My Party Rock Anthem

It’s been a while since I’ve written a post and really this is going to be more of a free thought stream than a well thought out post.  It was mid week and having got home late, starving, with a ton of things to do, I stood in the middle of my kitchen not knowing what to tackle first.  My girls had all gone off to bed and as usual there was stuff to put away, things that could be cleaned, laundry to be done, not to mention school papers to go through, etc.  Selfishly, I turned on the radio and heard LFMAO’s “Party Rock Anthem“.  So, what did I do?  The only thing I could do.  I ‘Joey-danced’ in the middle of my kitchen all by myself.  What is ‘Joey-dancing’, you ask?  It’s how my daughter’s boyfriend dances when a techno rap song plays.  It’s kind of a head-n-hair shakin’ movement while swinging your forearms above your head sort of a thing.  It’s not complicated (‘cuz otherwise I wouldn’t be able to do it), but you really should see it to get the full flavor of the dance.  It’s Very liberating!

When Party Rock was over, I decided that despite the lateness of the hour, I would carry over this good stress relieving behavior and chose to do some baking.  Boy, did I need that!  I was reminded once again how therapeutic baking is for me.  My true gratification; however, came this morning when my girls each wanted to take half a dozen to school to share with friends, along with the oohs and aahs from co-workers.  The recipe was for Mocha Brownies, which is listed on the Featured Recipe page.  I posted the original recipe I found on epicurious.com some time ago.  If you were lucky enough to snag a piece or two, I did make a few substitutions and changes to the original recipe, which is not unusual for me.  If you are thinking of duplicating what you tasted, my alterations are listed at the end of this post.

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned when baking, it’s that you shouldn’t be afraid to make substitutions and to switch out ingredients.  I really didn’t take any big risks with this recipe, but there are many times when I have made a recipe a third or fourth time and decided to switch it up.  There may be a time when it doesn’t turn out that great, but then there are other times when, SCORE!, what you come up with is better than the original.  Then you too can Joey-dance in your kitchen!

The Mechanics:

The only two ingredient changes I made were to substitute nonfat Greek yogurt (plain) for the sour cream and instant Nescafé Frappé for the espresso powder.  I also left out the walnuts.

In addition, I used a larger pan than the 13 x 9 asked for, because I found that this recipe bakes more evenly when the batter is spread out in a larger pan, the resulting brownie then is not as thick.  I also prefer using parchment paper to using waxed paper, especially in an oven with a temperature over 300ºF.  If you use parchment paper, there is really no need to spray nonstick vegetable oil spray on the pan or the overhanging edges of the paper.

My last alteration is partially for visual effect.  After sprinkling the top with powdered sugar, I like to sprinkle the top again with cocoa powder, for that extra rich chocolate kick.  Today I used Ghirardelli’s Sweet Ground Chocolate & Cocoa.

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