Mango Butter and Strawberries

The oven was heating and the mixer was spinning this past weekend. My work team has been really pushing through some tough projects and tight timelines. Thought I’d take some goodies in since I can’t do cash.

With a couple of gluten-free team members, I wanted to make something they could have along with the rest of us. I decided to make some brownie boats with a filling and fresh fruit. I had never made gluten-free brownies before, but with my gluten-free flour, I was pretty sure it would work.

Fillings always give me a little bit of a stumped feeling. I’m not good at matching my wardrobe (the hubby helps a lot there), brainstorming what might work gives me a little anxiety. With a few preserves still on my pantry shelves, I wanted to use ingredients already in the house.

Peach jam was out because I’d used it before. The blackberry thyme jelly was out; although delicious, it just hadn’t set right. Banana butter, another favorite is just too overwhelming—it doesn’t play well with others. That left mango or apple butter. With Apple butter kind of a usual thing, it had to be the mango butter.

The fruit topping was a no-brainer. Strawberries were already planned. The unknown was how well the mango flavor would meld with the fresh strawberries and the brownie flavor. Just as the hubby helps me make sure what I want to wear works, he is also my official taste tester.

Once the brownies were fully cooked, I put together a sample for him to try. Portions were the next challenge. I wanted just a hint of mango with the chocolate in the brownie and strawberries being the stars. He took a bite and gave the thumbs up. I also took a bite and liked the profile. The only thing I changed was the amount of mango as its flavor was a little too subtle.

Thankfully they were a hit at the office. They commented on how the strawberries took it over the edge, and asked about the other taste, stating the flavors worked.

Never one to make just a single thing to take, I also tried a new oatmeal raisin cookie. They we’re pretty good, but definitely need to bake for less time than the recipe stated. My kids liked them based on the cookie jar being empty within 24-hours.

Other experiments this week included making fresh pesto for linguine. I also attempted my take of a Philly cheesesteak sandwich. The pesto was okay, but not as flavorful as anticipated. Already made mental notes to change for next time. The Philly cheesesteak…Well, they were very flavorful. Definitely proud of the end result.

Today, our team morale group announced a cookie bake-off. I immediately started to wonder what I should bring, especially since I want to win! In asking my kids what they thought, my peanut butter, no-bakes, pinwheel (Papa Joe’s recipe) and the oatmeal raisin were mentioned. I’m going to ask the hubby and others their thoughts too (if you’ve ever had any of my cookies, let me know what you would recommend).

What I’m lingering on may be to make macarons. I’ve made them before and they came out pretty good. If I make them, I can fill them with a variety of flavors, like the banana butter, my strawberry jam, or some salted-caramel buttercream.

What are your thoughts?

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