Thursday, June 10, 2010

Birthday Brownies for Bethany

Our family is going camping this weekend with friends, and my 26th birthday also happens to fall right smack dab in the middle of the trip. Yeah, you like how I actually told you my age? That's going to come back to bite me in a few years' time when y'all dig up this post and do the remedial math to work out my age then.

Or maybe not. Perhaps I will come to wear wrinkles and gray hairs and four decades with pride. I certainly hope so, though I am still far too young and idealistic to do more than hope.


This camping excursion wasn't exactly to celebrate my birthday; it just happened to fall that way. Still, celebrate we must. I wanted to keep things simple and not overburden myself, as this is the first time we will be going camping with the children. So, rather than attempt to maneuver a cake or even cupcakes (can't you just picture the tears as pudgy little hands drop a frosting-topped treat in the dirt at the campsite?), I decided to bake some Raspberry Brownies to take along--with candles, of course.

If you're interested, two small changes will make the above recipe, which is delicious in itself, a superlative one: replace the white sugar with brown, and stir a tablespoon of Chambord into the jam. Use homemade jam, if possible. There's no need to use expensive chocolate for this recipe, so the addition of Chambord does not make them unreasonably costly, though they certainly taste like they are!

For easy packing, pre-cut, wrap in aluminum foil, and place in a gallong freezer bag. Now you don't have to bring along that sharp knife you were worried about the kids finding. ;-)


  1. Yummy! I am licking my monitor over here! Happy (early) birthday.

    By the way, about wearing wrinkles, gray hair and four decades with pride...when you turn 40, you only have to wear the decades, not the wrinkles or gray hair! Wrinkles can be (somewhat) prevented if you use sunscreen now and gray hair can be covered. I am 43, and believe me, things have changed a lot since how our moms may have looked in their forties. I'm regularly mistaken for being ten years younger and I don't do anything special, I just wear sunscreen, keep my weight at a healthy level and color and/or highlight my hair. Same with most of my friends.

    Unfortunately, I am getting a faint frown line between my eyebrows. In my case, this is a combination of genes (my mom has the same exact line), worrying too much and proofreading small type and web sites at my old job. My advice: Don't frown or squint and always wear sunglasses.

    So, don't equate wrinkles and gray hair with being in your forties, it doesn't have to be that way. And it's not like 40-yr-olds have to dress matronly nowadays. I'm sure you'll look great at that age, no worries.

  2. Happy Birthday, dear Bethany! I hope you have a wonderful trip! It just so happens that our family will be going camping with some friends my birthday weekend, too, next month. Kindred spirits! :)

  3. Those sound (and look) delicious! I regularly make my brownies from scratch, but have never thought of putting jam in them. Or Chambord, but I don't know what that is :). I will have to try that out next time!

    Amanda S.

  4. Amanda S- I highly recommend jam with chocolate anything! But, it's especially good in brownies. I like cherry and raspberry the best. I think they pair really well. You need something a bit tart with a richness to it. Chambord, btw, is black raspberry liqueur. The alcohol bakes out, but you're left with this rich, liquory taste that enchances the jam and the chocolate.

  5. I'd love to hear how the camping goes with the children! We've wanted to (so many places to go in WA and it looks like good weather this weekend!), but haven't been brave enough with the boys. It's getting the baby (16 mos.) to sleep I worry about.

    Haave a great trip and Happy Birthday!

    Mine was yesterday! Celebrated with Flying Squirrel pizza and Molly Moon ice cream, followed by a walk on Lake Washington! Great evening (great pizza, if you havent tried it)!

  6. Happy Birthday, Bethany! I hope your camping trip goes well.

    On the brownie front, have you tried any of the black bean brownie recipes? I find they are really fudgy and moist (plus they are vaguely nutritious).



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