Can food be a blanket?

23 Jul

There is much debate on what qualifies as comfort food. My definition is any food that makes you feel good. For some, it’s as simple as a cup of Campbell’s chicken noodle, for others, nothing can beat their Mom’s meatloaf. For me it’s brownies.

When I was growing up my mom never miss an opportunity to have something freshly baked in the kitchen when she could. Her favorite was brownies. We would have them for dessert in perfectly portioned servings. After the first serving we would notice little pieces disappearing from the pan. She had a funny little habit of sneaking tastes here and there. (A habit the whole family teases her about now.) She usually made the brownies from a box, but I like making mine from scratch. Here’s the recipe I use:


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

8 ounces fine-quality bittersweet chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla

5 ounces walnut pieces, coarsely chopped (1 1/2 cups)

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch square baking pan (2 inches deep) and line bottom and sides with wax paper, then butter paper.

Melt butter and chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.

Whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla in a large bowl, then pour in chocolate mixture, whisking until combined well. Whisk in flour mixture, then stir in walnuts and transfer batter to baking pan.

Bake until top is shiny and set and sides have begun to pull away slightly (a wooden pick or skewer will not come out clean), about 35 minutes, for fudgy brownies; or until wooden pick or skewer comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour total, for cakey brownies.

Cool brownies completely in pan on a rack. Invert onto a cutting board, remove paper, and cut into squares.

Give these a try. The recipe requires just a little more effort than the usual box, but the result is worth it. The longer you bake these, the cakier the brownies will turn out. Bake for at least 35 minutes but keep going if you like a cakey brownie. (Is cakey an offical word?)

IMG_0693 I Always use a different chocolate each time I make this recipe. This time I used milk chocolate (note the giant Hershey bar in the background of the picture) but I’ve used dark chocolate and a combination of chocolates as well. Enjoy.

Always thinking of the next meal


One Response to “Can food be a blanket?”

  1. Bonnie Gogolski July 23, 2009 at 3:55 pm #

    Yummy brownies!! Truly a comfort food!

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