When it’s Okay to Cheat, Part One

Last week I went to a fund-raising dinner and the table was covered with a beautiful display of desserts: pies, cakes, cookies, and a chocolate thing topped with what looked like maple frosting. Being a confirmed choco-holic, I took a piece and sat down.

That first bite practically knocked me off my seat! The dark delicacy had a crunchy crust and a smooth, creamy, molten center that reminded me of a chocolate lava cake. What’s the secret? Is this fancy confection made from an old family recipe?  A treasure handed down for many generations? What is in this thing? The world’s finest chocolate just flown in from Belgium? How was this treat made? With a complicated baking process that takes multiple steps and three days to complete? And by the time you are finished, you have completely lost your appetite?

And the frosting! Never before had I eaten maple with chocolate! Chocolate pairs well with coffee, coconut, cherry, oranges, ginger, raspberries, apricots, pineapple, any kind of nut, rum, cognac, and kirsch . . . but maple?? That would definitely be a first.

I ate a few more bites then I just couldn’t stand it any longer. I absolutely had to know who made this luscious treat so I could track them down and learn all about it. I found the organizer and with perfect timing, the baker just happened to walk through the door and sat down next to me! Dude! I didn’t have to do anything, love that! I introduced myself and began to ask questions. She said the dessert was a Betty Crocker brownie mix topped with peanut butter frosting made from an easy Betty Crocker recipe. I was floored. Betty Crocker you rascal, you just fooled me! By the way, did you know that Betty Crocker is not a real person? She was created in 1921 and in 1945 Fortune Magazine named her as the second most popular woman in America, the first being Eleanor Roosevelt. She has a website: www.bettycrocker.com. You can ask her a question!

The next day, I went to the store and bought a box of Betty Crocker Dark Chocolate brownie mix. I made the recipe using eggs from happy chickens that run around and scratch on a farm. I used grapeseed oil because that oil is much more healthful than soybean, corn, or canola oil and it tastes and bakes better. While the brownies were in the oven, I made the peanut butter frosting. Then I smeared the brownies while they were still warm.

Wow! Making such a decadent dessert is so easy! Perhaps I will write Betty Crocker a thank-you note. After all, I know how to reach her now.