Boxes and stress = moving house

Moving house and moving country is exciting but its also very stressful. Im currently breaking out like convicts on mothers day, just to add insult to injury.

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Last weekend was spent at the new house in the Netherlands, putting together beds and organising/putting away the first delivery of goods. New mode of transportation was bought, Im officially now on two wheels! If Im not a size six by Christmas, there is something medically wrong with me. The irony being that I really hate cyclists and now Im a proper dodgy one.  If you’re going to live in the Netherlands, then you need to ride and have several bikes! Ive now started the process of pimping my bike. 3 beds were put together, 2 bikes were bought, and a mountain of cardboard was created.

This week is my official move week, I have the 7am flight on the 17th of August, which is also the same day the cats will cats will arrive in the Netherlands.

The living room has been turned into a literal box room, with boxes taking over the entirety of the room.  The kittens have enjoyed what can only be called a the cardboard box jungle gym that has now been provided to them.  20170812_113934

 

The kitchen cabinets are slowly yet quickly being emptied! Which does make me wonder what and how Im eating over the new few days!
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I traditionally put everything off until the last minute, as I then have no time left to procrastinate. Ive tried to be prepared for this move but Im still putting off a few things until the last minute, as nothing quite motivates me like having literally no time at all.

Ive been waking up every morning at 4:30 for the last two weeks with my brain on go, go, go, thinking of all the things I need to do.  This is frustrating and earns me lots of nasty looks from the cats, as its simply too early for them.

Im still as convinced as ever that the move is the right thing. Brexit has changed the UK and not for the better, is no longer a country that I recognise.

I think its easy to get excited about moving and having a new life but you cannot forget all the hard work, long hours, and stress that goes into the actual move.

Peanut what? Peanut Butter!

Learning to bake in the UK has been an experience for me and learning how to substitute ingredients for other ingredients has been a sharp learning curve. It turns out there really is no substitute for American peanut butter. Peanut butter from the UK and other European countries does not melt when cooked (which was a unique experience for me when I was desperately trying to get it to melt the first time). The answer is to buy in bulk (this makes my inner hoarder happy), I found out that my local Costco stocks American supplies in mega sizes (hooray) including Skippy Peanut Butter. Sometimes when you find a product you’ve not had access to, all you want to do it literally sit in the middle of the isle with your hand in the peanut butter and it smeared all over your face trying to eat it! Ill be honest, this wasn’t me but its absolutely what I wanted to do it.  Its exactly what I was doing in my head whilst at waiting in the line to buy it.

Here are some recipes that I recently made using peanut butter.

PBB

Peanut Butter Bread/Loaf

Makes: 1 loaf and 1 mini loaf   Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 50 for large loaf and 25-30 for mini loaf  Total time: 60 mins at most

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (250g) creamy peanut butter, American!
  • 1/3 cup (75g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 (75g) cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 (180ml) cup milk
  • 1/2 (125g) cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 (256g) cups all purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Now how to make these yummy loafs:

1.Preheat the oven to 350º F. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray, I use Fry Light spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the peanut butter, sugar and brown sugar with an electric mixer until combined. 20170803_100048

3.Beat in the eggs. 20170803_100406

4. At this stage, it does look abit ‘gross’ but thats fine. Add the milk, sour cream and vanilla extract, mix briefly. 20170803_100851

5. Add the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing with a spatula to prevent over mixing. 20170803_101145

Only mix just until just combined, you will see a few lumps and or some flour streaks. (this is half way mixed, if you have this much flour left, you still need to mix, it is NOT combined)20170803_101207

6. Pour into the loaf pan and bake for 48-52 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs. You can add toppings on it, like I did, I went for dutch sprinkles! You can use banana chips, chocolate chips or anything you fancy.20170803_101617

7. Check the bread 10-15 minutes before its due to come out, if the top of the bread is browning too much, tent the loaf with aluminum foil and then continue baking until the bread is cooked. Or if you are concerned about the top of the load being too dry, tent the bread as well.

8. Allow the loaf to cool maybe 15-20 minutes before removing from the pan and placing on a cooling rack.  Allow the loaf to cool completely before slicing.

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Notes: This bread can be a bit dense, so absolutely have a drink available, a glass of milk works a treat! Also great if served with Nutella or more peanut butter.

 

Nutella Stuffed Peanut Butter Cookies

Makes: 24 stuffed cookies and 3 spare peanut butter ones   Prep time: 3 hours Cook time: 11 mins Total time: 6 hours but best done over 2 days Level: Not overly difficult but time consuming and a bit messy

Required Ingredients:

1/2 cup (220g ish) Nutella
1 3/4 cups (210g) all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon fine salt
1 1/2 sticks (175g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
1/2 cup(100g) packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup (190g) creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

NSPBC

Now how to make these double whammy cookies:

The night before you plan to bake! Do not skip this step, you will regret it and it will just add more time on later. The dough can also be made the night before and put in the refrigerator, this actually makes it much easier and less stickier to work with.

1. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof/parchment paper (I think aluminium would work too?). Using two teaspoons, spoon out 24 to 28 sized balls onto it and pop into the freezer.  I did 24 balls, as per below (as I ran out of Nutella) and then had enough dough that I just made 4 non stuffed cookies at the end.20170803_094153

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the butter and both sugars on medium-high speed until smooth (roughly 1 to 2 minutes).20170803_113110.jpg

3. Beat in the peanut butter until fully combined.20170803_113245

4. Beat in the egg and then the vanilla until combined. 20170803_113614

5. Now with a spatula, gently fold in the flour, salt, and baking soda. 20170803_114152

Using a spatula ensures that you do not over work the dough and combine until just combined.  20170803_114310.jpg

This is what it should look like, with small bits of flour let and not over worked.  I used a small ice cream scoop to ensure equal amounts of dough is used for each cookie.
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6. Take your very frozen Nutella out of your freezer, I used a small ice cream scoop and put a ball of dough in your hand (at this point you kind of need to work quickly to stop the Nutella from defrosting).20170803_115132.jpg

7. Flatten the dough, so that its roughly the same thickness throughout.20170803_115149

8. Take a ball of the Nutella and put it in the middle of the cookie dough, and start to wrap the cookie dough around the cookie, to ensure that there are no gaps and the Nutella is completely covered.  ( I decided to cheat and only had my Nutella in the freezer for an hour, this didn’t freezer it and I made 4 cookies, I put it in for another 3 hours, this allowed me to make 9 cookies, so I was constantly waiting for the Nutella to freeze, do yourself a favour and let it freeze over night. I also learnt that letting the dough ‘harden’ in the fridge helped a lot too and made the dough less stickier and easier to work with).
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9. The ‘finished’ cookie should look a bit like this, no obvious Nutella showing through.  Then just make the cookie slightly ‘prettier’ by rounding out the edges to give it more of a circular shape.  20170803_115223.jpg

10. Bake for approximately 11 minutes or until slightly browned. Allow the cookies to cool on the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Serve immediately for gooey Nutella or store them in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
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Enjoy a yummy stuffed Nutella Stuff Peanut Butter cookie on its own or with a nice glass of milk.20170804_113513

 

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!

Expat in Amstelveen

So boxes are packed, the cats are upset and stress levels are at moderate to high.  First truck of stuff has gone over and keys are obtained on the 1st of August for the house.moving-e1501533308751.jpg

The house is located in central Amstleveen, which is a suburb of Amsterdam. Its just over a 30 minute tram ride to Amsterdam station, whilst going through Amsterdam. Its just under a 15 minute bus ride from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It a expat location, with 134 different nationalities living in Amstelveen, the two largest nationalities (outside of being dutch) are Indian and Japanese.

The rental Ive chosen is rough a 5 minute walk to the central shopping centre and has public transport links to the bus, tram, and a short distance to the Amsterdam South train station.

Im in love with the rental, the broker had 12 properties lined up on the day and this was the 12th! Sometimes you just enter a property and everything about it feels right and like ‘home’, this was what I felt.

The countdown is officially on and keys are held for the property. In less than 3 weeks time I will be a full time resident in Amstelveen.

Ive been travelling since I was 12, I spent a few summers in Germany living with my Aunt and Uncle who were stationed there with the American military. When I was 16, I was an exchange student in the Netherlands and now speak the language badly but with confidence. Im hoping to pick dutch up again, hopefully accurately and correctly. When I was 18 I moved to England, where I have been ever since.  Im currently at 16 years in England.

Luckily a lot of dutch people speak English, which can make it difficult to learn Dutch, as most Dutch people are trying to improve their English and practise with you.

Im stressed and nervous but ultimately excited for this new adventure. It feels like my life has been on hold in preparations for the move, so a year, Im ready to move on and go and do and see.  Amsterdam has excellent links to the rest of Europe and whilst I have travelled Europe, Im ready to see and experience more.

Moving isn’t easy and Im seriously not the kind of person who can just pack a backpack and call it done. Im rather envious of people who can do that but it will seriously never be me (lets call a spade a spade).  I can totally understand why people only ever move once.

I plan on blogging about the move, all things Dutch and travelling, and naturally cats and baking!

Links providing information on Amstelveen.

Amstelveen city website

Amstelveenweb

I am expat Netherlands

Expat Advice: Living in Amstelveen, Netherlands

The Ultimate Crumble Bar

Do you love crumbles or cobblers? Do you like things that come in a handy treat sized bar form? Then this is the perfect recipe for you, its a fruity crumble in a bar. TASTY and AWESOME! These can most certainly fall into the category of vegan and gluten free and because fruit is involved, I like to think it will hit at least one of your five a day (winning)!

What I love most about this recipe? You can interchange it with most fruits, fresh or frozen. Ive made them with cherries and mangos and both were winners. I often go for frozen fruit, as its available year around and in plentiful supply at my local Aldi freezer section, oh and cheaper than fresh more often than not.

This is a great treat for friends, families, colleagues and yourself! I tend to bake on Sundays so that my colleagues have a sweet treat on Mondays, I feel its a great way to start the week on what can otherwise be the worst day of the week. My colleagues LOVE these and are often a requested item.  They are also a great for kids!

Please note that I doubled the recipe below, hence basically double of everything in the pictures.

The Ultimate Crumble Bar

Makes: 1 9x13in Pyrex dish   Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 55-60mins  Total time: 75 mins

Required Ingredients:

For the crumble

  • 1/2 cup (125g) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (128g) plain flour (you an also use gluten free flour)
  • 3/4-1 1/2 cup (105-150g) porridge oats
  • 1/2 cup (100g) caster sugar
  • 1/4 cup (50g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons xantham gum (if using gluten free flour)

Fruit Filling

  • 2 cups (200g) blueberries (or any fruit fresh or frozen; if using frozen don’t thaw)
  • 1/3 cup (66g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons cornstarch/cornflour
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon

Now how to make these truly amazing crumble bars:

1.Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8-inch square pan with greaseproof paper; put aside.

2. On the hob/stove top melt the butter (or use your microwave, I hate how inevitably it ‘pops’ and goes all over he microwave, so I find it cleaner to do on the hob).Melted butter.jpg

3. Whilst the butter is melting, in a bowl, combine the flour, oats, sugars, and cinnamon, stir to combine. Oats Mixture.jpg

4. Once the butter is melted, add to the flour and oat mixture. oats mixture.jpg

Mixture will be dry and sandy with some larger, well-formed crumble pieces. (Often I find that the mixture is still quite wet and add in another 1/2-1 cup of oats, which get it to the point of the picture below).  crumble bar mixture.jpg

5. Set 1 heaping cup mixture aside to be sprinkled on later as crumble topping.crumble bars

6. Transfer remaining mixture to prepared pan, and using a spatula or your hands, hard-pack the mixture to create an even, smooth, flat crust; set aside.20170717_150914

Once flattened, the bottom of your crust should be nice and uniform as below.20170717_151136

 

Now for the awesome fruit filling!

7. In a large mixing bowl (save on the washing and use the same you made the crust and crumble in), combine the lemon juice, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon, stir until smooth. 20170717_151516

8. Add in your blueberries to the cornstarch mixture and stir to coat all the blueberries, this is what makes the filling extra unctuous and thick.  blueberry bars.jpg

9. Evenly scatter the blueberry mixture over the crust.20170717_152514

10. Take the last of your crumble mixture and evenly sprinkle over the blueberries. There should be chunky and thin bits in this mixture. 20170717_152715.jpg

11. Bake for about 55-60 minutes, or until edges are set and center has just set. Crumble topping should appear set and very pale golden. If using fresh berries, baking time will be less, take off a minimum of 15 minutes, possibly more. Watch the bars, not the clock, check on them from the 30 minute point onwards.blueberry crumble bars.jpg

Once out of the oven, allow to cool for at least 30 minutes, then move to a wire rack and allow bars to cool completely before slicing (you can even stick them in the fridge if you like). Dont rush the cooling process, cutting the bars before they’ve completely cooled leaves a crumble mess with many bars falling apart. Bars need to be kept in a airtight container at room temperature for up t0 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!

 

Over ripe bananas

Sometimes your cat likes to give you a gentle reminder to let you know you’re spending too much time on the Pinterest and not enough time with them.  First world cat problems.Elka.jpg

I dont really like to eat bananas on their own, I find them just too hard in texture. Having said that, I do like to bake with bananas. I like them to be overly ripe with black patches all over them, which is generally the state in which households let their bananas get to. I found a recipe for flapjacks that is as healthy as they come! As an American I grew up with granola bars, no such things really exist in the UK, you get flapjacks. Whats the difference? Granola bars tend to have more things in them, including chocolate and and lots of nuts, where as flapjacks tend to be more oat based with no extras. So I taken the humble version of a flapjack and utterly pimped it out!

This is a baked no processed sugar or diary gluten free vegan friendly treat that will leave you coming back for seconds or thirds, assuming you haven’t already eaten them already!

Banana flapjacks

 

Banana Flapjacks

Makes: 1 9x13in Pyrex dish   Prep time: 10 mins  Cook time: 25mins  Total time: 35 mins

Required Ingredients:

  • 3 1/3 cups (300g) gluten-free oats
  • 3 bananas
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) olive oil
  • 1/3 cup (80ml) honey
  • 1/3 cup (50g) pecan nuts, chopped
  • 1/3 cup (50g) flaked/slivered almonds
  • 1/3 cup (50g) dried cranberries
  • 1/3 cup (50g) toasted coconut
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon

Now how to make these pimped out flapjacks:

  1. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and preheat the oven to 350°F/ 180°C.
  2. In food processor, throw in your peeled bananas and whizz into oblivion (or until smooth), alternatively smash your bananas in a bowl. I choose the easy option as per below.

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3. In a mixing bowl, mix the processed bananas, oats, honey, oil, pecans, almonds, cranberries, coconut and cinnamon. *handy trip, measure out the oil first and then the honey and the honey comes straight out without any extra persuasion.

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Your mixture should look something like this.20170715_161918-e1501014014401.jpg

4. Dump the mixture into your lined pan and spread out evenly into the pan, using your spatula to evenly smooth the surface, getting a even thickness throughout. 20170715_162235

5. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the top is lightly browned.  Leave to cool, once cooled, cut into bars.banana flapjacks.jpg

Store in a air tight container and in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. banana flapjacks.jpg

Edits: you can pimp these out even further by adding not so healthy things such as chocolate chips or you can add even more healthy things like raisins or seeds. Have fun with them and make them to suit your taste.

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!

Tales of a Crazy Cat Lady and her PPPs (pampered pedigree pussies)

I am a crazy cat lady.

Growing up, my family always had cats, much to my fathers own upset. It was uncommon for us to have anything less 5 cats and most summers we had more than 10.  Growing up, the main family cat was Cavity. As with all fun animal names, Cavity got his a result of a family dental trip on the same day we got him. As children our parents always reminded us and quizzed us over our toothbrushing habits and ‘have you brushed your teeth?’, ‘Are you sure you brushed your teeth?’, “let me smell your breath’, typical sayings parents use.  My father was keen to ensure that we brushed our teeth, as ultimately he was the one who’d pay the bill if we didn’t.  On the day we got Cavity, our family of five visited the dentist, the three kids and my mother had no cavities (WIN WIN), however my father wasn’t so lucky and had a few. As children we found this hilarious, given all the constant reminders we had and thought that we should name the cat Cavity as it what would be a 16 year reminder to my father to brush his teeth.

I adore all cats, I rub every cat I see, ok, maybe not the overly ill looking ones but Ive renamed all of my neighbours cats and they run to me when they see me.

Free to a good home. This is a slogan that I grew up with, was given cats on, gave many cats away on and truly believe in. This is a slogan is practically non-existent in the UK. The majority of people charge for kittens and puppies and basically any animal. Basic prices start at about £35 and go up to £200 ($40-$250) and this is non pedigree animals. People believe that they shouldn’t be out of pocket when their non-spayed animals get knocked up. Some people truly believe that charging a large amount ensures a good home. When I have previously suggested the idea of giving them away for free, eyes have bulged, gasps have been made, all followed up with severe head shaking. I think the British just aren’t ready for ‘free to a good home’. My own personal opinion is that paying for animals which aren’t pedigree doesn’t encourage the owner to spay their animal (and rarely do they use this money to spay their animal), it does the opposite, by encouraging them to allow their animal to procreate for profit.  I am all for spaying and believe that unless you specifically want a pedigree animal, shelters are great places to rehome a animal who needs a home.

I crossed paths a Maine Coon when I lived in the states and honestly, I just remember it being this massive massive cat, (I was a child and now kind of remember it being sasquatch sized, so not entirely accurate), with loads of fur and thinking I will have one when Im an adult.  I do enjoy the Snopes post of why the dog ran away.

As part of my divorce I bought two Maine Coons and have never looked back. I am now a PPP (pampered pedigree princess/prince or pussy) snob. Sadly what I have learned with pedigree animals is that they have substantially shorter life (RIP Maizy and Tillie) and that seeing the family line is vital when buying the pet. I now have two Maine Coon kittens (roughly 14 months old), Callie and George and they are brother and sister. When I purchased the two, I went to a fellow crazy cat ladies house who has 17 Maine Coons, I looked at her and literally said ‘You are my future’ and we both laughed awkwardly. She has lots of space and runs for the cats and is a proper breeder. What I was able to see was the heritage, she had the grandmother, grandfather and both parents for the kittens. Rarely are you able to view more than one parent when buying cats, so this was a major win and it was great to see their size, attitudes, personalities and life span of the cats. Its obvious that they have come from a great line of healthy cats, which is so important. After the ill health and loss of Maizy and Tilli, its not something that I am ever prepared to compromise on again.

George and Callie Maine Coons.jpg

Three cats.jpg

George and Callie Maine Coons.jpg

Elka (who is the non pedigree who has outlived many other cats), is also another member of the household and the matriarch. She is 11 years old with arthritis and tolerates the kittens, as best as she can.

Elka.jpg

Callie and George are both very quirky.  Callie is basically me in the cat form, so very very quirky and more than a little bit thick in the hip. George is very friendly but requires utter gentleness, which means hes not overly keen on me. They both want to be friends with Elka, however George just wants to play, which means he spoils it for both himself and Callie, as Elka just wants to sleep.

How are they getting to the land of clogs? I was keen to fly them, however, due to the George and Callies size, they are too big for the cabin (ideal solution) and the idea of putting them through as baggage has been panned by many of my colleagues, apparently this is cruel and can make them much more nervous than they already are. As they are literally treated like baggage, they go through the belt system and then literally sit on the tarmac as long a the luggage does with no special treatment and in all weather conditions. The noises and constant changing of surroundings are a sensory overload and scares the cats to the point of no return. My colleagues who have flown their cats as baggage have said they’d never do it again or allow anyone they know to do it either… So flying is not an option. Apparently flying them as cargo is an option (a very expensive option) and the animals are treated substantially better, however, because the distance I am going is only short, this is not an option available to me. Luckily there are courier companies who just deal with animals, HORRAY! So the answer to the problem is to have the cats couriered over, it ranges in prices but works out to be just over the price of flying them and it means that Im not the one having to drive them, listening to them howl for 12 hours straight, WIN for me.

Summer started off chill this year, so no summer shaves were given, however, they did have a belly shave to allow for some fresh air.  On the 5 hot days we’ve had my poor PPPs have now coped, so the answer was to get a hard swimming pool for them to play in and actually, its worked! They do love water anyway, so it seemed the right answer. The decision was then made to ‘pimp the pool’, a submersible pump was bought to give the water more movement (after these pictures were taken) and its even more of a luxury cool play area for them. Cats who require swimming pools to play in are quite possible too delicate to be shipped as luggage!

The 2 B’s, baking and brownies

I grew up in southern America, in the mountains of North Carolina. America is incredibly diverse and every area is different to the next, even within the southern states.

I grew up with Betty Crocker. Shes amazing and knows her baking and almost always comes out perfectly! Growing up, I thought baking with Betty was baking from scratch, oh, how I couldn’t have been more wrong if I tried! Betty Crocker is a boxed baking brand, you add eggs, water and oil to the mix and TADA you’re done.  Its easy, its simple and it ultimately almost always tastes amazing. I was always told this was ‘baking’ and for years I really did think I was baking from scratch. It was only when I moved out of the states that I realised this wasn’t the case and it was a shock! I wont lie, I did get more than a little bit excited when I noticed my local grocery story started to carry Betty.  In America, Betty Crocker is one of the major baking ranges that have practically everything you could ever need, from cake mixes, brownies, and cobblers to frostings.

Living in Europe, means that I now bake from scratch! The amount of boxed items 15 years ago when I moved over were incredibly limited (maybe one or two only), where as now its better. Honestly, nothing frustrates me more than when Im looking at a cake recipe on the internets and it says in the list of ingredients ‘1 box cake mix’, you’ve got to be kidding me!

Having learnt to adapt means that Ive mastered some things and still fail at others, no matter how hard I try I am completely unable to make a white cake.

One of my wins which I am so proud of are these amazingly awesome unctuous fudgey brownies. From the base recipe, you can keep it as it is or you can dress it up and make it an adult only espresso brownie, which is my favourite! Why espresso? It doesnt taste like coffee but actually enhances the chocolate flavour, giving them a deep richness that keeps you going back for more!

Ive also made them with gluten free flour and they work just as well, still coming out fudgey.

I hope you go off and make these and enjoy them as much as I do!

Unctuous awesome fudgey brownies

Unctuous awesome fudgey brownies

Makes: 1 9x13in Pyrex dish   Prep time: 15 mins  Cook time: 25mins  Total time: 45 mins

Required Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of butter
  • ⅔ cups of unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups of sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp of vanilla
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • ⅔ Chocolate chips and peanut butter chips (optional)
  • 1 shot espresso (if making the adult version of this)

Now how to make these truly awesome brownies:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line the pan with greaseproof paper.
  2. Melt your butter on the hob/stove top with the cocoa powder. Once the butter and cocoa have completely melted, add in the sugar.  Put this off the side to cool down for 10 mins, sit down, have a cup of coffee, read a book, take a break.
  3. Once the butter, cocoa, and sugar mixture have cooled down, whisk  in the eggs, salt and vanilla, mixing until completely incorporated and smooth in texture. (If making the adult version add in your shot of expresso now)
  4. Add flour and chips to the liquid mixture, and stir until just combined (do NOT over mix).
  5. Pour the brownie batter into the baking dish, put in the oven on the middle rack and bake for 25 minutes. Make sure it’s on the middle rack, not the top one
  6. When the brownie cools down, cut it into squares.  Store in  a air tight container for up to 4 days.

Edits:

Do not over bake! Its so easy to over bake a brownie, they are suppose to look slightly undercooked, as they then firm up and finish cooking off as it cools down.  25-30 mins at the very most is more than enough time to cook a brownie that has been placed in a pre-heated oven.

I love that you can add anything to these brownies! As per the picture below, I made the standard brownie and then I made an adult version, in my adult version, in addition to the espresso, I chopped up a white, dark, and milk chocolate bar and put it on top for extra unctuous ooey-gooeyness and then for crunch I added ½ cup toasted coconut and ½ cup chopped pecans. They were AMAZING.

home made brownies.jpg

 

I also made them gluten free by swapping gluten free flour for plain and adding in 2 tsp of xanthan gum.

Remember to share with friends and enjoy!