Monday, February 9, 2009

Brownies in 5 Ingredients

(if you don't count the pinch of salt and teaspoon of vanilla).

My first, and favorite, recipe for brownies was taste-tested, over and over again in a beautiful adobe home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. I spent the summer there, between my freshman and sophomore year, and Frances, my friend who dished ice cream cones with me at Swenson's (remember them?) happened to be best friends with Judy Blume's daughter, and staying in their home over the summer. Whew! That was a tortured sentence. I never did meet the famous author, or the daughter, but I did make batch after batch of delicious brownies, during thunder storms, in a kitchen whose color scheme and size matched the Rothko hanging in the dining room.

Years later I found the recipe, Craig Clairborne's, in the New York Time Cook Book.

So, when it threatens to rain, why buy a box mix, complete with that odd preservative aftertaste when you can make them in (almost) as little fuss? I mean, even with a boxed mix you'll have to add at least two more ingredients. For these you will need:

Two eggs beaten into one cup of white sugar.

4 squares (or ounces) unsweetened chocolate.

This is where I'm afraid the foodies in the audience will be advocating Valhrona or Scharffenberger, or some other unpronounceable elite treat, which, come on, is today's declaration of palate and class warfare. I stand by my humble box of Baker's unsweetened chocolate and its homey beginnings.

1/3 cup butter (or 5 tablespoons)

Melt the two gently together. Remove from heat when both ingredients are completely mush.

Swiftly stir in the egg and sugar mixture. Fold in 1/2 cup of flour (yes, that's all, just ONE HALF CUP of flour).

A pinch of salt for contrast, a teaspoon of vanilla for that alcoholic kick. Pour into a greased 8 or 9 inch square pan and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees.

Did you know that glass pans bake at 25 degrees hotter? Lower that thermostat!

Warning: these brownies provide quite the caffeine jolt. Devour with a cup of coffee to kick start your morning.


  1. Did you post this just for me? I'm printing as we speak.

  2. Yes, just for you, kiddo, and chocolate lovers everywhere else!

  3. Question: Should I cool the chocolate/butter mixture before mixing with the eggs and sugar?

  4. Good question! You should cool the mixture, for a few minutes, but stirring the egg/sugar mixture quickly works well too!

  5. Mmmm! The brownies are devine....especially with a splash of red wine.

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