My girls have an amazingly loving, fun and attentive daddy! I hope he had a good Father’s Day today. He got to golf this morning in near perfect weather. The girls made him cards and gave them pictures of themselves in frames they made at school. We attended a fun BBQ at my cousin’s house. We took a long walk with our dog, Sage, and the girls. And, at his request, we made him brownies and served them with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, and whipped cream! I don’t think he had any complaints…
I have a confession to make… I love brownies from a box! I generally like the chewier texture that you don’t tend to get from the homemade variety. Since I’m trying so hard to make things from scratch, I went on a bit of a quest to find a recipe that came close to my favorite box brownies and I think these are definitely a contender. They are a result of looking at several brownie recipes on epicurious.com, settling on one (Andrew’s Brownies, Gourmet, Jan 1995 – thanks, Andrew, whoever you are!) and modifying it slightly. I’m calling them OMG Brownies because when my niece, Nicole, had her first bite of one she said, you guessed it, “Oh my God!”. They were far better than she expected and I hope they live up to or exceed your expectations as well. As is the case with all brownies, serve them warm, put a little vanilla bean ice cream on top and you’re in brownie heaven!
I often double this recipe using a 9×11 in pyrex pan… great for a crowd!
*2 oz unsweetened chocolate, chopped
3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
6 TB butter (3/4 stick)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup white chocolate or peanut butter chips
*you may substitute 6 TB cocoa powder + 2 TB butter for the 2 oz unsweetened chocolate
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 8 or 9 in square pan with cooking spray or butter and flour (tapping out excess flour).
In a double boiler or heat proof bowl over simmering water, place unsweetened chocolate, 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (set aside remaining 1/4 cup) and butter. Stir mixture until it is almost (but not quite) melted, remove it from the heat, stir until smooth, set aside and cool (should be body temp, not warm or cool to touch). You may also use a microwave to melt the mixture. The important thing to know, when melting chocolate, is to do it slowly and gradually because chocolate does not like to get too hot.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together sugar, eggs, and vanilla until smooth, then whisk in chocolate mixture. Add flour and salt and stir until combined but do not over mix. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake on the middle rack of the oven 20-30 minutes. Check after 20 min. The brownies should be slightly under-baked but firm to the touch.
Cool and cut into 9 – 12 squares, depending on how big you want them.
I can’t believe you’ve been gone over half my life now. I wish we’d had more time and I could have known you better as an adult. However, when you passed, I actually felt you were a little more accessible to me, in a way. You were such a larger than life presence when you were here with us. I always felt I had to compete with a million other people to get your attention. I know you loved me, though, and I’m grateful for that and for many other things. You taught me to embrace change and take risks and, most of all, do what I love to do. You followed your dreams even when it didn’t make any sense. Frankly, it was not usually the responsible thing to do, but we were probably better for it.
Thank you for the rainbows. When I see one, I know you are telling me everything’s going to be okay. They tend to show up when I really need them and I know that’s no coincidence. I can tell the girls that it’s Grandpa Bill saying hello when we see one together and that’s a gift.
I wish you could know your granddaughters and I wish you could have been with us today, in the town you loved, eating brownies and ice cream.
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.”
– Anne Sexton