It’s confession time, kids. I am a chocoholic. #MEGASHOCKER
Just in case you couldn’t tell that from my Instagram feed, chocolate is my favorite. Seriously, I will try to find a way to incorporate chocolate into everything. I’ve even gone so far as to dip bacon in chocolate because how could that be bad!? (SPOILER: It’s not bad, just not impressive. It tastes just like bacon dipped in chocolate. No flavor melds or anything.) So when it comes time for me to eat my feelings, (Oooh!! You get a twofer today because I have another confession: I am such a stress eater, it’s not even funny. Eating my feelings has been occurring very frequently lately, but it’s a habit I’ve had for years.) I naturally turn to chocolate and all of its delectable flavor combinations. Chocolate and caramel. Chocolate and orange. Chocolate and vanilla. Chocolate and any berry you have on hand. Chocolate and wine. Chocolate and chocolate. Whatever it is, when I must comfort myself by indulging in decadent foods, I always look for chocolate first.
My first foray into baking as a preteen of course involved chocolate. It was with a boxed brownie mix that was in our kitchen pantry at home. And let’s face it, middle school is really when life started to get hard, so it’s natural that I would start my unabashed devotion to chocolate at this age. Soon into high school, I started making this very same boxed mix of brownies for my friends for their birthdays. I actually developed quite a reputation for making a killer batch of boxed mix brownies ::insert eye roll here:: If only we knew then what I would be capable of in the not-so-nearish future…
I tell you all of this to lead in to the fact that this has been a doozie of a week. And when I say week, I actually mean two weeks. With all of this stress that I’ve been experiencing, I found myself craving this comfort food of my past for days on end. I tend to make brownies any time I’m stressed or sad, like the time I made this batch of brownies from a recipe titled “Better Than a Boyfriend Brownies” because I was missing my man candy while he was traveling abroad. They were good, but not better than my boyfriend.
Though brownies are a good comfort food for me, this time I found myself looking for something really over the top. Something with extra flavors to add to my delight. I guess I just needed a little extra oomph to eat myself through this turmoil that is wreaking havoc on my mental peace. And that’s when I came across a recipe for – sit down for this one - Snickers brownies. (Did you just swoon? Because I totally swooned.)
The recipe looked pretty delicious until it called for melting candies to create the caramel layer... Why would I ever do that when I have such an incredible Bourbon Caramel recipe waiting in the wings? So I went about making a great recipe for semisweet brownies and a batch of Bourbon Caramel to top it with. (What? You haven’t heard of my Bourbon Caramel?? Go read this blog post.) Then I made the crunchy peanut butter nougat to schmear over the top of my Bourbon Caramel/brownie stack. I think I'm going to add this crunchy peanut butter nougat schmear to my list of cake fillings, or maybe I'll just start selling it by the jar because it was like an instant mood lift! I wanted to eat the entire batch without even putting it on the brownies. But I resisted. The last step involved spreading a thin layer of chocolate over the top of the nougat but the recipe called for vegetable oil and candy melts (thumbs DOWN. Way way down.) so I decided to amp it up a bit. I had some evaporated milk left from the nougat recipe and I happened to have some reallllllllllllly nice semisweet chocolate couverture on hand so I whipped up a quick ganache and smoothed it over the top. #worthit
Needless to say, I've been indulging in these brownies all afternoon and am well on my way to feeling better! So I guess my tip of the week is that whatever you're doing if you’re going to go for it, you should go for the gold! Whether it’s using the best ingredients for your comfort food, or polishing off said comfort food all in one sitting, whatever it is just make sure you go for it with gusto!