Yesterday was a beautiful and sunny day. The kind of day that most people will call a "Spring Fever Day". This is was 3rd day in a row that it's been sunny and mild out. It just puts everyone in a great mood. I could hear kids playing, and lawn mowers starting up for the first time since fall, and my neighbor slowly creeping out of their house from their winter hibernation. Friday night was so mild that John and I were out in the yard after dark, just sitting on the deck enjoying being outside. Saturday night, as you saw, we had our first fire in the pit!
Although I had to work this week, John was off and had done a lot of work in the yard. I can now see the peeking heads of all my perennials. It's so good to see green again. I actually opened the windows for the first time in ages. There was this gentle breeze blowing as I stood over the sink doing dishes. That first fresh breeze of spring felt so good. We had something else happen that put us in a good mood this weekend too. John had applied for a job in another department at Brown. It was a job that he had wanted ever since he started working for the University. After 2 weeks of waiting for a decision, he got a call Friday offering him the job! We were ecstatic! Very happy news for our family!
Brownies are always part of a celebration right? This is a recipe that I had been meaning to get around to for quite some time. I had bought the chocolate a few weeks ago so I don't know why I waited so long to make these. They were pretty simple to make. You don't even need to get your mixer out for this one. The recipe said "Note: For best flavor, bake 1 day before serving, let cool and store, tightly wrapped". So that's what I did. I made these Saturday afternoon. We are having our friends Eva & Ken over this afternoon to have a little congratulatory celebration for John, so I saved these babies for dessert. I hid them wrapped in a towel in the breezeway in case anyone might have had some trouble with temptation…like me!
from “Chocolate: by Nick Malgieri
2 sticks (16 tablespoons) butter, more for pan and parchment paper
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup dark brown sugar, such as muscovado
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup flour
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or 3/4 cup whole walnuts, optional.
1. Butter a 13-by-9-inch baking pan and line with buttered parchment paper. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In top of a double boiler set over barely simmering water, or on low power in a microwave, melt butter and chocolate together. Cool slightly. In a large bowl or mixer, whisk eggs. Whisk in salt, sugars and vanilla.
2. Whisk in chocolate mixture. Fold in flour just until combined. If using chopped walnuts, stir them in. Pour batter into prepared pan. If using whole walnuts, arrange on top of batter. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until shiny and beginning to crack on top. Cool in pan on rack. Yield: 15 large or 24 small brownies.
As you can see from the pictures, this made a dense, chewy, thick brownie, almost fudge like. With one confirmed chocoholic in the house, and 3 boys (my 2 + nephew) who love brownies, I’m sure they will be gobbled right up.