Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Bold Brownies & Resolutions

I'm a little late on the New Year's resolution train. New Year's was not all that great, it kinda gets bucketed into the December mayhem. So I'm celebrating my own darn New Year as one year since I made my big life move to a new city. It was Valentine's Day 2013 that I broke up with my first post-collegiate job and found a new apartment (and awesome roommate). Right around that time, "This Girl Is On Fire" was super popular and it was my theme song. I saw this shirt that said "Every Thing Will Be Amazing" and it was. It was a great time for growth and change and it was awesome. And then the year kind of fizzled out in the end so I'm reflecting on my one year anniversary of making a really good life choice. And remembering the good times before the rough, it happens, it's life.

Old Navy had it right
It's taken me some time to figure out this year's motto and theme song (I swear, I don't always do that but it seems appropriate) and generally set a course for 2014. It helps to have goals, even if they aren't concrete or resolute like "give up mac and cheese" (as if). This year's theme song is a tie between Katy Perry's "Roar" and Sarah Bareilles's "Brave"--because they sound super similar but instead of being brave, I want to be bold. I think that's better than being brave, it's like a combination of bravery and additional strength.

Joy the Baker went to Uganda last week (say whaaaaat?!) and she wrote this amazing post about how we can have so much to share with so little. Meaning, we can make so much impact on the world, someone else's or our own, by just being ourselves and being good people. You'd think it was a given to be a good person but really it's not. If you're questioning if you're a good person, then you probably are because you're worried about it.

I saw this on Facebook as part of an ad or article. But I love it. 
So back to New Year's resolutions, be bold. Be adventurous and don't back away because it seems too hard or like too much of a long shot or you might fail. If there's one thing I learned in 2013 it's that nothing will change if you don't try something different and it's all about how you look at things. There are tough things in life and there are almost always worse things out there. Okay, end motivational speech.

Pour some sugar on that
If all else fails, make some brownies! I have a friend who has an unhealthy love of brownies. He makes a box of brownies a week, and eats them, no joke. Of course he's also one of those people you love to hate for having a ridiculous metabolism (and an equally unhealthy addiction to the gym). So for his birthday, I sent him homemade brownies and test new recipes on him. Enter the Pioneer Woman with an Instagram photo of delicious brownies.

Well done
Now, we have established that I have restocked my pantry with chocolate chips and all other forms of chocolate. One of my favorite things about homemade brownies is you melt chocolate and butter together in one pan. If it wasn't unsweetened chocolate, I would stick a spoon in this and eat it as is. But, as it were, chocolate tastes a lot better with sugar. So I restrained myself until I could mix the other good ingredients in there. Pioneer Woman said to use dark chocolate chips but I only had semisweet ones so was going to go all rouge. But between reading this recipe at work and getting home, she magically managed to make another batch and modified her recipe to use semisweet chips. So much for being a rebel!

I may have added slightly more chocolate chips
I like my brownies gooey and these promised to fulfill that need. Naturally, I was going to test the brownies before shipping them across the country. So I cut the center out of the brownie pan and they were very gooey, to the point that I was pretty sure they were still raw. The oven got fired back up and I tried cooking them longer but still pretty squishy. The recipe did say that you should let these set overnight and it was right! Hey all, you should let the brownies set overnight.

Ready for the oven--or my mouth
Now I'm really craving brownies but I'll have to settle for hot chocolate because winter never ends. But there is always another blog post to be written and work to be done. More to come!

More desserts, more dessert plates!

  • 2 sticks (1 cup) of Unsalted Butter
  • 5 ounces Unsweetened Chocolate
  • 1/4 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 2 cups Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Vanilla
  • 3 Large Eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup Flour
  • 3/4 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips (or 1 cup...)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a medium saucepan, melt the butter with the unsweetened chocolate over low heat, whisking occasionally until smooth and melted. Add in the unsweetened cocoa powder and whisk to combine.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and allow to cool for about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in sugar and vanilla until combined.
  5. Add in the eggs, one at a time.
  6. Stir in the flour until mostly incorporated. At this point, I switched from a whisk to a rubber spatula and folded in the flour.
  7. Add the chocolate chips and fold until combined.
  8. Pour batter into a greased 8 x 8 baking pan. For thinner brownies, use a 9x13 pan (and then be ashamed for making them flat). Even out the top and place in the oven.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes, then check the brownies with a toothpick. If it is overly gooey/messy, continue baking for 5-10 minute intervals until cooked to desired consistency (and not raw).
  10. Allow to cool completely. No for real, this is a crucial step. Do as I say, not as I do. 
  11. Cut out the center piece and enjoy!

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