The trend now is to eat locally, avoid processed foods, grow your own vegetables and reduce your carbon footprint. I don’t think these trends need to be trends. They are leading us back to the roots that we have moved away from. I don’t think that everyone needs to move off the grid and start raising their own sheep so they can make sweaters out of the wool. But hey, if that is what you want to try, go for it. I truly believe that we can all take a step back from the hurried lives we lead and spend some time trying something new. Whether it is baking a loaf of bread, making brownies from scratch with the kids or growing herbs in a pot on the back patio, there is a satisfaction in trying something totally out of your comfort zone.
Stick with me, and I will have you making pancakes like a pro, tossing the pizza delivery number in place of making your own and getting out the butter to make cookies just because you feel like it. You too can have friends that look at you like you are nuts when you say you made a birthday cake instead of buying one from the bakery. You might even make a few converts of your own.
Here is a recipe to get you started. Be sure and post how it works for you. And share what gets you into the kitchen, or keeps you out of it.
One Bowl Brownies
Adapted from Baker’s Chocolate
You will never go back to a mix after you try these. The recipe is originally off the back of the box of Baker’s Unsweetened Baking Chocolate, and I haven’t changed the recipe much. These are great as is, or you can really go all out and serve them with ice cream when they are warm from the oven. A little hot fudge sauce never hurt either. But trust me, you will eat them warm, room temperature or even barely thawed from the freezer. If you don’t have all the ingredients, these are worth a trip to the store. And they truly require only one bowl and a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula.
4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate
¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks), cut into 1-inch pats
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease a 9 by 13 inch pan.
Microwave chocolate and butter in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 1 1/2 -2 minutes, stirring after one minute. Chocolate can keep its shape, even when melted, and it scorches easily, so keep an eye on it. Stir to melt chocolate completely. Add sugar and stir until well blended. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat well after each. Stir in vanilla. Stir in flour, scraping sides and bottom of bowl.
Spread batter in prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out coated with crumbs, not raw batter. Do not over bake.
Cool in pan on a wire rack for at least a few minutes before cutting. Once they are room temperature, store any leftovers tightly covered or in an airtight container, or freeze for longer storage. This will probably not be a problem.
If you get a chance to try these, leave a comment and let me know how they turn out.