Last night our monthly book club meeting! As I mentioned earlier in the week, we read A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron. GREAT book. Not sure if it’s great discussion material, though. We did discuss a lot, but it felt like we were just talking about our pets the entire time, which is okay, if you are really into pets. 😀 If you’re looking for discussion questions for this book, these are the ones we used. If you are looking for a fun themed dessert to bring to your book club, may I suggest you keep scrolling down the page for some rich chocolate brownies?
But, first, I want to share some great things I ate this week. These recipes were not mine, and I have kindly included links.
I’ve been trying to seriously bump up the amount of vegetables in my meals, so I’ve been searching for (and pinning) a lot of veggie-heavy sides. Two sides we tried this week are Black Bean Salsa from Food Network and Spicy Avocado Pesto Pasta from Well Plated. Both were delicious, and both are enough to feed an army, so if you have
20 4 kids like me, or are feeding teenagers, these are great sides to add to your choice of protein.
But, forget about the healthy sides for a moment and feast your eyes on this:
That, my friends, is the “themed” snack I brought to book club.
(Funny story–I boasted to my book club I was bringing a themed snack ahead of time, so when my friend, Laura, saw it she said, “is that supposed to be dog poop?” My friends are sweet. 😛 )
For book club, I made Loaded Puppy Chow Brownies.
(Side question: why is the commercially sold version of Puppy Chow called Muddy Buddies? For liability reasons?)
(Also, that reminds me–DISCLAIMER: THESE ARE NOT DOG SNACKS. PLEASE DO NOT FEED THESE BROWNIES TO YOUR DOG. If you do, and your dog croaks, I accept NO responsibility, since I have just now told you not to feed these to Rover. It doesn’t contain any actual Puppy Chow, but what it does have is an enormous amount of chocolate in it.)
(Another side note: I have never added puppy chow to my food, but, once, in middle school, I added cat food to my sandwich after several days of my lunch being stolen out of my cubby. Guess what. It stopped happening after that. True story.)
Okay, I got off track. Back to the brownies:
This snack starts off with basic brownies. If you don’t want to make your brownies from scratch, you could always use boxed and skip ahead to the “embellishing” of the brownies.
After the brownies have been baked (or, actually, slightly before they come out of the oven) you’re going to want to melt your caramel bits. I used a cup of caramel bits, which are the best thing ever. (No unwrapping caramels!)
If you can’t find the bits, you can always use the regular caramels.
You’re going to pour your melted caramel over top the HOT, right-from-the-oven brownies, then, quickly, sprinkle and press half your Muddy Buddies right on top. Then, using the same method you melted the caramel with (don’t worry, it’s in the printable recipe below), melt your chocolate, then glop it on top of the Muddy Buddies. Sprinkle remaining Muddy Buddies on top.
Loaded Puppy Chow Brownies
Chocolate brownies topped with caramel, Muddy Buddies snack mix and semi-sweet chocolate make a decadent dessert that will wow your friends!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup caramel pieces
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 3 tablespoons half and half, divided
- 1 10.5 oz package of Muddy Buddies (any variety)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease 8in x 8in pan.
- In a sauce pan, melt 1/2 cup butter. Remove from heat and beat in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Carefully mix in cocoa powder, flour, baking powder and salt. Spread into prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, before brownies are done baking, prepare caramel. Add one cup of caramel bits to a microwavable bowl, and add 2 tablespoons of half and half. Microwave on high for 30 seconds. Mix bits, and repeat for 30 more seconds. Continue to do this until caramel is completely melted.
- When brownies are done, take out of oven and immediately spread melted caramel over top. Sprinkle 2/3rds of the Muddy Buddies on top of the caramel. Melt chocolate in a microwavable bowl with 1 tablespoon of half and half, following the same directions as the caramel. Pour on top of the brownies and sprinkle remaining snack mix on top. Let cool completely before cutting.