Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Very Pinteresting: Strawberry Brownies

The Pinterest Challenge is baaaaack!

I loved the idea of a monthly Pinterest Challenge post when it was suggested to me, but fresh off of 26 Pinterest posts for the A to Z Challenge, I guess my wee little brain needed a break.

Break over. 

This week is show choir vocal camp week. Last year, there was no money in the budget for snacks at camp, so I volunteered to bring them every day, and I offered to do it again this year, because even though there's money in the piggy bank now, there are better uses for it than to provide a snack for STARVING TEENAGERS who are spending three hours each day learning the vocals for next season's competition songs (in other words, they really aren't there long enough to NEED anything to eat, but they're still kids and like to get a snack, just like preschoolers). So, yeah, I volunteered again.

Monday was brownie day, and I chose four different kinds: chocolate fudge, peanut butter blondie, butter pecan, and strawberry. Three of them are Pinterest finds (the butter pecan bars are a family tradition), but that strawberry brownie had me more than a little skeptical.
Enter the Challenge:

It started out with a strawberry cake mix, which made me like it a little, because all the other ones were scratch recipes, and I could sure use something easy. 

And this was easy: strawberry cake mix, vegetable oil and eggs. Mix it together and done. The recipe says to use a hand mixer, but after making these, I think that would have been a mistake, and I'm glad I already had the Kitchen Aid out and ready and raring to go.

Sticky, but it smelled good.

The preparation of the cake pan wasn't difficult (until I cut my finger on those mean little teeth on the box of parchment paper and nearly hemorrhaged), but it was (literally) a bit of a pain. The directions called for the pan (I used a 9x13 pan) to be lined with parchment paper and spray it with cooking spray. Parchment paper does not lend itself to the lining of a pan with sides very well, but I made it work.

See? Doesn't fit very well.

The dough resembled playdough in color and texture. Sticky playdough. Or taffy. Melty Laffy Taffy. I plopped it into the pan, then couldn't get it to spread with a spatula, because it stuck to the spatula and just rolled around. I finally dipped my fingers in flour and patted it into the pan, and that worked fine, plus it allowed me to mush the dough into the corners of the pan where the parchment paper was carefully arranged. 


Yes, the picture's sideways. No, I can't fix it.
I've tried. Tilt your head. 

The brownies only baked for 15 minutes, and the recipe cautioned not to let them cook too long, so I pulled them out after exactly 15 minutes, let them cool for 10 minutes, then lifted them out of the pan. Tried to lift them out of the pan. I didn't leave quite enough of rim when I measured out the paper, so lifting was a bit tricky. Also, the brownie is very, very soft and I was really afraid it would break when I lifted it out, but it didn't, although it hung down like a hammock as I moved it from the pan onto a large baking sheet to glaze it.

See? Didn't leave enough of a rim to
lift them out. Not easily, anyway.

I will confess that I didn't use the glaze recipe provided; I made my glaze with a little bit of butter and vanilla and a dash of salt in it, because I don't like the taste of a glaze with just powdered sugar and milk (bleh). When they cooled, I cut them into squares, put them on a platter, and took all the different brownies to the high school for snacky time for the choir.

All glazed.

And the verdict?

They were pretty darn good! 

In fact, I heard, "These are fantastic!" (Thank you, Michaela!)

"They don't taste a little like playdough?" I asked.

"No! They taste more like candy!" was the reply.

Makes sense, since the dough was so taffy-like.

Pinterest win, as long as you're careful with those piranha teeth on the cutting edge of the parchment paper box.

Does it make you nervous that the plate is hanging
over the edge of the buffet? Me, too, now that
I've noticed it. Do you have any idea how ticked
I would have been if I'd dumped it all on the floor?


  1. They look pretty tasty! I've been waiting for cake mixes to go on sale so I can stock up because I really enjoy having time to bake these days.

    1. I like to bake from scratch, but I also like to doctor up a cake mix. I'm not in love with strawberry cake, but these weren't bad.

  2. yeah. I don't know the official definition of a brownie, but I'm pretty sure a cake mix is not in it. Sorry, but those just don't look appetizing at all.
    Glad the kids liked them, though.
    (If there is a next time, you could use the trick I use when spreading Rice Krispie treats...spray the bottom of a spatula with Pam.)

    1. It was a brownie texture. I needed something non-chocolate and not-nutty as an option, and this was what I tried.

  3. Can't say those appeal to me at all...I just know they'd be too sweet. Zilla, however, would be completely interested...but food dye in the cake mix is going to nix that quickly. I'll bet I could figure out a way to make a dye-free version.

    1. They were pretty sweet. My sister in law loves strawberry cake from a mix, and I thought of her when I saw the recipe. Right after I pinned it, she re-pinned it!

  4. So did you just follow the directions for the cake with the eggs and oil, or was it a different proportion? Because why are they strawberry brownies and just not strawberry cake?

    1. I pinned it on Pinterest. There wasn't any water added, so it gave them a brownie-like texture rather than a cake-like texture.

  5. Yeah, I just want chocolate. I see your granny chic on that buffet! When are you writing that post?!?!?