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Brownies to Die For!

by Bev Shaffer

by Jennifer A. Wickes
other reviews by Jennifer A. Wickes

"Brownies To Die For"? That title was screaming for me to investigate!

I admit, I like my sweets, especially chocolate. But I needed to know...would I die for these brownies like the title indicates I will?

Bev Shaffer, the author, has been baking brownies for years. She appears to be a true master! Her publisher is Pelican, and having seen Pelican's books before, I knew what to expect.

A comprehensive cookbook on everything brownie related! There are SO many recipes here, it is amazing.

I decided to make a batch. With my sons' input, we decided to make the Chocolate Peanut Butter Brownies. The recipe was easy-to-follow, really quite straight forward. The one hitch, the recipe was supposed to cook for 35 minutes or until only a couple of crumbs are on a wooden toothpick. Well, I cooked mine for 55 minutes, and we never got to that stage. I decided, in the end, to remove the brownies, and be able to sample part of the batch.

When this hap pened, I had to think...what did I do? I went over the entire recipe. Was my pan size correct? Yes. Did I preheat my oven long enough? How's 45 minutes?! Did I follow the recipe completely? I thought so. Did I measure everything effectively? Yeah! Is my oven really heating up to 350 like it needed to be? Well, I am not sure, BUT I am a food writer, cookbook reviewer and recipe developer. Does that make me infallable? No. But what that does say is I am cooking ALL the time. I am trying new recipes all the time. And I honestly have not had such a discrepancy with the cooking time before this situation. An idea I had later was maybe it was a typo, a keystroke error, perhaps, as 3 and 6 are near each other. Maybe the cooking time is supposed to be 65 minutes! (Anyway, I am open that the error is on my side.)

But...were the brownies good enough to die for? Well, I asked my taste testers. My husband - not a big sweet eater - thought they were too rich. My boys gobbled them up! Mi ne was good! So, I asked...were these brownies good enough to die for? Except for my husband - the non-sweet eater - yes! In fact, they were good enough to kill for!


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