Monday, August 14, 2006

Elvis Week

I hosted a baby shower in my home over the weekend and was pretty busy all last week with the last of summer programs for teens at work and with getting ready for that. All went well, thankfully.

I did have time to cook last week, both a dinner and a dessert, but this is my first chance to blog. Let me start by reminding readers it is Elvis Week - the 16th is the anniversary of his disappearance. I know many think he passed away, but there is that whole business with the misspelling on his grave...

I received 3 of this book as wedding gifts 11 years ago. Every time I try to slip a copy in the booksale room at the library a kind co-worker puts it on my desk, thinking I might like it!
It is by Brenda Arlene Butler and is based on research of southern cuisine at the time and a Graceland source. It even includes his & Priscilla's wedding cake.
I made the Frosted Brownies:
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
4 eggs
1 cup flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped (I put these on top of the frosting - personal preference)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 7X11 inch baking pan. (It took me a while to find something close to this in the house.) Combine the butter, sugar and vanilla. Add the eggs and beat well. Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt and blend. Stir in the nuts (optional).

Pour in the pan and bake for 25 - 30 minutes. (I had to do 40 minutes to get them done.)

Frosting - I modified this as it was the consistency of mud or something else. It looked too impolite to photograph.
1/4 cup cocoa
2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine and beat until spreadable. Frost the cooled brownies.

They are very rich, as you likely figured out from the tons of butter, but they are quite good.

In fact, typing about this has made me hungry. I am going to go eat another after finishing this.

Last week, I made two recipes from the Pillsbury's 21st Bake-Off pamphlet. I love this one as it includes photos of the ladies or men who entered the contest, and often they are holding up their dish. It has little comments too. For the Saucy Crescent Ravioli it says "Crescent dough forms 'easy-to-fill-meat pillows' in the main dish by Mrs. Edna Buckley of Collins, New York. ... Mrs. Buckley adds a salad and dessert to make a tasty lunch or dinner for her family, including a daughter who is also a Bake-Off finalist this year. Of course, I then spent way too much time trying to figure out who her daughter was from the pictures. I narrowed it down to two possibilities from NY, figuring they stayed near home after marriage, but neither recipe appealed. Why wouldn't it say who the daughter was? Ugh. Whoever had my copy originally wrote in comments like 'kids didn't like this'. I love this kind of thing, and always wonder about previous owners.

I also made the Fudge-full Peanut Butter Bars, which use a yellow cake mix and had a surprising coconut addition. "Mrs. Jonita Williams of Stockton, Kansas has a husband and three boys who love peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies...she likes to serve them with ice cream or fruit as snacks." While these were too rich right out of the oven (I ignored the cooling suggestion as they smelled so good), they were heavenly after being in the fridge. I am very pleased with the way both turned out. Both are at the site, but here are my pictures of both recipes:

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