I haven’t made brownies for a very long time.
Years as in, when my grown boys were very, very young. I suppose that after countless results of either raw in the middle crunchy on the outside, or serious qualifiers for hockey puck status, I gave up. Bear in mind that even box brownie mixes were beyond my ability. Thinking about this after my eighth or tenth failure, I decided that it just didn’t matter — there were plenty of other chocolate goodies I could make quite successfully. Some people have yeast phobias; I am a bonafide brownie flunky.
My avoidance could only last so long, however, when the sheer number of brownie recipes made with every variation imaginable are plastered all over the web — taunting me — reminding me that everyone else seems to be gifted in the brownie making department. Read: I was the last person chosen for the kickball team. Let’s face it. I’d been jinxed, so that meant I needed to take a different approach in solving this dilemma.
I’d make blondies. They look the same as brownies minus color, of course, chew the same, and also have quite a number of variations on a theme available to experiment with. If I could pull off a nice blondie, then it just might pave the way for passable brownies. And if I’m successful with the blondies, then I might be able to make my own rendition of a dessert I recently saw in a magazine: chunks of brownies, fresh fruit, and cream all piled artfully in a cup.
And then I discovered Elizabeth Franken and Demolition Desserts. Her blondies are, well, blondies, and they appear in a luscious combo of chocolate and ice cream. At some point in her book in a completely different recipe, there’s fruit and a syrup that is heavenly. I had the gelato, so splendor in a glass was born, and faith in my ability to bake your basic-baked-chewable-squares-no-matter-what-color-type-treat was given a very welcome reprieve.
It’s all water under the bridge, but perhaps now, I can produce a passable brownie. I’m thinking the key is to have a completely different purpose in mind for them from the get go than to just cut them in squares and slate them for the inevitable teeth sinking occasion.
I don’t know what I’d call what I ended up with, but it was truly amazing. Blondies and beyond?
Maybe. But you have to wait for the end result.
All you get now is Roundies — or Almond Blondies. Good blondies, but still.