Blueberry Crumb Cake and Pretzel Brownies

I get a lot of the recipes I blog about from other blogs written by people who are more fabulous and more talented than I.  In the case that I change them up, I always put “adapted from…” so you people can find the original recipe, then decide if the changes I made were apt.
Sometimes, however, I don’t change a thing.  This usually happens when I’m baking.  I don’t have the baker’s chops to play around willy-nilly with ingredients, eyeball measurements, and change flavors.  I’m afraid I do a lot of that already just by user error.  When a weekend like this last one rolls around, and I’m in the mood for something sweet and a certain someone who adores brownies has a birthday on Monday (yesterday!), I come to terms with my limitations and turn to the greats.


Credit where credit is due.

The first thing I baked this weekend was The Pioneer Woman’s Blueberry Crumb Cake.

I really was craving blueberry pie, but didn’t want to mess with making a pie crust.  Oh, and the last time I made pie it turned into a doughy mess.  K still ate it, and said it was delicious, but that’s because he likes me.  And because he’s sweet.

I started researching blueberry recipes and found Blueberry Crumb Cake on The Pioneer Woman Cooks!  I did a quick inventory of the ingredients and, amazing!, I had all of them except for blueberries!  I’m so prepared.  I have such a well stocked pantry.  Look at me go!

Wrong.

My quick inventory was painfully inaccurate.  I didn’t have blueberries, that was true, but I also didn’t have baking powder, which I didn’t realize until after I came home from the store.  And looked for parking for an hour.  So, I decided to walk down to the corner store and get some.  I’d get some fresh air, some exercise, no harm done.

Wrong again.

I got back to my apartment, all excited to bake.  I combine dry ingredients and crack some eggs, then come to a screeching halt.  I don’t have any vanilla.  I am not prepared.  I do not have a well stocked pantry.  Please don’t look at me.

Instead of going back to the store for the third time, I skipped the vanilla.  Don’t be like me!

The cake turned out delicious anyway, and I had it for dessert and breakfast the next day (it’s coffee cake, after all!) The best part about it was the cinnamon-sugar crumble topping.  It tastes like the best part of cinnamon toast.

Like I said before, I am not equipped to decide what to leave out and what to keep in when cakes are concerned, so follow The Pioneer Woman’s recipe.  Don’t let me deter you.  Oh, and check your pantry before you go to the store.  Just… do it.

Which brings me to baking endeavor number 2, brownies.  These were decidedly more successful not because I learned my lesson, but because I used a box.  I know how to make brownies from scratch, but K honestly and truly prefers the brownies from a box.  “They know what they’re doing!”… as he says.  And that works for me.

By coincidence, though, right before I started the brownies, I looked at my Google reader and Joy the Baker had a new post called Buns. Biscuits. Brownies.  Intrigued, I scrolled down and saw that her brownies have pretzels on them!  I have pretzels!

(walk to the pantry…. check… yep I have pretzels).

So I went to this recipe to see what that was all about.  Like I said, I used a box, and didn’t use peanut butter because K is allergic.  I did use pretzels, though.

We had these last night and I was so pleasantly surprised.  The pretzel kept it’s crunch, which I think a brownie needs sometimes, and the salt and chocolate combo was to die for.  If I were you, I’d try Joy the Baker’s peanut butter pretzel brownies, but if you’re like me, and you already bought the box of brownie mix and you don’t trust yourself to know where the vanilla lives, do this.

In conclusion, I still have a lot to learn.  But lucky for me, there are so many amazing blogsout there to learn from.  Hope your Tuesday’s sweet!