Brownies/Blondies Archive

Friday, January 12, 2007

cream cheese marbled brownies

cream cheese marbled brownies

Last weekend, en route to the Professional Bull Riders Showdown at Madison Square Garden, and after some beers at what, without a doubt, must be the most sordid bar in Manhattan, Jocelyn’s roommate told me that even the sound of a baby crying could immediately bring on PMS-like symptoms for her. She’s that repelled by them. I laughed, because she’s damn funny, but then it hit me: earlier this month I held a friend’s 3-month old baby, marveled at his wrist-less arms and ankle-less legs (hidden beneath rolls, you see) and sniffed his tiny baby noggin and since then, I cannot stop eating chocolate. It’s getting worse and worse. What is usually just a two to three day bout of increased chocolate cravings every, oh, 28 days or so is incessant. Unending. Borderline obsessive, minus the borderline part.

cream cheese marbled brownies

And now we’ve graduated beyond the cookies that brought us no world peace to cream cheese-swirled brownies. I try, I really do, to offset the inevitably amassed results of the fact that I am incapable of avoiding the ingestion of cocoa mass: boiled brussel sprouts, dull vegetable udon soups, miles and miles of crunchy salads as well as distances on my other tormentor, the roller-blade like hulking machine mass at the gym, but all of this just dances around the fact that in the freezer, a few marbled beauties wait impatiently for our reunion. I mean, I couldn’t bring them all work, could I?

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

blondies, infinitely adaptable

blondies, infinitely adaptable

I’m back! But not really, as I got home an hour ago, whipped up a batch of the only blondie recipe you’ll ever need for our favorite blondie’s umpteenth 25th birthday and now I have about 45 minutes to find something in my closet that camouflages my sling because ugh, it’s such an eyesore. (On the flipside, when I don’t wear it and someone bumps into me I get all outraged like ‘don’t you know my shoulder is injured?!’ Well, no Debbie, they don’t.)

Although I am certain the last thing anyone wants to think about today is eating, baking, desserts or the next big cooking holiday, this recipe will usher in what I hope will be a month peppered with ideas for gifty kitchen confections. I know a lot of people this time of year make small gifts bags of baked goods, or larger tins for parties, and while I typically don’t, this gives me a chance, too, to try out a lot of bookmarked recipes while also never showing up at a party empty-handed. Also, I finally have an excuse to buy a candy thermometer.


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Friday, October 13, 2006

classic brownies

classic brownies

People, I’m getting as predictable as a Cathy cartoon. Take out your calendars, tick 28 days from now, and inevitably, this page will be topped with yet another chocolate-supporting confection. All month long, I look at this dark food of the gods, daily, I submit to a bittersweet bite, yet rarely do I desire to transform it into things. Baking disperses chocolate across flour, eggs, sugars and etceteras. It dulls its mighty intent, and personally, I prefer my chocolate potent.

it's the moon, i swear

But then the moons change and suddenly I can’t get that last brownie recipe I saw somewhere, anywhere, out of my mind. Maybe this is The One, I’ll think, the one that will become my only. I look to my One and Only for support.

“Please convince me that it would be a bad idea to make brownies,” I’ll plead.

“Brownies?! You’re going to make brownies?! Woohoo! Hooray! Yay!” and that ear-to-ear grin terminates my attempts at hip-slimming righteousness in one flash.

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Thursday, September 14, 2006

outrageous brownies

ina garten's outrageous brownies

I know that this is quite boring and stereotypical but I have PMS this week and my cravings come with, as my husband likes to say, “very specific instructions.” I wanted brownies. But, like every woman with a spastic relationship to her hips and, in turn their relationship the butter, sugar and 70 percent chocolate that makes our taste buds go round, I paused. And paused. How could I adjust my Very Strong Need for a bite of chewy, dense, bitter-laced homage to cocoa mass with my need for my favorite skirt to fit it my favorite way?

A-ha! I would make them tiny, and I would stash them in the freezer and eat but one each day. Just. One. I am brilliant, a master of compromise, I assured myself and got to work.

A while back, I confessed that my favorite brownie recipe in the entire world was the one I’d been making since high school — the “One Bowl Brownie” recipe from the back of the Baker’s Unsweetened Chocolate box. They are dense and chewy and moist with a thin crisp of a crust atop, they’re bitter-sweet and my god, you make them in one bowl! In a kitchen without a dishwasher, they’re a dream come true. Best yet, the actual use of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate is optional; they respond well to all levels of fancy.

paying people off with baked goods

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

penne à la vodka + belgian brownies

penne a la vodka

I have no doubt I’m opening a can of worms here, but I really don’t see the point of the classic foodie hobby, Rachael Ray Bashing. Sure, her voice is unnecessarily loud, and it makes you wonder why her supposedly caring producers wouldn’t tell her to cut back on all the yelling; of course, the (trademarked) EVOO is hideously annoying; and yeah, that FHM photo shoot was, at best, a cry for attention, but in the kitchen? The 30-minute meals? How did these become the enemy?

Yes, her knife skills are lacking, but guess what? So are mine. Yes, she relies a bit on pre-processed ingredients, but I’ve got no beef with canned tomatoes, beans and frozen peas when you are short on time. Yes, she lacks finesse but hello! I’m a big as a dork as anyone, and yet you are still here. To be honest, I often parallel her cooking to Oprah’s Book Club. (At the rate she’s earning, she’ll be as loaded as Oprah in a couple years, which is what I suspect is actually what irks people.) For the most part, the books aren’t to my taste but I won’t begrudge a woman who got thousands of Americans back into reading. In the realm of food, I can think of more worthy nightmares to dump on (ahem).

This kind of brings me to the only recipe of hers I have ever cooked: penne a la vodka. What drew me in? Well, to be honest, everything her packagers promised: It looked easy. I had the stuff on hand. It didn’t take long to make. And best yet, it had a showiness to it that readied it for prime time, or in this case, an early date with my now-husband, and the first time I had ever cooked for him.

le pain quotidien belgian brownies

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