Thursday, September 16, 2021

Fun with Fudge Frosting

 When last we saw the nun brownies, we had made the brownies themselves twice but never tried the fudge frosting that came with the recipe. We at A Book of Cookrye were nevertheless curious about whether this boiled concoction would be any good. Furthermore, we wondered if it would actually improve the brownies. I've found that brownies, being very rich and sweet already, usually don't need any post-oven improvement. But this brownie recipe came with an icing recipe, so in theory they would perfectly complement each other.

Fudge Frosting for Brownies
1 c sifted powdered sugar
1 tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp cream (or half-and-half)
1 tbsp butter

Combine in a saucepan and cook until it boils around the side of the pan. Remove from heat and beat until it is thick enough to spread. It sets quickly when it's ready, so wait until you're ready to spread it on your brownies before making it. Covers one small batch.

Dominican Sisters (Oxford, Michigan), Anniversary Slovak-American Cook Book, First Catholic Slovak Ladies' Union, 1952

I usually don't bother sifting powdered sugar that is going to be boiled because any lumps always disappear in the bubbling heat, but I didn't want to argue with a convent's worth of nuns. 

As an recipe note, we don't have cream in the house, and I wasn't about to get a carton just to use a single spoon of it. However, someone else in the house has taken to using half-and-half in coffee, which seemed close enough for today's endeavor.

I don't think those nuns were kidding when they said to boil it only until it bubbles up around the edge of the pot. The overcooked fudge icing turned a bit crumbly when we tried to get it onto the brownies. 

Also, this recipe makes exactly enough to cover this one small pan. It's like God meant for this icing to go with only this brownie recipe.

We all tried the frosting-crowned brownies and were delighted. It's basically a brownie with boiled fudge on top. As aforesaid, I usually don't think brownies need icing on top, but this really did improve on perfection.We all ate the entire pan with embarrassing speed.

I know that a lot of boiled icings exist in the homemade world, but I've never done one until now. I began to think about how we might vary and play with the recipe. My first thought was this: when you first take the icing off the stove it's still very runny, and you stir it hard to pass the time while it cools and thickens. We thought to ourselves, what if we poured it out as soon as we took it off the stove? Would we get a lovely thin layer of glaze that turned into a delicate shell of fudge?

For those of you cooking along with us at home, this is the cookie recipe from the back of the Reese's chips bag-- except this time we used white chocolate chips instead. As you can see, we did not get the thin glaze we hoped for when we dumped the still boiling-hot icing on top of them. The icing separated out and just wasn't as nice as it could have been if I'd waited until it had cooled (stirring the whole time of course). However, the icing did cool off enough to keep itself together by the time we got to the last cookies in the batch.

Both the cookies we iced in premature haste and the ones that we iced properly tasted just fine, even though the first ones didn't look right. But we started to wonder... if we separated the icing recipe from the brownies it came with, did we have a quick in-a-pinch recipe for fudge? We gave the icing yet another go (we've made it thrice so far,for those of you who are counting), with a new ingredient:

I thought we'd get delicious fudge-coconut clusters, but this really is a frosting recipe. They look cute, but they tasted like coconut and icing. The chocolate part did have a nice praline-ish texture, though. They weren't bad, but they weren't what I hoped for either.

We ate all of these, but they weren't worth making again. But chocolate and coconut swirled in my mind after my previous attempt to unite them until I had a vision. I imagined the brownies filled with a generous amount of coconut because I like coconut a lot. I even had the perfect recipe which I had saved from Mid-Century menu a long time ago and periodically made when I thought my then-significant other deserved it. (Seriously, it's really good.)

Source: Mid-Century Menu (read about her adventures making this recipe!)

This would be the perfect coconut filling for the brownie delight of my dreams- it tastes amazing, but it has never (no matter how many times I made it) set enough to serve as candy. This shortcoming never mattered since we always just ate it out of the pan with one spatula per person.

Here is a cross-section of what I imagined:

And here is what happened when the brownies fell apart when I attempted to stack them.

I should have known that such decadence would have been forbidden by nuns. But since I am not in a convent, I tried to cut the edges even (it didn't work) and make something semi-pretty. The icing certainly looked tempting as I poured it on. Take a good look at the photo below, because that's the last time this looks at all promising.

It's hard to pour out this icing without salivating.

And here we see the tragic results. There was an attempt.

You may be surprised about this, but it fell apart into a sad chocolate coconut mess when you tried to cut yourself a piece.

With that said, while my dream fell apart, all the components of my vision added up really well when you ate it--- except the icing that inspired the whole mess. It was too sweet on top of all the coconut and brownies. The coconut recipe uses unsweetened chocolate, and you should too. Sugary icing on top candy is a bit too much. I should not have defied God's yardstick-wielding enforcement squad by putting the fudge frosting on anything but otherwise-unadorned brownies.

However, the brownies and the coconut were absolutely perfect together. Also, putting the coconut candy on top of brownies solved the problem I always had that I could never serve it up. The coconut candy, no matter how many times I made it, always remained a sticky mess that clung to the spatula until you thwacked it onto your plate like a cafeteria lady slinging mashed potatoes. Treating it like a decadent brownie topping instead of a standalone delight seemed more right. But I definitely overdid it in making a not-majestic tower of chocolate. A single, non-stacked layer of brownies with the coconut on top would have all the deliciousness I envisioned without the structural instability.

In sum, this tower of cocoa and coconut was really good and also so rich that after a very small portion you were done eating it. Everyone will only want a little bit, so you can make dessert for like twenty soon-to-be-sated people without having to get out a second 9x13 pan. To give my attempted artistry some dignity, I want to show you that we did indeed have the layers we dreamed of in the part that remained on the platter after a few days of everyone hacking off a little bit when we needed just a chocolate lift.

Also, the icing is very good and worth making again. If you're making a small batch of brownies, definitely consider pouring it on top.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Pieathlon the Eighth: Osgood Pie, or Osbest Pie?


I can't believe this is the second Pieathlon of the pandemic- after the vaccines came out I thought we'd soon be glad it's over and shudder about how bad it was before science saved us (wear masks and get your shots if you haven't, everybody!). I wonder how many of us would have spent so much time obsessing over how terrible that weird Cats movie was had we known that civilization was about to collapse.

For those of you keeping track of my life based on what kitchen is in the background, I went out to visit friends for a fortnight. That was fifteen months ago. You just never know where life will take you when civilization crashes. One day you're going to cooking school and filling out job applications, the next thing you know you're helping your friends do engine repairs and also filling out job applications.

But enough about me, let's talk about pie! Yinzerella decided we need more pie in our lives! I always appreciate being able to swap recipes with other people who love digging through cookbooks and seeing what recipes everyone thought someone should have electronically dropped in their unsuspecting kitchens. I try to send in a recipe that's a bit weird and unlike anything we would make these days but still pretty good. Oftentimes it turns out I sent a recipe that's not good at all (sorry, Bittersweet Susie and Surly!), but that's the fun of sending and receiving surprise recipes. This year I sent in something called Ozark Pie from a dessert cookbook my grandmother bestowed upon me after one of her recreational thrift-shop treasure hunts. I've been meaning to try it for a while, but never got around to it. Hopefully, Taryn at Retro Food for Modern Times had a good time making it.

In return, The Nostalgic Cook sent in a recipe for something called Osgood Pie, and I have to say it seems she was very kind when choosing a recipe to send in. I've always sent in something strange that I never made before, but she decided to share something that she liked enough to make multiple times already. She writes:

Here is my submission for Osgood Pie from the cookbook, A Taste of Texas by Jane Trahey, 1949. I found it at a thrift store a while back for a dollar and couldn't resist all the cowboy illustrations. Osgood Pie is favorite of my husband's family (and of mine now, too), but the version we make uses a little nutmeg in place of the cloves, if the recipient wants to try that variation.

Osgood Pie
1 unbaked pie shell
3 eggs, beaten
1 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
1½ tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1 c chopped raisins
⅔ c chopped pecans

Heat oven to 350°.
Gradually add the sugar to the beaten eggs. Then add the remaining ingredients. Pour into the pie shell and bake 45 minutes.
This is not in the recipe, but it's really good with whipped cream or ice cream.

Source: A Taste of Texas by Jane Trahey, 1949 via The Nostalgic Cook

She's not kidding about the illustrations. I would have bought the book just for those too. Have a look:

And so, let's get to the recipe! It's credited to a Mrs. Byron Nelson from Fairway Ranch in Roanoke, Texas. If you're thinking we got a treasured recipe from a farm wife's kitchen, you may be surprised to find out that Fairway Ranch (most of which is is now a subdivision for expensive people) was the property of someone named Byron Nelson (you'll note that the recipe comes from his wife). Most of the news clippings I found about him made sure to call him "the golfing legend Byron Nelson." Perhaps the name Fairway Ranch should have been a clue. Apparently Byron Nelson was a big deal in Roanoke Texas because he has arterial streets named after him.

But enough about golf. Who cares about chasing tiny balls in an adult-sized Power Wheels car when there's pie? A lot of people like to say that the name Osgood Pie comes from people saying it's "oh so good." Or at least, that's a common folklore explanation, which may be too suspiciously perfect to be true. Osgood is also the name of the man in Some Like It Hot who got a lot of comedy mileage (and some tantalizing hints that bisexuality was allowed in Hollywood scripts) out of the line "Nobody's perfect." 

Sending in a pecan-loaded recipe seems about right for a recipe from Texas. But before we get to what's in the pie, we must attend to the first thing on the ingredient list: "One unbaked pastry shell." Since we're doing the finest foods of Texas today, it seems more appropriate than ever to start the recipe with this:

Yes, after our previous adventures with beef fat, we started saving it after draining instead of discarding it. We also decided to make the pie crust the modern way: with a food processor. This was a bit of a gamble on my part because the dishwasher has unfortunately up and died.

A lot of people I know prattle on about how much they love hand-washing dishes and how satisfying they find it. None of them wanted my sinkloads of happiness.


We went to every store that sold large appliances, failing to find one that wasn't sold out of the good dishwashers that would last longer than two years. After nearly two weeks, we found a store that had our desired model in one of their warehouses and were promised that a new dishwasher would arrive by the next week (in fact, I waited to make this pie until we knew when we would have one again). I made this pie the night before the scheduled delivery. If I won the bet against fate, I'd get the convenience of mixing a pie crust in less than two minutes. If I lost the bet, I'd have to wash all the pieces of a food processor by hand. 

Using a food processor brings out an internal conflict in me. On one hand, I love cooking with nothing but a wooden spoon and a bowl. On the other hand, I love gratuitously using kitchen power tools. Also, it's really neat how when you slowly dribble water into the whirling crumbs, it looks like nothing will change until they suddenly coalesce into a dough ball that bounces around on the blades.

I can't recommend saving your beef fat for pie crusts enough (if you make your own pie crusts). You already have it on hand if you had to drain a frying pan of ground beef, and the crust always comes out so well. I wouldn't go out and buy the stuff, but if you were about to throw it away, why not put beef into your next dessert? The dough handled so well that I only needed to patch it in one place.

After our experience last time when the pie crust tightened like a drum skin due to our failure to let its precious gluten strands relax before baking, we put the pie crust in the refrigerator instead of right in the oven (that and the recipe specifies unbaked anyway). I figured it would have enough time for gluten relaxation if I got the pie crust mess tidied away before I started getting out Osgood Pie ingredients. Remembering previous delicious success when I put cheese on top of the extra pie dough and rolled it out like puff paste, I decided to do that again.

Yes, I put the cheese through the food processor. It had the accidental happy effect of cleaning away the residual pie dough.

In case you're wondering, the cheese has just enough water in it to puff these up just like butter does in real puff paste. However, I forgot to add salt and lovely spices to the cheese, so these were a bit bland. However, if you remember to add a dash of salt and perhaps a bit of paprika to the cheese, these will be as lovely as they look.

Back to the pie! As long as we're already using kitchen power tools, it's time to attend to the cloves. I know that in The Nostalgic Cook's kitchen they like to put in nutmeg, but we already have an entire shaker of whole cloves (the already-powdered cloves were sold out when we needed them) that has gone untouched since the disastrously mediocre Sweet Cherry Ham Bake. I didn't know how many whole cloves would make a teaspoon of ground ones, so I just used a half teaspoon of the whole ones and hoped for the best.

The first time we ground our own cloves, we received a helpful suggestion in the comments to take a bit of sugar from elsewhere in the recipe and put it in the spice grinder with them. It prevents them from getting oily and sticky. Instead of stubborn clumps that won't come off the sides of the machine canister, you get a nice cloud of surprisingly pungent white powder.

Anyway, pie was severely delayed because a desire was expressed in the next room that we should make a frozen pizza (as a reminder, the dishwasher is lying dead in the yard, which has caused a temporary drop in culinary standards). And so, Osgood Pie had to wait for Tomato Pie. While waiting for the pizzas to bake, I decided to chop the raisins.

Calling for chopped raisins really dates a recipe. It seems that at some point in the past few decades, we collectively decided that raisins are naturally puny enough and therefore we can just dump them into whatever needed beraisining and move on with our culinary lives. I've always done my raisin chopping with scissors, but my hand got tired from pushing the blades through this big cup of them. Eventually, they turned into some sticky approximation of modeling clay. I then realized that I should have just used the food processor which was already dirty from the pie crust. After all, what's the worst that could have happened from accidentally getting a bit of pie crust into the pie filling? 

The pecans were easier, though. Chopped pecans are cheaper than whole ones anyway, so we merely had to dump them out of the package.

And so, with everything all measured out and ready to become united in a cow-based pie crust, we get to the only part of the recipe that caused any confusion: the "three eggs, beaten" that the recipe calls for. Are we supposed to just bash them about a bit, or are we bringing out our inner Mrs. Goodfellow and having at the eggs with our implement of choice until they turn into a bowl of beige foam? I decided that I was overthinking this (and didn't feel like making one pie with lightly beaten eggs and one made with thoroughly whipped ones just to test this). I decided that by the 1970s, people would explicitly write out to beat the eggs until thoroughly suds-ified if that's what the recipe wanted you to do. (I know that this cookbook is from 1949, but I got mixed up and thought the recipe was from the seventies when I was making it.)

This may be the quickest pie recipe I've ever done. After a brief bit of raisin-chopping and egg-beating, everything just gets dumped into the bowl. The hardest part of this recipe is breaking up that tenaciously cohesive clump of raisins. I felt conflicted at the wonderful pie taking shape in the kitchen. On the one hand, it seemed like it'd be delicious unless something very unexpected happened while it baked. On the other hand, where's the adventure in that?

For those of you cooking along to this recipe at home, you should know that you may not be able to just dump the bowl right into the pie pan and bake it. The brown sugary egg liquid stuff will of course fill the pan, but your pecans and raisins may not spread out without some wooden-spoon intervention. I will also note that you know this recipe's easy when that is the worst inconvenience in making it.

You should also know that the brown spiced pecan sugar stuff was so delicious I deliberately did a bad job of getting all of it out of the bowl and into the pie pan.


When we got it out of the oven, someone else in the house said "It looks like a cookie." Which... it does.

You know how brownies get a sort of top crust? Well, this had the same sort of top layer only even more so. When you cut this, you can hear how crisp the top of it is. But I have to admit, my hopes dropped when I saw what looked like a sticky, almost gloppy cross-section. With that said, you can actually cut this pie and lift out slices. And they taste every bit as good as they look.

Well, I served this out to everyone in the house. When one person ate it, he said nothing for a while. Then, when he remembered where his words went, he simply said "Good." Others eating it thought it tasted like Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have to agree that it does. We demolished two thirds of the pie--- and that's after a more-than-good-sized dinner. The next day, as we were eating what very little remained, someone asked "Does anyone else think this tastes like there's apples in it?" And it kind of does! Seriously, make this pie. You have nothing to lose but what's left of your pre-pandemic figure. It's amazing. But if you want your pie to really reach the highest heights of perfection, you can do one more thing....

I love that America is the country that gave us multiple varieties whipped cream in a spray can. Anyway, for those of you who fear that I may have ended up hand-washing all the parts of a food processor and a whole parade of bowls, measuring cups, and spoons, we have a happy ending!

I was really worried it wouldn't arrive in time. It seems like everything gets a surprise delay these days. But it is here and merrily sparing me the bother of handwashing all the parts of the food processor! 

I have to tell you, I had my suspicions about it because it barely made any noise. Every dishwasher I've had the pleasure of using has been so loud you could hear it across the house, but this one sounded like it was merely dripping a tiny trickle of water over the dishes. I thought that countdown timer on the door was merely telling me how long I had to wait before I opened the machine and found only disappointment and a lot of hand-washing waiting for me. Where was the noise? Where was the grinding, spraying, splashing racket that tells you that magical cleaning is happening? 

But to my ecstasy, at the end of its inaugural cycle I opened the door to find an entire dishwasher full of spotlessly clean dishes! And as you may know, I don't believe in prerinsing-- if you're going to pre-rinse your dishes, I think you may as well squirt some dish soap on them and leave the machine alone. It will take me a while to get used to a dishwasher that doesn't make any reassuring noise, but once again I can put every crusty, batter-and-dough spattered bowl and plate onto a rack and let the machine do the work. You can find me putting lotion on my hands to make up for the handwashing I had to do until tonight and trying not to eat the rest of this oh-so-good Osgood Pie.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious pie adventure! Be sure to see what everyone else made!

Saturday, August 7, 2021

Second-Stab Saturday: Cinnamon rolls or cinnamon snails?

 When last we saw the delicious dessert bread recipe, it was blissfully immersed in a drench of orange and coconut. We thought that the bread was good on its own, and thus wanted to take it out of its native citrus habitat and see how lovely it tastes by itself. Then we read that in some parts of the world, cinnamon rolls are called cinnamon snails. That was motivation enough to make them.

Cinnamon Rolls
In a cup, mix:
  • 1 envelope dry yeast
  • 2 tbsp warm water
  • 1 pinch of sugar
Let sit for five minutes to make sure it foams to life. Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together:
  • ¼ c sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ c sour cream
Beat until thoroughly blended, then stir in the yeast. When mixed, gradually add (beat well after each small addition):
  • 1½ c flour (Set aside 2 tbsp of this and add it the dough is too sticky)
Knead the dough about 15 times. Coat the dough in flour. Roll the dough into a rectangle. Make a long, skinny one if you want little rolls, or a wider rectangle if you want to make big rolls. Use extra flour on the countertop, and have extra on hand for whenever the dough even to stick. If the dough keeps retracting to its smaller size, cover it and let it rest a few minutes.
Sprinkle with a generous layer of brown sugar, leaving about half an inch of dough uncovered. Then shake a lot of cinnamon on top. Pat the sugar a bit to press it into the dough. Then brush the bare edge with milk. Starting at the opposite side of the bare edge, roll the dough loosely into a log (you want to do it a bit loosely so the inner spiral has room to rise). Press to seal, then slice.
Place the slices on a well-greased baking sheet.
Fill a pot of water nearly to the top, and bring it to a hard boil. Put the pot of water in the oven with the rolls. The hot steam will make the perfect rising place. Since you boiled so much water instead of just a little bit at the bottom of the pot, it will have a lot of retained heat to gradually exude and keep things warm. Leave the bread to rise.
When the dough is ready, remove the water pot and heat the oven to 375°. Bake until the rolls are golden and done.
Top with cream cheese icing (it's easier if you make it thin enough to pour on like a glaze), nothing, or whatever you desire.

adapted from an orange-coconut coffee cake by Mrs. Lawrence Hoerig (Mequon, Wisconsin), 1964 Pillsbury Grand National Bake-Off via Yesterdish


My friends and I, when making cinnamon rolls at 3 in the morning (as one does), would always just press them right up next to each other before letting them rise. Like every pan of brownies has corner pieces and center pieces for those who prefer them, you get some that are totally soft around all sides, and the ones that baked on the edge have a nice crispy brown on them after they're done. But no one here has any particular preference, so I just baked them like a normal person instead of clustered together like a bunch of cinnamon-snail grapes. 

Of course, you will note that one of the rolls on the pan has no cinnamon. I really wanted to see how good this bread tastes unadorned because the dough was very promising. It's not as sweet as I expected, and the tartness of the sour cream bakes away. I was expecting a sort of dessert bun, but instead this dough is the makings of some very good, subtly sweet dinner rolls. If we're still doing the slider craze (I think we've collectively gotten tired of sliders and returned to full-size sandwiches), this recipe would be perfect for them.


Of course, here in America we always cover our cinnamon snails (or cinnamon rolls if you prefer) with a tremendous flood of cream cheese icing. 


I think it says a lot about America as a country that these are considered a breakfast item. We didn't serve them like that this evening; we dropped the lie and ate them for dessert. They were absolutely delicious. The bread has a subtle flavor that adds to the cinnamon-cream cheese experience rather than just being a vehicle for lifting cinnamon, brown sugar, and icing into your face.

Anyway, the cinnamon-free cinnamon roll was so good that we decided to use this bread recipe to make sandwich buns. This time, we added a handful of whole-wheat flour to make them look cute and speckled, and also to give them an ever-so-slight change in flavor. We also learned that we are just not very good at shaping hamburger buns.

We had done one of those recipes that basically involves a slow cooker, a slab of meat, and whatever you want it to swim in for a few hours. Lately, meat prices have been weird. The big roasts that usually end your bank account have been cheaper than the ground beef or pork. We got a pork loin too long to put in the freezer without cutting it for a far lower price per pound than the ground meat just a few shelves away. 

At any rate, this bread recipe makes for delicious plain rolls, but I wouldn't use it for sandwiches. It's a bit too soft and delicate for holding a sandwich together. We ended up just eating most of the "buns" like oversize dinner rolls. Which... if you ever make the original recipe, definitely consider doubling the bread dough and baking a batch of dinner rolls alongside that orange-and-coconut delight.

Tuesday, July 27, 2021

Slipping Whole Wheat Where it Should Never Be

White flour is still a bit of a scarcity around here. But it seems that few of everyone who is just now getting into baking (note if this includes you: Welcome! Watch out for people who start throwing recipes at you and asking you to make them for parties!) has dared to try using brown flour. The shelves where white flour should be are as barren as the toilet paper aisle a few months ago, but brown flour remains as plentiful as ever. 

We've been trying to stretch that bag of powdered white gold by means of slipping brown flour into recipes. It's true that doing this to desserts can lead to the sort of letdowns that make one think of those health-food stores that tried to convince you that carob was as good as candy. With that said, I've been putting whole-wheat flour into brownies ever since Maida Heatter recommended it in her Book of Great Chocolate Desserts. As she wrote in that cookbook (which is good enough that I had a friend make a custom cover for it out of duct tape that says THE HOLY BIBLE), the whole-wheat flour adds a bit of "oomph" (her word choice) to them.

Anyway, today's recipe is one of the many that started out getting commercially published and has become almost a tradition. Our Mom of Cookrye has been making these since we were wee tots, long after the cookbook fell apart into spattered paper fragments. Naturally, instead of making the recipe as written, we are changing ingredients that shouldn't be changed.

½ c butter, shortening, or any combination of the two
2 c light brown sugar (if all you have is dark brown sugar, use half that and half white)
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1½ c flour

Heat oven to 350°. Grease a square pan.
Melt butter and butter/shortening. Add the brown sugar. When mixed, beat in the eggs. Then, stir in the baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Mix in the flour.
Spread in the pan and bake for 25-35 minutes.

Source: Betty Crocker's Cookbook (1994 edition)

Before you think this means that we at A Book of Cookrye have decided to healthify desserts, you should know that today's adventure starts out by economically replacing part of the butter with a big scoop of white glop from the massive can of shortening that is only in the kitchen because Hillary Clinton made me buy it.


I could have started this recipe from the beginning twice. But since we add the only test ingredient last, I decided to take the easier road, make one big batch of pre-flour batter, and divide it in half at the critical moment. I later realized that this made it a bit difficult to perfectly halve this well-beaten mixture of butter, sugar, and eggs.

We didn't have light brown sugar, so we used half dark brown and half white.

If I had a kitchen scale, I could have made a perfect and exact division of all the ingredients after I had them nicely mixed. Since I don't, let's move on to our waiting flours!

I have to pause here and thank the pizza purveyor for giving us a big stack of the tiny pans they bake garlic knots in when dispatching them for deliveries. While waiting for our pies, I mentioned offhand that the pans were the perfect size for small-batch baking. The cashier lifted a stack of them, handed them to us, and said that she uses them a lot at home too, both for cooking and for feeding her cats.

As aforementioned, I don't think I divided the ready-for-flour mixture perfectly in half. We have the same amount of batter in both pans, but that's because I scraped one bowl as thoroughly as possible but left a fair amount behind in the other.


That would automatically invalidate the results of this little experiment if I was trying to find out how a brown-for-white flour swap changed an otherwise unaltered recipe. After all, one has a lot more butter, flour, eggs, and sugar than the other. However, I just wanted to find out whether blondies are any good if you make them with brown flour, something we will still find out regardless of uneven halving. Besides, even if one kitchen mistake totally ruined anything we might have learned today, we'd still have blondies coming out of the oven in 25 minutes or less.

I don't know if it's just the darker color playing tricks on my mind, but the brown flour blondies seemed to have a slightly stronger molasses flavor. The white flour blondies had a more delicate top crust, but the top of the brown flour ones was ever-so-perfectly on that divide between crispy and crunchy. As aforesaid, I'm not shoving brown flour into cakes and pies in an attempt to force the illusion of healthiness. We all liked both of them, but the brown flour blondies disappeared faster.