After a very productive weekend spent watching The Muppet Show and eating cookies, I was inspired to pull out one of my favorite celebrity cookbooks of all time: 1996’s In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy. Miss Piggy doesn’t cook, because she’s far too glamorous for such a thing, so she has called upon her celebrity friends to contribute to the collection. But just like Miss Piggy herself, most of the celebrities featured in this book are people who I honestly cannot picture hovering over a hot stove. Maybe it’s just the limits of my imagination, but can you picture going to a barbecue at Yo-Yo Ma’s house for beer and honey spareribs? Or enjoying a glass of wine at John Travolta’s kitchen island as he whips you up a lobster with three (three!) sauces? Or showing up to a sour cream peach pie eating contest hosted by the ghost of General Norman Schwarzkopf? I’ve spent my entire adult life cooking professionally, but if I had Miss Piggy’s money, you bet your ass I’d be paying the Swedish Chef to keep me fed so I could devote even more time to watching TV while eating cookies. What good is being filthy rich if you still have to wash dishes?
Though I have my doubts about nearly every big name in this book, there are two celebrities who check out in a big way: Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, better known as Ben and Jerry. In a true testament to her charm and charisma, Miss Piggy was able to convince the delicious duo to fork over their iconic recipe for Superfudge Brownies. I’ve plucked enough brownie chunks from containers of Half Baked to know that this is the real deal, and now, thanks to Miss Piggy’s powers of persuasion, I don’t have to plunge my fingers into a freezing pint of ice cream every time I want Ben and Jerry’s brownies. Actress, singer, aerobics instructor, cookbook author—truly, is there anything that pig can’t do?
Adapted from In the Kitchen with Miss Piggy (Time-Life, 1996)
Note: To amp up the flavor I’ve added espresso powder and milk chocolate chunks to Ben and Jerry’s original recipe. If you want a more “authentic” experience, feel free to omit.
- 4 oz. unsweetened chocolate
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
- 1 tsp. instant espresso powder
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 1/3 cup unpacked light brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup flour, sifted
- Roughly 2/3 cup (5 oz.) milk chocolate chunks, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and lightly flour a 9-by-13-inch baking pan.
Melt the chocolate and butter in a double boiler on top of simmering water; alternatively, microwave the two together in 45-second increments, stirring occasionally, until fully melted. Stir in the espresso powder, then allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.
With a whisk, beat the eggs and salt in a mixing bowl until fluffy, then add the sugar and vanilla. Switching to a silicone spatula, gently fold in the chocolate mixture, baking powder, and flour, being sure not to overbeat so that the brownies will stay light and fluffy. Fold in the milk chocolate chunks.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool completely in the pan before slicing.