Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Peanut butter & oreo stuffed brownie bites

Domestic Diva Diaries. You are definitely on the right blog!

Back in high school, I used to assist my mom in baking pastries from scratch. Our holiday bakefest usually ends with carefully packed chocolate chip and oatmeal raisin cookies pirated from Mrs. Fields, macaroons (with desiccated coconut and NOT macarons), cheese muffins, chocolate cupcakes, crinkles, with all their fresh homemade goodness! Since these bakefests are not only physically demanding but rather costly too, they usually run exclusively during the Holiday season.

On most days when the need to showcase one's domestication arises, boxed instant cake mix will definitely help save the day!
Ghirardelli brownie mix would yield a VERY VERY VERY rich chocolate-y confection as expected, given the reputation of this famous opulent chocolate brand. It's not too milky sweet mind you, it's rich in terms of texture, consistency and cocoa flavor. Baked as is, is just way too sinful and if luxury has a taste, it would definitely be that of a Ghirardelli brownie square, hence I always look for fun and *coughs* cheaper *coughs* ingredient that could balance the expensive taste. 

Before I share this easy peasy recipe I discovered, I would like to debunk 2 baking myths:
  1. It's okay to bake marshmallows into brownies if folding them halfway into baking time sounds too advanced-baking for ya. According to baking legends, baking marshmallows would cause them to expand, creating a batter explosion mess inside your oven. I just proved this wrong. 
  2. Brownie mix CAN be used to bake small muffins or cupcakes. Just don't expect them to rise and be fluffy; remember, brownies are meant to be chewy, dense and thick. Muffin liners are awfully difficult to peel from brownies so patience, my dear
The first time I made cookie sandwich-stuffed brownies, I would complain about how difficult it is to cut the brownies without slicing through the cookies since they tend to float after the batter settles in the baking pan. The only solution I could think of is baking them into muffin pans with liners for easy partition. 
These were the only available muffin liners and are meant for jumbo muffins. I tried fitting them into smaller muffin pans but they easily crease, making filling more difficult and messy. Stacking two oreos is not economically sound hence I placed an oreo and a half held together by a generous smear of peanut butter. Oreos make a good baking ingredient; they are pliable but they also easily burn so be wary of baking time and observe them from time to time. It's tricky to distinguish burnt Oreo given its natural dark chocolate color.

If I can redo the procedure, I would reduce baking time to 20 minutes and give the brownie bites time to cool. Ghirardelli brownies tend to be crunchy on the outside (inside remains soft and chewy, I promise) with prolonged baking time. I'd give this recipe 4 stars out of 5. 5 is a level of perfection I can only give to, say a Valrhona souffle' or Myron's caramel pudding and that level is pretty difficult to reach, let alone surpass.

ISA'S VERDICT: Nutella over peanut butter. Being the girl who would literally eat spoonfuls of Nutella a day, I think substituting Nutella for peanut butter is already beyond my sweetness limit. We already have here a TRIPLE CHOCOLATE batter and adding oreo AND NUTELLA would make that, what? Penta-chocolate sumthin' sumthin'..? I could not, for the life of me imagine the taste as it would devoid the recipe of flavor diversity, only varying levels of chocolate. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013


If you're around UP Los Banos area in a month's time (around first-second week of June), please support my clothing drive where I'll be selling heaps of pre owned/pre loved clothing mostly from Roxy, H&M, Topshop, Bayo, The Ramp, Forever 21 and soooo much more :) Now you know my clothes are lucky if they make the 7th round of usage, meaning most of them don't even make it to regular circulation, MEANING most of these clothes were only used about 3x MAX! With the exception of my favorite college clothes which I also tossed into this pile :) 
Keep you girls posted! And friends if you're reading this, let me know please if you wanna join! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where we're going, we don't need roads

Business up front, party in the back!

A taboo, infamous quotation reference to such an exquisite statement almost defies its very purpose. Who doesn’t love a good surprise? For that special day Thursday the 25th , I threw in a little surprise number in the form of this sweet tea-length dress to celebrate a family friend’s 18th coming out birthday party, which is the major surprise overall.

I’d say nobody does cutouts better than Topshop, until my recent Miss Selfridge discovery almost derailed my apparent idolatry over this brand. It is probably more fitting to say nobody does cutouts better than [insert list of Brands under] Arcadia group. HAHA. Sir Philip Green, would it be too much to wish you were my godfather?!

In the end, almost all concepts fall victim to the theory of reflexivity. Just like how technology is the greatest threat to technology, at the end of the day,Topshop’s biggest competition is, well, Topshop. (I swear quoting yourself kickstarts a cringefest!) The design team behind my number one retail of choice almost ripped Kate Moss’ design for Topshop some three Spring collections ago. Kate Moss’ design incarnation came with the best feature you could possibly add to give this innocent piece a kick—a sweeping back cut out the size of Texas.

So don’t be fooled, the most innocent of fronts could just literally be a front and clearly this isn’t only applicable to human behavior. I could always start professing my undying love for cut outs and back-baring, Pneumonia-inducing statement dresses, but I betcha already read through that more than once.

Who wore it best part deux, if I may. Just kidding! I managed to unearth these photos from Georgina Wilson’s Instagram, with Anne Curtis wearing the exact dress some fashion eons ago.