Sunday, February 7, 2016

Chocolate: America's Coping Mechanism

I was born into a family with proud Minnesotan roots. Roots so deep that even though I grew up in Texas, every Sunday was a "bleed purple and gold whether the Vikings won or lost" kind of experience. I will say the latter happens more often than the former though. So we don't have the greatest record, and we've never won a Super Bowl, but our mascot is bitchin', our defense will eat you alive, and we still have one of the most fantastic running backs in the entire NFL...ahem, not to boast, but we're also this season's NFC North Champions. But if there's one thing I've learned as a lifelong Vikings fan, it's how to channel the loss-rage into a little something I like to call "eating my feelings." When we lost the 2009 NFC championship game thanks to He-who-shall-not-be-named (traitor), I blacked out a little, but I still think I managed to eat almost an entire pan of brownies. That may sound extreme, but it was better than rage spiraling and punching the person closest to me or drinking a pony keg's worth of beer. Football is passion. We yell at our TV every Sunday in hopes the coach will somehow hear us and stop making terrible calls and get it together. We scream with glee when our team blows it out of the water with a game-winning touch down. But when it comes to the worst and we get one in the loss column, you know what's always there to make you feel better? Chocolate. Chocolate has been solely responsible for ensuring I make it through every Vikings game since I was a child. Chocolate is the food version of a mother's or lose, chocolate just makes people happy. So when the pinnacle of all football games comes around every February, you gotta make sure you have a dessert on hand for either celebration or defeat purposes. Enter the Rolo-stuffed brownie bite topped with Baileys salted caramel chocolate buttercream. Both a mouthful to say and eat!

This is what we call intentional yummy.

I'm totally on the fence for game. Do I love the Manning family? Absolutely. Do I hope Peyton can win one more and retire at the top? I so do. But at the same time, Cam Newton has been a beast leading the Panthers all season to a nearly perfect record. It would be a major blow to get this far and not win the Super Bowl. So I needed to make a dessert that would leave my ambivalence satisfied with either outcome. I made chocolate footballs last year, but there was no booze in those. I needed chocolate and booze in case Nationwide decides to show another dead kid commercial this year or in the event the halftime show is as underwhelming as it has been the past five years...I had to be prepared. So I rolled the idea around in my head, and I came up with a dessert so simple, you can make it in an hour. If you're still wondering what deliciousness to bring to your own parties tomorrow, heed the recipe!!
Yes, I cheated and used a box mix.
You will have tons of leftover Rolos, so, win!
That's get to use a box brownie mix. No fancy recipe here. I'm sure you could find one, but let's face it, the big same starts in a few hours, and if you're in a pinch, no one will care you used a box brownie mix because you've gone the extra mile and put Rolos in them. So preheat your oven to 325 and make the brownies as directed. Grease a mini muffin tin (I just bought this, and will be making everything in mini muffin form from here until eternity--case in point--also making mini spinach dip cups for the game, too). Place a dollop of brownie batter into each hole, and then unwrap a ton of Rolos and simply plop one into the middle of each cup of batter. Bake 12-15 minutes or until mostly set. Allow 5-10 minutes and remove the brownies to a cooling rack.
It's ok, we're all gonna feel a little sunken in tomorrow morning what with the food and drink hangovers.
The brownies will sink in where the Rolos were placed, but this is fine. You can leave your brownies sunken and exposed, or be a pal and cover them up with frosting. In this case, boozy frosting.
More Baileys? Yes. There's never enough.
This is a pretty simple frosting recipe, and if you wanted to make it booze-free, just sub milk or heavy cream for the Baileys. But I feel like I'm really on to something here. Why just drink alcohol during the big game when you can eat it, too? Gather up:
  • 1 cup of room temp butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla 
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 4 TBS Salted Caramel Baileys
Cream the butter and vanilla for a few moments, then add in the cocoa powder. Finish up by adding in two cups of sugar and two TBS of the Baileys, blend, scrape the bowl, and add in the final two cups of sugar and two TBS of Baileys. Place into a piping bag with the tip of your choice and pipe away!!
Yeah, I ate one for breakfast...what about it?
Dear. God. I am obviously saving (or trying my best to) these bad boys for the party in a few hours. But I had to sample at least one so I could blog about it. Very gluttonous and scientific reasoning, you see. 'Ooey gooey' would be the best way to describe these...that nice crisp brownie outer coating gives way to smooth, melted caramel and soft brownie center. The Rolos take your standard brownie game off the charts. I would most definitely call these a touchdown! I didn't eat mine with Baileys frosting, as it was the wee morning hours and even I don't start drinking or eating booze until a respectable hour of the day. But when I made the frosting last night, I may have accidentally licked the bowl after I was done piping. Baileys Salted Caramel is now my new favorite thing. Since I don't drink coffee, I'm going to have to find new ways to add this into all my frosting and desserts from here on out. I hope you all enjoy the treats and festivities America's favorite game will bring you this evening. May your pants remain comfortable and your mouths full...of brownie bites, pizza, and beer. But not all at once, that would be weird. 'Til next time, my fellow eaters!
Look, a three point conversion!

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