To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Friday, September 23, 2011

Friday Funny and a Recipe

Which to share first? A Claire story or the yumminess that is cheesecake nutella brownies?
They do look scrumptious don't they? But, let's have a good laugh before we get down to the seriousness of brownie baking.
Claire's K4 class is learning about shapes and yesterday her teacher asked if anyone knew what an oval was. Claire apparently was quite animated in her hand raising because she did in fact know about an oval,
"Barnes and Oval, Mrs. Peacher!"
The other kids didn't get it but the teacher and her assistant sure got a kick out of it.
She is such a sweetie. And speaking of sweet things...
(That was a smooth transition wasn't it? I should win some kind of blogger award for the wit and smoothness of my writing. Of course now I've ruined that terrific lead in so without any further ado...)
I am new to the nutella craze. I'm not sure what exactly took me so long to get on the bandwagon but I have settled in quite nicely to the trend. To the point that I may actually have to not buy the stuff just so it isn't in the house singing it's wicked siren song of chocolate hazelnut goodness. Because despite all the various ways you can use nutella, on a spoon straight out of the jar is my favorite.
Of course when I came across a recipe that had the words cheesecake, brownies and nutella in it's name I think my knees became weak. There was no way I couldn't not make a dessert that included the triple power of all things delightful and good. And, they were pretty amazing. You should make some this weekend. But only if you're having company over. Or you're going to someone's house and need to take it with you.  I don't want to be responsible for you sitting at home all alone with a pan of these at your finger tips because it wouldn't be safe for you or your waistline.
There are a couple of things I would do differently and I'll tell you them first but share the recipe just as I followed it. First, I would back off on the amount of applesauce used. I know, the idea of applesauce in brownies might sound a little gross but I'm pretty sure it's used to keep the brownies moist, (which it does) without affecting the taste. So why lessen the amount? I think it might affect the texture and I'm kind of weird about the way my food feels. The other thing I would do is warm the nutella up so that it is more pourable as opposed to ploppable. I think it would be much easier to swirl with the cheesecake part if warmed. (Although one of the delightful joys of eating this brownie is getting a big ooey glob of nutella every couple of bites.)
Preheat oven to 350
Mix together until well combined
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup + 2 TBS water
3/4 cup apple sauce
2 TBS oil
Mix well and pour into a 9x13 pan. Set aside.
In another mixing bowl combine
1 8oz package of softened cream cheese
3/4 cup confectioners sugar
2 tsp vanilla
Warm mixture until you get a good pouring consistency and drizzle over the top of the brownie mixture. Drop nutella by the spoonfuls (the original recipe called for six TBS...I just added it until I felt like there was enough on the pan for each brownies to have some.) Use a knife to swirl both into the brownie batter.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
There you have it. Let me know if you give it a try!