Jon asked if I would be in charge of providing refreshments for his 3 end-of-the-year band concerts. He suggested me buying cookies and chips. Does he know me? Why buy when I can make them and they'll taste a whole lot better! So, I planned and planned and then shopped and shopped. Luckily the band is reimbursing me for ingredients!
The concert band.
I baked cookies, brownies, and sheet cakes. I baked in the evenings, on weekends, and during the kid's nap times.
Peanut butter jumbos
2 Texas sheet cakes (I'll definitely make these again!! Easy and great for a crowd!!)
2 double batches of peanut butter jumbos
1 double batch of chocolate chip cookies
4 pans of brownies
2 jugs of ice tea concentrate (I brewed it super strong so I could dilute it into large coolers later)
And that was just for one concert!!!
So, after all 3 concerts, I added up the amounts of butter, eggs, and sugar I used. Wow. 11 pounds of butter, 90 eggs, and 25 pounds of sugar. One mom asked for my business card... she thought I was a baker by profession. After the past 2 weeks, I started to feel like one too!
The concerts were amazing. My husband works really hard. He teaches a great group of kids. I was happy to be involved. He asked me if I'd like to do this for every concert. Am I crazy for saying yes?
Becky's Best Brownies (aka: Hershey's Best Brownies)
* 1 cup (2 sticks) butter
- Heat oven to 350°F. Grease 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Line with parchment paper (letting it hang over the edges) if you'd like to be able to lift the brownies from the pan to cut them after they cool.
- Place butter in large microwave-safe bowl. Microwave at MEDIUM (50%) 2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until melted. Stir in sugar and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with spoon after each addition. Add cocoa; beat until well blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt; beat well. Pour batter into prepared pan.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from sides of pan. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Once cool, you can use the parchment paper to lift the brownies from the pan. *Tip: If you put the brownies in the fridge for an hour or so, they cut so much easier and without too much mess. About 24 brownies.
*Peanut Butter Cup Brownies - Stir 1/2 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips or chunks into the batter before spreading it into the pan. Using a ziploc bag, with the corner snipped, squeeze lines of slightly melted peanut butter onto the brownie batter before baking. Pull a butter knife through the peanut butter and batter to create swirl designs. Top with cut up peanut butter cups before baking. Bake as usual.
*M&M Brownies - Stir 1 cup of M&M candies into the brownie batter before spreading it into the pan. Top with and additional 1/2 cup of M&M's. Bake as usual. *Tip: The M&M's on top are important since the candies lose their color inside the brownie as it bakes.
*Rocky Road Brownies - Before baking, top brownie batter with 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and 1/2-1 cup chopped nuts. Bake until there is 5 minutes of baking time left. Cover the top of the brownies with mini marshmallows (about 1/2 a regular sized bag). Bake for the additional 5 minutes. *Tip: Make sure to cool them completely then put them in the fridge for an hour before cutting into them. Spray a very sharp knife with cooking spray before each cut so the marshmallows won't stick to the knife.