2015: the fine reduction. Mostly ups, family travel to Dublin and Paris, delicious time together, new cheeses to discover, positive transformations, dream chasing, professional transitions, and the loss of several beloved family members.
At the outset of the year, I committed to prioritizing “fun” time with Caleb and Sadie. More and more, especially since leaving my corporate job of 12 years, I’ve been pulling them out of aftercare early for one-on-one dates with Momma. This is when I get to remove my serious-task-master-get-your-butts-dressed-and-out-the-door facial expression in exchange for the “I’m really quite fun to be around…REALLY” expression. It’s quite possible that I relish these dates more than they do.
This afternoon, I drove them home early from winter camp, simply to bake brownies and be together. I want these memories to stand out as we reflect back on 2015. Once in the kitchen, I delegated tasks and before long the sweet smell of baking chocolate began emanating from the oven. Caleb looked over at his little sister and said “I love you, Sadie” and she – a little starved for her brother’s attention – ran across the kitchen and gave him a hug and a kiss. This moment, is what I was hoping to cook up. Then, we licked the bowl and spatulas until they were sparkly!
Thank you for following Cooking with Caleb (and Sadie). Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful, joy-filled holiday season and new year.
SUPER FUDGY BROWNIES
Makes 1 dozen brownies
- 3/4cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/2teaspoon kosher salt
- 4ounces high-quality semisweet chocolate (60 to 70% cacao), finely chopped
- 12tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, diced
- 1 1/4cups sugar
- 3large eggs, at room tempature
- 1teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/4cup cocoa nibs (optional)
- Heat the oven to 350° F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with foil or parchment paper, leaving a 2 -inch overhang on two opposite sides. This will make it easy to remove the brownies once they’re baked.
- Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a medium bowl. Whisk well and set aside.
- Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil, then turn the heat down to low. Put the chocolate and butter in a medium stainless steel bowl and set it over the pan, being sure not to let the bowl touch the water. Stir the butter and chocolate together until they’re completely melted, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Remove the bowl from the heat and place it on a kitchen towel to capture any condensation. Whisk in the sugar. Let the chocolate mixture cool slightly, then whisk in the eggs and vanilla until smooth.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture. Fold in the cocoa nibs if you’re using them.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared baking pan. Tap the baking pan on the work surface to release air bubbles. Bake, rotating the baking pan halfway through, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out with some fudgy crumbs attached (you don’t want it to come out clean — that means you’ve over cooked your brownies!), 40 to 45 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and allow the brownie to cool completely on a cooling rack.
- Lift the slab of brownies out the pan by the overhanging foil and cut into 12 squares.