Love by Mail: Sweet Muse Brownies

Sweet Muse Brownies
Sweet Muse Brownies

The last time a package of cookies was delivered, it was for a dear friend who always listens to everyone’s problems. Perhaps, I was subconsciously thinking of her, when a quick batch of oatmeal cookies were made in a tiny dorm kitchen. When the cookies had cooled, they were packed, postmarked and dropped in the mail to be delivered to Boston. It was a pleasant break from my graduate work, and the deed was forgotten. A few days later, a call was received with my dear friend crying thank you. Apparently, the package arrived around her birthday and she was enduring a stressful period of a broke down car, job woes and roommate issues. The arrival of the cookies was her omen of best wishes that somewhere out in a crazy world, someone cares. It was a coincidence the package arrived in time, because her birthday wasn’t marked on my calendar. Since then, she has requested cookies to be delivered around her birthday every year. If time were available, her wish would be granted.

Laura Siner, the owner of Sweet Muse Brownies, has solved the dilemma. She bakes brownies and cookies to be shipped anywhere in the country or hand delivered in Manhattan, New York. My Sweet Muse package arrived on a Saturday morning. The landlord placed the package at the foot of the stairs leading to the apartment. After enduring a hard week and sleepless nights, it was a timely arrival. The rest of the weekend was spent working on projects. By Sunday evening, an award was deserved. A brown box wrapped in a red ribbon was removed from the post office package. Laura had written a note, “Hope you enjoy these brownies.” Untying the red ribbon, lifting the lid from the brown box and then removing the cellophane from the brownies, a quote at the base of the brownie appeared on a red rectangular paper.

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The Sweet Potato Orange Cake that Could

Sweet Potato Orange Cake
Sweet Potato Orange Cake

A couple snowstorms ago, a grocery-shopping spree was timed before the arrival of the first of trillions of snowflakes. In a fury of quickness, a few sweet potatoes were picked up along with the Southern propensity to buy excessive quantities of milk and eggs before a storm. Over time and periods of warmness that melted the snow, other ingredients for delicious recipes were consumed. The sweet potatoes sat still in darkness. It’s not as if they weren’t wanted or a bore, for they were the favorite taste among all the ingredients. One day, a father released a new recipe to the email winds of change. It was a simple cake calling for sweet potatoes. Quite easy the recipe read to be. The supporting ingredients, good for their purpose, tried to be difficult to the process of baking a cake. Continue reading The Sweet Potato Orange Cake that Could

Buttermilk Pound Cake: Such Sweet Indulgences of Childhood Reminiscences are Well Deserved

As a child, the starting sound of a cake mixer being roared into action would lure me into the kitchen. My father gave me a spatula, and I would scrap the sides and the bottom of the bowl, after each ingredient was added. Behind his back, I would lick the spatula and the spoon rest. The best taste was the creaming of the sugar and butter. The taste test would temporarily cease when the eggs were added. When the flour was added, the taste test would restart. After pouring the batter into the pan and placing it in the oven, my father would allow me to lick the bowl and the mixer’s beaters.

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Appreciating Co-Workers who Support a Chocolate Addiction: Hazelnut, Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

People who keep a well-stock supply of chocolate in their office are my buddies. My co-workers are the reason I can never be truly sugar-free. Yes, I’m playing the “blame game”. The other day, I had the audacity to request peanut butter cups, but I fail to restock their candy tray. As a thank you treat to my co-workers, I initially decided to make a chocolate pound cake. A decadent one. The type of cake that will kill a chocolate craving in one bite. However, when I went running last week, I realized I have to start making healthier meals. I still owe my co-workers some type of treat. Hopefully, the oatmeal cookies will be peacemaker with the co-workers. It’s a sugary, healthy treat. Perhaps, the cookies will prevent my overindulgence of their candy stash for one day.

Sidenote: I usually buy  Callebaut bittersweet chocolate from Buon Italia in Chelsea Market because of the natural vanilla and rich true flavor of chocolate. I also use it when making hot or cold chocolate milk.

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Granny’s Sweet Potato Pie

Sweet Potato Pie

There are many Sweet Potato Pie recipes using corn syrup. I don’t remember my grandmother and father using that super sweetener. However, I remember plenty of brown sugar. I made this for our Christmas dessert this year, and I understood I had big shoes to fill. Apparently, the boyfriend’s mother makes the best Sweet Potato Pie. I called on my dream team, the Dad and the Granny, to help me with this recipe. Even when I forgot a couple ingredients after I placed the pies in the oven, I called my Granny for reinforcements. Thank goodness she saved the day, and it was great talking with her as the pies were baking in the oven. Of course, I would never ask the boyfriend who does  it better. I tell myself, I must stay humble. Oh, humble pie, I sweet you.

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