Hello friends. Life has been pretty crazy recently, and I absolutely feel like I’m missing something every day when I don’t post. Of course life and work gets in the way, but I really want to try to write and create here more often than I have been. It makes me feel so much better. More alive. Most like me.
This week was this blog’s fourth birthday! Of course first I forgot the day and second I completely forgot what my first post was about. (Warning: if you click on these links you’re going to see some pretty awful and hilarious photos.) I thought my inaugural post was this brownie recipe, but it was actually this post about a blueberry galette. Oh goodness. When things sometimes feel so hard and you’re struggling to get somewhere, it’s refreshing to look at something like that to see how I’ve grown. How this little blog has grown.
To celebrate little victories – like knowing how to take a better photo (even if it is with my iphone) or knowing how to develop my own recipes now or not having to eat off plastic plates anymore or living on my own and being an independent, determined, and strong woman – let’s bake some gooey grown up brownies. (And pretend this is actually coming full circle and brownies weren’t my second post.) Use two kinds of chocolate. Toast almonds. Stir in much needed strong coffee for a kick. Sprinkle with flaky sea salt. This is a girl who knows what she’s doing now. Although she still and always will love her dessert with a glass of milk!
9 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped (or use chocolate chips)
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup espresso or strong coffee, room temperature
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup toasted sliced almonds
Preheat oven to 350°. In a double boiler, combine and melt chocolates and butter. Let cool slightly.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix sugar, eggs, coffee, and chocolate. Slowly add flour, salt, and toasted almonds and mix to combine.
Pour brownie mix into an 8×8″ greased pan. Sprinkle sea salt on top. Bake just until set and a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs, about 35-40 minutes. Let cool completely before digging in – or totally skip this step and cut into them when they’re still warm and top with ice cream, like I did.
Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. I’m back, with internet, and a brand new look. What do you think? I still have a bunch of tweaks and updates to make – but really, I just felt it was time. What better day than Valentine’s to remember that life is sweet and life is colorful, right?
Also because it’s Valentine’s Day, I couldn’t not share something chocolate. I’ve been making a lot of chocolate recipes recently, and like I described in this post, I’m getting so much joy in the process of melting chocolate. It’s weird, I know. But like I said before. Better chocolate than cocaine.
Even this morning, I woke up an hour earlier to make chocolate mousse for a little VDay party I’m having tonight – the smell of the chocolate melting works just as well as a cup of coffee. Seriously, try it.
Ok, on to these brownies that I’ve been making you stare at. I made a huge batch of them a few weeks ago for a Superbowl party and were a big hit. They’re much thinner than the brownies I usually make, but they’re very dense and fudge-like. I love the crunch of the chopped pecans on top, but you could add any of your favorite toppings to them and they’d be great.
This makes a lot of brownies, so be sure to share. Wrap them up in wax paper and twine and gift them to someone special. They’ll be thinking of you the whole day after. Spread the love.
It’s only Wednesday. It’s 70 degrees in January. We’re going to have torrential rain tonight and maybe snow tomorrow. That email you’ve been waiting for still hasn’t come. Maybe you had too much to drink last night. Ran out of coffee this morning. Something is just off.
Here’s what you do. In a double boiler, melt some chocolate and butter together. You don’t have to be a good cook or baker to do this. No excuses. Stand over the stove, you can stir it if you want, but that’s not really the point here. Just smell. Put your head directly over the pot. You look ridiculous, don’t you? Let the chocolate take you over. Even looking at it all melty and silky seduces you. You’re in no rush. Let the smell travel from your nose down to every bit of you. Now, doesn’t that feel better?
On Girls this week, Hannah tried coke for work and had a really fun time dancing and expressing herself. I kind of hope this chocolate high will work for me and you like that.
Now that you’ve had your own solo dance party, I guess you might want to do something with this crazy powerful chocolate. I suggest Alejandra’s Mexican Chocolate cake or these double chocolate salted brownie cookies. Both are easy recipes and make some seriously fudgy treats. It’s because of all your concentration in melting the chocolate.
10 ounces semisweet chocolate chips (I used mini ones)
3 ounces dark chocolate chips
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Sea salt for topping
Preheat oven to 350°. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a double boiler, melt 5 ounces of semisweet chocolate and the dark chocolate with the butter. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool for at least 5 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat together chocolate mixture and sugar on medium speed until well combined. Add eggs one at a time and mix until fully combined. Beat in vanilla. Add flour and salt, and beat until just incorporated. Stir in remaining 5 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop dough balls on baking sheets at least 2 inches apart. Sprinkle a pinch of flaky sea salt on top of each dough ball.
Bake, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are set and centers are still a bit soft, 9 to 11 minutes. Transfer parchment and cookies to a wire rack to cool completely.
I’ve been thinking of other kinds of winter layers recently. Ones that involve a lot of chocolate, caramelized onions on everything, warm neutrals, cozy stripes, more chocolate. Yeah, I like these things very much.