Thursday, September 8, 2011

How to Avoid Baking Drug Free Brownies that Still Give You Cotton Mouth

Dear Tricia, I'll admit it, I'm not the greatest baker but I love to try and pretend like I know what I'm doing.  Whenever I make brownies, they always end up too dry.  What am I doing wrong?

I'd like to point out that its perfectly fine to not be a great baker.  If you were a great baker, then you've probably had some sort of faint idea that you should try and make a career out of it, which I do not suggest by any means at all.  Unless of course you enjoy the following: low income, no insurance, long hours, early hours, late hours, holiday hours, overnight hours, no overtime, lots of overtime, burns, scars, cuts, stained hands, an impossible schedule to coordinate a healthy relationship with another person, and a general lack of anything resembling a savings account. 

But good on you for giving it a shot, regardless of your career choice.  So let's talk because there are several things that could be happening here. 

First of all, if you're using the same recipe every time and getting dry brownies, there is actually a possibility that its just a crappy recipe.  Uh huh.  It might not be you.  That happens, especially when anyone and everyone can post recipes online without actually checking them or even just spell checking them.  (HeLLO!  There's a big difference between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, especially when it comes to things like baking powder and salt.) 

If you're generally getting dry brownies with more than one recipe, you have to remember that a baking time in a recipe is just a guideline.  Say, for instance, you preheat your oven for 5 minutes before you put in the brownie batter, compared to an oven that's been preheating since 1974, 30 minutes of baking is going to give you 2 drastically different batches of brownies.  So check on those guys about 2/3 of the way through the baking time and see how they're doing.  If they're almost done, you may need to take them out sooner than the recipe said.  (See that, recipe?!  You're not the boss of me!)   There's a common sense thing that eventually happens with baking- you check things to see how they're doing, and take them out of the oven when they're done, not when the recipe said.

Always make sure you measure exactly.  That's the difference between cooking and baking (ask any chef and they're usually one or the other but never both.  Total sacrilege.)  Flour should be leveled at the top of the cup, not randomly scooped out of the bag and thrown in the mixing bowl without seeing how much was really measured.  Because guess what?  If there's too much flour, your brownies are going to be dry.

Already over baked the brownies and now you're screwed?  Actually, no you're not.  You just have to make a simple syrup.  If you're prone to over baking things, it's always good to have a simple syrup on hand in the fridge to help mend the mess ups.  Just boil 2 cups of sugar and 1 1/2 cup of water until the sugar is dissolved.  Pour about a cup of this over the brownies and let them sit for an hour.  It helps add moisture to the brownies and can actually save you when you think you just went too far.  In baking anyways... not in life.  If I had a fix for that, I'd be writing this blog on a private island somewhere with a pet unicorn named Tupac.

On a side note:

I am still being courted a very well known publisher who's name rhymes with SchRandom ScHouse, and as much as they love yours truly, they love blogs with a large following even more.  What the Bleep Happened to My Rump Roast doesn't exist without its readers, and the more readers I have, the more I am able to blog because YOU email me the material.  If you love what you read here, share it on your Facebook, Twitter, and anywhere else that might skyrocket my tiny blog into d-list super stardom.  As always, thanks for your support

Love, Tricia.

1 comment:

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