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Friday, July 10, 2009

Birthday Brownies

For some reason or another I have always had home-made birthday cakes. I remember the checkered cake I always begged my Mom for when I was little, and the sponge cakes my Grandma used to make, decorated with red and yellow raspberries like strings of Christmas lights in June. But at the point when one pack of candles is no longer enough to mark my age, birthday cakes have lost their charm and birthday celebrations have become more like an avoidance there of. Instead of a celebration, I try to do something fun and memorable. I had planned to run a marathon this year but with the stress of the last three months my training fell off track big time. BIG time! In place of marathoning, I managed to convince several of my friends to go chasing bears (literately and figuratively) in the Sierra Nevadas over a 36-mile hike. And to fuel the hike I lugged a pack of brownies in place of a cake. Yeah!

You might hate me for saying this, but in my opinion as far as deserts go brownies are usually just too much - too sweet, too choclatey, too sticky. But these ones I like. They have more of a cake consistency and don't feel like a cubic inch of a heart attack. I would like to make them with chopped dark chocolate instead of chocolate chips next time. And unless it is agains your religious convictions, do add the walnuts! The recipe is from King Arthur (and can be found on the back of their flour packs). Yep, that's right, King Arthur made brownies.

Best Brownies Ever

1/2 C unsalted butter
1 C sugar
2 large eggs
1/2+ C Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp instant coffee powder (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 C all-purpose flour
1 C chocolate chips
1/2 C walnut pieces

Preheat oven to 350 F and lightly grease an 8x8 inch pan. Place butter in microwave safe bowl and melt in the microwave (watch it - 20 seconds are usually enough). Add the sugar, stir and return to microwave for for another 20 seconds, stir and keep heating and stirring until the mixture is hot and glossy but not bubbling. In another bowl mix the next six ingredients (eggs through cocoa) and add the hot butter while stirring. Add the flour and stir till smooth. Fold in the chocolate chips and the walnuts. Pour in the pan and bake for ~30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Let them cool well before cutting. If you can.


crystal said...

I LOVE your photo sitting around the campfire! Oh yes, and the brownies look great too!!

Ivelina said...

Thanks Crystal! There will be more photos from the trip coming very soon.

CheapAppetite said...

Great to connect with you on foodbuzz. Sound like you have a fun camping:0) I love brownie.