In my headphones, The Marshall Tucker Band croons “Six long months on a dust covered trail/They say heaven’s at the end but so far it’s been hell/And there’s fire on the mountain, lightnin’ in the air.”
Music, like this song that I’ve long loved, can do so many things for us. It can inspire. It can educate. It can lift us up. Or, sometimes, it can wrap up in a warm embrace of comfort.
Sometimes, music can be a salve on our souls. And other times, it’s the jolt we need to get moving.
When I cook, I often listen to music. A little P!nk while chopping veggies? Sure! Some Bruce Springsteen while tossing the salad? Yes, please! A little Bob Dylan with baking? Ok. The Eagles, Eminem, The Rolling Stones, Mumford & Sons, REM, Sam Smith, Third Eye Blind, Carly Simon, Dr. Dre, David Bowie … my kitchen playlists span decades and genres. Sometimes fast, sometimes mellow, sometimes loud, music energizes me through recipe after recipe.
How about you? What’s on your kitchen playlist?
These rich, decadent brownies call for whipping them up to a mellow but soulful tune like Hozier’s “Take Me to Church,” or something by Pretenders like “Don’t Lose Faith in Me.”
Why not turn up your favorite tune and make these? First, you melt chocolate and butter, and, in the case of this recipe, water in a pan, whisk it with sugar, salt and vanilla, then with eggs one at a time and then stir in a little flour … and you have a dark, rich brownie batter waiting to be baked.
So bake it. Use a square pan, lined with foil, and bake it until the top is dry — a crust has formed. Lift out the foil, peal it back and let the brownies cool. Like really cool. You might even pop them in the fridge to finish up.
Then cut them. They will be so fudgy, so moist, so decadent.
And eat them. Perhaps even sharing them with friends.
This recipe comes from the Guittard Extra Dark Chocolate Chips bag, though I have shared my own instructions, which are slightly different. It was so good, I had to share it.
- 10 ounces (about 1⅔ cups) dark chocolate chips
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- ¼ cup unsifted all-purpose flour
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil (hint: you will use this to lift the brownies from the pan, so be generous with the foil). I use my favorite glass one for this, but a metal pan would work as well.
- In a small sauce pan, stir together the chocolate, butter and water over medium heat until melted and smooth. Remove from heat, and use a wooden spoon to beat in the sugar, salt and vanilla extract.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, stirring well after each addition. The batter should be smooth and glossy when you've fully incorporated all of them. Fold in the flour until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and tap gently to even it out into one layer. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the top is a dry crust. Note: the center will still be moist -- it's supposed to be. It will solidify as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack to cool for at least 2 hours. You can cut it at this point, but it won't cut cleanly. For a cleaner cut, chill in the fridge for several hours before cutting into 16 squares.
- Enjoy. With friends.