Friday, January 6, 2012
Is There a JACKHAMMER in the House??! and plans/goal
They come in aqua?
Anyway - I needed that jackhammer and a couple of hardhats ...one for myself and one for the cat.
He looks better in lime than I do ...sooo NOt in my color palette. ;)
I'm looking forward to going to dinner at a friend's house tonight. Younger son and his friends will be their too. Her son is home from the Coast Guard for a couple of weeks and it's been so nice to see him again. And I'm looking forward to seeing her Christmas tree since I didn't get over there during the holidays.
Anyway ...I decided I would bring a couple of desserts. One of them these yummy Toffee bars - always a hit. Hint about the post - you could use these Toffee bar chunks to HIT someone!
Heh ...best laid plans ...
All you do is mix the packed brown sugar, softened butter, vanilla and egg then add flour and salt. Then press all of it into a greased 9x13 dish and bake. It comes out like one big tollhouse cookie - sort of. Then you immediately pour and spread 2/3 cups milk chocolate morsels on top ..let sit for a minute and spread like icing. Sooooooooooo easy and tasty. oh and if you want sprinkle nuts on top.
So, later I went to cut them into squares to pack in a tin and no matter what I did ...I could not cut through this dessert. I am telling you ...I got a heavy duty butcher knife, a heavy duty pizza cutter and other kinds of sharper,smaller knives. I tried coming down the outer edges, then when I finally broke through and got a piece out in fragments ...I then slid a large sharp knife underneath, trying to pry it upward ..which it did ..but sent pieces flying everywhere!
"Okay ..that's it! Too hard to do and I'm not fighting with it before going to bed."
I wrapped it tightly with foil, hoping it would somehow soften during the night.
Sooo ..now bright eyed and bushy tailed and with a better attitude ...I decided to work on it again. Now ...I'm thinking ...no one should have to "work" to get dessert out of the pan ...and maybe it wouldn't taste so good anyway ..although the fragment I tasted before bed was good... perhaps a bit harder than what it should be ...but it was the outer corner.
Well sitting overnight under tightly wrapped foil did not help it soften and there was NO WAY under God's creation I was ever going to get neat little squares out of this pan. I thought about using a strong stainless steal spatula to slide under and lift, but if it broke free because of leverage pressure I was having to use with a table knife ...a whole bunch of dessert would've become air born.
You might be wondering "Why bother?" Well I tasted it and it actually does have good flavor. At the very least, the guys could have it here.
Plus ...now the gauntlet was down ...battle of the wills ...not that dessert can through a gauntlet down or has a mind of it's own ...but challenge on and that dessert was coming out of that pan no matter what!
This would be the time to play the Rocky theme song ...if I had it.
Soooooooooo ...the next thing I did was get one of our heavily weighted table knives and tried to pry up a piece close to the middle, except it slipped and the pressure sent pieces of toffee bar air born again and the knife flying up hitting the cabinet just above and ricocheted it right down to the tile with a clatter ...JUST missing Mom's elderly cat, Peachy ..who was calmly drinking his water. Just missed him and made a loud noise and that cat did not flinch at all. He is hard of hearing. (He's 21) But, that cat is fearless. NOTHING scares him or e-v-e-r makes him jump. I think he was so loved and sheltered in Mom's apartment for 18 yrs, that he never knew fear. Or he is just a lion at heart among house cats. Not sure. if that knife had hit him, it wouldn't have impaled him, but I do think the force and weight would've hurt his back or head. Thankfully that didn't happen.
Ha! if that had been our other cat, Sneakers ...there would now be a cat shaped hole cutout in the ceiling, because he would've shot through the roof ...never mind ceiling. That cat splits in a second if he hears anyone inhale ...never mind noise. We got him as a kitten and he came from a house that had a lot of small children and 2 big German Shepherds and just to get him for us they had to chase after him under their furniture. I think he was in survival mode just living in their house and so now he is a fraidy cat ...so timid ...yet quite agile. I think he probably has 100 lives just because he can get out of a situation faster than a superhero.
Anyway, I admit I was more than a little annoyed and by God this stuff was coming out of this dish ...no matter what. I didn't care that there were now crumbs, displaced nits and oddly shaped broken pieces and some with the chocolate separated off the the cookie part.
If I'm not tenacious ...I'm nothing.
And then ...it hit me and I don't know why I didn't think of it sooner. A chisel! Of course I don't even know where Mr SeaSpray has one and he didn't bring the hammer back in the house ...but there had to be s-o-m-e-t-h-i-n-g.
GOT it! And it worked ...in conjunction with the heavy weighted table knife.
"What? you ask?
I'll give you a hint.
It's VERY sharp and begins with an "I".
ICEPICK! I used an icepick! I never use that. It was my aunt and uncles from years ago. And today ...for the first time ...I used their icepick to get my dessert out of the dish. Ha ha! It's so sharp and good handle for leverage. I plunged it in repeatedly in places ...like Psycho cook ;) and then used the heavy knife to pop the dessert up. Some did fly around a bit but not like before.
Finally ...it was a fait accomplis!
I really expended some energy over this and was physically and emotionally drained. Nah ...I'm kidding about that ...but it was a bit of a workout. I'm pretty sure I've got stronger upper body now. ;)
Younger son told me he thinks I should still bring it because it tastes good. The only thing is you should see the pile of rubble it looks like in the dish. Not uniform little squares, but more like broken pieces of slate like what you see in patios. It looks like an excavation site in that dish. Most of the nuts came loose and some of chocolate popped off.
But ...I'm thinking ...maybe I can salvage the best pieces and kind of pile them up on a small plate and lightly sprinkle powdered sugar over them and on a pretty plate ...like I planned it all along. You know ...decided to get a bit creative instead of cookie cutter same old ..same old way of doing it. Presentation is everything. :) ??
The only thing is ...I got this recipe from THIS friend. She's gonna laugh for sure. I heard she's making a CHEESECAKE and I am bringing this pile of eatable rubble? I did bake brownies too. So all isn't lost.
Oh and I heard she is making Chicken Marsala, one of my FAVORITE dishes. Can't wait! :)
Anyway ...I am wondering what the heck went wrong? I have made this before. True not since last Christmas, but have made this about 4 times in last couple of years and it never cemented into the dish. ??? Normally, they're chewy ..but nice chewy... firm chewy ...not HARD.
Sooooooooooooooo ...I am wondering if maybe I packed TOO MUCH brown sugar without realizing it? The lighting wasn't good and I did keep packing it down. Or did I bake too long? I know it was within the normal time range. I was also baking the brownies and so left the toffee bars in 4 minutes longer, but was the upper end of toffee bar direction baking time. I didn't remove it out of the pan when they said and instead waited hrs later, but I've done that before. Oh and supposed to use cooking spray to grease and I used butter ...but, I always use butter.
Well, I think since they still taste good ...I am going to try to salvage them and see if I can create an appealing presentation with them.
I am making these next week for people.
Because ... they are yummy ...and when you fall off the horse ...you have to get back on it.
I'm just saying. :)
Oh ... I am going to be baking and baking next week. I want to use up all baking supplies in the house and I've decided to stop using sugar until Mr SeaSpray's birthday in March. Ha ha ..."using" ..like I'm using a drug! Just about, if sugar causes you to want more and more and never be satisfied. :)
Anyway, I am going to bake and give away. Which is always fun to do. And of course keep some here for the guys. But then ..that's it! I'm not going to be all crazy about it. If sugar is in bread or something like that ..I'll have it. But no desserts of any kind. I don't care for sweet drinks and so I am lucky there. I don't like sweetened cereals and I really don't go for ice cream now that it is winter. That has been sitting in freezer for awhile now. I'm still having my love affair with apples and even tho ate Christmas goodies ..still craved apples ..which just never happened before and so I think I am finally turning the corner with actually preferring healthier food as close to how God made it. Tis a good thing. :) And once the baked goodies are gone ...Mr SeaSpray will have to buy his own stash if he wants sweets. he has a COOKIE MONSTER sweet tooth, but never has weight issues. So not fair!
I feel a little guilty that I will stop baking or bringing the stuff in ..but I just want to see what positive effect it has on me. He'll understand, but somewhere ingrained in me ... love = baking and wonderful aromas wafting through the house. True ...I can tease with candles, although not quite the same as actually eating the food.