When too much time goes between blog posts, I feel it, as if my voice is the sad curl of gray smoke after a candle is snuffed out. I miss the certainty of hitting publish, of capturing a nice meal or committing a family moment to a special place in memory with a few carefully chosen words. I’ve been spending too much time amidst doomsday Facebook reading binges instead of filling my soul with good food, pretty pictures and content creation. What better way to return than with a killer brownie recipe? I firmly believe that chocolate can heal all wounds and is the greatest cure for all the blahs.
Brownies are intensely personal. Edges or centers. Fudgy or Cakey. Bitter or sweet. Everyone has an opinion. This recipe may not be your idea of the perfect brownie, but it makes me pretty happy. The texture is definitely cake rather than fudge, but the flavor is intensely chocolatey. But there’s something for both camps in the final product, as the edges are crispy but the middle is soft and moist. cake, yet fudge, with a crispy upper crust. This brownie is a uniter, a bringer of people together.
Last week, I hosted a large crowd of women in my cozy front room to discuss moving forward after the election results. I served these brownies and plenty of wine. I wanted to bring together the various people I had been commiserating with, to talk about keeping each other motivated as activists and contributors until the 2018 midterm elections and beyond. I expected 9-10 people to show, but over twice that came, women I knew and women I’d never met, piling into my house, sharing their disbelief, their anger, and their plans. It was nothing short of electrifying, and made me very proud of the people in my community.
My kids kept walking by, sneaking looks at these fierce women, awed by the power in the room.
Our group was somewhat diverse and the concerns were equally varied. Some were concerned about immigrant rights, others about election reform, others about reproductive rights, and most about how to stem the rise in racism. But one question came up over and over again. How do we start talking to our Trump voting neighbors and friends again? How do we find common ground? How do we bring back the civil discourse? How do we bridge the gap?
I don’t have the answers to any of these questions, but after our meeting last week, the world seemed a little less dark. If groups of people are coming together like this across America, woken out of their political slumber and ready to speak up for what’s right, we may be okay after all.
And until things seems less dire, there’s always this brownie recipe, a chocolate bridge that we can all agree is pretty close to perfection. One brownie bite at a time, we can come together, and move forward to heal the wounds and protect the vulnerable, until we recognize this country again.
- 6 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1½ sticks of unsalted butter
- 5 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 2½ cups sugar
- ⅓ cup of light corn syrup
- 1⅓ cups of flour
- ½ cup of cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9x13 pan.
- Melt butter and chocolate in the microwave, first for 60 seconds, mix a little, then 30 more seconds until completely melted. Let cool a minute or so.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs, vanilla, salt, sugar, cocoa powder, and corn syrup on medium speed for about 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Fold in the chocolate butter mixture.
- Fold in the flour and mix until just blended.
- Spread into the pan and smooth out with a spatula.
- Bake for 35 minutes until the top is crisp and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the middle.