It is indeed winter in Canada. We were fortunate enough to push back our snowy days till late November now, but it has come for sure. It has been quietly and quite faithfully snowing all day and night yesterday so this morning there is a white and wintery scene outside my window. There is a warm sun out, though, so the snow is slowly melting again.
Last night was a cold night, and so my sister, her fiance Kevin, and I were all bundled up at home. We all sat around the kitchen after dinner, brought out each of our "homework" to do and sipped on some coffee. The three of us started to crave something sweet and warm and good. That's when I yelled out, "Brownies!", in which the two of them moaned a sweet moan, "mmmmmmmm brownies..."
So I quickly ran upstairs to my computer, found a recipe on Cooks Illustrated and found a "light brownie" recipe (because some of us are concerned about our waistline) and busted out my square pan and spatula. After a quick 30 minutes or so, we had our warm brownies. But to my disappointment, it was just okay. I was worried about it to begin with because, come on, LIGHT brownies? But they liked it just fine. It wasn't too sweet at all, and it still had some what of a chewy consistency. Kevin devoured a lot of them and happily took some home for work tomorrow. :)
In my opinion, the brownie was rather thin and sorta grainy. It was a bit better this morning- I guess the overnight helped it set. Overall, I didn't really like it, and I don't think I will use the recipe again, but last night, it wasn't about that. It was about warm goodness and sitting around together enjoying each others company. And that we did. :)
So about winter nights and winter mornings. I'm not sure if I'm ready for endless shoveling of snow; layers and layers of clothes; frozen nose tips and finger tips; slipping and sliding around ice plates, but one can't help but feel excited and giddy inside when one sees fresh white snow out the window. So boldy and daringly I say, "BRING IT ON, WINTER!!"
12 medium squares
1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour (2 1/2 ounces)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp Dutch-processed cocoa powder
1 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp vanilla extract
3/8 tsp instant espresso powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3 oz semisweet chocolate , chopped fine
1/2 cup sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/8 tsp table salt
1 large egg , lightly beaten
1. Adjust an oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8-inch square metal baking pan with parchment paper, or foil lightly coated with vegetable oil spray.
2. Whisk the flour and baking powder together in a small bowl; set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk the cocoa, water, vanilla, and espresso powder together; set aside. Microwave the butter and chocolate together in a medium microwave-safe bowl on 50 percent power until melted, about 1 minute; whisk until the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the sugar and salt until completely incorporated. Whisk in the cocoa mixture, then whisk in the egg. Stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated (do not overmix).
3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating the pan halfway through baking (do not overbake). Cool completely on a wire rack, about 1 hour, lift the brownies out of the pan by grasping onto the parchment paper, and cut into 12 brownies.