AriCooks, Dairy Free, dessert

At 32, I have hardly any vices left. Smoking regularly ended ages ago, bleaching my hair no longer seems like a good idea, just the thought of heavy drinking makes me feel sick, extreme diets grew old a few years ago, and dancing to excess (yes, there is such a thing) requires more time than I have available. I think this is what they call growing up. Luckily there are still two things that no one can take away from me (and are considered appropriate in mixed company): long walks and dark chocolate. This Thanksgiving weekend we are fortunate to get a respite from the biting cold of Boston, with a visit to Jeff’s relatives in Charleston, South Carolina. My morning walk is a little more pleasant for these few days, with a break from the down vest and mittens. I am tempted to walk for hours just to soak up the outdoors while I can, before returning to the wind rattling our windows and seeping through the cracks of our third floor apartment back home (old New England houses lose a little of their charm when December arrives).

As long as I can take walks and the local supply of dark chocolate does not run dry, providing the base for amazingly chewy and decadent brownies, such as these (embellished from The Joy Of Cooking) I will be able to survive almost anything.

Chocolate Overdose Brownies, adapted from The Joy of Cooking, 1997 Edition, with help from Bunker Hill Florist

4 oz. unsweetened chocolate

4 oz. (1 stick) unsalted butter (I used Earth Balance buttery sticks and it worked)

4 large eggs

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 cup chopped semi-sweet chocolate

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9″x 9″ pan (for thick, cakey brownies) or a 9″x 13″ pan for fudgey, chewy brownies (I vote for chewy!).

Melt the butter/earth balance and chocolate in a double boiler over simmering water. Stir to blend, then let cool completely; if the mixture is too warm, the brownies will be heavy and dry (important).

Beat the eggs and sugar together until frothy. Add salt and vanilla.

Stir the chocolate and butter into the eggs and sugar with a whisk or a hand mixer.

When the chocolate and egg mixtures are blended, add the flour. Add the chopped dark chocolate when the flour is almost completely blended in. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1/2 hour. Cut into squares when cool.

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