Wednesday, January 28, 2009



I said chocolate in all caps with periods in between. Because it cannot be emphasized enough in certain concoctions.


For Christmas, my friend Nicole's mom - Clarita Culpepper - sent me this crazy yummy looking box of the Barefoot Contessa's Outrageous Brownie Mix. For me, putting the word outrageous and brownie in the same sentence is either redundant or stating the obvious... because I love me a good brownie. In an outrageous sort of way.

That Clarita Culpepper knows me too well. [Ok, go ahead right now and say her name out loud while you're reading this. Because there is no way humanly possible to say the name Clarita Culpepper aloud without getting a bit of a grin on your face. I swear... it just kind of rolls off your tongue and makes you happy.]

So anyway... being the expert baker that I am (ha!) I read the directions carefully, and after deciding I had no idea how to melt the chips in a bowl over a pot of water (what? who does that?) and I didn't have a fancy mixer with a paddle attachment (I blame that on never being married and not getting a proper wedding shower), I went ahead and did it my way... melting the chocolate chips in the microwave and using my good old fashioned $10 hand mixer from Walgreens.


The one thing I paid close attention to, however, was the fact that the Contessa was adamant about baking the brownies for EXACTLY 35 minutes. Even if I believed them to be under cooked, she stated on the package, take them out anyway! Never let it be said that I don't do what I am told.

I removed the brownies, let them cool for an hour and then tried them out... and decided that the Contessa was wrong about my oven. The outer edge brownies were perfect, but the middle? Not even close. Way under done.



But then they cooled some more. And I put some tinfoil over them and checked on them in the morning [don't judge me... you know you would have eaten them for breakfast too] and I discovered the Contessa was RIGHT!  Decadent. Rich. Scrumpdileitious. Not undercooked, but perfectly chocolaty and moist and dense and yummy. And how it managed to bake and still leave chunks of chocolate un-melted is beyond me.

Run, don't walk people, and buy yourself some of these brownies for your Superbowl party this weekend. And for the love of all things holy, bake them the night before for only 35 minutes...

Trust the Contessa.

*the author of this post takes no responsibility in the resulting chocolate cravings that will inevitably occur after reading.


  1. My hips might hate you after this. ;-) heehee

  2. OK, now I want some brownies.....and I don't need any brownies...I don't even need to be thinking about brownies!!

  3. Sorry, ladies... that's why I thought ahead and put the disclaimer at the end :)

  4. oh my goodness. and me all the way in africa. boo hiss

  5. I left the brownies at the store tonight. I left them at the store. Let that sink in.

    I was strong.

    Then I read this.

    Yes, I'm kicking myself...but I did get the frosted (and sprinkled) deli sugar cookies that are fluffy like cake, so I have the whole foods with a high glycemic index things covered.

    You want one? I'm pretty sure there are enough hydrogenated oils in them that I could ship them from TN to IA via the circumference of the world and they would still be fresh. Let me know.

  6. BTW, I forgot to ask (as if having cookies now didn't mean I wouldn't be buying these brownies later) do they sell them at major retailers, or should I hit the mall?

  7. Can someone ship these to Louise in Africa, please? I think it constitutes as an emergency.

    @Anita: you left the brownies at the store and I evidently left them on my thighs and hips, so there's no need to guess who made the wiser choice. Mine was tastier, for sure, but your figure is cuter. Revel in it, woman.

    And then go to the mall and get thee some brownies. I don't know if they are in regular stores; she shipped hers to me from Von Maur, so my guess is that a mall will be needed.

    Go forth and eat well in chocolate bliss.

  8. Chocolate...oh, sweet forever faithful friend!!!!

  9. So yesterday I actually went to Home Depot and bought a faucet with a sprayer on it....We really did need a new sink and faucet and I REALLY felt that it was the right time to get the sprayer...I got a good deal on it too. I think my family will love it....hehe:)

  10. Oh Sara - I have been dieing to buy the brownie pan, that looks like a maze. I think that Wilton produces it. Every single piece has 4 perfectly crunchy/chewy edges. Heaven! One day I'm going to take the plunge and plunk done the $35 bucks for it!

  11. now that is just WRONG! Showin' me a picture of something that yummy first thing in the morning when u know I'm trying to eat healthier. ;) Wrong, I tell ya! Maybe I'd forgive ya if you could mail me some???

    I'm so glad you enjoyed it's scrumptiousness.

  12. Lucky for me (?????) chocolate gives me an almost instant migraine! There, my secret is out. I'll be the first to admit though, there are times I risk it anyway! I almost always suffer in the end, but dang, its chocolate!!!

    Figures, my brother lives in Hershey and works for Hershey! Ummm hmmm. Free chocolate and I give so much of it away...

  13. Oh, yum!! Undercooked box mix brownies are one of my FAVORITE foods!! Seriously. I stick to the store brand, though...I'm not sure if I should try the Contessa's...I might never go back!

    (And I have most definitely eaten brownies for breakfast. More than one. And more than once.)

  14. @leslie: when you come for faith sharing I'm only going to acknowledge your presence if you speak into the sprayer.

    @neas: never heard of such a thing, but that is GENIUS.

    @rachel: I know... but I just didn't want you to get TOO skinny with those workouts :)

    @vicky: dude. that's just sad.

    @photoqueen: i have a feeling we'd get along great in real life :)

  15. No judging here. Not only would I have eaten them for breakfast...I don't think there would have been any left by the time breakfast rolled around.

  16. Amazing post! I have to say, I completely agree with you on the goodness of these decadent desserts! I have also had the Coconut Cream Cheese Cupcakes and they are to die for!! Plus, if you don't like coconut, but loooove cream can still have these cupcakes b/c the only place the coconut is on top (when you roll them in it)! A definite must for dessert lovers everywhere. Oh, and mine came from Macy's!

    You had me grinning ear-to-ear with this post and what is more fun than reading a post about food...chocolate nonetheless?!?! :)

    Oh, and one more thing ~ I may be needing your skills of expertise in the next couple of days! I'm working on something for Baby Harper and believe that I won't be able to complete it without you!! Therefore, be on the look-out for an e-mail from me soon!!

    *However, if you do not feel up to it or just would rather not help...I totally understand!* (There, that was my disclaimer for my'd ya' like it?!?) ;)

    Jess :)

  17. Hey! I just read your post on Ali's blog right after I posted mine. Where I claimed virtually the same superpower. Only far less eloquently than you did :)

    Have you been to TheDailyDigi lately? Janet posted a brownie ball recipe that had me at the grocery store last night buying the stuff to make peanut butter brownie balls for my Valentines :) And strawberry cake balls. And Amaretto cake balls.

    I'm pretty sure I gained weight just being in proximity to the ingredients. EEEK.

  18. will you still be my friend if i confess that i don't like brownies or most things chocolate?


    i hope so...

  19. Excellent post.
    Once I am unburied from the snow tomorrow (and feel its safe to drive anywhere other than work <-> home) I will totally be buying it :)

    It's sold at Wegmans for anyone who is looking for it in the northeast :)

  20. @sharleen: bless your heart :)

    @jess: I had no idea there were other boxes of goodies. I may be in trouble.

    @denali: pb brownie balls... so many things right about that.

    @alece: WHA?!?!?! I think maybe you just haven't experienced the RIGHT chocolate yet. But yes, I'll love you anyway. I may UNDERSTAND you less, but still love you :)

    @kate: you won't be disappointed. It's so much chocolate I really only needed a bite to satisfy me. I mean, I never STOPPED at a bite, but I could have. :)

  21. You could have put your disclaimer on the top. I'd have read it anyway.

  22. Been gone all day and had a totally stressful one to boot...and one look at the brownies in the red spongeware (I don't know for sure what it's called, I just love it) and I swear I felt peace wash all through me. Beautiful. I want one. and I will get some soon...forget the low fat things I've been making...I want a REAL YUMALICIOUS BROWNIE like Gitz's!!!

  23. Yum- those brownies look fantastic!

    And that name... Clarita Culpepper- I love it! When I saw it I instantly thought that was a name to make a person smile. It made me!

  24. I cannot take it...I MUST have this! I swear, this is going to be one of the first things I buy when I step foot in the US. There is NO question about it....and I live in the chocolate capital of the world!!!!! But, I MUST have these! YUM!!!!!!!

    What torture you have bestowed on me.....I cannot have these for 45 more days! Ahhhhhh!

  25. "that's why I thought ahead and put the disclaimer at the end :)"

    um. arent you supposed to put that at the front???

    "run, dont walk people."

    dang that cracked me up.

    and you know, its after 1 am right now. it is not normal to be craving brownies at this it? but woman...i am craving them now!!!

  26. did my comment go through? i dunno... ok. now back to my hot tea... that is supposed to be hot chocolate. :-/