Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Second Day Of Lent. And Then, There Were Brownies.

Fact: Darling Daughter has given up sweets for Lent. 

Fact: Regardless of Lent, neither of my children eats homemade baked goods that have been out of oven for more than 48 hours – and usually, only 24. 

Fact: I baked brownies for Valentines Day. 

Fact: As of 7 a.m. this morning 10 brownies remained. 

Fact: Now there are seven.

What was I thinking? I’ve already given up chai tea lattes and Sauvignon Blanc for the next 38 days. So that leaves me with -- you guessed it-- brownies.

Seven of them.

Seven chocolate squares of perfect happiness. Delicately crispy on top, decadently moist and dense inside, and then, because the pan was parchment-lined, a fine layer of crust on the bottom. Kissed with cinnamon.

Make that six.

Somebody stop me. I’m begging.  To fend off the craving this evening, I’ve already crunched my way through a handful of raw broccoli, half a bag of baby carrots, a seedless cucumber (sliced and dressed with sour cream) and three ribs of celery (doused in ranch dressing). I’ve downed a liter of mandarin orange seltzer water, a hunk of cheddar cheese, several handfuls of whole grain Wheat Thins, and six prosciutto palmiers.  And to wash it all down? A brownie. Natch.

The only reason my mouth isn’t currently encircled in chocolate crumbs is because I have a fetish about scrupulously clean computer keyboards.

But if I wrap this up soon, I can get back to those brownies. They're in the kitchen, taunting me.  Or maybe – just maybe -- I’ll sprout a spine and will have the willpower to steer clear of them. At least until breakfast tomorrow morning. But first, let me share the recipe – adapted from one I found on The Food Network site.

Did anyone else hear that?  I think I hear something calling to me.  From the kitchen.  And I doubt it's the remaining half of bag of carrots.

No Glaze, No Nuts, No Goo – Brownies
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, broken into squares
1 stick butter
1 ½ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350. Prepare 13” x 9” pan by lining with parchment paper and spraying the paper with nonstick spray. Melt together chocolate and butter in the microwave, by heating on high for one minute, and then, allowing the mixture to rest for one minute before stirring. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. In a separate large bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. Stir in melted chocolate mixture and then, fold in dry ingredients, taking care not to over mix. Spread batter (which will be thick) in prepared pan. Bake 30 minutes, then, allow to cool in pan on a rack. When completely cooled, cut into squares and serve. 
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