Chocolate Brownies, Peanut Butter Cookies and Faryal’s Famous Dessert

June 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm Leave a comment

Last night I had one of those, “I HAVE to eat something sweet NOW” feelings. I rummaged around in the kitchen and discovered nothing worth eating so ate a banana and decided that today I would bake something…

But what to bake. I have a zillion recipes I want to try out and just choosing one can take hours. I narrowed it down to four contenders, chocolate brownies, peanut butter cookies, peanut butter cake and chocolate cupcakes. Obviously, I wasn’t going to make all four, so I sat down to go through each recipe in detail to figure out which was the simplest to make with ingredients I already had on hand (Yes, I did all this planning the night BEFORE I was actually planning on baking, lol)

Then my mom, who was on the phone while I was doing all this, hung up and said, “My friends are coming over tomorrow.” Yowza! Permission to go bake-crazy granted. After being told that I also needed to make something virtually guaranteed to turn out perfect (Faryal’s Famous Dessert), I cut out the peanut butter cake from the list and decided to make the cupcakes, cookies and brownies.

Cut to this morning. I wake up late (no one woke me up, and I’ve never been woken up by an alarm) and realized that I only had two hours and was missing some very important ingredients (butter, flour, brown sugar). I sent Safdar (the cook) on a grocery shopping trip and started with the first item on my list, the brownies.

Now let me start with the end result here. They didn’t turn out so great. They taste great, but they don’t have great texture so I’m not going to bother you with the recipe as it’s been deleted from my records forever. Still, these were better than the lard-oozing ones I made a few weeks ago, so they sit atop my mom’s fridge and shall be finished in due course.

While I was waiting for the brownies to bake, I made Faryal’s Famous Dessert, which is famous for the simple reason that it is ridiculously simple and absolutely delicious. Here’s how you can make it:

– 1 box Candi Biscuits (or graham crackers)
– 1  tin canned fruits
– 1 pack cream

Crush the biscuits till they’re no more than crumbs, put them at the bottom of a dish and spread ‘em. Next, remove the syrup from the fruits (very important) and add the fruit as the next layer. Finally, add the cream on top. Voila. You need to put this in a freezer for 15 minutes and then put it in a fridge for as long as you can wait.

Once, thinking that where canned fruit was good, fresh fruit was better, I added fresh strawberries. Ugh! The canned fruit is sweet (so maybe something like fresh mangos would have been better) but the strawberries were very sour and made the entire dessert non-sweet, which kills the point of dessert.

Anyway, once I’d made this (2 down, 2 to go) I moved on to the cookies (Safdar being back by this point). These, by the way, are absolutely delicious, which is why the recipe follows.

Peanut Butter Cookies
Via Smitten Kitchen

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup peanut butter at room temperature (smooth is what we used, but I am pretty sure they use chunky at the bakery)
3/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup peanut butter chips
1/2 cup chocolate chips

For sprinkling: 1 tablespoon sugar, regular or superfine

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, the baking soda, the baking powder, and the salt. Set aside.

In a large bowl, beat the butter and the peanut butter together until fluffy. Add the sugars and beat until smooth. Add the egg and mix well. Add the milk and the vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat thoroughly. Stir in the peanut butter and chocolate chips. Place sprinkling sugar — the remaining tablespoon — on a plate. Drop by rounded teaspoonfuls into the sugar, then onto ungreased cookie sheets, leaving several inches between for expansion. Using a fork, lightly indent with a crisss-cross pattern, but do not overly flatten cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes. Do not overbake. Cookies may appear to be underdone, but they are not.

Cool the cookies on the sheets for 1 minute, then remove to a rack to cool completely.

Alright, so these are ridiculously simple too. I don’t have an electric mixer, so I used my hands (burning calories, see?). Deciding what size to keep the cookies was difficult. First, I made two that were super large, but then they broke when I was removing them from the tray leaving them looking very un-pretty, so I used teaspoonfuls (literally) for the next two batches. Beautiful!

Great, on to the next and last item, the cupcakes (which I was most excited about having never made cupcakes before). First ingredient on the list, butter. Wait, where’s all the butter? Crap, it’s finished.

Being lazy and really really tired by this point, I decided to quit while I was ahead and stopped at three items. Then I called my mom, “Hi Amma. When’re you guys reaching home?” My mom, “Oh, I forgot to tell you, my friends aren’t coming today.”

Moral of the story: Always make nice things for guests since you might have to eat them yourself if they don’t show up. 🙂


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