I don’t understand baking. You measure stuff, wait a long time, and then end up with a ton of food and not enough friends to eat it. This is exactly the experience I had while making these brownies. I nervously flailed around my kitchen stuffing my mouth with “chocolate morsels.” By the time the brownies were out of the oven I had a severe sugar headache and four thousand dishes to wash.
Despite all this, I feel like I took a positive step in the direction of knowing-how-to-bake. I also got the chocolate-based emotional medicine that I desperately needed. Last week was particularly challenging, mostly because I thought I killed my roommate’s cat. I didn’t actually kill him, but the ant poison under my bed did cause him to vomit all over my room and bathroom. Whoops!
Normally my recipes are a mash up of things I’ve seen on the internet and whatever my heart and stomach are feeling in the moment. With baking you can’t just pour inspiration into a bowl, you have to follow a formula. Therefore I must give credit for this recipe to Jessica in the Kitchen, whose blog is way prettier than mine. Thanks!
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3/4 cup oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup chocolate chips, melted
- 1 cup chocolate chips
- 1/4 cup peanut butter
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
These are the chocolate morsels that I opened and ate immediately upon arriving home from the store.
I have always wanted to make a double-boiler. Ina Garten uses them all the time and I want to be just like her. Specifically I want a house in the Hamptons and a tiny Jewish husband. You can buy official double-boilers, but I just put this large bowl on top of a pot of boiling water.
The steam will rise and melt the chocolate. Keep stirring it until it gets all shiny and smooth.
Once the chocolate is melted, add in the oil, sugar, and eggs. I don’t have a 3/4 or 1/4 measuring cup, which made getting exact amounts more challenging but also more fun.
Mix it all up.
In a separate bowl prepare all the dry ingredients. It’s a good idea to sift everything so there are no clumps of flour floating around the batter. I didn’t, but you should.
Slowly incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ones.
Fold in another cup of chocolate chips, leaving enough left over so you’ll forget they are in the pantry and then find them one day in the vague future when you’re absolutely desperate for chocolate.
Pour the batter into a greased pan.
Melt some peanut butter in the microwave. I melted WAY TOO MUCH and had to slop all the extra into our garbage can. The kitchen still smells like peanuts.
Okay, here is where I really messed up. You can’t just put the peanut butter on top, you have to swirl it into the batter. Yikes. Use a toothpick or the back of your spoon to gently incorporate the peanut butter into the top layer of the batter.
I left the brownies in the oven for about 26 minutes. I set the timer for 30 but had a feeling they should come out early. This is why I’m bad at baking, you aren’t supposed to base your actions on premonitions. Also, I didn’t test them for doneness at all, I just hoped extra hard the insides weren’t liquid. My hoping worked out. I am bad at baking.
Even though this was a challenging process, the brownies turned out really well. The peanut butter on top tasted good, even though I wish I had swirled it properly.
Here is the friendly note I left for my roommates encouraging them to eat my brownies.
And here is my roommate’s cat. He’s cute!!!! So glad he’s not dead. We sometimes hang out in the morning, although he is still scared of me. And I guess for good reason because I almost killed him.