Berries, brownies, shortbread, vanilla bean ice cream...need we say more!

Brownie Parfait with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream and Mixed Berry Sauce with Brandy
So, I was browsing around on Pinterest the other day looking for cute crafty things that I'll probably never start or finish, and there were tons of dessert pins - things like baked s'mores cookies, chewy chocolatey cookies and the mother of all sweet combinations: peanut butter and chocolate (my absolute favorite!). So needless to say, I was craving something sickly sweet. I decided to make brownies from a recipe I've been using for years. I found it in the cookbook, The New California Cook; recipes that use seasonal fruits and vegetables native to Southern California. I found it in the discount bin at Borders years ago for 4.95 and have been modifying recipes and ideas from it ever since. Anyway, there's a great brownie recipe that I've taken and tweaked here and there to perfection. So I threw it in a glass with some vanilla bean ice cream and mixed berry sauce with brandy. Mission accomplished - sweet tooth fulfilled and here we are with a new blog post. It's an easy weeknight dessert that you can make ahead and throw together at the last minute.  And it tastes awesome!

Mixed Berry Sauce with Brandy

So, I should preface this playlist by saying that I had just watched Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris (which I absolutely loved!!) so the following playlist is inspired by music from the movie.
1)  You're the Top - Cole Porter
2)  La Mer - Chantal Chamberland
3)  I Got Rhythm - Ella Fitzgerald
4)  La Conga Blicoti - Josephine Baker
5)  I'm in the Mood for Love - Louis Armstrong

With spring's arrival comes warm afternoons and delicious fruit based desserts. This dessert parfait is no exception. It is refreshing, delicious, and just the right size. Caitlin opted for a brownie based parfait (which is incredible) and I decided to do a take on the traditional strawberry-shortcake dessert which is popular this time of the year.

The only thing I had to bake was the shortbread. This was my first time baking shortbread and I was pleasantly surprised by the simplicity of this particular recipe adapted from Food & WineYes, I used butter, and it was worth it! (Everything in moderation, right??!!) What I loved most about the final product is how much it reminded me of those Walkers shortbread cookies - soooo good!

The strawberry - cinnamon sauce was also quite delicious. You can choose to use yogurt here instead, however, I had a craving for vanilla bean ice cream and so I decided to go all out. If you have any sauce leftover, it is a delicious addition to a bowl of Greek yogurt in the morning. 

{melting, but still delicious!}
Baking and assembling music:
1) Bluebird of Happiness - Mojave 3
2) He's a Rebel - The Crystals
3) Gone Daddy Gone - Violent Femmes
4) Sheila Is a Punk Rocker - Ramones
5) Easy - Anoushka Shankar

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