Ok, so I will admit when it comes to baking, generally I take the healthy approach. Cookies, cakes, and other desserts come via Cooking Light, Eating Well, Clean Eating magazine, or my Best Light Recipes cookbook unless it’s a holiday (then it’s on! Real pumpkin pie…there are no substitutes). I do indulge in decadent desserts on occasion when out of the house, but when I make them and they live in my house for an extended periods of time, I tend to over-indulge. I have found that I like the healthy versions often just a s well. My favorite all-time cookies are the Yummy Molasses Crackles from Eating Well that I make every Christmas and nobody knows they are relatively healthy (guess they do now 🙂 ) and they are LOVED by all. That being said, usually when I bake for others, it’s the real deal.
The husband has had a rough week. ROUGH! It was a long week and then he has worked all weekend to top it off. I decided yesterday to make him a pick-me-up. He loves brownies. From a box. I looked around and had no box mix. I did, however, have all I needed to make from-scratch brownies. I have never made real brownies. Always cookies from scratch. Usually cakes and other desserts from scratch. But brownies? For some reason not. The box mixes are so easy when it comes to those little chocolate indulgences. Come to find out, scratch is almost just as simple. No need even for a mixer!
I looked to my The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook for a good recipe and came across their Bake Sale Brownies. The whole point of this recipe was to make simple brownies no harder than a box mix, but much better and preservative/chemical-free. Success! The great thing about Test Kitchen is that they make recipes over and over and over until they get the perfect ingredients and process. They have the BEST recipes!
Bake Sale Brownies
8 T unsalted butter cut into chunks
3 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/2t baking powder
2/3 cup flour
Heat oven to 350 and place rack in the middle position. Melt butter and chocolate together in the microwave (or preheating oven in my case…still no microwave!) stirring often. Let cool slightly. Whisk the sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking powder,a nd salt together in a bowl. Whisk in the melted chocolate mixture until smooth. Stir in the flour until no streaks remain. Scrape the batter into an 8×8 pan sprayed with cooking spray and spread out evenly. Bake for 22-27 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool before cutting.
That missing piece? That was me. You have to try it before you serve it to someone else, right? 🙂 These were leaps and bounds above a box mix and JUST as easy. I used Ghiradelli baking chocolate. It’s rich and comes in pieces rather than a block or bar, so no chopping chocolate necessary.
It is important to use UNSWEETENED chocolate. These are sweet enough without any sugar from the actual chocolate. Mine were a little cakey and I’m more of a chewy brownie lover, so next time I may omit one of the eggs. Other than that, these were DIVINE!
30 Days of Insight
Day 14- Best mashup you’ve ever heard.
Not sure I even know how to answer this. The first time I ever heard the work “mashup” was on Glee. I love that show! I missed the original airings of this first season, but I’ve been catching up with the summer re-runs and am hooked. I like all the mashups they did on there, but am not sure I’ve heard many other than that. Definitely no fave.
Day 15- A moment, phrase, or song that has changed your life the most.
“The Fear You Won’t Fall” by Joshua Radin.
When Jensen and I were dating we were long distance the entire 5 years. For the first 2.5 years, he was in College Station, TX and I was in Austin. They are about and hour and a half apart and we saw each other almost every weekend. Then he went to vet school. In the Caribbean. We were thousands of miles apart and only saw each other every 2 months. He would come home at the end of each semester (4 months) for 2 weeks. I would go there in the middle of each semester for 7-10 days. It was hard. When he first left, we decided to break up. It was heart-breaking to say the least, but it seemed so far and we were in such different places. I was ready to get married and begin our lives together. I had been out of college and was ready to move on with my life. He had to focus on his career and the years of school it would take to get there. We e-mailed some that first semester but didn’t see each other. He came home at Christmas and we hung out a couple of days. I was still so in love with him, but when he wasn’t there, I thought I could move on. I tried to be the tough guy (er..girl) and act like it just didn’t work and now we move on. I cried A LOT, but never said anything to him. He went back to the island in January and I went back to my life. Without him. And it sucked! After I saw him at Christmas and realized how much I loved him, I wanted to try to make it work. I called him and asked if I could come visit. I booked a ticket for April (our 3 year anniversary would have been in April 4th). Just before I went, I heard the above song on Grey’s Anatomy. I loved it and immediately downloaded it. When I listened to the whole thing, I teared up.
It hasn’t felt like this before
It hasn’t felt like home before you
And I know it’s easy to say but it’s harder to feel
And I miss you more than I should
Than I thought I could
Those words resonated. He WAS home to me. It HAD never felt that way. I was amazed at how much I missed him. I was determined to repair what we’d tried to leave behind and I flew down on a mission. It all worked out and my life is better everyday with him.