For the next couple of weeks, I hope to dazzle and amaze you with my culinary talents. At least as they pertain to making fab food from BBQ sauce. That’s right. BBQ sauce! Today’s installment is one from left field. How does one use BBQ to make brownies?!? Keep reading and find out.

Also, I have included my interview with Dawnn Kolander of Kolander Grubb’s. She is a super nice lady and she makes some kick-ass sauce to boot!

Spicy Brownies made with The Ghost BBQ Sauce

Spicy Brownies and Milk

Spicy Ghost Brownies (adapted from Aaron Sanchez, Food Network)

2 sticks unsalted butter, plus more for greasing
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup The Ghost BBQ sauce
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2/3 cup good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides. Press the paper into the corners of the pan and lightly grease the paper with butter.

Melt the 2 sticks of butter in a nonstick saucepan over medium-low heat; do not boil. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. Add the sugar, BBQ sauce, eggs and vanilla to the saucepan and stir with a wooden spoon until combined.

Add the cocoa, flour, cinnamon, salt and baking powder and mix until smooth. Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out fudgy, about 35-40 minutes. Cool in the pan on a rack, then use the parchment paper to lift out the brownies before slicing.

Interview with Dawnn Kolander of Kolander Grubb’s

TCHB: Where did the name come from?

Kolander Grubb’s: Kolander is last our name. Grubb’s was added because we talked about making rubs. We thought it sounded like “grub” and we could trademark it later as well.

TCHB: What made you want to make BBQ sauce?

Kolander Grubb’s: My husband has been making sauce for a long time. His sister said “You have to sell this stuff!” We started selling it officially in 2009.

TCHB: Is it you and your husband only?

Kolander Grubb’s: It is just the 2 of us. He is the chef and I do the marketing.

TCHB: How do you come up with recipes and test them?

Kolander Grubb’s: The original and the habanero were the first 2. We had been making them the longest. Once we took our food certification we added more flavors. This was about mid-2010. We have always used a group of friends, family and coworkers as testers. They are good about telling us what they like and what needs to be changed. We are feeling really good about where our business is going.

TCHB: Where do you get your Bhut Jolokia peppers for The Ghost?

Kolander Grubb’s: We have to order the Ghost peppers from India. There is only one seller in WA and he doesn’t currently have a program big enough to supply us. We are looking at getting our own plants to be able to grow them for ourselves, but that is down the road.

TCHB: Have you been successful at the competitions?

Kolander Grubb’s: We are just selling the sauces at these events, no cooking yet. We are moving into the cook-off stage now. We have a cook-off group that is using our sauce and they are going to mentor us in the ways of cook-offs. Should be fun!

TCHB: How are you getting the word out?

Kolander Grubb’s: We are doing the Farmer’s Market mostly. We have attended a few events. Through the Farmer’s Market we have connected with a couple that runs a specialty shop in Everett and they sell our sauce now. We also work with the Butcher Shop Café in Kenmore. They regularly BBQ in their lot and use the Kolander sauces. We are also pushing them out to MT and CA via family. We are getting bigger slowly, but surely.

TCHB: What else should would you like people to know about Kolander Grubb’s?

Kolander Grubb’s: People are always asking for recipes. Having something outside the “pulled pork sandwich,” like you said, would be huge. I like what Twice Cooked has done with our sauces and I can’t wait to share them. Thank you!

Be sure to check out Kolander Grubb’s for yourself. They have a whole line of sauces and I am certain you can find more than a couple that you will love.

Keep checking back as I am going to be posting the dozen or more recipes that I created with their sauces!


Ghost Brownies ROCK!



  1. These brownies were incredible. I think the thing I liked most about them was that they may have been the first spicy brownies to top my “Best Brownies” list. I may now have to have spicy brownies as a rule, not an option.

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