Monthly Archives: July 2010


Cooking in someone else’s kitchen is a lot like…wearing someone else’s bathing suit.

The whole situation is the definition of awkward. Something just doesn’t feel right about it. You’re uncomfortable. Squeamish and fidgety. You just can’t stop thinking about how it’s not YOURS.ย  Oh, and of course you’re concerned about cleanliness – both before and after. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I made this delicious key lime pie at my parent’s house so I guess it wasn’t THAT awkward…and cleanliness obviously wasn’t a problem. They don’t live in the house I grew up in anymore and I just can’t find a thing in there! So maybe I’m not super uncomfortable, but I am super inefficient. Imagine opening every drawer in the kitchen looking for a spatula. Like six times. Even the one with the oven mitts in it!! Every five seconds…OVEN MITTS! DANG IT!

So it may have taken me just a smidge longer than usual to make this pie. And squeezing dozens of tiny limes made it take even longer. And maybe the whole oven mitt thing made it slightly awkward. Once you get passed all that fun stuff, the rest is pretty easy and well worth the effort.

It’s parts are pretty simple and unassuming. Graham cracker crust, creamy custard filling and freshly whipped cream. Together? It’s almost magical. Tropical. Warm ocean breezes. Sand between your toes. Lying on the beach in your (own) bathing suit. Please wear your own. Borrowed bathing suits? That’s just wrong. Anyway, the key limes add such a great tartness to the sweetness and creaminess of the filling. It’s cheek-puckeringly delicious. Give it try this summer!

KEY LIME PIE (Recipe Source: Gourmet, May 2003 via


For the crust:

  • 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs from 9 (2 1/4-inch by 4 3/4-inch) crackers
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (I used fat free with great results)
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh or bottled Key lime juice (about 2 dozen)


Make the crust:
Preheat oven to 350ยฐF.

Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a bowl with a fork until combined well, then press mixture evenly onto bottom and up side of a 9-inch (4-cup) glass pie plate.

Bake crust in middle of oven 10 minutes and cool in pie plate on a rack. Leave oven on.

Make the filling and bake:
Whisk together condensed milk and yolks in a bowl until combined well. Add juice and whisk until combined well (mixture will thicken slightly).

Pour filling into crust and bake in middle of oven 15 minutes. Cool pie completely on rack (filling will set as it cools), then chill, covered, at least 8 hours. Top with fresh whipped cream before serving. Serves 8.


One Year Ago: Blueberry Chipotle Chutney
Two Years Ago: Raspberry Pineapple Sorbet



Filed under desserts, fruit

Two is better than one

Some things are just better in pairs. Shoes, for example. You always want to wear two shoes. Who wants to walk around with one shoe? And then what would you do with that one really dirty foot?

There’s other things too. Let’s make a list! I love lists!

<cough, cough> Nerd Alert! <cough, cough>

Anyway, back to that list. Here we go.

Things that are Better in Twos:

  • Chocolate chip cookies
  • Helpings of birthday cake
  • Hugs from adorable nieces and nephews
  • Consecutive days off work
  • Scoops of ice cream
  • Reruns of Seinfeld
  • Glasses of really good red wine
  • Hits of the snooze button
  • Favorite songs on the radio

Things that are NOT Better in Twos:

  • Sharp sticks to the eye
  • Kicks in the pants
  • Fillings at the dentist
  • Paper cuts
  • Hours in traffic
  • Trips to the DMV
  • Reruns of Friends (Sorry, all. I didn’t like that show when it was on and I don’t like it now. Lower the torches and pitchforks, Angry Mob, please and thank you, not everybody likes the same things. I hope we can still be blog buddies ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

Yep. I think that about does it. That was some mighty fine list-making…what other lists can we make?

Let’s see…how about a list of possible lists. As if I couldn’t dork it up any more in here.

  • Bands I Hate and Always Will
  • Top 10 Ways to Make a Huge, Ridiculous Mess in the Kitchen Without Really Trying
  • TV Shows I’m Only Slightly Embarrassed to Admit I Watch But Not Really Because I Don’t Have Near the Amount of Shame I Should When it Comes to That Sort of Stuff
  • Bugs and other Creepy Things I’m Afraid Of
  • Childish Names my Husband and I Call Each Other
  • The Many True and Compelling Reasons Why My Sports Team is Better Than Your Sports Team Despite the Fact that My Sports Teams ALWAYS Lose.

Hold up! These other awesome lists are going to have to wait! I need to make an amendment to the first list. One other thing that’s better in twos:

Ways to use up delicious summer produce!

How could I forget that one? We gotta use this stuff up while we can. Hurry, I say! Hurry! Remember THIS? Yeah, that’s coming back. And soon. Summer’s sun-kissed bounty will be gone before you know it so doing up big in twos, threes, fours – that’s the only way to go.

Here in Iowa we’re just starting to see the few of the seasons best at the farmer’s markets and roadside stands: sweet corn (I’ve got big plans for sweet corn, so stay tuned for that) and tomatoes.

It took me until I was a bit older to enjoy tomatoes in their raw and natural form rather than just in ketchup form. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Now that I do, I can’t get enough. Bruschetta is one of my favorite ways to stuff them in my face in copious amounts. ๐Ÿ™‚ There’s just something about the combo of sweet, juicy tomatoes, garlic and basil, with that pungent kick of balsamic in the background that is one of my favorite things about summer. LOVE it.

Below, I present Bruschetta two ways – because Bruschetta, like so many other things, is just better that way. One is the classic. The one we’re all used to seeing – a fresh tomato mixture, piled high on crusty toasts of french baguette. The other takes all the bruschetta flavors, adds homemade sourdough croutons and leafy romaine lettuce and calls itself a salad. That’s right. It went there.

First, let’s look at the classic. Because some things are so simple they just don’t need to be messed with.

On a recent trip to my hometown, my mom had this Double Tomato Bruschetta recipe picked out and asked if I wanted to help her make it. Um, YES! Before we got to the chopping and dicing, we had to first completely change the recipe. Ha. We nixed the sun-dried tomatoes, decreased the amount of garlic (because there is such a thing as too much garlic) and ditched the top with cheese and bake step. It came out GREAT! My mom really loved the taste of the fresh basil, having not cooked with it much in the past. This particular recipe didn’t call for any onion at all, but feel free to add some if you like it that way.

Now, I think classic bruschetta is best enjoyed outside, around a patio table under the shade of an umbrella with something like this sweating in your hand:

It’s kind of small group food. When you’ve got your four best girls around the table with you drinking sangria and talking about everything and nothing at the same time, this bruschetta fits right in. But if you’re partying on a bigger scale, this recipe may be a bit impractical. Logistics wise, that is….

TOMATO BRUSCHETTA (Recipe adapted from


  • ๏ปฟ๏ปฟ๏ปฟ6 roma (plum) tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 french baguette


  1. Preheat oven to 400
  2. In a large bowl, combine the roma tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, vinegar, basil, salt, and pepper. Allow the mixture to sit for at least 10 minutes. (The longer it sits the better it tastes, so make ahead if you can!)
  3. Cut the baguette into 3/4-inch slices. On a baking sheet, arrange the baguette slices in a single layer. Bake 7 to 9 minutes, until slightly browned and toasted.
  4. Spoon tomato mixture on baguette slices and serve. Makes 12 servings.


So instead of an intimate gathering of girlfriends, let’s say you’re having a great big blow out BBQ type party with 30 of your besties and at least one pony keg. The kind of party where people eat for hours on end, filling their plates to dangerous, teetering levels as they make their way across your white living room carpet to the patio door to sit outside. The kind of party where people are so happy to be there and eating, they don’t even care THEY ARE ABOUT TO PUT POTATO SALAD AND LIME JELLO IN THEIR MOUTH IN THE SAME BITE! If that’s the case, you need something that’s a bit easier to serve.

With this bruschtta salad you can get everything together ahead of time (in fact, I recommend making the dressing the day before, I just find homemade dressing taste better when they’ve had a chance to mellow in the fridge for a while) and then just toss it together with a drink in one hand while your friends are pulling up in the driveway. The bread soaks up the dressing just enough to be amazing but not enough to be soggy. The fresh mozzarella adds a great creamy texture.ย  It really does mimic the taste of classic bruschetta.

It’s so easy, it’s so delicious and you can set it, forget it and actually spend time with your guests as they compliment your awesome spread. ๐Ÿ˜‰

BRUSCHETTA SALAD (Recipe Source: The Farm Chicks in the Kitchen)

My tomatoes kind of sank to the bottom after tossing. ๐Ÿ™‚


  • 4 cups cubed sourdough bread
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small clove garlic, crushed through a press
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt (more or less to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (about 4 medium)
  • 1 cup diced fresh mozzarella (4 ounces; half inch dice)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread bread on a baking sheet in a single layer and bake until just crisp on the outside – about 6 minutes. Remove from pan onto a wire rack to cool.
  2. Meanwhile, make the the dressing. Whisk together oil, vinegars, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Put lettuce, basil, tomatoes, mozzarella and bread in a large serving bowl. Drizzle with the dressing and toss until everything is evenly coated. Serve immediately. Makes 6 main dish or 12 side dish servings.



And, finally, one last list. If you’re still here and reading…HI! Thanks for playing. ๐Ÿ™‚

The lovely and talented Branny at Branny Boils Over tagged me with a bit of a getting to know you challenge. It just happens to contain lists. What luck! My answers appear below. Thanks for the shout out Branny! ๐Ÿ™‚

1) What was on your To-Do list today:

  • Sweep the bathroom. Make the sheer amount of hair I pick up into a wig. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Wash some clothes.
  • Clean out the fridge. Free to a good home: a container withโ€ฆ.something inside. It used to resemble food.
  • Eat a cupcake. That one was so easy I may do it twice.

2) 5 Snacks you enjoy:
I actually don’t do much snacking let’s see what I can come up with:

  • Apples. I eat an apple every day.
  • Yogurt
  • Caramel corn. I can’t keep it around or else I will eat it until I get sick!
  • Hummus
  • Chips and salsa

3) 5 Places you have lived:

  • A happy home on a great block in suburban chicago
  • A couple of assorted dorm rooms at the U of IL
  • “The Players Club” that’s what we called our college apartment.
  • An apartment with my then boyfriend (gasp!), now husband
  • Our current lovely home. ๐Ÿ™‚

4) What were you doing 5 years ago:

  • 5 years ago was my first full year out of college. I went crazy and followed my boyfriend to Iowa. I sold clothes in the Junior’s department in a department store. Thanks, college education! The boyfriend proposed! And we bought our home. I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since all that. Wow!

5) 5 things you would do if you were a Billionaire:

  • I’d start a writing group for girls. I’m not sure how, what kind or the logistics of the whole deal but I want to help girls discover and cultivate their talents.
  • Travel, of course. Maybe I’ll even leave the Midwest! How ’bout them apples!
  • I want to have my own bakery. But I don’t want to do any of the hard stuff like working 14 hours a day 6 days a week. I bet if I were a billionaire I could hook that up. ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • I’d help my family and friends realize their dreams too, whatever they may be!
  • Save a whole bunch. I can’t help it. It’s what I do.

Passing on this little challenge to a few other awesome bloggers I adore:


Filed under appetizers, salads, veggies

Make new friends, but keep the old…

I made a couple new friends this weekend. We met on Saturday morning at the grocery store. I knew I was going to bump into these two there at the store, the list in my hand told me so, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to have the guts to look at them. I was fully prepared to pull the old Oh, There’s Someone I Don’t Want to Talk To so I’m Going to Pretend to Concentrate Really Hard on This Display of Flour trick when I approached them in the aisles.

I was nervous. See, I haven’t exactly been warm toward these two in the past. One of these guys, I have just come right out and said I didn’t like them. Out loud. In a snotty way. In front of others. The other, I just flat out ignored.

Who did I make amends with this weekend? Who did I bond with over a cart with a wobbly wheel? Who did I invite into my home for a lovely summer meal? I think you’ll be surprised!

My first new friend? Cilantro. Yes. I know. I know! I can’t believe it either. My arch nemesis. Cilantro and I are friends now after this weekend! Squee!

My second new friend? Anchovies. It had never occurred to me to buy them before and they’d basically gone unnoticed until now. They’re a little…stand-offish, don’t you think? All packed down in that little can, lifeless and oily. Not exactly friendly if you ask me. But, I think they’re just shy. Because these guys brought a whole bunch of life to the dinner party last night.

I brought my two new friends home, we talked through our differences, and I combined them into something really special and really delicious.

Crunchy romaine hearts, colorful bell peppers, fresh tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, and spicy baked tortilla strips, all tossed with an herb-kissed Caesar dressing and topped with juicy strips of perfectly grilled sirloin. Also known as: Texas Caesar Salad.

So good. This was the perfect light meal for a hot summer night. Eric, being the meat and potatoes kind of man he is, isn’t really big on the idea of a salad as dinner. Not manly enough. Or something.

That’s why I added steak. Ha. That certainly gets his attention. We both enjoyed this on such a hot July night. The dressing had a great punch of flavor and brightness from the cilantro. Since there are so many strong flavors going on, I didn’t find the cilantro overpowering at all, which was a very pleasant surprise!

Add an ice cold beer (or your favorite wine), some nice crusty bread and you’ve got a delicious dinner. Invite some new friends. May I suggest cilantro and anchovies? ๐Ÿ˜‰

TEXAS CAESAR SALAD WITH GRILLED SIRLOIN (Recipe adapted from: Bon Appetit, July 1999 via


For the dressing:

  • 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped shallots
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 jalapeรฑo chili, seeded, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup olive oil

For the salad:

  • 8 cups bite-size pieces romaine lettuce (from 2 heads)
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced (I subbed an orange bell pepper)
  • 2 scallions, finely chopped
  • 2 ears fresh sweet corn, grilled until tender and slightly charred, then cut from the cob
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • Baked chili-lime tortilla strips (Recipe follows)
  • 1 lb. sirloin strip steak, grilled until desired doneness and sliced into thin strips
  • Additional freshly grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Purรฉe first 9 ingredients in processor until smooth. Gradually add olive oil and process until blended. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)
  2. Combine romaine, bell pepper, scallions, corn, tomatoes and half the tortilla strips in a large bowl. Toss with enough dressing to coat. Divide among 4 serving dishes, top with steak, and garnish with additional Parmesan cheese and the rest of tortilla strips.


  • 2 medium flour tortillas
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • Zest of one small lime
  • Kosher salt and pepper taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Using a pizza cutter, cut the tortillas into long, thin strips. Toss with olive oil and other ingredients. Spread in an even layer on a foil-covered baking sheet.

Bake until golden brown and crunchy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Cool before using.


Two Years Ago: Candy Kiss Cupcake Bites


Filed under beef, salads, veggies

Anatomy of Summer

Let’s dissect summer. Let’s cut it open and probe its insides with supplies from your high school biology classroom. Sans Smelly Lab Partner, of course. That kinda sounds like work, huh? And it may get messy, so be ready for that. The goal of this experiment? To figure out what makes summer.

A couple of rules before we get started. I know. I can just suck all the fun out of everything, it seems. Listen up. These rules could save your summer.

Proper attire is required in the lab. Closed toed shoes are not allowed – flip flops only. Put on your safety (sun)glasses on before you begin. Once you get started, a lot of glorious, bright sunshine will pour out. ๐Ÿ™‚

Ready? Let’s do this. *fist pump.*

Okay. Here we go. Make a big slit down the center and clear away all the snow, cold and wind to get straight to the good stuff.

Let’s get out our trusty microscopes here and have a look see.

Hm. What do we have here…

Ah…cold, frosty beverages. Of the Not Very Fancy variety for Not Very Fancy people. Enjoyed outside on the deck surrounded by wide open spaces and fresh country air. Yes. An essential part of summer.

Hot grills. Featuring lots of sizzling meats and veggies. (Like red onions to top yummy burgers) Keep that frosty beverage near by! It’s hot out there! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also Gotta Have It for summer.

Note the abundance of COLORS! Gorgeous greens. Vibrant pink flowers. Pretty yellow butterflies. Summer is downright stunning, don’t you think? Are you taking accurate notes? This will be on the exam.

Hey! No gum chewing! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Moving on!

For the next part of this assignment, we’re going to see what the inside of summer tastes like. Now, don’t be scared. While winter is bitter and leaves a bad taste in your mouth, summer is oh-so sweet. And full of fresh flavor.

Summer is plump, juicy blueberries that burst like 4th of July fireworks on your tongue.

Summer is succulent strawberries, so candy sweet you’d think they were spun from pure sugar.

Summer is dark, ripe cherries, full of rich juice that stain your lips and fingers.


Now, if we get out our beakers and test tubes and things and mix up all these summer flavors with a few other essentials, we can take all these goodies and turn them into…

PIE! Summer-kissed Cherry Berry Pie.


Abort! Abort!

Something went wrong. Terribly, terribly wrong.

Well, the pie kind of failed but it still tasted great and no one needed to use that creepy eye rinse station thing in the corner of science classrooms, so that’s a plus.

Grade: B-

This pie. Kind of a failure. Why? Because it was way way too runny. Why was it runny? Because I tried to change the original recipe too much. Oops.

The original recipe calls for fresh tart cherries and I subbed sweet cherries. Unless you’re growing tart cherries yourself or have an exceptional farmer’s market near by, good luck finding these. The season is exceptionally short. I have a feeling the dark, sweet cherries we’re all used to are a LOT juicier than their tart brothers. Add berries into the mix, which are super juicy too, and you’ve got a recipe for runny pie filling. And failure.

So. The flavor combo in the filling is all kinds of amazing. I knocked back the sugar a bit to keep it from being too sweet and the flavor was spot on amazing. I loved the crunchy crumb topping too. But, like I said, awfully juicy. So juicy in fact, that I couldn’t actually get a clean slice. Blarg! The ultimate pie failure!

I think the runniness factor can be remedied and I reflected that in the recipe below. I would toss the fruit in the sugar and let some of the juice drain away for an hour or so before putting it in the pie shell. That may help.

If you try this pie and it’s runny, I apologize. At least I’m being honest about my experience! All you baking geniuses out there can make it work, I think! A couple of tweaks and I think this could be a really perfect summer pie. Good luck!

I’m submitting this pie for the July You Want Pies with That? blogging event. I was honored and humbled to choose this month’s Summer Fruit theme! Thanks again ladies!! Can’t see what next month brings.

Class dismissed!

CHERRY-BERRY CRUMBLE PIE (Recipe adapted from: Taste of Home)


For the pie:

  • 2 cups fresh cherries, pitted and halved
  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 cup chopped fresh strawberries
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch (or your favorite thickening agent)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • Dash salt
  • 1 9-in pie crust

For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup rolled oats
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 tablespoons cold butter, cut into pieces.
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds


  1. Combine fruit and sugar in a large bowl and let sit at room temperature for about 45 minutes to an hour. Drain off as much juice as you can. (Save the juice…add it to lemon or limeade!) Add cornstarch, lemon juice and almond extract.
  2. Roll out pie pastry and place in a 9-inch pie plate. Trim off excess (and use it to make a pretty border, if desired.) Sprinkle the bottom with a little flour. Add fruit mixture.
  3. Make the topping: Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Add butter and cut into mixture with a pastry blender until pea-sized crumbs form. Stir in almonds. Sprinkle topping over fruit mixture.
  4. Bake on a cookie sheet at 400 degrees for 45 to 55 minutes, until filling is bubbly and topping is browned. Cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. Serves 8.


One Year Ago: Strawberry Blueberry Buckle
Two Years Ago: Oven Fried Chicken


Filed under desserts, fruit


Go-to recipes.

These are the ones that never fail to impress. The ones you return to time and time again. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I don’t have many go-to recipes. I want to try new things, not make the same thing over and over. This actually upsets my poor husband, who will fall in love with something I made and then pout and whine…

I’ll never get to have this again! ::insert red face, trembling bottom lip and pathetic whimper here::

Okay, okay. I get it. There are certain things you would like to see repeated around here, is that right Husband? Yes?ย  Now go sit in time out!

(I kid, I kid. He’s not THAT whiny. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I’m the whiny one in this house.)

I suppose there are some recipes where a go-to would be appropriate. I think the perfect, chocolately, fudgey brownie would fall into that category. You just have to have it. Why? Because people love brownies, that’s why.

Ah, but beware, brownies can miss. Big time. We’ve all had a bad brownie at some point in our lives, right? It probably had really stiff chocolate icing and colored sprinkles on it. It may or may not have come from a box with a picture of a smiling child on it. I’m talking about the ones that are so sweet they make your teeth hurt. Or the ones that are so dense and underbaked, they’ve stopped being brownies and crossed over into fudge. And, of course, there’s the overly cakey brownie, which, if you want to get technical is not a brownie at allโ€ฆit’s, you knowโ€ฆcake.

The brownie is a delicate balance between fudgey and cakey – a deep, dark chocolate flavor is preferable to that of just straight sugar. It should be rich and delicious enough to stand on it’s own without add-ins or frosting. Not that there’s anything wrong with those things, they have their place, but I’m talking about a go-to recipe here in purest sense of the word. That is, you don’t have to mess with itโ€ฆit’s just THAT GOOD on it’s own.

I have been using the same brownie recipe for a few years now and it’s very good but when I needed a sweet treat to satisfy my chocoholic husband while I was out of town, I decided to try a different one. I spotted this recipe over at Jen’s blog Bakin’ and Eggs (One of my favorite blogs! Check out her great 68 days of Gourmet magazine series! ๐Ÿ™‚ ) and I knew I just had to try them. These Chewy, Fudgey Triple Chocolate brownies stood out to me because I had everything I needed on hand and they’d be quick to make. That’s the recipe for a winner, if you ask me!

Good golly miss molly, these are so good they make me want to shout to the heavens in outdated slang. These brownies are the bees knees!! The cats pajamas! Groovy! Radical and totally tubular, dude! All that and a bag of chips!

Ahem. ‘Scuse me. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I guess what I’m saying is…one bite and you will be a believer too! These brownies have it all. Great chew, unbeatable chocolate flavor and a great crinkly, flaky top that I can’t resist. They are the perfect balance of fudge and cake chock full of rich, dark chocolate. The texture is spot on. Eric loved these. So did I. I am pleased to announce I have a new go-to brownie recipe.

Alert the media!

CHEWY, FUDGY TRIPLE CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (Recipe Source: Cooks Illustrated, May 2000 as seen at Bakin’ and Eggs.)


  • 5 ounces semisweet or bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces unsweetened chocolate , chopped
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into quarters
  • 3 tablespoons cocoa powder (either Dutch-processed or natural cocoa works well in this recipe)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour


  1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Fold two 12-inch pieces of foil lengthwise so that they measure 7 inches wide. Fit one sheet in bottom of greased pan, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan. Fit the second sheet in pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil with nonstick cooking spray. The foil overhangs will help you lift the brownies out of the pan.
  2. Place a medium heatproof bowl over a pan of almost-simmering water. Melt chocolates and butter, stirring occasionally until mixture is smooth. Whisk in cocoa until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly. Alternatively, you can melt chocolates and butter in a microwave safe bowl. Cook on 50 percent power, stopping to stir ever 30 seconds, until mixture is smooth.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together eggs, sugar, vanilla and salt until combined, about 15 seconds. Whisk warm chocolate mixture into egg mixture; then stir in flour with wooden spoon until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared pan, spread into corners and level surface with rubber spatula. Bake until slightly puffed and toothpick inserted in center comes out with a small amount of sticky crumbs clinging to it, 35 to 40 minutes.
  4. Completely cool brownies on a wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours. (You don’t have to promise you’ll try to wait…but try to try. You’ll end up with mush if you don’t. Believe me, I made this mistake. Now you don’t have to! Learn from your peers, friends. Learn.) Remove brownies from pan using foil handles. Cut into 1-inch squares and serve. (Do not cut brownies until ready to serve; brownies can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated up to 5 days.)


One Year Ago: Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Two Years Ago: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Ice Cream


Filed under bars, chocolate