Monday, October 3, 2011

A Whopping Surprise

The stress of exams and having too much to do all the time is finally kicking in.  I am feeling just a little overwhelmed, and am worried that my frequent stay-in-every-weekend-night-to-study habits are turning me into an old lady.  (Our downstairs neighbors think my housemate Ariel and I are the lamest people ever for asking them to turn the music down at 11pm on a Saturday night...)  I am feeling pretty overwhelmed with my school work.  I have a huge exam tomorrow night and am having a lot of trouble focusing.  I also just really miss Dan, (the boyfriend), who is off at some leadership class for the army, and I can't talk to him for 2 weeks.

Instead of studying, I do things like this.  I know, really effective use of my time, right?
Yes, a little baking therapy was definitely necessary this weekend.  Unfortunately, there were no birthdays, and the boyfriend is MIA, so I didn't know who to bake for.  I eventually decided to send a little love to another army boy, since I can't talk to or bake for my own.  When I sent Dan his first cookie care package to Germany, he shared the contents with his friends.  One of them was Ricky, one of his best friends.  Ricky actually liked my baking so much that he added me on Facebook and began to stalk my Dessert Portfolio.  Dan told me that while they were both in Germany, sometimes Ricky would say to him, "Dan!  Did you see those cookies Hannah just made?!"   I would have to say that it was thanks to Ricky's love of baked goods that Dan thought about me over the summer, which initiated us hanging out.  Now that Dan's back stateside, Ricky won't get to share Dan's care packages, so I think he deserves his own.

I didn't have a whole lot of time after my Zumba® class before my TA session, so my friend Dana came over to help me whip up something quickly.  We decided brownies were the fastest thing, since you only have to bake them in one batch (unlike cookies), and they are also shippable.  I didn't want to send him ordinary brownies, so I searched my cupboards and found some of the candy I'd stashed away to send to Dan in future care packages.  I'd never experimented baking with candy before, so I thought I'd give it a shot.  Without further ado, I present to you:

Whoppers Brownies
Recipe adapted from here.
Ingredients: 
1 1/3 cups butter, softened (I only had 1 cup, so I added 1/3 cup Crisco)
2 2/3 cups granulated sugar 
4 eggs 
3 tsps vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour 
1 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 box Whoppers 

Ingredients
One of my best friends and baking partner-in-crime
Chop Whoppers into halves and quarters
Cream together butter and sugar until smooth
Add eggs and vanilla, beat until smooth
In a separate bowl, whisk together dry ingredients
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until combined
Spoon batter into a well-greased or parchment-lined 9x13" pan
Sprinkle top liberally with Whoppers, then push them down slightly
Bake for 20 minutes at 350°F.  Cool in pan on wire rack.
These are so thick!
I must say, I'm becoming a huge fan of this whole parchment paper thing.  Look how nicely they came out of the pan!

I took them out of the pan to make sure they cooled completely, cut them into squares, and then carefully packed them into a plastic container.  Hopefully they won't arrive as stale brownie mush.  The trick to shipping food is to make sure that there is NO room for things to move around.  Movement makes crumbs.
Tightly packed in a hard, plastic container
Ta-Da!  First baking-with-candy adventure: success!
These have opened the door to a whole new realm of baking.  Baking the Whoppers actually gave them a toffee-like texture.  Stay tuned for more candy-laden kitchen experiments. 

I hope you enjoy them, Ricky!  Let me know how they are, and if they made it there in one piece!

Love and cookies,

2 comments:

  1. Did you like them? I once put twix in cookies instead of chocolate chips. It was pretty good, but the chocolate seemed to disappear.

    Also, parchment paper is my new found baking companion, too! So easy!!

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  2. Hannah,
    sounds like life is busy for you too,but you will come out on top you always do! and a bf how exciting your like super woman!!
    <3

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