Yesterday I started menu planning for my father's day picnic at the races. I'm making food that's not too gourmetish, is easily transportable, and full of delicious ingredients to please my dad's likings. Along with a few bags of our favorite Kettle Chips, fresh fruit and an assortment of olives, I'm making pressed tuna and buffalo chicken sandwiches. As a side dish I'll fill Chinese takeout containers with classic macaroni salad. A picnic requires a dessert that can be consumed without a fork, knife, and lots of extras, so I've decided to surprise dad with one of his chocolatey favorites: brownies. Not just any old brownies, cream cheese brownies! To make the salad and brownies for your next picnic, get the recipes now!
2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
1/3 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
1/2 cup diced vine-ripened tomato (optional)
1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons sour cream
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, parsley and tomato, if using.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve. Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
1 package semi-sweet chocolate
3 tablespoons butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsifted flour
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup chopped nuts, optional
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Cream Cheese Layer
1 (3 ounce) package cream cheese
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 9 square inch baking pan.
- Melt butter and chocolate in top of double boiler. When melted, stir to mix and set aside to cool.
- Beat eggs until light and fluffy. Add sugar and beat until thickened.
- Mix together baking powder, salt, and unsifted flour. Stir into melted chocolate mixture. Add vanilla, nuts if using, and almond extract.
- Make the cream cheese layer: cream together cream cheese and butter. Stir in sugar and cream well. Add egg, flour and vanilla.
- Using a spatula, spread half chocolate mixture in prepared buttered pan. Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on top of chocolate mixture. Finish with layer of remaining chocolate mixture on top. If desired, run a knife through the mixture to create a marbleized top
- Bake in preheated 350° F oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 25 to 35 minutes.