Red Velvet Beet Brownies

Red Velvet Beet Brownies

I bake interesting and delicious things all the time (if I do say so myself), but sometimes I just want some brownies.  I like them dense and fudgy with more chocolate chips inside than a brownie has any right to contain.  Boxed brownies with a mess of broken candy (known fondly around my home as “garbage brownies”) are a treat I rarely allow myself to indulge in these days.  However, garbage brownies wouldn’t make for a particularly interesting post, now would they?  That’s where red velvet and beets decided to barge into the picture.

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Butter Battle Royale Heat 2

Butter Battle Royale Second Heat

I’ll bet that you’ve forgotten all about the Butter Battle Royale at this point.  I had every intention of doing this more frequently than once every six months, but things happen (tasty, tasty things, fortunately).  I was asked to make cookies for an event in my husband’s department at work, and he suggested that I do another cookie taste test since there would be more people than usual to participate.  The original plan was to test store-bought butters against each other, but I had a sneaking suspicion that there would be no noticeable difference, so I made the executive decision to change it up.  This time, I pitted Aldi brand butter against coconut oil.

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Chocolate Cherry Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

Chocolate Cherry Cake with Molasses Cream Cheese Frosting

We’re finally at the end of the summer birthday season, with Josh’s birthday being last week.  Naturally, I wanted to go all out for his birthday cake.  Chocolate was a given since it’s his favorite, and I’ve had cherries on my mind since the start of cherry season, so it made sense to me to put them together.  Josh had also mentioned that he liked cream cheese frosting better than traditional buttercream last time I made it, so I figured I might as well put them all together for one super-decadent cake.

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how to make brownies in a hotel microwave

How to Make Brownies in a Hotel Microwave

Last week, Josh and I went to Boston for a conference.  In anticipation of my impending separation from my beloved oven, I came up with a challenge for myself: bake brownies using only things that could be found at or around the hotel.  I did buy a bag of brownie mix (after all, there’s usually a good chance that you can find a CVS, grocery store, or convenience store somewhere near your hotel), but everything else I used could feasibly be found in the hotel.  The availability of some items, like the banana, will most likely be determined by whether your hotel offers free breakfast or not, but hey, I managed to make brownies from a kludge of things, so I’m going to choose to suspend some disbelief here.

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Mini Chocolate Raspberry Upside Down Cake Wrecks

Baking Fail: Mini Chocolate Raspberry Upside Down Cakes

If you’ve been following I Wanna Bake’s Facebook page, you already know that this week’s bakeventure didn’t go so well.  It was supposed to be chocolate raspberry upside down cake, but it turned out to be half-baked chocolate raspberry sludge.  Don’t get me wrong, the cooked parts were delicious.  But this was so ugly I didn’t even have the heart to try to fix it.  I mean really, look at this:

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triple chocolate surprise brownies

Triple Chocolate Brownies with a Secret Ingredient

This past weekend saw a dear friend grow another year awesomer.  In an effort to pay tribute to our shared interests and history, I decided I wanted to bake something with potatoes this week.  (Because nothing says friendship like potatoes. :-P)  Since this friend is also a great lover of chocolate, brownies seemed to be a natural choice.

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bear claws featured image

Bear Claws- Attempt 2 (The Easy Way)

After my last attempt at Bear Claws, I knew I would have to try again.  I can’t let a baked good triumph over me, after all.  Despite the 85 degree weather, I cranked my oven up to 400° and turned out some pastries which were actually worth the (extremely minimal) effort.

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finished bear claws

Chocolate Bear Claws- First Attempt

Sometimes, baked goods don’t turn out quite as you planned.  This was definitely the case with this weekend’s chocolate bear claw experiment.  While they weren’t a complete and utter failure, they were bad enough that I made myself throw 11 out of 12 of them away.  Still, just because this pastry flopped doesn’t mean the experience was a complete loss.  In today’s post, I’ll go through exactly what I did this time and give some suggestions for future improvements.  This recipe took all day and a lot of effort, so I don’t know that I’ll be trying it again anytime soon, at least not quite like this.

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chocolate banana peanut butter cream pie

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Cream Pie (a.k.a. Doctor P(ie))

There is a bit of a story behind this chocolate banana peanut butter cream pie (try saying that ten times fast).  My husband’s research advisor (Dr. P) almost always refuses to eat the baked goods I send to the office.  However, he often breaks his embargo for store-bought cakes and cookies that find their way there.  The exception to this rule is anything with chocolate and peanut butter in it.  It has become a bit of a mission for me to create the ultimate irresistible dessert.

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