Thursday, August 25, 2011

I'm Officially Breaking Up With Betty Crocker!

I grew up on box cakes, brownies and cookie mixes. My mother was a single parent of three for seven years, so the majority of the time, we did things the quickest way possible. Even my grandmother tended toward the mixes, instead of from scratch. Its not that they never made things without mixes, but it was a rare occasion. Therefore, when I thought of baking, it always started with a box, featuring a picture of your chosen project on the front.
Lately, I've been trying everything from scratch. Its an adventure! The upside is, though, once you have the basics in your pantry, you can make most anything on a whim, rather than having to go buy the kit at the store. Every pantry, even the novice, should have vanilla extract, baking powder and soda, sugar, salt, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, powdered sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil and you must have butter, eggs and milk in the fridge. Now, I'll warn you, there are many more traditional recipes, like pie crusts or breads that also call for shortening, so when you get really brave, you might invest in that, as well. These things are inexpensive and most of them have a long shelf life and you can keep them on hand for whatever projects you might want to try. Yesterday, I found this brownie recipe on the outside of my cocoa powder canister. Well, I didn't have a choice... I had to try it! Once I tasted the first brownie, I knew I could never go back. Here's the recipe, copied from, so I didn't have to type it again. This is a good reference site for lots of recipes. Hope you enjoy!

Chewy Cocoa Brownies
  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, melted

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

  • 3/4 cup NESTLÉ® TOLL HOUSE® Baking Cocoa

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)

  • Powdered sugar


  • PREHEAT oven to 350º F. Grease 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

    COMBINE granulated sugar, butter and water in large bowl. Stir in eggs and vanilla extract. Combine flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt in medium bowl; stir into sugar mixture. Stir in nuts. Spread into prepared baking pan.

    BAKE for 18 to 25 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out slightly sticky. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cut into bars.

    1 comment:

    1. oh i made wash board cookies from scratch soft and yummy. Deff. not going to buy cookies from the store anymore!