Monday, December 13, 2010

Fudgey Brownies for when Baby has the Blues

Book writing is a challenging, isolating job to have. I spend hours alone, usually in my pjs or yoga clothes. Inevitably, just when I think I'm done with a task, another email arrives telling me to tweak this, or that, or toss it all and begin again.

I love it, though, and most days I can't believe my luck. I am thirty-three years old, about to publish my first book, and doing exactly what I dreamed of as a little girl. Still, there are bad days. And on those days, there's nothing I want more than Mom: her dinners are healthy and delicious, there's always milk in the fridge and a pantry stocked with snacks, and in a pinch, she knows that chocolate cures everything.

Just the other night she made me a pan of brownies at 10PM. It had been a day filled with BS (Book Stuff) that left me exhausted and, for the first time, wondering why I'd ever believed being an author was a fun idea.

A brownie topped with vanilla ice cream didn't fix it, but it did make me feel better, which, I think is the point of both mothers and rich, fudgey, just-a-little-salty, brownies.

This isn't my mom's recipe, but it is my favorite brownie for a bad day or (hypothetically) the week where you just can't find your camera charger or a clean set of sheets. In fact, these dark things are aptly called "Baby's Got the Blues Fudge Brownies," in one of my all-time favorite cookbooks: With A Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant.

With a lot of chocolate and a kick of salt, these little things will cure anything. Just like mom. 

Baby's Got the Blues Fudge Brownies
Adapted slightly from With A Measure of Grace: The Story and Recipes of a Small Town Restaurant

4 ounces (4 squares) semi-sweet chocolate
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 teaspoon salt -- use fleur de sel if you can, or fine sea salt
1/2 cup flour
Preheat oen to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 8x8 pan (grease and flour it very well, brownies tend to stick)
Melt chocolate and butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over low heat, stirring constantly until mix is smooth.
Remove pan from heat and set aside to cool.
Add vanilla, sugar, eggs, and salt to the chocolate mix and beat until combined. Next add flour and stir till mixed.
Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake for about 40 minutes, until top is dry and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Do not over bake these brownies -- !
Let cool, then cut into squares.
Makes enough for one very bad day.


Indie.Tea said...

I know what you do mom's always manage to keep their pantry full? I never can either!
The brownies sound so good...

dana said...

Brownies are my solution to make me feel a little better on crazy days too! I hope everything keeps on going well!