any number of dishes; from fancy plated dessert, to picnic treat.

The confectionary building blocks honestly couldn’t be easier to make—two of the three come from boxes.The first, and most versatile element is whipped cream.  It lends a luscious, dressy air to any dish.  And it takes all of about two minutes to make.

Place 1 cup of heavy cream in a clean cold bowl and add 2-3 tablespoons powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon vanilla, and a tiny pinch of salt.  Using either a hand mixer or an immersion blender and beat until soft peaks form.  You can add 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder for chocolate whipped cream.

Only make as much as you need, and use it right away.  The longer it sits, the droopier it gets.loaded browniesThe second element is brownies.  Everybody loves my brownies.  My secret?  I start with a box.  But then, I tinker.

Instead of water, use coffee.  Add 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, a splash of vanilla, and a big pinch of salt.  Go through your pantry and pull out chips, candy, nuts, marshmallows, anything that tickles your fancy.  I’ve been known to add dried fruits, butter toasted pecans, pretzel pieces, and broken candy bars.  Halfway through baking sprinkle a small amount of flaky sea salt on top.

And always, always cook for 1-2 minutes less than the minimum time on the box.  Then chill to set.The third item is chocolate mousse with a secret.  The secret is I use a box of cook and serve chocolate pudding, and instead of milk, I use heavy cream.  It’s crazy good, and convinces diners that you got it going on.  You can either use it warm and rich, or let it cool all the way and whip it in a mixer until it’s light and airy.

With these three items, you can make a plethora of dishes.

Cut the brownie into cubes, add some to a wine glass with spoonsful of pudding and fresh raspberries.  Top with a dollop of whipped cream and you’ve got chocolate trifle.Cut the brownie into rounds, put pudding between two pieces, freeze, and you’ve got elevated ice cream sandwiches.

Pour hot pudding into a mini pie shell and refrigerate.  When cool, top with whipped cream and crumbled brownie pieces.

Buy some cookie dough and press into mini muffin cups and cook until done.  Fill with whipped cream and fresh fruit. Or, put a big scoop of ice cream on a warm brownie square cover with hot caramel and top with whipped cream.

Or, do something entirely different with these three dessert elements.  Then call me, ‘cause I want some.Thanks for your time.

Cocoa Loco

Drop your butt and run…it’s Sinbad!

The other day Petey said something hilarious—Sinbad level hilarious.

You ready?

He said that there are some people who don’t like chocolate.  I know, right?  ROFL.

When I was a kid, there used to be pseudo-intellectuals that would claim to never watch TV.  But those same folks sure knew who Archie Bunker was, could name all the Brady kids, and knew who’d answer when you dialed BR-549.  They were boob-tube watching fakers.And as for chocolate.  There are two kinds of people: those who love chocolate, and liars.

Although I may occasionally shade the truth to spare feelings, “Oh my gosh!  What a baby!  Look at that face!”.  When it comes to that creamy, dark, tropical treat I’m a bona fide choco-phile.  Right now in my kitchen, not counting the Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder, there are twelve different chocolate items (jeez, written out like that, it does look a little coo coo…).

My point is, I really, really love all things chocolate: milk, dark, or in a serious pinch white chocolate (Which doesn’t actually contain any chocolate solids. True white chocolate only contains cocoa butter; thus its creamy white hue.). Today I have a special recipe.  It’s one that reminds me of a special treat from the mists of my childhood, when disco was king and Jordache jeans roamed the earth.

One summer, we were visiting my mom’s home state of New Jersey, and staying with her brother, and my god father, Uncle Sammy, his wife Candy, and their three kids.  One day, all of us kids were feverishly tap dancing upon the last nerve of every adult present.

We’d left them with but two choices; begin drinking heavily and keep it up for the duration of our visit, or get us kids out of the house to work off some energy, or as my mother so charmingly says, “Go outside and get the stink blowed off yuh”.With five kids from the ages ranging from 12 to four to look after, the grownups chose the alcohol-free option.  We packed up swimsuits, sandwiches, and flip-flops.  Sammy and Candy were taking us to their lake club.  It was set in a pine grove, with lots of shade, sand, and refreshment vendors.

We swam and played until lunch, and then to keep our full bellies out of the water, each kid was given two crisp new dollar bills, to spend as we saw fit. I probably got an icy bottle of coke, and a bag of chips.  I saw the Italian ice man.  I made a beeline to see what flavors they had.  They had the mandatory lemon, strawberry, grape, and orange.  But, they also had another flavor, chocolate.  That was a new one on me.

I ordered it.  It was amazing; like chocolate ice cream, but with no dairy.  It was deeply, darkly, intensely chocolate.  The flavor was rich, but not heavy.  It was a frozen, dark chocolate dream.

Since that day, every time I run into somebody selling Italian ice, I cross my finger and hope they have chocolate.  My dreams have always been dashed until I came upon the Italian ice cart at the state fairgrounds flea market.  They’ve got it, and it’s as delicious as I remembered.These days I don’t have to go all the way to Raleigh for my fix.  I discovered chocolate sorbet.  An ice cream company named Talenti makes one that I always try to have on hand.  It’s a little denser than an ice, but really full of flavor, not too sweet, and dairy-free, so it’s only 150 calories per serving.  It’s perfect when I want…no when I need, a big hit of chocolate.

The sorbetto comes in a plastic jar with a screw-off lid.  I keep my freezer at 0 degrees, but it’s always a spoon-able consistency because I throw the whole shebang into a gallon sized zip top bag.  It was a tip from The Kid.  Don’t know how it works, it just does.  It’s great for all frozen treats, and cuts down on both freezer burn and the potential for picking up weird flavors from fellow freezer denizens.

Occasionally I have a hard time finding the Talenti.  In that emergency situation, I make my own.  If you have an ice cream maker, it’s a breeze.  If you don’t; granita (a confection that’s frozen in a pan, and while freezing frequently scraped with a fork to create a granular texture) is an option.And the next time you meet someone who insists they don’t like chocolate, tell ‘em to stop, drop, and roll, ‘cause somebody’s pants are smoking.

Thanks for your time.

Emergency chocolate sorbet

Makes about 1 quartchocolate sorbet2 ¼ cups water

1 cup sugar

¾ cups Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

6 ounces bittersweet or semisweet chocolate, finely chopped

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

In large saucepan, whisk together 1 ½ cups water with the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt. Bring to boil whisking frequently. Let it boil, continuing to whisk for 45 seconds. Remove from the heat and stir in chocolate until it’s melted, then stir in vanilla and remaining ¾ cup water. Transfer mixture to blender (or use an immersion blender) and blend for 15 seconds. Chill mixture thoroughly, then freeze it in ice cream maker according to manufacturer’s instructions. If mixture has become too thick to pour into your machine, whisk it vigorously to thin it out.

Chocolate porn.

Nuts about pecans

I think my sister-in-law hates me.

Leah is a perfectly nice woman and she makes my brother happy.

The problem originates with her father.  Her parents live in Camden County on a farm and have a small grove of pecan trees.And there grows the source of my strife.

Every so often after having visited, Leah will bring back bags and bags of big, fat, shelled pecans.  They put the store-bought version to complete and utter shame.

So, what’s the problem, you may ask?

The problem is that on occasion, the booty will include a bag of pecans which have been salted and toasted in butter.And any so-called self-control that I may tenuously possess goes right out of the window.  Soon I find myself diving into that delicious, delicious bag in a downward shame spiral that only concludes when I find myself with buttery hands and face, gazing guiltily into the now empty bag.

The girl (me) can’t help it.

Peanuts can be bitter and in quantity makes me queasy.  Macadamia nuts are really greasy and waxy feeling and are horrifically expensive to boot.  Cashews taste good, but the flavor is kind of one note.  Almonds are okay, but to me they don’t play well with others.  Pistachios are awesome, but go much better in baked goods and ice cream.

But pecans have many different layers of flavor.  When sautéed in some butter with a little salt, they obtain a whole new profile.  They enhance every dish to which they are added. In salads, I use them in place of bacon.  Pecans are a healthy, flavorful textural addition to rice.  Ground up you can use them as a coating for chicken and chops.  Ground even finer they add a rich, slightly sweet note to pastry and pie crust.

For Christmas I made pecan sandie’s for my dad.  But another cookie I made for him a while back was an even bigger hit.  In addition to the pecans, there’s chewy, tart dried cherries and chocolate.And if Leah wants to hate me some more with a couple pounds of buttered, salted pecans—I’m in.

Chocolate chunk-oatmeal cookies with pecans and cherries

Recipe courtesy America’s Test Kitchen

Makes sixteen 4-inch cookiesdried cherry pecan cookies1 ¼ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder  

½ teaspoon baking soda  

½ teaspoon table salt  

1 ¼ cups old-fashioned rolled oats 

1 cup toasted pecans, chopped 

1 cup dried cherries, chopped coarse 

4 ounces bittersweet chocolate , chopped into chunks about size of chocolate chips (about 3/4 cup) 

12 tablespoons butter, softened but still cool 

1 ½ cups packed brown sugar

1 large egg  

1 teaspoon vanilla  

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl. In second medium bowl, stir together oats, pecans, cherries, and chocolate.
  3. In mixer, beat butter and sugar at medium speed until no sugar lumps remain. Scrape down sides of bowl with rubber spatula; add egg and vanilla and beat on medium-low speed until fully incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape down bowl; with mixer running at low speed, add flour mixture; mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. With mixer still running on low, gradually add oat/nut mixture; mix until just incorporated. Give dough final stir with rubber spatula to ensure that no flour pockets remain and ingredients are evenly distributed.
  4. Divide dough evenly into 16 portions, each about 1/4 cup, then roll between palms into balls about 2 inches in diameter; stagger 8 balls on each baking sheet, spacing them about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using hands, gently press each dough ball to 1-inch thickness. Bake both baking sheets 12 minutes, rotate them front to back and top to bottom, then continue to bake until cookies are medium brown and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft (cookies will seem underdone and will appear raw, wet, and shiny in cracks), 8 to 10 minutes longer. Do not overbake.
  5. Cool cookies on baking sheets on wire rack 5 minutes; using a wide metal spatula, transfer cookies to wire rack and cool to room temperature.Thanks for your time.

Blame It On Rio

Today is day twelve of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.  Michael Phelps is an aqua god; part man, part some kind of fish, maybe trout or something.  Gymnast Simone Biles is possibly the best gymnast of all time, and uber-adorable teammate Laurie Hernandez looks like she fell off a charm bracelet.  Her three word motivational speech “I got this” should be the mantra for our nation.

Could she be Any.More.Adorable?

Southern Season has a special sandwich inspired by the games.  The Bauru is roast beef, gooey mozzarella, tomato, and pickle, served on a ciabatta-like bun.  The name comes from the town Bauru, who take it so seriously that the recipe has been codified into law.

One evening at the Bauru city jail:

“Whadda you in for? I killed a man to watch him die.”

“I put muenster cheese on my Bauru.”

“Guards! Get me away from this evil sandwich degenerate!”

The right way.

I’m not here today to debate the correct cheese on a roast beef sandwich (especially since it’s cold cheddar, obvi).  I want to talk about a Brazilian confection.

Called brigadeiros, they’re the love child of truffles and fudge.  They were developed in 1940 and named for a Brigadier General who ran for president of Brazil.  They’re found at children’s parties, and there are shops that sell nothing else.  I would liken their popularity to our love for cupcakes.  But brigadeiros have had a much longer run at the top of the dessert pile.

The main ingredient is sweetened condensed milk.  In the US, we use it mainly for key lime pie, and seven layer bars.   It’s also found around the world in many sweet dishes.  But in the Southern hemisphere the thick, gooey stuff is ubiquitous.  In many cultures it sweetens coffee and tea.  Caramel-like dulce de leche is made from it, and in South Asia they put it on toast, like honey.  Nestle sells it in a squeeze tube just for this purpose.


The traditional presentation is to cover these balls in sprinkles or jimmies.  I did use sprinkles.  But, I also decided to play around a little and come up with some other varieties.  I rolled some in crushed potato chips and I had some really sparkly sugar on hand that made others look like tiny disco balls.  But the ones I’m most proud of are the s’mores.  I put a mini marshmallow in the center, and then rolled it in graham cracker crumbs.

Before I share the recipe, I have a few tips:

Sift the cocoa powder.  I didn’t, and had major lumps.  I used my immersion blender to try and remove them.  I spray painted a goodly portion of myself and the kitchen in sticky chocolate and still had a small number of cocoa powder beads in the final product.

Use gloves.  This stuff gets sticky.  I even sprayed a little cooking spray on my gloved hands.  Nothing stuck, but be prepared to change your gloves to avoid contaminating one coating with another.


brigadeiro ingredients

2-14 ounce cans sweetened condensed milk

½ cup Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa, sifted

4 tablespoons butter

½ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Place large non-stick pan on medium.  Add sweetened condensed milk and sifted cocoa.  Whisk until totally combined.  Add butter and salt.  Whisking continuously, cook until fudge thickens.  You want to see the pan bottom when you drag the whisk across the bottom, and it should take 2-3 seconds for the thickened fudge to re-cover the trail.  Take off heat and stir in vanilla.  Pour into a greased bowl.  Refrigerate until cooled and slightly chilled.

Using a small portion scoop, scoop out equal amounts onto parchment paper.  Return to fridge and let cool.


Remove from fridge, roll portions into neat balls, and roll in coating of choice.  Return to refrigerator for at least an hour.


Makes around 4 dozen.

You could have an Olympic closing ceremony bash celebrating Rio and the next host city; Tokyo.Have samba dancers serve brigadeiros and Geisha girls serve Daifuku (red bean cakes).  For drinks have cachaça, a Brazilian spirit made from sugarcane, and Japanese sake.

But if you do much drinking you probably shouldn’t have real fire in your Olympic torches.  Maybe just go with a couple festively decorated flashlights.

Thanks for your time.

Hail to the chef-Part the second


The newly renovated dining room at the Crossroads Chapel Hill.

When you sit down at your table at the Crossroads Chapel Hill restaurant at the Carolina Inn, a member of the wait staff will bring you the ubiquitous bread product and something to smear upon it.

And right away, you’ll recognize that this is no run-of-the-mill fancy greasy spoon.

This place has personality.

And this is where I celebrated my birthday.  The opening salvo of the meal to come is delivered by our warm and attentive waiter, Zuber.  He brings us a white vessel lined with parchment paper.  Nestled within is the Crossroads’ take on bread and butter.

Maestra Chef Sara Thomas

The baker of this bounty, pastry chef Sara Thomas at the Crossroads Chapel Hill, is the sweet counterpoint to executive chef James Clark in skill and imagination.

I first met Chef Sara at the reception welcoming Chef Clark to the inn.  She’d filled a table with cookies, truffles, French macarons, coconut macaroons, tarts, and various dainties.  But towering over the entire sugar-scape was the architectural achievement of a gravity-defying chocolate showpiece.


Oh yeah, that’s the chocolatey stuff.

She’s in charge of the culinary first impression at the restaurant and her answer to this responsibility are black pepper biscuits; a pastry that truly threatens to make you ignore the admonition “Don’t fill up on the bread!”.  One of these days I’m going to do just that.

Here is the recipe, directly from the files of the Crossroads Chapel Hill.

Carolina Inn Black Pepper Biscuits

black pepper biscuits

AP Flour –2 cups                     

Baking Powder –1tablespoon                         

Black Pepper–2 teaspoons roughly ground peppercorns                

Kosher Salt –1 teaspoon                     

Sugar – 1 teaspoon                  

Cold Butter –3.6 ounces                      


Greek Yogurt –¾ cup              

Buttermilk –4 tablespoons                               




Fresh Garlic – 2 cloves

Green Onions –4 stalks- about ¼ cup

Cheddar Cheese -½ cup

  1. Mix AP flour, baking powder, black pepper, sugar, and kosher salt together in a large bowl
  2. Cut in the cold butter
  3. Add buttermilk and yogurt, mix until the dough comes together
  4. Turn dough onto a well- floured surface and knead gently. Add flour as needed in small amounts until dough is no longer sticky
  5. Roll out the dough to 1” thick, cutting biscuit dough with a squares or rounds biscuit cutter
  6. Bake @ 350’F for about 15 minutes in the convection oven

They’re served with a disk of butter—and if desired, the waiter will hold a wooden wand over the dairy, drizzling honey onto it.

But because you are in the hands of Chef James and staff, this is no ordinary honey.  Oh no, this is honey made by the hotel’s own bees.  It’s collected and bottled in nearby Chatham County.

Bee keeper Marty Hanks and the Carolina Inn bees.

In addition to its use in the kitchen they also sell it in the Carolina Inn gift shop and at Pittsboro Street Provisions.

Chefs James and Sara ended this incredible dinner with the kind of desserts you’re lucky to enjoy once in a lifetime.  We were presented with eight of these works of art.

Chef Sara deeply understands chocolate.  Her trio uses product from French Broad Chocolates in Ashville (my very favorite; pot de crème & crushed peanut brittle), Videri Chocolate Factory in Raleigh (chocolate marquise, raspberry & Chambord), Escazu Artisan Chocolates (chocolate mousse & flur de sel), also from Raleigh.


Another chocolate gift from Chef Sara.

It was a magical evening.  But don’t take my word for it.  Take a look at the menu posted on their website.  It’s as good a read as most New York Time’s bestsellers.  And if you have a special occasion coming up, well…

Thanks for your time.



The fray in the Bay (7)

Three years ago Southern Living magazine named Durham “The South’s tastiest Town”.  With food trucks, restaurants that run the culinary gamut from Elmo’s (776 9th St) to Revolution (107 W Main St), and hotels both new and acclaimed, like the Washington Duke (3001 Cameron Blvd) and 21c Museum (111 Corcoran St), the Bull City has the food thing locked up.

But in April we get a new food-based feather in our cap.

For the first time, from April 18-21, the Got to Be NC Competition Dining Series will be holding battles here; at Bay 7 in the American Tobacco Campus (318 Blackwell St).

In a bracket challenge similar to the NCAA basketball championship, area chefs will compete in multiple cities, culminating in the Battle of the Champions in October, at a location which will be announced later.

The rules are exciting, as well as delicious.  Each round will be two chefs and their team competing head to head.  The teams will face off and prepare three course meals centered on a theme ingredient that remains under wraps until the morning of the bout.  Each ingredient comes from a North Carolina farmer or artisan producer.

Normally each team consists of a local chef and their team.  In the past the teams all came from the same kitchen.  But this year there’s a twist; the teams may consist of chefs from three different establishments.  What this means for the diner is that a team could turn out three courses each of which has been spearheaded by an award-winning executive chef.

I think that just upped the game a tad.

But it won’t only be a panel of judges that benefit from this game.  Ticketed guests dine on the six-course meal that is produced.  Then without knowing who produced which plate, and using an interactive app, diners and judges vote, deciding who moves on, and who goes home.

The competition starts in Durham, then moves on to Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh, Charlotte and Wilmington before the Final battle of the champs.

Competitors must be currently employed food professionals.  The participants were chosen on March 10th, and will be announced soon.  If you’re interested in attending, get more information and purchase your tickets at

Last week I visited a foodery owned by one of our illustrious Bull City chefs.  I dropped into Nana Taco (2512 University Dr), for a trunk-full of takeout grub.  It’s the brainchild of Scott Howell, also owner of Nana’s (2514 University Dr) and the newly opened Nanasteak (345 Blackwell St).

Petey got one of their ginormous quesadillas with pork butt.  The Kid and I each availed ourselves to the three taco deal.  For around $7.25 (depending on which meats you choose), we got three tacos, rice, beans, and chips.  I always get at least one made with the tender and unctuous garlic beef.  Then I chose from the “dirty meat” category; exotic cuts and critters like duck and lamb.  My child and I dined on pork belly and hog jowl.  The cheek was the best of the three, but they were all heart-breakingly scrumptious.

As always we ordered extra rice and what I believe are the best pinto beans in town.  And although they always have an imaginative selection of beers, I sipped on a pink lemonade while Petey and I watched the end of the first round of the ACC tourney before heading home.

I picked up dessert across the street at Miele Bon Bons.  It’s a bakery/candy shop with everything from wedding cakes to French macarons and out-of-the box chocolates.  I left with eight pieces. Out of many varieties of macarons, I picked crème brule, salted caramel, and pistachio macarons (my favorite).  The candies I purchased were dark chocolate salted caramel, blood orange-balsamic-pink peppercorn, and an Earl Grey confection.  It all came to around twenty dollars, which is a terrific deal for fancy hand-made chocolates.  For the price, it’s a delightful, affordable, every-day luxury.

Durham is a real happening place.  With culinary special events and our local independent food businesses, we are all pretty darn lucky.

Here’s an idea: on your next day off, plan a day trip—in your own hometown.

Thanks for your time.

Let the chocolate chips fall where they may

Each year by this point in January, I’m getting mighty tired of all the commercials for gym memberships and advertisements for nutritional supplements.Instead of working out and eating steamed fish, it all makes me want to lie immobile on the couch and eat milk duds.

I might feel that way, but the truth is I do still try to move around some, and eat reasonably well.  But just because I consume fresh fruit and veg and whole grains doesn’t mean I never eat anything just because it tastes good.

And I really do sleep better when I have a few bites of something sweet before bed.  So last Friday night, when, because of the snow and ice I wasn’t sure if we’d have electricity in the morning, I made a pan of brownies.I started with a mix, which I usually do.  But this batch was the best batch I’ve turned out in years.  The Kid and I loved them, which isn’t very surprising.  But the shocker was that Petey really liked them as well.  Not being a self-indulgent choco-phile, he doesn’t usually eat my brownies anymore.  He says they’re “too much” (but where chocolate is concerned, please explain to me what is too much).

I think these were better received because I didn’t go overboard on any one ingredient.  I added espresso, but just enough to heighten the flavor, not give you a coffee-favored punch in the nose.  There were chocolates, but not a surfeit of any one type.  They were salted, but only enough to give each bite the tiniest little salty crunch.

As a woman I can testify to the fact that some days only a satisfying chocolate treat can keep me from committing mayhem on loved ones and strangers alike.  These mahogany-colored confections, accompanied with copious amounts of red wine, would be a huge hit when shared by a group of women.

Best.Book.Club.Night.Ever.Boxed up and tied with a pretty red silk ribbon, then handed over for Valentine’s Day would ensure extra credit (I actually started to write ‘brownie points’ here) for the next 364 days.

I call these “Golf Brownies” because there are 4 (fore, get it?) kinds of chocolate in them.  Unfortunately, Petey doesn’t appreciate the humor of the moniker.  But bless his heart, he’s got lots of other very good qualities.

*Recipe note-For chocolate extract, I use Nielsen-Massey.  It’s available online and at local fancy cooking stores.  Maldon salt, found at the same kind of places, and lately some mega-marts, is a very large, flaky finishing salt for sprinkling.

Golf brownies

golf brownies

1 13X9 family size package Pillsbury milk chocolate brownie mix

1 teaspoon instant espresso powder dissolved in ¼ cup very hot water

2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

2 tablespoons Hershey Special Dark cocoa powder

1 teaspoon pure chocolate flavor

½ teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon kosher salt

1-11.5 ounce bag Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

1-2 teaspoons Maldon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Put all the ingredients except Maldon salt into large bowl.  Mix well.  Pour into 9X13 pan sprayed with cooking spray.  Liberally sprinkle Maldon salt on batter and bake.

Bake 13 minutes, spin pan 180 degrees and bake for 14 more.

Remove to cooling rack and allow to cool completely.  This recipe makes 2 dozen reasonably-sized pieces, or 6 extra-large PMS pieces.

Truly, brownie mix is one of the greatest benefits of living in this great country of ours.

usa brownies


You can have them ready for the oven in minutes, and they will obediently bend to your will, mood, and pantry.

For texture, try adding broken pretzels, nuts, or Oreo pieces.  Before baking, drop dollops of dulce de leche, peanut butter, or Nutella on  top.  Then using a sharp knife, swirl it enough to produce a marble-like effect.  Go a little sideways, and mix in crispy bacon, cracked pink peppercorns, or diced, candied ginger.

My point is that sometimes, like when it’s day three of being trapped in in the house with your entire family by snowmageddan, there’s nothing in this word that will do but a freshly baked brownie.                                                       Thanks for your time.