Today started out with birds singing, no clouds in the sky, and warm breezes to take a walk in this morning. Fast forward to about 1:30 this afternoon when the weather changed so quickly and before we knew it, this was covering our windows! It hasn't stopped yet and much of the afternoon has seen torrential downpours … very unusual for Seattle.
So I pulled out the big guns …
Chocolate! And I set out to create Rainy Day Brownies.
If I were to tell the truth, I would say that although I love chocolate, I'm not one of these gals who has to have it in order to exist. A little nibble here and there (like every few months!) is enough for me. However, it seemed like a good day to have the smell of chocolate in my house.
I love the Ghirardelli Brownie Mix and it is the only mix for baked goods that I ever use. However, in my quest to keep processed foods at a minimum in our house, I decided to make brownies from scratch. I have a few good brownie recipes, but one of my favorites only uses one bowl, has an intense chocolate flavor so that only a bite or two suffices, and is fudgy, but not gooey.
The butter and chocolate are melted together first and I usually just do that in the microwave. Put it in for a minute initially, then stir it and microwave it for another 30 seconds. Repeat in 30 second intervals, stirring in between each one until the chocolate is almost melted. It usually only takes a couple of minutes.
You'll have to stir it at the end to get the chocolate to completely melt. Don't heat it too long or the butter will separate and you'll have to start over.
Then you add in the sugar (the mixture will get grainy, but don't worry), then the eggs one by one, followed by the vanilla. And then a secret ingredient:
(Don't tell Ben!) A little shot of espresso amps up the flavor just a bit and the full-on coffee taste is imperceptible. Of course, you could change that by adding more!
Mix in the little bit of flour, bake those babies, and try to contain yourself when the very chocolatey aroma fills your house! You're supposed to let them cool, but who is really silly enough to do that?!
Enjoy with a tall glass of milk!