I’ve never met a brownie I didn’t like. They’re like rainy days, new shoes and old-time television in that way: No matter how many times you have one, it’s still just as enjoyable.
So when I saw this random recipe Friday, torn out of a magazine, tucked under some other papers on the table, I wasn’t a hard sell. I’d be making them that night.
Nigella Lawson said somewhere that food should be a celebration. (That’s when I knew I liked her, incidentally.) And that’s really what these brownies are.
When I mixed the batter together, its rich, dark color riddled with chips of chocolate and thick in consistency, I kept asking myself, What should we celebrate?
And I suppose I never did find an answer, although, in another way, I found several.
Saturday night, driving home from the basketball game, we ate these brownies and some banana bread in the car, celebrating the Spurs and a good night.
Sunday, after seeing my friend for lunch after church, I ate a brownie with my fingers, grabbing bits and taking them with me to the computer.
I ate another at my desk yesterday morning, I wish I could say with my lunch, but really it was more of a breakfast, on a day when the sun didn’t set until around 5 PM (!) and the golden sky signaled hope that winter and its dark days would end.
When we say food is celebrating – well, I guess I can’t speak for Nigella – but I think, we’re saying we choose to see things to celebrate with it, be they Friday nights at home or Saturdays spent cleaning or Sundays eating grilled-chicken pitas over interesting conversation.
When we celebrate, we are stopping to think about the good things and remember why they’re good.
With these chunky, dense, intensely chocolate brownies, you’ll find it easy to see what I mean.
They’re rich – I couldn’t eat more than one in a sitting, and that was all alone in the kitchen – and they’re all the things a good brownie should be. If they were shoes, they’d be a killer pair of black heels, always in style and just a little bit fancy.
In fact, eating them, you might find they’re a reason to celebrate in themselves.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour, as seen in The Baker’s Catalogue
What’s unique about these brownies is their shape. You cut them into circles, making them look a little fancier, and you can garnish with whipped cream, shaved chocolate and espresso powder, if desired.
Since I didn’t have a 1.5-inch round cutter, I got creative and used the bottom of a glass for a template. Then I tried a few other round items until I found a shape I liked.
Whatever you do, remember the brownies will be rich; you’ll want to aim small in the sizing.
About Shanna Mallon
Shanna has a Masters in Writing through Depaul University. Her mantra? Restoring order and celebrating beauty through creative content, photography and food. Shanna's work has been featured in Bon Appetit, The Kitchn, MSN.com, Everyday Health, Better Homes & Gardens, Houzz.com, Food News Journal, Food52, Zeit Magazine, Chew the World, Mom.me, Babble, Delish.com, Parade, Foodista, Entrepreneur and Ragan PR.