I had a strange weekend. Slightly less than awesome. My brain did not want to cooperate and give me the nice relaxing weekend I had hoped for. Instead, it decided to release a bunch of extra anxiety hormones for no apparent reason. I felt edgy and shaky and nervous, and the worst part was that it was all beyond my control. I have the normal amount of stress in my life. Certainly nothing to keep me up at night. People who don’t have anxiety issues might not even realize that this happens sometimes. It’s real kids, and it’s obnoxious.
I’m looking into some home remedies like lavender oil and lemon balm. I’ll let you know if they help.
But until then, there’s brownies. Brownies make everything better. Who can be upset while eating a chewy, fudgy brownie? Not me. But since I was feeling all freaked out, I kept everything super simple. No extra effort, just pure enjoyment.
I added some cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice to the brownie mix that was on sale at my grocery store (this time it was Pilsbury, use your favorite mix or scratch recipe), then I topped it with the frosting mix I had leftover from when I made pumpkin spice gooey butter cake. The spice was warm and deep. The frosting was creamy dreamy, the brownies were perfectly chewy, and I made them sparkle because that’s what you do when you’re on the verge of a full on anxiety attack.
Baking calms me. The act of stirring is meditative. The smells that emanate from the oven are so comforting. Licking the spoon instantly transports me to my childhood. It’s my therapy. Sometimes I need it to be simple. Sometimes simple is best. As long as it tastes awesome. And it really does.
- 1 batch of your favorite brownie batter
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 1 stick butter, softened
- 1 packet pumpkin spice frosting mix from Duncan Hines Pumpkin Spice Decadent Cupcake Mix
- 2 tablespoons water
- Sprinkles for happiness
- Preheat your oven according to the directions for your brownie batter, and lightly grease a 13x9 inch pan.
- Combine ingredients for brownies accordingly and add spices. Stir it all together, then pour it into your prepared pan, spreading evenly.
- Bake according to directions for your favorite batter.
- Cool completely or even stash your brownies in the fridge for a few hours. You do not want them to be at all warm when you add the frosting.
- Place your softened butter in a mixing bowl and beat with a mixer on high for one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Turn the mixer down to low and slowly add in the frosting mix, beating for about another minute. Scrape again.
- Add the water, then beat for another three minutes, starting on low then slowly moving up to high speed. The mixture will be light and smooth.
- Give everything one final scrape and stir.
- Spread the frosting evenly onto your completely cooled brownies and decorate to your heart's content.
- Find your awesome chocolate zen spot.