Photo by Rachel Dedrickson
I guess what I am trying to say is that it is so easy to get caught up looking at what’s next and what everyone else is doing and lose the glass-is-actually-full (not half-full…I really mean brimming over full) perspective. Why can't we be content? It's OK not to be reaching for the next ladder rung. Sometimes, we can allow ourselves to "float" instead of climb.
All of this to say, I recently made classic family brownies. It felt fitting with where my head is at lately. After all, isn’t one of the simplest pleasures and most easily appreciated foods brownies? Come on! I dare you to tell me that you don’t love the smell of fresh homemade brownies wafting from the oven? Or maybe it’s sinking your teeth into a 2x2 chewy chocolate square while it’s still warm? Delicious. Comforting. Absolutely timeless.
Mom and Aunt Julie said that the main ‘go to’ treat around the house while they were growing up was brownies from scratch…mainly because Donny (my Grandpa) loved them. If Donny were still around, I can imagine how my baking activity would increase exponentially just for him!
Anyway, the brownie from scratch recipe my Mom and Aunt reference comes from the packaging of the unsweetened Baker’s chocolate box. Are you familiar? You know, it’s the one pot brownie recipe. The ones where you melt the chocolate and butter in the pan, quickly add eggs one at a time, then the flour, and salt? The key, to this family’s recipe however, is the VANILLA. We always use extra vanilla - twice as much as the recipe calls for. Or, if I’ve learned anything from Mom, it’s to forgo measuring the vanilla entirely whenever a recipe calls for it. In other words, there is absolutely no such thing as too much vanilla. Just “eye” it…or pour blindly. Same thing, right?!
The other story that goes along with the family brownie recipe is the fact that it is the first thing I ever tried to bake. You see, I thought it would be fun to surprise my family with fresh brownies at age 12. While Mom was out, I took to my Amelia Bedelia ways and began to follow the directions: Preheat the oven and grease the bottom of the pan. Can you guess what I did? Well, of course, I greased the BOTTOM of the pan like the directions told me to. Let’s just say Mom knew I was up to something when she got home…not because my brownies smelled amazing, but because there was canola oil all over her counters from the bottom of the brownie pan. So make sure (and I will too), that you grease the inside bottom of the pan when making these. Ok? Great!
Bake these up and indulge in a glass of cold milk to wash down the chocolate goodness. You can afford it. After all, the glass is brimming over full in my book.
Baker's One Pot Brownie Recipe
1 package (8 squares) BAKER'S Unsweetened Baking Chocolate
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla (remember - more than this is encouraged!)
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Melt chocolate and butter in saucepan over very low heat, stirring constantly. Cool slightly.
Beat eggs, sugar and vanila in large mixer bowl on high speed for 10 minutes. Beat in chocolate mixture on low speed. Add flour, beating just to blend. Spread in greased 13x9-inch pan.
Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until cake test inserted in center come out almost clean (do not overbake). Cool in pan, then cut into squares.
Makes approximately 32 brownies.
Photo by Rachel Dedrickson