Early Riser

I’m one of those weirdos who gets up early pretty much every day just because. Largely this is because I taught an early class this past semester, and never got out of the early habit. This morning I awoke at 6:30 (it’s a Sunday!) with this fear that something was melting or burning. I could smell it. It wasn’t strong, but there it was. So I got up and went to the plug near my side of the bed…nothing odd…then to the window…and there’s the smell of grilling steak wafting in. Who grills steak at 6:30 in the morning? I couldn’t find the culprit, but I thought it was really weird. I even took a jaunt outside, avoiding the neighbor who only gives me the evil eye for some unknown reason, and sure enough, every now and then, the smell of steak floated to me with the breeze. Eww.

Anyway. I figured I might as well post if I’m up and at ’em so early. Yesterday afternoon we stopped, on our way back from lunch and getting a new hose, at the gigantic Stop and Shop that opened the next town over last year. This place was massive and scary, and we were only there to pick up stuff to bake something. After much fuss, we bought things to make brownies according to the recipe on the outdated Everyday Foods sitting by the register. This recipe is not messing around. It contains an obscene amount of chocolate, and the brownies have a deep, rich flavor, more like dark chocolate than your usual brownie-in-a-box. I wish I’d taken them out of the oven five minutes sooner, but they were still delicious and decadent.
Brownies
You’ll need:

1/4 c baking cocoa

1 c flour

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp baking powder

8 oz semisweet chocolate, chopped

4 oz butter, broken into chunks (one stick)

1 1/4 c sugar

3 eggs

Whisk together flour, cocoa, salt and bakign powder and set aside. In a double boiler (or, as I make one–put a pot of water to simmer on the stove and cap it with a heatproof bowl–I have a metal one), melt chocolate and butter, stirring constantly. Add eggs and sugar to chocolate mixture, mixing well. Add flour mixture to chocolate mixture, stirring until just moistened (if you overdo it, you’ll get tough brownies).

Grease an 8″ square pan, and line the bottom and two sides with parchment (for me, wax paper), leaving a 2″ overhang on either side so you can pull the brownies out of the pan easily later. Grease up that paper, as well.

Bake in a 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes, according to the recipe, but check at 45–when you test them with a toothpick you want a few bits of brownie to stick to it, rather than for the toothpick to come out clean).

Allow to cool in the pan for a half hour, then pull the brownies out using the parchement edges. You’re supposed to allow them to cool completely, but you know us. We just pulled the wax paper off and dug in. Yields 16 brownies.

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