Ice Day Brownies

Peanut and Meatball returned to school after the holiday break on January 2nd. They also went to school on January 3rd, but then it snowed and they had snow days on the 4th and 5th. Meatball was also sick on these days so we made popcorn, watched movies, did Shrinky Dinks (still just as fun to press my nose against the oven door and watch them as it was when I was the boys’ ages), and busted out some new colored pencils and sketch books. Over the weekend Meatball was feeling better so they played in the yard, went sledding in the woods with Wombat, and we all made the short drive to a neighborhood hill for bigger, faster sledding. On Monday the 8th, they returned once more to school.

Then it rained, and the rain froze. The county turned into an ice rink overnight. A two hour delay became a school cancellation for Tuesday January 9th. It was an ice day.

I’d already used all of my aces in all of the holes.

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Meatball “helps”.

What were we going to do? I’ll tell you what we did. ALL the screens. Computer, TV, video games, handheld video games. If it blinks and beeps, the kids sat in front of it today. Three days of school since December 22nd of last year and Mom threw in the towel. We also made brownies, since I decided that enough time had passed since we ate the last of the Christmas cookies that we could once again bake. I say “we” but in reality I made the brownies and Meatball stirred the chips in and licked the bowl while Peanut watched Pokemon.

I already have a favorite brownie recipe, it’s tucked away inside every box of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, but the February/March 2018 issue of Cook’s Country magazine had a one bowl brownie recipe in it, and they’ve not yet steered me wrong. What really interested me was that this recipe also had several variations, including White Chocolate Raspberry Brownies. I had a comically teeny (3 tablespoons) jar of raspberry jam and some white chips in the pantry, so I didn’t even have to brave the now dry and perfectly safe roads!

Original recipe is below, my notes are in bold. This recipe is slightly altered from the original in that I incorporated the instructions for the white chocolate raspberry variation into the text of the original chocolate chunk brownies recipe.

Easy White Chocolate Raspberry Brownies (serves 8-10) When I math this out, I get 24 brownies, which at 2-3 brownies per person means either this serves way more people or someone is FINALLY incorporating actual consumption into serving size here.

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons boiling water Boil the water, then measure. If you’re a scale baker like I am, it’s 5 ounces.
  • 2 ounces unsweetened baking chocolate, chopped fine Half a Baker’s bar. I use a serrated knife to chop chocolate. The teeth of the knife seem to move more gently through the bar, if that makes sense. All I know is that it’s quieter and I end up with less chocolate on my counter than with a regular knife.
  • 1/3 cup (1 ounce) Dutch-processed cocoa powder
  • 2 1/2 cups (17.5 ounces) sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs plus 2 large yolks
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups (8.75 ounces) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup raspberry jam I used 3 tablespoons because that’s what I had. Peanut isn’t a big fruit fan so that works out for us too.
  1. Adjust oven rack to lowest position and heat oven to 350 degrees. Make foil sling for 13 by 9 inch baking pan by folding 2 long sheets of aluminum foil; first sheet should be 13 inches wide and second sheet should be 9 inches wide. By the time I reached the semicolon I knew I would be skipping this step. Lay sheets of foil in pan perpendicular to each other, with extra foil hanging over edges of pan. Push foil into corners and up sides of pan, smoothing foil flush to pan. Spray foil with vegetable oil spray. My trusty Baker’s recipe says to just line the pan with foil and spray it. One sheet of foil. 2 steps. No semicolon. I took the easy way.
  2. Whisk boiling water, unsweetened chocolate, and cocoa in a large bowl until chocolate is melted. Whisk in sugar, oil, eggs and yolks, melted butter, and vanilla until just combined. Gently whisk in flour and salt until just incorporated. Stir in white chocolate chips. I added the chips just before the flour was incorporated. Since we’re trying not to over mix the flour, I figured a few stirs could be saved by adding the chips earlier.
  3. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Dollop jam evenly over top of batter and swirl into batter with the tip of a paring knife. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 30-35 minutes, rotating pan halfway through baking. Totally forgot to do this. Rotated at 30 since it took 35. Transfer pan to wire rack and let cool for 1 1/2 hours.
  4. Using foil overhang, lift brownies out of pan. Return brownies to wire rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Cut into 2-inch squares and serve. 2 inch squares. From a 9-inch by 13-inch rectangle. My inner control freak will have to be appeased by getting the extra inch from each side all to myself. 

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There are three more variations: Nutella-Hazelnut, Chocolate-Mint, and Peanut Butter-Marshmallow, plus the original recipe in the magazine. If you happen to come across it at the store, it might be worth picking up! I also recommend the Fried Brussels Sprouts.

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