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Sure, finding Kenny wasn’t too bad. I was only 25 when we started dating, so I can’t pretend that I had a huge struggle to meet the man of my dreams. But when it comes to recipes, life can be a bit more complicated.
After several years of baking, I’ve honed my go-to recipes. I have my favorite chocolate cake recipe (thanks, back of the Hershey cocoa container!), my favorite chocolate chip recipe, my favorite blondie base, my favorite cheesecake base, and my favorite peanut butter cookie. But let’s not forget the most important one of them all: the perfect brownie base.
If you’re a regular reader, this recipe will look familiar because I use it ALL. THE. TIME. I can’t help it. These are the best brownies, and they are just as easy as using a mix. Why wouldn’t you try them? Especially when I’ve included yet another fun video tutorial right here!
This video thing is getting addictive, by the way. I’m going to have to keep making them. But at some point I’ll also need to get some really good lighting, an agent, and a personal assistant. A girl can dream!
Back to The One. Last week in class, we were discussing the concept of soul mates. With Valentine’s Day just behind us, my creative writing class has been writing love stories. When I asked how many people believed in the construct of that one person, very few kids raised their hands. Then again, kids can be very cynical, especially teenagers. It’s one of the reasons that I find them so entertaining.
I was once talking to a colleague who expressed that while he believes in the idea of The One, he also thinks that we encounter several versions of that person as we progress through our lives. He used that theory as a good reason to not get married. After all, why settle for one soul mate when you can have six or seven?
To be honest, I’ve never been sure about anything so absolute as the idea of just one soul mate. Is Kenny my soul mate? No doubt. Would he have been my soul mate if I’d grown up in Russia instead, or would I have met a different soul mate nearer to home? These thoughts don’t keep me up at night or anything, but the fact that so many people meet their intended spouses in college is a pretty good argument for true love being partly a matter of convenience.
In other words, I know very few people who have combed the globe to find their intended ones. We’re not lazy, but we’re probably too busy to go searching. Anyone got a dramatic love story for me? Just because Valentine’s is over does not mean that we have to stop talking love. Let me know!
And speaking of love stories, these brownies are it. I made these once and never went back. It takes a lot of arm-twisting for me to make another brownie recipe. Why?
The best reason ever: these are EASY. They come together in less than five minutes (the video doesn’t lie!) and they’re very happy being customized however you like. This time it was peanut butter M &Ms. Next time it might be peanut butter cups. Or something without peanut butter entirely. I’ve got range!
Who knows if finding the perfect brownie recipe is easier or harder than finding the perfect partner? I seriously am not sure. All I know is that it took me longer to find this recipe than it took me to marry Kenny, so draw your own conclusions. But for now, make you some brownies. It’s true love!
1 cup peanut butter M & Ms (as shown, or other mix-ins as desired)
Preheat the oven to 350. Line an 8 X 8 pan with foil and spray it with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a medium-sized bowl, mix the cocoa into the melted butter until it dissolves. Add the sugar and stir again. When the sugar is incorporated, mix in the vanilla and eggs. Add the salt and flour, mixing until just combined. Stir in the M & Ms.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and press additional M &Ms into the top. Bake for 25-30 minutes until done.
Remove the brownies from the oven and cool completely. Cut into squares and store in an airtight container.
I fulfill many roles in life: wife, mother, teacher, everlasting learner.
This site is dedicated to one role that expresses my creativity in ways that I find consistently challenging and rewarding: baker.
Inventing new ways to enhance food, especially if that food involves chocolate or peanut butter (or both!), is a passion of mine. I look forward to sharing my ideas with you.
If I didn’t care at all about what people want to see me bake, I’d probably make nearly every recipe on this blog related to peanut butter somehow. It is my love, and I want to honor that. But, you know, it’s not all about me. I get that. So I’ve been trying to hold it down a little, until today.
Because, because, because. Ready? CRUMBS. On peanut butter bars!
Well, not love, exactly. But if you watch the series Once Upon a Time, which I’ve been binge-watching with Kenny on Netflix, you’re aware that their version of Hook is a heckuva lot sexier than the guy from the Disney movie. I mean, there’s no comparison.
If you have no idea what I’m talking about, think Westley from The Princess Bride. This Hook is very similar, but with a bad guy streak. I’m super sold on him. If only I could win him over with my baking. But then, Kenny might not like that.
Is it just me, or have women engineered our lives so that we have no time at all?
See, we have rights and we can work and vote and do all those great things. Super! I’m excited to be alive in this time, really I am. But why does having permission to be considered equal to men translate into women suddenly being superheroes?
Because I am, ya know. Sometimes I lie back against my fluffy pillows at the end of the day and just sit there, dazed at how much I could pack into a day. And I’m not bragging, because I’m not pretending to do it well or anything. But somehow, it’s totally legit for women to figure out how to pack in work, family time, exercise, errands, logistics (don’t get me started on how much we plan), general hygiene, and oh so much more in one day. Every day. Relentlessly.
I’m not necessarily complaining, mainly because I’m lazy and tired and don’t feel like opening that can of worms right now. I’ll open it next week. I’m just trying to explain how I wound up baking when I had no time. These bars, to be exact.