Sunday, February 20, 2011

Brownies with a Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting and the Conveniences of Modern Technology


Let me set the scene:

Last night I was baking. You know, mixing, tasting, pouring, tasting, etc. After the baking comes the dish washing which, as I'm sure you all can attest to, is my least favourite part of anything, and not just because the dish soap irritates my poor, delicate, baby hands.

I never wash the small stuff by hand. I wash the bowls and stick everything else in the dishwasher, and as I was neatly placing everything in the god-given box of laziness, a thought struck me. I realized how lucky we, meaning humanity are, to have this thing that washes stuff for us. All we have to do is drag our tired, limp, unworked bodies across the kitchen and do our best not to chuck the glass dishes inside and slam the door. The dishwasher cleans, disinfects and makes our battered covered measuring spoons sparkle.

And as I was thinking about how lucky I was that this fine piece of machinery had been invented, I suddenly let my thoughts get the best of me as I trailed of into deep, imaginative thought. I was overcome by the possible realities that could exist if I wasn't blessed with modern technology.

Scenario #1: The Cellphone
When I need to call someone, I dial a few numbers, usually after I wipe my hands free of crumbs, and try my best to hold the phone to my ear while I watch The West Wing. Generally if the other person doesn't have caller ID, they'll answer. We'll talk, have a few chuckles, maybe make plans for the next day, and generally soak up our 21st century good fortune.

Now, imagine living in a far off time, when people still talked face-to-face. This is the 1920's. I'm laying on the couch, eating the cookies I had to cook individually over a candle flame, when I suddenly realize that I need to talk to that person that I mentioned something to the other day. I reach for something, but I don't know what. That's when I realize that I live in the 1920's and cellphones have yet to be invented. I stand up, grab my horse, and ride about a mile to that person I need to talk to. It turns out it wasn't that important, and instead of saving myself some time with technology that has yet to be invented, I waste a good three days of my life trying to tell someone that I saw two squirrels doing it yesterday.

Scenario #2: The Internet
I'm sitting at home. It's about 6PM on a Sunday and I have an essay due the next day. I could start working on it or I could waste a couple more hours watching the Kardashians. I know I should start working, but the internet comforts me. Knowing it's there is like a third parent, constantly watching out for you, prepared to die for you if need be. The clock hits 10:30 and I realize that it's about time I start. I open Firefox and instantly find myself at Wikipedia where, thanks to modern technology and the innovation of humankind, I can do things half-assed and not worry about it. For all those people who say that I shouldn't rely so much on the internet, I say this: I'm a product of my generation. So sue me! I'm the victim in this situation.

Now, imagine a time when the internet was just a figment of some man's imagination. You're sitting at home, casually glancing over your shoulder to make sure that Madonna hasn't crashed through your door, asking you to duet with her, an idea brought on by too much 'Dress Me Up'. Again, it's Sunday night and you realize that you haven't started that essay yet. Having to write it under candle light, with a quill and some parchment is the least of your worries. Now, you have to hike a mile, both ways, to the library, where you can hopefully find some information on the topic you've chosen. Oh wait. You get there and the library is closed. Now what? I know. Build a time machine and come join me in the 21st century.

Scenario #3: CTRL+F
It saves you having to read stuff. You can't CTRL+F a book.


By this point, you're probably wondering what I was baking that probably caused me to have these seemingly drug induced hallucinations. Brownies. What else? But, not just any brownies. Brownies with a low carb Cream Cheese Frosting, just for fun. To reduce the carb count on the brownies, substitute Splenda for the sugar.

Fudgey Brownies via Fry's with a Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting adapted from Martha Stewart

Low Carb Cream Cheese Frosting:

8 oz. pack cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter
1 cup Splenda
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1. Place cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl. Using a rubber spatula, soften cream cheese.
2. Gradually add the butter, and continue beating until smooth and well blended. 
3. Sift in Splenda, and continue beating until smooth.
4. Add vanilla, and stir to combine


1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup butter
1 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar or Splenda
4 eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla

1. Stir together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Stir in cocoa. Blend in sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Blend in dry ingredients. 
4. Pour batter into greased 13x9x2-inch rectangular baking pan. Bake in preheated 350'F oven for 30-35 minutes or until done. Cool.
5. Once cooled completely, spread the Cream Cheese Frosting over the brownies. 
6.  Cut them up and try to save some for everyone else.

Until next time, happy baking!




  1. Great observations. I have similar thoughts sometimes, but mine aren't as amusing as yours :P

    I really like the photos on this post! The planks in the background add a lot of texture. I dig it!

  2. @whisk-kid Aw, thanks! I'm glad you liked it! I wish I could take credit for the planks, but all the credit goes to harsh Mother Nature and her abuse of my back porch!

  3. Have you tried almond meal instead of wheat flour for the brownies?


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