I love playing hostess. I guess that is why, when I dream of the hubby and I's first home-- I picture something with a large, open floor plan and a huge kitchen :) I want a kitchen (and really a house) with lots of windows to provide natural lighting. Which will make food photography much easier. In our current place, I have no windows in the kitchen and one window in the living room. It makes for an annoying time taking pictures of my food-- C'est la vie. And I want a kitchen that I can bake and cook in while talking with guests (but then I guess who doesn't). Oh, really like a great room where the kitchen flows into a large living room with lots and lots of seating. I guess since the hubby and I have only lived in apartments-- I have not hosted too many get-togethers. The only people that I have had over for dinner have been Justin and Luke.
Well yesterday, I decided to host a potluck dinner and game night at our place. I really got to play hostess because this time there was more than just the 4 of us. It was the hubby and I, Justin and his girlfriend, Luke and Vince (another student in the graduate program). Luke brought a salad, Justin and his girlfriend brought a sausage dip and games, Vince brought drinks and I (and the hubby) made a Pierogi Casserole, Roasted Vegetable Mac n' Cheese and this brownie trifle. I wanted to make fully Luke edible dishes, since he is a vegetarian. Game night was a blast! We decided to play a game Luke, the hubby and I haven't played before-- called Outburst. It was really fun, though I thought a bit dated. But I think that lead to a lot of good laughs and a very good time :) I think next time, I'd like to play Scategories-Categories again.
For this dessert, I was inspired by Luke's request to make something with Heath Bars in it. And, so I finally did it! I made my first trifle (or 6 mini trifles to be exact). I asked for a mini trifle set for my birthday. But haven't used them since I got them this past January! By using these mini trifle dishes, each person got their own "trifle" to eat. Plus, I think mini trifle dishes are prettier and cuter, don't you think? Though, I guess for a larger party, I would just need to make one large trifle. I guess a large trifle dish is going to be on my next year's birthday list :) Anywhoo, this was a dish of different layers of yumminess. The brownies made for a chewy chocolate layer, the pudding/whipped cream made a soft, creamy layer and the heath bits provided just the perfect amount of crunch. ::drool::
1 (19.50 oz) box of fudge brownies (I used Pillsbury)
1/2 c. of vegetable oil
2 eggs, room temperature
1/4 c. of water
2- (3.5 oz) chocolate fudge pudding mix
4 c. milk
1 jar of caramel sauce
2- (8 oz) containers of whipped topping
1 (8 oz) bag of heath toffee bits
For the Brownie Layer:
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, combine brownie mix, vegetable oil, eggs and water until just incorporated. Grease a 9 x 11 or 9 x 13 baking dish and spread batter into greased pan. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until inserted toothpick come out clean. Allow to completely cool. Then cut into small square chunks. I cut my brownie into 12 strips width wise, and then each strip into small pieces.
In a medium bowl, whisk together pudding mix and cold milk. Continue whisking until well blended. Refrigerate for 5 minutes until pudding is set. Set aside.
Assembling the Trifle:
If you are using mini trifle bowls- divide ingredients accordingly (e.g., I had 6 trifle dishes, so I divided all the ingredients into 12-- 2 layers x 6 trifle dishes; if you have one trifle dish, divide everything into two-- 2 layers x 1 trifle dish).
Layer the trifle as follows (starting from the bottom to the top): chocolate pudding, brownies, drizzle a little caramel sauce over brownies, whipped topping, heath toffee bits, chocolate pudding, brownie, caramel drizzle, whipped topping, and heath toffee bits. Keep refrigerated until served.