Birthday in the bag
I think there is an invisible list of rules that exists with regard to birthdays for my children..((somehow the words “list” and “rules” just seemed to suck all of the fun out thinking about birthdays – oopsie)). Well, the rules are flexible – more like guidelines and procedures.
Just a few simple things like, giving a birthday greeting, hug, song, special breakfast, special activity, special lunch, party, presents, special dinner and then most important…THE CAKE. These things intensify for those milestone birthdays – like turning 10, where the plans just don’t seem to match how
sad happy my heart feels about them growing up. Am I the only one who feels a little cloud of depression overhead as they enter double digits??
Okay, on to brighter topics: sugar! Each kiddo has his/her favorites of some, if not all of these procedures–but the most opinionated topic seems always to be the same. There must be CAKE and it must be their favorite, or uniquely special – with just the “birthday boy/girl” in mind. Shep asked for a cheesecake for an entire 4 months before his birthday. Kade and Brod love a good cookie cake. Gracie requires the pinkest, sweetest cake which must have a 1:3 cake to icing ratio.
My most recent birthday was for Brody, he turned 10 – it actually happened. In my mind he’s 4 – but he did what he is so good at, he launched a sneak attack on growing up. I blinked and he was 4, I blinked again and he turned 10. Time…well, time flies ((sniff)).
This particular birthday was spent away from home. Brody has a birthday that will always land during spring break, which usually is no problem for us because we have never gone anywhere for spring break. But, this year the kids are all at a great age to start taking them out into the world to see “things” and do “stuff”. Well, unless
we they start causing a scene and then we just crawl right back into our hole for another year. But since we were away from home, I started feeling concerned about how I would make his birthday feel special to him. Additionally, the day before our trip started, I became gross sick and couldn’t think straight. But I was determined to follow the guidelines and procedures – he MUST have a special meal and he MUST have a cake and he MUST have a present to open.
The last thing I did before crawling into bed the night before we left turned out to be a very great idea and worked out perfectly. I decided to place all of the pre-measured ingredients for his special cake into a large ziploc baggie & pack it in the car along with several other things I had already made ahead for dinners. Immediately, all of my stress was gone, I had a plan, it would be tasty, it would be simple and most of all Brod would feel special and happy.
This recipe is a variation of a very special family recipe. My aunt won a blue ribbon at the county fair for this sweet treat! Mom and I have made it so much that I have had it memorized from a very young age. We could even sing a little song about the ingredients ((but I don’t remember it anymore so don’t bother asking haha)). As I grew up and started finding interest in reading recipes and cookbooks, I found something so funny. Our special family recipe was exactly the same as Betty Crocker’s brownie recipe! Now, I am not sure but just maybe Betty took our family recipe for herself…just kidding.
- 6 T butter, softened
- 2 eggs
- 1 1/2 c sugar
- 2 t vanilla
- 6 T cocoa powder
- 1/4 t salt
- 1 1/3 c all-purpose flour
- 1 bag Heath Bar brand toffee bits ((or chocolate chips))- half goes in the brownie batter & half is used in the frosting.
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 6 T cocoa powder
- 2 t vanilla
- 1/2 stick butter, softened
- 2-3 T milk (I used skim but whole is great too)
- remaining toffee bits
- Preheat over to 350°. Grease an 8"x12" baking dish. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together butter and eggs. Next, add in sugar, vanilla, cocoa powder and salt. Whisk until completely combined. Set aside the whisk and add the flour and toffee bits folding in with a wooden spoon. Make sure you do not over mix, it is okay is still see patches of flour in the batter. Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30 to 35 minutes until you can stick a toothpick in the center and pull it out almost clean.
- While the brownies are baking, combine the frosting ingredients (except milk and toffee bits) in a medium mixing bowl. Add a little milk at a time, stirring until you reach the desired consistency. (I prefer my frosting to be thick). Once you have reached to consistency you like, fold in the toffee bits. Chill in the fridge until the brownies have finished baking.
- If you want a more distinct brownie square, you can wait until the brownies have cooled to top with the frosting. I didn't wait for them to cool and that is where the mudslide appeared ((haha)).