Ghirardelli Brownies

I have a couple of writing-heavy posts in the edit stage, but it's been sooooo long since I posted anything I thought I better whip something together this evening.  It's lacrosse season again, the senior season, the last hurrah and the last year there is the realization that tomorrow is a game day and Sara's secret buddy needs something.  First game (solid victory, first goal by Sara followed by 15 more by her team mates) was this evening so last night about this time was that moment of:  make something or (ugh) run to the store.  There was a little serendipity in the air as Greg had mentioned earlier that day that brownies sounded good and Sara's secret pal also had them on her wish list.  Boxed mix brownies have their charms, but for about five more minutes of prep time you can  make really yummy home-made brownies to your whim.  I'm pretty sure licking the spatula and the bowl is the main reason I bake brownies.  Almost instant gratification.

Here is my favorite scratch brownie recipe straight from the can of Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa.  Super easy.  Always good and if you buy the can, you will almost always have on hand what you need to bake a warm and chewy pan of delightful brownies.  I'm not even a "chocolate girl" and I love these.  I do not usually add chocolate chips or nuts.  I do often add 2 or 3 teaspoons of espresso powder.  I've also been known to sprinkle a tiny bit of sea salt on top of the batter in the pan before baking.  Even if a baked goods recipe does not call for salt, just a pinch can draw out the flavors and improve your results.  Just a little hint there.  I have high blood pressure (who knows why, I certainly work hard not to fit the profile) so the additional salt is usually as lightly applied as possible.  You could even swirl in a little caramel sauce.  Go crazy, or just bake a nice simple straight up delicious pan of goodness.  Love in a little pan.

Ghirardelli Brownies

1/2 C unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
3/4 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 C Ghirardelli Sweet Ground Chocolate and Cocoa
2/3 C flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 C walnuts, chopped (optional)
1 C chocolate chips (optional)
2 tsp espresso powder (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.   Spray an 8x8x2 baking dish or pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Melt butter and cool for few minutes.  Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk together the cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt.  Return to the butter and add the eggs, sugar and vanilla and whisk until well-combined.  Pour butter/egg mixture into flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula until well-blended.  Stir in any additional nuts, chips or flavoring as desired.  Spread batter in prepared pan.    Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the brownies pull away from the sides and a tester comes out mostly clean.   If you like your brownies less chewy and more like a cake, bake in a 9x9x2 pan and bake a little longer, about 25-30 minutes.  Cut into 16 squares and serve warm or cool.  Usually half my batch is gone before cooling has an opportunity to occur.

ingredients and batter (lacrosse captain band in the background)

batter ready for the oven (the amount I left in the batter bowl was generous)

My favorite camera inexplicably and unpredictably would refuse to take pictures from the day I bought a nice new lens with my birthday money all throughout my trip to California.  It's under warranty and in for repair.  I have yet to really work on settings for an older camera to photograph all my kitchen endeavors.  This is part of the problem with why I haven't posted in so long.  The other issues mostly involve watching way too much NCAA basketball all to have it end in a pathetic effort by my beloved Boilermakers.   Good news for you is I will have more time to write this week.  Bad news for me is that I  am forced to root for all the Big Ten teams that are left, but I'm sorry I just can't cheer for the Badgers.  The Butler coach and his cute little family attend our church and he's such a great guy I'll be pulling for the Bulldogs.


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