Monthly Archives: June 2015

Crumble Topped Brownies

I’ve been infatuated with crumble topping since I started baking.  You can’t beat sugar, butter, flour, and salt.  That’s all a crumble is, but it’s baked and turns a little crunchy.  

It turns out, you can top anything with it.  I thought it was exclusively for pies and muffins, but that’s just limited thinking.  I added cocoa powder (yeah, chocolate crumble!!) and put it on top of these brownies and created my new favorite brownie.  Ooey and gooey is no longer good enough for me; I need the crunch on top now, too.  

If you’re a fan of amazing chocolatey flavor and varying textures in a dessert, you’ll love these.

Crumble Topped Brownies
These fabulous brownies are from Life Made Simple Bakes


Crumble Topping:

1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
½ cup brown sugar
8 tbsp butter, cubed and very cold


½ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ¼ cup sugar
11 tbsp butter
2 eggs, cold
1/8 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extra
½ cup chocolate chips


For the crumble:
1.  Place all of the crumble topping ingredients in a bowl and combine with hands or a fork until the mixture resembles sand.  Place in the fridge until ready to use.

For the brownies:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Butter a 9×13 inch pan or line it with parchment. Set aside.
3. In a microwave safe bowl, add the butter and sugar. Heat until melted.
4. Remove, stir, and cool on the counter for 5 minutes, then stir in the vanilla extract and cocoa powder.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer add the warm butter/sugar mixture. With mixing speed on low add one egg at a time, mixing just until incorporated.
6. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cornstarch, and salt. With mixing speed on low, gradually add dry ingredients to wet.
7. Mix until no flour pockets remain, but don’t overmix.
8. Remove bowl from stand and fold in the chocolate chips.Spread the brownie batter evenly into the prepared pan.
9. Evenly sprinkle the crumble mixture on top.
10. Place in the oven and bake for 24-25 minutes or until you can place a toothpick in the middle of the brownies and it comes out clean.
11. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 30-45 minutes before cutting and serving.


Dialectic:  Have you heard of it?

Life is full of paradoxes and balancing them is something that I constantly strive for.  It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.  I think that’s why I love yoga so much; it’s chock full of paradoxes.  I’m going through yoga teacher training this summer and last weekend we learned about something called dialectic, which is the “inquiry into metaphysical contradictions,” or that constant internal debate in your head.  eg: You want safety, but you also want freedom.  You want friends but you also want to be alone.  You want to be healthy, but you also want an entire box of cookies.  I’m fascinated with it because I think it completely embodies the human experience and how we make things so difficult.    

I’m currently experiencing my own dialectic:  I want a high paying job that utilizes my degree, but I also want the freedom to follow my passions uninhibitedly. I recently got rejected for a job that I was really invested in and now I’m questioning myself…what do I really want to do with my life?  Honestly, I have no clue.

I’m the same person as I was before I got the rejection email, but now I’m suddenly plagued with self doubt. Not in a bad way, but in a “what the hell do I do next” kind of way.  It’s crazy to me how one small thing can happen and completely rock your world.  It just goes to show that contentment is a product of thoughts.

If you’re in the same boat as me, just know: no decision is the wrong decision and the worst thing you can do is nothing.  I really like this quote by Deepak Chopra:

“If you obsess over whether you are making the right decision, you are basically assuming that the universe will reward you for one thing and punish you for another.

The universe has no fixed agenda. Once you make any decision, it works around that decision. There is no right or wrong, only a series of possibilities that shift with each thought, feeling, and action that you experience.

If this sounds too mystical, refer again to the body. Every significant vital sign- body temperature, heart rate, oxygen consumption, hormone level, brain activity, and so on- alters the moment you decide to do anything… decisions are signals telling your body, mind, and environment to move in a certain direction.”
Deepak Chopra, The Book of Secrets: Unlocking the Hidden Dimensions of Your Life

I don’t know if it’s a mid-twenties dilemma, but figuring out life right now is hard. It’s like going to a restaurant with too many options.  I get overwhelmed and then I can’t pick anything, but I guess that’s the beauty of life in America.


Are you struggling or have you struggled with a dialectic before?  What’s your experience? I’d love to hear them!

Baked Marinara Eggs

I love Italian food (I am Italian), but I’m vegetarian and it’s kind of a meaty class of food.  I like to look for variations and this is one of them.  However, my dad is 100% Italian and when I told him about these, he sounded disgusted.  Sooo… I originally called these “Baked Italian Eggs,” but I suppose they’re not a “true” traditional Italian dish.

They are incredibly delicious, though.  I tossed some broccoli in olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon juice and then sprinkled it with Parmesan and baked it for about 30 minutes to pair with the eggs.  Oh, and some garlic bread, too.  Oh my gosh… such an amazing meal.  Highly recommend!  Plus, it’s effortless!

(Sorry, the pictures I took of these were all terrible because I was eager to eat them, but I had to post the recipe. For fantastic pictures of the recipe, check out Damn Delicious.)

Baked Marinara Eggs
From:  Damn Delicious


  • ½ cup marinara sauce
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1/8 cup shredded or grated Parmesan
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup basil leaves, chiffonade (optional)


  • Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a 10-ounce ramekin or coat with nonstick spray.
  • Divide marinara sauce evenly into the ramekins. Top with eggs, milk, and Parmesan; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  • Place into oven and bake until egg whites are cooked through, about 10 minutes.
  • Serve immediately, garnished with basil leaves, if desired.

Easy Brownie Sandwiches

I’m not typically a fan of box mixes, but they can be made into so many other desserts than the box mentions and sometimes I just want to whip something up with little effort. If you visit the website of your boxed cake mix of choice, you’ll find tons of recipes.  This recipe is from Duncan Hines.

I’m a huge fan of brownies and a huge fan of frosting and I have an out of control sweet tooth, so these are perfect for me, but may be too sweet for some. 

Brownie Sandwiches

Straight from Duncan Hines



  1. Preheat oven to 375 ºF. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Combine brownie mix, egg, water and oil in large bowl. Stir until well blended and soft dough forms. Drop by level measuring tablespoons about 2 inches apart onto greased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 375 ºF for 7 to 8 minutes or until cookies are set in center. Do not over bake. Cool for 1 minute before removing to cooling rack. Cool completely before assembling.
  4. Spread frosting on half the cookies. Top each frosted cookie with another cookie. Gently press together.