It’s been a while since I had magic brownies, but I remember them fondly so I was intrigued when I saw a magic blondies recipe in Martha Stewart‘s cookies cookbook. Obviously Martha is not offering up a dessert containing an illicit substance. The magic here comes from adding a bunch of sweet and sour items and — at least in my opinion — cooking these little numbers inside cute little cupcake liners because really what dessert isn’t rendered cuter inside a cupcake liner? I bagged the coconut because I’m sorry coconut is just gross. You can of course leave it in if you’re a fan or come up with your own mix of magic. Let us know how you enjoy the trip.
Janet here: When I was a child, peach kuchen was one of my favorite desserts. It was a happy night when I walked into the kitchen and smelled this, still slightly warm. This recipe is a variation on my mother’s, which — sign of the times — called for canned peaches. Talk about sugar overkill! I can’t imagine making this with anything other than fresh fruit. Depending on the season, you could use blueberries, raspberries, some combination of whatever berries you love, and maybe even apples.
Rachel here: Ok, so first of all, this stuff is seriously good.
We are very happy to introduce Caroline Barrett, a food blogger — you can catch her musings and terrific recipes at Table for 5, one of our faves — and a mother who tries to find creative ways to feed her growing family. We’ve been a fan of her blog and her writing for a while, so we asked her to do a guest post for Food for Thought Thursday. We love what she’s written about and can completely identify with both the need for something sweet after dinner and the sneakiness dilemma. Enjoy!
Janet here: As soon as my very good friend Susan Diters whirled in the door to our house and announced she had made “fake cake” for our communal dessert, I knew we had to get her on the blog. I mean, who offers to make dessert for a group dinner and then proudly announces it’s fake? Susan is the only person I know who can do that and pull it off (this despite the fact that I once served strawberry shortcake and made the mistake of using Cool Whip instead of real whipped cream, which she then loudly proclaimed to the rest of the dinner party “Is this fake whipped cream?” I have never lived it down since.)
Anyway Susan can pull this kind of thing off and it’s one of the many traits I love about her. An accomplished ob/gyn nurse and mother of three, Susan would absolutely be one of the people I would choose if I had to go into battle or was going to be abandoned on a deserted island like the one in Lost. She is gutsy and true blue.
“You have to embrace the fakeness,” she says of this recipe which she got from Grandma Moreland. “I remember my sister making it in the ’60s and early ’70s and it was this novel idea to boost a box mix and make it better. You take a bit of this thing and it’s like ambrosia. It’s sweet and a really nice texture and reminds you of Mom and home and doing nothing good but nothing bad. It was like a grilled cheese sandwich but for dessert.”
That taking something pre-made and making it better is something we can all probably identify with. After all, who has the time to always cook from scratch? But that ability to pull it off? That’s totally Susan.
Here is the magic recipe
1 box Duncan Hines yellow cake mix
1 box pistachio instant pudding
3/4 vegetable oil
1 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup medium cream
1 cup instant pistachio pudding
1 cup milk
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix them all together basically following the cake mix instructions. Bake in a greased 10-inch tube pan for 45 minutes. Let cool and then add the icing.
To make the frosting beat together all the icing ingredients until stiff.