Saturday, November 28, 2009


I thought I'd kick off this blog with what has become a favorite in my household-- brownies! A classic at bake sales, people love brownies, man. You can eat them with a fork, you can eat them with your hand, kids love them, grownups love them, and let's just admit it, you love them.

This recipe makes a dense, moist brownie with a crunchy top layer.

recipe adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook, Clarkson/Potter Publishers, New York, 2005.

1 stick unsalted butter
8 ounces dark chocolate (I like to use Ghirardelli's 60% bars)
1 1/2 C. sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp. dark rum (you could, of course, use vanilla)
3/4 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt

If your chocolate is in bar form, bust it up with your fingers while the chocolate is still in the wrapper. This saves you from having to dirty a cutting board and knife (and from getting chocolate bits all over your counter, if you're like me). It doesn't need to be in teeny-tiny pieces, just do your best.

Put the chocolate and the stick of butter into a heatproof bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Or use a double boiler, fancypants. I just use the bowl from my mixer. Because it's the only heatproof bowl I have.

My hobo double-boiler. (I know, I know, hobos should be so lucky as to own pots and pans.)

Stir often until the butter and chocolate are melted and smooth.

So dark and smooth and delicious.

Take the bowl off the heat and let cool. I like to put my mixer bowl in its stand so that it has air circulating all the way around it, but you could set it on a wire rack.

Please excuse the clutter-- small apartments call for desperate, uh, clutter.

Once the chocolate mixture has cooled, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. I added my sugar and eggs in the wrong order, so I don't have any pictures of what that should look like. Mix in your eggs, whisking in only one at a time until combined.

Then, mix in the rum (or vanilla, if you like).

Rum and chocolate. 

Fold in the flour and salt.



Grease your brownie pan in whatever way you prefer. I like to use Pam for Baking, but you could just grease it up with butter, too.

Pour the batter into the pan. If your household is like mine, you will leave a significant amount of batter in the mixing bowl for a certain someone who likes that kind of thing.

It doesn't look like much yet.

Bake for about 40-45 minutes, rotating the pan about halfway through. You want your cake tester/toothpick to have some soft crumbs on it-- that's when the brownies are juuuuust right. Set the pan on a wire rack to cool. Watch as your loved ones lean in to sniff. Or maybe it's only my loved one who does that. Your brownies might have some cracks. That's okay, mine always do that.


Seriously. He's a sniffer.

  Cut yourself a little slice while it's still warm.


Then add a few scoops of vanilla ice cream.

Even better.

  Then, because you love yourself, add some pecans.


I know that this post is ostensibly about brownies, but here's what we had for dinner: curry joes. Leftover curry (ours is red curry with chicken, corn, cauliflower, and rice) heated up in the microwave and wrapped up in butter lettuce leaves. It's messy, sure, but it's an easy way to do something a little different with last night's curry.


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