August 17, 2015

Shad's Brownies

Yields 1 9 X 13 pan of brownies.

3 cups Sugar
6 eggs
1 1/2 cups oil, butter, or shortening
1 1/2 tbs vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups cocoa
1 1/2 tsp salt

+ approx 1 TBSP of fat and 1-2 TBSP of flour for pan.

Rubber Spatula
9 x 13 pan
Oven heated to 350°F

This Brownie Recipe comes from my Brother Shad, he made it many years ago, and it is still my Go-to Brownie recipe. This recipe makes the best Brownies there are. Period.

A word about the fat. shortening, butter oils, even margarine work in this recipes fine, but if you want a make cake-like brownie use butter or margarine; using oil results in a denser chewier brownie.

my preferred choice is using a mixture of 1/2 C Butter(can be melted) and 1 C vegetable oil or shortening. this way you get the Delicious Butter flavor and the chewy moist brownie texture that I love(and expect from brownies).

1) Start by adding fat, and sugar. cream until light in color

2)  with your mixer on low add eggs on at a time, waiting until the egg starts to incorporate before you add the next.

(I treat salt as a wet ingredient in this recipe)

3) next add vanilla and salt, lightly mix.

4) In a separate bowl sift together the dry ingredients(not pictured).

5) Add the dry ingredients and mix lightly

Pro Tip: If you want chewy brownies Avoid over mixing, any air you add by blending will stay in the batter; however, if you are after very cake-y brownies, mix the batter like you would any cake batter.

6) It is now time to prepare the pan, first take a small amount of fat(I have found solid fats work best for this) and liberally coat the sides and bottom of pan. This takes no more than about a TBSP of fat.

7) Put 1-2 TBSP of flour in pan.

8) Tilt the pan while tapping it to coat the sides and bottom of your pan evenly with flour.
after the pan is coated well, invert pan and tap out any excess.
Prepped pan. (it is fine if you have slightly thicker spot of flour)

9) pour batter into prepared pan, using spatula evenly distribute batter, careful to make sure the batter is all the way up against the sides. Tapping the pan on a hit flat surface once or twice can help settle uneven areas.

Pro Tip:
If you want to avoid having thicker brownies in the center, you can spread the batter SLIGHTLY thinner in the middle.

10) Bake 350°F for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick/probe comes out clean. I usually check it starting at 15-18 minutes and, using my best judgement,  every few minutes thereafter.

 11) Cool for at least 10 minutes, before cutting, or frosting.

12) Enjoy.

January 16, 2014

Review of "Learning Windows 8 Game Development"

I am constantly trying to learn new things... mostly how to make our games better... so, when the publisher, Packt Publishing, was looking for people to review a new book of theirs on Game development, I was interested.

they made it very easy to read and review, with their online reading, downloading and send to kindle options.

After reading this book, overall I would say that I enjoyed it and found it useful. There is a lot of very good information on using the DirectX APIs and creating games from. Also, a plethora of info on the pipeline and the behind-the-scenes behavior of game rendering and display. I would say that this is a great read for anyone looking to get into making games and perhaps they don’t know where to start.

That being said, that are a few things that readers should know; This book is based in C++ and you should have a very good handle on using C++ in windows development if you and going to attempt to use this book. Also, this book starts with 2d and sprites with limited 3d content.

There is an entire section of the book aimed at the windows store marketplace; Submission, and purchase structures; this is highly valuable for even a veteran Game maker.

Overall, I would recommend this book freely. It is worth it if you are interested in building Windows 8 store-styled games. Feel Free to take a look at it. Links: Packtpub Amazon