#82, Chocolate Brownies with Caramel, Peanut Butter, and Pecans

“This is a variation on a brownie that we served at the bakery for years. In this version, though, the caramel and pecans, plus the surprisingly tasty addition of peanut butter chips, are layered between the graham cracker crust and the brownie.” (Excerpt: Magnolia)

The end of a harrowing journey.


This journey looked as though it would be a cake walk. I had everything needed for the recipe.


Got to use my food processor to turn graham crackers into powder.

I can feel the power of the steel blades.

Reached stage 2 with a promissing crust and everything ready to roll.


I should say, ready to pour.

I smell sweetness brewing! Caramel, chocolate, butter.



Officially way too much caramel. My sweet tooth was in the driver’s seat.

No sign of danger yet.

This layer is the caramel, peanut butter chips, crushed pecans and walnuts – not yet finished sprinkling on the walnuts.

Decpetive tranquility.

Chocolate brownie layer. Fits perfectly.

10 minutes later, I peeked inside the oven and saw and smelled a caramel volcano oozing and dripping down every side of the pan. BUT !!! I could tell that the brownie was holding its place over most of the surface. So I was determined to let the caramel run its course and let the baking proceed.

lava flow

The resulting brownie lava field AFTER having scraped around all the edges.

Trim off 1 inch perimeter of candied caramel and an AMAZING brownie awaits.

Best brownie of my life.

Dense. Just beyond gooey into the pleasantly chewy realm of YUM. Yep, back to the land of YUM and glad I made the journey.


#30, Glazed Breakfast Buns, p. 23

This delicate bun topped with a streusel glaze will definitely start your day off right. (p. 23)


IMG_0980 - Version 2
Delicate bun awaiting its icing
Smash, Hulk. Smash! Not the buns, just the pecans. OK?
Firm decision to smash the pecans to bits.

DETOUR: Slight. The recipe called for drizzling a bit of pure sugar icing on top of the buns, then sprinkling that with roughly chopped pecans. I decided to infuse the icing with lots of pecan – pecan bits and pecan dust, and then spread it as if on a regular cupcake.

Another entry into YUMDOM.
Crowned by the Hulk!

Destined for a group of long-suffering IB students.


#28, Cream Cheese Crumb Buns, p. 19


My original post of #28 was done in a rush before leaving for school. I need to readjust my time management. Basically, I need to push myself in the evening rather than try to pull everything off in the early morning. That said, the BUNS turned out scrumptialicious. Yep, scrumptialicious.

I posted this blog at 7:30 AM and announced to my (local) blog followers that the buns were theirs for the taking.


Cream cheese? Check. Flour? Check. Butter? Check. Sugar? Check. Espresso? Check. Begin!

Eventually gave rise to this

Well, those who check their email before the school world takes off at 8 AM, got the message, and a few got the goods.

Early birds
Smiles are the food of bakers, moms, and dads.


A three-tiered recipe – bun dough, filling, topping.

At the top of the page, I started post with a picture of all the assembled ingredients and tools ready to get to work. The French (bless their hearts) call this the mis en place. The picture just above this note is not exactly that. The three bowls in this picture are full of mixtures for the three layers that eventually make this SCRUMPTIALICIOUS bun. There are a few things which can’t yet be in bowls; the vegetable shortening, sugar, and eggs have to be “creamed” apart from the other mixtures.

Recipe Detour: I added two ripe, luscious pears to this that were not called for. They were orphaned in the fridge. I gave them a home – even if only temporary.

I need a a better squusher.

Baking these buns requires a bit of a process.

1. Half-fill the tins with dough and bake to 10 minutes.

2. Quickly pull the buns from the oven

3. Add 1+ tablespoon of cream cheese filling to each

4. Top generously with the crumb topping

5. Put back in the oven for 16 minutes.


These Cream Cheese Crumb Buns MUST be eaten with a fork or, even better, a spoon.

From the land of YUMDOM.

The buns were kind of delicate and needed the support of a muffin cup. Make a nice gift, don’t you think?