Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Malone's Best Ever Brownies...(recipe)

Years ago...when I was a teenager...(yes, MANY years ago)...
Our youth group used to get together quite frequently for movie nights, game nights, and other activities.  We all used to bring snacks and munchies.  On one of the first occasions we got together, my sister and I made brownies to take.  We found a very simple recipe out of an old church cookbook.  Simple as they were, the brownies were a HUGE hit.  From then on out, the Malone gals were always asked to bring "The Brownies" to events.  Well, that was MANY years ago.  I completely forgot about the recipe or where it went to...but the other day, I wanted a good homemade brownie recipe.  I began digging online.  And by george, I found it!  I found one almost identical to the one we used to make close to 25 years ago!  It all came back to me!  There was no name on this recipe online either...so I still to this day can't give credit where credit is due.
But...I have "tweaked" this recipe and added a few things I like to make it even better!
And I'd like to share the recipe with you!
It's super simple, but oh so good! 
So when you're in need of a chocolate fix that's super easy...here ya go!

Malone's Best Ever Brownies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease and flour (or spray with cooking spray) an 8 inch square pan.  

In a large saucepan, melt butter.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar, eggs, and vanilla.  Beat in cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder.

Spread into prepared pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and pecans across top of batter mixture.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Do not overcook.

Let cool and dust with confectioners sugar.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

It's Love...

 Valentines Day is one of my favorite holidays.
Especially when is comes to baking.
Maybe it's because I'm a romantic at heart.
In love with love, as they say!
I made all of these Valentine cookies for my daycare kids for our party this week.
I feel like I do my best work when I have no direction.
Someone asked me how I come up with all of my designs.
Many bakers plan and sketch designs.
I do best when I can just grab my pastry bag and "go with it".
The only thing I really do is decide what color scheme I want to go with and then, I just let my creative juices flow.
Even though I do make cookies for people by request...specific designs and themes...
I feel my best work comes when I just "let loose".
These Valentine cookies have been some of my favorites I've done.
The hearts, the flowers, the lace, the frilly, femininity of them.
I did these cookies in a vanilla almond flavor.
It seems to be one of everyone's favorite flavors that I've attempted.
Do you have any special plans for Valentines Day?
I hope your day is sweet!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Brushed Embroidery Tea Pots...

 I had always wanted to try this technique.
Brushed embroidery.
When a good friend's daughter contacted me about making teapot cookies for her birthday, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity to learn it.
 I knew I wanted to make the teapots...delicate...feminine...dainty...almost antique looking.
I thought the brushed embroidery would be a perfect touch.
 I looked up the tutorial from SweetAmbs...and by george...it really wasn't that hard!
I mean, I have a long way to go...this was my first attempt.
But I really didn't think they turned out that bad!
 I love doing intricate detail work...especially when people give me free reign to do whatever I want.
Happy birthday Judy!
I hope your day was fabulous...JUST LIKE YOU!
Love you!

Just A Simple Little Birthday Cake...For Me!

February 6th was my birthday.
I hate to say, "The older you get, birthdays just aren't as special"...but I don't know.
It's kind of true.
I mean, I don't have a problem with getting older...
I'm grateful for the life God has blessed me with.
I am healthy and blessed with an amazing family!
But "aging" is quite another thing for me.
I hate the whole aging process...wrinkles, gray hair, sagging skin, gaining weight.
The physical appearance takes A LOT more maintenance, that's for sure!
So, I'm fighting it every step of the way.
I've got a bathroom stocked with wrinkle cream, hair color, tanning and toning lotions.
You name it, I try it, LOL!
But anyway...I am not one to get all depressed about birthdays...I choose to celebrate LIFE instead of getting older.
I have a nice dinner out with my family, eat a piece of cake, and just go on about my day as any other day.  Ha!
This year I didn't really do anything major.
Just made a simple white cake with classic buttercream.
I did it in my favorite colors...pink and yellow.
And made it nice and girly...lots of ruffles.
I also tried something new.
I made flowers out of white chocolate.
I melted it down, and piped it onto wax paper.
After it chilled and dried, I peeled it off and popped them onto the cake!
Pretty cute!
I had a nice birthday.
My youngest son had a band concert that night, and I always enjoy hearing both of my boys play in the band.
What is YOUR favorite birthday dessert?
I think next year I'll make a homemade cheesecake!