Also, in an effort to lift my own spirits, I'm going to share a little love with y'all.
Chocolate Cream Frosting
(It's smooth, it's thick, and it's so good cold.
Recipe courtesy of Jan Cannon-Engle)2 Tbs. Butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp. vanilla
Melt chocolate and butter in the top of a large double boiler over hot, not boiling water; beat in sugar and egg until smooth.
Place top of double boiler over ice in a large bowl. Beat gradually, adding cream. Beat 3 to 4 minutes, or until fluffy thick. Stir in vanilla. Keep frosting over ice as you work. Chill cake before frosting. Keep in refrigerator.
** I never have ice in the house, so I put my Kitchenaid bowl in the freezer, transferred the chocolate mix to the frozen bowl, and then used the mixer to beat the cream in.
Here's another fave. If you're in the mood for brownies, this is a good 'un. I usually have all the ingredients in the house, so these get made on a whim. I think they're better than the box, and the fact that the pan is gone within 24 hours means that I am not the only one who thinks that.
(courtesy of epicurious)
1 cup hot chocolate drink mix1 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs, beaten to blend
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter 8-inch square baking pan.
Combine first 4 ingredients in medium bowl and stir until well blended. Mix in eggs, butter and vanilla. Mix in chocolate chips. Spread batter in prepared pan.
Bake brownies until tester inserted into center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, about 30 minutes. Cool brownies in pan before serving.
FYI - I am not a believer of nuts in brownies. I like a nice chocolate chip cookie with pecans or walnuts, but my brownies need to be nut-free. I also never, ever frost my brownies. It just seems wrong.