Sometimes you just need to make something over and over. You need those recipes that are always in your back pocket, waiting to brighten your day. Those recipes that you know you’ll always have the ingredients for, that bring style and class to what can seem like an exceedingly boring pantry.
Bring in the brownies.
These are my newest modification of everybody likes sandwiches‘s Moosewood Fudge Brownies, which I have probably made eleventy-billion times. They are probably Dan’s favorite thing that I make, and it’s all because of their delicious fudgy texture. They are always rich and sinful, and can be doctored up a number of different ways, depending on what you have in your kitchen.
I love the ritual of baking something that you’ve made several times before. You collect your supplies around you. You go through the steps and do them the same way every time. You enjoy the familiarity and know that you’ll be pleased with the result. My strong attachment to this kind of feeling probably explains why I’ve watched the tea ceremony scene from Karate Kid, part II on repeat so many times.
I’ve made them so many times that I don’t really think about it anymore. The recipe does start the best way that a recipe can start, though, with melting together chocolate and butter.
Not so attractive yet.
There we go. This is the point where I have to remind myself that licking the spoon is not yet an option because unsweetened baking chocolate + unsalted butter = taste you can’t get out of your mouth for far too long.
Everything just gets mixed into the same pot you melted the chocolate in. Only brown sugar in this recipe, for that richness and depth.
Eggs. I have nothing poetic to say.
Flour. Again, nothing fancy, just necessary.
Let’s pretend I took a picture of the chocolate chips that I added before mixing it up. And the walnuts, too.
The batter is still a little warm when you start mixing in all this goodness, so my chocolate chips are already starting to melt a little. A happy mistake.
As I’ve said before, eating a salad while you’ve got delicious baked goods in the oven is a guilt-eraser. Also, how did I live a proper life before I got a salad spinner? It makes me happy.
Now, after dutifully eating our salad, we’re allowed to dig in on this gooey, melty, not-properly-left-to-cool-after-coming-out-of-the-oven treat.
This is my favorite thing about these brownies. They never quite get fully set, especially when you start throwing extra things in there, but that just turns it into a big, rich, ridiculous mess.
Go and get some baking chocolate and do this for yourself. Only, you should learn from my mistake and buy some vanilla ice cream to get in on that action.
1/2 cup butter
3 oz. unsweetened chocolate
1 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup unbleached white flour
3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup roughly chopped walnuts
Preheat the oven to 350. Lightly coat an 8- or 9-inch square baking pan with cooking spray.
In a pot large enough to hold all of the batter, melt the butter and chocolate together on low heat, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat. Add the brown sugar and vanilla and beat by hand or with an electric mixer. Add the eggs and beat well. Stir in the flour and mix until the batter is thoroughly blended and smooth. Gently fold in chocolate chips and walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 20 minutes, until the brownies are just beginning to pull away from the sides of the pan and are still fudgy in the center. If you prefer more cake-like brownies, bake an additional 5 minutes.