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I’m baking more than usual these days.  A lot more.  The truth is that in the past I never really baked much at all.  Baking always seems like a perilous undertaking; too much can go wrong.  It requires a precision and attention to detail that doesn’t always bode well with my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants personality.  Besides, isn’t that what bakeries are for?

But I’ve had such a sweet tooth lately.  Maybe its because it’s been such a long winter.  This awful weather makes me want to curl up with a good book and a gooey brownie fresh from the oven. I like brownies because they’re a no-brainer.  You can mix them up in one bowl and fifteen minutes later be popping one in your mouth, its rich chocolaty goodness melting on your tongue. 

So I leave you today with this recipe for two-bite brownies.  Yes, that’s right, just a recipe.  No deep thoughts today.  I’m going to leave that for my analysis of Interpreter of Maladies, the Pulitzer Prize winning collection of short stories by Indian American writer Jhumpa Lahiri.  She writes simply, yet with such eloquence.  And foodie that I am, I can’t help but notice the prominence of food in some of these stories; cooking gives her characters a sense of identity and community, yet at the same time is deeply personal.

As soon as these little goodies are out of the oven you’ll find me curled up in my window seat, lost in Ms. Lahiri’s poignant world and a stack of two-bite brownies.

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Two-Bite Brownies

Ingredients:

1/4 cup butter, melted

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

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Directions:

Preheat oven to 350F.  Grease and flour 2 mini muffin pans (12 muffins each) or spray with non-stick cooking spray.

In a mixing bowl, combine melted butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Add cocoa, flour, salt, and baking powder.  Stir until smooth.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Do not overbake.  Many recipes recommend baking brownies for 20-25 minutes.  This is way too much!  They will dry out.  You want the brownies to be gooey.  You might want to check them after 12 minutes or so.

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Press the tops of the brownies and let cool in the pan for 10 minutes.  Pop them out gently with a knife.  You can let them cool further on a rack if you like, but this step is not necessary.

 

If you don’t have a mini-muffin pan, you can also bake these in a square 8-inch pan for 15-18 minutes at the same temperature.  Cut into 12 squares and serve.

This recipe is adapted from All Recipes.

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QUOTE

"Noncooks think it's silly to invest two hours' work in two minutes' enjoyment; but if cooking is evanescent, so is the ballet." -Julia Child

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