• Being Fresh

    Being fresh is a high priority at Sweet Muse. That’s why when orders come in, we don’t pull any brownies “off the shelves”. Our customers expect and deserve that soft, fudgy, melt in your mouth experience of a freshly baked brownie and that’s what we deliver.

    Orders are baked fresh either the day they come in or the next day. The brownies are allowed to cool and then are individually hand wrapped to keep them their freshest until they arrive to delight their intended recipient.

    We often get questions about shelf life. Well, we like our brownies to be eaten as soon as possible so they are at their most delicious – and usually we hear that they didn’t last very long! Two weeks is about the point where we feel the flavor/texture starts to decline. They don’t “go bad” at that point — In fact, many customers have insisted they totally enjoyed their brownies even a month after receiving them — they just aren’t quite as fresh. And we like to be fresh.

    Sweet Muse brownies do not include preservatives, so they cannot sit on the counter for months as many baked products in convenience and grocery stores do. We see it as a positive that our brownies are not shelf stable to that degree. We use actual eggs (not powdered, or egg substitute), butter (not oil or trans-fat laden ingredients), and premium dark chocolate to provide a high quality indulgence. We leave out the stabilizers and enhancers that can help provide the illusion of freshness.

    If you have too many brownies to enjoy within two weeks (not the worst of problems), and aren’t interested in sharing (we don’t blame you), you can pop Sweet Muse brownies in the refrigerator to extend freshness for another couple of weeks, or put them in a zip-lock bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Pop one of those bad boys in the microwave for 30 seconds and you might swear it just came fresh out of the oven.

    Thursday, November 12th, 2015 at 19:29
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  • A Spring Mindset

    Every year, spring is a delight. Even more so after a winter that has been particularly long and harsh. In just a few months of relative darkness, cold, and gray, the memories of delicate spring flowers and vibrant greenery can become so faint and faded. Each cold, snowy day in March can dawn with a gloomy threat that winter might just be forever this year.

    When a warm day or two finally allows us to ditch the heavy sweaters and coat and coaxes a few green shoots from the ground, it is no surprise that we feel lighter and more energized and ready to tackle spring cleaning, a neglected project, a new class, or really anything that needs tackling.

    My extreme joy in greeting this spring after the very rough winter here in the Northeast got me thinking about how at times we can fall into a “winter mindset” that has nothing to do with the season itself, where things seem dark and lack growth and feel as if they might remain this way indefinitely. In these times, how can we remind ourselves that winter will eventually melt away and what can we do to shift into the energy of a “spring mindset”?

    Here are a few thoughts I had that might work for me.

    — Flowers bring me such joy, that I am thinking that they offer some ways to boost my mood and help shift my mindset. A visit to a glorious garden or park such as the New York botanical garden or Wave Hill would do the trick in all but winter.
    — I could create a file on my computer compiling beautiful flower photos I’ve taken along with inspirational notes from my spring self to my winter self and I could journey through this file when things are dark.
    — Yoga, a walk, or coffee and conversation with a friend could also provide the equivalent of a gentle spring breeze to guide me into a milder frame of mind.

    Please leave your comments about ways that you’ve found to adjust your mindset to what I’m calling a spring mindset.

    First spring flowers 2015

    Love these little flowers. They are very delicate but have no fear showing up before it even appears to be spring and will even push up through the snow.

    Monday, May 4th, 2015 at 21:28
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  • Things to do on a Snow Day

    Imagine waking up one chilled morning. The weather is masked with flurries and the air is silent as the day begins. You turn on your television to the local news channel, and would you look at that: a snow day! If it is the weekend or your place of work is closed for the day, how can you spend it? The thought of sleeping in sounds immaculate, but alas, you are already up and about, enjoying the world coated with bright white from your window sill. Looks like you need something to do since sleeping is out of the question, and we have a few ideas of what can make a boring snow day into a cheerful memory.

    1. Catch up on that novel you’ve been putting off since August. What better way to enjoy a day of relaxation than with a book you’ve been dying to finish? Jump down onto your favorite spot on the couch, grab the warmest blanket you own, and feel comfy knowing the day could not get any better than this.

    2. Snow day movie marathon? You better believe it! Grab your favorite movies and just binge out with a movie marathon for hours. Go at it alone, or grab a few friends; it will definitely be a day of intense laughter, tears, fears, and fun.

    3. Learn how to do something new! Remember that thing you always wanted to learn about, but never found the time? Well, here it is. Who knows, maybe learning how to knit, making your own macrame, or even learning how to start a fire without any matches, you will figure out something spectacular about yourself.

    4. Bake! What is better than a day of baking cookies or other treats? You can even turn it into a little get together by inviting your friends to bake with you. In the end, your kitchen will be filled with multiple types of cookies, pies covering the counter, and anything else that your sweet tooth desires.

    5. Catch up with family members. When you can’t see loved family members for long periods of times, it can really set your emotion gauge to “missing”. As long as the roads aren’t too bad, give them a visit! They would love the unexpected company. Or, do the same with a friend you have not seen in a long time.

    6.Spend time outside! Chances are, you’ll have to shovel the driveway as it is, so why not celebrate with a walk through the chilling beauty? Who knows, maybe this enchanted walk will lead you to your favorite hometown diner, or that little teashop you have been meaning to visit on the Main Street.

    However you decide to spend your “snow day” take at least a few minutes to appreciate the beauty of freshly fallen snow and the special day it has provided.

    Guest post contributed by Matt Howard

    Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 at 18:50
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  • Leftover Inspiration

    The holiday season is here and family and food are in full swing. After stuffing yourself with your Thanksgiving or Christmas meal, it is common to have mountains of leftovers stuffed in the refrigerator for the rest of the family to pick at and eat. Make the most out of your holiday leftovers with some of these ideas.

    ​​Thanksgiving turkey is always good, but a strict turkey diet can get boring after a few days. Spice up your leftovers by making Buffalo Turkey Dip.

    You will need:

    1 package (8 ounces) of cream cheese
    1/2 cup of buffalo wing sauce
    1/2 ranch or bleu cheese dressing
    2 cups of shredded Colby-Monterey Jack Cheese
    2 cups of shredded leftover turkey.​

    Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine the turkey, buffalo sauce, ranch or bleu cheese dressing, and cream cheese, and 1 cup of cheese into a medium sized bowl and mix together. Spread the mix into a 1-quart baking dish and put in the oven for 15-18 minutes. After the dip is heated evenly through, garnish with the other 1 cup of cheese and bake for another ten minutes or until the cheese is hot and bubbly. Buffalo Turkey Dip can be served with tortilla chips, crackers or vegetables.

    Mashed potatoes are a classic Thanksgiving and Christmas dish and can be re-used to make delicious Potato Cakes.


    2 (1-pound, 4-ounce) packages refrigerated mashed potatoes
    1 tablespoon dried minced onion
    1/2 teaspoon pepper
    1 cup matzo meal
    Cooking spray

    Combine first 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Divide mixture into 16 portions, using about 1/3 cup in each portion. Pat each portion into a 4-inch diameter cake; place on wax paper.
    Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat both sides of each cake with cooking spray; place in batches in pan. Reduce heat to medium; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from pan, and place on wax paper. Cool completely.

    Take your leftover ham dinner and transform it into a hearty Wild Rice and Ham Chowder Soup, perfect for those cold, winter days.


    1/2 cup chopped onion
    1/4 cup butter, cubed
    2 garlic cloves, minced
    6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    1/2 teaspoon salt
    1/4 teaspoon pepper
    4 cups chicken broth
    1-1/2 cups cubed peeled potatoes
    1/2 cup chopped carrot
    1 bay leaf
    1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
    1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    3 cups cooked wild rice
    2-1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
    2 cups half-and-half cream
    1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
    Minced fresh parsley

    In a Dutch oven, over medium heat, saute onion in butter until tender. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until blended. Gradually add broth. Bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.
    Add the potatoes, carrot, bay leaf, thyme and nutmeg; return to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the rice, ham, cream and corn; heat through (do not boil). Discard bay leaf. Garnish with parsley. Yield: 8-10 servings (2-3/4 quarts).

    Guest post contributed by: Jonathan Chantz

    Friday, December 12th, 2014 at 11:19
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  • How to have Fun Spooky Halloween Party Without a Scary Budget

    Halloween is here and that means Halloween parties are too. Here are some money saving tips for hosting a fun Halloween party on a small budget.

    1. DIY Costumes

    One of the most fun ways to save money during the Halloween season is by making your own costume! Costume stores can be expensive. Save a few bones this year and check out these Do It Yourself costume ideas, The link below lists 101 costumes you can create yourself without breaking the bank
    http://www.popsugar.com/smart-living/Cheap-Homemade-Halloween-Costumes-20064402?stream_view=1#photo-31670087. Chances are the kids will already have costumes if you plan on Trick-or-Treating, but make sure everyone is dressed for the occasion (and don’t forget the dog!)

    2. Games
    The game possibilities are endless! For the kids at your party, get out some flashlights and let them play flashlight tag. They will be occupied all night! Make sure you set boundaries beforehand, so everyone knows where they are allowed to be.

    A second game idea that everyone could enjoy is the name game. A friend of mine taught me this game years ago, and it can be played with any size group and is always a lot of fun! To play, you must have everyone write a name on a slip of paper; in keeping with the Halloween spirit, try themed names like Dracula, Frankenstein, Casper, etc. Everyone Then the slips are put in a bowl. Have somebody read the names aloud twice through. The reader does not guess or put a name in the bowl. Then go around the circle in order asking only yes or no questions. For example, “Joe, are you Frankenstein?” And he would answer yes or no. The names are never read again, so it’s fun to try and remember all of the names from the beginning then to remember what names are still in play as the game progresses. Once someone is identified they are out. The last person standing who has not been identified is the winner.

    3 . Scary Cheap Decorations

    What Halloween party is complete without clever themed decorations? This idea may seem simple, but it will make a big difference! Buy colored glow sticks and put them in the bottoms of your coolers. Everyone will be able to see what drink they’re grabbing in the dark, and it fits with the Halloween theme perfectly! (Glow Sticks are at Wal-Mart and Dollar Stores everywhere and average around 10¢ a stick) Of course there has to be a pumpkin on display somewhere! Enjoy carving some pumpkins with your family and place them around your home or yard with candles inside so they glow. They are super fun to make and also very fun for your guests to enjoy. A final party idea, one of my personal favorites comes from HGTV Magazine; Spider webs made from black trash bags. Not only is this idea affordable, it’s incredibly easy to make and will help spice up any room or space. The following link shows step by step instructions on how to construct them with ease http://www.hgtv.com/handmade/trash-bag-spider-webs/index.html

    Happy Halloween!

    Wednesday, October 29th, 2014 at 12:18
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  • What do to before the weather chills!

    What’s up brownie lovers!
    Fall has finally “fallin'” into our laps, and it could not be better! The weather doesn’t fry us, the leaves decide to grace us with their hidden beauty, and we can finally enjoy our favorite fall activities. The weather will eventually be uninviting for many fun outdoor activities, so while there is still time, here is a list of entertaining activities to do before Jack Frost sits on his throne:

    1. Enjoy a fire with close friends and family.
    Whether you have the space for a bon fire, a fire pit, or have a fireplace you can enjoy. Enjoy the nip in the air but stay toasty after the sun goes down. You might even break out the chocolate, marshmallow, and graham crackers. Who says s’mores are just for summer?!

    2. Head to your local farmers’ market!
    Grab the bounty of the fall harvest and load up with fruits and veggies! Many markets also offer a variety of breads, baked goods, jams and jellies, as well as handmade products, such as jewelry, soap, and various gift items. Support your local farmers and artisanal makers while making your life healthier and more beautiful.

    3. Pick your own!
    The farmers’ market and even the local grocery store are certainly stocked with apples and pumpkins this time of year, but on a beautiful fall day why not head out to the orchard or pumpkin patch and pick your own. Gather up some fresh, crisp apples for baking (see #6) and the perfect pumpkin for a Halloween jack o’lantern.

    4. Grill out and invite your neighbors or close friends.
    Add in some football and the summer barbeque can become a fall tailgate (actually tailgate optional). What could be better than grilled burgers, hotdogs, and amazing fun with your closest friends? Grilling up some grub is the best way to take game day to the next level. Make sure somebody brings dessert!

    5. Partake in more walks.
    Take walks through the falling leaves, sit on a bench with someone you love, or just watch the leaves fall and enjoy the beauty that they present only once a year.

    6. Bake Fall related treats!
    Now this is a personal favorite of mine. What could be better than leaf shaped cookies on a beautiful fall day, or some apple crisp and vanilla ice cream? How about some pumpkin pie or pumpkin bread or pumpkin brownies? Let’s be real, pumpkin everything sounds super yummy.

    Fall is such a bountiful, beautiful season, so take advantage of it and create some memories with the ones you love.

    Sunday, October 19th, 2014 at 23:24
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  • Getting Outside

    After such a brutally cold and long winter in the Northeast, it was even more of a pleasure this year to see things green up and flower and to step outside feeling the warmth of the sun. I always greet spring enthusiastically, but his year it was at a whole new level!

    This spring was also the first time Sweet Muse stepped out to participate in outdoor markets. We were part of Fall Crafts at Lyndhurst this past September and opted to try Spring Crafts this May. In addition, Sweet Muse spent weekends in April at the LIC Flea and then filled out the rest of May with LIC Flea on Saturday and Astoria Flea on Sunday. Whew! It was a lot of days spent outdoors in the many variables of spring weather.

    Some of the days were as beautiful as you could be imagined with sunshine and warm breezes. Others, were far beyond blustery and marked by heavy downpours. We learned how to anchor our tent, weigh down all items in the booth, and react to and then recover after sudden torrents of rain (and in some cases the mud that followed). While it all doesn’t quite qualify as an outdoor survival class, it’s probably the closest I will ever come to one. (I’ve attached a couple of pictures below of the highs and the lows of setting up outside.)

    Despite the challenges the weather threw our way, being outside for so many hours felt invigorating and refreshing. I realized how little time I typically spend outdoors even when the weather is nice, and I intend to improve on that.

    But, the absolute best part of participating in so many markets was getting out and meeting and sharing Sweet Muse brownies with so many people. I loved speaking with everyone who stopped by the booth and really appreciate everyone who came over, sampled a brownie, and maybe even spent a little time chatting with us. It was so great to meet you and to hear your feedback about our brownies and flavors, especially the daily Special Editions.

    Over the next couple months, while we are not at any markets, we will be thinking about everything we heard from our customers and updating and planning for the busy fall and holiday season using all that we learned. Also, having gained even more appreciation for the benefits of time outdoors, I’ll make sure to leave some time for a little more regenerating time outside.

    Sweet Muse in spring sunshine

    Some days we had an idyllic little brownie cottage.

    Sweet Muse battered by the wind

    Other days were more difficult.

    Friday, June 6th, 2014 at 13:12
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  • Brownie recipe to celebrate spring

    Springtime brings about new recipes!

    Hey brownie enthusiasts! Spring is finally here and what better way to celebrate than with a new brownie recipe? Boxed brownie mix can get boring, and that’s why it’s always a blast to try something different and more delicious.

    Now, I’m all about Sweet Muse brownies, but I don’t always have their wonderful brownies on hand, and when I need brownies within a day, this recipe takes the cake, or brownie that is. So if you are in the mood to try out this fabulous recipe, then take a gander below!

    Chocolate Fudge Brownies

    What you will need:

    • 9 by 9 inch baking pan
    • Aluminum foil
    • 6 oz. semi sweet chocolate
    • 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate
    • 1 stick of butter (1/4 lb)
    • 2/3 cup plus one tablespoon of sugar
    • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
    • 1/3 cup of flour
    • 1 egg for less of a cake texture, 2 for more

    The steps:

    1. Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees
    2. Line the 9 by 9 baking pan with aluminum foil (this makes for an easy clean up).
    3. Put the semi and bittersweet chocolate into a microwave safe bowl with the stick of butter and melt it all together for a smooth and chocolaty mix. (Approximately 1-2 minutes in a microwave or you could use a double boiler.)
    4. Mix in the sugar and salt to the barely resistible chocolate mix, followed by the egg(s) and flour. Mix it all up well.
    5. Pour the mix into the pan and pop into the oven for 30 to 35 minutes (30 minutes for fudgier brownies, 35 if you want them more done).
    6. Once they are done, take them out and let them cool for a few hours if you baked for only 30 minutes, or else cutting into them will result in a slight mess (It’s like waiting to cut a pie essentially).

    Thank you to my high school Nutrition teacher, Mrs. Scott, for sharing this recipe, which I tweaked a bit and now share with you.

    Matt Howard

    Friday, March 21st, 2014 at 13:37
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  • Et tu, Brownie?

    You will likely never hear, “Et tu, Brownie?”

    And why? Because a brownie will never betray you!

    For over two millenniums, March 15th has sat idly, and sometimes ominously, in our minds due to the betrayal of the dictator Julius Caesar. It has been rumored, thanks to Shakespeare, that Caesar’s final words came out to be, “Et tu, Brute?” which translates to, “And you too, Brutus?” Brutus was Caesar’s closest friend, and turned out to be his biggest traitor.

    So with the Ides of March approaching, beware! Keep a watchful eye out for anybody who may take a “stab” at stealing your brownies.

    Monday, March 10th, 2014 at 22:20
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  • All Kinds of Love

    Hey there brownie lovers! Happy winter!

    You’re probably looking at that greeting and rolling your eyes, thinking to yourself, “What’s happy about winter?” You’re probably thinking about how the weather has been even colder than usual, school or work is stressing you out, and perhaps worst of all, Valentine’s Day is coming up. Yuck!

    However, even if those are your exact sentiments, there is a light at the end of this long, dark, cold tunnel, if you are open to it. I want to reinforce ideas from last year’s Valentine’s Day post about how this day can, and should, be one filled with love and happiness no matter what your feelings for this time of year might be.

    Valentine’s Day is a day that has been commercialized as a couple’s “holiday” all about romantic dinners and rendezvous. Women in relationships can revel in gifts such as jewelry or over-sized teddy bears, while men in relationships might get really excited about eating chocolate. And this is fine; couples across the country should be excited about giving and receiving these expressions of love. However, this doesn’t mean single people should hide in their rooms trying to drown themselves in candy and sad songs. There are reasons for everyone to feel the love on Valentine’s Day. Love of all kinds is important, especially on a day when love is to be celebrated.

    On Valentine’s Day, people can be having friend dates and going to the movies together, or splitting a delicious meal. People can be spending time with their parents, playing a favorite family board game, or just sitting around the kitchen table chatting. Maybe playing with a pet is the right kind of love on a day that often makes those who are single feel the loneliest. There is so much love in this world and it doesn’t have to come from a significant other. Maybe it’s just you, loving yourself for exactly the kind soul that you are.

    So with that being said, make sure you take the time on Valentine’s Day to spread any kind of love that you see fit. And if that happens to involve sharing or eating brownies, we’d love to help you out with that.

    Chocolate-dipped Brownie Hearts

    Chocolate-dipped Brownie Hearts

    Friday, February 7th, 2014 at 21:31
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