This dreadful installment is brought to you by Halloween, the scariest day of the year! Ha! Let’s be real. Every day is the scariest day of the year in my kitchen.
The task was simple. Make a spooky treat for my community group Halloween party. No big deal! I found some cute Pinterest ideas that looked so simple even I couldn’t mess them up, and moved boldly forward.
(Spoiler alert- I mess these up).
Here is what we are going for –
So cute, right?
Originally, I had planned to make homemade peanut butter thumbprint cookies. I’ve never made them before, but they look pretty simple. However, while meandering through the aisles of Walmart looking for all of the specific ingredients needed, I had come to my senses. I would use break and bake cookies, and then decorate them myself. So that’ll be a peice of cake. I start out feeling equally optimistic about the brownies, I usually do fine with box mixes! And since I’m doing break and bake cookies, this is going to be quick and easy.
<Insert witches cackle here>
I’m making a double batch of brownies, so per the box instructions, I mix both bags of brownie mix with eggs, oil, and water (per the recipe, doubled). I’m using 2 8×8 glass pans, which I coat with butter and dust with flour in hopes that I can slide the whole brownie out without cutting them.
I pop the brownies in the oven and set the timer. The box says 36-41 minutes for this size pan. I wonder if that changes when making two pans, so I make a mental note that they might need a little longer. Meanwhile, I break apart my sugar cookie dough. I line my cookie sheets with foil (less clean up, right?) and voila. Man, I’m so smart for getting break and bake!
<Insert looming scary music here>
Fast forward 40 minutes. I test the brownies with a toothpick, and it comes out gooey.
10 more minutes.
10 MORE minutes.
These brownies have now been in the oven almost 70 minutes, and I’m beginning to smell burnt edges. I really hope they’re done, because I’m taking them out.
I want to let the brownies get nice and cool so they’ll come out smoothly, so i aside them aside for a while. I put the cookies in the oven for 11 minutes, according to the instructions.
After 10 minutes, I check them just to be on the safe side! I open the oven, and find that the cookies are bubbling liquid in the middle and burning on the bottom.
<Insert psycho theme music here>
My heart sinks. What is happening?! Wait. Is this because of the foil?
Well, damn it.
I don’t have another shot at these, so I franctically pull the cookie sheet out and try to remove them so I can finish baking them without the foil, but they won’t move without breaking. Think fast, Katie!
I pull out a second cookie sheet and line it with foil, put it upside down over the cookies, and flip the whole thing. Once they’re upside down, I flip them back on to the first cookie sheet, sans foil. They break a little. A few have holes in them.
I give them 5 more minutes, and pull them out.
Yeah, I can’t use these.
At this point, I decide to get out of the house. I’m going to have to buy store bought sugar cookies (at least my brownies will be cute) and I promised myself I’d get out and vote today. When I come back, the brownies will be cool and I can decorate them. No big deal.
Fast forward two hours and one local election precinct later, I return to the kitchen. The brownies have cooled, so I carefully cut around the edges of the brownie pan and turn it over, anticipating one beautiful brownie to come sliding out.
Well damn it!!
Okay, what can I do with this mess?? I scrape the gooey centers out and put them in a mixing bowl. Here we go. I can do this.
Attempt #2: I remember someone once telling me that you can make truffles out of cake that doesn’t come out, I bet it will work with brownies too! I’ll make them look like eyeballs! Yes, this will be so cute! I mix in a little cream cheese frosting (leftover from my husband’s birthday cake last week) to give them texture and roll them into truffles.
This doesn’t work. This doesn’t work at all. This is a sticky gooey MESS! It’s not going to set into truffles. Unless…..
Attempt 3: I have a brick of melting chocolate in my pantry. I bet if I melt it down, dip the truffles in melting chocolate, and put them in the freezer, I can make chocolate covered brownie bites! Yes! I’ll make them look like eyeballs! This will be so cute!
This doesn’t work.
My husband arrives home about now, and finds me all but crying over my mixing bowl full of chocolate goo. My cookies were a failure, and my brownies were a failure. This isn’t the first time he’s found me like this, and as usual, he’s kind and patient and compassionate. He offers to finish my sugar cookie spiders while I vent and cry about my bad day. He also suggests we try baking up the brownie truffle mix one more time to see if it’ll set.
It doesn’t set. There are no brownies. The end.
Still me. I’m the editor.
In the end, Danny did an amazing job with the spider cookies, so much so I referred to him as Spider-Man (see what I did there???) I brought the not-brownies to the party, and my friend came up with a brilliant idea- BROWNIE DIP! We served it with nilla- wafers and tricked everyone into thinking this treat was intentional.
I do love happy endings.