You’d think that after all the culinary feats surrounding KM’s first catering gig, I’d hang a “Gone Fishin” sign on the kitchen and take a break. Naw. Nothing staves off unemployment boredom like making a mess in la cocina.
Wednesday’s mess: Mexican Brownies. Here’s the backstory: David and I were invited over to our friend Kevin’s house last night to watch Glee and eat enchiladas (thanks, Kev). Couple that with the fact that I’m doing the food for my friends Jennifer and Ben’s wedding shower on Saturday (which is also Mexican themed), and hola! Perfect opportunidad for dessert testing.
Be Careful Who You Trust…
Epicurious.com gave me a head start on a recipe. Just a hint…that’s how I usually start my culinary explorations…pick a recipe as a guide and then build from there. The big help with online recipes (from usually reputable sources like Epicurious.com and Myrecipes.com) is that they have reader reviews. I ALWAYS scan these reviews. They can be a huge help because they highlight the successes and pitfalls of the recipe. Or, as was the case with these Brownies el Mexicano, they suggested a tip that pushed me right over the edge.
Cinnamon…mi amigo o enimigo?
What made these brownies “Mexican” was the addition of cinnamon. Fun, I thought. One reviewer said she couldn’t taste it enough, so she tripled it from uno TBSP to tres. Sounds like a girl after my own heart! My motto tends to be, “if a little is good, a lot is a LOT better!” Turns out in this case…not-so-much.
Not only were the brownies inexplicably cakey, they were like mucho grande cinnamony. We’re talking Christmas-Big Red-Cinnabon-Red Hots-Atomic Fireball over-the top cinnamon. I was hacking like a surly cat. Not pleasant. The good news is that at least I didn’t make that mistake for the shower. The bad news is that I unleashed these cinnamon beasts on some nice unsuspecting guys who had the courtesy to not ridicule me to my face. So Kevin, Jordan, Carlo, Josh, John, and Cheyenne, thanks for being sweet, even if you are at this moment being treated at the ER for cinnamon overdose.
Embrace the Box
Here’s my advice. If you want to make brownies, start with a box. Homemade brownies sound really nice, but when you toss out a plate of brownies, they better have the taste and texture of brownies. Dress them up all you want, but know that when you say “brownie” your hombres aren’t expectin’ nada but a box. Where you go from there is where the fun comes in. So I will probably still make Mexican Brownies this weekend. But I will be starting with my friend Ghiardelli. She may be boxy, but she delivers a mighty fine brownie. Verdad!
There was ONE awesome thing about the brownies…their gooey topping. It was kinda a dulce de leche made from whipping cream, brown sugar, and butter. I know I make fun of Paula Deen, but really, how could it be bad! Simply delicioso! For your own protection, here’s a link the Mexican Brownies recipe I used. Place it in your “Do NOT Use” file. Lo siento, Epicurious.com. 😉