Cakey Chocolate Brownies are a decadent way to celebrate any day with your family.
For the first time, my kids were allowed to stay up on New Year’s Eve, when 2014 rolled into 2015. But it didn’t quite happen that way. They both made it barely to 11 p.m. before checking out for the night. Just shy of an hour later, I huddled under a blanket on the couch alone, and counted down the last 10 seconds of the year.
It could have been a lonely moment. And perhaps for others, it would have been. But I’ve never loved going out on New Year’s, and this year celebrating with my kids — even if they didn’t make it to midnight — felt just right. As 2015 began, I entered the new year with a smile.
Perhaps it’s a matter of perspective. Over the last few years, I have learned to slow down, embrace life as it comes and enjoy the little moments that make up a good life — whether I am alone or not. I’ve also learned not to leave things unsaid — because you never know when someone might disappear forever.
Life can be very brief and unpredictable like that.
Over the last few months, two old friends have passed away. Both were friends that I lost touch with years ago and both were in their 30s — too young and vibrant to be gone. One, a former roommate, lived life voraciously. She was larger than life, a little outrageous, totally charismatic and undeniably wild — but also a tremendously accepting and caring woman.
Though our lives were very different, I can’t help but take a cue from her and live life a little more boldly.
I should probably be talking about Valentine’s Day and how these rich, cakey brownies make a delicious, decadent dessert to share with loved ones on February 14. But I have to tell you that I take exception with this holiday that encourages us to let our loved ones know how much we care on one single day through heart-shaped boxes of chocolate and frilly valentines. Ultimately, I think it’s ridiculous that we place so much emphasis on love this one day when we should live and love fully every day. Don’t wait for this one single day to tell your best friends, the people who’ve made the biggest difference in your life and your family that you love them. Tell them everyday. Tell them whenever you can. Whisper it, shout it, show it.
So, instead of making these for Valentine’s Day, make these whenever you want to treat someone. Make them because your friend showed up when you needed them the most. Make them when you have something to celebrate. Make them because it’s a day that ends in ‘y’ and you want to surprise your kids.
Really, love is for everyday.
Sometimes a little decadence — in moderation of course — is just what you need.
- 4 oz bittersweet chocolate, broken into pieces
- ½ cup unsalted butter
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small saucepan, melt the butter and chocolate, stirring constantly until fully combined. Remove from the burner and let cool.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the granulated sugar, light brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract until smooth. Add the flour and salt and stir well until combined. Drizzle the chocolate mixture in, a little at a time, stirring constantly until combined.
- Spread the batter into the pan, tapping gently to evenly distribute.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of the brownies comes out cleanly.
- Let cool slightly before cutting into squares.