Thursday, November 05, 2009

Sweet Spot or Doldrums?

It's a windy, gray day here in Port Townsend -- just like 200 more to come! Just kidding. Or not. Facing me today is migraine and back pain recovery and lots of sleepiness. Yesterday's migraine was a doozy. Beyond that, I've got my delightful mystery project to work on. I have been quilting it now for just over a week and am nearly halfway done. The sweet spot of this part of a quilting project, particularly if you are liking the results of your quilt top, is the peaceful meditative nature of simply sewing, sewing, sewing those quilting lines. I am doing an organic all-over grid pattern, so my mind is not too taxed by a complex quilting design, in fact it is rather meditative.

The doldrums part of the equation is that I am missing out on the push and pull of the creative process. I am not continually reflecting on my color and pattern choices, nor am I struggling with mastering the techniques involved in a particular piecing project. It might help if I had a better sense of what my next project should be, so that my mind had a creative challenge to work on as I quilt away. Will it be purple quilt top? (as that is the color scheme I've heard the intended recipient of this mystery project would really like) or should I get cracking on one of my many UFO's? A new project might include some trips to a fabric store or two, something that doesn't seem likely to happen in the near future.

Before I make that decision, I will share a NSQ first --- a recipe! I have created a fabulous new way to use up some of the leftover Halloween candy I bought. Hopeful, or hungry, me, went and purchased a 60 piece bag of Fun-Sized candy bars last Friday only to give out a total of 5 pieces to trick or treaters! I created the recipe below to reduce our inventory of extra candy and it was delicious!

Leftover Halloween Candy Brownie Bites
2 oz. unsweetened chocolate
6 oz. unsalted butter - cut into small pieces
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 t. vanilla
a pinch of salt
1/2 C, plus 2 T unbleached flour
4 Reeses Peanut Butter cups cut into thirds
4 Fun Sized Almond Joys cut into thirds or in half, depending on your love for coconut

Chop chocolate and place in a microwave-able glass bowl. Melt chocolate in microwave for 1 minute on high. Add butter and microwave for 40 seconds more. Stir until chocolate and butter are melted. Mix in the sugar, and then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Add salt and vanilla and stir, add flour and stir until just combined.

Grease two mini-muffin sized pans with Pam, and scoop brownie batter into each cup (I use a cookie scoop that measures about 1-1/2 T in volume) Poke either a Reeses piece or an Almond Joy piece into the center of each brownie cup. It is fine if a wedge of candy sticks up out of the batter, that will actually make it less likely for your brownie to stick to the pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, until brownie top is set.

Unmold each brownie bite by running a butter knife around the perimeter and gently prying out with the knife. Cool on wire rack and try not to eat half a dozen in the next ten minutes.

I took my batch to a meeting the night I made them and they got rave reviews. Let me know if you try them and how they turn out!

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