(Originally posted 24 January 2013)
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Do you want to know what I do when I need to de-stress? I get crafty or bakey. Last night it was bakey. Chocolate is like my own special, tasty form of valium, so I heeded the call and I was gall-darned determined to soothe the craving. I had chocolate chips, but they’re insufficient. I could have made cocoa or baked cookies, but it wouldn’t have been good enough. Oh no! I had to go all the way and make the fudgiest brownie I possibly could with what was in my pantry. Alas, my best cookbooks are still lost in boxes as I try to unpack from having moved 3 months ago. (I know, I need to pick up the pace on that.) So I had to get a random recipe from the internet before dinner and make do with it.
All of you foodies out there know as well as I do that taking an unknown recipe from the internet usually goes one of two ways: you either hate it or you love it. This was neither. It was a chain of events that could have proven catastrophic for lesser mortals, but nay! Not for this domestic goddess! I started out intending to try this “Ultimate Brownies” recipe as it was written, willing to give it a chance in its original form before making any tweaks until the next time. (Yes, almost every recipe I get my hands on faces the same fate: try it as it is written first, I make my assessments on how it will need to be improved- because you know as well as I do that there’s almost always room for improvement, and then I work my culinary magic on round two- and in rare cases a round 3, then they go into my personal cookbook. But I digress…)
Here’s a word of advice for everyone that I’m sure you’ve all heard more than once in your baking lives: Always make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand before you begin the project. Desperation compelled me to force myself off of that culinary cliff with full knowledge that I would be forced either to fly or fall. Well… The jury determined that this momma has herself some wings. Because I am radtastic, I will share the recipe. You’ll have to tell me what you think.
Ingredients and Directions:
1/2 stick butter
1 c semi or bittersweet chocolate chips
1/2 c sour cream
1 c pumpkin purée
1-1/2 c sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 T vanilla extract
1 c cocoa
1 t salt
1 c flour
Melt the butter and chocolate chips, add the sour cream, mix until smooth. Add the pumpkin purée, mix well, then gradually add the eggs until everything is incorporated. Add the sugars and vanilla (I don’t drink or bake with alcohol- shocking but true- but if you do, then this would be a good place to put half vanilla extract and half bourbon or kahlúa on your own particularly stressful day) and mix until smooth. Then just gradually add the cocoa powder, salt, and then flour until everything is incorporated. Pour into two 8”x10” pans which you have generously coated with baking spray. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until they smell absolutely awesome from the oven and they are firm to touch when tapping the center of them. Allow them to cool slightly and then cut them however large or small you like! They taste like treacley chocolatey pumpkin heaven! Also before serving, if you dig it, dust them with a bit of powdered sugar. It’s pretty. 😉
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