Wednesday, March 2, 2011

An Attitude and Altitude Adjustment (Recipe: Brownies)

Ugh...I've got to change my life!
At the beginning of the year I asked my husband if he believed in New Year's resolutions.  His response was not too surprising, "No."  As I fell back onto the couch I followed with, "Me neither...ugh...but I've got to change my life."  Now picture the back of the hand raised to the forehead in a somewhat 'woe is me' moment as I fall limply onto the couch pillow.

"What do you mean?" he asked.  And then I rattled a list of things I'd like to change: the tidiness of my house, my weight, unfinished projects, my punctuality at work, finding time to exercise...and the list goes on and on.

There is a simple solution, there really is, and its all about organization and time management.  Two things that I think I'm lacking in my home life.  Two things that could ultimately lead to all the little things I want changed.

First I tackled my house.  I made a checklist of household chores (hate that word) to be done in a weeks time.  I strive to hit everything on the list but won't beat myself up if I don't get there.  Have I done my clean sweep, as I type this, I'm sitting on two dozen Little People figures and it looks like the cast of Toy Story decided to camp out in my living room.  I have a toddler and have to accept that my house will not always be spotless.

So please click the flower and it will take you to the checklist.  I'd love to share it, and if it helps someone else out (even if its just ONE person) I will be happy with that.
An Altitude Adjustment
Now on to the eats!  I used to make these brownies ALL THE TIME when we lived in College Station.  So much that I had the recipe memorized by heart.  Then we moved to Idaho, meaning we moved from sea level to an altitude of 5000 ft., and I could never get the brownies/altitude adjustment figured out.  It was the only baked good that faltered and I quit making it.  The Baking Husband asked if I'd make these brownies for him a while back...he missed them.

I would love for anyone that lives at an altitude of 5000 feet or higher make these and tell me if you did anything differently.  I tried all different high altitude suggestions and could never find one that worked.  I now live back on flat land, but would still love to know what you did!
Sneak Peek!!!  Brownie Bites!!! Coming to you on Monday!
Outrageous Brownies
slightly adapted from Ina Garten, Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
  • 1 pound unsalted butter
  • 1 pound plus 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate
  • 6 extra-large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Butter and dust a 12 x 18 x 1-inch baking sheet with cocoa powder.
  3. Melt together the butter, 1 pound of chocolate chips, and the unsweetened chocolate in a medium bowl over simmering water. Allow to cool slightly. 
  4. In a separate large bowl, stir (do not beat) together the eggs, vanilla, and sugar. Stir the warm chocolate mixture into the egg mixture and allow to cool to room temperature.
  5. On a large piece of parchment or waxed paper, sift together 1 cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Add to the cooled chocolate mixture. Toss the 12 ounces of chocolate chips in a medium bowl with 1/4 cup of flour, then add them to the chocolate batter.  Pour into the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes, then rap the baking sheet against the oven shelf to force the air to escape from between the pan and the brownie. Bake for about 15 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Do not overbake. Allow to cool thoroughly, refrigerate, and cut into 20 large squares.
***I have stored the whole sheet pan of brownies in the freezer for up to two weeks, double wrapped in plastic wrap.  Thaw them at room temperature and they are still awesome!

Sweet Tooth Friday


Mama Pea said...

When I saw the opening photo, my thought, was "Oh, my God. Those look good." I have to try these! Thanks for the recipe!

Also, I can so relate to both the sea level thing and to the "got to change my life" thing. I'm going to download your list. Sad thing is, Elsa is 6 and the house is still full of her toys. I seriously can't get any help keeping it clean, and then it seems like I feel that there's no point and just let it go. So, I get it!

Reblogging, okay?

Kibba said...

Hi! I pinned this recipe a while back and just came back to look at it and saw your checklist. Thanks! It's a great checklist and I am going to try to follow it. I want so bad to be more organized and lose weight and be on time and, and, and. LOL! Hard to keep your weight in check when your favorite hobby is baking. Anyway, I have to try this recipe also.