Fudgy Brownies

These could alternatively be titled “I Want These Now Brownies” or “Impulse Control is Overrated Brownies” because that’s pretty much the entire backstory.

I finished culinary school yesterday (PS I went to culinary school) and was perusing the internet when I saw these brownies on Food52. And then I couldn’t unsee them. It was like the arrow in the FedEx logo. Or that the Goodwill smiling face is also a G (SORRY for that one I just learned it and am fascinated!!) So I sat there for 10ish more min but then finally was like okay NO, want, now, make. Caveman. And 30 minutes later I had a round cake pan full of wonderful fudgy brownies. And then 31 minutes later I had a round cake pan full of a pacman-shaped brownie.

Its a brownies no it's a pacman

Baking/cooking has been a fun adventure in my new East Village kitchen. For a while I thought I had a magic oven that cooked everything at lightening-fast speeds (we’re talking loaf cakes in 35 min)–then I bought an oven thermometer and my life changed when I realized my oven runs 75 degrees hot. So that was a helpful discovery. I also snapped my refrigerator’s plastic vegetable drawer in half because apparently that can happen if you’re looking for carrots too exuberantly. But other than that I have a lovely kitchen with 4 burners and an oven and a sink and cabinets and snacks!!!

It’s been a while since I posted a good old butter and sugar recipe (it’s been a while since I’ve posted ANYTHING but let’s move on.) I actually followed the recipe almost exactly as-is, with the one substitution of coconut sugar instead of white sugar because I apparently don’t have any in my apartment right now. They’re unbelievably quick and easy, and have the flavor of a boxed mix brownie (the stuff DREAMS are made of) but with a more satisfying, substantial chew. Also, they’re ONE BOWL WONDERS which is absolutely amazing for small kitchens. Okay fine, two bowls if you count whisking the egg, but STILL. It counts.

Slice o Yum

Fudgy Brownies, Gently adapted from Food52

Makes about 16 brownies

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup coconut sugar
3 eggs, slightly whisked
2/3 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and spray a 9″ baking pan (square I guess, but I used round and it was super fun) with non-stick spray.

2. Combine the butter, oil, and chocolate in a metal bowl. Place over a pot of simmering water, and stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Note: this is a VERY IMPORTANT AND TASTE-ABLE STAGE. Hint, it tastes like melted chocolate.

3. Take the bowl off heat, let it cool slightly, and whisk in sugars until combined. Next, whisk in eggs and vanilla.

4. Add flour and salt; fold to combine using a rubber spatula until it’s all incorporated. Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes our with some wet crumbs still hanging on. They’ll cook a bit more as they cool. Once cool (if you can wait), cut and enjoy!

ALSO look at my awesome new plate!!!!!! It’s exactly how I feel about these brownies; I want them to be mine forever. I also plan on wine and dining myself on this plate all February long. Maybe just dining though because the edges are pretty much edges of a plate and are therefore not conducive to holding wine.

Fudgy Brownies on a PLATE

Best Brownies Ever

The other day, my mom had a library board meeting (she’s quite the town activist) and asked me to bake something, since it was their celebratory end-of-year meeting. Since her other friends were making cookies, she wanted some kind of brownies. At first she was thinking of going big and doing something with pecans (this is a lamer definition of going big than I would have hoped) but that was an idea that lasted probably all of 4 minutes. Because lately, making brownies has been a one-way street with a dead end at this recipe.

These have been my go-to recipe for over 3 years, when my older sister first emailed the recipe over to me. Her good friend Kate at Cornell had made these brownies for her and she was obsessed. The recipe was originally from Kate’s mom’s college roommate Jill at Cornell back in the 70’s. So now they’re just known to us as “Jill’s Brownies.” Also apparently, her last name was Baker. Very appropriate. This is practically a one-bowl recipe and is super easy to make- and all you need is a hand mixer. You start off with the white ingredients (so..everything that isn’t the chocolate. Fair.) and then fold in the chocolate, resulting in a super fun bowl of swirled happiness.

When it comes to texture, these brownies go hard in the paint- they are super fudgy, but aren’t overwhelmingly sweet. It’s completely acceptable (and quite encouraged) to put a scoop of vanilla ice cream on a warm, gooey, fresh from the oven brownie. However, they’re still amazing on their own- not the kind of brownie where you’re like “oh I guess this is good but is it only good because I’m drowning it in ice cream oh but it doesn’t matter oh I’ll guess I’ll have 3 more just to make sure I like how it actually tastes.” ..No. This is a “oh I guess I’ll have 3 more just to make sure I’m still living and haven’t died and gone to heaven because this is SO TASTY AH” type of brownie.

…And yes, those last two pictures were Instagram-ed. Sometimes the act of pouring brownie batter is just too fleeting of a moment to waste time to go get a real camera. Alternatively, I was lazy and didn’t want to walk to my room to get it. Let’s go with the first option.

Jill’s Brownies

makes approximately 24 brownies

4 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, melted

1/2 cup butter, melted

4 eggs

1/4 tsp salt

2 cups sugar

1 tsp vanilla

1 cup flour

Preheat the oven to 325 °F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.

Microwave the chocolate and butter in the microwave in ~20 second increments on power level 5, stirring after each time, being careful not to burn the butter.

Beat eggs and salt together until eggs are light, and then beat in the sugar. Fold in the vanilla and the chocolate/butter mixture. Fold in the flour until just combined.

Pour into prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes. Enjoy!

Fancy brownies are…fine. Actually, they can be really tasty. Chances are I’ll post about some in the future. But nothing beats a square of pure chocolatey delight. These brownies will honestly enrich the quality of your life. They are SO good.

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

…Whoa. I promise that I know words other than ones that start with C. Anyway. A while back, I was trying to make some kind of fall time recipe that called for cinnamon chips, but when I went to the grocery store to find some, they were nowhere to be found. I stood there looking for 10 minutes, as though by some miracle they would appear out of thin air. After all, it was kind of close to my birthday, so I figured it was possible. Unfortunately no miracles occurred in Stop and Shop on that day, so I settled for butterscotch chips (NOT the same. Similar color though!) and while the recipe still ended up tasting fine, I still really, really wanted to find cinnamon chips so I could yell at them for not being there for when I really needed them. So one day a month or so ago, I was in the grocery store at home, strutting up and down the baking needs item as is totally normal to do, and I FOUND CINNAMON CHIPS!!!! I seized on the opportunity to gain vengeance and immediately bought a bag. With no real goal in mind, just…to have. Thus concludes the epic battle with cinnamon chips.

I’m a firm believer that everything is better with a bit of cinnamon, and that there’s nothing more delicious than a classic Tollhouse chocolate chip cookie. So the other day when I went to take out the chocolate chips for the cookies I was making and saw the cinnamon chips sitting next to them, I decided to combine the best of both worlds.

I made these for some friends the first time and forgot to take pictures..but definitely had zero issue with making them again! I only had about 1/4 cup of normal chocolate chips though, so the second time around the cookies contained normal chocolate chips, mini chocolate chips, and chocolate chunks. Plus the cinnamon chips. Chips on chips on chips, in a wonderful, wonderful way.

To be honest…I didn’t measure out the cinnamon the first time so I have NO idea how much was in there. Use your nose to see if it seems cinnamony enough. Start smallish though, because you don’t want to overpower the cookies too much. Or maybe you do. Which is cool too. My uncle’s response after trying them was “It tastes like Halloween.”  Cinna-success. (..I promise I won’t try to make that become a thing)
Eeeaaatttt meeeeee says cookie

Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies

makes about 48 cookies (I can never get 60 out of the Tollhouse recipe)

2 1/4 cups flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1 cup butter, softened

3/4 cup white sugar

3/4 cup light brown sugar

2 tsp vanilla

2 large eggs

2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips

1 cup cinnamon chips (or more!)

1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 375 °F.

Beat together the butter, both sugars, and vanilla until creamed. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Gradually add this mixture to the butter mixture. Stir in the chocolate chips and cinnamon chips.

Drop using a rounded tablespoon onto an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes, until they’re nice and browned on the edges. Allow to cool and then enjoy!

Dayum. Check out the curves on dat thing.