I know you’ve all found yourselves in the following situation before…
It’s 8:30 pm on a Wednesday night, you’re sitting on the couch, not knowing who you are anymore, watching a repeat of Gilmore Girls season 4 episode 10. You know, the one where Lorelei and Jason decide to keep their love affair a secret, then Rory gets mad at Paris for dating her professor, yeah that one. You are without question, feelin’ snacky. Dinner has been over for some time, yet you can’t help but be drawn to the fridge. You open the doors wide, nothing. You walk away and go back to the couch. Five minutes of browsing Netflix instant watch, but that fridge keeps calling. Once again you return to the fridge, and weirdly enough it’s the same as it was the first time. Time to call in the cavalry and scavenge the pantry. After browsing through the 8 bags of rice and 4 different brands of macaroni you never will use, you see a dusty box of Brownie mix. Victory is yours. All you need is an egg, some oil and you’ve got your fix. Pre-heat the oven and mix. Forty-five minutes later and it’s business time. Skip ahead to Thursday. It must be Groundhog Day because you find yourself hunting for a sweet treat at 9:14 pm. Lorelei just dropped a bomb on Rory, she finds out Rory’s boyfriend is still married even though the relationship is getting very serious. She is conflicted and won’t break-up with him. You still have 1/2 a pan of brownies from Tuesday. You go to unwrap the Saran to cut yourself a slab and find out that the dang thing is dried out and brittle. Not the soft fudgey bars of black gold you had just 2 days prior.
Here is where I start to make a point…
You bought that box of brownies and you may, at the most, get 3 days worth of edibility out of them. Of course this all depends on how many civilians you’re feeding, as well as how much guilt your conscience can handle because you alone conquered a 9×9 pan of brownies.
You could make them from scratch, using high quality ingredients that won’t make you feel like garbage later. The only drawback is that this takes slightly more time and a few extra bucks. However, most of the things you need to make a brownie, I bet you already possess.
Instead of 3 minutes of prep time, mixing your dry and wet components, then melting your chocolate and butter will take about 15 minutes max.
Assuming you have the bare basics in your pantry, it might cost $5-$10, where a boxed mix will set you back $2-$4.
Herein lies the biggest difference, and I know this to be true as I’m speaking from recent experience. I assure you, if you make the brownies from scratch, using naturally awesome ingredients, those brownies will be as moist, chewy and/or gooey as the moment they came out of the oven. Although I seriously doubt they will still be piping hot 166 hours later.
Pro Tip! *moisten a paper towel, wrap brownie in said towel. Place in oven on 250 for a few minutes and it will be perfect*
I’ll never buy a red box filled with a sack brownish grey powder again. I will however continue to use this recipe I tweaked from one I found in a book.
Chocolate Chocolate Brownies
- 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for melting in the pan
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened dark cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 8 ounces Dark chocolate, chopped ( 60 %. The best you can afford)
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla extract.
- 2 Large cage-free eggs
- 1/3 cup Organic Non Hydrogenated Vegetable based shortening.
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush a 9″ square baking pan with butter. In a bowl, mix flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt, set aside.
- Place butter and chocolate in a large heat proof bowl set over (not in) a saucepan of simmering water. Heat, stirring, until smooth; remove bowl from pan. Add sugar; mix to combine. Add eggs and shortening, and mix to combine. Add flour mixture; mix just until moistened (do not over mix). Transfer batter to pan. Bang pan on counter to even batter.
- Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, 40-45 min. If you like them cakey, I lose a little respect for you, but you can leave them in an extra 5-10 minutes. Cool in pan for 30 minutes, or as long as you can take it.
Play with the recipe. Make it with whatever mix-ins you enjoy. Just don’t give anymore money to The Duncan or Hines families, or that spinster Betty Crocker.