I have gotten into a very bad habit over the last few months.  I have become addicted to dessert.

I never used to go for a dessert after dinner.  Sure, I might have an late-evening snack, but it usually wasn’t something sweet.  Recently, however, I have somehow gotten into the habit of having something sweet (usually something from the freezer) right after dinner.  I suspect T’s ice cream and popsicle addiction might have something to do with it, but I take full responsibility for indulging this new sweet tooth.

So last night, I was craving something chocolatey.  And I suddenly realized that I had a brownie mix in the pantry that I could whip up.  Warm brownies!  With ice cream!  *melt* (that’s me melting, not the ice cream)

So I hopped up and checked the pantry.  I had a Lehi Roller Mills mix that only required oil and water.  Plus, as an added bonus, I could actually use the Kitchenaid mixer that I got as a wedding present!  (I know, it’s total overkill to put this into a Kitchenaid, but I never bake so I never use it.)

I dumped everything into the mixing bowl (after washing out the accumulated dust), mixed for 2 min., greased a 9×13 Pyrex pan with real butter, preheated the oven, and baked the brownies according to the directions.  When the timer went off, I took the pan out and put it on a rack to cool.  I thought I remembered that you can’t use the toothpick test on brownies to check for doneness, because they stay gooey and just need to set as they cool, so I tried to wait patiently, despite the fact that the entire house was filled with the scent of warm brownie goodness.  Fortunately, the fact that I had licked the beater, spatula AND bowl clean had somewhat tamed my sudden brownie craving.

T decided to go to bed especially early while I stayed up, and when I asked if the brownies were cool enough yet, he said they were still pretty squishy.  Hmm, that’s kind of odd, I thought.  I waited a little longer, and then checked on the brownies myself.  The pan was just warm to the touch, so I thought I would try cutting them.  But one cut was all I managed — the center was completely uncooked!  So I turned the oven back on, and cooked them for another 10 min., a third of the original cooking time.  I checked with my “Joy of Cooking” to see if there was a doneness test, but they just said to “cool completely in the pan.”  Maybe those warm brownie sundaes are just a trick, where you rewarm a completely cooled brownie?, I thought.  Maybe they would solidify if I gave them the opportunity to get completely cool?  So I kissed off the possibility of getting to eat a warm brownie that night, left the pan on the cooling rack, and went to bed.

When I got up this morning, T had been kind enough to cover the brownies and put them in the ‘fridge.  But the extra 10 minutes didn’t seem to have helped at all!  And the fact that T had helped himself to some breakfast brownies, and the remaining end piece had oozed and collapsed like a fruit pie missing a slice, just confirmed that these poor brownies were still raw.


I mean, I’m all about gooey, fudgey brownies, but this was going too far.  I thought about the possiblity of an altitude-related problem, but the mix was made at a local company in Lehi, UT, so you would think they would assume someone would be baking them at roughly the same altitude as they were produced.  So I am stumped.

I tried taking one brownie and warming it up in the microwave.


As you can see, it ran and melted and then partially cooked, as you might expect.  Unfortunately, it did the classic microwave cooking thing where the top was cooked ok, but the bottom hardened into brownie brittle as it cooled.  Still tasty, but a little too chewy.  I have no idea what went wrong, and I’m a little afraid that if I try to pop the pan back into the oven at this point I’ll burn the crap out of the top.

Help!  Does anyone know what on earth I did wrong?  And what do I do now?