Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Smokin' Hot Fudge Brownies

The Saga of How I lost my cool Umbros and Susan Ashton T-shirt...

Smokin' Hot Brownie Preview...

So the week was going well. Until tonight. Yes. Tonight. Maybe after I laugh and eat the chocolate candy we are "supposed" to give out to the neighbor's kids tomorrow it will get better...

Fire must be attracted to me... like that character, Pyro, in the X-Men movies... I'm just not able to manipulate it at will like he can. One example of this attraction to fire happened when I was 18 or 19. I was cooking dinner at Nan's house back when I spent weekends with her during my college years. It was a quiet afternoon. I think it was Saturday. I was boiling water for pasta and I was reaching in the upper cabinet above the stove (what kind of architectural fool thought it was a good idea to put spice racks RIGHT above a gas stove... hmmm???) I remember I needed Old Bay seasoning, and I thought for sure Nan must have moved it or thrown it away because I couldn't find it up there... I kept searching around and then I happened to notice that the boiling water smelled rather funny. Hmmmm... I thought... I didn't know boiling water was supposed to.... WAIT... I looked down, and just happened to catch a glimpse of my nylon soccer shorts and my Susan Ashton T-shirt with flames gently coming up towards my face...

This is what my cool umbros looked like... boy do I miss these!

This was on my Susan Ashton T-shirt... why I remember wearing this particular T-shirt, I have no idea...

I remember standing there and nearly giggling at first... this couldn't be real... I couldn't really be on fire... Right??

I'm sure it happened much faster than I remember all of this, but suddenly once the realization hit, I was frantically searching my mind for those little words they taught us in kindergarten... what was it? OH... STOP DROP AND ROLL!!

I did just that and started yelling at Nan to come and help me!! Nan happened to have carpet in that kitchen (don't ask me why...) and she recently had been hoping to get those new pretty fake wooden floors... but she just didn't have the cash on hand...

All I remember was rolling back and forth on that carpet from side to side as fast as I could! Nan FINALLY came to see what was going on and I'm sure the sight was a surprise. There on her kitchen carpet was Carrie, her reasonably responsible granddaughter, rolling back and forth trying to put out the remaining flames that were whipping out from under her. SOOO...

Nan started praying.

I thought maybe throwing cold water would have been a little more helpful at the time, but the prayers must have worked! The flames finally subsided. I was pretty burned from the middle of my abdomen up to my chest... and my cool nylon soccer shorts were a goner... but I was okay. I actually started laughing after it was over, right there on the burned carpet. And crying. At the same time. That's how I handle stress...

Sorta like I did tonight.

See, tonight was the first night that I decided to use the heat. (Okay, Michael really would have enjoyed using it last night, but I refused since we still had air conditioning on LAST week!) But tonight it was chilly. This morning it was 54 degrees and my toes were a little bit frozen. Sure, it would be okay to turn on the heat.

So I turned it on... started reading a book... Michael was teaching tonight, so I was in no hurry to start dinner. Soon I noticed it seemed rather foggy in the room... but I thought maybe it was just me... nope... about 5 minutes later the smoke alarms started ringing... scared me out of my mind, not to mention the cats!

Frantically, I went to pull out the batteries of the smoke alarms... none-the-less they kept ringing... I knew neighbors would coming flying over any minute!! I took the batteries out, and then they just kept buzzing. I turned the furnace off. I called Michael. After some initial swearing on his part (this is our new house after all, with a new furnace -- it's not supposed to catch on fire!), he finally told me I should call the heating company.

SO, I did what any good girl would... I called my Dad first. Dad said call the heating company. Guess, I'll just stick with my husband's advice next time! So I called them. Heater Dude answered the emergency pager and told me to turn the furnace back on... was he NUTS? I didn't want my brand new house to catch on fire! So... reluctantly I turned the heat back on... 3 uneventful minutes later, Heater Dude told me the heater was fine, he was really tired and had been TOTALLY busy the last two days and he just wanted to lay down on his couch (I'm not kidding... he really said this!)... if the smoke alarms went off again to call him.

Boy, that was reassuring.

2 minutes after I hung up... yep... you guessed it... the smoke alarms went off AGAIN... I knew the neighbors were going to come running this time...

So I called Heater Dude again, and he reluctantly said he would be over soon. About 10 minutes later Heater Dude's Boss called. I told him that I already had help, Heater Dude was coming to see about the furnace... in the best southern accent, the Boss said, "No Ma'am he's not. He does NOT need to come out there. I want you to turn on your heat and LEAVE it on for 15 minutes, open all your windows, let the smoke out, and you'll be just fine. That happens with a new furnace. Sometimes dust and stuff gets stuck down there and has to burn off when it's first turned on. I promise you... just turn it back on and I'll call you in 15 minutes to make sure everything is okay."

Needless to say, I didn't believe Heater Dude's Boss.

15 minutes later, I'm freezing with literally every window and door open... Yes, the heat is on... Yes... there is no longer any more smoke....and, Yes... the smoke alarms are sleeping soundly.

The Boss called back and asked if everything was okay. It's fine, sir. "You're safe Ma'am. You'll be okay. Don't you worry now!" Does this guy know a new female homeowner when he hears one or what?

SO...after all that... I didn't want dinner... I wanted brownies... Here's what I came up with:

Smokin' Hot Fudge Brownies

  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup rice flour
  • 1/4 cup teff flour
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. shortening
  • 1 cup Hershey's chocolate syrup (or other gluten-free syrup)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1 (12 oz.) bag gluten-free chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix flours, sugar and xanthan gum together. Cut in shortening until mix resembles course crumbs. In a large metal bowl, mix chocolate syrup, baking soda, and hot water together. Let cool. Once chocolate syrup mix has cooled add flour mixture. Add beaten egg and oil. Put gluten-free chocolate chips in a plastic bag. Add 2 Tbsp. rice flour to plastic bag and toss. Add coated chocolate chips to brownie batter and stir. Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Bake 35-40 minutes.

Eat immediately after dealing with frantic smoke alarms... hopefully these brownies won't set them off!

I got the idea for these brownies from two sources:
1) the technique used to create Shoofly Pie, and
2) Abby's Grandma's Hershey Cake.

This was the 2nd piece to go...

Going... Going...


PS...And just in case, you were biting your nails in anticipation...Nan got her new Pergo Laminate Floors, after the insurance company decided that I didn't set fire to myself on purpose...

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