Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The mother of invention

I lost count.  I was really excited last month when I realized that I had a blogging milestone coming up.  I knew it would be sometime in February.  But I apparently wasn't paying attention.  So instead of happily announcing that I am at post #400, I can now tell you that I'm at post #402.  Oh, well. =)

Even though I already posted some this month, I figured such a momentous event called for celebrating with brownies.  Who am I kidding?  I don't need an excuse to make brownies.  But it is a good opportunity to make some new brownies.  Ones that I won't have that much competition for, since I have a feeling my kids won't eat them.  The one category I had left for this month was magazine focus.    It's not usually the first place I look, but I thought I'd try Bon Appetit.  I like a lot of what I read in the magazine, but don't search their website all that often.  The recipe that quickly caught my eye was the Cocoa Brownies with Browned Butter and Walnuts.  It's from Alice Medrich, and I've made enough of her recipes to be pretty confident that I'd like the brownies.

I only made a couple of small changes to the recipe--I used pecans instead of walnuts, and I added salt--half a teaspoon.  I also took a shortcut and simply lined my pan with non-stick foil.  I may try another cocoa powder in the future, but for this round I went with plain old Hershey's.  The batter was easy to mix up, and I love the fact that you can make it in one pot.  The suggested baking time of 25 minutes worked great for me.

The only downside is that I was making the brownies last night after dinner.  So I knew it was going to be challenging to get decent pictures.  Sometimes I can manage to take pictures in the morning before work, but I had a very long day today.  I left the house before the sun was up, and knew that I wouldn't be home again until long after it set.  Then inspiration hit--I took a page from my friend Abby's book (she likes to take dough on field trips), and took the brownies to work with me.  Now you're probably thinking, she takes baked goods to work all the time.  That's true, but not with the intent of taking pictures of them in natural light.  Which meant, in my car:

The verdict?  The pictures turned out better than I expected. =)  I need to work on the setup if I do this again, but at least the color in the pictures is good.  The brownies were really good, too.  Jamie and I both like them a lot.  I'm not usually in a nuts-in-my-chocolate mood, but I love pecans, and they worked really well in these brownies.  I think the salt was a good addition, too.  I did share the brownies with one of my coworkers, who thought they were fantastic.

If you'd like to try the recipe for yourself, you can find it here at Bon Appetit!  So what's the most unusual thing you've done to get good blog pictures? =)


  1. Hehehe, I love it! I've never thought about taking my finished products on fieldtrips to get good light...I usually just settle for crappy pictures. But I am totally going to steal this idea for next time. And I am not usually a nuts-in-my-brownies kind of girl, but these sound and look fantastic! Lastly, yay for 402 posts!!!

  2. I absolutely love that you not only photographed the brownies in the car, but then showed us! I can't say I've ever done that, but good thinking - the pictures look great :) I've heard good things about this brownie recipe, I really need to try it.

  3. Ha ha. That's hysterical. In the past I've brought baked stuff to work to take pictures, but never in my car! The brownies sound great. And nice pictures!

  4. You're funny, Di. I'm glad I'm not the only one taking food shots in strange places. The short winter days are a killer! Those brownies look nice and fudgey and moist.