Friday, February 14, 2014

Foodie Friday: “I Can Frost Myself, Thank You” Brownie Cake Revised

So a few weeks ago (maybe months now…probably because we were talking about this book as a possible Christmas present…you know how time flies!), a friend from Small Group (also known as a Hope Group at our church) was talking about a cookbook which she had repeatedly checked out from the library.

And she was hoping to get her own copy for Christmas.

But she did not; numerous hints to her husband and sons were to no avail. She ended up buying a copy for herself which was, ironically, a former library book.

We have LOTS of those in our house, let me just say. I L.O.V.E. for all those books I can’t get on my Kindle (or I refuse to pay for on my Kindle…so sorry, Amazon…I’m sure you’re really hurting for my money, aren’t you?).

Well, because I am certain that you were wondering, the book is called, “Brownies to Die For!” By Bev Shaffer.

I think that’s probably enough information for you to find it for yourself. You’re a sharp-minded bunch.

So…because she had made a couple recipes from it and I thought they were pretty tasty, I decided I needed that cookbook for myself.

I bought it on (shocker!); it was also a former library book. And it cost me 75 cents (plus shipping).

Of course when I got the book (which took way too long to arrive…it comes via media mail which is I read through it immediately.

And read through it again, this time marking the ones I wanted to make.

Then I went through it a third time (don’t judge) and actually looked at ingredient lists…which severely limited what I could make because I don’t keep baking chocolate bars on hand (well, I will NOW, but up to the time this book arrived in my mailbox, I had not).

Nor do I usually have sour cream. Or 6 eggs I can use on a whim.

Granted, the bundt cakes I make take 4 eggs, but I plan for that.

Yes, I plan to make cakes to store in my freezer. But I digress…this is about brownies.

And 6 eggs in a 9x13 pan of brownies just seems like a lot to me. And I should know…a boxed mix only takes 1 (sometimes 2 if you want them to be cake-like, which I do not).

So anyway…back to this brownie. I decided, since it was my turn to bring snack to Small Group, that I would give my book a whirl.

I had already tried the honey brownies (just for my family), and I found them to be ok. They were too cake-like for my preference, which was mostly disappointing because I didn’t know going into them that they would be cake-like. Granted, they were all eaten in about 2 days, but still…and no, not just by me.

This kind for which I am about to share the recipe I selected mostly because I thought the name was FAN-TASTIC. Who doesn’t choose recipes based on name alone?

“I Can Frost Myself, Thank You” Brownie Cake…makes me laugh every.time.

A couple things which I must say before I delve into the recipe: 1.  I found it to be a bit of a mis-nomer. This is not really frosting, or icing, or anything which I would put in that category. I expected a nice gooey, creamy “cover” to the brownies…but that is most certainly NOT what you get.

It does have a topping…which is fine…I just want to forewarn you. It is crunchy. At least mine was. Might be operator error, but I seriously doubt it.

It’s not my first time to the brownie rodeo.

And for my second warning I have this to insert: WARNING: This brownie recipe is cake-like.  I would personally not call them brownies at all but a cake instead. Even “brownie cake” is being generous.

But the book calls it brownie cake, and you know how I like to be a little rule-follower…so I will keep the name as-is…although I desperately want to change it.

Maybe DESPERATELY is a strong word-choice, but I think it should be changed….don’t want to get too over-dramatic over there.

Regardless, consider yourselves sufficiently notified.

In spite of that, I still GREATLY enjoyed these...whatever they are. Everyone at Small Group did...quite the hit, if I do say so myself. Which I do, but obviously can't take the credit from Bev...she's the master chef. (In case you were wondering who Bev is, she's the author...remember that I mentioned her at the beginning of the book?)

I was thinking about that in Gru's voice from Despicable Me "Who's Debbie?"

I'll just show you (and this is one of the WORST recordings on youtube...but it captures the scene to which I am referring...please just go with it):

And in case you've been here before, you know that I quote this movie. Often. As always...don't judge.

So…because you have all waited so patiently and take the time to read my ramblings, it is time to reward you; here is the recipe you have all been eagerly waiting for:

“I Can Frost Myself, Thank You” Brownie Cake
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder (it said sifted but I didn’t do that)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (it said pure vanilla but you know I use the artificial stuff)
  • 1 ½ cups unbleached (mine was bleached…don’t judge), all-purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup milk (either 2% or whole…it did not mention skim or 1% and since I had whole milk in the house that’s what I used)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup packed light brown sugar
  • 10 oz semi sweet chocolate, finely chopped (I used chocolate chips)
  • Sea salt (this is the revision...and SO worth it)

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  • Melt the butter in medium saucepan.
  • Remove pan from heat; whisk in granulated sugar and cocoa powder to blend.
  • Add eggs and vanilla and mix JUST until combined.
  • Whisk in flour, milk, baking powder, baking soda and salt, beating well until combined.
  • Spread into pan.
  • In a small bowl, stir together the brown sugar and the semisweet chocolate. Sprinkle on top of the brownie batter in pan.
  • Then sprinkle with sea salt...I don't have any idea how much I used so use your own discretion. (I will say that it pairs nicely with some vanilla ice cream, which will definitely tone down the saltiness if you happen to use too much. I'm here to help...)
  • Bake for 30 minutes or until a cake tester/toothpick inserted near the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached.
  • Cool pan completely on wire rack.
  • Cut into bars; makes 12-18 servings. (This time mine was more than that because I was feeding a larger group so I cut them small; if I ever make it just for our family, ours will be closer to 12…)


  1. I almost stopped reading at the "I don't keep an extra 6 eggs on hand.' There is no reason you can't, oh friend of the Egg Lady! :)

    Regardless, I read on, and the (not really) brownie cake does sound good!

    1. I know...and I totally thought of you as I wrote that. It's mostly that we don't eat THAT many eggs so I try not to keep a bunch around. But yes, I know I have an egg supplier should I ever have need. :)

      Yes, you really should make won't be disappointed. And it only takes 2 eggs. :)

  2. See now I'm turned off by the idea that they may not be the wet and gooey and fudgy kind of brownies. Love the name, though - that does crack me up.