I like to characterize many of the outcomes and processes of the kitchen as "kitchen miracles." Certainly, Whipped Cream is the highest and most wonderful of those miracles. Brownies come in a pretty good second.
Tomorrow, I have a very important meeting with a group of people who can control my fate. So, I'm hedging my bets and I cooked treats for them. Sneaky, no? What's more, I snooped around and found out what the tastes of the group were, and made specific things designed to make them totally ignore the fact I'm a monkey and give me everything I want. I made blue cheese grapes, which I believe I've covered in a previous post. And, I made Ina Garten's Outrageous Brownies. These brownies are totally over the top and call for a pound of butter and over two pounds of chocolate. They were the most amazing scent while baking too (thanks to the heavy hit of coffee in the recipe.)
But, soul satisfying brownies need not take multiple steps and ingredients you must remember to purchase in order to make. You can keep the ingredients for brownies in your pantry every moment of everyday. They take literally 10 minutes to mix up and another half hour to bake - and voila! warm, gooey brownies almost at your command. And not those weird instant things that call for oil and have artificial flavors.
My basic recipe I turn to for quick desserts is a recipe I got from a college buddy. I believe the recipe originally came from a mouse of her acquaintance, someone named Mickey.
melt two squares of unsweetened chocolate and a stick of butter in a sauce pan over med. heat. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup flour, a pinch of salt, 1 teaspoon vanilla, 2 eggs, and if you like, 1/2 cup nuts. Pour into an 8X8 baking tin you've floured and buttered, and bake at 350 degrees for 1/2 hour.
But, if you want a truly amazing brownie - look up Ina's on the food network's site. It is worth the effort, although, I'll warn you - you'll need a 13X18 sheet pan - and you'll want to make these for a crowd. I mean, a crowd of you and your bestest friend.