Ladies are you ready for the best day ever?

You have been waiting all year for this day.   NO I am not talking about Mother’s Day that is great and all and those of us that are mother’s may get a little break from our everyday duties.  Maybe someone else will take care of the kids, the dishes, the animals, the laundry, etc.

I am talking about ” EAT WHAT YOU WANT DAY”  Woo Hoo this is it the excuse you have been waiting for to indulge and not feel bad.  Oh and did I mention it just happens to coincide with that other holiday this weekend the one you may receive flowers or candy for or get the day off and go to a restaurant.  Yes two days in one Happy Mother’s Day and Eat What you want Day.

So how will you celebrate?

Baked Brownie

I love an excuse to make something rich and chocolatey.  So here it is, my gift to myself to celebrate and yes I might share a piece or maybe two with someone else in the house.  If they are really good to me for Mother’s Day that is. (Hint Hint.. hope you are ready Mr. Mixture or Little Miss Mixture)

When it comes to brownies, this is one food I have been consistently making for years.  There are lots of brownie recipes and while they all have there place when I want a brownie I  find myself to be a brownie purest. Simple, rich, and pure chocolate.  For years I made the One Bowl Brownie and in my opinion perfected it as I knew exactly how long to cook it so that the edges were done and the middle was a little on the raw side, which is just the way I like my brownies.  For the last several years the Baked brownie has been my go to for strictly consumption by itself or a la mode.  As I said there is a place for all the different types of brownies.  This may not be the perfect brownie for cutting and displaying or at least the way I make it, but trust me good food doesn’t always have to look good and I have never had a complaint regarding the looks of these brownies.

Baked Brownie

1 1/4 Cups all – purpose flour
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp dark unsweetened cocoa powder
11 -13 oz chocolate, coarsely chopped (see note at bottom)
1 Cup unsalted butter, cut into 1 – inch pieces (8 ounces)
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1 1/2 Cups granulated sugar
1/2 Cup packed light brown sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
flour

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DIRECTIONS:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the sides and bottom of a glass or light-colored baking pan with butter or cooking spray.  The original recipe I found called for a 9×13, but I accidentally used a 9×11.  Either works you simply may need to adjust the cooking time for the smaller pan since the brownies will be thicker.  Line the pan with parchment paper.
2. In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and cocoa powder together.
3. Put the chocolate, butter and instant espresso powder in a large bowl and set it over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate and butter are completely melted and smooth.  In using different chocolates I try to ensure all pieces are similar in size which sometimes requires cutting, breaking, or shaving chocolate.  The more consistent the pieces are in size the more evenly the chocolate melts and mixes to a smooth consistency.  Turn off the heat and keep the bowl over the water.  Mix in the sugars. Whisk until completely combined, then remove the bowl from the pan.
4. Whisk in 3 eggs to the chocolate mixture and until completely combined.  Add the remaining 2 eggs and whisk.  Add the vanilla and stir until combined. Do not overbeat the batter at this stage or your brownies will be cakey.
5. Mix the flour mixture into the chocolate mixture. Using a rubber spatula, fold the flour mixture into the chocolate until just barely mixed, allowing some flour to still be visible.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the center of the oven for 30 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through the baking time.  Let the brownies cool completely, then lift them out of the pan using the parchment paper.
7. Store at room temperature in an airtight container or wrap in foil or plastic wrap.

Note:  This particular batch was made with a combination of  dark chocolate bars and semi sweet. I used almost 8oz-10oz Semi Sweet Chocolate chips,  2 72% bars (1.65 each).  Depending on the chocolate I have I have used special dark, baking chocolate, etc.  Each time they turn our rich and delicious.

The Baked Brownie  This link will allow you to print the recipe.

Remember to have a cold glass of milk or a nice red wine to enjoy with your brownie.

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Warning – If you plan on slicing and eating this or serving it on a platter at a party or other occasion, I suggest you cook it an additional 3-5 minutes.  My version increases the chocolate slightly from the original recipe and while it is perfect for consumption (slightly raw) it is difficult to cut and have look good.

 

Enjoy both holidays and remember every day can be “eat what you want day” as all food has a place and enjoying what you eat and the experience is part of what makes food so good.

 

A Cheering Up Mixture

Well it was just one of those days that we needed a little something extra in our mixture.  Something sweet and not so good for us.  I am a firm believer everything in moderation.  If you need some chocolate, dark is always my first choice, but sometimes you just have to embrace the season and the contents of the pantry.

Over the weekend the avid reader in the house had breezed through a new chapter book in a little over 36 hours and desperately wanted to make the recipe from the book.  I struck a deal.  If she accompanied me on a couple of quick errands, we could get her the necessary ingredients and she could make Cookie Pizza.  Please realize this was a very easy deal to get since my biggest weakness  is the chocolate chip cookie.  Go ahead and walk away now if you cannot agree that chocolate chip cookie dough may be the one processed food that could never be taken away.  As I said before I am who I am and that is that. I may be a dietitian, but I love cookie dough and pretty much anything chocolate or sweet.

I can honestly admit that I did not know that the blue tube of chocolate chip cookie dough could be cooked until probably high school.  I have memories of making homemade chocolate chip cookies at least once a winter with the family, but cookie dough well that was an off and on staple when dad travelled.  To this day mom and I still love to take a big knife out and whack a hunk of dough and indulge.

My tastes have grown in a lot of ways since I was a kid, but I still feel the best chocolate treat ever is a warm chocolate chip cookie. Oh and when I say warm and gooey I truly mean it. To Mr. Mixture they are still raw because they are so undercooked.  I believe I have actually perfected the art of undercooking enough that if I let the cookie sit for about 5-10 minutes it will be perfect.  So when the lovely little lady of the house presents a recipe for cookie dough rolled out as a pizza and topped with marshmallows and m&m’s, I caved.

We perfectly undercooked the cookie pizza and I have been enjoying it for several days now.

However this afternoon was just one of those days when it looks pretty out, but really we are just lucky to see the sun as it is still a brisk 40 something.  I picked up the little lady at school and she held her tears until she was securely in the car and then they streamed down her face.  It was just girl drama nothing more and probably a little of a rite of passage in growing up, she lost her first earring.  I felt bad for her as it was one of the nicer ones that she has, but after I helped her search around her desk and explained it happens and we can replace it, she needed something to cheer her up.  Thus the pre made container of homemade mixture (walnuts, cashews, peanuts, dried cherries, dried blueberries, raisins, and semi sweet chocolate chips) just was not enough.  

So we tossed in a few yogurt covered raisins and some of the Easter M&M’s leftover from her Cookie Pizza recipe.  

SMILE

A cheerful mixture made it better!Image