What’s better than British dramas? Brownies. Duh.

Let’s play a game. It’s called I’m-thinking-of-the-most-amazing-tv-show-in-the-history-of-ever. What? Did you say Downton Abbey? DING DING DING. You’re right. Congratulations, you have won a signed copy of my bestselling book “Sarcastic Storytime with Picco” Nah, I’m totally joking. Even if that was a book, I wouldn’t give it to you. I’d put it to better use and chuck it at the annoying people in my life. I’m sorry, I’m making myself sound even crazier than I already am. Mea culpa.

Downton Abbey is, hands down, the most addictive tv show I’ve ever seen. It’s basically a British drama about being rich and powerful. Ha, British. You all saw that coming, right? Even Netflix knows I love England, since the things it recommends to me are goofy British tv shows, British tv shows, and classic witty comedies (those are British, right?). Oh, and family feature animation for ages 5-7, but that’s not because of me. Maybe. If you haven’t watched it yet, the first season is instantly on Netflix and I’m sure they have it on Hulu too. And probably youtube. Just watch it, ok?! Then we can talk about how amazing it is and how much I hate the character Matthew.

You might be wondering why there’s an awkward picture of cream cheese up there. It’s because I made cream cheese brownies today. But mainly just because I thought it was a good picture. The end. Any more questions?

Earlier today I was going through various recipes trying to find a use for the gallons of cream cheese we possess. Ok, and when I say gallons I mean 3 packages. I enjoy exaggerating. And eating. And laughing. Not in that order, though. Eating definitely goes first.

Anyway, I finally found a recipe for cream cheese brownies. Um, yum? Let me tell you, these brownies might just be the most delicious gluten-free thing I’ve ever made. EVER. Even if you’ve never made anything off my blog (meanie.), I’d strongly recommend making these. You can even glutenify them, if you wish, and use regular flour instead of rice flour. I won’t cry too much.

While I was making these, I was singing We’re All In This Together from Highschool Musical to myself. For an hour, straight. I can remember every single lyric to that dumb song, as well as birthdays and phone numbers of friends I haven’t talked to in years, but I can’t remember simple facts for school? My brain’s wonky.

Oh hey, remember that time about 30 seconds ago when I told you how much I loved Downton Abbey? Yeah, it’s true. Best. Show. Ever. Ok, that’s it. I just wanted to bring it up again so you wouldn’t forget about it.

Downton Abbey. Go watch it. Or you could watch About A Boy or Batman Begins and we could discuss those instead. Or Newsies. I enjoy Newsies.

Dddoooowwwnnntttooonnnn Aaabbbbbeeeyyyy…

And Sarcastic Storytime actually sounds like an amazing book. Hmmm.

Oh and I almost forgot. This is my 100th post! Who’s awesome? Yeah, that would be me.

Cream Cheese Brownies

Adapted from the brownie recipe from Gluten-Free Baking Classics by Annalise Roberts

Brownie batter
2/3 cup rice flour (I give the recipe for it here)
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp xanthan gum
6 ozs. semisweet chocolate
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs

Cream cheese filling
6 ozs. cream cheese, softened
1 large egg
3 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup chocolate chips, optional

Preheat oven to 325 and position rack in lower-middle of the oven. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch square baking pan with aluminum foil and grease with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, and xanthan gum. Set aside.

Over low heat, melt chocolate and butter in a large saucepan. Remove from heat. Whisk in sugar and vanilla. Whisk in eggs, one at a time, and continue whisking (is whisking actually a word? It sounds about as awkward as the word squirrel does…sorry, getting side tracked here.) until mixture is totally smooth – like “Hey babe, good thing I have my library card, ’cause I’m checking you out” smooth. Slowly add flour mixture and whisk until just incorporated.

To make the cream cheese filling, beat together cream cheese, egg, sugar, and vanilla in a large bowl.

Pour 3/4 of batter into prepared pan. Top with cream cheese mixture, and then pour the rest of the brownie batter on top. Using a knife, cut through the batter a few times to make it swirly and cool looking. Top with chocolate chips, if you so desire. Bake for about 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the center comes out with wet crumbs. Cool in pan. And try not to eat all the brownies by yourself.


21 thoughts on “What’s better than British dramas? Brownies. Duh.

  1. Whoa, whoa, whoa! You hate… _Matthew_?!?!?! There are a lot of less-than-likable characters inhabiting Downton, but Matthew strikes me as one of the better ones. Perhaps you meant to say Thomas, or Mary, or Edith, or anyone other than William, Anna, and Mr. Bates. :-)


  2. Wahhhh??? MATTHEW IS AWESOME!

    I enjoy caps locks. Very much. Mr. Bates, Sybil, whoever Dame Maggie Smith plays, Anna and the housekeeper are my favorites.

    The brownies look delicious *mouth watering*

    • Wow, I didn’t know my dislike of Matthew would cause such a hoopla ;) I’M SORRY!!! HE’S WONDERFUL AND AMAZING AND AWESOME. There, better?

      Um yeah, Maggie Smith is totally the coolest person ever.

  3. Are you sure you like Downtown Abbey? I mean, c’mon, it’s kinda hard to tell. Maybe you should be more obvious next time. ;) :P

    Singing a song from Highschool Musical? Ok, PLEASE tell me you don’t like Highschool Musical! That movie is like over-the-top dramatic and they’re all so preppy. It’s like the top example of annoying….

    Oh and those brownies look amazingly sinful. I WANT. oh my goodness they look delicious!! Congrats on your 100th post! I think I have like 72 or something…. :-/
    and I would totally buy Sarcastic Storytime with Picco. I would totally get the first copy. Fact.


    • Oops, was I being too subtle? ;)

      No I don’t, and that’s the annoying part! I haven’t seen that movie since it came out a gazillion years ago. So I have no clue why it was stuck in my head…

      Honey, Sarcastic Storytime will be dedicated to you ;)

      • Oh good, I’m so glad you’re with me on Highschool Musical. I was beginning to get worried there. I mean, I love Zac Efron – just not in Highschool Musical. :D

        Gosh I feel so special. :P


  4. Oh my goodness! WordPress told me to come here because it obviously has picked up on my love for food and British dra–Downton Abbey. As you say, “Dooooonwtooooon Abbeeeeey!” I was scrolling down, reading at a normal pace and then I read of your hatred for Matthew and my heart died a little bit and I meant to come scold you right away for your insolence!!

    But then I remembered his chats with Lavinia and about Lavinia (how far into the second season are you?) and I decided a little bit of hatred for him is okay. I mean, blimey! He can be such a git sometimes! I’m wholeheartedly invested in the Matthew/Mary love story, though. I just… words cannot describe.

    My Netflix recommends the same things for me! And I’m pretty sure you didn’t list a single movie through this post that I am not in love with.

    I was going to whinge about the pictures of delectable brownies, but you did share the recipe, so you’re off the hook!

    • I can’t tell you how much grief I’ve gotten since I professed my dislike for Matthew :) Let me get some things straight: I LOVE every single character on the show. Even Thomas and O’Brien (although I’m sort of getting bored with Anna and Mr. Bates at the moment…). Of all the characters, Matthew is probably my least favorite. Although I just watched episode 3 of season 2 where he comes back during the concert at Downton and I liked the Matthew/Mary moment there. I dunno…I have mixed feelings about him, ok?! Our relationship is complicated ;) And Lavinia is icky. Blech.

      I’m pretty sure Netflix stalks me and knows of my love of England…creepy… Seriously?! When I tell people I love About A Boy or Newsies the reaction is either “Never heard of it…” or “Ummm…yeah, I don’t like it.” Haters gonna hate.

      Whinge? BEST WORD EVER. Thanks to you, that’ll be added to my vocabulary and I’m going to whinge about everything now. You are pretty much the most awesome person ever. Fact.

      And hey, are you making fun of my American accent? Because I can pull off a mean Australian accent too. Ok, not really. But that’d be pretty cool…

      • Well, you can take it as a compliment to Downton that they’ve got people so enthralled with the characters that they/we feel the need to defend our favourites (<-British spelling, so the red squiggly line on my computer's auto spell check is a LIAR!!) or even our less-than-loved-but-still-likable characters to the death in our battle of words. It's all so vivid and real to us. Heh. I have a coworker JUST like O'Brien. I probably wouldn't despise her so much if I didn't have to deal with it all week. :P

        Oh my. That concert moment made me cry. I never realised how prone to tears I was until Downton Abbey. I've cried probably two or three times in every episode of season two. Sometimes more. One episode in particular (don't remember which one, I think the Christmas special) I cried at least five times. At least. And they're not all sad tears, either!

        Um, two words: Hugh Grant. I could eat that man with marmalade. Scratch that, I could eat him without the marmalade! *dreamy sigh* And Newsies! I tried to get my brothers to learn all the dances with me. They wouldn't. :( But my friend's brothers sort of did! I think I have the songs memorized still. Well, I'll be singing 'The World Will Know' at work tomorrow for certain!

        You are MOST welcome! :D And I wouldn't dream of making fun of any of your accents! I'm stuck with an American accent too, but I watch so many British period films I start to adopt the terms. I think I have the sickly orphan child in London accent down as well as the upper crust heiress accent. Also, I learned "whinge" from an Australian show about mermaids–I mean mehmaids–where I learned to do that pretty well! (Just think about 'woodah' and the rest comes natural.) Good times. :)

        • I know! The other day I went to a Downton Abbey tea party. Serious. We all sat there and discussed Downton, everyone hated on me for not liking Matthew, and we took the Downton personality quiz. I’m Thomas, which really isn’t a shocker… ;) It was pretty much the most fun thing ever.

          Once people sort of get to know me, I whip out the Newsies card. If they haven’t seen it, I either make them watch it with me or, if I trust them enough, I lend them my precious DVD copy. If they have seen it already, I immediately go into intense-discussion-mode.”Why do you think Jack wanted to go to Santa Fe? Why is the girl who plays Sarah such an awful actor? Why are Mush and Spot so gorgeous?” And those poor creatures who don’t like it get shunned for life by me. True story.

          Haha, sorry ;) It was late and I was like wait, is she British and she’s telling me I pronounce Downton weird…? and then I went into lack-of-bacon shock, since it had been like 3 hours since I last had some. I had a rough time last night. I watch so many British tv show and movies that I start to think with a British accent. Not that it’s a bad thing…more weird than bad…right?

          • Forgive the lateness of reply!! But a Downton tea party?! Can someone say “Twenty-Second Birthday?!” So it’s not until October, but last night I was just thinking, “What could I do for my next birthday that’s different, but fun, but wonderful?” I think I have it! :D And where is that quiz!? I must take it!!

            Excellent. :) Jack wanted to go to Santa Fe because it was the opposite of New York. That’s what I think anyway. He was tired of people, people, people, and wanted big open space. Plus, they make the best salsa there? :P They got a bad actress to play Sarah in order to show that Christian Bale can make any movie amazing, even playing opposite a terrible actor, and Mush and Spot are gorgeous to make up for Sarah’s awful acting. ;P Those are my theories anyway.

            Haha! I’m going into lack-of-bacon shock right now. I wonder if I drink four cups of tea, if it’ll trick me into forgetting that we have no bacon in the house. :( Not bad at all! Omigosh! When I watch Australian shows (H2O: Just Add Water = Aussie Mehmaids) I READ in an Australian accent!! It’s hilarious trying to read a British classic with THAT in your head. :D

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